Tag Archives: Kurt Newton

Shock Totem #7—Now Available!

Shock Totem Publications is very happy to announce that our seventh issue is available for purchase!


“I see the bad moon rising. I see trouble on the way.”

Shock Totem steamrolls ahead with its seventh issue, featuring tales of classic horror, creature features, heartbreak and loss!

The legendary William F. Nolan offers up “The Horror That Et My Pap–and Other Swamp Stuff,” a tale the likes of which you have never read before. S. Clayton Rhodes delivers “The Gates of Emile Plimpkin: The Gravedigger’s Legacy,” a novelette that veritably oozes horror borne of the 1800s. Damien Angelica Walters (formerly Damien Walters Grintalis) gives us the heartbreaking “Shall I Whisper to You of Moonlight, of Sorrow, of Pieces of Us?” And M. Bennardo supplies this issue’s creature-feature with “Thing In a Bag.”

Newcomers are front and center, beginning with the one-two punch of “Consumption” and “Among the Elephants,” by Victoria Jakes and Amberle L. Husbands, respectively. In “The Long Road,” Kristi DeMeester leads us to the water’s dark edge and tempts us to drink deep, drink long, because we are so very thirsty. Rounding things out is Dominik Parisien’s excellent poem, “Smoking, The Old Sergeant Remembers 30 Mins Past Ceasefire.”

In addition to all the great fiction, you will find conversations with literary stalwart Laird Barron and Violet LeVoit. The early 70s are explored in the fifth installment of the horror-in-music serial, “Bloodstains & Blue Suede Shoes.” Narrative nonfiction is handled by Kurt Newton, and with “The Hook, the Hole, and the Garden,” John Boden delivers possibly the most heart-wrenching piece of nonfiction ever published in Shock Totem.

Come see why Shock Totem is billed as “…one of the strongest horror fiction magazines on the market today” (Hellnotes).

Currently the print issue can be purchased via our webstore or Amazon. More online retailers will follow in the coming days and weeks. Kindle owners can order the digital copy here.

Interested in our back catalog? All past issues are still available digitally and in print and can be ordered directly from us or through Amazon and other online retailers

As always, thank you for the support!

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Shock Totem #5—Now Available!

Shock Totem Publications is very happy to announce that our long-awaited fifth issue is available for purchase!

This issue of Shock Totem is yet another eclectic mix of horror fiction and nonfiction, featuring previously unpublished stories from the likes of Ari Marmell, Darrell Schweitzer, Joe Mirabello, Mekenzie Larsen, and others. There is also a five-part illustrated microfiction serial, by Kurt Newton, which is something new for us; plus a conversation with horror legend Jack Ketchum, narrative nonfiction by Nick Contor, reviews and more.

The full table of contents is as follows:

* Taking Root: An Editorial, by Mercedes M. Yardley
* In Deepest Silence, by Ari Marmell
* Girl and the Blue Burqa, by D. Thomas Mooers
* Digging in the Dirt: A Conversation with Jack Ketchum, by John Boden
* Hide-and-Seek, by F.J. Bergmann (Poetry)
* Eyes of a Stranger: An Essay, by Nick Contor
* Postmortem, by Kurt Newton
* Jimmy Bunny, by Darrell Schweitzer
* Strange Goods and Other Oddities (Reviews)
* Little Knife Houses, by Jaelithe Ingold (2011 Shock Totem Flash Fiction Contest Winner)
* Canon, by Anaea Lay
* Bloodstains & Blue Suede Shoes, Part 3, by John Boden and Simon Marshall-Jones
* The Catch, by Joe Mirabello
* Three Strikes, by Mekenzie Larsen
* To ‘Bie or Not to ‘Bie, by Sean Eads
* Howling Through the Keyhole (Author Notes)

As of right now, you can order this issue—and past issues, which are all still available—directly from us or through Amazon, in both print ($6.99) and digital ($2.99) formats.

As always, thank you for the support!

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Announcing Shock Totem #5…

Shock Totem is proud to announce that we will finally be unleashing another great issue of darkly weird fiction!

Our fifth issue was originally scheduled to come out in January, but for reasons which you can read here we made the hard choice to delay it until July. And now with July nearly upon us, that wait, thankfully, is over.

For those who have yet to see it, here is the cover for issue #5:

Another brilliant piece of work from Mikio Murakami, who has done all our magazine artwork since issue #3.

Here is the official Table of Contents:

* Taking Root, by Mercedes M. Yardley (Editorial)
* In Deepest Silence, by Ari Marmell
* Girl and the Blue Burqa, by D. Thomas Mooers
* Digging in the Dirt: A Conversation with Jack Ketchum, by John Boden
* Hide-and-Seek, by F.J. Bergmann (Poem)
* Eyes of a Stranger, by Nick Contor (Essay)
* Postmortem, by Kurt Newton (5-Part Illustrated Micro-Serial)
* Jimmy Bunny, by Darrell Schweitzer
* Strange Goods and Other Oddities (Reviews)
* Little Knife Houses, by Jaelithe Ingold (2011 Shock Totem Flash Fiction Contest Winner)
* Canon, by Anaea Lay
* Bloodstains & Blue Suede Shoes, Part 3, by John Boden and Simon Marshall-Jones (Article)
* The Catch, by Joe Mirabello
* Three Strikes, by Mekenzie Larsen
* To ‘Bie or Not to ‘Bie, by Sean Eads
* Howling Through the Keyhole (Author Notes)

We’re really pleased with how this issue turned out. It’s unlike any of our previous issues, which were themselves unlike previous issues, yet as always it is still clearly Shock Totem. We think you’ll enjoy it.

