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WTF Friday: Village of the Mermaids by Carlton Mellick III

Well, another WTF Friday is upon us, which means we once again turn the Ruins over to my dark half. As regular visitors will know, Foster Medina has a passion for messed up literary diversions - books that are bizarre, twisted, grotesque, and kinky - and he's only too happy to splatter them across the page.

Like a Lovecraftian version of David Lynch's "Twin Peaks," "Village of the Mermaids" is a dystopian mystery for the bizarro fiction fan.

That is a cover blurb most authors would kill for, and it's entirely deserved. When the protagonist's disease - which is slowly transforming him into the human equivalent of silly putty - is the most normal thing about a story, you know Carlton Mellick III is firing on all cylinders.

Village of the Mermaids, the milestone 40th book from the undisputed master of Bizarro horror, is one of his more subtle tales. Unlike in his spatterpunk/horror-trash tales, here we have a very slow build from awkward, to odd, to surreal, to outright bizarre. While there is a monstrous taint of eroticism to his mermaids, it's the monstrous aspect that rises to the surface (pun intended) as the book goes on, with mutant strains of spider-mermaids and drill-bit mermen appearing on land and on sea.

To make matters worse, there's something wrong with the genetically engineered human merchow that are supposed to keep them fed. It seems they are no longer tasty enough for the mermaids; they are breeding like horny cows; and they are infected with an infectious zombie plague. Add to that an isolated small town with deep, dark secrets that only begin with bestiality and cannibalism, and you just know it's not gong to end well.

A perfect length to be consumed in a single sitting (preferably far away from the edge of the sea), this is creepy enough to hook you, mysterious enough to reel you in, and horrific enough to land you firmly in Mellick's bizarro boat. Great stuff.

Paperback, 136 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Eraserhead Press

This post first appeared on Beauty In Ruins, please read the originial post: here

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WTF Friday: Village of the Mermaids by Carlton Mellick III


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