D. Harlan Wilson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
D. Harlan Wilson
D. Harlan Wilson reading at Kafe Kerouac in Columbus, Ohio
D. Harlan Wilson reading at Kafe Kerouac in Columbus, Ohio
Born (1971-09-03) September 3, 1971 (age 52)
Michigan, United States
OccupationNovelist and professor
GenreIrrealism, Literary fiction, Science fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Interstitial fiction, Literary criticism, Literary nonsense, Biography, Theatre of the Absurd
Years active1999–present
Notable worksDr. Identity, Peckinpah, The Kyoto Man, Battles without Honor or Humanity
Christine Junker
(m. 2005; div. 2015)

D. Harlan Wilson (born September 3, 1971) is an American novelist, short-story writer, critic, playwright and English professor.[1] His body of work bridges the aesthetics of literary theory with various genres of speculative fiction,[2] with Wilson also being recognized as one of the co-founders of bizarro fiction."[3] Among his books is the award-winning novel Dr. Identity, the two-volume short story collection Battle without Honor or Humanity, a monograph on John Carpenter’s They Live and a critical study of the life and work of J. G. Ballard.[1]


Wilson began writing fiction in his early twenties when he took a creative writing course with novelist Patricia Powell while enrolled in graduate school at the University of Massachusetts Boston.[4] He has since published more than 20 books of fiction and nonfiction.[1]

Wilson is perhaps best known for Dr. Identity,[5] described by Booklist as a "madcap, macabre black comedy,"[6] and the subsequent Peckinpah: An Ultraviolent Romance, both of which he has fancifully categorized as examples of "splattershtick," a literary, comic, ultraviolent form of metafiction. He is also known for helping create and shape the aesthetics of bizarro fiction,[7][8][9] which has been described as a "mélange of elements of absurdism, satire, and the grotesque."[7] Many of his books are published by Raw Dog Screaming Press, a small press specializing in bizarro fiction.[10][11]

Much of his writing satirizes the idiocy of pop culture and western society, illustrating how "the reel increasingly usurps the real."[2][12] Taken as a whole, his writing is difficult to quantify and he has been said to defy categorization; some critics have called him "a genre in himself."[13] Publishers Weekly has described his fiction as "testosterone-fueled and intentionally disorienting" which "invokes not a dialogue with the reader but a bare-knuckle fistfight."[14]

In addition to writing fiction, Wilson is a prolific reviewer and essayist being frequently published in places such as the Los Angeles Review of Books, the academic journal Extrapolation, and the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts.[15]

Wilson is editor-in-chief of Anti-Oedipus Press, reviews editor of Extrapolation and managing editor of Guide Dog Books. He is also emeritus editor-in-chief of The Dream People,[16] a journal focused on bizarro fiction where he previously served as editor-in-chief.[17]

Academic Work[edit]

Wilson is Professor of English at the Lake Campus of Wright State University, where he has been teaching since 2006 after receiving his Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University.[18]

Wilson is the author of Modern Masters of Science Fiction: J.G. Ballard from University of Illinois Press.[1] His other academic books include Cultographies: They Live from Columbia University Press,[1] which the San Francisco Book Review called a "scholarly examination of a cult classic still debated today,"[19] and Technologized Desire: Selfhood & the Body in Postcapitalist Science Fiction. He has also written a number of scholarly articles on genre fiction along with entries for books such as The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy.[20]



  • Nietzsche: The Unmanned Autohagiography (2023)
  • Douglass: The Lost Autobiography (2014)
  • Freud: The Penultimate Biography (2014)
  • Hitler: The Terminal Biography (2014)


  • Jackanape and the Fingermen (2021)
  • Three Plays (2016)

Stand-Alone Novels[edit]

The Scikungfi Trilogy[edit]

  • The Kyoto Man: Book 3 (2013)
  • Codename Prague: Book 2 (2011)
  • Dr. Identity, or, Farewell to Plaquedemia: Book 1 (2007) — Winner of the Wonderland Book Award

Fiction Collections[edit]

  • Natural Complexions (2018)
  • Battles without Honor or Humanity (2017)
  • Battle without Honor or Humanity: Vol. 2 (2016)
  • Battle without Honor or Humanity: Vol. 1 (2015)
  • Diegeses (2013)
  • They Had Goat Heads (2010)
  • Pseudo-City (2005)
  • Stranger on the Loose (2003)
  • The Kafka Effekt (2001)

Fiction Theory[edit]

  • The Psychotic Dr. Schreber (2019)

Literary & Film Criticism[edit]


  • The Cocktail Party[21] (2006): Co-written with director Brandon Duncan, this short, animated, rotoscoped film is a highly abstracted and philosophical (post)postmodern meditation on the narcissistic themes of consumerism, redundant self-analysis and rampant hypocrisy. The film won over ten awards, among them Best Animation at ACE Film Festival.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g "D. Harlan Wilson biography" on the Los Angeles Review of Books, accessed March 1, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Interviews". Dharlanwilson.com. Archived from the original on 2014-09-22. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  3. ^ "Against Literature as System: D. Harlan Wilson’s Splatterschticks" by David Vichnar, 3AM Magazine, accessed March 1, 2017.
  4. ^ "An Interview With D. Harlan Wilson Archived 2017-06-21 at the Wayback Machine" by David F. Hoenigman, Word Riot, Dec. 15, 2009.
  5. ^ "Tying Notes to Bricks: A Conversation with D. Harlan Wilson" by John Boden, Shock Totem: Curious Tales of the Macabre and Twisted, #3, Shock Totem Publications, page 29.
  6. ^ "Review of Dr. Identity; or, Farewell to Plaquedemia by D. Harlan Wilson," Booklist, March 1, 2007.
  7. ^ a b "Against Literature as System: D. Harlan Wilson’s Splatterschticks" by David Vichnar, 3:AM Magazine, accessed March 1, 2017.
  8. ^ "A Beginner’s Guide to Bizarro Fiction" by Mike Kleine, Flavorwire, August 24, 2012.
  9. ^ "Tales From the Metalnomicon: D. Harlan Wilson Archived 2017-03-03 at the Wayback Machine" in Decibel Magazine, August 02, 2013.
  10. ^ "Author Page for D. Harlan Wilson," Raw Dog Screaming Press, accessed March 2, 2017.
  11. ^ "Raw Dog Screaming Founder Jennifer Barnes' tips on thriving as a Small Press" by Shawn Macomber, Fangoria, August 2, 2013.
  12. ^ Gurnow, Michael (2007). "Review of Dr. Identity". The Horror Review. Archived from the original on October 8, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  13. ^ "Going LIVE Interview". Archived from the original on 2021-12-19.
  14. ^ "Review of Battle Without Honor or Humanity, Vol. 1," Publishers Weekly, Sept. 14, 2015, accessed March 1, 2017.
  15. ^ "Book Review Index," Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, accessed March 2, 2017.
  16. ^ "TheDreamPeople.org". dreampeople.org. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  17. ^ "D. Harlan Wilson interviewed" by Kristina Marie Darling, Pif Magazine, Issue No. 128, January, 2008.
  18. ^ "WSU Directory". Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  19. ^ "Review of They Live (Cultographies)" by Glenn Dallas, San Francisco Book Review, Feb. 17, 2015.
  20. ^ Entry on Absurdity by D. Harlan Wilson, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Themes, Works, and Wonders, Volume 1 edited by Gary Westfahl, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005, pages 1 - 3.
  21. ^ "e x p i r i n g s u n". e x p i r i n g s u n. Archived from the original on 2014-04-16. Retrieved 2014-06-09.

External links[edit]