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goreletter:tender_cuts

THE GORELETTER:

Arnzen's Weird Newsletter

http://www.gorelets.com

+++ Vol. 4.01, May 26, 2006 +++

Tender Cuts


BLATHER

Blather. Wince. Repeat.

The Alpottoir

Take a walk down the pet food aisle, the next time you're at the supermarket. Marvel at the rows of canned meat and bags of hearty pellets – all those wasted by-products scraped from the slaughterhouse floor and the oily sludge trellises of the fishery, all that scrapple repackaged for consumption by animals who really have no choice in the matter. This is what we've ordained to feed our domesticated beasts. It's a wonder they don't come after us with…well, with tiny little torches and pitchforks.

Take a pensive moment under the fluorescent glare of the pet food aisle to contemplate the fact that you're surrounded by more dead meat than you'd find in some morgues. Try not to imagine all the chopping, carving, slicing, cubing, mashing, and grinding that went into each and every one of those perfectly stacked cans. The chow packets are as bulky as body bags. Don't be fooled: there's nothing “tender” about a “tender cut.” There's no gourmet Navy chef at work behind the “Sea Captain's Stew” of salmon guts commingling with cow testicles in a broth of poultry gizzards. Take a whiff – smell all that yumminess? That's the fine odor of dismemberment, dried and fortified with “more great taste!”

If cats had taste they wouldn't lick themselves clean. If dogs had taste, they wouldn't drool all over my fine carpet.

But I digress. Sometimes it's the dried foods that are the worst of all. They come in all shapes and sizes – little formed fishies, tiny X's, teensy squares. More than “nine lives” are in them, their bodies stewed together in some giant vat to produce a brown muck that is subsequently formed and baked and bagged. All traces of life are removed and transformed into a magic “formula” that animals would never find in nature, but which pet nutritionists are more than happy to endorse. Imagine pouring milk over your breakfast cereal and spooning up a brown pellet of soggy meat. That's what you're doing to Fido every day, when you're not otherwise teasing him with a dog biscuit that's shaped an awful lot like a skinned human leg bone.

The more you think about these things, the more repulsive they become. But we don't want to think. We want to feel good about spending less on our pets than we do on our own meals, and we want to feel loved for selecting them the fanciest of feasts. But what really creeps me out is the happy little packaging that leads us to believe we're somehow making the right choices. I'm talking about all those picture perfect cats and canines, from the snarky fatcat models like Morris to those dopey-but-lovable Alpo dogs. Like famous athletes on cereal boxes, these are celebrities in the animal kingdom, right? Wrong: Morris would be dead meat in an alley fight and Lassie would get so mauled by the pack she'd single-handedly redefine the meaning of dog biscuits. Even when the animal sponsors are cutely drawn, they're kind of creepy to me. The “Meow Mix” brand logo is, essentially, a dismembered cat, it's alphabet soup of body parts formed into letters that spell the brand name. These happy-go-lucky names and slogans don't help. Like, do I really want my animal to be “Friskie”? Couldn't that get me arrested in some states?

No, there's nothing cute and cuddly about the pet food aisle – all those perfect pet faces on the packages are utterly unnerving. Look at them, lined up in rows and columns like some animal clone army – gazing up at us, head cocked to one side with unknowable intention, licking the Pavlovian drool from their lips and baring their sharpened, pearly white teeth! It's a nearsighted veterinarian's living nightmare.

And did you ever notice that in every pet package, the animal is smiling? Smiling! Animals do NOT smile! They don't waive hello and say “howdy-do” or “it's grrrreat!” or “hmmm…snuggle!” They snarl and champ and would bite the hand that feeds them if they weren't so preoccupied by the puzzling sound of food pouring into a ceramic dish. Seriously – the “photoshop tricks” on the pet food packages don't fool me. I can still see that look in their little kitten and puppy dog eyes. And I recognize it. It's the same look you see on Wild Kingdom or Animal Planet, when they show lions tugging a string of bloody muscle from fresh kill. The glint of primal satisfaction from gnawing on all that gamy goodness.

