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Shock Totem Review & Other News

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Mar 20th, 2011
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Nathaniel Katz posted a new review of Shock Totem #2 on his blog, The Hat Rack. My story, The Rat Burner appeared in that issue. I enjoy seeing  how people react to something I’ve written. Even if negative, it’s always a chance to learn something new. In this case The Rat Burner is noted as one of the stand out tales, along with the work of Leslianne Wilder (fellow Austinite, I believe), Grá Linnaea and Sarah Dunn.

In other news, I’ve been polishing up several of my stories that take place in Cedar Park. Yep, that’s right–I looked outside my own front door at the benign suburban landscape spreading along the edge of Austin, and tried to see it in a different way. A drain hole at the bottom of reality sort of way, where all the weird-shaped bits get stuck on the grate. Hopefully you’ll be seeing them pop up in a few places soon. More on that in a while.

And in the deep background, the sequel to Jack of Hearts is simmering.


Shock Totem Review

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Sep 1st, 2010
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Just a quick update. Fatally Yours did a nice review of Shock Totem #2 which has my story, The Rat Burner, in it. You can read the review here:


And there’s another cool review at the Journal of Always here:


Weird, I’m Published

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Jul 10th, 2010
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I’m excited to report that Issue #2 of Shock Totem is now available! Included in the magazine is my story, The Rat Burner. You can buy it from their website or Amazon. You can read an excerpt of my story here.

Shock Totem is a magazine of strange and horror type fiction. The first issue had a cool cover and good stories. My favorite was Thirty-Two Scenes From a Dead Hooker’s Mouth by Kurt Newton. I’m really looking forward to reading what’s in this next issue.

When I first started writing, the last thing I envisioned was being someone who wrote “horror” or “strange” fiction stories. I grew up reading Tolkien, Howard, Moorecock and other varieties of fantasy and sword&sorcery authors. That’s what originally inspired me, anyway. So, I was pretty surprised at what came out when I sat down to write The Rat Burner. It isn’t a scary story (at least, I don’t think so). I’m not really a big “gore” or “scare” fiction reader.  But it’s definitely weird.

This publication has caused me to reflect a lot on what I’ve learned over the last few years as a writer–places where I’ve improved, places where I still need to improve. My strengths, weaknesses. What I enjoy writing about. Weirdness is something that has bubbled to the surface.

My novel, Jack of Hearts, is a fantasy, but it’s got a vein of weird to it too, I think. Looking back at some of the early beta-reader feedback (thanks Adam, for that term), a lot of their favorite parts tended to be the weird or unusual bits. One friend described it as reminiscent of an old world fairy tale. The ones that had bite. It’s got a giant that eats horses, leg-stealing dwarves, and magic based on enslaving children. Fun stuff.

Many of these stories I’ve written since then (which will hopefully find homes soon), have that same tinge.

So, if you’re inclined, please pick up the magazine and let me know what you think of the tale.

Sneak Preview: Shock Totem

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May 12th, 2010
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Late last year I sold my short story, The Rat Burner to Shock Totem magazine. Just a while ago Ken Wood, editor of the magazine, sent me a preview of the cover. Check it out:

Shock Totem #2

The font/color might change slightly between now and print, but that’s the art. Pretty cool. I’ll update again once the magazine is available. Very soon!

About Me

Ricardo Bare
Austin, Tx

Ricardo Bare is a writer and game designer living near Austin, Texas. Currently he works as a game designer for Arkane Studios, which in 2012 released Dishonored. Ricardo started his career in the games industry working on the Deus Ex series, winner of the BAFTA and numerous other Game of the Year awards.

Ricardo is the author of Jack of Hearts and Fool of Fate, the first two books in a young adult fantasy series.


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Barnes & Noble [paperback & nook]


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