HOLIDAY BONANZA 2006!: All Gods Love And Fully Endorse Shopping


So last Sunday a serious portion of my bedroom was on fire. And no, this isn't some double entendre about my love life because when I say "a serious portion" I mean my curtains and by "on fire" I mean ON FUCKING FIRE! After a rapid lesson is extinguisher use, much inhalation of noxious fumes, and some concerted clean-up efforts, the place is looking a-okay.

But I've now decided, in honor of the blaze that could quickly have consumed me and my residence, to launch into a full scale Holiday Bonanza Fire Sale at JRJ.com!!!


What does this mean to anyone who likes "the books"?

For the remainder of December, 2006 I will be offering a knock-down, drag-out, other-fighting-term-co-opted-for-sales emphasis type deal. Check this out:


That's right and correct!

Here's the nitty gritty- Buy any two books through JRJ.com during the same 24 hour period, and I'll ship you a third of your choice for FREE! Just indicate which freebie you'd like in the Comments section during one of your purchases in Paypal and you'll have a triumvirate of strange shit headed your way just in time for your chosen pagan ritual celebrating the Olden Tyme Things That Happened in Long Ago!

Imagine Timmy's surprise when he opens up a package containing cult favorite ANGEL DUST APOCALYPSE!

Picture the look on Sally's face when she realizes she can cozy up with a cup of gingerbread tea and Stoker Nominated psychological thriller SIREN PROMISED!

Try to grasp the profound exaltation on Grandma Margaret's wizened visage as she cracks open her new copy of the roach-riddled EXTINCTION JOURNALS!

All copies signed and customizable to your specifications! All copies physically present and actual!

Wait- there's MORE!

The first hundred shoppers will also receive a FREE bonus copy of the new issue of Verbicide!

Featuring an excellent and varied sit-down with Volta frontman Cedric (done by yours truly) along with great interviews with Converge, Rise Against, and Lupe Fiasco, this is no freebie to shake a stick at! Free seagull bones- that's a freebie to shake a stick at...

Don't miss out on this great chance to pick up some bugged-out books for you or a loved one and support the independent press and help me pay for the alveoli graft I need after Sunday's fire!

Okay, I can't type one more goddamned exclamation point... here's the latest aside from holiday madness.


I thought it was exceptional. Sure, I'm a longstanding DA fanboy, but this really did effect me. And it really did make me want to do Tai Chi in outerspace.

Hell, I'd settle for taking a pleasant nap in outerspace, so long as I woke up to all that gorgeous galactic fuzz that surrounded his tree-transit orb as he approached the dying star.


I love Powell's. You love Powell's. We all love Powell's. It's an incontrovertible fact of the bibliophile's life. Powell's is a book Mecca.

That's why I'm happy to announce that ANGEL DUST APOCALYPSE is now also available at the lovely Powell's Hawthorne store in SE Portland (3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214). It's easy to spot in the indie press section, just beneath the prominent Riot Lit poster. So SE PDX'ers can now pick up a copy of ADA in my part of town and join me for some greasy pizza at the Oasis Cafe.

And don't forget the awesome and inimitable the Powell's City of Books on Burnside (1005 W Burnside, Portland, OR 97209), where all of my torrid tomes are currently available.


To Bizarro braintrust Carlton Mellick III and mega-publisher Rose O'Keefe for having one of the most beautiful weddings I've ever seen. Stiltwalkers, bells, communal art, and a smuggler's cane filled with vials of liquor- straight weird class all the way.

I just wish I could remember the toast I gave. Open bars= sledgehammers to the brains of public speakers. That's a science fact. Still, I can conclusively say that an excellent time was had in every direction.



My books are showing up in these. How, I have no idea. But to those crafty employees helping the underground, and to those folks special ordering- THANKS!


Check out this very classy site, which you will enjoy even more if you happen to be bilingual. Could Proyecto be the people bringing some of my weird shit to South America? Watch out GGM, I'm gunning for Colombia!


You know exactly who you are. I've asked you to finish up your novels for Swallowdown. I know they're going to be awesome. I'm excited to work with you on the editing process and can't wait to see your stuff reaching a wider audience.

So if you're reading this blog it's time to stop messing around on the internet and get back to work.

Porn and /or egg nog breaks permissible, naturally.


As much as I like writing what people call my "literary" stuff or "Bizarro" stuff, there's no denying that horror is and will continue to be a central element in my work. Here's some recently released or soon to be released proof.

Exhibit #1: A Dark and Deadly Valley

Not out yet, but coming very soon, this burly batch of WWII horror tales features a righteous line-up of modern horror masters and a new tale from me titled "Simple Equations". Currently available for pre-order at Shocklines and Silverthought Press. I can't wait to read this one myself- so many of my favorite horror folks in one place....

Exhibit#2: Cemetery Dance 56

I can't say enough good things about Cemetery Dance. They've been an integral part of my horror fiction diet since junior high, and I'm honored that there's an interview with me and a new (and apparently somewhat controversial) short story "A Flood of Harriers" in #56. People looking for a copy of this issue would do well to check out the above website, as well as Shocklines. Portland readers would, of course, be advised to pick up one of the remaining copies at Powell's. And if you can't get enough quality horror fiction you should also grab a copy of Dark Discoveries while you're there. Both are excellent reads and Dark Discoveries happens to be produced by a guy here in the northwest who definitely knows what it takes to put together a great mag.


It's good news for procrastinating indie writers who want a chance to hook up with the Riot Lit crew! For the pertinent details check this out.


Oh, sure, I get my share. Comes with the territory. Anytime you put something out in the public you've got to expect the occasional nattering or tempestuous condemnation. They can be fun to read and show to your friends.

But lately I've been getting hate mail that's not really hate mail. It's from the Cialis/Viagra/Coxplodo spam people. They used to be more seductive, with subject lines like "Bring HeR and Over Pleasureman" or "Is AShe wondering whynnot the creem?"

Apparently they've taken on a new tack. Now they're either insulting my barbecue skills with lines like "There is an issue with YOUR tiNy sausage" and "She is thining the weeenie 2 small." Or they're confusing me by using my last name as a textual boner replacement, as in "What is the problem with your Johnson?" which I of course read as "What is the problem with you Johnson?" (a subject line not un-familiar to me, even from fans). So instead of just blocking those I charge in to respond and get hit with the thousandth specious ad for mis-spelled pharmaceuticals.

It's all adding to the ever-encroaching sense of Holiday Madness.


I've produced enough at this point. And so I bid you farewell and hope that you enjoy whatever seasonal beverages and snacks and spirits and songs you may encounter in the remaining days of December.

Fairwell, hale spirits, I pritthee thoust... um....

I think I really did take some smoke damage to the brain.




p.s. Thanks AGAIN(!) to POD-dy Mouth for yet another plug for ADA (this time as a mind-blowing alternative for horror kids who aren't feeling the new King book [which by the way I am actually really looking forward to since his last romance-meets-the-supernatural book Bag of Bones is a favorite King-er of mine]). Now what will I get her for Christmas? And where will I send it? Magical anonymous bloggers are tough to shop for....


The Mars Volta and My Damnable Chatter


As of November 6th, 2006 the new issue of Verbicide (#18) is hitting the streets and let me tell you, this thing is a doozy.

I mean, if you held up an old doozy, circa '96, right next to this doozy, well, you'd be astonished.

"I can't believe I used to think that was a doozy," you'd say. And you'd feel shame. Rightfully so. Knowing your doozy is important.

Why does this one qualify as a Defcon 5 Doozer-mobile? Along with coverage of some very intriguing artists like Converge and Lupe Fiasco, the new issue happens to have an interview with Cedric of The Mars Volta. And the interviewer was... doozy incoming... me!

Obviously I'm very, very excited about this. The interview was great, touching on topics like surrealism, the writing process, the Volta's musical direction, Alejandro Jodorowsky, witch burning... it's a really weird interview. Having Cedric reveal he's been reading Angel Dust Apocalypse while on tour didn't hurt, either....

I'm sure my agent will be thrilled to learn that I've segued into music journalism while she awaits my next novel. I could offer the 15% of Nothing I got for doing the piece (this was strictly for the love- I volunteered) but I'm guessing she'll let me keep those revenues. Still, I had to take this opportunity. I've been writing my weird shit to the Volta's music for years now, with Amputechture being the newest incarnation of freak-out accompaniment.

Also included in the new issue of Verbicide is a revised version of my short story "Branded" which now features some smoother sentences and less errant tense shifts. Yes, it's still gross and kind of sad, but in a more "edited" fashion.


Anybody interested in the old Q & A/general repartee can drop by The Lost and The Damned message board tomorrow night (10/12/06). As long as your Java biz is current you should be able to click that link, type in a name, and head into the chat within a minute or so.

My chat is part of their Bizarro Week and will start at 7PM Pacific (8PM Mountain/9 Central/10 Eastern).

Please feel free, as always, to yell, "Blitkrieg!" or other exclamatory phrases whenever the mood strikes you. I don't know why, but that cracks me up.

