While I'm in a reviewing mood I thought I might mention The Lifted Brow. I'm specifically talking about the Lifted Brow no7. Some of the other TLB publications I've read were less to my taste. However number seven really packs a punch. It's a remarkable collection of wild unregulated fiction from writers you've almost certainly not heard of (at least I haven't). They seem to be mostly young Australian and American authors.
There's no index, no publisher page, no author bios and only a very short editorial. In fact I don't even know how many stories are in here. At a guess I'd say about thirty (not including a few comic strips) and they're mostly fairly long stories. There's also a lot of extra artists who have apparently contributed by drawing small penises and shoes in the little spaces above and below the stories.
The collection starts out with an untitled, uncredited and truly bizarre story about a guy called Ricky. He seems to be losing his mind on some type of dissociative drug (well that's my interpretation). From there we get two super short stories of only a paragraph each and then a long, surreal piece about a vindictive santa claus who transforms the protagonist's father into a reindeer. After that is a story about a dinner date featuring a Liberian warlord in a house where every object and surface is completely covered in carpet. Following this is a comic but apparently factual account of a Bachelor and Spinster ball in rural Queensland. The collection continues on in this way, and there's a lot of it. I'm inclined to think the first half is of somewhat better quality than the second half, but there's certainly nothing bad here.
Thanks TLB for no7! Can we have some more like this one day?