Look for it next month, in print and digital formats. And if you want to get it out of the way now, you can preorder the issue here.

As always, thank you for your continued support!

Posted in Alumni News, New Releases, Publishing, Shock Totem Digital, Shock Totem News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Goodreads Giveaway: Epitaphs: The Journal of New England Horror Writers

Three copies of Epitaphs: The Journal of New England Horror Writers, the Stoker Award nominated anthology featuring work from Kurt Newton, Rick Hautala, Christopher Golden, L.L. Soares, K. Allen Wood (that’s me!), and twenty-one others, are being given away through Goodreads.

If you’re interested in this fantastic collection, toss your name into the virtual hat by clicking Enter to Win below.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Enter to win

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And the 2011 Flash Fiction Contest Winner is…

Little Knife Houses
by Jaelithe Ingold


As many of you know, throughout the year we host a bi-monthly flash fiction contest on our forum (not to be confused with the bi-weekly one-hour flash challenge). From those bi-monthly winners, an overall winner is chosen by a neutral judge, to be published in the next issue of Shock Totem.

This year’s judge was James Newman, and from the five stories he chose “Little Knife Houses,” by Jaelithe Ingold, which was based on the artwork for our third issue.

Ah, but now we have to break Newton’s Law, the rule we set forth in issue #2, which, after publishing Kurt Newton in our first two issues, stated that we would never again publish an author back-to-back.

Jaelithe, however, was featured in issue #4, with her story “Fade to Black”—which, incidentally, was also the contest-winning story for Café Doom’s 2010 short-story contest. So…rule broken.

And for a good reason! You’ll be able to read “Little Knife Houses” in issue #5 (see the cover and more info on that issue here).

Congratulations, Jaelithe!

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Kurt Newton Gets Weird

Kurt Newton—great writer, slayer of trees, and all-around good dude—appears in the latest issue of Weird Tales with his prose poetry piece “The Future History of Cats.”

The issue also features “exceptionally strong short fiction” from the fantastic N.K. Jemisin (do yourself a favor and read the first two books—the third is forthcoming—in The Inheritance Trilogy), Karin Tidbeck, J. Robert Lennon…and much more.

You can order a copy here.

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Black Grandpa Gone Forever

Back in 2009 I did a Q&A for D.L. Snell’s Market Scoops. There was a question that asked what do I find horrifying, in fiction and in life. My answer for the latter: Humanity.

Jack Ketchum understands that well, I think. His horror is of the human variety. I’ve read a short of his that had zombies, but they were secondary to everything else. Ketchum’s stories are brutal in their honesty.

I’ve been reading his collection Peaceable Kingdom for a few months now—which is generally how I read short-story collections, snatching bits between longer works—and this past week I read the stories “Forever” and “Gone.”

“Forever” is something of a love story between a husband and his wife who’s dying of cancer. It’s a sad tale, and a good one…right until the last line, which I thought sort of ruined it, went for the shock ending. Good, though.

“Gone” is another sad one, about a mother struggling with the guilt of possibly being responsible for her then three-year-old daughter’s abduction (she left her in the car as she ran into a convenience store). This one fares better in its ending, which retains the same sort of melancholy felt throughout the tale without opting for a surprise ending.

Both quality stories in an already excellent collection.


I’ve been meaning to go back and re-read every Dean Koontz book I own—at least the early novels. Whether I’ll find that time or not remains to be seen. But I can definitely fit in some short stories. So I started with Strange Highways, his one and only collection of shorts despite having written over fifty short stories in his career. And the book has just eleven of those plus two novellas. (I think it’s time for a new collection, Deany-poo.)

I jumped right past the first novella, “Strange Highways,” and read “The Black Pumpkin.” It’s a rather traditional kind of spooky tale about a young boy that tries to stop his older—and meaner, crueler—brother from buying a evilly-carved and black-painted pumpkin from a creepy pumpkin carver. The pumpkin costs whatever he wishes to pay, but it comes with a cryptic caveat: You get what you give.

And later that night, they all do. Good stuff.


I’m a Kurt Newton fan. He’s a good dude and an equally good writer. Sadly, I haven’t read most of his work as it’s not available. I missed the damn boat! Good thing he’s still writing.

One of his more recent stories is “The Wooden Grandpa,” which is available in the fourth issue (spring 2010) of the very cool A Cappella Zoo. You can order the print version (always recommended), or read the story by clicking here.

“The Wooden Grandpa” is a tale of a family coming to terms with and finding strength, even companionship, in the extraordinary passing of their grandfather. It’s a sweet and sad and bizarre story. Excellent, too. Read it!

Read them all.

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