Shock Totem #10 (Jan 2016)
- Shock Totem Returns!
- Apex Publications Acquires Shock Totem Book Line
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 8
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 7
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 6
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 5
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 4
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 3
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 2
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 1
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Tag Archives: Brian Keene
Brian Keene, bestselling horror author of such titles as The Rising, Ghoul, Earthworm Gods, and The Lost Level, recently listed his top 10 favorite books published in 2014 on his podcast, The Horror Show.
Click for full-size images.
Mr. Keene was taken by the “really interesting production” of the book, in particular its deceptively Little Golden Book-inspired layout and illustrations. “It’s a really cool little thing!” he said.
We here at Shock Totem thank you very much for the shout-out, Mr. Keene!
This coming Friday through Sunday, John, Sarah and I will be down in Gettysburg, PA, for this year’s Horrorfind convention. Shock Totem #3 authors Amanda C. Davis and S. Clayton Rhodes will be in attendance, as well as James Newman, who will also be reading from The Wicked Friday evening.
We had hoped to have a bigger presence this year, possibly seeing some of our authors on panels and the Horror Writers guest list. Unfortunately, despite for three months calling the number on the website, leaving voicemails, and e-mailing the people in charge of organizing the event, we were never able to make it happen.
I got one reply out of at least a dozen e-mails sent, and that came on August 20, seventeen days after I sent the e-mail it was in response to (and months after I first contacted them).
“Unfortunately, our author guest list & reading schedule has already been finalized and we are not taking any additional requests for readings at this year’s event.”
According to the website, there are ten authors on the guest list, eight of which are Samhain Publishing authors. With absolutely no disrespect meant to those authors or the publisher, I find that to be rather unprofessional. Of course, that should come as no surprise to anyone who reads Brian Keene’s blog.
If this sounds like complaining, it’s not. It’s disappointment. Not only were we ignored by the organizers, but our authors were as well, and I know that stings them more than it does me.
That said, I’m glad to see the fantastic Damien Walters Grintalis on the guest list. She’ll be selling pre-release copies of her debut novel, Ink. Yeah! And Ronald Malfi, who is quickly becoming my favorite small-press author, will be on hand, so I’m looking forward to meeting him if possible, and maybe picking up some of his work I don’t own. Nick Cato will be there. Mangos! David G. Blake and his lovely wife, Dawn, will hopefully be there. Plenty of other cool-cool cats will be on hand as well (I just can’t remember who at the moment).
And us! Yes, we will be present and available. And we will have limited copies of Shock Totem, The Wicked—which James will gladly sign—and a few other things our work is featured in. If you’d like to buy anything, let us know. Perhaps we’ll set up shop in the lobby or have a boot sale in the parking lot.
On Sunday we’re planning a pilgrimage up to York to visit the York Emporium, which according to John is the “coolest bookstore” he’s ever been to. Looking forward to it.
See you there?
As we enter 2012, let’s take a quick look back at some of our favorite things (that we could actually remember) from 2011.
Skullbelly, by Ronald Malfi
Bear in a Muddy Tutu, by Cole Alpaugh
“Map of Seventeen,” by Christopher Barzak
Animosity, by James Newman
Full Dark, No Stars, by Stephen King
The Zombie Feed, Vol. 1, Edited by Jason Sizemore
FAVORITE MAINSTREAM NOVEL/NOVELLA/NOVELETTE:
Mrs. Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
There Is No Year, by Blake Butler
11/22/63, by Stephen King
Tie between Treachery in Death and New York to Dallas, by J.D. Robb
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
The brilliant work of Darrell Schweitzer
Gemmy Butterfly Collection™
The Memphis Morticians
The Parlor Mob
Lie to Me
Dystopia, by Iced Earth
Bad as Me, by Tom Waits
Thirteen, by http://www.megadeth.com
Unfortunately, for various reasons, we couldn’t all give picks for certain categories. I didn’t read a single novel last year that actually came out in 2011, for instance. So no Novel pick from me. Sarah didn’t read any small-press novels/novellas/novelettes that came out in 2011, so no pick from her.
And the old gray matter just failed us on other things. Which of course means right after this goes live the answers will become clear…
Anyway, as you can see, we have varied tastes that extend well beyond horror. Check out some of our picks; you’ll probably discover something great.
Dark Faith, edited by Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon, is one of the newer anthologies put out by Apex Publications. It features 26 short stories and five poems that attempt to tackle the intricacies of faith. I haven’t read much of it, and as it is with most anthologies, I won’t finish it all at once; but I look forward to slowly picking its bones clean.
The first story in Dark Faith is “Ghosts of New York,” by Jennifer Pelland. I will sing praise for this woman until its borderline creepy. (I’m harmless, I assure you.) Her anthology Unwelcome Bodies is one of the best I’ve ever read. Sure, some stories didn’t blow me away, but many floored me. Read “The Last Stand of the Elephant Man,” and you’ll understand. “Ghosts of New York” is not equal to that tale, but it is quite good.
The story revolves around the World Trade Center tragedy, particularly the ghosts of the jumpers, those victims that chose not to perish in fire or the collapse of either tower. The ghosts are forced to relive the terrifying free fall and final impact over and over again. It’s a heart-wrenching tale, one of horror, tragedy, and discovery. And its beautifully written.
Since originally writing this for my blog some months ago, “Ghosts of New York” has been chosen as a Nebula finalist. In celebration of this, Apex has put the story online for free. You can read the haunting tale here.
Next up in Dark Faith is Brian Keene’s “I Sing a New Psalm.” My first experience with Keene’s writing was his short story collection Fear of Gravity. I wasn’t blown away. I loved the final story, “The Garden Where My Rain Grows,” it more than lived up to the praise bestowed upon him, but the other stories just didn’t have the same impact with me. Decent, but maybe my expectations were too high. “I Sing a New Psalm,” however, is a very good tale if a bit obvious.
The story is told in 44 short bursts and follows a man of uncertain faith through his ultimate acceptance and subsequent denial of God. It’s a story that explores the puzzling contradiction of cruelty and selfishness from a so-called loving, omniscient god. Something we’ve all questioned. Keene does it justice.
Though I haven’t read it completely, Dark Faith is worth buying. Anything Apex puts out is worth buying. Dig it!