(pb; 2013: novella)
From the back cover:
"MERMAID [mur-meyd] "noun" -- a rare species of fish evolved to resemble the appearance of a woman in order to attract male human prey. Mermaids are protected by the government under the Endangered Species Act, which means you aren't able to kill them even in self-defense. This is especially problematic if you happen to live in the isolated fishing village of Siren Cove, where there exists a healthy population of mermaids in the surrounding waters that view you as the main source of protein in their diet.
"The only thing standing between you and the ravenous sea women is the equally-dangerous supply of human livestock known as Food People. Normally, these "feeder humans" are enough to keep the mermaid population happy and well-fed. But in Siren Cove, the mermaids are avoiding the human livestock and have returned to hunting the frightened local fishermen. It is up to Doctor Black, an eccentric representative of the Food People Corporation, to investigate the matter and hopefully find a way to correct the mermaids' new eating patterns before the remaining villagers end up as fish food."
"Like a Lovecraftian version of David Lynch's Twin Peaks, Village of the Mermaids is a dystopian mystery for the bizarro fiction fan. It proves, once again, how cult author Carlton Mellick III brings the weird to a whole new level."
Short (111 pages), waste-no-words, mysterious, atmospheric, creepy, full of odd humor, twists, turns and interesting characters, this novella lives up to its bizarro classification, one of the best I have read in the genre, and one of the best I have read this year. Village is worth owning.