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Shock Totem 2: Curious Tales of the Macabre and Twisted Paperback – July 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 82 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453636005
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453636008
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,829,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Don't write off Shock Totem as just another 'new fiend on the block', 'cause this is one horror 'zine that's the real deal, without a doubt! Stories that disturb, nonfiction that entices the reader to dig deeper into the topic at hand...count me in as a big fan. Shock Totem rocks." --James Newman, author of Animosity and Midnight Rain

About the Author

Shock Totem is an American literary journal specializing in dark fantasy and horror. The debut issue was published on July 1, 2009. The publication's main goal is to promote and support new and established authors by focusing primarily on fiction, but also through nonfiction articles and interviews (called "conversations").

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Must Read This was an anthology of Horror, fantasy and cyberpunk.
Donald Armfield
"Return from Dust" held an interesting premise, but I felt the execution left a lot to be desired.
DED
There's a melancholy sense of doom that hangs over it like a cloud of acid.
JOA

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By JOA on August 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
In July of 2009 a new twice-yearly magazine came out that excited me. It was called Shock Totem: Curious Tales of the Macabre and Twisted. I purchased that little digest-sized publication, dove in, and loved the experience of reading the wicked stories within. In every way this new venture excited me; for too long, dark fiction has been under represented in the literary print market. This was a shining beacon in the perpetual darkness.

Months passed. Then a year. Finally, this past July, the second issue of Shock Totem came out. Sure, that's a long time between issues, but let me tell you, it was well worth the wait.

Issue two of Shock Totem just might be the best magazine I've ever had the opportunity to read. Unlike the first issue, in which I found there to be a couple duds, there were none such here. Every story tipped the scales upward towards fantastic. For my review of the first issue, I simply pointed out my favorite two stories, seeing as I didn't want to expose the ones I didn't like. For this issue, seeing as all were fantastic, I will give my quick-hit thoughts on each.

The Rat Burner by Ricardo Bare - A creepy tale of city slums, hidden doorways, and the price upon one's soul. The tone brought me in and wouldn't let me leave. Loved it.

Sole Survivor by Kurt Newton - A dark and strangely hilarious take on extreme game shows. In a way, it reminded me of a more concise version of Running Man's concept.

Sweepers by Leslianne Wilder - Wow. This one grabbed me. A short piece about the waters of the world rising. I'll never look down from a skyscraper the same way again.

The Rainbow Serpent by Vincent Pendergast - The tale of a man on a bus ride and an ancient creature who's adapted to the times.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By daddyman on August 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great collection of stories you won't find anywhere else. Unknown, but good authors, with unique stories that take a left turn with no signal.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Gunnells on March 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll start off by being honest, I don't think issue 2 of Shock Totem quite lives up to the standard set by the debut issues. But then again, that was a pretty high standard to meet. I do however find issue 2 to be impressive, the quality of the authors involved is astounding, the nonfiction pieces--especially an interview with James Newman and a really fascinating essay by Mercedes M. Yardley--interesting and readable. It seemed to me almost that the majority of the stories in this one had some kind of gimmick or hook--a Survivor-type reality show where you really have to survive, searching for the dead on Facebook, a dead solider brought back as a cyborg, an online video that drives folks insane--and sometimes the hook works beautifully but other times I felt the hook was all the story had going for it.

Still, what this second issue showed me was that the first issue was not a fluke. Wood and company are committed to publishing quality fiction, and what I consider truly impressive, diverse fiction. It's all horror yes, but some of it is psychological, some supernatural, some fantastical. When you sit down with an issue of Shock Totem, you are not going to get the same formula over and over. You're going to get a true collection, and you're always going to be surprised and delighted.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sam Wicked on February 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Would you trade all that you are and will be for something? Find out how far people will go to get what they want in Rat-Burner. See how far reality Tv will take us in Sole-Survivor. Or watch the world end in Sweepers. Follow a beautiful and twisted folklore tale in The Rainbow Serpent. Live real life horror in Hide The Sickness. Observe a deadly little girl who just wants to pick a flower in Pretty Little Ghouls. Or follow the ghost in the machine in the odd tale Messages From Valerie Polichar. Travel the darkside on steampunk in Return From Dust. Read a powerful lovecraftian story that will have you searching Youtube against your better judgement in Leave Me The Way I Was Found. Or follow the second coming in Upon My Return. This collection is worth reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lee Thompson on August 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
One of my favorite things in watching this magazine grow has been the anticipation of what stories they'd print. Most mags seem to center around one style of writing, which is a shame, though I understand they're going for a certain type of balance and building a brand. But I like the brand ST is creating: intelligent dark fiction that runs the gamut from suspense, to fantastic, to weird, to incredible. They're an umbrella of dark fiction. And their vision, issue to issue, is pretty clear. They just love great stories told very well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Marzioli on August 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
I became a fan of Shock Totem the moment I first laid eyes on their covers. I was even more pleased to realize they were publishing some of the best dark fantasy and horror short stories in the marketplace. This issue features a great non-fiction article by author-extraordinaire Mercedes Yardley, a fun interview with "The Wicked" author James Newman, and a slew of new future dark fantasy and horror classics! Highly recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Chonzo on August 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
A lot of times an infant publication will pull out all the stops on issue one, leaving the subsequent issues yearning for something more, but the folks at Shock Totem continue to out do themselves with each issue. In this sophomore publication, what had been established in issue one has been expanded upon and refined. Where else can you find amazing original stories (most of which are published in this tome for the first time), all inclusive interviews and reviews in the genre? Sure, there are blogs and websites and all that jazz, but in an age of instant gratification, there is a sort of special feeling I get with each issue I receive. 'Zines are a dying breed and that's why I'm glad ST is more than just a 'zine: it's a work of collective art that is as varied as it is focused. I know that's a strange pill to swallow but just check out an issue and you'll see what I mean. There's plenty for everyone in ST, from fans of Lovecraft to King, and some more obscure (but no less relevant) scribes such as the legendary John Skipp! Well, maybe obscure to me, but that's what I love most about ST: the knowledge that, with every issue, I will find more new "favorite" authors to check out!
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