Now, I know there are a lot of “alternative” pet foods that are out there – from scientifically formulated dietary mixes to “vegetarian” snacks to chocolate covered dog biscuits. But the more that pet food becomes like human food, the more human food becomes like pet food. Most of the prefab stuff you buy at the grocer's is close enough already, thank you very much. And until Fido can pick up the tongs properly, he isn't getting any of my salad.

So I guess we have little choice but to slop it all out in a pretty little dish and leave the stinking dead meat in the open air. It sits there in a puddle in the corner like a torn carcass in the Serengeti, drawing flies. Fluffy comes and goes as she pleases, lapping at the corpse cuttings, happy that her owners have provided her with every morbid morsel.

Mange! And I mean that both ways, carnivores.

And don't even get me started on the TV commercials. Where you see puppies hopping on laps like happy little children, licking their owner's faces, I see wild animals getting a little taste of their prey before the bestial mauling and fanged carnage begins. Dogs love bones. And we are pet food. Don't forget that.

CONTEST

WIN A DECK OF PLAY DEAD CARDS!

Let's start with the prize: the highly collectible, one of a kind deck of cards inspired by my novel, Play Dead. These decks were originally made exclusively for book collectors who purchased the ultra-limited, ultra-creepy sculpture-bound “Grim Grimoire” edition of the book. They feature outrageous bizarro art by Dave Liscomb (for example: hearts that are actually hearts torn from a ribcage, a zombie Elvis for the King of Spades, a Joker that resembles Mike Arnzen) yet still meet all the standards of regular playing cards. You can see what these look like on the Play Dead page at amazon.com or at Raw Dog Screaming Press' website. Rumor has it that the publisher may be selling these decks to fans, but I've got my hands on some extras and I want to deal one out to a lucky Goreletter subscriber and faithful reader.

Here's how to enter: E-mail me a creative interview question you'd like me answer on my new weblog (“talk to the dismembered hand”) at amazon.com. One question only please. Be as straightforward or as crazy as you like. Include your name, website, and mailing address for prize delivery. If I choose to answer your question first, you win the deck! My judgment will be purely subjective, based on the question I'd most like to answer, but I won't play favorites. Moreover, any question sent to me may or may not appear in a future amazon blog entry or Goreletter, regardless of remuneration. So deal me your best. Entries must be received by June 10th. Although I'll be posting the rules of this contest on the web, you must be a subscriber to the e-mail edition of the Goreletter (free) to win. Send your question to gorelets@gorelets.com with the subject “Card Contest.” That's it!

See elsewhere in this issue of The Goreletter for yet another groovy contest!

WEIRD SITES OF THE MONTH

Crazy Concept Bands

Hatebeak
http://www.reptilianrecords.com/reptilian/hatebeek.html

The Electric Amish
electricamish.com/

Cookie Mongoloid
http://wearemongoloid.com/cookie/

[Thanks to Bruce Siskawicz and Rick Fleck for suggestions.]

GORELETS: Unpleasant Poems

People Repellent: A Flash Fiction

He found the bottle of People Repellent at a health food store. The package was right next to the all-natural bug sprays and fly papers and anti-mosquito incense. It cost $24, emblazoned with a stick figure logo that raised a scrawny arm in a “talk to the hand” gesture. He thought it would make a funny gift for his girlfriend, who always complained about the people in her office, so he blew what was left in his wallet for the novelty spray, along with his usual assortment of herbal extract supplements and offbeat teas.

At home, he started wrapping the gift. He chuckled at the logo on the bottle again, but then found himself questioning his choice. Maybe she would read between the lines and accuse him of calling her anti-social. Or maybe she'd assume that all the gifts in their relationship from that point forward would be juvenile pranks. She might conjure an image of fake doggie doo in her Christmas stocking or a squirt ring surprise during their marriage ceremony, and then quickly remove him from her speed dial.

He didn't want to “repel” his own girlfriend, after all. So he grabbed the bottle and opened the lid of the trashcan. Then something liquid sloshed inside. He shook it. Wondered what it really was made out of. Took a whiff of the sprayer.

