Milkman Days #4: Gabino Iglesias

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Gabino Iglesias is my bionic brother. We went through the NBAS together. He’s a great writer, journalist, and friend. There’s a lot to admire in his work ethic and his dedication to the small press scene. He reads a ton of top quality small press books and publishes reviews on some pretty awesome lit websites. His writing is always appearing in awesome anthologies, and he’s got a whole bunch of other stuff going on behind the scenes that I don’t even know much about, but I know Gabino is incredibly awesome. That’s all anyone really needs to know about him.

Oh, and he wrote this wicked, visceral dystopian beast of a book, called Gutmouth. It’s about a man with a mouth in his gut. And the complications that come with it. And the horrible, depraved world in which such beings exist.

For being a total badass with everything he does, Gabino is today’s honorary milkman.

“S.T. Cartledge is one of those rare authors who seem to have an innate understanding of how the bizarro genre works and what needs to be done to deliver great stories. In Day of the Milkman, he starts by reinventing the shipwreck genre and ends up reinventing his own elegant prose. Sure, this is weird and has touches of science fiction, but it’s also proof that Cartledge will be a very relevant voice in strange fiction for a long time to come.”

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Milkman Days #3: Spike Marlowe

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Spike Marlowe is a superhero. Literally, she wears a mask and everything.

She’s my editor at Eraserhead Press, taking over since Kevin Shamel stepped down.

Spike is the author of Placenta of Love, which was part of the 2011/12 NBAS. It’s a fantastic bizarre love story, and it is touching and bold and bright. Robot pirates, anyone? Spike can make magic happen. That’s her superpower.

She’s an awesome author, editor, and friend. She also writes the Tea House column at Bizarro Central.

Make sure to keep your eyes out for forthcoming works from Spike, including the wonderful chapbook project spearheaded by Constance Ann Fitzgerald: Ladybox.

For always listening to me and helping me talk things through, for being a great editor and friend, Spike Marlowe is an honorary milkman (milkwoman?).

“Lyrical, haunting, beautiful. Look out world—S.T. Cartledge has leveled up!”

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Milkman Days #2: G. Arthur Brown

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Let me tell you about Gary.

Gary is an author, who is not an author.

No. He’s an author who IS an author, and his first book, Kitten, kind of proves that.

I met G. Arthur Brown, AKA Gary the Pirate, way back in the Fall of 2012 in the bizarro-famous Edgefield hotel in Troutdale, Oregon.

Gary was one of six other authors who would share the next year with me as a New Bizarro Author. His book was the first one in the series which I read, and it was this fantastic surreal thing completely unlike anything else I’d read. No wonder people loved the shit out of it.

Since then, Gary has become the Flash Fiction Friday editor at Bizarro Central, and he’s got some big things coming through the pipelines soon, but I’ll spread the news on Gary’s revolutionary new nipple growth cream in due time.

OOPS.

Oh fuck.

Sorry, G.

Gary is my second honorary milkman. Here’s what he had to say about my own writing:

“Cartledge’s genius lies in his ability to create surreal worlds so immersive that you can’t be sure whether you are reading them or dreaming them.”

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Milkman Days #1: Kirk Jones

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I’ve got a milk-related announcement to make.

Soon.

But first, I want to shine some light on a few people who have made everything feel worthwhile.

Say hello to Kirk Jones.

Kirk is a writer, a teacher, a family man.

His first book, Uncle Sam’s Carnival of Copulating Inanimals, came out in 2010, as part of the 2010/11 New Bizarro Author Series. It’s a bizarre carnival romp peddling objectophilia to the masses.

One thing I love about the NBAS is seeing what the authors follow up with. Kirk took his time, but this year, his second book, Journey to Abortosphere, came out through Rooster Republic Press.

