It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…insane!

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These plays, plays by Axelrod, Mark, the other Axelrod, not the one who worked for Obama, Obamaless, the other Axelrod, his plays, are. And are the plays of Axelrod, no
t the one who worked for Obama, Obamaless, and are the plays of Axelrod, Axelrodian.  Yes, in all manner of speaking, speaking high or low, they are and you, the Reader, Reader of Axelrod, not the one who worked for Obama, Obamaless, the other Axelrod, should read these plays with relish. For without relish, they would not be as absurd.
—Samuel Beckett


Can Superman avoid deportation?

Will Van Gogh survive an IRS audit?

Does Donald Trump talk to himself?

Has the world gone mad?

This outrageous and timely collection confronts our contemporary nightmares with devastating wit and insight. In the provocative title play, Superman stands trial as an illegal alien. In “A Colloquy of Birds,” Axelrod takes aim at a flock of notorious Republican women — the “politically effete.” And just when you thought it was safe to applaud, experience the maniacal monologues of Chairman Trump.

Here are eight rousing absurdist dramas destined to be modern classics.

SUPERMAN IN AMERICA & OTHER ABSURD PLAYS
by Mark Axelrod
Trade paperback, 354 pp.,  $16

CLICK HERE TO ORDER ON AMAZON

 


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PUB-NOTES

♦ We will soon be accepting submissions for our online cabaret, le scat noir. 
♦ watch for  a new book by doug rice on september 15th.  here lies memory is truly an unforgettable novel.
♦ alPHONSE allais’s first book (published in france in 1891) was titled A se tordre. this collection of 45 pieces, drawn largely from his contributions to the avant-garde paper  Le Chat Noir, put the author on the absurdist map. presently, our own doug skinner is putting the finishing touches on his translation — double over — which will feature the full volume plus additional texts not included in the original. to make this black scat edition even more special, there are drawings, detailed notes on the texts, and an introduction by skinner. needless to say, we are thrilled to be publishing this first  english translation — a most fitting addition to black scat’s series of books by the master humorist.
 ♦ also on the way … “the obsession issue” of black scat review. this is the magazine’s 16th issue and features eye-opening works by william gibson, Violet Capers, tony duvert, samantha memi, paulo brito, and many others.
♦ finally, don’t miss #32 in our absurdist texts & documents series: TRUE CRIME: The People vs. Rrose Sélavy.  this dada chapbook is destined to be a collector’s item.  
Happy labor day!

Monsieur Godeau, party of one, your table is waiting…

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“It is upon this one comedy that Balzac can lay any claims as a dramatic artist.”
—The New York Times

If you missed the limited edition published in 2013, the wait is over. Mark Axelrod’s translation of this obscure comedy by Balzac is now available worldwide on Amazon in a handsome paperback edition.

Originally presented under the title Mercadet or The Good Businessman, this play in three acts appears to have inspired the creation of the unseen character in Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. Indeed, 102 years before Godot ‘s debut, Mercadet opened at the Theatre du Gymnase-Dramatique in Paris and—curiously enough—featured a character named “Godeau” who never appears on stage.

A comic coincidence? One of life’s little absurdities?

The translator met and corresponded with Beckett, and in WAITING FOR GODEAU we present an unpublished letter from Beckett in which the burning question is answered.

Or is it?

You be the judge.

WAITING FOR GODEAU
by Honore de Balzac
Translated from the French by Mark Axelrod
5.06″ x 7.81″ (12.852 x 19.837 cm)
trade paperback; 154 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0692738108
$12.95

CLICK HERE TO ORDER ON AMAZON

Right ho! Let the games begin and the plot thicken!

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We can’t think of a better way to kick off the summer than with  the launch of this delightful comic novel by the great P. G. Wodehouse.  Originally published in America in 1919, A Damsel in Distress is vintage Wodehouse—a whimsical romance filled with amusing twists and turns and a cast of memorable characters. The novel was adapted into a Hollywood musical starring Fred Astaire, Joan Fontaine, George Burns, and Gracie Allen.

This handsome Black Scat trade paperback edition features original illustrations by artist Allen Forrest.

We invite you to stretch out in the hammock with a chilled cocktail and this unforgettable farce.

A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS
by P.G. Wodehouse
with illustrations by Allen Forrest

$14.95
Trade paperback; 334 pages
5.06″ x 7.81″ (12.852 x 19.837 cm)
ISBN-13: 978-0692724491

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pg2Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (1881 – 1975) was one of the most popular humorists of the twentieth century. The author of nearly 100 books, he is best known as the creator of the Bertie Wooster and Jeeves series and the novels and stories set at Blandings Castle. In the words of Evelyn Waugh, “Mr. Wodehouse’s idyllic world can never stale. He will continue to release future generations from captivity that may be more irksome than our own. He has made a world for us to live in and delight in.” Indeed, in the wondrous land of Wodehouse a faux pas often constitutes a crisis and the farce of human foibles rules the realm. The master’s intricately designed plots are peppered with potholes for his characters to stumble over, the street signs have all been mischievously switched and identities mistaken – yet all roads lead to a happy end.

It’s beddie-bye time!

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A new book by Doug Skinner is always cause for celebration, but this collection of 40 short stories calls for a month-long festival of merrymaking.

In SLEEPYTIME CEMETERY you’ll discover a world of ostensibly human specimens behaving in peculiar and unpredictable ways. However, they are often recognizable in a manner we dare not admit. Skinner’s dark humor is deceptively playful and childlike, and that makes our bursts of laughter all the more disturbing.

These wickedly funny tales are guaranteed to disconcert and astonish.

