Zach Bartlett is a librarian and former Masshole living in New Orleans along with a closet full of threadbare punk t-shirts. His irreverent fiction has appeared in magazines and podcasts including Mad Scientist Journal, the Overcast, and Speculative City. He’s a frequent collaborator with the local reading series Esoterotica, and has co-written three Fringe Festival shows alongside their regular cast. To Another Abyss!, his debut novel, was recently published by Spaceboy Books. He is also a first reader for Strange Horizons magazine.
I spent the first 26 years of my life in Western Massachusetts doing the normal things you do around there (loitering, breaking into abandoned factories, quitting menial jobs) and getting a degree in journalism just before the local paper fired its entire newsroom. Some friends then lured me down to New Orleans where I got a job tricking people into reading books.
I’d been an ardent reader since I stopped being able to keep up with computer games’ hardware requirements in my late teens, but I really became hooked on genre fiction in college upon discovering that Weird Tales was actually still in print. Ann VanderMeer was editing it at the time so the stories were WEIRD-weird rather than just Lovecraft-weird.
After several fits and starts with various kinds of writing I began performing with the spoken word series Esoterotica here in New Orleans, eventually producing two collaboratively-written stage shows with the group. Our first, Pervspectives, was a piece of immersive theatre performed at the 2013 New Orleans Fringe Festival. Beyond Desire, from the 2014 Fringe, was a play about relationships designed to be completely gender-neutral and performed by a rotating cast so as to constantly switch the dynamics of any given scene. Offbeat Magazine said that the show “captured the nuances and multifacetedness of real relationships in ways that traditional art often cannot” in their review, and we were notably the only Fringe show they reviewed in print that year.
I’ve focused more on fiction writing in the last couple years, with a handful of short stories in magazines and podcasts and my first novel, To Another Abyss!, published by Spaceboy Books.