In this tenth issue of "Shock Totem," you will find fiction from Trace Conger, David G. Blake, Thana Niveau, Margaret Killjoy, and eight other fantastic authors. T.E.D. Klein breaks his long silence in an exclusive interview with Barry Lee Dejasu. Paul Tremblay is also interviewed. Plus reviews, nonfiction, and more... Come see why "Shock Totem" is billed as ..".one of thIn this tenth issue of "Shock Totem," you will find fiction from Trace Conger, David G. Blake, Thana Niveau, Margaret Killjoy, and eight other fantastic authors. T.E.D. Klein breaks his long silence in an exclusive interview with Barry Lee Dejasu. Paul Tremblay is also interviewed. Plus reviews, nonfiction, and more... Come see why "Shock Totem" is billed as ..".one of the strongest horror fiction magazines on the market today" (Hellnotes)....
|Title||:||Shock Totem 10: Curious Tales of the Macabre and Twisted|
|Number of Pages||:||146 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Shock Totem 10: Curious Tales of the Macabre and Twisted Reviews
Shock Totem is a magazine which features interviews, both fiction and non fiction offerings, as well as poetry and even flash fiction. I've discovered some phenomenal new-to-me authors through it also, which is why I was saddened to learn that this will probably be the last issue for a while. They will still be publishing books though, so all is not lost, and hopefully they'll be returning to the magazines at some point in the future. So with that business out of the way, this issue was a kick-ass example of all that Shock Totem Magazine can be. First off, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that awesome cover by Mikio Murakami. As a piece of artwork it inspires me because I can't help myself from thinking what is its purpose?Barry Lee DeJasu has a few pieces in this issue that I enjoyed-an essay regarding the haunting of his college and an interview with horror author T.E.D. Klein. The man is not very prolific but what he has written is legendary in the genre, and the interview was enlightening. (So much so, that I'm reading Dark Gods by T.E.D. Klein now.)My favorite story in this edition has to be the first,The Henson Curseby Paul Hamilton. I can't exactly put my finger on why it appealed to me so much, but it did. Perhaps it's just the somewhat whimsical idea behind it-purple fur blowing in the breeze. ( I know this because at the end of the book, there's a chapter where the authors briefly discussed how their stories were inspired.) Three Years Ago This Mayby Trace Conger was one of my favorite types of short stories-the "punch you in the gut" style. Turns out, this is one of his favorite types of short stories too, so it's no wonder that we're both tickled as hell at this one. (And after reading his explanation about the inspiration for this story, I've added Jack Ketchum's The Box to my reading list.) Waspsby Thana Niveau gave me a serious case of the creeps. Something about evil little girls always makes me uneasy. As do, you know, wasps.Bloodstains & Blue Suede Shoes, Part 8 was a non fiction entry. It's a column that I've enjoyed in the past and that hasn't changed. The mid 90's music scene is the focus of this piece and it brought up all kinds of memories. I've always enjoyed reading Shock Totem and I plan to pick up the few issues I've missed. There are always a wide variety of articles and stories in which to bury yourself and even if all of the stories don't work for you, the ones that do are well worth the low price of admission. Highly recommended!*This issue was provided by Shock Totem in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*
Shock Totem was the first horror magazine I ever collected and holds a special place within my heart. Many of the stories they’ve published in the past have stayed with me as examples of the best short, dark fiction has to offer, including “The Meat Forest” by John Haggerty and “Beneath the Weeping Willow” by Lee Thompson. I went into this, it’s final issue (for now), with great expectations. While I’ve never heard of the majority of these authors, their work speaks for itself.Paul Hamilton subverts the living puppet trope in "The Henson Curse," a dark fantasy that's a lot more thoughtful than the silly subject matter has any right to be.D. K. Wayrd's "Blue John" is a period piece, set in England. The ending announces itself quite early, but it was a fun read from start to inevitable conclusion.Trace Conger's "Three Year's Ago This May" was a non-starter for me, until the point where it actually made me flush. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but sometimes a single sentence can really make all the difference to a story’s success."Malediction" by Margaret Killjoy kicks it up a notch with strong prose and an interesting premise. I'm not a huge fan of first-person narratives these days, but I'll make an exception when the story is as well written as this. Yes, it's post-apocalyptic. Yes, there are people dying. But hang in there until the depressing, bitter end."Sweet William" by Mary Pletsch is a strange little tale of plants gone wrong. I liked this one. It's well written and rather entertaining, but I do have one complaint: it's all told via a single stretch of reminiscing, with very little present-day showing. I would have liked a little more "why" and "what next" to really round it out.I wasn't sure what to make of Roger Lovelace's Shock Totem Flash Fiction Contest winning story, "There's a Tongue in the Drain," and its theme of adolescent (sexual?) curiosity. In the end, its creativity won me over, as well as its solid pacing. He packed a lot of imagination into a thousand words and that’s always an impressive “feet” (ba-doom ching!).“Wasps” by Thana Niveau called to mind another Shock Totem classic, “Stabat Mater” by Michael Wehunt, with its focus on those little yellow bastards and the madness they, apparently, imbue. The ending got away from me, but there’s a lot to like here, especially this, my favorite passage from the story: “It was a long walk down the street to his house. Black and white tufts of fur led the way into his garden like nine discarded lives. [My cat] Domino’s open-mouthed, vacant face haunted me for weeks, and I woke from nightmares full of yowling and hissing cats.”“The Tall Man” by Eric J. Guignard is a nice vignette about the specter of a giant who haunts only one man.“The Eavesdroppers” by Sarah L. Johnson is the perfect kind of micro-fiction: exceptional atmosphere and prose hoisting up a fascinating idea that leaves you wanting more. “Don’t let them see your face, the ones who dwell in the hollow. It’s the water, you see. Lakes, pools, even a puddle will do. Any dark standing water big enough to hold a reflection. Like ghosts behind a mirror, they’re drawn to the surface, to that thin membrane separating our world from theirs. They exist in emptiness. They are hungry. They are cold.”“The Last Treehouse,” by David Blake, closes out the last issue of Shock Totem in spectacular fashion. It’s been said that editors choose the best stories for last, and “The Last Treehouse” only seems to prove the point. I’ve followed Blake’s career for some years now. Every story I’ve read of his has been a fine piece of poetry, evocative, imaginative and altogether perfect. With its unexpected mix of sci-fi and dark fantasy, this one deserves a place among the best stories Shock Totem has ever published.Shock Totem #10 is another solid effort from Ken and John. A single issue can’t hope to sum up all the amazing work they’ve introduced to us, but it should keep you sated for a good long while. Rest in peace, little magazine, until the time is right for you to claw your way out from six feet under and rise into the moonlight once again.
This is my first issue of Shock Totem. I went into it knowing the magazine was no longer going to be published (at least for the foreseeable future), and half way through the pages I got bummed out about that news, as this magazine deserves to be continued and read. Shock Totem has a lot going for it. The covers are amazing and the contents is a mixture of inspiring interviews and a large handful of well-rounded horror fiction with no two stories alike--all well written. I only have the kindle version, but I'll bet the print versions sexy up a shelf real nice. Good job, Shock Totem gang! I hope that one day you'll return from the grave.
A strong issue early (The Henson Curse is one of the best stories I've read in any of the issues) lost some of its momentum towards the end. Still, enough great stories further prove a new issue of Shock Totem is always a good thing.