ABORTION ARCADE is a fantastic trio of bizarro tales from a great writer.
In the first story Cameron Pierce manages to turn the zombie story on its head whilst seamlessly blending a romantic tale of heroism and escape into the mix. Perhaps it can be read as a commentary on modern Western society’s desire to produce zombies and consumable products in a pseudo-religious culture full of symbolism and dark intent, or it can just be read as an absurd tale featuring cannibalism, helicopters and a goblin. The prose and characters are typically engaging of Pierce, dark humour mixed in with really quite horrific imagery.
The second story is simply a wtf kind of tale. It begins with a back-up quarterback at Heavy Metal High School being an outsider, a laughing stock almost. Oh, and he’s a werewolf. He must get in an accident, part of the initiation of the world Cameron crafts. What happens after the accident is just brilliant. A series of events leads him to his Heaven, which turns out to be not as great as he imagined, typical Pierce then. Funny, bizarre and certainly different to mainstream nondescript blocks of text. I enjoyed the story a lot. An allegory on what lengths people go to to fit in, and also why you shouldn’t meet your heroes.
The last story is a sad tale about a cycling enthusiast who wants to kill the elephants infesting his and his wife’s apartment. It veers away from that angle quite sharply, becoming seriously poignant and weird at the same time. I don’t want to spoil it at all, so go read it. It truly is fascinating and remarkable that Pierce captures such a visceral world in such a short space of words. My favourite of the three stories in this collection.
Pierce shows he has boundless imagination and a solid prose style in this book. Recommend it to pretty much everybody. The deeper themes are always sensible and interesting, only the surface may put people off. It’s a shame because Pierce deserves to be recognised as a great writer, full of wit and humour and definitely examining the human condition in profound ways. Though not as deep as his novel SHARK HUNTING IN PARADISE GARDEN, this book is probably my favourite collection of his shorter works thus far.
* The book has been recognised as one of the best bizarro short story collections of the year by being nominated for the Wonderland Book Award along with some other fantastic books! Congratulations to Cameron for his achievement!
You can get the book in paperback or for your kindle from amazon here
Or you can check out his amazon page here for his other works
Cameron’s blog is here
Cameron is also the editor of Lazy Fascist Press, an imprint of Eraserhead Press
He has a new book coming out soon titled DIE YOU DOUGHNUT BASTARDS which promises to be a sweet read.