The Black Aether

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The Black Aether

Jason Wayne Allen – interview

 First of all, could you introduce yourself to the hungarian audience? Who are you, what was the first thing in your life that inspired you to grab a pen or a keyboard and start writing fiction, and how many books have you written so far? We already know that you like beer and playing Nintendo, but maybe you can tell us something about your favorite game as well, and the best beer you can find in Arizona.

My name is Jason Wayne Allen. I am originally from North Alabama, but live in Mesa, Arizona with my wife, two dogs, and my one year old grand daughter. I’ve been writing for most of my life and got my first story published in 2012. I have three books published: Shoggoth Butt Invasion, Ichthyic in the Afterglow, and a book co-written with Don Noble called Pounded by a Pound Sign. I have short stories in a few anthologies. I’m pretty much a retro-gaming nut. I collect classic consoles and games, but recently got a Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is currently my favorite game. I am also in the process of editing a video game magazine called Minus World Reviews and have a few Bizarro writers, like Bradley Sands, already helping out with that. So I stay busy. My favorite beer is any kind of IPA. I really like Laguanita’s IPA which you can find here.

How would you describe your literary style to a person who has never read or heard about bizarro fiction in his life?

Hyper-sexual and ultraviolent. Goofy, funny, dark, sometimes introspective and heartfelt. I’m all over the place.

How did the works of H.P. Lovecraft affect your work as a writer? And besides him, who would you mention as the main influences you had before you began writing stories?

 I like Lovecraft’s monsters a lot and the theme of the fear of the unknown. I’m influenced by a lot of people. William Burroughs, Carlton Mellick, Joseph S. Pulver, Stephen King, Douglas Hackle…Too many to mention.

How do you think: Could bizarro as a genre exist without the Lovecraftian funds? If so, would it be different? Or if not, why not?

Bizarro could exist without Lovecraft, but when writing in a genre where the goal is to be as weird as possible the Weird/Lovecraftian fiction influence is bound to bleed in there. I think having Lovecraft in your ’writers toolbox” is a good idea when writing weird stories. A cool example of Lovecraftian/Weird fiction blending with Bizarro everyone should check out the anthology Strange Vs. Lovecraft (published by Strangehouse Books in 2013). I’m in that anthology along with a bunch of other Lovecraft-influenced Bizarro writers. That anthology gave me permission, kind of, to write something like Shoggoth Butt Invasion. Like, I can write Lovecraftian fiction and not have to be so serious all the time.

In the past few months I’ve made some of my friends to read some bizarro flash fiction. Some of them loved it, but some of them told me, that this is just fucked up fetish-literature. I began to think about this, and came to the conclusion that at some point they might be right. Jordan Krall has this weird foot fetish thing, and Edward Lee once told in an interview that he kinda has a thing for girls’ bellybuttons. How do you think, is it necessary to have some unordinary desires to write a good bizarro book? What did you have in mind while you were writing the story of Beatrixxx Gibbousbottom?

I think everyone, to some degree, has some kind of sexual fetish. Straight, missionary vanilla sex is boring, but if you like that kind of sex I suppose that could even be considered a fetish. When I wrote Beatrixxx I kept the word ”Erotica” out of my head. I wanted to write the literary equivelent of hardcore pornography, and let the sex carry the story. I wanted to write Debbie Does Dallas, but in Lovecraft’s Arkham.

I’ve read Shoggoth Butt Invasion and I thought it was pretty fun to read. But what were the reactions of the american lovecraftian community? Did you get any bad reviews or did they get the joke and enjoy it as well?

Actually it was pretty well recieved, surprisingly. Everyone that I know read it seemed to enjoy it, thought it was funny.

What do you think: what would Lovecraft say or think if somehow he had a chance to read Shoggoth Butt Invasion?

I don’t think Lovecraft would read it based on the title alone. I would probably never have been friends with Lovecraft.

Are you planning to release anything that carries on the legacy of Lovecraft in a direct way like Shoggoth Butt Invasion?

Yes, kind of. I have a collection of short stories coming out called The Meat Parade and there are a few Lovecraftian stories in there. Nick Gucker did the cover art, and it’s awesome! I can’t wait to see it go out into the world.

Do you have any advice for young writers, who feel an urge to carry on the heritage of H.P. Lovecraft in a bizarre, unordinary way, like you and the authors of your anthology?

Use the influence, but be as original as possible.

Do you have a message fot the hungarian Lovecraftian community, and for the ones who seem to be interested in bizarro fiction?

If they’re interested in Bizarro fiction, Bizarro is always interested in readers.

Thank you very much for your time, and we wish you all the best! Hope to read something cool from you again soon!

Thank you for this opportunity. You guys are doing cool stuff!