In a previous article, I briefly discussed some independent authors that were worth picking up. Since I only got to six, I didn’t cover nearly all the authors that I believe today’s readers need in their life. It would be incredibly difficult to get to them all, so here’s six more.
1. Andre Duza
An author of Bizarro, horror, and Bizarro horror. I first discovered Andre Duza in the Orange edition of the Bizarro Starter Kit with his novella Don’t F(beep)k With The Coloureds. This odd novella was about a scientist discovering a special type of drug that brings cartoons into the real world. A weird and violent take on the Roger Rabbit and Cool World concept, I was immediately hooked.
From his hilarious horror-comedy collaboration with Wrath James White, Son of a Bitch, to his more straightforward but still unique zombie novel WZMB, Duza is a must read for horror fans who want something different.
2. Joey Comeau
Some may recognize Joey Comeau as the former author of the now concluded webcomic A Softer World. The poems he wrote to accompany the photography of Emily Horne were so good, they got me to seek out more of his work.
In addition to writing other comics, Comeau has written several other books. I previously covered Malagash, but every book of his I’ve read is worth reading. He’s covered a wide variety of genres as well. His first novel was an LGBT adventure called Lockpick Pornography, he’s written two horror novels, and two books of stories written in the form of resume cover letters. His prose is deceptively and masterfully simple. If you want to read excellent, heartbreaking stories with some of the best minimalist prose out there, pick up one of Comeau’s books.
3. Jordan Krall
Jordan Krall started off as an author of Bizarro, but after his first few books, he moved towards a more experimental style.
He’s had a very prolific output, releasing novels like Humanity is the Devil, short story collections like Nightmares from a Lovecraftian Mind, and several books that defy categorization. He’s released so many books, that it can be difficult to know where to start. Personally, I’d recommend Humanity is the Devil; a disturbing experimental work that examines misanthropy and Gnosticism. Krall is a necessary addition to any adventurous reader’s library.
4. Gina Ranalli
Like Krall, Ranalli started off as a Bizarro author, but moved away from the genre. In Rinalli’s case, she moved more toward horror.
Ranalli’s early Bizarro work, like Suicide Girls in the Afterlife, are well worth reading, and she certainly didn’t lose her touch when she moved to horror. She already showed signs of wanting to move to more straightforward horror with her psychological horror novella Wall of Kiss. She’s since put out several books about monsters, haunted houses, and more psychological horror stories. If you want to support an excellent indie horror author, pick up some of Ranalli’s work.
5. Anthony Neil Smith
When I first read Anthony Neil Smith, I didn’t know his real name. The first book of his that I read was XXX Shamus, which he wrote under the pen name Red Hammond. It was an entertaining detective book full of sex and violence.
Not long after he revealed himself as Red Hammond, I picked up his first novel Psychosomatic. That book convinced me that Smith is a born storyteller. It was a tight, tense noir story that had just as much sex and violence as the book he wrote under a pen name. If you need some fucked up noir that reads like a more lucid Will Christopher Baer, Anthony Neil Smith is your man.
6. Tony Rauch
Rauch is a writer of whimsical short stories of all types. He’s written realist, magic realist, fantasy, science fiction, and Bizarro stories. What they all have in common is a distinctive sense of humor and sadness.
Even the titles of his books are evocative; eyballs growing all over me…again, what if i got down on my knees, i’m right here. His stories feature everything from giant chickens to tiny elephants to alternate dimensions. Even his realist stories have a sense of wonder about the world around us to them in addition to an awareness of how heavy that world can be. If you want some great short stories, pick up some of Rauch’s work.