The second issue of The Uninvited magazine is now available. It contains the stories “Chokepoint” by Jonathan Maberry (Rot & Ruin) and “Double Helix” by Amy Grech (Blanket of White). Click here to download the issue.
It was announced this week that the fifth issue of Shock Totem will be arriving in July. It was supposed to be released in January, but problems arose. According to Publisher K. Allen Wood, the delay was caused by the lack of good submissions. You can read about it here.
The cover for the July issue was also revealed. Check it out below. The cover was done by Mikio Murakami, who has done all the artwork for Shock Totem since issue #3.
Here is the 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)
The issue will be available in print and digital formats. You can preorder the issue here.
This article originally appeared in the Monday edition of the Journal Inquirer, a newspaper out of Manchester, Connecticut.
JI editor forecasts a warm, dark future in ‘The End of Ordinary Life’
By Julie Ruth
“I have been living in the shadow of the economic collapse, and the bill is finally coming due,” O’Reilly says.
The story explores the consequences of global warming and a longterm economic slump following the 2008 banking crisis.
“It’s a pessimistic projection that we don’t fix the things that are wrong with the economy, and they get worse,” he explained. “All kinds of solutions out there are easily attainable but nobody wants to touch them because they will interfere with the profit stream of the big corporate players.”
Hatch is a longtime contributor to Analog, which has been around since the 1930s, the Golden Age of science fiction, when there were dozens of fiction magazines.
Analog is known as the “hard science fiction” magazine, where stories are driven by science rather than characters, said Hatch.
He got the idea for the story after reading a report prepared for the U.S. Navy that predicts that the Arctic Ocean will have no ice during the summer within the next 20 years.
“It said we’re going to have an extra ocean to deal with, and we should start making plans now.” The report included things the Navy should watch out for, like terrorists and arms smugglers coming through Canada.
Hatch said he discovered science fiction in first grade, when he found “Danny Dunn and the Weather Machine” in the library, a novel about a teenager who discovers a device that can make small clouds and miniature rainstorms.
Like many teenage boys in the ’60s, he was reading science fiction novels voraciously.
He wrote his first saleable science fiction story during a stint in the U.S. Coast Guard in Cape May, N.J., after finding a book in the library. Written in 1929 by John Gallishaw, who taught at Harvard, it was called “20 Problems of the Fiction Writer.”
“I still have it; I never took it back,” he said. Which is just as well, since the book is no longer in print.
At the University of Connecticut Hatch prepared for his writing career.
“I studied all the things science fiction writers should study: Shakespeare, history, journalism,” he said. “Because you’re writing grand narratives about the meaning of life in the universe, man’s place in the universe.”
After graduating in 1980, he worked for the Connecticut State News Bureau and The New York Times before joining the Journal Inquirer in 1988.
Hatch said the story is also an excuse to write about flying, one of his passions, though he learned flying through the Microsoft Flight Simulator program, rather than by spending actual time in the air.
After Hatch submitted the story, his longtime Analog editor, Stanley Schmidt, sent him an email: “I don’t remember your ever saying anything about being a pilot, or living or traveling in southeastern Alaska, but if you haven’t done those things, you sure know how to research a story. I’ve done both, and this feels real!”
The May issue of Analog magazine featuring Hatch’s story will be available at Barnes & Noble stores.
Discovering Shock Totem
By Jason Harris
The magazine was first published in 2009 and Publisher K. Allen Wood explains in the editorial how the magazine was created and the different names they had for the magazine before settling on Shock Totem. It’s a lot better than Papercut Stigmata or Bleeding Penis Pens.
Volume one includes stories about vengeance meted out by childhood toys (“The Music Box”). Author T.I. Morganfield captures the magic of those special toys a person has as they grow up. As you read about Snowflake, you can’t help but think about a darker version of Toy Story. Morganfield even mentions in the “Howling Through the Keyhole” section of the magazine that he took the conflict between the toys in the Pixar movie in a “darker direction.”
In “Murder for Beginners,” the reader is lost as the story begins with a woman holding a shovel as she stands over the body of a dead man. As the tale continues, you find out there is another woman with her. By the end of this interesting story, the reader finds out about these two women plus what connections they have to the guy they are standing over. You are not lost by the end of the story. What Mercedes M. Yardley does with her tale is keep the reader interested and reading. Who wants to stop reading after a story begins with two women standing over a dead body? At that point, you want to know why they killed him or even if they killed him. There are so many questions the reader wants to find the answers to, and Yardley answers those questions.