In this book, Kirk returns to objectophilia, but this time the objects aren’t animated circus furniture. The objects are just objects. And the objectophile is the main character. He’s in love with certain things. It’s this kind of quirky charm which brings the story together. Journey to Abortosphere is a fantastic follow up to his debut, and from what I’ve seen of Kirk’s work and his future plans, he’s on his way up. Abortosphere was strange and unique in all the right ways, and the weird sexual obsessions and buttholes and giant iron fetus and time travelling battleship are integrated into the story without coming off as obscene gags existing only to shock. He’s a better writer than that.

I was fortunate enough to have Kirk blurb my own book, and for that, he is my first honorary milkman.

“In Day of the Milkman, Cartledge continues to show us his depth and gives us a new glimpse into the breadth of his creative potential. Day of the Milkman doesn’t coast in on the latest cream-coated indy formula for success. This work isn’t a skim derivation of bizarro from preceding works in the genre. In this book, Cartledge carves his own path, rising above the ranks with vivid description, milk-laden metaphor, and high-quality storytelling.”


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You’ll never guess what books these readers also bought!?!

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Or maybe you will.

Amazon has started to show me a list of books people have been buying alongside Day of the Milkman, and I just thought I’d highlight some of my favourites and include a few comments.

For paperback:

The Cheat Code for God Mode by Andy De Fonseca
She is part of the 2013/14 New Bizarro Author Series. I assume some people buy my new book because of an ongoing interest in authors who go through the NBAS. Last year was my year, and it’s great to see that people are investing in NBAS authors both old and new. Andy wrote a fantastic book, and already I can tell that her year will be far more successful than mine.

Quicksand House by Carlton Mellick III
This guy is a major influence. He is the reason I started writing bizarro. And this book. This. Book. There are no words to express how beautiful it is. I encourage everyone to read it. It is magical.

Space Walrus by Kevin L. Donihe
Kevin is a spectacularly funny and sharp writer. Space Walrus is a captivating read, a stellar work of bizarre fiction. He writes with such clarity, this absurd story seems so goddamn real.

You Are Sloth! by Steve Lowe
Another former NBAS author. Muscle Memory was one of the first NBAS books I read, and since then he’s gone from strength to strength, having a lot of success bringing his writing career to life. This is his first full Eraserhead release, and it’s just crazy comical and hilariously disturbing.

Rontel by Sam Pink
I haven’t read this book, but Sam Pink is so damn good. I’ve got a few of his others (including the Collected Suicide Notes, a giant hardcover monster). He writes about people so well. They seem so strange, yet so real, you wonder how much of what he writes is fiction.

For kindle:

Bald New World by Peter Tieryas Liu
I don’t know much about this book, but everything I hear about it is fantastic. I think I’ll have to check this one out soon. Peter seems to be making the right impressions with the right people.

Toxicity by Max Booth III
I’ve got this on my kindle, but I haven’t read it yet. I’ve read a little, and what I read was pretty solid. I’ve also heard great things about this one.

The Rotgut County Blues by Jason Wayne Allen
This is a Dynatox Ministries book. Dynatox mainly does limited edition chapbooks. I’ve got a print version of this one. It’s great to see some Dynatox titles becoming more readily available, and also that people seem to be buying and reading them.

Journey to Abortosphere by Kirk Jones
Another NBAS author. This is his second book, same as me. We’re both going through similar things in our careers right now, so I really resonate with the guy. I’m currently reading this book right now, and about half-way in, it’s crazy awesome. Loving it.

The Least of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones

This is one of the debut releases from independent crime publisher, Broken River Books. Broken River is a publisher where all their books look unputdownable. And Stephen Graham Jones is a prolific author whose work is so insanely widespread and universally acclaimed. I’ve read bits and pieces of his work, which reveal glimpses of his genius. Those who read him, love him.

Low Down Death Right Easy by J. David Osborne

This is the guy who owns Broken River. And all of his books look magnificent. I’ve had a struggle over the past couple of years, having a couple of his books on my shelf and made no time to read them yet. As with everything else on this list I haven’t yet read, I know I’d love this.

Pretty much what it comes down to is that people are buying lots of awesome weird books and Amazon has put together an algorithm to recommend lots of other awesome weird books. I’m glad to be part of that eclectic mix with such awesome books and people.