Bizarro Fiction #1: Reading It, Understanding It, Writing It

the-bizarro-starter-kit-orangeA class facilitated by Bradley Sands
Date: Friday, August 26
Time: 8 PM
Admission: free, but please donate $5 if you can!
Presented by The Hollow Earth Society and The Public School New York


Bizarro is a genre of fiction that is often considered the literary equivalent to the movies in the cult section of a video store. The simplest way to describe it is fiction that focuses primarily on weirdness. Despite the diversity of the books and that the individual titles can be categorized under almost every fiction genre in the publishing industry, there are a few components that bizarro books tend to share. These include black humor, absurdism, surrealism, occurrences of the unreal, and shock value.

In this class, we will read and discuss work written by authors currently associated with the bizarro movement. In addition, we will examine their influences (or the proto-bizarro authors who came before them). In regards to our own writing, we will write bizarro fiction by participating in in-class writing exercises. One short assigned writing exercise will be due the second session. Each student’s assignment will be discussed as a class. If you would like more detailed information on the bizarro genre, read its Wikipedia entry at or go to

Bradley Sands is an author and editor of the bizarro journal, Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens (he was also its former publisher). He holds an MFA in Writing and Poetics (with a concentration in prose) from Naropa University. He became involved with the bizarro movement a few years before the term was coined. His books include It Came from Below the Belt (Afterbirth Books), My Heart Said No, But the Camera Crew Said Yes! (Raw Dog Screaming Press), Sorry I Ruined Your Orgy (Lazy Fascist Press: an imprint of Eraserhead Press), and Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You. Forthcoming books include Please Do Not Shoot Me in the Face, two additional books through Lazy Fascist Press that are currently untitled, and TV Snorted My Brain (LegumeMan Books). His novella, “Cheesequake Smash-up” was included in the second edition of The Bizarro Starter Kit (Blue). Visit him at, although the protagonist from his most recent book (Rico Slade) has taken control over it and refuses to give it back until the end of July.

Recommended reading for the first session: D. Harlan Wilson’s stories from The Bizarro Starter Kit (Orange edition). It is available for purchase here: If you would like a free PDF of the book, contact Bradley at and he will send it to you via email.

Optional reading:

The three volumes of The Bizarro Starter Kit. These include:

The rest of the Orange edition of the Bizarro Starter Kit

The Bizarro Starter Kit (Blue):

The Bizarro Starter Kit (Purple):

And two free issues of Bradley’s literary journal, Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens. These are PDFs that are available here: The two issues are Issue Y’aing’ngah and Issue 7.

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