It smelled fantastic. Like flowers fountaining inside of other flowers. But it was still musky enough to be called cologne. He decided to try it out. He sprayed People Repellent on his neck, then his arms, then his chest, and then inside the waistband of his jeans…spritzing copiously until he was sure he could keep inhaling it like a floral cloud descended from heaven, floating around his body.

Immediately a number of houseflies stirred inside his trashcan and zoomed up from the refuse to glom onto his flesh. More flying gnits zipped across his house and landed on his skin, fizzling in the still-wet sheen of People Repellent on the back of his neck and on his arms. Mosquitoes followed, whining around his ears before dipping their beaks into their newfound nirvana.

They itched, and he was surprised by just how many flying insects were living in his house, but he also understood what was happening with perfect clarity. He went outside and walked slowly down the sidewalk, heading towards his girlfriend's house just a few blocks away. A thousand thousand more insects joined their brethren on his flesh. His body became a living block party for the local gnats. Moths landed on his eyelids. Honeybees buzzed and nuzzled into his belt line. And people quickly got out of his way.

He was a living coat of writhing wrigglers when he rang her doorbell, waiting to see what kind of person she'd turn out to be. Beneath a mitten of mites, he still clutched the spray bottle in a free hand, which he held behind his back like a lover's bouquet.

If you like stories like this, you'd probably enjoy my flash fiction collection, 100 Jolts: Shockingly Short Stories http://www.rawdogscreaming.com/

OUR ODD TRIPLE FEATURE

Funny Brain Transplants

For your next movie night, rent:
The Man with Two Brains (1983)
MST2K: The Atomic Brain (1997/ aka Monstrosity, 1964)
Man with the Screaming Brain (2005)

ONLINE GIZMO OF THE MONTH

It Wants You to Eat It

Most free movie-inspired online games are trite gimmicks, and Slither: Hunting Season – based on James Gunn's 2006 campy horror film, Sliver – is certainly one of them. But Hunting Season is astonishingly well-made for a simple 3rd person shooter that has you do little more than point and click to shoot at random on-coming targets while offbeat sound bytes from the film randomly play over the speakers. The game puts you, a desperate cop with a rifle, slightly off the center of the screen, generating a sense of helplessness as the camera peers straight down from above in an bird's eye view. The player's job is to keep on the lookout for approaching monster worms, targeting the cop's rifle at them as quickly as possible. As if pinned to the hub of a wheel, you don't get to move. Instead, things come crawling at you – and the better you are at picking them off, the harder and harder it gets to shoot them all. The game play is excellent, because it truly succeeds in making you

feel “surrounded” by the enemy… which wants to jump in your mouth, wriggle down your throat and infest you with its slimy body. You'll get a gratuitous gore clip when you get killed in the game, which makes the impossible survival of the onslaught sort of worth it. (“What kind of animal WANTS you to eat it?” one sound byte from Slither asks. The answer? Hollywood.)

Bring on the worms: slithermovie.net/hunting/

This game requires Shockwave Player (installed automatically as a browser plug in at http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download). It may also require a fast internet connection and a decent graphics card in your computer, because the design is competitive with most modern shooting games of the PC.

ARNZEN NEWS

Bullet points of bravura:

+ My crazy mutant freakshow of a book, Freakcidents (Shocklines Press, 2005), is presently a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection! Congratulations to all the Bram Stoker Award Nominees, especially my fellow poet nominees: Gary Crawford, Dan Shields, and Charlee Jacob. Shocklines is offering a sweet 30% off deal (on TOP of a great buy one-get one free offer) that you really should take advantage of if you haven't read Freakcidents yet: store.yahoo.com/shocklines/freaksursidb.html And to see the complete list of Bram Stoker Award Nominees, visit this page to see what books you should be reading! http://www.horror.org/

+ Exquisite Corpse – a compilation of short films responding to my poetry – is coming along swiftly. The website isn't up yet, but it is likely to appear at http://www.exquisitecorpsemovie.com any day now. I've seen an advanced look at the DVD cover sleeve and a few snippets from the film. Keep your eyes on my weblog for more about this one: this is going to be VERY COOL! You can get a sneak peek at the theater poster for Exquisite Corpse on my weblog here: blogs.setonhill.edu/Arnzenews/cat_arnzen_news.html#015903

