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 Curse by 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 May by 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.)
Wasps by 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!
You can get a copy here: Shock Totem 10
*This issue was provided by Shock Totem in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*