Greener Pastures—Available Now!

Greener Pastures, the debut collection from Michael Wehunt, is officially out today!


Click above to see the full wraparound cover created by Michael Bukowski.

In his striking debut collection, Greener Pastures, Michael Wehunt shows why he is a powerful new voice in horror and weird fiction.

From the round-robin, found-footage nightmare of “October Film Haunt: Under the House” to the jazz-soaked “The Devil Under the Maison Blue,” selected for both The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror and Year’s Best Weird Fiction, these beautifully crafted, emotionally resonant stories speak of the unknown encroaching upon the familiar, the inscrutable power of grief and desire, and the thinness between all our layers. Where nature rubs against small towns, in mountains and woods and bedrooms, here is strangeness seen through a poet’s eye.

They say there are always greener pastures. These stories consider the cost of that promise.

The print edition can be ordered through our webstore or Amazon. The Kindle edition can be ordered here. For other regions, see your specific Amazon website.

“Whether bathing in blood falls, listening to ghosts reveal terrible secrets hidden in the insides of jazz, to the monstrous footprints of a beast carrying inconsolable sorrow, Greener Pastures is a virtuoso performance of everything there is to love in dark fiction.” —Bracken MacLeod, author of Mountain Home and Stranded

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Shock Totem #10—Available Now!

It’s been a long time coming, but we are happy to announce that the tenth issue of Shock Totem magazine is available for purchase!


Cover art by Mikio Murakami.

Here is the official Table of Contents:

* Notes from The Editor’s Desk
* Rumor and Shadow: The Haunting of the Everett Mansion, by Barry Lee Dejasu (Article)
* The Henson Curse, by Paul A. Hamilton
* Blue John, by D.K. Wayrd
* Post-Modern Pea Soup: A Conversation with Paul Tremblay, by Catherine Grant
* Three Years Ago This May, by Trace Conger
* Malediction, by Margaret Killjoy
* Sweet William, by Mary Pletsch
* Deerborn, by Leslie J. Anderson (Poetry)
* Strange Goods and Other Oddities (Reviews)
* There’s a Tongue in the Drain, by Roger Lovelace
* Wasps, by Thana Niveau
* Standing Behind the Curtains: A Conversation with T.E.D. Klein, by Barry Lee Dejasu
* The Tall Man, by Eric J. Guignard
* Winter Fever, by Samuel Marzioli
* Bloodstains & Blue Suede Shoes, Part 8, by John Boden and Barry Lee Dejasu (Article)
* The Eavesdropper, by Sarah L. Johnson
* The Last Treehouse, by David G. Blake
* Howling Through the Keyhole (Author Notes)

The print edition can be purchased at our webstore or Amazon.com and other retailers. The Kindle edition can be found here. E-mail us directly for ePub editions.

If you have any questions, please ask. Thanks for your patience and support!

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Greener Pastures—Available for Pre-Order!

We are very excited to announce that Greener Pastures, the debut collection from Michael Wehunt, is available for pre-order.

The print edition can be pre-ordered through our webstore. The Kindle edition can be pre-ordered here.


Click above to see the full wraparound cover created by Michael Bukowski.

In his striking debut collection, Greener Pastures, Michael Wehunt shows why he is a powerful new voice in horror and weird fiction.

From the round-robin, found-footage nightmare of “October Film Haunt: Under the House” to the jazz-soaked “The Devil Under the Maison Blue,” selected for both The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror and Year’s Best Weird Fiction, these beautifully crafted, emotionally resonant stories speak of the unknown encroaching upon the familiar, the inscrutable power of grief and desire, and the thinness between all our layers. Where nature rubs against small towns, in mountains and woods and bedrooms, here is strangeness seen through a poet’s eye.

They say there are always greener pastures. These stories consider the cost of that promise.