+ Look for the hilarious interview, “Michael Arnzen Walks the Plank,” on fantasy author Jeff Vandermeer's weblog. (And be sure to check out one of Jeff's recent novels if you haven't read them yet – he's at the top of his game). http://vanderworld.blogspot.com/2006/05/michael-arnzen-walks-plank.html

+ My upcoming humor-horror novelette, Licker, is nearly complete…and has had me cackling over my keyboard for months now! Look for information about this tale of oscular aberration on Novello Publishers' website shortly. novellopublishers.com

+ Raw Dog Screaming – publisher of my books, Play Dead and 100 Jolts – has overhauled their website. It looks fantastic and they've got some terrific new surrealist titles recently announced, with some of the best book titles I've seen so far this year – Matt Warner's Eyes Everywhere, Steve Beard's Meat Puppet Cabaret, and John Edward Lawson's The Troublesome Amputee (which I loved so much I wrote the introduction). http://www.rawdogscreaming.com

+ My contributor's copy of Poe's Lighthouse – tales inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's unfinished story fragment, “The Lighthouse” – arrived from Cemetery Dance books while I was away at World Horror Convention last weekend. And though I bought a lot of books at that convention, this one is the first I started reading. It's a gorgeous hardcover – and the posthumous collaborations with Poe that I've read so far (by John Shirley, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Tim Lebbon and Gary Braunbeck) are delightfully dreadful and weirdishly witty. It's fun to see how differently each author took on the challenge of working with Poe's fragment. Only 1000 were printed, so get this treat for fans of horror literature before it sells out. You also might want to subscribe to Cemetery Dance magazine while you're at the publisher's website; I'm appearing in the next issue with a collaboration with, no, not Poe, but the even more impishly perverse Mark McLaughlin. Find it here: http://www.cemeterydance.com

+ Check out my piece, “muscle boy,” in the latest issue of Mythic Delirium, one of the top sci-fi/fantasy/horror poetry magazines out there: blogs.setonhill.edu/Arnzenews/cat_arnzen_news.html#015635

+ The academic panel on Arnzen's writing at the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts last March was such a hit that the essays will be published as part of a feature in an exciting new academic journal called “Dissections: The Journal of Contemporary Horror,” headed by Gina Wisker. Critical articles about my writing and/or new horror scholarship in general are now being solicited for the launch of Dissections. If you've written any scholarship about my work or would like to, or if you have something else on contemporary horror you'd like to propose for publication, contact her at gw4@boswell.cam.apu.ac.uk Some creative works, too, will be included in the journal.

+ Speaking of academentia: between this issue and last, I received tenure as an Associate Professor of English at Seton Hill University, where I teach courses in horror writing in the Master's Program in Writing Popular Fiction. http://fiction.setonhill.edu

+ The Goreletter is proudly sponsoring “Pod of Horror” for the month of May. If you haven't listened to this wacky mock “horror radio show” in podcast form, set your mp3 player to: horrorreader.com/

+ Did you know I have a dismembered hand in a box? And that it's taking reader questions for my new weblog at amazon.com? See this issue's special contest and he might even deal you a death card. Read the amazon blog here: amazon.com/gp/blog/id/A323GTX50R4CH5/

DICTIONSCARY

serpiginous

Today's word is “serpiginous” (pronounced “sir-pijin-us”). This pretentiously bizarre adjective actually means “creeping from one part to another” or “having a wavy border” and is often applied by medical doctors to refer to visual skin disorders, like ringworm, snaking lesions, or drunken tattoos. Example: “Her serpiginous freckles run in an S-shape down her back like schizophrenic bird droppings down the sidewalk.” Note that “serpiginous” is not to be confused with “serpentine”– for the former clearly involves a snake-eating pigeon while the latter refers to a snake with a strange affinity for turpentine. Nevertheless, both terms work equally well in limericks and are especially funny when slurred by the mouths of tippling drunks. Some Satanists debate about whether or not the Great Dark One is “serpentine” or “serpiginous” – but the answer is obviously neither, and they really ought to look these words up in the Satanic Collegiate Dictionary before uttering them so carelessly. After all, the Great Dark One is notoriously litiginous. http://missinglink.ucsf.edu/lm/DermatologyGlossary/serpiginous.html

INSTIGATION: TWISTED PROMPTS FOR SICKO WRITERS

+ Reveal a horrifying disfigurement behind a woman's veil.

