Tuesday, May 17, 2022

the feel bad dispatch

I decided to start a Substack. 

Subscribe to it here. 

My first post will be the return of my The Unreprinted column. Coming soon. 

Review of Music is Over! in Heavy Feather Review

 Carl Fuerst wrote an amazing review of Music is Over! over at Heavy Feather Review

"A lot of Music Is Over! invites comparisons to Murakami: the Japanese cultural elements, the dream-like setting, the juxtaposition of the surreal and the mundane, the terse narration, and the laconic dialogue. But I feel like what distinguishes this novella is how Arzate blends these ingredients with elements from folklore, science fiction, horror, absurdism, pornography, and, most extensively, bizarro. In many ways, Music Is Over! is a compact ecosystem of literary forms typically labeled as experimental or fringe."

Read the full review here

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Music is Over! Update: Signed Copies and Ebooks Now Available

The ebook for Music is Over! is now available as both on the Malarkey Books website and on Godless.com.

Get it from Malarkey Books     
Get it from Godless

I also have signed copies available directly from me. Email me at benarz13(at)gmail(dot)com to get one.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Release Day: Music is Over!


Music is Over! is out from Malarkey Books today. You can order it directly from Malarkey Books, from major online retailers, or you can special order it from your local bookstore. Take a look at what others are saying about it. 

"A cross-dressing noise musician and a young woman with facial scars walk into a bar. This isn't a joke. It's Ben Arzate's new book "Music Is Over," a transgressive subway ride through a soot-blasted, violent, sexually deviant, urban, nightmare. Everything down this rabbit hole is dilapidated, bruised, rusted and torn, from the trains and buildings, to the hearts and souls of its inhabitants. Like a reverse Alice in Wonderland, where instead of finding a land of wonders, our heroes fall into a grimy, post-industrial world of brutality and late-stage capitalism gone awry. Toto, we're not in Tokyo anymore, and the way back definitely isn't clear. Arzate is going to make his readers feel filthy, and it's going to be real hard to get the blood and dirt out from under their fingernails."

- Michael Allen Rose, author of Jurassichrist and Rock And Roll Death Patrol

"If I could describe this here’s how I would: imagine Arzate has a painters palate with all different, vibrant colors. But those colors are literary genres. He uses absurdism, bizarro, just the smalllllest hint of splatterpunk, a lot of suspense, some Japanese folklore, a little play on The Wizard of Oz, and a whole lot of literary fiction. It’s the most beautifully refreshing book I have read in years. It’s dark and depressing, but has that glimmer of hope, dangled like a carrot at the end of the string."

- Christina Pfeiffer, Mothers of Mayhem: An Extreme Horror Podcast

"Every book is an invitation. Music is Over! is no different. It is a delicate, meticulously curated and balanced mixture of the banal as well as the fantastical… in an almost blink-and-you-might-miss-it sort of way. The Japan you didn’t know existed, as imagined by Arzate! You quickly become ensorcelled, without even realizing that what is happening is actually happening. This is a world in flux, forever transmogrifying… like a cult film you accidentally stumble upon, late at night, long after the final sign-off. There is an obvious mastery of the craft. An invisible and very intense layer of magic. A world-building that makes the illusion that much more grandiose. Once more, every book is an invitation. Make sure to not miss this one!"

- Mike Kleine, author of Third World Magicks and Lonely Men Club

Order from Malarkey Books

Order from Barnes and Noble

Order from Amazon

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Top Ten Reads of 2021

Keep in mind, as always, these are my favorite books that I read in 2021. Not all of them were published this year. I encourage you to check all of them out.

10. No Tiger by Mika 

Violent and beautiful poems about war, identity, and the internet. 

Buy here

9. I Transgress, edited by Chris Kelso 

An anthology of high quality transgressive fiction from a wide variety of authors. 

Full review here

8. Fragments of a Revolution by Seb Doubinsky  

Doubinsky's excellent political novel exploring the life of a failed revolutionary in Mexico. 

Full review here

7. Lord Horror by David Britton  

A transgressive classic from a tragically recently deceased author. 

Full review here

6. Four Circles by Meg McCarville

A story of a woman's fucked up life through four cities in the US. It made me laugh, cringe, and want more from this author.  

Full review here

5. Ask the Dust by John Fante 

It's easy to see why this was Bukowski's favorite book. 

Buy here

4. The Complete Stories of JG Ballard 

This collection shows that Ballard wasn't just a great novelist, but a master of the short form. 

Buy here

3. The Secret Diary of a Soundcloud Rapper by Young Stepdad 

The funniest book I read that was also incredibly affecting. 

Full review here

2. My Dead Book by Nate Lippens

An amazing debut painting a vivid picture of the joys and tragedies of the life of a marginalized person.

Full review here

1. Forever by Thomas Moore 

Dark, poetic, tragic, and an all around amazing read. Thomas Moore continues to be one of my favorites working today. 

Full review here

Honorable Mentions

- The Tumors Made Me Interesting by Matthew Revert
- The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
- The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
- Dead Inside by Chandler Morrison
- Jackanape and the Fingermen by D. Harlan Wilson

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Double Release Day: The Celestial Bandit and The Christmas Movie

Today, I have two releases to announce. 

First, The Celestial Bandit, a tribute anthology to Comte de Lautréamont, is out from Kernpunkt Press. My story, "The Shark Child," is my contribution. I'm very proud to be part of this line up. 



Pick up The Celestial Bandit from here.

The other is my contribution to the Godless.com event, AntiChristmas. It's called "The Christmas Movie," and I think it's one of my best stories so far. If you pick it up today, Dec. 7th, for only 50 cents, you'll be entered to win a $50 gift card to Godless. 



Pick up "The Christmas Movie" from here.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Introducing Rob Ramirez with "Her Legs"


Rob Ramirez released his first story this week. It's a bizarro erotica story heavily inspired by Yasunari Kawabata's "One Arm." 

The Godless edition also includes a bonus poem from me. I hope you'll check it out and enjoy it. 

Get it from Godless


Get it from Amazon