Readers of Jeremy C. Shipp’s fiction will be familiar with his minimalist, breakneck pacing, his surreal forays into political satire, and his seamless blending of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Now, in his fourth book, the Bram Stoker Award finalist expands on what many critics and fans alike have long considered the most compelling aspect of his work—relationships. This story collection explores how a person’s desire can infect their every action and interaction with others. The desire to protect. The desire to hurt. The desire to be desired.
Fungus of the Heart explores what happens between people when society breaks down and the rules go out the window. Haunting and heartbreaking, pithy and potent, the quirky inhabitants of Shipp’s bizarro world will carve an indelible line from your funnybone to your spleen to your emotional core.
What Are They Saying About Fungus of the Heart
"The stories contained in this volume are extremely original, compelling, chaotic, twisted, and undeniable. This is truly imagination unleashed."
"The collection is unlike anything I’ve read before and thats where its appeal was, for me. Each story was unique and the prose is so well done, the words perfectly manipulated to flow almost like poetry. I was incredibly impressed that such disjointed images could be captured and relayed so well, through the written word."
"This book challenges the roles you and I play as humans and it is truly a memorable experience. Don’t miss it!"
—Dead Web Vaudeville
"[Shipp] has an uncanny ability to reach you through a story, grab you by the neck and shake you until your eyeballs twitch. And this isn’t as bad as it sounds; no, he makes you want to read more, and makes me want to live one of his stories."
"As I was reading this collection, I kept trying to decide whether Jeremy Shipp's skull was really a giant blender filled with lysergic acid and pixie dust—topped off with a healthy dose of aged absinthe—or a spooky insane asylum peopled with creepy attic clowns, mischievous goblins, gnomes, tree spirits, zombie polar bears, and other assorted freaks."
—Ye Olde Imagination Shoppe
"At every turn in these stories, Shipp demonstrates a macabre whimsy."
—Dust & Corruption
"When you read this collection, bear in mind that you’re not in for horror stories or stories drawn in a manner you’ve ever read. You’re in for a something surreal, something beautifully fantastic and I promise you, you won’t be bothered by the battle scars you walk away with. You’ll be grateful, satisfied that you bear those marks, proud that you took the journey right along with these misguided, damaged characters."
"This is a truly excellent selection of short stories from perhaps the most sensitive member of the modern Bizarro literary scene. His stories manage to be both weird and heartfelt. While not afraid to go into some bizarre and sometimes low-brow places, Shipp doesn’t resort to gross-out humor to make his points."
"With Fungus of the Heart, Shipp manages to find meaning and soul in the craziest of stories. This bizarro collection will leave you laughing, crying, and hiding under the covers. Sometimes all at once."
—Daniel Pyle, author of Dismember and Down the Drain
“The stories in Fungus of the Heart are dark and edgy, blurring the line between fantasy and reality with ease. Jeremy C. Shipp delves deep into the human psyche to reveal man’s worst fears.”
—Amy Grech, Author of Blanket of White and Fallen Angel with Michael McCarty
“This is Jeremy Shipp’s second collection of short fiction, and I think what we’re seeing here is the maturation of a powerful and important voice in modern speculative fiction. I’ve said before that Shipp’s writing is alarmingly bizarre, but that doesn’t do justice to the moral consciousness that is woven throughout these stories. Every tale in this collection is its own world, its own universe in a nutshell, and yet they are linked by Shipp’s increasingly sophisticated insights on what it means to be human. This book is a triumph.”
—Joe McKinney, author of Quarantined and Apocalypse of the Dead
"Jeremy C. Shipp writes with an original voice. The surreal stories in Fungus of the Heart are each as distinct as a retinal scan. Recommended."
—Gene O'Neill, Deathflash and Not Fade Away