Now Available!: By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends by J. David Osborne

Available now from J. David Osborne and Swallowdown Press (with an afterword from yours truly, book design by CM3, excellent interior art from Erin Elise, and amazing wrap-around cover art from Alex Pardee):

Siberia, 1953. Stalin is dead and a once-prosperous thief named Alek Karriker is feeling the pressure. Trapped in an icy prison camp where violent criminals run the show, betrayed by his friends and his body, Karriker is surrounded by death and disorder. Bizarre Inuit shamans are issuing ever-stranger commands that he must obey. Opium is running scarce and bad magic is plentiful. Razor-tooth gangsters can smell Karriker’s blood and they plan to murder him more than once. The only option: ESCAPE.

Enlisting the aid of an aging guard, a cold-blooded killer, and a beautiful, murderous nurse, Karriker must now secure his getaway by finding a "calf": a gullible prisoner to be cannibalized when the tundra is at its most barren. As the vice grows tighter and life in the gulag becomes increasingly surreal, Karriker must hurry to find his mark and convince him...


“BY THE TIME WE LEAVE HERE, WE'LL BE FRIENDS is a David Lynchian nightmare set in a Russian gulag, where its prisoners, guards, traitors, soldiers, lovers, and demons fight for survival and their own rapidly deteriorating humanity. Osborne's debut…is paranoid, cold, brutal, haunting, mystifying (in a good way), and totally unforgettable.”—PAUL TREMBLAY, author of The Little Sleep and In the Mean Time

“[A]n opium-laced fever dream, swinging readily between the surreal and the horrifyingly, starkly real. Siberia is a place, metaphoric and literal: It's an inescapable, brutal state of mind. Give in to the voices and let this story deliver its kaleidoscopic nightmare, sly lines, and the truth of a bloody, damaged, beating, human heart.”—MONICA DRAKE, author of Clown Girl

“The only thing crueler and weirder than life in Osborne's Stalinist gulag is the afterlife. Wringing an ergot-laced harvest of agony and absurdity from the bleak Siberian tundra, BY THE TIME WE LEAVE HERE, WE’LL BE FRIENDS manages the nigh-impossible feat of making Kafka's Penal Colony look like a Sweet Valley High romance.”—CODY GOODFELLOW, author of Perfect Union, Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, and Radiant Dawn/Ravenous Dusk

“This lyrical spatter of inspired dementia… reminds me of Celine in serious nightmare mode, and yet its brutality is quiet—gentle even. To find yourself enjoying forensic black humor scenes of disgust and revulsion is a tribute to Osborne’s writing….”—KRIS SAKNUSSEMM, author of Zanesville, Private Midnight and Enigmatic Pilot

"Like a rat in a bag of deer meat—this is BY THE TIME WE LEAVE talking—[it] scuttles around inside you as you read it, and you come to know that rat as your own heart. And it knows you back, has all along.”—STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES, author of It Came from Del Rio

I couldn't be prouder to be releasing J. David's debut. This book is fantastic.

And, if you know someone for whom cold, barren landscapes filled with surreal death presses their buttons... well, that's weird, but they would fucking love this for X-mas.




Coming Very Soon: The Deadheart Shelters by Forrest Armstrong

Available this August from Forrest Armstrong and Swallowdown Press:

“The literary equivalent of an Alejandro Jodorowsky film.”
— Carlton Mellick III

Never fall in love, and never try to escape.

Born into a life of brutal slavery, Peter spends his days driven into the wild by vicious dog-masters, forced to pick delicate swamp berries from the skeletons of dead reptiles. His nights offer only the brief escape of hushed conversation and the strange magnolia perfume of fellow slave Lilly.

A moment’s opportunity turns to violence and Peter is thrust into a bizarre new world populated by devious goat-men, poisonous coal-slugs, and murderous royal processions. With the help of his newfound companion, a man-sized infant named Dirt, Peter must decide between embracing his narcotic new world or returning to his old life to save the beautiful souls haunting his dreams.

With a unique poetic prose style Forrest Armstrong delivers a surreal and resonant Bizarro parable for all those who find themselves trapped deep within…

The Deadheart Shelters

This book is awesome. One of the best combinations of weird and beautiful I've ever read, and it's dropping in mid-August.




Goodfellow Month= Free Bizarro Books!

It's official, folks! May 13th-June 13th, 2010 will henceforth be known as Cody Goodfellow month (for at least a period of one month)!

In honor of this fine and lovely occasion, Swallowdown Press is offering an outstanding deal on weird shit!

Order either of Cody's astonishing books (covers shown above) and receive another book for FREE.

This includes Extinction Journals, Siren Promised, Angel Dust Apocalypse, or the giant 37 author Falling From the Sky anthology (though this last is limited 5 copies). Just order one of Cody's books, then indicate which FREE book you'd like in the Notes to Seller section.

Wait! You want more FREE books? Well, okay.

When you buy one of Cody's books and love it, do us a favor and pop up an Amazon review. Doesn't have to be epic; just 4 or 5 stars and a batch of friendly adjectives. Send me a link to the posted Amazon review and I'll send you another FREE book.