POD-dy Party:

Girl on Demand continued her frenzy of awesomeness last week, which included plugging my new books and keeping the world apprised of other shenanigans from Riot Lit compatriots.

She has refused my offer of marriage and a dowry. She has also refused my secondary offer to send her a box of assorted Hostess Snacks. Now that's integrity.

Opinional Funlets:

Instead of offering worthwhile, intelligent analysis of recently consumed media products, I offer the following:

The Departed- Scorcese continues to prove he's one of the finest film folks that ever breathe life into celluloid. So intense and entertaining I started grinding my teeth during the film and didn't notice until my jaw felt sore.

The Wu-Tang- Completely kicking ass out of nowhere. As evidence I offer Ghostface's Fishscale, GZA's Grandmasters, and Method Man's 4/21... The Day After. From production to lyrics to general Wu-ness, these guys are back and doing some of the best work of their careers. Makes me forgive the time Ghostface spent half a concert sitting on a speaker drinking orange juice while wearing a hotel bathrobe (which, actually, was strangely charming and apropos from such a generally idiosyncratic artist).

Adbusters- The new issue has some very strong fiction in it. They do that every once in a while.

I don't know Japanese, but am guessing this might be the right word:




Scattershot As All Get Out!

That's this post, for certain. No narrative thread. No cohesion. Just a bunch of... things, I guess. I won't even try to ascribe a value to what's going on here. You may find wisdom in here, or amusement, but don't say I didn't rule out consternation.

Item 1:

Riot Lit is here. Call me a joiner if you will, but this is another crew (like Bizarro) of writers with a lot of energy and some intriguing ideas about the literary business. And check out the website- it's sharp as an adamantium nano-syringe (not a real thing- please just imagine). Stay tuned for increasing levels of Riot Lit shenanigans...

And if you dig what you see over at the Riot Lit site, be sure to add us at MySpace so that Rupert Murdoch will know you like our ragtag squadron.

The guy behind the net-tastic good looks of the Riot Lit hub is Ryan Scott, and I'm happy to note that he's currently working on the new version of JRJ.com. Watch for that to launch and burn many a retina in October of this year.

Item 2:

Three of the writers associated with Riot Lit owe their appearance on the bookish radar to this lovely woman: PODdy Mouth. In fact, she's got a great review of DSB's new book up right now. And she was nice enough to give a shout out to my book in her recent interview with Bloggasm.

Girl on Demand, whoever you are, wherever you are, you kick ass. If you were my spoiled daughter, I swear I'd buy you a pony and coat it in gold. Thanks again for all the good mojo.

Item 3:

I'm getting very, very excited for this book.

Item 4:

Don't watch this. It's proof that YouTube is putting every wasted, worthless bit of human existence out there for pointless consumption:


Never seen an idiot with a gigantic skull spinning a coffee table book (it's about sharks) on his head while sort-of-reciting Old Dirty Bastard lyrics? I offer this cell phone footage as Exhibit A for anyone who ever mistakenly thought I was anything but a supreme nerd.

My cousin Joel put this up. He's an ass. But he's about to be a year older, so... Happy Early Birthday, You Ass!

Item 5:

If one were to check out the Honorable Mentions section of this year's edition of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror they might come across a couple of stories by a guy I call The Me. Yup, Ellen Datlow was nice enough to include my stories "The Gravity of Benham Falls" and "Precedents" on this year's list.

Also nice to see two mentions ("A Mean Utility" and "The Apprentice's Guide to Modern Magic") for Craig Davidson on there. Congrats to all the writers who are mentioned in the book this year, and thanks are due to Ellen for reading every stitch of strange fiction published in 2006.

Item 6:

I'm currently reading a collection titled Voodoo Heart by Scott Snyder and it's wonderful. This guy can pull off strange and poignant in the space of a single sentence and has ideas bleeding out his ears (not a real malady- please just imagine). More on this book when I finish it up, but I can already recommend it. If you don't trust my rec, maybe Stephen King's gushing page-long blurb will do it for you. It did it for me.

Item 7:

Haven't checked out Riot Lit yet? Get over there and play with some floaty flash graphics, stat! They're like digital indie writer playing cards!

Okay, now I'm hungry. I done blogged myself up an appetite, and so I bid you good day.



Zeen Fare & Sliding Scale Reviews

The 2006 PDX Zine Fair

I'll be there pimping Scissor Press/Verbicide Magazine, and this year I'll also have copies of Angel Dust Apocalypse, Extinction Journals, and Siren Promised with me ($10 a pop, or 3 for $20, which is a cool deal). I'll be there for the whole event so if any NW folks want to drop by and say hello, that would be fun. Here's Verbicide editor Jackson Ellis' rundown on the event:

Author Jeremy Robert Johnson will once again represent Scissor Press at the Portland Zine Symposium in 2006. The PZS will be held on August 11, 12, and 13 on the campus of Portland State University, and Jeremy will be giving away hundreds of copies of Verbicide and selling copies of his books. For more information, visit www.pdxzines.com.

The Bizarro Books Reviewing Quandary

How does one state that the work might be overly jacked-up for the general readership but will be enjoyed by tweekers, deviants, thinkers, and drinkers? By introducing a sliding scale based on the reader's tastes. That's what Horror Wench did in this fun Horror-Web review of Extinction Journals. So, depending on who you are, this book ranks in at anywhere from 3.5 to 5 stars. Intriguing.

I want some chocolate mousse.



Audio Buggery and Warmongering

The lovely folks at the die-hard DIY site Fall of Autumn have decided it would be a good idea to have one of my stories "audiofied" and available to all comers. And so it was that I agreed and sought out my music producer muchacho Remote View to make the thing not only listenable but potentially entertaining. Clocking in at about twelve minutes of alliterative strangeness, this is a sonic rendering of my insectile short story "The Sharp Dressed Man at the End of the Line" (which happens to be my staccato ode to roaches, paranoia, and the direct style of Ellroy's The Cold Six Thousand, and also happens to be a sort of brief prequel to my novella Extinction Journals).

Remote View must have used some type of high band-pass EQ ultra-filter to make my voice sound like that. Because, really, my voice is this sort of silky smooth ultra-manly basso profundo.

It's Barry Whitey, you could say.

But don't.

Also on the fictional warfront, I just sold a short story titled "Simple Equations" to the anthology A Dark and Deadly Valley. Should end up being a very strong batch of bizarre and horrific war stories from the WWII era. With fellow contributors like Harry Shannon, Steve Vernon, Brian Keene, Brian Hodge, Graham Joyce, Gary Braunbeck (and so on) I can't wait for the thing to come out so I can read every story but my own (I know how that one ends).

Check it out- I've now got a ZineWiki entry. One can never have enough Wikis, and this one is quite nice (and a great resource for independent writer types).

And at a level of lastliness I'd like to note that I recently discovered I was born the day the original Nuclear Proliferation Act was signed into action. No wonder I've always got mushroom clouds on my mind...

Barely coherent but still typing,



Where the Hell Have I Been?

Oh, man- two months since the last blog. I can't make any excuses for that. All I can say is that I was busy with a couple of different things, one of which I'm happy to be able to finally announce:

As of today, I've officially signed to a literary agent.

I've been mulling and fretting about this decision for some time because the Needle Awards magically put me in this dream position where I had multiple agents eager to see my work- I know, it's the best kind of problem. I'm not complaining. But it can be stressful. I don't want to cross over the NY threshold meekly, and I have to be sure that I find the right agent who will place my books with the right publisher and help me reach decent enough sales that I'm viewed as viable for later publication. Slow sales tied to the ISBN of your first novel can have a nasty quicksand effect on a writer's career (or so I've heard).

So after many emails and phone calls I've decided that the agent for me is Mollie Glick with The Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, Inc. (JVNLA for short- they represent some NY Times Bestsellers like Phil Margolin and Jean M. Auel who both also happen to be PDX'ers.). I've now signed on with her to represent my new novel TUNING FORK, and my amended collection. Mollie's previously worked in foreign rights consulting and did an editorial stint at Crown before joining on with the JVNLA team. She's got a great breadth of industry knowledge, is very well vetted industry-wide (and is an AAR member), and happens to really dig my work (I'm pretty sure that's one of the most crucial elements- to have an agent who's a real advocate for the story you're telling).

Now it's "put up or shut up" time. Somehow, in the next six or seven months I'll need to navigate my way through the following tasks-

1. Take TUNING FORK from its preliminary stages to full blown super-novel.
2. Complete 3-4 stories for anthologies I've committed to.
3. Stay on top of Swallowdown Press marketing/promotion for existing titles while trying to develop new books for the press by a few writers I've expressed interest in.
4. Relaunch JRJ.com.
5. Complete SKULLCRACK CITY (which has temporarily taken a back seat to TUNING FORK).
6. Not let all this monitor radiation melt off my face.
7. Spend less time wondering how much bone density I've lost to my soda pop addiction.

So, that's a decent list going forward. I'm excited and nervous, and can only guess that this workload will only increase my consumption of the toxic phosphoric-fructose soup that is Pepsi. Hopefully by the time my brittle bones shatter they'll have that whole "adamantium skeleton" thing figured out.