We have been a fan of Michael’s work for a number of years now. We first published his story “Orion” in the sixth issue of Shock Totem, and as the 2012 Shock Totem Flash Fiction Contest winner, his story “Stabat Mater” was published in our eighth issue (a fitting number, as he either won or placed in the top three in our bi-monthly flash fiction contest eight times over the years). So we’re honored to be the first to collect and publish his work.

Here is what others have to say about Greener Pastures:

“With Greener Pastures, Michael Wehunt creates visions of creeping dread and transfiguration that lift a trope-heavy genre into the realm of existential poetry. There are things in here I’ve never seen before, some of which I devoutly hope to never see again. The stories thus collected trace a journey through the heartland of an America that’s unfamiliar yet primordially recognizable, stripped down to its red-soaked roots and bones–the squirming heartstrings of a nation founded by heretics and outlaws, in all its irreligious ecstasy. Occasional spasms of regret and terror aside, you’d kick yourself for not coming along.”

Gemma Files, award-winning author of Experimental Film and the Hexslinger series

“Michael Wehunt’s Greener Pastures is a wonderful collection of quietly creepy tales that are mature and smart enough to let their effects linger. An impressive debut. Just stay away from that house where your favorite weird horror movie was filmed, okay?”

Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil’s Rock

“Weird, emotionally complex, Kafkaesque, dread-filled: I might apply all these terms and more to Michael Wehunt’s collection Greener Pastures. It’s one of the finest debuts I’ve read in years. Wehunt understands that true strangeness comes out of the personal, and that true horror is what happens during the complex interactions between real human beings. Greener Pastures is outstanding work.

Steve Rasnic Tem, award-winning author of Deadfall Hotel, Blood Kin, and Ubo

“Michael Wehunt’s stories are a landscape of the strange and uncanny that his characters navigate with compasses fashioned from loss, sorrow, and solitude. Often, the true horror is not what they find at the end of the journey, but what they discover within themselves along the way. Unsettling, emotionally resonant, and beautifully written, Greener Pastures is an impressive debut.

Damien Angelica Walters, author of Sing Me Your Scars and Paper Tigers

“Most fiction can be categorized by its preoccupation with either form or content. Devotees of both camps claim superiority. Yet the best fiction—that which moves and challenges in equal measure—pushes the limits of form while fearlessly plumbing the depths of experience and consciousness. Michael Wehunt is tackling enormous, timeless questions about human life—our impulse toward conflict, our lust for immortality, our endless need for connection and communication—and simultaneously exploring the boundaries of written expression. His experiments with structure and language will attract notice but it’s the unsettling yet recognizable desires driving his characters that will resonate and linger in memory. This delightful debut collection represents the early days of what will no doubt be a remarkable career.

S.P. Miskowski, author of the Skillute Cycle series

The following will be included in Greener Pastures (running order is not finalized):

* Of Insects, Angels, and People Too Tired to Go On, by Simon Strantzas (Introduction)

* Beside Me Singing in the Wilderness
* Onanon
* Greener Pastures
* A Discreet Music
* The Devil Under the Maison Blue
* October Film Haunt: Under the House
* Deducted from Your Share in Paradise
* The Inconsolable
* Dancers
* A Thousand Hundred Years
* Bookends

* Story Notes

Greener Pastures will be officially released on April 1. Stay tuned…

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Shine Your Light on Me—Available Now!

We are very excited to announce that Lee Thompson’s brand-new novella, Shine Your Light on Me, is available.


Cover art by Mikio Murakami.

Aiden LeDoux is a typical sixteen-year-old boy when the O’Connell brothers nail his father to a tree. He doesn’t believe things can get any worse…until three months later, when a mysterious light bursts forth from his face and heals everyone in his father’s bar, from minor scrape to terminal illness.

Once word of this miracle event spreads, crazed townspeople attempt to force Aiden to use his newfound gift to heal those they love. But Aiden doesn’t know how he did it. Or why. Or if he can ever make it happen again.

