How to Eat Fried Furries

Having just discussed the potty-humor-filled extravaganza Dark Jesters, it was ironic that the next book for review was How to Eat Fried Furries by Nicole Cushing, which begins with a tale involving excrement on an epic scale. I’d have to create a spreadsheet and compare the projects side-by-side to determine which one has more poop jokes (I have no immediate plans to do so) but I think the opening tale in How to Eat Fried Furries may defeat Dark Jesters in quantity if not in level of detail.

Also ironic is that for my birthday I got the entire series of Monty Python’s Flying Circus on DVD, which I’ve been watching over dinner for the past couple of weeks. How to Eat Fried Furries also bills itself as a “flying circus,” and the feeling is indeed similar–bizarro stories with sort of a common theme (furries) that are connected by surreal bits of Terry Gilliam animation. No, wait–instead of being connected by Terry Gilliam animation they’re connected by pseudo non-fiction bits on the subject of furries (y’know, squirrels, ferrets, bunnies, etc.). Much like an episode of Monty Python, you won’t find coherent plots or much of anything resembling traditional story structure, but rather a barrage of amusing weirdness.

Actually, one of the stories doesn’t have any furries in it that I could find–just cows and pigs. And not real cows and pigs, but children forced into cow and pig suits and forced to live like…uh, you get that this isn’t a normal book, right? It’s half-LOL and half-WTF?

Obviously, this is not a book destined for Wal-Mart distribution. I’m not sure I can even say “If you would buy a book called How to Eat Fried Furries, you’ll love it!” because I can see somebody saying “Ha ha! That sounds like a clever and amusing lark!” and not being prepared for the level of sheer weird that lurks within. Personally, I enjoyed every f***ed-up page of it. Will YOU like it? To test this, you’ll need to visit the publisher’s website, Eraserhead Press. I think you will discover very quickly if you are the target audience for this kind of fiction, or if you wish for it to be never spoken of again.

How to Eat Fried Furries isn’t available for pre-order yet, but you can follow Nicole Cushing (and see a picture of her in a cow suit) at

DWELLER at Amazon

The paperback edition of Dweller is now available for pre-order from Amazon. Order now! Order often!

Butcher Knives & Body Counts

First of all, I apologize if my update yesterday about the Conan O’Brien/Jay Leno situation distracted you from the part of the website where I’m trying to convince you to pre-order a copy of the hardcover limited edition of Dweller. That certainly wasn’t my intention. Just scroll right past it.

Meanwhile, Dark Scribe Press has announced the final contributor’s list of Butcher Knives & Body Counts, a collection of essays about the classy world of slasher flicks. I have an essay in there about the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and one about what I must now sadly refer to as the original Mother’s Day, since a remake is on the way.

I really, really, really can’t wait to read this book. Learn all about it at

The Late Night Wars!!!

I’m finding myself surprisingly obsessed with the whole Jay Leno/Conan O’Brien thing. It’s probably because I have a book deadline coming right up, and so anything that is NOT a book deadline becomes a source of great interest. But, also, I’ve read The Late Shift and was an avid watcher of late night TV back when the first round of chaos began, so it’s fascinating to watch the drama continue to play out.

The real question I take away from this whole thing is: They gave Jimmy Fallon a frickin’ late night TV show? Jimmy Fallon? The guy who couldn’t get through a single joke in Weekend Update without stumbling over a line? I dunno, maybe his show is a work of genius, but…Jimmy Fallon? Really?

I watched the very first episode of Late Night With Conan O’Brien, back when people were flipping out over “They’re giving Letterman’s show to a guy with no on-camera experience???” I watched him for about the first year, during which I found him kind of funny, sometimes. (Ahhhhh…I feel such nostalgia for the days when I could devote an hour a day, five days a week, to watching a TV show that didn’t even impress me all that much.)

Since then, the grand total of my Conan O’Brien viewing totalled to, I dunno, the equivalent of two full episodes. (I’ve never seen Triumph the Insult Comic Dog or the Masturbating Bear.) But last night I decided to watch his final appearance on The Tonight Show. And it was…kinda funny. Sometimes. The bit with Steve Carrell as an NBC employee conducting Conan’s exit interview could’ve been a gem, except that Conan was laughing hysterically through the whole thing, making it feel more like they were rehearsing the bit than actually performing it.

Overall, I can’t quite see the NBC executives as demonic villains. In 2010, in a world of thousands of TV channels and TiVo and the internet, it seems odd to say “The 10:00 PM Monday through Friday slot must be filled with an hour-long drama! A drama!” Would they really be destroying the legacy of The Tonight Show by moving it back half an hour? Playing Armchair Executive here, it seems like it would work out in his favor, since he’d gain from the people who watch the first half of Letterman and then switch over when the second-tier guests arrive.