Get to it M/I Complex.

Also of interest (to me, and apparently, some very nice British people):

Somehow both Angel Dust Apocalypse and Siren Promised managed to make the final lists (in collection and novel) for this year's British Fantasy Awards (established by Ramsey Campbell). Very nice to be on there with guys like Gaiman, Wolfe, Braunbeck, Joe Hill, etc.

I'm not likely to be a front-runner for either award, but if by some miracle I won something I'd be on the next plane out. I've always wanted to eat the sort of fish and chips that actually cause small heart attacks. My friend Ben from London said I could acquire that there. And I'd like to see Bristol because I'm attracted to wet, grey cities.


I just kicked out some free signed books (ADA/SP/EJ) in a pack for the "Hurricane Katrina Victims Fashion Charity Event" (my brain keeps transposing it as Hurricane Katrina Fashion Victims which strikes me as a particularly cruel phrase). I'm not sure when this thing hits (the MySpace page is a wee rough on the eyes) but the organizers seem to have their heads on straight (okay, aside from the layout of that MySpace page) and will also be auctioning off some signed stuff from guys like Harry Shannon and Will Clarke. So, when this thing drops it's a good chance for somebody in Alabama to score some cool books, kick out cash for a still needy cause, and add another tax write off item into their filing forms next April.

To those who've noticed my sloth- yes, this post is pretty much a copy of my recent post over at the ChuckPalahniuk.net Cult Discussion for ADA. Like I said, I'm keeping busy. Work smarter, not harder- all that.

In that same vein, here's something excellent that I'm jacking from RN Lee's ever-entertaining blog:

Chris Cunningham's New "Parasite" Video

He retains his god-like status with just under two minutes of full-fledged freakout. This guy, methinks, is special.

Waiting for summer to die,



A Plague of PromoLocusts aka Thrice the Mojo

Good mojo comes in threes, right? It must- here's my new triumvirate of crazy luck:

1. I usually wait until I'm "contract in hand" on this sort of announcement, but in this case, I couldn't wait. I just found out that Cemetery Dance will be publishing my short story "A Flood of Harriers" in Issue #56 (accompanying the interview Steve Vernon did with me). Having a story in CD's always been on my "To Do Before I Die" list, so I'm very buzzed about the news.

2. My new books (Extinction Journals & the paperback edition of Stoker Nominated novel Siren Promised) are in from the printers and finally available at Amazon.com, Powell's, Shocklines, and JRJ.com.

3. Angel Dust Apocalypse has been chosen as the most recent pick of The Official Cult Book Club at ChuckPalahniuk.net. I've offered to be a part of the discussion and it's been going great. Any fans of Chucky P and ADA are totally welcome to drop by and join in.

As a sign of karmic balance it is notable that my car pretty much exploded today (what does it mean when all the dash lights come on at once and the thing just stops?). Mojo can be fickle.


JRJ, Brand New Bike Commuter

What the Hell is a Meat Socket?

Honestly, that's a question you're better off not knowing the answer to. It's not as bad as, say, a "blumpkin" but it is pretty foul.

The Meat Socket is also the name of an ultra-sleazoid Canadian magazine that just released its fifth issue, titled Pornography Hurts. This thing is jam packed with truly foul content, death metal, and pics of sex acts I usually choose not to contemplate.

Somehow, amidst the filth, you can also find excerpts from my fiction, a gonzo interview with me (accompanied by photos of prolapsed colons and me reading Angel Dust Apocalypse to school children), and a graphic adaptation of my short story "Amniotic Shock in the Last Sacred Place" (seen above).

The whole experience will make you feel dirty on the inside (and maybe even on the outside). Consider yourself warned. Seriously.

Although the issue is currently up as a disc based magazine, rumor has it that the mag will soon be available online (at which point it will likely be banned).

I'm a bit chuffed that my material ended up in this issue next to hate-based cocksmith Max Hardcore and homophobe horror hip-hopper Necro, especially since (my hero) Mike Patton is scheduled to appear in issue six. Thems the breaks.

Genuine sickos- pick this up or watch for its net appearance soon. Everybody else- this shit will make you lose your lunch. Then it will make you eat that same lunch again. It's that messed up.


p.s. The new Tool album continues to grow on me.



You can survive a nuclear blast.

All you need is some luck, and maybe a customized business suit coated in cockroaches. It could work. At least that’s what Dean believed before the bombs actually dropped and his suit led him to murder a Very Important Man at the foot of a blackened obelisk.

Now D.C. is looking awfully empty. Life on Earth is pretty much coming to an end. All of which leaves Dean with a single question-“What now?” The answer to that question will take him on an uncanny voyage across a newly nuclear America where he must confront the problems associated with loneliness, radiation, love, and an ever-evolving cockroach suit with a mind of its own.

Dean’s bizarre adventures mark the last chronicle of human existence, the final entries in our species’ own…

Extinction Journals
“DUCK AND COVER, BITCHES! Jeremy Robert Johnson answers the call to glory with his intimately insectoid mini-epic of apocalypse, Extinction Journals: a trip far weirder and more fucked up than it has any right to be. Just like these times.”
John Skipp, author of Conscience, co-author/editor of The Scream, Mondo Zombie, and Book of the Dead

Extinction Journals is like a Twilight Zone episode made without Standards & Practices telling Serling he couldn't feature any human/insect love scenes. Move over Chris Genoa- there's a new sexy genius in town.”— Chris Genoa, author of Foop!

“Johnson swirls just enough lucidity and knowing, zombie-Vonnegut hilarity into his bizarro fable of mutually assured delirium to make me question my own sanity. Until science finds a cure for whatever ails this boy, we can only hope to bask in the cool plutonium glow of his weaponized mind... and start collecting cockroaches.”
Cody Goodfellow, author of Radiant Dawn and Ravenous Dusk

2: SIREN PROMISED- Coming to Paperback May 1st

Angie Smith and Curtis Loew are having dreams they can’t shake. At the heart of each is Angie’s daughter, Kaya. Angie’s dreams end in death, the spreading of hand-shaped bruises across her daughter’s throat. Curtis’ dreams end in something else, something closer to obsession than love.
Angie is worlds away, trying to keep her drug-shattered mind from falling apart, traveling through an American underbelly filled with inhuman shapes, dark whispers and old friends with empty eyes.
Curtis is Kaya’s new neighbor. He’s getting closer to her, and her mentally unstable grandmother, Colleen. He’s had families before, but he’d always made mistakes. Mistakes that led to new names, new towns. But this one time, he swears, things will all work out. He’s got so much love to give.
The Bram Stoker Award Nominated Novel
Siren Promised
Featuring an introduction from author Simon Clark, over thirty illustrations by Alan M. Clark and an afterword by the book’s creators, Siren Promised sets a new benchmark in visual and written storytelling.
"Using Alan M. Clark's gorgeously dark fantastique artwork to springboard the lush, compelling, often raw storyline forward, Johnson and Clark have created a unique literary atmosphere full of dread and wonder. This is a synergistic fusion of major talents that seethes with the black, beautiful energy of nightmares made real."— Tom Piccirilli, author of Headstone City and A Choir of Ill Children

“I have just one word for you – DAMN! By the time I was done reading I was wondering about the purpose in my own life; they left me with an emptiness I didn’t even know existed.”— Horror-Web.com

"What makes Siren Promised such a towering achievement is the rare skill that both men possess to transform their personal experiences into a work of such visionary power. It's harrowing, it's horrific, it's moving, and it's mesmerizing.”— Simon Clark, From the Introduction

Siren Promised is a page-turner. Johnson and Clark are masters of their crafts…”

Siren Promised is a tale of addiction and legacy and rebirth. It is spontaneous and compelling. Dark, sordid characters, bound together like weaving vines of a bog rose. A haunting tale that will surprise you constantly. I recommend it highly.”— Cemetery Dance Weekly


This just popped up today. It's a pretty cool short piece about Siren Promised and the Stoker Awards at the Sci Fi Channel's net news section:

Siren Promised in the Realms of SCI FI

Big thanks to JJA for taking the time to conduct the interview, and to the SCI FI Channel for always playing that Frankenfish movie.

Okay, that's enough gumption from me,


p.s. It turned out that JJA had some quality leftovers from our interview that he couldn't use in the SCI FI WIRE piece, so he posted the rest of the Q&A at his blog:

The Slush God Speaketh

It's pretty much the only place I've ever used the phrase "burrito party."


Chit Chat of the Damned!


On Monday, April 24th I'll be the guest author for the “Message Board of the Damned” weekly author chat. It starts at 6:00pm PDT (7 MST, 8 Central, 9 EDT) and lasts for an hour or two depending on how many people show up and whether I decide to answer all questions monosyllabically or en espanol.

I’ll be officially announcing the release of my next two books (and talking about my new imprint Swallowdown Press) at the chat, which is pretty exciting. I’m also open to questions about the Stoker Awards, Bizarro, socialism, parasites, sharks, etc. If any of that is of interest to you then meet me at Message Board of the Damned on 4/24/06.


