miserable love stories

I’m incredibly excited to announce that my Miserable series has been picked up by Skyhorse Publishing!  And the newest book Miserable Love Stories is scheduled for release in January, 2020, just in time for Valentine’s Day.  This news has been bubbling up for most of the past year – but now that we have the cover and are moving to the final production stages, I’m thrilled to release the information.  MLS will be part of Skyhorse’s Racehorse imprint and will have distribution through Simon & Schuster.

Subtitled 25 Romantic Disasters That are Worse Than Yours and featuring stories that have appeared in such eclectic journals as New Pop Lit, The Big Jewel, Gi60, Blue Skirt Productions, MidAmerican Fiction and The LegendaryMiserable Love Stories is now available for pre-order on Amazon and at fine bookstores pretty much everywhere.

After MLS, the next book in the series is scheduled for release later in the 2020.  It’s a significant expansion of one of the current Miserable books and will render the previous version as a collector’s item!  So, pick up the originals now while you still can!

 

And here’s the blurb copy for Miserable Love Stories:

Funny Short Stories for Heart-Breakers, the Broken-Hearted and the Completely Utterly Confused

Whether you’re headed to that exciting first date where you’ll inevitably spill Cabernet all over yourself or you and your significant other are celebrating Date Night #4,081 with an extra pint of Halo Top, everyone can agree on one thing: Love Stinks. How to escape the endless cycle of melancholy? Well, you probably can’t. What you can do is take comfort in humorist Alex Bernstein’s new collection of stories about miserable mad crushes, amorous infidelities and bittersweet romances.

Hear stories of horrific bridesmaids’ dresses, strange love at airports, awkward confessions, manic pixie dream girls, the bizarre state of future sex and, of course, true, everlasting love. So, curl up with your favorite valentine and enjoy such titles as:

Circle in the Square
The Qualified Apology
The Eight Hour Kiss
The Deli Chick
The Forrest Gump Question
Sexpo 2041
Come Home Soon
My Annoying Mother
And more!

Commiserate lost love and painfully awkward first dates with Miserable Love Stories!

 

miserable adventure stories wins 2018 best indie book award!

I’m incredibly thrilled and honored to announce that Miserable Adventure Stories has won the Best Indie Book Award for 2018 in the Novella/Short Story Collection category!

The Best Indie Book Award™ is an annual international literary award contest recognizing independent authors in twelve major genres. Entries are limited to independently (indie) published books, including those from small presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors.  #BestIndieBookAward

Featuring stories from New Pop LitThe Big Jewel, Frontier Tales, Near to the Knuckle, Headstuff, and other literary journals with equally fancy names, Miserable Adventure Stories is a collection of tales calculated to take you to Victorian London, the Old West, alien worlds, Hamlet’s Denmark and other fantastic places that you would absolutely never want to visit!

Miserable Adventure Stories is available in paperback and as an e-book at Amazon.com and fine bookstores everywhere!

For more information on BIBA and the other 2018 award winners, click here.

give the gift of misery!

Even Santa agrees – Miserable Holiday Stories is the perfect holiday gift for that very special someone you’d rather never hear from again!

Featuring the the infamous chapter-book parody “The #$@!# Bicycle Boys Save Christmas, Again!” and stories from such eclectic journals as The Big Jewel, Litro, Corvus, eFiction, Dysfunctional Family Story, The Legendary, Blue Print Review, and Hobo Pancakes!

This collection of quirky, bittersweet tales is a terrific stocking stuffer and cheaper than coal!

Now available in e-book and cheap gaudy paperback to boot!

chili challis – BAM!

I was heartsick to hear of the passing of comedian Chili Challis last night. Chili was both a friend and hugely inspirational to me. When I was a teenager in Cincinnati in the late 70’s getting my comedy start at d.w. eye, Chili came in (along with John Riggi and Will Durst) with his extremely solid act, raising the bar for every comic that followed.  I was in awe of Chili (he was Bert Challis back then).  Sometimes he was so good I just got angry and jealous – but in retrospect, I realized that it was because of him, Riggi, and Durst that the eye got put on the map in the first place.  While the rest of us were figuring the game out, and wearing training pants, Challis was giving real legitimacy to the club.