+ Something is “bulging” beneath Charlie's sweater. Jane is obsessively fixated on this. Dramatize the revelation of Charlie's hidden surprise.

+ Create a character who has no fingernails. What happened to them and what surprising skill can he perform without them?

I'm sad to report that my weekly “Instigation” column will no longer appear in Hellnotes newsletter, because it is a newsletter no more. Moreover, the “Wee Small Hours” flash fiction webzine has been canceled. But not to fear: Hellnotes is still alive under the editorship of David Silva, and has evolved into a new FREE syndicated weblog that you should visit regularly at http://www.hellnotes.com

And I will continue to publish Instigation in The Goreletter. I recommend skimming the back issues on the weblog, if you're a writer looking for a cattle prod to the brain for some inspiration. blogs.setonhill.edu/Arnzenews/cat_instigation.html

CONTEST: SPAMINOT

Ever since buying my own “domain” name, I've been hounded by a continuous stream of spam e-mail. It bothers me, but I sometimes wonder about the strange lengths that spammers will go to, and who out there would ever respond to it. Lately, I've been getting messages with very bizarre “subject” lines (possibly generated randomly by some nutty software) and so I've been taking notes. I was thinking about writing stories based just on these wacky phrases, and maybe I will, but I figure I can also put this stuff to better use here, in the form of a contest.

What follows is a list of actual spam subject lines…all but one of them is cribbed from an actual spam message I've received. Your mission is to guess which ONE phrase I made up (unbelievably, all the others are real!). E-mail your choice to gorelets@gorelets.com with the subject line “spaminot contest.” You are only allowed one guess. Only subscribers to the e-mail edition of The Goreletter are eligible to win. Please include your mailing address (for prizes!) with your guess. Once I get two correct guesses, the contest closes (and I will post news of this to the weblog version of The Goreletter). The prizes include signed Arnzen goodies and new horror collections from Cutting Block Press (http://cuttingblock.net/) which the wonderful gents at Horror Library kindly provided me at World Horror Convention.

1st prize = Autographed paperback ARC (“Advanced Review Copy”) of Play Dead, The Dead Cat Poet Cabal (constructed by Gerard Houarner), signed Play Dead book jacket, and Horror Library Vol. 1 (edited by RJ Cavender).

2nd prize = Autographed copy of Mythic Delirium #14 (featuring Arnzen's poem “muscle boy”), signed Play Dead book jacket, and Butcher Shop Quartet (edited by Frank J. Hutton).

Here's the spam subject lines. Only one of them is invented. Can you guess which one?

aggressive mannequin
be decomposable
cuddle grime
diabolical meathead
drive by grimace
efficiency nose ring
goth seniority
grandmamma warlock
medication madhouse
open face surgery
sanity immersion
toucan retardation
undeliverable baby

Good luck. See elsewhere in this issue of The Goreletter for yet another groovy contest!

NOT DEAD YET: PRINT REVIEWS

Bob the Angry Flower: Dog Killer

Meet “Bob the Angry Flower,” Stephen Notley's outrageous main character in his comic strip by the same name. Bob is a pissed off sunflower – that icon of happiness and sunshine. But Bob's disposition isn't sunny, sappy, or sugary – he's angry as hell. This embodies Notley's approach to the form: he turns what we assume about popular culture icons inside-out and upside-down, in the process challenging our worldview. And it makes for a very entertaining, thought-provoking read.

