Once more the covid-19 pandemic has preempted the return of a full Bizarro Con. However, Bizarros cannot be deterred from a November pilgrimage to McMenamins Edgefield outside Portland, Oregon. Affectionately and unofficially dubbed “Bizarro Con Jr: Part 2” and “New Diet Bizarro Con,” this small gathering held the Wonderland Awards Ceremony, celebrating the best bizarro fiction titles released in the year 2021.
Best Collection: DON’T PUSH THE BUTTON by John Skipp (Clash Books)
LOVE IS THE ONLY SHOCKING ACT LEFT. We all know horror. It’s in our face every day. You can try to negotiate the nightmare but total chaos and destruction is just one button-push away. Horror legend John Skipp walks you through the light and the dark with an unflinching eye. Revealing both the best and worst of us, one laugh and scream at a time. It ain’t pretty. But it’s beautiful. Once you go all the way.
John Skipp is a Rondo Award-winning filmmaker (TALES OF HALLOWEEN), Stoker Award-winning anthologist (DEMONS, MONDO ZOMBIE), and New York Times bestselling author (THE LIGHT AT THE END, THE SCREAM) whose books have sold millions of copies in a dozen languages worldwide. His first anthology, BOOK OF THE DEAD, laid the foundation in 1989 for modern zombie literature. From splatterpunk founding father to bizarro elder statesman, Skipp has influenced a generation of horror and counterculture artists worldwide.
Best Novel: JURASSICHRIST by Michael Allen Rose (Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing)
It’s time for Jesus to attempt his second coming, but linear time progression doesn’t apply to extra-spatial deities, so he ends up coming “again” long before the first time – the Jurassic period. Once he arrives, expecting to see a bunch of human beings who’ve been waiting for him for two millennial seasons, he is surprised to find himself in a weird civilization full of thunder lizards.
Jesus goes into Predator mode, arming himself to the teeth and slaughtering them wholesale, trying to find someone who’s capable of nailing him to a cross so he can get back home, however, dinosaurs don’t have thumbs. What they do have is the “hum,” a magical frequency capable of shaping the world. They have mythical metals. They have a sensible social contract. They have a bizarre, but seemingly decent civilization going.
Mammals, however, are the most disgusting, rotten, violent things imaginable, and they seem to be evolving into something worse with the help of a little cosmic power. Something has been providing them with products that shouldn’t be invented for another billion years or so, from the as-seen-on-tv catalog, and they’re taking full advantage of it. Who is behind this forced evolution, and what could they stand to gain? Is heaven full of heroes, or gibbering lunatics?
It’s up to J.C. to set things right and stop the apocalypse and figure out whether the universe really should be run by a bunch of insane deities, or whether it’s better to wipe out heaven and let them sort it all out themselves! Action, adventure, insanity, and good ol’ fashioned heresy!
Michael has been involved with the bizarro community for over a decade. His first book, “Party Wolves In My Skull,” was published by Eraserhead Press in 2011 as part of their “New Bizarro Author Series,” a program meant to introduce new authors of the weird to a larger audience and give them their first professional book publication experience. Since then, he has worked with a number of small presses in bizarro and adjacent genres, most notably horror and humor, and had six more books published in addition to appearances in several anthologies and publications. He has hosted the “Ultimate Bizarro Showdown” event in Portland Oregon for over half a decade, which is the entertainment portion of the Wonderland Awards Ceremony at Bizarro Con. He also makes music under the name Flood Damage, and enjoys good tea and cats. You can find out more about him and his work at www.michaelallenrose.com
Congratulations to the winners, runners-up, honorable mentions, all the authors and publishers from your friends at Bizarro Central. We are excited to see what art blossomed in the wake of 2022 and what 2023 will bring.
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