You might want to come early to sign up for a Message Board of the Damned account. It's free and easy, but might take a few minutes to sign up. You probably won't need to sign up if you already have an EZBoard account.

Also, once you’re signed up you’ll be able to come back on 5/1/06 and chat with New York Times Bestselling author John Skipp whose ninja-like skill with banter will make your minor effort all the more worthwhile.


Please use the ‘?’ method to get your place in the queue. Don’t blurt out questions. Make sure the patient folks ahead of you have had a chance to ask their questions.

Please feel free to randomly shout the word “Blitzkrieg!” should you find that amusing (as I do).

Also, no side conversation while the chat is in progress. It tends to jack the flow. There will always be a free-for-all period after the official chat has ended.

I think that’s about it. Hope to see you there!

Bout It,


p.s. The chat is now done, and here's a link to the Transcript for those interested.


Swallowdown, Chat, Stokers, Hype & Powell's Re-Restocked

This is the new custom logo for the micro-press I'm launching in May of 2006. Much thanks to Alan M. Clark for the design job and for coming up with the elegant and slightly disturbing image (that bird doesn't necessarily look too healthy).

Swallowdown Press is a Bizarro imprint- much like Carlton Mellick III's Avant Punk- that will release its own weird books while still marching to the communal lit tune established by Eraserhead Press. Inspired by the DIY ethos of guys like Ian MacKaye, Jim Munroe, and, of course, CM3, Swallowdown Press will strive to release underground books at overground levels of quality.

Basically what it is right now is a cool label that you'll be seeing on brand new weird work coming from me. Will it become more than that in the future? Perhaps. Some have suggested that the press name might also be appropriate should I decide to start releasing gay erotica. They were joking, but I've heard there's good money in that market, so we shall see (tweedling fingers and stroking waxed-and-curled moustache like a greedy corporate bastard).

Want to hear more about the upcoming books from Swallowdown? Make sure to come visit with me at 6:00pm PDT on April 24th, when I'll be doing a live chat at The Message Board of the Damned. I know I've been evasive about upcoming releases so far, but I'll be spilling all the beans and half a can of soda at the chat, I swear.

I can tell you that I should have some lovely cover art for EXTINCTION JOURNALS to show you by the beginning of next week. Oh, and here is the back cover copy, for folks who can't get enough of vague promotional text:

You can survive a nuclear blast.

All you need is some luck, and maybe a customized business suit coated in cockroaches. It could work. At least that's what Dean believed before the bombs actually dropped and his suit led him to murder a Very Important Man at the foot of a blackened obelisk.

Now D.C. is looking awfully empty. Life on Earth is pretty much coming to an end. All of which leaves Dean with a single question- "What now?" The answer to that question will take him on an uncanny voyage across a newly nuclear America where he must confront the problems associated with loneliness, radiation, love, and an ever-evolving cockroach suit with a mind of its own.

Dean's bizarre adventures mark the last chronicle of human existence, the final entries in our species' own...…

Extinction Journals
So there's that.
Some other news of interest- SIREN PROMISED has been officially nominated for a 2005 Bram Stoker Award (in the First Novel category) by the members of the HWA. The Stoker is like the Oscar of the horror world, so I'm very honored and excited to be included among the nominees (including Weston Ochse and Kealan Patrick Burke in our category, and lesser knowns like King, Palahniuk, Mieville and Barker in others). Clark and I won't find out if our little dark horse of a book will take home the prize until mid-June, but in the meantime I threw myself a burrito party- that's the kind of party where I eat a giant burrito(!)- just for being nominated. Here's a link to the Final Ballot to give you an idea of the kind of excellent writing that's up for the award this year.
Hype! I love me some hype! And thanks to some kind words and a Needle Award nomination from the incredibly cool Girl on Demand at POD-dy Mouth, I've been nearly coated with "the hype" for the last few weeks. No, I didn't win the coveted Needle Award, but just being a nominee sent a modest cavalcade of interested New York literary agents in my direction. Although most have agreed that ANGEL DUST APOCALYPSE is doing what it's doing just fine, the real interest from New York has been in seeing a new novel from me. I can't fathom not returning that interest so I've already started work on a new book tentatively titled TUNING FORK.
That's all I can tell you about it right now, since the novel is only in partial outline form and I haven't officially signed on with any agents yet- but things are looking very interesting. Hopefully I'll have more info on this front soon, although I may not actually end up agented until I've written this new book, which I'm hoping to do by 3rd quarter of this year. Crazy...
Finally, I wanted to offer another big THANK YOU to the Portland people who've been heading into Powell's Books (1005 W Burnside Street, Portland, OR 97209) to pick up copies of ANGEL DUST APOCALYPSE. It has already sold out once since I announced its inclusion as a featured small press title last blog. I love heading down there to deliver new copies (gives me a chance to loiter and check out a bunch of magazines while feeling like I'm doing "work"), so much love is due to the Portlanders who have been picking up the weird little book. One of the agents I was speaking with last week said Portland and Seattle are two of the biggest, most supportive literary communities on the planet, and I believe him.
I think that's enough info dump for now. On a personal note I'd like to offer my best wishes to my friend Kane who just joined the Coast Guard and is now somewhere in NJ learning how to be a military man. Glad we got to party, play poker and pool, check out Chappelle's Block Party and Slither, etc. last week. Sorry I never found you a Last Detail-style hooker with one eye to give you syphillis. Hope basic training's going awesome, man. You'll be fighting sea pirates and dope smugglers in no time!
Should have the EJ cover and more chat news next week...


Powell's Restocked & Some Big News (Sort Of)

First, big thanks (!) to the people who quickly bought out the first batch of ANGEL DUST APOCALYPSE at Powell's Books (1005 W Burnside Street, Portland, OR 97209). Powell's has since decided to increase their stock and make it part of the featured display for small press, which is very cool. I dropped off a bunch of copies this week.

So, that's good news. Thank you to all the PDX people and others who support their local booksellers.

Next, the new issue (#16) of Verbicide is now out and is ridiculously great. I have to give props to Nate and Jackson for putting out their most attractive, solid issue yet. You've got in-depth interviews with Saul Williams (a major artistic influence on ADA and a hero of mine) and Gorillaz alongside the weirdest "interview" ever with the Wondershowzen guys (it's total chaos but frequently laugh-out-loud and lasts much longer than I'd expected). On top of that you get artist profiles, politics, tons of music reviews, some dreamy Suicide Girls shots, and fiction by people like Agent Automatic and some jackass called... ME!

That's right. The new issue features one of my most popular stories, "The Sharp Dressed Man at the End of the Line"- a cockroach riddled story of paranoia, nuclear war, and creative tailor-work. Which leads me to my "big news" for this blog...


Scheduled to be available by the end May, EXTINCTION JOURNALS is a book-length follow-up to the aforementioned short. I'd give you more details but I don't want to ruin any surprises from the prior short for those that haven't checked it out yet (not that it's a necessary read- EJ works as a standalone- but it's likely a little more resonant if you've read the story). I can say that EXTINCTION JOURNALS is the strangest thing I've ever written, which is exciting.

EJ will be relased by the same mysterious press that's putting out another book of mine (which I also can't say anything about at this point in time). I swear that by the beginning of May all my jibber-jabber will make more sense. Sometimes contractual obligations keep me from reaching any level of lucid communication. What can you do?

On a final Powell's note, Ultra Marathon Man Dean Karnazes happened to be speaking the night I dropped the books off, and he's always highly entertaining, especially when you realize that he has magical powers and is basically the closest thing to a living super-hero you may ever meet. I mean, I've never met anyone else with a 38bpm pulse rate who is capable of running 350 miles non-stop. Have you? He plays it off very casually, but I can't help looking at him and thinking, "Man, this dude's like the endurance version of The Flash." It was good inspiration for the new batch of marathon training I've just kicked off (1/2 marathon in June, full marathon in October).

Maybe too inspiring. I headed out an ran myself into some sort of lame immune-suppressed state and came up with a brutal cold/fever/sinus infection. But once my tonsils are no longer so swollen they touch, I'm headed back out for speed drills.

Final note for now- the new Ghostface album is his best since Supreme Clientele. Not a point for argument, just a fact. Going to check out his live show tomorrow night.

Best Wu-wishes,



The Staccato Sound of Random Promotion

That's the blog quandary- how much time do you spend talking about the sort of personal experiences that people actually find compelling, and how much time do you spend talking about your writing career (which is fascinating pretty much only to yourself)? I shoot for balance. I do. I let you know about Benchley's influence on my childhood in the last blog. But this new one is pretty much all business. But it is good stuff. Here goes...

After I fired up the computer this morning I discovered:

1. An interview with me (done by Steve Vernon aka Mick Lebowski) will appear in upcoming Issue #56 of Cemetery Dance. CD's always been a sort of horror mag Grail for me, so I'm hugely excited about this.

