Shock Totem Radio
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John Skipp has reviewed Shock Totem #6 on Fangoria’s website.
“[Jack] Ketchum and I are in firm agreement that Shock Totem is living proof that we’re in a golden age when it comes to the short horror story. Some of the best stories ever written are being written right now.”
Born in a New Jersey basement in the mid-90′s, Lore was a DIY magazine for dark fiction and fantasy. In their time, they took home a number of awards, including The Dragon’s Breath Small Press Award for Best New Magazine, as well as had several stories from within their pages garner awards of their own.
I must admit, here, that I had never heard of Lore. This is a fact I am now somewhat ashamed of, after reading this, a collection of stories that appeared during their five-year run. I missed out on some quality reading back in the day.
I won’t go through every story in this collection, but will touch upon those that stuck with me most.
Starting things off with Harlan Ellison is always a smart move. Ellison has long been regarded as a master of speculative fiction, and with “Chatting with Anubis” we get a tongue-in-cheek tale of archaeology and spiritualism and the dark threads that bind them.
“The Mandala,” by Kendall Evans, is a bizarre exercise in surrealism as symbolism. Patricia Russo’s “Rat Familiar” is Grimm-style fantasy that is served up nasty and dark, while Jeffrey Thomas’s “Empathy” is a sadly sweet tale of trust, mistreatment and revenge.
Brian Lumley turns in “The Vehicle” which is a lighthearted “fish out of water” sort of sci-fi tale. Donald R. Burleson gives us what might be my favorite tale in the book, “Sheets,” a terrific haunted-house story, and it is exactly not what you think it is.
All the stories in this volume are strong. Some skirt the edges of the Horror estate, while others wander that bizarre and weird landscape on its outskirts. “The Challenge From Below,” a group-penned tribute to Lovecraft, as well as many other pieces, have never been reprinted before this. And a few are nearly science fiction. All, however, have a classic feel and mature voice.
This is old-school writing.
As of 2011, Lore has resurrected itself. I would have loved the magazine back in its heyday, so I hope to follow them, now, and keep up with what they put out.
This volume can be purchased through the Lore website.
The Shock Totem holiday e-book has been reviewed by Hellnotes and The Crow’s Caw. They dig it!
In general, this issue seems to have gone over well with readers. If you purchased a copy, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Especially in a review on Amazon. The reviews really do help.
And this will help us decide whether or not to do this again next year.
The first two reviews of Shock Totem #4 have come in.
As always we’re greatly appreciative and humbled by the positive response to Shock Totem and the outstanding work our authors have allowed us to publish.
Share the good vibes!
Though it’s not our current issue, a great Shock Totem review is never a bad thing, right?
Check it out here.
Great site, great people, great review. Thanks!
Winni…uh, never mind.
Definitely a very cool site, run by a cool cast of characters. Check them out. And for those looking for some quick reads, check out the sidebar on the right. You’ll dig it.
Sarah Jahier has reviewed issue #3 on her horror zine Fatally Yours. Sarah has been great to us over the years, giving praise to issue #1 and issue #2, so the pressure is on when we send something new to her.
Thankfully, she still likes us. You can read her review of issue #3 here.
And please support Fatally Yours by reading, commenting, sharing links, and so on. Dig!