Pick up your copy on Amazon here.

$14.95
Trade paperback; 208 pages
5.06″ x 7.81″ (12.852 x 19.837 cm)
ISBN-13: 978-0692633908

 

 CLICK HERE and read a free excerpt.

DOUG SKINNER has contributed to Fate, Fortean Times, Nickelodeon, Weirdo, Black Scat Review and other periodicals. His translation of G. B. Nazari’s THREE DREAMS was published by Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks in Glasgow. Black Scat Books has published many of his translations from the French, including SELECTED PLAYS OF ALPHONSE ALLAIS and THE ZOMBIE OF GREAT PERU by Pierre-Corneille Blessebois, as well as a collection of his drawings, THE UNKNOWN ADJECTIVE & OTHER STORIES, and a deluxe compendium: THE DOUG SKINNER DOSSIER.

The Game is Afoot!

“Pell’s satire doesn’t lack for sharp edges. His twisted humor is sure to appeal to crime-fiction lovers.” —THE RAP SHEET

Black Scat proudly presents Derek Pell’s  MISSING MYSTERIES — the most baffling and hilarious reference book ever published. This  special collector’s edition features a complete history of nonexistent mysteries (1840 – 2015) in one deluxe, large format paperback.

Packed with pulp, crimes, dicks, dames, thugs, puns, gumshoes and stoolies. Loaded with laughs, maps, gaffs, noir, conundrums, puzzles & quizzes. 196 pages crammed with over 100 full-color cover reproductions, plus startling excerpts, scathing reviews, outlandish blurbs and mysterious synopses.

PROMO-FINAL
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click on cover for larger view]

In the words of Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Lawrence Block: “Derek Pell is quite mad, in rather a brilliant way.”

Novelist Robert Coover has called Pell “…a wordplay master and a parodist of great wit and cunning,”  and MISSING MYSTERIES offers further evidence.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER DIRECT FROM OUR PRINTER  / CLICK HERE TO ORDER ON AMAZON

Alphonse Allais’s Absurd “Affair”!

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Adapted to film four times, “L’Affaire Blaireau” has remained popular and in print in France since its original appearance in 1899. This is its first publication in English. It is humorist Alphonse Allais’s only novel and, in the words of translator Doug Skinner: “It isn’t quite as wild or cruel as his early stories, but I find it delicious anyway. Summer in the provinces, the shrewd but impressionable Blaireau, futile political squabbles, a ridiculous but charming love story, what more could one want? And innocence is rewarded!”

Here’s a taste from Chapter I:

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THE BLAIREAU AFFAIR is a rare find to be savored by the author’s growing circle of fans in America.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER A COPY ON AMAZON

About the author:
ALPHONSE ALLAIS (1854 – 1905) began his career in Paris during the Belle Epoque. He was particularly active at the legendary cabaret Le Chat Noir, where he wrote for and edited the weekly paper. He quickly became known for his deadpan wit and inexhaustible imagination. Among other things, he also exhibited some of the first monochromatic pictures (such as his all-white “First Communion of Chlorotic Girls in the Snow” in 1883) and composed the first silent piece of music: “Funeral March for the Obsequies of a Deaf Man” (1884).

He was a crucial influence on Alfred Jarry, as well as on the Surrealists: Breton included him in his ANTHOLOGY OF BLACK HUMOR, and Duchamp was reading him on the day he died. Allais’s fascination with wordplay, puns, and holorhymes led Oulipo to call him an “anticipatory plagiarist”; the Pataphysical College dubbed him their “Patacessor.” His books have remained in print in France, and the Académie Alphonse Allais has awarded a literary prize in his honor since 1954.

Last Minute Scatastic Gifts

Here’s our last-minute shoppers guide. There’s still time to order some sublime Scat before it’s too late. Here are our recommendations by category.

Experimental fiction:
COMIC BOOK: A NOVEL
by Alain Arias-Misson
ORDER

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Ancient Zombie Smut:
THE ZOMBIE OF GREAT PERU
by Pierre-Corneille Blessebois
ORDER

***

Theatre of the Absurd:
VAHAZAR
by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz
ORDER

***
Imaginary Interviews with Artists:
IMPOSSIBLE CONVERSATIONS
by Carla M. Wilson
ORDER

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Farcical Fiction:
THE BLAIREAU AFFAIR
by Alphonse Allais
ORDER

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Absurdist Humor:
THE DOUG SKINNER DOSSIER
by Doug Skinner
ORDER

***

Literary Humor / Sports
DANTE’S FOIL & OTHER SPORTING TALES
by Mark Axelrod
ORDER

***

Off-beat First Novel
SWEET AND VICIOUS
by Suzanne Burns
ORDER

***

Absurdist Short Stories
AN INCONVENIENT CORPSE
by Jason E. Rolfe
ORDER

***

Photography
AN EROTICS OF SEEING
by Doug Rice
ORDER

***

Film Noir / Film Studies / Absurdism
REAR WINDOWS: AN INSIDE LOOK AT FIFTY FILM NOIR CLASSICS
by Norman Conquest
ORDER

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Contemporary Erotic Fiction:
THE NEW URGE READER 2: EROTIC FICTION BY NEW WOMEN WRITERS ORDER

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Victorian Erotic Fiction
HIDDEN GEMS: THE BEST OF THE PEARL
Anonymous
ORDER

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Reference / Humor
GUSTAVE’S POCKET DICTIONARY
by Richard Kostelanetz
ORDER

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Short Stories
CROCODILE SMILES
by Yuriy Tarnawsky
ORDER