Three Reads w/ R.A. Harris

There is no credit sequence. We don’t need to run them tonight. Our viewers want the meat, they want the meat cubed or smoothed into a paste. We can do that. I’m going to quick run out this salad to table three, get ready for the rush. Don’t spill the water. Never neglect to salt your meat and keep your hands to yourself. They’ve got rope and chairs. We can feed them with their own forks, keep their mouths pried open to ingest the mango, the tuna, the halibut. It’s made of meat. The restaurant’s open and we’re rolling. This is our apparatus. This is our art. Let it stew. Stir the soup. Eat your meat.

Our guest has arrived. Show him to his table and give him a slice of spinach. Make him eat it. He’s brought some books to the table like a gentleman. He’s dressed in black. Don’t cut to a commercial, keep it close on his face. Ladies and brutes, allow me to introduce you to R.A. Harris, author of Apparatus of Capture (Dynatox Ministries) and the Bizarro Pulp Press release All Art is Junk. Pick up his napkin and give him another. Don’t let him soil the meat. See the way he smooths the pages, caresses the contents. He smashes the table with the books. And what shall we make of this table-smashing artist of words? Summon the chefs. Speak, chefs, speak rich praise to wet the tongue of tonight’s most honored guest:

(On Apparatus of Capture) “Lightning fast, short, chaotic, thought-provoking, mind-exploding art.” — Pedro Proença (connoisseur of all things awesome and all around good guy)

All Art is Junk is a stunning debut novel from a unique voice in the Bizarro fiction genre, Mr. R.A. Harris.” — Jason Wayne Allen (Author of Rot Country Blues)

“Harris brings this world to life as if he were painting the pages rather than writing them.” — Vincenzo Bilof (Author of Mother, I’m not an Android)

Silence! The main course is making its way to Mr. Harris’ table. Make room. Don’t slip on the ice. Watch out for the noodles and tear the pages to shreds, stuff them down your greasy throat and fill your mind with fiction. That’s an order from on top, from the big shark. Excuse the flames. And the paper plates and plates of trout and bass, catfish-cake and lamprey nuggets, leeches and cobra-soup. We have it all. The man approves. He’s finished his plate and the piano is playing. It’s an old tune, Elvis or Sinatra. Now, for dessert, R.A. Harris will comment upon some books. He keeps these books close to his heart. Closer than his own ribs, they have made their way into his bones like worms.

R.A. Harris, please stand and speak. The world awaits. Thank you.

kyoto

The Kyoto Man by D. Harlan Wilson
D. Harlan Wilson transcends fiction. His is the breath that gives it life. His is the shape that gives it form. He doesn’t write fiction, he writes beyond fiction. If that sounds stupid, it’s because it is. Wilson is a stupidly good writer. Read him at your own peril.

Oh yeah, this particular book concerns the woes of a man who literally and repeatedly turns into the Japanese city of Kyoto. Yep.

barry

Beyond Apollo by Barry N. Malzberg
I can’t lay claim to being that clued up on sci-fi through the ages. My knowledge of it is sporadic at best. However, I can safely say that Beyond Apollo is one of the best books ever written. Once you have read this, you will most likely want to read more Barry Malzberg, and that is only a good thing.

humanity

Humanity is the Devil by Jordan Krall
Krall takes the essence of evil and distils it into anti-novel form in what amounts to one of the most powerful and visceral reading experiences you could hope to have. Humanity is the Devil pulls no punches. It creates a dread atmosphere that doesn’t let up until long after you’ve finished reading.

The entire restaurant smells like clams. There are clams in the noodles, clams in the burgers, clams dripping from the ceiling fan. I hear a hummingbird, a black telephone. I pass R.A. Harris his black leather gloves and shake his hand. It’s been a good night, a good feast. Your limo awaits, it’s time to go. New York or New Jersey is just a heartbeat out the door. Mind the rain. Thank you, R.A. Harris for sharing your literary choices with the chefs and the servants, for breaking the table and devouring the sloppy treats of our labor. We appreciate you being here. Please come again. We like to see you eat.

If you wish to spend more time with us, there are a few other minds out there who have been kind enough to be with us, including Grant Wamack, S.T. Cartledge, David C. Hayes, Bix Skahill, Dustin Reade, Amanda Billings, Daniel Vlasaty, Andy de Fonseca, and Tiffany Scandal. Be well.

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