So, that's a potential 3 great books for the price of 1, and you'll receive the good karma inherent in supporting the independent press.

Anybody who's read this blog before knows that I think Cody Goodfellow is a stellar writer, one of the best in the business regardless of genre. But you don't have to take my word for it...

Check out this great review of SWFQW from Dark Discoveries: "One can certainly see influences of Lovecraft, the New Wave of SF writers of the sixties, the Cyberpunks and Splatterpunks – and even surrealists like Kafka and Borges. Don’t get me wrong though, Cody Goodfellow is one of a kind. Highly Recommended!"

Or the recent acclaim for SWFQW from Black Static magazine: "[Short story] 'Atwater' is a tour de force of reckless invention, the prose pyrotechnics and in your face imagery that are a vital component of the other stories here bubbling over like the lava flow from a misbehaving volcano."

It's also worth noting that Cody racked up four (!) Honorable Mentions from Ellen Datlow in Best Horror of the Year Vol. 2.

So, Goodfellow Month is a great time to check out a brilliant writer and cop some free Bizarro swag!

Best wishes,


p.s. New JRJ fiction dropping shortly. Just waiting to sign some contracts.


Volta Relapse

I’ve been getting some reader requests for access to the Bio/Write-up thing I did for The Mars Volta back in late 2007, for their album The Bedlam In Goliath.

When the band Bio changed to match their newest album Octahedron, the old Bedlam Bio was lost. I have placed a PDF version of it back on the Futurenet, at swallowdownpress.com.


As a “bonus” the PDF includes a (possibly un-used) t-shirt design which was based on my album-inspired symmetrina from the end of the write-up, as well as some semi-amusing composition notes from when I first started trying to decipher the album.

Just noticed today that the word “cryptomnesia” appears in the symmetrina from 2007. One of Omar’s solo albums released in 2009 (but recorded much earlier) bears that same word as its title. Could be unrelated, but either way it carries an irony given the meaning of the word.

By the way, that album (Cryptomnesia from El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez-Lopez) is the craziest thing released from this crew in some time. They borrowed the drummer from Hella and he and Omar are just freaking out. With Cedric singing on most of the tracks it’s like an alternate Volta album for people who thought Octahedron was too sedate. By random comparison, Octahedron is to Faith No More as Cryptomnesia is to Mr. Bungle.

Best wishes,




First, Cody’s got a great, very entertaining/interesting interview up at The Black Glove.

Learn how Cody got into writing at age eight, forced into action by his displeasure with the latter half of Stephen King’s The Stand.


Next, Monster Librarian has a great review for Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars.

http://www.monsterlibrarian.com/anthologies.htm (scroll down)

And Horror World took a shine to it, too.

http://www.horrorworld.org/reviews.htm (scroll down)

Also, David Agranoff says that Perfect Union is “An intelligent socio-political dark Bizarro masterpiece and one of the most original horror novels in years.” Check out the rest of the review.





Radio Ridiculoid

Someone made the mistake of allowing me near a microphone. If you’re interested in a quick burst of Dayquil-influenced jibber-jabber about Bizarro, high diving, and fighting coyotes with sticks, then you could check out this interview with me at PDX.FM.

Just play Episode 3.

At your own risk. They’re your brain cells and I can’t tell you how to waste them.




Coming Very Soon: PERFECT UNION by Cody Goodfellow

Available this February from Cody Goodfellow and Swallowdown Press, with knock-out cover art by Alan M Clark:

"PERFECT UNION is Cronenberg's THE FLY on a grand scale: human/insect gene-spliced body horror, where the human hive politics are as shocking as the gore. This book would make Marx and Thoreau's heads explode. In other words, astounding." --JOHN SKIPP, NY Times Bestselling author of The Long Last Call and The Bridge

"Look. It's very simple. If you're not reading Cody Goodfellow, then you're doing your brain a disservice. One of the best writers of our generation." --BRIAN KEENE, author of The Rising and Darkness on the Edge of Town

"Cody Goodfellow's imagination is a freeway flyer, and his prose is a ride on a rocket-sled. He's one of the two or three god-damned best writers in the Genres today." -MICHAEL SHEA, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Nifft the Lean and Copping Squid

When Drew married Laura, he also married into the Kowalski family. But on a trip with his twin brothers-in-law into the backwoods of northern California to find their abusive, estranged mother, buried secrets will be revealed, threatening his fragile marriage and his sanity.

Mom has joined a new family: Leviathan-- a utopian colony that has taken the communist ideal to radical biological extremes, using the mutagenic honey from genetically tweaked bees to make ideal workers and flawless warriors. But the once-human hive is divided by a strike and brutal internecine war, and its tyrannical Chairman is eagerly recruiting scabs.

With the Kowalski twins taking opposing sides in the colony's bitter feud, Drew is forced into a world where nothing is taboo and survival is the only law, where he must negotiate between the insane collective mind and the savage refugees, even as the battling forces of the commune work to reshape him into a tool to complete their...


You wanted epic Bizarro? You wanted the old gooey, nasty, uncomfortable Cronenberg back? You wanted a fast-paced, bugged-out masterpiece?

Well, you've got it. I love this book. PERFECT UNION is amazing and it's on its way.