Shock Totem #10 (Jan 2016)
- The State of Shock Totem Publications, or We Are Not ChiZine Publications
- Closing for Submissions
- 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
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Tag Archives: Witches
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Lee Thompson’s work. He writes fast, he writes hard, and he comes up with beautifully tragic stories that are both engaging and soul-crushing.
Gossamer: A Tale of Love and Tragedy is no different. From the very beginning, we’re tossed into an uncomfortably unflinching look at love and loss. Dorothy is a little girl forced to watch her father denounce her mother as a witch. As the sentence is passed, Dorothy hardens her heart and promises revenge.
The main story has to do when Dorothy has lived several lifetimes. She resides in the small town of Gossamer, guardian of an area filled with people that she grows to care for. Then her loneliness puts the residents of Gossamer in danger, and everything changes.
Lee has a clean, easy prose that still manages to be beautiful. He’s especially gifted at writing women, which is rare to see from a male writer. His portrayal of Dorothy and her aunt are both strong and chilling. Later in the book, we are introduced to two more strong mother/daughter characters, and the ineffectual boyfriend. It’s interesting to see the spine and determination in these women, and how far Lee is willing to push them until they either push back or break completely.
This book is full of witches and vampires. It’s full of magical carousals. It’s also full of betrayal, love reciprocated and not, and cowardice. Lee takes the unlovely parts of real life and sets it in a setting so deliciously bizarre that you think you’re simply reading a story, when in fact you’re listening to a man sitting across from you and telling you all about pain.
Gossamer goes down easy and leaves a bitter aftertaste. It’s dark and lovely. I’d recommend it.
Like the old song says, I love a parade. Who doesn’t? The Halloween parade that opens this destined-to-be holiday classic by Peter Crowther is both terrific and terrifying. By Wizard Oak, published in a limited numbered series by Earthling Publications, is the wonderfully warped story of a small town called Magellan Bend. Once upon a Halloween, something very bad happened…something not many recall. The witches came and terrible things occurred: children were devoured and all traces of their being with them.
Now, eight years later, the only survivor of that incident has awakened from a long nap and things are growing dark once more. The witches are coming back for what they left behind, for who they left behind, and it’s up to him and his girl—along with a good witch—to save the day.
With By Wizard Oak, Crowther has crafted a bizarro fantasy that paints the most deliciously vile witches I have read about in a long, long time. These grody bitches are nasty business. Led by an elephantine witch named Great Depression, the army of black clad, pointy-hat-wearing hags stalk through small-town streets and between the fabric of time on their quest for the one that got away.
I really don’t want to elaborate much more, as it would give away too much, and while this is not a perfect book, it does deserve the service of some secrecy. It offers hokey humor and great word play, subtle creeps and balls-out scares. The writing style is fluid and flows as a movie playing behind your eyes, which in my opinion, is the way the best books should be. I found myself thinking on these witches all week. How horrible they were, with their cracked skin, sores and warts, and their scabrous fingers and mouths. Dear sweet lord, those mouths!