Dog Killer – his latest collection of comics – is rife with wry political commentary and subversive play, but it's also an appealing work of dark surrealism. In Bob's world, the sky hails eyeballs and the local furniture store sells chairs made of human skulls. Bob follows his shadow underground, only to discover a Starbucks at the end of the cavernous journey. Bob slays ghosts with a samurai sword, and begs to know why they are haunting him (“Stop…killing…us!” is their answer!). Notley's sly approach has got a knock-out underground power to it: Notley plays freely with form, experiments with structure, and just takes no prisoners in his attack on conventional truth and habitual ways of seeing. In this book's introduction, Ted Rall describes “Notley's rageful ranting” as revealing a “tragic honesty” about the American universe through some “pretty scary allegory” that's “grim” even when it's optimistic. “This brutal appraisal of the human condition,” Rall writes, is “never crueler than when it's turned inward, [and this] bugs the hell out of people.” It's courageous alternative art. Sounds a lot like what I enjoy about horror fiction.

So who is Bob? Why is he angry? Why floral? Hard to say, but he's one of the more original characters you'll find in the genre. Bob is, well, a sunflower embodying the morphed personality of Sam Kinison and Denis Leary, hopped up on some strange mixture of Starbucks, psychedelics, and anabolic steroids. He reminds me of a poster I once saw, called “Defiance,” which featured a tiny mouse snarling and flipping a middle finger at the eagle descending upon it from above with its dangerous talons. That's Bob: defiance, personified. Which might explain why you haven't met him before – Notley's character goes against the grain of most cartoons on the comix page. So thank goodness for books like Dog Killer, the fifth collection of BTAF in print.

Bob often has a message, but I can imagine that he often puzzles readers who don't quite understand just how deep this defiance goes. Take the title strip, for example, “Dog Killer.” [viewable online at: http://angryflower.com/dogkil.html ]. All that happens here is that Bob shows up at the doorstep of a white man in a suit, collar opened, head heavy, eyes evasive, saying “Thanks for coming.” Bob shoulders his shotgun and says, “I understand. You need your dog put down and you're not man enough to do it.” Bob goes in the back yard, pets the sick dog for four panels, soothing it with “good boys” … and then blows its head open (the extreme closeup on the furry skull bursting is so excessive, you can only make out the fanged upper palate in the carnage). Then Bob blows on his finger in the end panel: “Ooh, I burnt my finger!”

Most people, I imagine, might call this gratuitous violence. A juvenile thrill, akin to pulling the wings off a fly. But as most savvy readers realize, there's more to such a spectacle of guts than first meets the eye. For one thing, there's drama in the suspenseful soothing of the dog. This one page is worth a thousand Old Yellers. Then there's the ugly truth exposed by the blast. It's everything Old Yeller never had the guts to do. This is accented by Bob's exposure of the pettiness of human pain (“I burnt my finger!”). And an attack on the lack of backbone in much of the middle class, refusing to both soothe those who are failing and to get their hands dirty when there's an uncomfortable problem that needs to be solved.

In the back of the book, Notley gives excellent annotations which read like an insightful and witty “director's commentary” track on a DVD. Notley's discussion of “Dog Killer” reveals that it's based on a true story from childhood. He also manages to unveil his general approach to the comic as a whole: “Just as [Bob]'s holding the dog's head down and coaxing it, I'm holding the reader's head down until that moment I make them look at a dog's head getting pulped. Sometimes you have to take cherished notions into the back yard and blow their heads off, and you can't look away when you do it.” I couldn't agree more.

Such thematic depth can be found in even the most silly or bizarre entries in the book – all of them force you to look at something in a new light, from a skewed angle. There's a lot of meat and grizzle to chew on here, in 158 pages of high energy drawing. I think this book will appeal to horror fans very much. But Bob the Angry Flower eludes genre, ranging from direct political commentary (a number of the pieces in Dog Killer refer explicitly to the 2004 Presidential Election) to surrealism (in one entry, Bob awakens as a bug and cursing Kafka and then transplanting his floral head onto a clone in a gory, pitiless act of decapitation) to science-fiction (Bob makes killer robots) and the gross-out (Bob sticks his fingers in the squirming maggots of a dead bird over and over again in one strip – and that's the whole bit). I am hardly an expert on the graphic fiction genre, but I think it's safe to say that Notley's approach to sequential art is incomparable. The manic and raw drawing style, the play with titles and captions, and the sheer audacity of the premises all reminded me a little bit of Jhonen Vasquez's brilliantly sick and expressionistic comic, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, but without the Goth sensibility. Skewed, dark, twisted, smart, sick, scary, witty…even these words don't do it justice. That's why it's art. And why it's angry.

