Surrealist Daulton Dickey lives with his wife, kids, and pet human-lizard hybrid in a universe he created. He’s the author of Elegiac Machinations, Bastard Virtues, Flesh Made World, and Dig the Meat Music (forthcoming from Nihilism Revised) Contact him at lostitfunhouse [at] gmail [dot] com
Legendary in the underground for more than a decade, the controversial novel is now in print.
Sentient meat covers the world. Veins fill the bloodred sky. People transform into monsters called the Slime. Mind Quakes alter people’s consciousnesses. For That What, your typical gumshoe, the world provides more than enough work—until he’s infected with the slime.
While he struggles to come to terms with his inevitable transformation, he takes on one last job: a murder mystery with ties to the mythical King of the Slime. Finding an unlikely ally in Tonakga, a human-reptile hybrid, That races to solve the case—and to uncover the truth about the King of the Slime, who might hold the cure to his disease.
Blending pulp detective novels, surrealism, and experimental fiction, “Dig the Meat Music” is equal parts burlesque, noir thriller, experimental novel, and social commentary.
Decoupled from Reality
At some point, severe anxiety decouples you from reality. Psychologists refer to it as derealization. As someone who’s experienced such a state, I find it impossible to describe. Imagine locking yourself in a virtual reality game with photorealistic graphics: you go through the motions, retain your habits, work, spend time with family, interact with people, and so on. It simultaneously feels real and simulated, as if you’re in a moment in space and time and also outside it, peering it. The VR analogy doesn’t convey the experience but it’s as close as I’ve come to describing it. In a way, it’s like trying to describe the color red to someone blind since birth—it’s not possible; you only understand “redness” when you experience its sensations. The same holds true for derealization.
In 2013, I experienced this state for several months. It threatened my job, my relationship, and, eventually, my life. Combined with mania stemming from undiagnosed bipolar disorder, my self-induced hyper-anxiety also fueled a sustained period of writing in which I produced nearly a half million words in less than six months. Two novels, one novella, one novel rewritten from the ground up, and upwards of a dozen short stories burst from my brain as I hovered in this state. (more…)
So strong is the belief in life, in what is most fragile in life – real life, I mean – that in the end this belief is lost. Man, that inveterate dreamer, daily more discontent with his destiny, has trouble assessing the objects he has been led to use, objects that his nonchalance has brought his way, or that he has earned through his own efforts, almost always through his own efforts, for he has agreed to work, at least he has not refused to try his luck (or what he calls his luck!). At this point he feels extremely modest: he knows what women he has had, what silly affairs he has been involved in; he is unimpressed by his wealth or his poverty, in this respect he is still a newborn babe and, as for the approval of his conscience, I confess that he does very nicely without it. If he still retains a certain lucidity, all he can do is turn back toward his childhood which, however his guides and mentors may have botched it, still strikes him as somehow charming. There, the absence of any known restrictions allows him the perspective of several lives lived at once; this illusion becomes firmly rooted within him; now he is only interested in the fleeting, the extreme facility of everything. Children set off each day without a worry in the world. Everything is near at hand, the worst material conditions are fine. The woods are white or black, one will never sleep. (more…)
—So tell me why you’re here.
—I’m tired. Not exhausted, but … just, I don’t know, tired. Sarah’s wearing that gray face sad people wear, that mask with dead eyes looks like an unpainted statue.
—Can you describe it? “Tired” is so …
—I didn’t want no attention, she says. —Some people, I think, will think I did it for attention. But it wasn’t attention I wanted.
—What did you want? What did you hope to achieve?
—Shit. What you think?
—And that seemed like a solution?
—No, she says. —Not a solution. An escape.
—But an escape’s not a solution.
—Didn’t say I was looking for no solution. Escape sounded fine by me.
The doctor glances at his notes. He spins his pen between his fingers and clicks his tongue. Seems like there’s some place he’d rather be, like maybe drinking martinis on his yacht or whatever it is doctors do when they ain’t talking to suicides.
—It says here you’re on LexiPro and Wellbutrin, he says. —Were you taking them when you attempted …
—Hell yes I was, Sarah says. —They numbed things, but they didn’t stop the thoughts, the bad thoughts flying through my head. They didn’t make me feel full when all I feel is empty all the time. (more…)
Rooster Republic Press
For Immediate Release
Review Copies for Flesh Made World, an experimental novel by Daulton Dickey, Now Available
Death surrounds Sarah and Daulton. While grieving for their loved ones, they each must navigate a universe where time isn’t linear, where memories and fantasies collide and merge with reality. The dead haunt them, the world shifts and changes, and time disintegrates. Slipping in and out of the present, they relive moments from their past—and they never know when they’re in the present. As the shifts increasingly dominate their lives, as their grips on reality loosen, Sarah and Daulton struggle to find a way to orient themselves in the present, to escape the infinite loop of pain, suffering, and confusion. If they can’t find a way out, then will they be trapped in a kaleidoscope of torment and grief?
An experimental novel about death, the nature of memories, and reality, Flesh Made World thrusts readers into a hallucinogenic universe where space and time constantly unravel. Completed a day before the author voluntarily admitted himself to the hospital on suicide watch, the novel depicts people—and minds—in the grips of suicidal depression and existential terror. (more…)
“Daulton Dickey’s ‘Flesh Made World’ is a glorious mindfuck. The eloquence of Dickey’s writing style consumed me like a drug, whisking me through time and space until I didn’t know whether to go mad or fall in love. I did both and more, thanks to his evocative voice and characterization. Entertainment aside, this book has also been a huge inspiration to me as an artist.” —Jessica McHugh
About the book:
Death surrounds Sarah and Daulton. While grieving for their loved ones, they each must navigate a universe where time isn’t linear, where memories and fantasies collide, merging with reality. The dead haunt them, the world shifts and changes, and time disintegrates. Slipping in and out of the present, they relive moments from their past—and they never know when they’re in the present. As the shifts increasingly dominate their lives, as their grips on reality loosen, Sarah and Daulton struggle to find a way to orient themselves in the present, to escape the infinite loop of pain, suffering, and confusion. If they can’t find a way out, then will they be trapped in a kaleidoscope of torment and grief? An experimental novel about death, the nature of memories, and reality, Flesh Made World thrusts readers into a hallucinogenic universe where space and time constantly unravel.
A self-professed surrealist, Daulton Dickey is a novelist, poet, and content creator currently living in Indiana with his wife and kids. He’s the author of A Peculiar Arrangement of Atoms: Stories, Still Life with Chattering Teeth and People-Shaped Things, and other stories, Elegiac Machinations: an experimental novella, and Bastard Virtues, a novel. Rooster Republic Press will publish his latest novel, Flesh Made World, later this year. Contact him at lostitfunhouse [at] gmail [dot] com