In the heart of a blizzard, in the throes of fanatical entitlement, the townspeople begin to tear the town—and each other—apart, with Aiden and his family trapped in the middle…

Shine Your Light on Me is a gripping tale that illuminates the ugly underbelly of humanity. From its tense opening to its explosive finale, the monsters herein are all too real, too familiar, and Lee Thompson’s relentless prose will leave you breathless.

The print edition can be purchased at our webstore or Amazon.com and other retailers. The Kindle edition can be found here. E-mail us directly for ePub editions.

If you have any questions, please ask. And as always, thanks for the support!

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Upcoming 2016 Releases

With Shock Totem, the magazine, on hold for the time being, we’re still forging ahead into the book publishing market. We ended 2015 by releasing a beautiful hardcover edition of Adam Cesare’s Zero Lives Remaining, some of which are still available, and we just released the paperback and digital editions. In addition, we have the following lined up for 2016:

FEBRUARY: Shock Totem #10
FEBRUARY: Shine Your Light on Me, by Lee Thompson (novella)
APRIL: Greener Pastures, by Michael Wehunt (collection)
JULY: Chorus of Dust, by Justin Paul Walters (reprint novella with bonus stories)
OCTOBER: Aetherchrist, by Kirk Jones (novella)

These releases are either done or nearly done. We will make official announcements for Lee’s novella and Michael’s collection sometime this week, and do the same for Justin’s and Kirk’s novellas once the cover art is finished. The tenth issue of Shock Totem will be available later this week as well.

We have a few other projects simmering, like a zombie collection we’ve been interested in doing for a few years now, but these will be worked on as time permits so we have no official time frames for release.

The magazine may be on hold, but Shock Totem is alive and well. Dig it!

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Adam Cesare’s ZERO LIVES REMAINING—Paperback/Digital Editions Available Now!

We are happy to announce that the paperback and digital editions of Adam Cesare’s Zero Lives Remaining are now available for purchase. These are different from the limited hardcover edition, which features a bonus story and altered, expanded artwork, and other goodies.

There are still some hardcover copies left, but if that’s not your thing, see the bottom of this post for links to these new editions.

Robby Asaro is dead.

And alive.

He’s a ghost in the machine, keeping a watchful eye on the arcade where he lost his life two decades before. And the afterlife is good. The best thing ever to have happened to him. But when the conscious electric current formerly known as Robby Asaro makes a decision to protect one of his favorite patrons, Tiffany Park, from a bully, he sets loose a series of violent supernatural events that can’t be stopped.

Trapped inside the arcade as the kill count rises, Tiffany and a group of gamers must band together to escape from what used to be their favorite place on Earth…and the ghost of Robby Asaro.

From the author of Tribesmen, Video Night, and The Summer Job, Zero Lives Remaining is a masterful mix of horror and suspense, dread and wonder, a timeless ghost story that solidifies Adam Cesare’s reputation as one of the best up-and-coming storytellers around. This is Adam Cesare firing on all cylinders—and he’s just getting started.

The print edition can be purchased at our webstore or Amazon.com and other retailers. The Kindle edition can be found here. E-mail us directly for ePub editions.

If you have any questions, please ask. And as always, we appreciate your support!

(Special thanks to Mike Lombardo and the Reel Splatter Productions crew for the brilliant trailer!)

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Adam Cesare’s ZERO LIVES REMAINING—Limited Edition Hardcover Available Now!

It’s been a long time coming, but the limited hardcover edition of Zero Lives Remaining is finally finished and ready to ship. It took almost a year longer than anticipated (rookie mistake; sorry about that), but we hope it’s worth the wait.

It took a lot of hard work from a lot of talented people, notably Frank Walls (artwork), Yannick Bouchard (additional artwork), Nick Gucker (illustrations), and Mike Lombardo and Reel Splatter Productions (film, photography), and we think this is one of the best limited editions ever released.

Robby Asaro is dead.

And alive.