2. The Bookgasm reviewer that read ANGEL DUST APOCALYPSE ended up digging it. The new review is three down, just under the new one for Bryan Smith's DEATHBRINGER. (If you're checking this out a bit after February '06, here's a perma-link to the review.)

3. ANGEL DUST APOCALYPSE has been nominated by Girl on Demand for POD-dy Mouth's Needle Awards. This means that of the 1,400 some titles considered, and fifty reviewed, ADA was one of the top five commercial titles. The awards are being judged by prominent NY agents and editors, and a copy of whatever wins has already been requested by 27 agents and editors so far, including esteemed folks at Bantam, Crown, Tor, Penguin Putnam, William Morris, Trident Media, ICM, Inkwell and many others. I don't have many illusions about the viability of a collection winning, but I'm still very honored by the nomination.

So that was my morning. My bagel could have been made from musk ox and it still would've tasted great.



Another Hero Gone

"The great fish moved silently through the night water..."

When I was five years old I wanted only one thing for my birthday- to finally watch the movie Jaws. I'd already developed a shark fixation thanks to National Geographic specials and a coloring book dedicated to the toothy beasts. They were the only thing cooler, in my book, than dinosaurs. I had a brutal case of fear-based fascination that made my first swimming lessons terrible- who knew where sharks could pop up. I even had the awesome Jaws game, wherein two people compete to hook various items from the rubber-band rigged mouth of a plastic great white. Lift one item too abruptly or get one of the final pieces and SNAP!

But I still hadn't seen the film. The big one. THE shark movie.

So, on my fifth birthday, when I heard the first bass-heavy strains of the score- yup, I knew the iconic music long before seeing the movie- coming from my parents' living room, I knew I'd got my birthday wish. And for the next two hours I sat in my mom's lap and watched what was to become one of my favorite films of all time.

It was about two years later when I discovered a ratty old copy of the paperback among my dad's books. I dived right in, of course. Having already seen the film thirty-or-so times by then I was a bit shocked when Hooper and Mrs. Brody became intimate, and even more shocked with what happened to Hooper later in the book. And the Quint-incites-a-frenzy scene was priceless, if a bit too dark for Spielberg's film. Sure the ending lacked the cinematic POW! of the movie version, but it was still a deeply rewarding read and one that introduced me to Peter Benchley's potent world of oceanic thrillers.

Benchley's writing often merged captivating facts about marine biology with pulpy thrills, and still managed to excite even when he basically re-wrote his own Jaws with a giant squid instead of a carcharodon carcharias in Beast. His books read effortlessly and always satisfied. His later take on sharks as less malevolent creatures (Shark Trouble) was equally interesting, and will hopefully one day reach an audience as wide as Jaws has had. He was a man deeply concerned with humankind's abuse of the ocean, and you could sense in his later work a desire to exorcise the damage his early work may have had on cultural perception.

Had Benchley never written Jaws? Well, I wouldn't have shelled out serious cash for a framed original theatrical poster (including the "...may be too INTENSE for younger children" note next to the PG rating). I wouldn't own four copies of the book including the awesome illustrated Reader's Digest condensed version that I "procured" from a hotel lobby. Steve Alten would have no career. I wouldn't have wasted so much time on the Jaws NES game. Shark Week wouldn't drop me into a TV-coma. Spielberg may not have ended up where he is today, and the phrase Summer Blockbuster might not have entered the lexicon. I never would have contemplated a career in marine biology. I'm sure there are other things I'm missing. The influence of his book was huge.

His passing at age 65 is indeed sad, a literary voice and caring steward of the sea lost, but there is a sense that his work will endure for some time. Jaws has deservedly become a part of the thriller canon, and I hope it will continue to delight readers throughout the next century.

Peter Benchley, RIP. Thank you for the stories.



p.s. If there is indeed some sort of Writer's Valhalla as I'd like to imagine, I hope Peter's knocking back a cold one with Selby and Hunter right now. My heroes need to stick around a little longer.

p.p.s. On the lighter side of things- Tom Piccirilli, author of one of my top five books of last year, A Choir of Ill Children, has offered up this awesome blurb for Siren Promised:

"Using Alan M. Clark's gorgeously dark fantastique artwork to springboard the lush, compelling, often raw storyline forward, Johnson and Clark have created a unique literary atmosphere full of dread and wonder. This is a synergistic fusion of major talents that seethes with the black, beautiful energy of nightmares made real."--Tom Piccirilli, author of HEADSTONE CITY and A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN

So that's cool.



The GOD I'm referring to, of course, is the lovely Girl On Demand, the anonymous Penguin Putnam author behind the ever-popular POD-dy Mouth blog. Somehow I was lucky enough for her to select ANGEL DUST APOCALYPSE as one of her "treasures" to be saved from the pulp mill that is Print on Demand, or POD (my publisher, Eraserhead Press, utilizes POD technology instead of the more traditional offset printing to create its books).

The review (visible on the main page now or on the right-side archives if you're reading this after February) can be seen here: Girl on Demand on ADA

My favorite bit?

"Johnson is probably a few books away from doing for horror what Jonathan Lethem did for science fiction. Plain and simple? Forget horror; this is good fiction. From stem to stern, each story will amaze you--and I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts you'll read them all more than once."

For those who enjoy Girl on Demand's industry insights, you might also want to check out this blog: Agent 007

My right ear itches. And now, thanks to the miracle of blogging, you know about it. Oh, the verdant digital age, so rich with promise!



Free James Frey/Avant Garde DNA/Rust and Bone

Free James Frey-

Jerry Stahl (another "narco memoir" author who has appeared on Oprah and also wrote the genius-level novel Perv-A Love Story) has written a very funny and somewhat scathing essay about the AMLP shenanigans. Had me laughing out loud, and frequently. Here are a few samples from the bit:

"That is to say, I may experience the despair and soul-death of a man who has knocked over convenience stores — though, technically, if you’re going to go all Smoking Gun on my ass, I was held for shoplifting M&Ms. Peanut.

The kind that feel like little skulls between my pain-racked teeth. The chocolate mushing to bloody brown with every bite. Blood. Mouth. Peanuts.

Okay, okay. Fuck the bullshit. I wasn’t exactly arrested. There was a security guard, in a turban. Whom I turned into a cop for dramatic purposes. And fuck you if you think I need to embellish my super-bad criminal status by describing how I smacked him in the face with the jerky rack. Jerky everywhere.

Preserved meat. Which I ate off the floor on all fours. Like a wolverine . . ."


"Haters like to make a big deal out of whether I really murdered the rabbi who asked me to take the dreidel out of his pocket and cup it. Maybe I did. And maybe I didn’t. You smoke crack and guzzle brewskis under a parked bus for two weeks and see how your fact-to-fantasy ratio shakes out."

Here's the link (you have to scroll down after you get there): Free James Frey!

Also, here's an interesting article about another acclaimed author. The article pitch- "Did a struggling white writer of gay erotica become one of multicultural literature’s most celebrated memoirists — by passing himself off as Native American?"

And the link (scroll down again): Navahoax

Avant Garde DNA-

A few days ago this, over at the Mondo Bizarro forum, I received an unexpected post from hyper-cyber-avant-garde-David-Bowie-acclaimed-author Kenji Siratori:

"Jeremy Robert Johnson, you mash-up the apocalypse head of a drug fetus and brew the genetic code of guerrilla=sex."

Which is weird, because I've always kind of felt that way about myself but have never been able to articulate it.

I will, of course, create a T-shirt utilizing the quote. Too great not to.

Rust and Bone-

So, a while back I saw an ad for a fiction collection called RUST AND BONE by Craig Davidson. I noticed the acclaim it was receiving from folks like Bret Easton Ellis and Clive Barker. I maximized the cover image for the book and saw that Chucky P also had some kind words for the work. "So," I thought, "this is the other guy." I knew Chuck had blurbed two books in 2005, but wasn't sure what the other one was. Turns out RUST AND BONE is a dark literary fiction collection from a guy with a background in horror. Sound familiar?

I got my grubby mitts on a copy as soon as I could and by then end of the first story I realized this guy was the most exciting new author I'd read since Cody Goodfellow. Craig Davidson (whose highly amusing blog can be found here) is "realer than Real Deal Holyfield." Were I to continue to quote that delightful rap couplet I'd also say, "and now you hookers and hos know how I feel" but that's always seemed a bit redundant to me, despite the delightful rhyme cadence and important message.

Back on point- Davidson has delivered a hell of a first book. Odds say you'll love it. You can check out more details and see a rather rambling review from my alter ego S.P. Doyle over at:

RUST AND BONE at Amazon.com

Hell, you could buy a copy of ANGEL DUST APOCALYPSE with it and get Super Saver shipping and all that. Wouldn't hurt my feelings.

Okay, pimping done, I'm off to brew the genetic code of guerilla=sex, and then maybe I'll eat some sourdough toast. That sounds fun.

Kill all machines,



Get Out of the House


Go. Make sure your clothes are weather-appropriate and get the hell out.