So, then about 10 years ago, when I started writing Plrknib – my book about d.w. eye – I found myself back in touch with Chili. He was hugely supportive of the book, and I discovered how much we had in common: we both loved comedy, comedy writing, nurturing and supporting new comics and talent.  (He spent a tremendous amount of time running well-respected comedy Dojos for stand-up newbies across the country.)  And a few years ago, he introduced me to ComedyWire – one of the nation’s fastest growing comedy writing hubs.

We also both had deep root feelings for Cincinnati and getting our comedy starts at d.w. eye.  And of course friends and family were important to both of us.

So, I was thrilled last year, when Chili didn’t just agree to join me, Michael Flannery, and the other comics for the d.w. eye reunion – but also to bring along his brilliant son and comic, Thaddeus Challis, to join us and carry on the tradition. That’s what Chili was about.

So, I won’t say RIP Chili Challis – I’ll say what he said, everytime he ended one of his GREAT bits: Chili Challis – BAM!


Unfortunately, we didn’t get a lot of pics at the reunion show, but here’s a phenomenal selfie Chili took of himself, Drew, and Marty Polio (who joined us at the last minute) back stage.  3 d.w. eye Legends.

And check out the video above for his performance last year at the eye reunion.

jim gilliece

Jim Gilliece was a d.w. eye favorite that I did not know during my tour of duty at the club back in the late 70’s/early 80’s.  I knew Jim had been a part of Chip Chinery’s Comic Relief show in 1991, but I never met him until last summer’s Reunion show.  One of the great things about the reunion was that so many people – performers and fans – came out of the woodwork to celebrate the legacy of d.w. eye.  It’s been more than a year now, and I can still barely describe what an extraordinary, funny, emotional evening that was.

One of the highlights was getting to meet Jim Gilliece for the first time.  As you can see in the video, Jim was warmly called to the stage by an audience that knew and loved him.  And not just from his stand-up, but from his years of running Chez Nora in Covington, KY.  Jim, I learned later, came out of stand-up retirement to do that eye reunion show – and as you can see – when he performs he is totally in control of what he’s doing onstage.  I vividly remember watching his act and being deeply impressed.  I got to spend some time with him after the show, and he wasn’t just funny, but tremendously sweet and generous to boot.

Jim passed away this past Saturday from lung cancer.  I feel honored that I got to share an evening with him.  You can read more about him here.

And, from Chip Chinery, here’s Jim’s performance at the 1991 Comic Relief Show.

plrknib now available at quimbys!


Chicago residents!  Both Plrknib and Miserable Adventure Stories are now available at Quimby’s! – Chicago’s  favorite independently owned bookstore that sells independently-published and small press books, comics, zines and ephemera. They “favor the unusual, the aberrant, the saucy and the lowbrow.”

And god knows, Prom on Mars books are certainly lowbrow! 

I, myself, have never actually been to Quimby’s – don’t get to the Chicago area too much – but I hear it is super cool and groovy!  And don’t forget to pick up some underground zines while you’re there!

Miserable Adventure Stories – Now Available!

I’m pleased as punch to announce the arrival of my second fiction collection, Miserable Adventure Stories – just in time for the holidays!

MAS is a pulpy, genre-bending brew of pieces that have appeared over the past few years at New Pop Lit, The Big Jewel, The Zodiac Review, Defenestrationism, HeadStuff, Blue Skirt Productions, Saturday Night Reader, Near to the Knuckle, and Gi60.  It’s a companion piece to Miserable Holiday Stories (both of which are now available in lovely print editions!), and…it’s, uhm, actually much funnier than that volume, IMO.

MAS features a whopping 15 stories, including the soon-to-be classics “The Rottweiler”, “Across the Tundra”, and the fresh-off-the-presses parody of Lincoln in the Bardo – “Groucho in the Bardo”.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

Tentacled monsters! Frozen wastelands! Nixon! Sherlock Holmes! Groucho! In his latest collection, the author of “Miserable Holiday Stories!” takes you to Victorian London, the Old West, alien worlds, Hamlet’s Denmark and other fantastic places that you would absolutely never want to visit. Featuring stories from The Big Jewel, New Pop Lit, The Zodiac Review, and other literary journals with equally fancy names, this head-scratchingly awful collection will make you wonder why you didn’t just stay home and rent a movie.

Miserable Adventure Stories retails for a measly $6.99 in paperback and an even measlier $1.99 for the e-book.

Order both collections and give your loved ones a truly disastrous stocking stuffer!