You gotta see it for yourself. Dog Killer is Stephen Notley's fifth compilation of BTAF cartoons, but the first American collection (his work originates in Canada). It's bound to be a hit. The trade paperback is hitting stores this June, from Tachyon Publications, for $12.95. Get it while it's hot-headed.

Visit the publisher at: http://www.tachyonpublications.com

Bob also has his very own website, chock full of sample strips, at: http://www.angryflower.com

BOO COUPONS

It actually pays to scroll this far down.

20% OFF AT THE AVANT PUNK BOOK CLUB
Get ten smackeroos off a subscription to the Avant Punk Book Club! If you're a fan of Carlton Mellick III and the whole “bizarro” bunch (like I am), then this is your chance to keep up with their work at an amazing value. For just $44 (that's twenty percent off!), you will get the next six Carlton Mellick III books released through Avant Punk sent directly to your home one month before their release dates. From erotic surrealism to insane psychodrama, Mellick – the man behind the “Bizarro” movement, who's work has appeared in the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror – always delivers the goods in a refreshingly original and mind-bending way. It's time you ponied up to the counter of Satan Burger and ordered the special. For more information about the Avant Punk Book Club, visit angelfire.com/az2/eraserheadpress/zbookclub.html To nab your exclusive $10 discount, paypal publisher@eraserheadpress.com (or send check or money order to physical address Rose O'Keefe, 205 NE Bryant St., Portland, OR 97211) and reference the promotion code: GOREPUNK. This offer expires July 25, 2006.

THE SHOCKLINES SPECIAL
This issue, Shocklines.com – the web's great horror fiction bookstore – is offering Goreletter subscribers a 50% savings on Stephen King's recent novel, The Colorado Kid. Enter coupon code COLORMINUS3 in your shopping cart, and get $3 off this noir entry in the Hard Case Crime lineup. Offer expires July 31st, 2006. shocklines.stores.yahoo.net/cokibystkibm.html

GET FICTIONWISE
Fictionwise.com – the web's best sci-fi and horror e-book seller – maintains a special 15% off page for Goreletter subscribers, which is updated weekly. This week features my friends Robert Devereaux, Simon Wood, and Nancy Holder at a great discount. Search for economical Arnzen titles while you're there, like 100 Jolts or the hard to find Stoker finalist, Paratabloids! fictionwise.com/fwa/4004/

COLOPHON

All material in The Goreletter is © 2006 Michael A. Arnzen, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward the entire contents of this newsletter as a whole, without alterations or excisions. Direct links to articles in the archives or the weblog are permitted and encouraged. For reprint permissions of individual pieces, please contact arnzen@gorelets.com.

Winner of the 2003 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Alternative Forms from the Horror Writers Association: http://www.horror.org/stokers.htm

Subscribe, unsubscribe, or read back issues: http://www.gorelets.com

Read The Goreletter online as a draft-in-progress, get extras, or just add us to your RSS feed: blogs.setonhill.edu/Arnzenews/

Our surrealist product endorsement: http://thesurrealist.co.uk/priorart.cgi?ref=The+Goreletter

With apologies to latitude 53,41667, longitude 27,91667.

Help spread the strange. Forward this issue to your weirdest friend!

PITHY MORBID THOUGHTS

The Nurse Wears Black

“Time rushes towards us with its hospital tray of infinitely varied narcotics, even while it is preparing us for its inevitably fatal operation.” – Tennessee Williams (died 1983)


ARCHIVE NOTES:
* Due to the temporary nature of internet URLs, some websites mentioned in back issues of the Goreletter may no longer be live, or may also point to unscrupulous web servers. I will denote these with overstrikes as I discover them, but if you encounter a dead, changed or unscrupulous link, please feel free to inform me.
* “Boo Coupons” are expired in all but the current issue.
* If you are seeking a particular book by Arnzen mentioned in The Goreletter, try http://gorelets.com/books/
* Arnzen's blog is now located at http://gorelets.com/blog/ Visit it for breaking news and extras not appearing in The Goreletter.


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