My friend Alex Dawson recently built a dieselpunk used book store atop a '59 flatbed truck, which he calls the Rac-On-Tour (years ago, he used to own a bookstore named The Raconteur). And since he was already deep into Whimsy Country, he decided to have a monthly event, ROT Fest, with various attractions, including a fire eater.
So that's where I'll be tomorrow. I'll be doing a brief reading and a question-and-answer session and there will be a selection of my books that you can (but don't have to) purchase. The event runs from noon to six p.m. But I'll be reading at 3:15 p.m.
Mostly because: How often do I get to do a reading at a used book store with a fire eater?
Highland Park Farmers Market
Main Street Highland Park
212 Raritan Avenue
Highland Park, NJ
Noon to 6:00 p.m.
July 16, 2022
And here's Alex's official pitch and schedule:
is ROT FEST? It's Ren Fair and Wasteland and Comic Con and The Highland
Games. It's sword-fighting and fire-spitting, It's winning an award for
the most extravagant beard or for throwing a truck tire farther than
anyone else. It's author readings and live music. Collectibles,
antiques, vintage clothing, and trading cards. It's cosplay. It's
taxidermy and outsider art. Pre-war motorcycles and hot rods. It's
blacksmithing and glass blowing. It's raconteurs and roustabouts. Rotgut
and goblin pulp. It's Neil Gaiman and Dr. Who, Hellboy and Spirited
Away. It's Mad Max. It's Diagon Alley meets Burning Man. It's books,
books, and more books.
Why just R.O.T., when you can R.O.T. (&) FEST(er).
ROT FEST II (July 16) roster:
The Rac-On-Tour (of course): curated used book caravan built on the back of a '53 International flatbed.
Bongo Dave: vintage vinyl (outlaw country, jazz, funk/soul, soundtracks, international, 80's).
T. (The Nihilistics, Missing Foundation, CBS, NPR, SiriusXM, WFMU,
WNYC, Writer/Producer) brings you THAT CAVE: Man Cave & More!
Antiques • Books • Collectibles • Electronics • Guitars/Amps/Effects •
Hand Tools • Hi-Fi • Lighters • Old Paper • Vintage Toys • Vintage
Clothes, etc. Many cool, interesting & useful items – no junk.
authentic Viking Reenactment. A Living History Display with an
educational emphasis on daily life of the period, games, stories, combat
demonstration, and wares for sale.
Apex Primate: Simple, dark designs inspired by the natural world and the ancient human animal. On t-shirts.
Recchia: An artist who makes beautiful monsters to cope with real ones.
Plushies w. zombie teeth. Eyeballs in weird places. Think (Francis)
Bacon meets (Rick) Baker. Pan's Labyrinth in oil, resin, and shag.
Shergalis: artist, illustrator, comics creator; psychedelic imagery,
intricately inked line work over saturated colors. Roots in Peter Max
and Adventure Time.
Celia Sanchez, a multidisciplinary artist based out of New Brunswick.
Michael Jarmus: sci-fi/fantasy vendor, selling swords and a range of fantasy/science fiction memorabilia.
Phantom Food Truck: Don't let the name fool you, they do much more than
soup: BBQ Pulled Pork over Mac 'n' Cheese, Jambalaya, Chicken and
Shrimp Gumbo, Pepper Steak over Rice, Seafood Paella. Plus fresh, green
salads! Food so good, it's scary.x
PM - Karnevil Side Show: Classic carnival feats of pain proof daring
and wonder (including bed of nails, ladder of blades, human blockhead,
straitjacket escape, and more).
1:00 - - Joe Galuppo, folk singer/songwriter.
2:00 PM - Karnevil Side Show
2:15 PM - Keith McCarthy, an award winning Asbury Park alt-country/Americana singer/songwriter; front man for the Sunday Blues.
PM - World Fantasy Award winner Michael Swanwick. A master of
fantasy/science fiction and "one of the country's most respected
authors" (Philadelphia Inquirer), Swanwick's work has been called
"marvelous" (New York Times) and "extraordinary" (Wall Street Journal).
His stories have appeared in countless magazines (and Best of Year
anthologies) and have been translated into dozens of languages. His
novels include the New York Times Notable Book The Iron Dragon’s
Daughter and the Nebula Award-winner Stations of the Tide. He is only
author to win five Hugo Awards in six years. Check out the adaptation
of his story Ice Age on Netflix's Love Death + Robots.
PM - BELIEVE: Tales From the Crypt(id). Join me, and nine talented
young writers/former students as we "crack that cryp" and declaim brand
new, original stories about fearsome critters that may or may not exist.
We'll make you believe. With Tyler Gamba, Devon Borkowski, Melissa
Cecchina, Michaela Schwab, Gregory Giovannini, Ben Rivera, Benjamin
Rivera Torres, Mason Springer-Lipton, Julian Lance, and yours truly
(Alex Dawson). Plus special guest Stoker Award nominee Carol Gyzander
reading from her new book, Forget Me Not, a new cryptid novella in the
Systema Paradoxa series from NeoParadoxa.
4:45 - Karnevil Side Show.
- Needlez: Fire performance, includes eating, spitting, and other
skills based on juggling, baton twirling, poi spinning, and object
Unshavian - George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion) was a playwright with a big
badass beard. His fans were called Shavians. Got a big badass beard?
Come be judged by Justin from The Pogo Beard Company. The Unshaviest
wins bragging rights and ROT bux.
Tire Toss - How far can you toss a sixty pound tire with a 5-lug rim? Farthest throw gets bragging rights and ROT bux.
Darts - Hit the cork on the side of our truck and win ROT bux.
Galaga - Beat the ROT's high score on our Galaga arcade cabinet and win, you guessed it, ROT bux.
Plus (fingers crossed): vintage motorcycle/hot rod show, taxidermy, and toy collectibles.