I did it, at around 2:30am, this Wednesday morning, and it was great. I'd spent five hours straight in my midget-box office, typing away at short stories, blogs, message boards, emails, etc. My wife is working out of town and the place was (and is) Capital L Lonely and feels quiet even with my computer pumping out tunes. The rain outside has been near torrential and has rendered my life into a series of boxes. Apartment to car to grocery store to fast food joint to Post Office to home, etc.

This place, my brain, the patterned but effective lifestyle- all gone stale. So I grabbed my keys and got out. But where to go?

Anywhere. Just walk. Just breathe. Pull some fresh air into your lungs.

I spent half an hour trolling the streets, in the rain. Gallivanting. Being a flaneur (I think that's the word). I saw one other human being. We nodded at each other and kept walking. TV's flashed through a lot of the windows. The only screen I caught was selling air filters with seven layers of protection.

Seven layers of protection. You know, for the boxes we live in.

The rain picked up its force. I started to soak and turned back towards my place. On the way back I stopped and touched the bark of a tree. What kind of tree, I don't know. I'd check Google but that seems so against the point. It was the kind of tree that was rough and thick and huge and will outlive me, and I could barely see the moon through its branches and the thickening clouds.

Before I reached home, I heard a noise. Like industrial bird song. Beautiful but metallic. As I got closer I realized it was water running and pressurizing through pipes on the outside of a building. I stood and listened to the song and its rusty melody and imagined a nice drumbeat boom-bapping under it.

The noise ceased as I walked away. Kind of perfect, this tiny performance.

And that kind of shit is happening everywhere, right now. It's not huge, but it's something different. It's something I can't fucking Google up.

My hair is still wet with the rain as I type this. I'm tempted to head back out. I didn't want to write this down, didn't want it to become part of the culture where an experience is only validated if you have fourteen forms of digital files notating its existence, blog included. But I've got a lot of love for the people who read this, and I'm telling you...

Get out of the house.




New Digs/ADA for Collectors/2005 Top 5 Lists

New Digs-

So, you may have noticed a change over at JRJ.com. When you click on the handy Blog icon on the menu, it brings you here, to my newfangled Blogger page. I've outsourced my blog for a few reasons- ease of interface, presentation (I think this page looks halfway sharp and should improve as time passes), and most of all, the COMMENT option.

I say some ridiculous things in my blog and I've always wanted to give readers a chance to hammer me for my indiscretions in a public forum (aside from, you know, my actual forum). So the next time I say something like, "There's no one in modern Croatian hip hop that's worth listening to!" you can respond with a comment like, "Well, obviously, Mr. Johnson, you've never heard of DJ Zeb and the Dzirn Street Krew." And then we'll all reflect on the brilliant discourse and laugh like kings with mouths half-filled by mutton!

Of course, you don't have to be contradictory... any kind of comments will be welcome.

And no, I still have no idea where the name for the blog comes from. I was drunk when I came up with it and have kept it out of a vague sense of nostalgia, despite its silliness. I suppose it has vague connotations in either sci-fi, math, or hip hop territories. But I've never once written a blog anywhere near the basement. I've done some other things in the basement, but that remains under lock and key (and some of it is under quicklime). What happens in the basement, stays in the basement...

Oh, and for anyone who really enjoyed the old blog entries, they've been archived here at the Blogger page, all under January 2006.

ADA For Collectors-

There are only 16 copies of the "Old, No-Palahniuk-Quote-Having Edition" of Angel Dust Apocalypse left in the known galaxy. 6 have been shipped to my friend John and the remaining 10 are with me, available for purchase at my website. There are less than 300 of these in print, so it may be worth a couple more bucks on eBay some day.

Pick one up if you're interested in having a copy that'll prove you were down for Bizarro work before it was lauded by one of the World's Best Authors (caps and title inserted subjectively by blog-writer). Just indicate "Old Version" in the inscription zone during purchase. These are likely to go quick, so establish a false sense of urgency... NOW!

(Update: "Old Version" copies have dwindled since this announcement, so the sense of urgency could now be considered genuine if this sort of thing is up your bookish alley.)

2005 Top Five Lists

My lists will involve what I call "the cheating," meaning that not all picks will actually have been created in '05. Last year is just when I happened to come across the item.

Oh, and if there were any doubts about how truly un-hip my taste is, these lists should serve as a permanent confirmation. What can I say? Maybe my near-thirty status is starting to show through. Or maybe I've always been a nerd. Probably the latter.


1. Radiant Dawn/Ravenous Dusk by Cody Goodfellow- HP Lovecraft meets David Foster Wallace meets James Ellroy meets Robert Ludlum meets Alan Moore meets... okay, enough of that. What I'm trying to say is that this guy has skills and you need these books. Plan on losing some sleep once you're addicted to this epic chunk of madness.

2. Off Season by Jack Ketchum- One of the most balls-out and lyrical examinations of human darkness I've ever read. Plus, there's some mid-book trickery that will shock you. That Ketchum was capable of pulling off such a nasty coup still amazes me.

3. A Choir of Ill Children by Tom Piccirilli- This book sucks you in from the opening sentence and pulls you deep into a mutant southern gothic that's often poetic, sometimes surreal, and always engaging. It's like someone slipped absinthe into your moonshine.

4. Porno by Irvine Welsh- Being back in the presence of Sick Boy and Begbie made me giddy and nauseous, respectively, but always with a smile on my face (okay, except for that scene with poor Spud and the bar-slag- that's just nasty). Plus, seeing characters from Glue added into the picture helped to further define Welsh's sick and wonderful world.

5. Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk- "Shooo-rook!" From the heartbreak of tales like "Post-Production" and "Exodus" to the straight-out existential horror of "Hot Potting" and "Ritual" this was the year's most enjoyable horror collection.

Honorable mentions include Blood Father by Peter Craig, Play Dead by Michael A. Arnzen, and The Troublesome Amputee/The Horrible by John Edward Lawson.


1. Brokeback Mountain- Forget the words "gay cowboys." That's boring. Really. Just know this- Brokeback is one of the finest representations of love, longing, and loss ever committed to film. Beautifully written, beautifully shot, beautifully acted, and brutal in its emotional implications.

2. Syriana- When's the last time you spent an hour after the film just trying to sort out the plot, but finding the act gratifying? A smart, gritty, and surprisingly even-handed examination of the geo-politics of oil (and a rewarding character study).

3. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang- Fast, funny post-modern noir (PoMoNo?) with a real love for the genre and one of the best recent performances from Robert Downey Jr.

4. Ong Bak/Kung Fu Hustle- Hell, both these movies made me want to take up martial arts again. Tony Jaa is like the love child of Jackie Chan, David Blaine, and Jesus. I'm pretty sure he's not even human. And KFH is pure cinema, the sort of thing that feels new but presses the old buttons that made you love film in the first place.

5. Wolf Creek- Yeah, you might think there were a lot of other films worthy of a top five spot, but I've got to hand it to Wolf Creek for sheer effectiveness. I cared about its protagonists more than any other batch of horror flick kids in recent memory, and I started grinding my teeth and having rapid palpitations as they were dragged further and further into their outback hell. Sharp cinematography, too. I don't want to watch it again, but I respect it.

Honorable mentions include Munich, Ju-On, and A History of Violence.


1. Frances the Mute/Scab Dates by The Mars Volta- Did anyone else even try to rock this hard in 2005? Okay, so they got a little indulgent on Scab Dates (who really wants to listen to ten minutes of backstage noise through LSD filters?) but when they hit those high points, there's no-one else I'd rather be listening to.

2. Saul Williams Fader Album by Saul Williams- Saul channels his poetry into more musical structures and adds a new punk energy and aggression. "Shakespeare," his collaboration with Zack De La Rocha, kept me going through four months of harsh marathon training. "When they tell you to achieve, ask yourself, 'Is that for them or for you?'"

3. Vheissu by Thrice- The singer learned how to sing but didn't forget the power of a guttural scream, the songs got even more complicated (but somehow more song-like than their prior work), they donate album proceeds to Eggers' literacy program, and the songs all contain a real sense of urgency in favor of human transcendence. Ambitious without over-reaching, this is a very positive slab of punk-metal energy.

4. A Healthy Distrust by Sage Francis- Every time I listen, I pick up a new genius line. Whether rapping about politics, relationships, or a hip hop battle between the sun and the moon, Sage is furiously on point in his best work to date.

5. Hell's Winter by Cage- I never thought Cage would come anywhere near one of my favorites lists, but something must have happened to him when he went through that mushroom coma (or whatever trauma hit him). His Def Jux debut is so full of neck-snapping beats and sharp lines that I have to give him props. The old Cage was content to offend with nasal tales of drugs and misogyny. The new Cage is flexing a variety of flows on topics like his jacked-up childhood and the "war on terror" over ridiculously hot beats from El-P, Camu Tao, DJ Shadow, and RJD2, among others.

Honorable mentions include With Teeth by Nine Inch Nails, Arular by MIA, Black Dialogue by The Perceptionists, Leviathan by Mastodon, and B-side and Rarities by Deftones. And the best live show of the year was incontestably Ozomatli at the Kauai Convention Center, followed by The Mars Volta at The Rose Garden, The Perceptionists at Doug Fir, and RJD2 at Holocene.