[Note: The preceding opinions are not based on having any actual idea of what I’m talking about.]

But if you’re one of those people proposing an NBC boycott: stop it. You look stupid. And The Office is an infinitely better show than anything being discussed, and does not deserve your petty vengeance.

Dweller: The Collector’s Edition(s)

The Leisure paperback edition of Dweller, my second “serious” novel,¬†will be in bookstores everywhere in April, but for those of you who want a hardcover limited edition (only 100 copies of the numbered edition and 26 copies of the deluxe lettered edition will be sold), they’re available for pre-order right now from Dark Regions Press!

Or you can get it (and much of my other stuff) from The Horror Mall!

When Toby Floren was eight years old, he discovered a monster living in the woods behind his house. A ghastly, frightening creature with claws, fangs, and a taste for human flesh. As he ran out of the forest, screaming, Toby felt that he’d been lucky to escape with his life.

Years later, Toby finds comfort with the creature. It’s his own special secret–something that nobody else in the world knows about. Somebody to talk to. Somebody to confide in. Sure, Toby has concerns about his own sanity, but really, what boy wouldn’t want to be best friends with a monster in the woods, especially if he’s being tormented by bullies? The creature, who he names Owen, may be the answer to his problems…

From Jeff Strand, the author of Pressure, comes the story of a macabre, decades-long friendship. A relationship that will last their entire lives, through times of happiness, tragedy, love, loss, madness, and complete darkness.

Dweller. The lifetime story of a boy and his monster.

(NOTE: The estimated ship date for the hardcover edition is March 2010, which puts it out ahead of the mass market paperback edition. But this is not guaranteed–it may be out a bit later. Just stating this upfront, because I know how you get when your beastly rage bubbles to the surface.)

(While you’re there, why not pick up a copy of the trade paperback edition of Gleefully Macabre Tales? Wouldn’t that be cool?)


By Trevor Strong of The Arrogant Worms. Video by Terri Garey. TRY to get it out of your head!

Wanna Know What Sucks?

The Florida Film Festival, The Sarasota Film Festival, and the Sunscreen Film Festival are ALL THE SAME WEEK! What’s up with that?

Movies & Music & Stuff

Yesterday I saw THE BOOK OF ELI. I loved the first hour. I loved the second hour somewhat less. Still a good movie, but no DAYBREAKERS. (Since I regard author and video game designer Richard Dansky as a model of intelligence and good taste, I momentarily questioned my love for DAYBREAKERS when he devoted a blog entry to how bad the movie was…but, no, I think he’s merely had one sorbet too many…)

I also re-watched a movie for a fun project that I don’t think I’m supposed to talk about yet. There are few things better than watching a movie like this and saying “That’s right–I HAVE to watch this movie! I’m WORKING! I’m being PRODUCTIVE!” I also have to rewatch ROBOCOP for an essay I’m writing for a book about great science fiction movies. Life is good.

And…last night I finally got to see Jonathan Coulton live in concert, since his tour has brought him to Florida. If you’re the kind of person who would visit this website, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with Jonathan Coulton, but if not, just know that he does funny music with a high geek quotient. “Re: Your Brains” is probably his most popular, but other great songs include “Skullcrusher Mountain,” “Creepy Doll,” and “I Feel Fantastic.”

Yet as great as Jonathan Coulton was, I’ve gotta admit that I loved the opening act even more. I’d heard that Paul and Storm were really good, and I was looking forward to seeing them, but I hadn’t actually listened to their music before the show. I think I was biased because “Paul and Storm” sounds like it should be one of those obnoxious, unfunny Morning Zoo radio shows. But they were funny, relatively tasteless, had great stage banter, and were genuinely talented musicians. All of their CDs now reside on my iPod.

Today I gave a 90-minute talk on how to write humor to the Tampa chapter of the Florida Writers Association. I didn’t see any scowling faces in the audience and nobody gave me the finger when it was over, so I think it went well. They sold raffle tickets for the opportunity to sit next to me at lunch afterward…and people bought them! I hope that the lucky winners feel they got their $1 (6 for $5!) worth.

The Best Movies of 2010

I’ve only seen two movies this year, one of which was made in 1974. However, that won’t stop me from compiling my official Best Movies of 2010 list!

1. Daybreakers

2. Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974)

Will the order change? Will I watch other movies this year to challenge Daybreakers for the #1 spot? Only time will tell…

A Teaser…

For those of you who don’t feel you spend enough on my books, I have some exciting news coming next week.

In the meantime, THE SEVERED NOSE has a trio of five-star reviews at the ordering page at The Horror Mall. You like books that receive five-star reviews, don’t you? Check it out!

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