He’s a ghost in the machine, keeping a watchful eye on the arcade where he lost his life two decades before. And the afterlife is good. The best thing ever to have happened to him. But when the conscious electric current formerly known as Robby Asaro makes a decision to protect one of his favorite patrons, Tiffany Park, from a bully, he sets loose a series of violent supernatural events that can’t be stopped.

Trapped inside the arcade as the kill count rises, Tiffany and a group of gamers must band together to escape from what used to be their favorite place on Earth…and the ghost of Robby Asaro.

From the author of Tribesmen, Video Night, and The Summer Job, Zero Lives Remaining is a masterful mix of horror and suspense, dread and wonder, a timeless ghost story that solidifies Adam Cesare’s reputation as one of the best up-and-coming storytellers around. This is Adam Cesare firing on all cylinders—and he’s just getting started.

Strictly limited to 100 copies, the hardcover itself is made to look like a VHS tape, which is housed in a classic VHS case with full wraparound “80s horror film” artwork and photography exclusive to this edition. Nick Gucker provides exclusive interior illustrations, and there is also a bonus short story. A special insert features additional artwork and photography, plus an interview with “B-movie legend” Adam Blomquist. And finally, there are six autographed “movie still” cards featuring the entire cast (from the trailer) and director, Mike Lombardo.

Check out these photos (apologies for the less than stellar quality):






Click to Enlarge

We expect this edition to sell out very quickly, so order now if you want to secure a copy. When all 100 are gone, they’re gone for good. There will be no future hardcover pressings. Paperback and digital editions will be available soon.

If you have any questions, please ask.


Click to Order.

(Special thanks to Mike Lombardo and the Reel Splatter Productions crew for the brilliant trailer!)

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Open for Novel/Novella Submissions

Shock Totem Publications is once again open for novel/novella submissions!

Please read our updated guidelines and submission requirements on our Submittable page prior to uploading your work.

If you have any questions, please e-mail us.

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Shock Totem at Anthocon

After a long absence from conventions, this coming weekend, June 5–7, we will have a table at the fourth annual Anthology conference (AnthoCon) up in Portsmouth, NH. Special guests include Christopher Golden, Tom Monteleone, James A. Moore, Gene O’Neill, and more…

Cat and Barry will be manning the table and selling copies of all Shock Totem releases at a generous discount. Barry will also be selling his hand-drawn bookmarks, individually or as a set.

Anyway, it is sure to be a helluva good time. Stop by the Shock Totem table and say hello (and maybe buy a thing or two).

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The One-Hour Flash Fiction Challenge

This Saturday, August 8th, at 8 PM EST, we will once again be hosting our bi-weekly flash fiction challenge. The challenge: You have just one hour to write, edit, and post your story.

This is a “prompted” challenge, meaning your story must be based on the prompt, which will be revealed just before 8 PM. The challenge takes place here on our forum, so you’ll need an account if you want to participate.

The purpose of the challenge is to force you, the writer, to clear your mind of all distractions and write a complete 1,000-word-or-less story within the allotted time. You’ll have to not only write the story, but also edit it, and then post it by 9 PM EST.

For those interested, here are the rules:

Unlike our bi-monthly flash fiction contest, the bi-weekly one-hour flash challenge is just for fun. The challenge will be held every other Saturday, officially beginning at exactly 8 PM EST. There are no prizes! And the rules are simple.

1. All stories should be complete, written and posted within one hour, and can be anywhere from one sentence to 1,000 words in length.

2. You may choose to write your story in any genre.

3. Your story must be built around the restrictions—words, themes, photo prompts, word limits, etc.—provided by the Flashmaster at the beginning of the challenge.

4. Once the participants’ work is posted, the voting and comment session begins and continues until all votes are in. Time limit for voting will be determined on the spot, depending on how many people finish the challenge.

5. The winner becomes Flashmaster and hosts the next contest.

And that’s it. Simple and fun.

Think you can do it? Join the forum and be present this coming Saturday at 8 PM EST. More information can be found on the forum.

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