Baseball fans will enjoy David Niall Wilson’s story, “Slider.” It involves a tale of a ball that has a bloody and cursed history. You don’t even have to enjoy the game of baseball to become engrossed in the story about the death of pitcher Jeb Rabinowicz.
One other story I will mention is Kurt Newton’s “Thirty-Two Scenes from a Dead Hooker’s Mouth,” which tells the story of a prostitute’s life from her death to her birth. It will remind you of the movie Memento, which inspired Newton when he wrote this story. He states, “knowing the outcome of events doesn’t necessarily remove the mystery.”
Shock Totem has a section “Strange Goods and Other Oddities,” which deals with reviews of books, movies, music, and more written by the magazine’s staff. This section reminds me of a similar section within the pages of Fangoria magazine.
The magazine also offers interviews with authors and artists in the horror community such as John Skipp and William Ollie. Those interviews make one want to go to the nearest bookstore and find the books these authors were discussing in these articles.
The “Howling Through the Keyhole” section is great if you want a peek into the writer’s mind. Well, that is if the writer wants to give you a glimpse into their dark playground. Each author has a little blurb about their story and the inspiration behind their story.
I am looking forward to reading the other volumes of the magazine that I own. Click on Amazon or Shock Totem to go to either site to buy any issue of the magazine. The issues are available in print and digital formats except for the Holiday issue, which is only available as an e-book.
Shock Totem has a special holiday issue, which is now available for the Kindle. This issue features an eclectic mix of holiday-inspired dark fiction from K. Allen Wood, Mercedes M. Yardley, Kevin J. Anderson, and Robert J Duperre to name a few. There are also anecdotal holiday recollections from Jack Ketchum, Stacey Longo, Mark Allan Gunnells, Nick Cato, Leslianne Wilder, and a host of others.
Wood, Longo and Cato are members of the New England Horror Writers’ organization.
Here’s is the table of contents:
Heartless by Mercedes M. Yardley
Vincent Pendergast’s Holiday Recollection
Jennifer Pelland’s Holiday Recollection
Streamer of Silver, Ribbon of Red by K. Allen Wood
Mark Allan Gunnells’ Holiday Recollection
Nick Cato’s Holiday Recollection
Santa Claus Is Coming to Get You by Kevin J. Anderson
Stacey Longo’s Holiday Recollection
Tinsel by John Boden
Leslianne Wilder’s Holiday Recollection
One Good Turn by Robert J. Duperre
Jack Ketchum’s Holiday Recollection
Sheldon Higdon’s Crappy Holiday Recollection
Christmas Wish by Sarah Gomes
Simon McCaffery’s Holiday Recollection
‘Twas the Night by Nick Contor
Daniel I. Russell’s Holiday Recollection
Lee Thompson’s Holiday Recollection
A Krampus Christmas by Ryan Bridger
Howling Through the Keyhole (Story Notes)
This is the first time Wood, publisher and editor of Shock Totem, formatted an e-book. He is currently working on other formats so it can be uploaded to B&N and Drive-Thru Fiction.
Author Kurt Newton’s short story, “Space Sucks…and Then You Die,” is now available in issue #8 of Polluto (http://www.polluto.com).
Newton calls his story “a blackly humorous and nourish tale of pool sharks, bar flies and the ultimate payback.”
Newton will be appearing at the Hebron Harvest Fair with other NEHW authors from Sept. 8 through 11. He will be selling and signing copies of Breaking Eggs, a novella he co-wrote with L.L Soares. He will also have two poetry collections on hand, The Ultimate perVERSEities and Life Among the Dream Merchants.
Author Rob Davies story, “The Harvesting of Jackson Cade,” won the Black Static/WHC 2011 Short Story Contest and will appear in Black Static #23. The magazine is now available at http://ttapress.com/blackstatic/currentissue/
Shroud 11: The Quarterly Journal of Dark Fiction and Art (Volume 3) contains Stacey Longo’s “Down the Pike” and original woodcut spot illustrations by Danny Evarts. The Managing Editor of the magazine is Tim Deal.
Shroud magazine is a journal of dark literary fiction and a Bram Stoker Award Nominee. It offers intelligent and dark speculative fiction as well as original art, film, music reviews, and articles that illuminate the thin veil between reality and fantasy. Go to http://www.shroudmagazine.com/shroud-magazine-issue-11-sprin112011.html or http://amzn.to/ixSu5N to order a copy.
New England Horror Writer member Deb Eskie has two stories in the March edition of Deadman’s Tome. It can be downloaded at http://deadmanstome.com/DT032011special.pdf or purchased at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Q3RL6SShe also has had short stories in online magazines such as Fringe and the 47th edition of Blood Moon Rising.