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February 8th! Today’s our second look at Bizarro Pulp Press’s 2021 lineup. Each week through February, we will be showcasing one of the upcoming titles we acquired for the weirdest and wildest of Journalstone’s imprints. This week, we share with you Luke Kondor’s THE RUN FANTASTIC, a title which has all ready garnered quite a bit of advance praise.
Let’s start with the below cover art:
This cover is a mixed-media collaboration between Nicholas Day and Don Noble.
And, say, would you look at that fancy blurb! From the one and only Carlton Mellick III, the titan of Bizarro himself, offering up quite the line for Mr. Kondor: “…the future of Bizarro fiction.” The thing is, though, we don’t think Mellick is wrong. THE RUN FASTASTIC is . . . and we apologize if you don’t like corn, but, uh, THE RUN FANTASTIC is fantastic. This book has serious crossover appeal, we think, and we would feel perfectly comfortable recommending this title to readers who find themselves sitting on the proverbial fence when it comes to diving into Bizarro. Weird, but accessible. High-concept, but relatable. Serious contemplation, but injected with an earnest humor.
So, let’s take a look at the book’s synopsis and chase that with an excerpt:
At 5:45 am, Ampersand Jones develops a brain aneurysm and dies in his sleep. He then gets up and goes for a run. With his positive-thinking podcasts for company, he decides that he’s going to run himself back to life, having to outrun warring running clubs, reanimated road kill, and the personification of death along the way.
The Run Fantastic is a surreal comedy about lost boys and dead things, sitting somewhere between The Mighty Boosh, Peter Pan and Beetlejuice.
As Dottie climbed into bed, asleep before she even finished yawning, Ampersand set aside a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. He dug out a headband from the sock drawer. It was a gift, a joke, on account of how unlikely it was that he’d ever use it.
Who’s laughing now, eh?
He snickered, remembering the time he claimed that he was allergic to exercise, that it brought him out in fevers and made his skin blotchy. Still, here he was, setting a headband aside and completely prepared to use it.
He took out the shoebox from the bottom of the wardrobe, blew the dust from it, and opened it for the first time. The special running shoes he’d bought all those years ago, finally ready to be put into use.
The new-shoe smell filled the room as he took in how bright the yellow fabric was, how clean the red laces were, how springy the flappy middle bit was.
They were perfect.
The adrenaline was leaving him by that point, making space for the exhaustion to fill. He was quite sure that it had simultaneously been the shortest and longest day of his life. Setting his phone down on the bedside table, he climbed into bed, and looked upon his sleeping wife and thought about how this was it.
This is where life begins.
He clicked off the bedside lamp and quickly, and deeply, drifted into sleep.
And then promptly died.
After Ampersand dies, his journey begins. And you, the reader, will run right along with him as he tries to run back to his life, running in a marathon that one could only find in the midst of a proper Bizarro title. THE RUN FANTASTIC was an easy acquisition for us, and we can’t wait for this book to find its audience.
THE RUN FANTASTIC is coming from Bizarro Pulp Press and Journalstone in August, and should go live on or around the 27th. We will be sure to post any updates and pre-order information. In the meantime, consider familiarizing yourself with Kondor’s work:
Luke Kondor’s Amazon page is HERE
And you can find Luke Kondor online HERE!
And that is it for this week! Be sure to join us next Monday (Feb 15th) when we take a look at a debut horror novella from Kyle Wright, IN CONTROL, an entry into the hallowed halls of unreliable POVs and narrative descents into Hell. Lyrical, haunting stuff…
Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!