Bizarro fiction: stupid and intelligent at the same time

Carlton sez, "Have you discovered the genre that can be stupid and intelligent at the same time? The Guardian discusses the cult underground genre of campy weird fiction known as Bizarro Fiction. From Jeff Burk's 'Shatnerquake,' about all of the characters Wiliam Shatner has ever played are suddenly sucked into our world on a mission to hunt down and destroy the real William Shatner to Cameron Pierce's "Ass Goblins of Auschwitz" that is the literary equivalent of Schindler's List rewritten by the Marquis De Sade and filmed as a Tim Burton animated feature: 'Bizarro Fiction is by turns stupid, repulsive and crude. But at its best, it is also intelligent, compelling and well-written. Any literary genre that can be both bad and good at the same time is worth watching.'"

Carlton was one of my Clarion West writing students, and is a talented, energetic and successful Bizarro author and impresario -- congrats on the recognition from the Guardian, Carlton!

If the history of Bizarro fiction is ever long enough to look back on, it's likely that Carlton Melick III will loom large over the retrospective. If Shatnerquake typifies the screwball exuberance of Bizarro fiction, then Carlton Melick III exemplifies the intelligence and wit that lurks between its lurid covers. In a genre where crude titles are an art in themselves, Melick is a true artist. Satan Burger, The Cannibals of Candyland, Adolf in Wonderland, War Slut, The Haunted Vagina, The Faggiest Vampire, The Baby Jesus Butt Plug, and my personal alliterative favourite, Warrior Wolf Women of the Wasteland. These are titles that fail to offend only because of their blatant offensiveness, and illustrate Bizarro's fascination with the vulgar, smutty, distasteful and crude.
Bizarro fiction: it's terribly good (Thanks, Carlton!)


  1. Someone is going to have to explain this one to me. James T Kirk with a lightsaber? Those Who’d-win-in-a-fight:-the-USS-Enterprise-or-an-Imperial-Star-Destroyer? folks are probably shitting themselves right now. ;)

  2. I must inform everyone that I am the (as yet un-acknowledged) Master of the intelligent stupid shit. Some people may be better than me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not the penultimate example both before and after of a stupid intelligent person.
    I could explain but it wouldn’t make any sense. especially to me.
    “If you don’t believe me, just ask me and I’ll tell you”

  3. not to miss the spanish bizarro filmmaker Pedro Temboury, with works as “Karate to Death in Torremolinos”- chosen as the worst spanish film ever): catholics surfer heroes kick karate zombies ass to save young virgins from an spider crab in Spain´s most depressing beach resort. Also check “Ellos robaron la picha de Hitler”/”They stole Hitler´s Cock”.

  4. How about a book where the main character’s dad is a mountain and mom is a washing machine?…

  5. Don’t forget Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker. A bit more mainstream, but brilliantly stupid.

    Ah, Police Squad, you were with us for all to short a time.

  6. After Boing Boing mentioned Shatnerquake a while back, I picked up a copy. It was a weird one. And not very long either.

    It was worth it to pick up a copy just to see the list of the other books by the company.

  7. Oh ha! Cameron Pierce is the son of a friend of mine. Glad to see he’s getting some love. I’ve only read his book Shark Hunting in Paradise Garden and thought it was surprisingly good.

  8. Welcome to fanfic-land (that Shatner crossover is fanfic). I’ve seen everything from Jesus’ Gurren Lagaan to “The Replacement Ranmas” where the cast of all other anime audition for roles in Ranma 1/2:

    There’s even a Battle Royale / Azumanga Daioh crossover:

    The “stupid awesome” genre can only grow, and there’s an eager stable of authors waiting for their chance. :-D

  9. Shatnerquake is the only bizarro book that is comparable to fanfic, and I would disagree with even that. It is more like Being John Malkovich than anything else.

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