Tag Archives: Feral House

Publishing Unbound: The Fearless Audacity of Feral House

feral houseAre you looking for boundary-pushing literature to simultaneously shock and delight you? Feral House might just be the publisher for you.

On March 11, Heathen Harvest featured an interview with Adam Parfrey, the founder of Feral House, in which they discussed the press’s beginnings, its mission, and its continued challenging of the taboo.

Prior to founding Feral House, Parfrey was no stranger to the publishing world. Fresh out of college, he helped found three different magazines, covering everything from graphic arts to “outsider” books. Parfrey followed his interest in fringe books to create his own publishing house, dedicated to shattering notions of what is or isn’t appropriate for literature to discuss. The publisher only produces books that it deems “feral”wild, dangerous, challengingenough, but it’s not enough to write shocking material. The books have to be well-written.

“That’s the biggest problem with these issues,” Parfrey says. “People think, ‘oh, I’m going out on a limb because it’s about Satanism’ or ‘it’s about murder’ or this and that, but then these books are not so great. . . . The subjects have to be approached in an intriguing way.”

Still curious to what Feral House is really all about? Look no further than their 2015-2016 season. 

Late October 2015 brought about the timely rdeath confettielease of Disco’s Out… Murder’s In by Heath Mattioli and David Spacone. This book is an uncensored account of the violent lives of the La Mirada Punks, also known as “L.A.’s Deadliest Punk Rock Gang,” and their notorious leader, Frank the Shank. Death Confetti, which releases June 14, is a collage of Jennifer Robin’s unapologetic musings on her life in Portland, from its ’90’s grunge emergence to its current hipster-haven reputation. Robin is neither delicate nor meek in her exposure of Portland from the inside out in this raw and riveting portrayal.

That’s the Feral House approach in a nutshell: delve without flinching into the gritty.

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Celebrate Halloween With Spooky Reads + Meet ChiZine Publications!

What better way to celebrate Halloween than with a spooky book? We’ve pulled together a list of five titles that are perfect for the holiday! Plus, we’re proud to introduce one of our new publishers, ChiZine Publications, experts at publishing all things creepy. With titles from Coffee House Press, Manic D Press, Centipede Press, Feral House, and Flying Eye Books, you’ll find something thrilling to dive into this weekend.

UprightBeastsFirst up, we have Upright Beasts by Lincoln Michel and published by Coffee House Press. The short stories contained in this collection are dark and absurd, and will make you think about accidental murder, bestial transformation, and more.

If you’re looking for something more tame for younger readers, c43Monstersheck out 43 Monsters by Arthur Bradford and Chuck Webster from Manic D Press, a quirky and colorful illustrated book that introduces readers to some pretty lovable monsters.

WeirdFictionReviewNext, we suggest Weird Fiction Review #5 from Centipede Press, the newest installment in this yearly journal dedicated to weird and supernatural fiction, featuring original stories and essays that will keep you awake all night for Halloween.

Neighbors from Hell by Jan Frel and John Dolan and published by FerNeighborsFromHellal House features real-life monsters living in America, your neighbors. It’s a children’s book for adults, with playful rhymes providing an informed perspective on social and economic issues we have all experienced.

Finally, ImImeldaelda & the Goblin King from Flying Eye Books/Nobrow will soothe you with beautiful illustrations as you follow Imelda the fairy through the dark forest to battle the Goblin King, all to return the Fairy Queen to safety.

After you’ve read these titles, check out ChiZine Publications, one of our new publisChiZinehers! We are happy to welcome them to Consortium and look forward to adding them to our “dark fiction” roster. They certainly know what they’re doing— in 2014 they won The Horror Writers Association Specialty Press Award! Check out the National Post‘s profile on ChiZine and their website to learn more.

 

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Huffington Post Profiles Adam Parfrey and Feral House’s Edgy Persona

Ferel House publisher Adam Parfrey in Port Townsend, WA.

Feral House publisher Adam Parfrey in Port Townsend, WA. Photo Credit: Huffington Post

Feral House and its creator Adam Parfrey have marched to the beat of their own subversive drum since the very beginning. Since 1989, Feral House has successfully made a niche for themselves through publishing “high quality books on forbidden topics,” as they proclaim on their website. They are well-known for publishing controversial materials that many mainstream bookstores refuse to sell. On October 13, Michael Nirenberg for Huffington Post released part one of his two-part interview with Adam Parfrey, where they discussed the press and its specific market.

 

Parfrey started out writing articles for magazines. His first foray into publishing was with Amok Press, a venture Parfrey started with his friend Ken Swezey, who ran Amok Catalog. The duo’s first book, Michael by Joseph Goebbels, was a pro-Russia book with touches of early Nazism.The title received a glowing review from the New York Times, the first and last major review one of Parfrey’s titles would receive for many years: “No other book, until like 25 or 30 years later, got a favorable write-up in the New York Times.” Feral House’s lack of success and appreciation from the mainstream market does not bother Parfrey: “I’m not in it to make money—it’s the wrong business for that.”

Though many mainstream bookstores want benign titles, Feral House refuses to giWhyHopeve in. Part of the reason why they are so successful is because of Parfrey’s adamant stance on what the press publishes: “We don’t do fiction… Poetry, we don’t do. We don’t do books with short stories.” Instead, they only publish non-fiction titles, creating an eclectic catalog that does not stray away from controversial topics. For example, one of their recent titles Why Hope? The Stand Against Civilization by the eco-anarchist John Zerzan is a provocative slam against technology.

Adam Parfrey and Feral House teach us an important lesson: lack of mainstream success doesn’t equal failure. Unconcerned with awards and accolades, Parfrey publishes books he believes in, a business plan that has clearly worked for the tenacious Feral House.

 

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