2005 will be a tough year to leave behind. Somehow in the last twelve months I managed to have two books published, run a marathon, get married, and get a literary quote from one of my heroes. In 2006 I'm going to have to get four books published, run an ultra-marathon, move to Utah and marry some more people, and get James Ellroy to co-write a book with me.

I'm going to need some benzedrine, for starters. I better get moving.

And thank you to all the wonderful friends, family, and readers who made 2005 such an incredible year.

Let's make 2006 The Year of the Lazer! (Hint: this will involve lazers!)

I need another drink,


TEL : Stories is Poppin' Fresh

TEL : Stories is a new anthology edited by Jay Lake, two time World Fantasy Award finalist and 2004 John W. Campbell Award winner. The basic premise of the antho is that "great style makes great literature."

Yeah, I have a story in it ("Last Thoughts Drifting Down") and I'm excited to have it included alongside fiction by folks like Forrest Aguirre, Greer Gilman, and Jeff Vandermeer.

This batch of stories is fresh out of the oven and already receiving very positive reviews, which I will now indicate the presentation of using what most folks call a colon (looks like this ':') :

"Elegant, erudite and strange, TEL:Stories is a remarkable anthology, containing much to enchant, perplex and terrify."
—Liz Williams, author of Snake Agent

“In some cases, the style is challenging enough that the reader is likely to experience an ‘A-ha’ moment when, well into the story, the style's role in the fiction as a whole is suddenly understood. Jeremy Robert Johnson’s ‘Last Thoughts Drifting Down,’ exemplifies this approach, gradually revealing the narrator's identity to powerful effect.”
—Rudi Dornemann for Rain Taxi

TEL : Stories is also available at Amazon for people who like to shop there.

In a semi-interesting side-note, this publication marks the second re-printing of one of my Nuclear Family stories from Angel Dust Apocalypse. The other two, "Snowfall" and "The Sharp Dressed Man At The End Of The Line," either have appeared or will appear in issues of Verbicide Magazine. Who knew my insane fear of nuclear war would prove so beneficial?

And why won't my fear of clowns yield the same result?



Bizarro vs. Hail Saten & DMX-Mas

Just a quick heads-up. Brian Keene (author of the hugely successful zombie novel The Rising and the super-natural crime thriller Terminal) has just posted his interview with the founding fathers of the Bizarro scene, including yours truly, Carlton Mellick III, etc. So, for those folks interested in hearing me wax un-poetic about Bizarro, Dio, Dungeons & Dragons, and other sundry topics, head here:

Bizarro Interview at Hail Saten

And yes, there’s a reason he spells Saten that way. Don’t ask me, ask Keene. If you’re reading this much later, check out the December 2005 Hail Saten archives for the interview.

I’m off to Central Oregon to celebrate DMX-Mas with the fam. It’s like Christmas but we celebrate the birth of everyone’s favorite Ruff Ryder by drinking codeine-laced egg nog, riding around the tree on quads, shooting at each other, and saying the occasional prayer to show how deep and conflicted we are. Get at me, dawg!

Hope everyone’s having a lovely holiday season,


ADA Hits PDX (12/9/05)

Great news! Angel Dust Apocalypse is now available in Portland bookstores, at Powell's (1005 W Burnside Street, Portland, OR 97209) and Reading Frenzy (921 SW Oak Street, Portland, OR 97205). If it’s out of stock at one, the other store is a short walk away (and I’m likely headed that direction with more copies).

Reading Frenzy is a huge supporter of local writers and independent press and Powell’s is, well, it’s Powell’s- the biggest, best bookstore on Earth. I remember being a little guy and asking my parents to drop me off there for four hour stints. Growing up in Oregon, the place has always been a literary Mecca for me, and I’m honored to have my book available there. Where is my book shelved? Check out the substantial Small Press section. I think it’s in the Blue Room, but might be wrong. Like I said, this place is BIG…

And thanks are due to Powell’s fixture Kevin Sampsell for choosing to stock the book. As an aside it’s worth noting that Kevin himself is a respected author and editor and the major force behind indie powerhouse future tense publishing. I hope PDX people interested in the book will head downtown and support their local booksellers. And when you’re there, why not ask when the next Jeremy Robert Johnson reading will be…

Also, issue #15 of Verbicide is now available. For those on the fence about picking up ADA, here’s a great chance to check out a short of mine (“Swimming in the House of the Sea”) and get the best issue of Verbicide yet. Even if you’re not interested in my story (and by the way, what are you doing reading this if that’s the case?) the new issue has an excellent interview with hip hop pillar Chuck D, as well as sessions with Kim Coletta of Jawbox and 40 Oz. Comics creator Jim Mahfood. Verbicide is one of those magazines that gets better with every issue and with their recent expansion you should be able to find an issue in your zone.

All business today,


The Tale of Bloodcrotch! (11/9/05)

So, I did manage to complete the Portland Marathon, and in decent time (4:03:14 h/m/s). I would have finished in about 3:56:00 were it not for the crushing blows meted out by hubris. Yes, hubris. I made the classic beginner’s mistake and overestimated my training on the big day. My training guide warned against this. Runner’s World magazine warned against this. But the ego- the part of my brain that told me I was feeling great at mile two so why not up the pace by a minute per mile- did not listen to wisdom. And so an early 7-8:00 minute/mile pace later became a 10:00 m/m pace when I hit the wall.

The wall, for me, was invisible and hovering somewhere around mile 24. And I hit it hard. Blood competition led to abdominal cramping. My left hamstring knotted up. My eyes sunk so far into my head I started collecting rainwater in which sparrows were a-play. It was harsh. But I slogged through to a decent finish time, and was in the upper 25% for a bunch of categories by race end.

And hey, I finished in much better shape than the poor man we now refer to only as “BloodCrotch!” This poor guy, he ignored all the good advice too, and ran the 26.2 miles in gear he apparently forgot to field test. His shorts liner dug out furrows in his crotch so deep they struck red gold, and it was running in garish red rivulets down the back of his legs. Too late to apply the Vaseline at that point, I guess.

But even “BloodCrotch!” finished. Tough to quit a sport created buy a guy who died birthing it. Because of the hubris.

And, yeah, I’m now married, and the wedding was perfect and the honeymoon was even better and that’s all I’m saying about that.

The other big news is something you’ve probably seen plastered all over this site, but it’s worth mentioning anyway. I returned from vacation to find that one of my literary heroes, Chuck Palahniuk of Fight Club fame, and author of one of my top five books of all time (Choke), has given me a quote to use for my collection Angel Dust Apocalypse. The full quote now sits above the cover image on the Currently Available page. I couldn’t be more honored and can only hope that the book will live up to the expectations Chuck’s quote may set for it.

Carlton Mellick III and I have revamped the book design, so copies shipping in the next couple of weeks should begin to feature the quote. We’ve also created this sharp little banner:

I’ve got some other fairly interesting news but I have to wait about a month before I can share it. In the meantime I’ll be sitting in front of this keyboard with the sounds of The Mars Volta’s new album making my brain twitch.

And, yes, I do plan on revamping this site soon. It looks like it was designed by two guys with a vague knowledge of HTML who might have been drunk on Steel Reserve (and it was, and they were). Plus, the menu gets all jacked up if you don’t maximize. Look for a sharper JRJ.com by mid-’06.


Oh, and the new PROTECT compilation from Fat Wreck Chords is out, too, and definitely worth picking up. Not only do all sales fully benefit the National Association to Protect Children, Verbicide’s own Jackson Ellis had a huge hand in putting it together. The CD contains 26 tracks from 26 bands including Coalesce, NOFX, The Mishaps, Jawbreaker, Western Addiction, Hot Cross, Bars, and more. You can pick it up here or at places like Amazon.

Okay, enough flim flam…

Jodorowsky Needs to Make a New Film, As Does Aronofsky,


All Sizzurped Out (10/2/05)

Oh, fair October… this is a month that will disappear in a blink. In the next thirty days I’ll be attending a Mars Volta concert (Stoked!), running the Portland Marathon (Slogged!), moving to a new residence (Domiciled!), flying to Hawaii (Transitioned!), and getting married (Hitched!). All of this while finishing up a couple of anthology contributions and keeping the Dread Angel Dust Marketing Steamroller in crusher mode. Oh, and writing that zombie/noir book. Got to pretend I’m on top of that one so my publisher doesn’t gut me and leave me collapsed in the gutter hugging my steaming entrails. I swear, Rose & Carlton, that it’ll be in your hands by the time the winter ice thaws. Or sooner.

In other developments, the first ever comic adaptation of my work is on its way. Jon Towers, the guy behind The Heart of Abracax (www.jonnyaxx.com) is hard at work on a graphic version of my story “Amniotic Shock in the Last Sacred Place” to appear in upcoming issues of brutally nasty magazine The Meat Socket. From the look of Jon’s early sketches, this is going to be an outstanding envisioning of one of my weirdest stories.

Also, for those interested in a preview snippet from my profane interview with Meat Socket editor Mikhail, head here. The interview will be accompanied by two shorts from ADA, and Issue/Ordeal Five also include written work from other twisted folks like Ed Lee, Jeffrey Thomas, and Peter Sotos. Also featured- the bands Bathtub Shitter, and Crackwhore. No, I’m not kidding.

There are a couple of other cool interviews in the works, but the level of cool involved is to such a degree that I’m held to secrecy. Masons may or may not be involved. Shhhhhh…

For any folks out there interested in a quick way to become an emaciated bird, try marathon training. I’ve just calculated my miles run in the last four months, leading up to the PDX Marathon, and the number comes out to 393. 393 miles! Not including miles logged on my bike for cross training. And during the process I’ve managed to drop 15 pounds from my frame (mostly Black Butte Porter-related belly weight) and 7% of my overall body fat. I’m not quite starvation gaunt, but I am looking more and more like the main alien from Close Encounters. And my resting heart rate is around 40 BPM. It’s like the screwed & chopped version of my old crunk heartbeat, all sizzurped out. It’s okay if you can’t translate that last sentence. All I’m saying is that there have been strong physiological changes related to me running around in circles in the woods. All that time among the trees and now I’m the twig-boy. It’s been fun. It all culminates on Sunday, and after that it’s straight to the opium den!

And to the folks out there who are continuing to rep for ADA, giving copies to their friends, doing Amazon reviews, that sort of thing… I salute you! I couldn’t have predicted it’d be doing this well, and I have y’all to thank for it. Next time you’re headed through Portland the beer and tacos are on me!

Doing Okay With Regards to Vitamin Intake,


Olden Tyme Mail (7/29/05)

The PDX Zine Fair is coming, and I’m going to be there repping Verbicide magazine. Here’s the official press release from Editor-In-Chief Jackson Ellis:

August, 5 2005 - Portland Zine SymposiumPortland State University, Smith Memorial Center Ballroom, SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Author Jeremy Robert Johnson will be representing Scissor Press at the Portland Zine Symposium 2005. The PZS will be held on August 5, 6, and 7 on the campus of Portland State University, and Jeremy will be giving away hundreds of copies of the latest issue of Verbicide, as well as regaling Symposium-goers with wild tales and crackpot conspiracy theories. He will also surely have copies of his newest books on hand. For more information, visit www.pdxzines.com.

So that's about that. Verbicide's an awesome internationally-distributed mag that features music, literature, culture, poetry, reviews, the whole big stew. And I'm proud to be shilling for them at the zine fair. PDX people should come say “Hi” and grab some free loot. I'll have copies of ADA there, too. And if you want, I'll do palm readings. Or I'll just stare at you and then fall over. Depends on the room temperature.

And I’ve recently learned, via a device I like to call “the electronic mail” (it resides in my very computer!), that Carlton Mellick III and Rose O’Keefe will also be at the zine fair spreading the word about Bizarro. If all goes well we’ll be sharing a table and maybe a pizza.

In other news, I have to report that there have been several winners of the “contest” on page 180 of ADA, and the promised points and free books have been distributed via a system I call “the olden-tyme mail.” The contest has been a fun way to find out that not only are people reading my inane author’s notes, they’re also well-read regarding famous physicists. So there’s that.

Also, I’m happy to say that I’ve recently been invited to contribute my weird fiction to a couple of interesting anthologies. I’m not sure how much I can say about either, but I can tell you that one will also feature the work of the incredible Cody Goodfellow and a couple of other very cool contributors. And I can also tell you that my invite to the second anthology was later revoked when it was revealed that a.) I don’t want to write about unicorns and orcs and b.) I don’t know how to write and can barely speak English (or Elvish). Regardless, two anthology invites in two weeks means that the mainstream is starting to pick up on Bizarro work and artists, and it makes me feel all cuddly like a Pegasus/unicorn/panda cross-breed that soars on butterfly wings. Wow, maybe I can do fantasy!

And finally, I have to note that the aforementioned Cody Goodfellow has written a couple of awesome books that are wholly worth your attention- Radiant Dawn & Ravenous Dusk. You can head to their respective Amazon pages, the Bizarro Forum, or my MySpace page to see a full review of both books. Definitely worth checking out.

Unicorns vs. Unicrom-The Final Battle


p.s. Check out the Currently Available page for some strange new music from the Siren Promised release party!

Greasepaint on Bloody Knuckles (7/1/05)

“There, at the foot of the door to Mid-World, Jeremy decided ‘Screw the Tower’ and took a much needed nap.”

The circus is in town so I’m ducking the inane prattle that usually heads off my blog-type materials and getting right to what I like to call “The Biz”:

1. Angel Dust Apocalypse is now available for secure purchase via this website! It’s over at the Currently Available page, with only a Buy Now button between you and said purchase. The upside of picking it up here rather than Amazon is that you get free shipping, the copy is signed (for later eBay sales value), and you can request inscriptions. Want a drawing of Webster molesting a cow? Done! And it keeps the big A’s corporate hands out of my pockets, which means I get a better cut and can eventually afford that skull-piercing I’ve been saving up for.

2. Siren Promised now has a spokesmodel (!) repping it over at the Bloodletting Press site. While I might question the idea of using heroin chic to sell such a surreal, brutal tale of drugs and derangement, I wouldn’t do so for long. Because, hey, when’s the last time Stephen King had a spokesmodel? Jealous, King!? Oh, you are? Oh, okay, sorry, that was rude of me. At top, as a consolation, I present my personal spokesmodel shot for the Dark Tower series.

3. It’s Bizarro time! You may have noticed the new link to the Forum. Hell, you may have even clicked on it. It’s the gateway to the heart of Bizarro-land, wherein several writers of the bizarre have joined forces to… well, we’re working on that part, but I’m pretty sure global conquest or the acquisition of a great deal of sugar is somehow in the works. You’ll be hearing more soon. And by “more” I might just mean “me singing songs about a Delorean (aka That wingy-car made with coke money)” or I might really mean more.

That should cover things for now. I’m off to the circus to put the pain to some clowns. Hate me some clowns, I do.

With greasepaint on bloody knuckles,


Donning the Propaganda Hat (6/6/05)

So let’s imagine that the planet’s trying to kill you (and then eat you). That the plants growing around you and the air you breathe have conspired to shut you down, permanent-like, and put you in the soil, where the same plants whose pollen choked you out will now extend their root-tendrils into your cold body and start sipping away at the mass of gelatinous proteins you are quickly becoming. Imagine these things with me, and empathize.

Allergy season is here. Trees and grasses and flowers are all ejaculating poisonous motes into the air, and unless I want to start rocking a Jackson-style surgical mask, I’m breathing this noxious junk in. And on a windy day like this, I’m praying for a rain to rush in and wash all this floating nastiness into the gutters. This is Portland, so my prayers should be answered any time now. I’m wasting your time (and, hey, the point of most blog-type content is time wasting, so don’t complain, or do, but only vocally so I never know) with this info because I want you non-allergic folks to understand how lucky you are. You can breathe this same air, swallow up deep lungfulls of it, like it was just air. I take a deep breath of the exact same air and my head fills up with great writhing slugs of snot and my eyes are pepper-spray red. Makes me want to Agent Orange every green growing thing in my perimeter… but enough lamentation… Watch out! Here… comes… the…

MEDIA BLITZ!!! Put your Propaganda Hat on (yes, the one with the bells) and take a fanciful tour through the halls of modern marketing! Peruse the many hyperbolic review quotes that now parade their way across the Currently Available page! Watch my skull expand as I start to believe my own hype! Check out the awesome reviews of Siren Promised and Angel Dust Apocalypse at Horror-Web! Or let your eyes take in the majesty of Verbicide editor Jackson Ellis’ review of ADA over at Amazon (which will also appear in Issue #14 of his mag)! Wait for the upcoming review of ADA in Dark Discoveries #5! Make your own reviews with refrigerator magnets and bask in their multi-colored alphabetic glory! Blitz over… for now.

Aside from the good reviews, I’m also happy to announce that Angel Dust Apocalypse has been officially recommended for two Bram Stoker Awards (Best Fiction Collection and Short Fiction-“The Sharp Dressed Man at the End of the Line”), the highest honor given by the Horror Writers Association. 2004’s nominations includes folks like Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Chuck Palahniuk. The idea that I might make it onto the 2005 ballot, well, it almost makes up for the fact that the planet is trying to kill me. Wish me luck…

And in the biggest news of the week- Siren Promised is here!!! The official hardcover release from Bloodletting Press is now available, and from the copy I’ve received I can tell you that it’s gorgeous. Alan’s art has never looked better. People that pre-ordered copies should be receiving them within the next week. I hope you dig it!

If my allergies get any worse today, I’m going to use my home norepinephrine injection kit. And then I’m going to go bowling and utilize that synthetic adrenaline rush to roll the best game of my life. This is the lamest plan I have ever cooked up, but it’s got a certain charm.

Solidarity, brothers and sisters,