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Black Static


Letting the Cat Out of the Bag

7th Apr, 2011

Author: Peter Tennant

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Black Static #22 has packed its bag and headed off to the printers, and if all goes well it should be mailing out to subscribers shortly. Elsewhere on the site, Andy will be revealing this issue's contents and posting teasers to whet your appetite. For my part, this issue Case Notes runs to fifteen pages and consists of:-

Steven Pirie's End of Days

An in-depth review of Burying Brian, the latest novel from Steven Pirie and a sequel of sorts to Digging Up Donald, plus an interview with the author. And we're also running a story by Steven Pirie, 'This Is Mary's Moon'.

Chapbooks: The New Black

Reviews of five new(ish) chapbook releases, The Render of the Veils by Ramsey Campbell, Christmas with the Dead by Joe R. Lansdale, Field by Tom Fletcher, Lexicon by Christopher Burns and What They Hear in the Dark by Gary McMahon.

Three Anthologies

Reviews of three new(ish) anthologies, Dark Minds edited by Ross Warren, The End of the Line edited by Jonathan Oliver and Haunted Legends edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas. We also have five copies of Dark Minds up for grabs in a free, easy to enter competition, courtesy of the publisher.

Eibonvale Press

The first in what I hope will be a series of features on various small(ish) and independent presses, and I hope also to have some additional material appearing on the blog. We kick off with reviews of three titles from Eibonvale: sampler anthology Blind Swimmer, the novel Sylvow by Douglas Thompson, and Brendan Connell's collection Unpleasant Tales.

Tim Lees' Frankenstein

An in-depth review of Tim Lees' latest novel, Frankenstein's Prescription, plus an interview with the author and a nifty sidebar on the original Frankenstein, written simply to fill the space. And there's a new story from Tim Lees in this issue as well, 'Durgen's Party'.

Three Novellas

Reviews of three recent(ish) novella releases, Transparent Lovers by Scott Nicholson, Pain by Harry Shannon and Old Order by Jonathan Janz.

After last issue's all female Case Notes, this time around only Ellen Datlow is representing the distaff side, and I can't promise any better for next issue either, as most of the books I have in stock by female authors and editors don't fit with any planned features, though I do have some pencilled in for August, and I will keep track of things to make sure that over the course of the year the number of books I review by women writers and editors is, as a minimum, proportionate with the number received. It's not about prioritising the work of women writers over men or filling a female quota; it's about ensuring fair play.

Of the books in my TBR pile at the moment, 15 of 108 are by women, which is approximately 14%, though of course last issue's all female Case Notes will have skewed those figures and something in the region of 20%+ would more accurately reflect the number of books I'm receiving by female authors. Regardless, it is a low figure and more would be welcome.

Looking ahead to next issue, I haven't as yet selected a featured author, though three names are in the frame, I just need to read the books and make a decision. Chomu Press are sending me a lot of interesting titles, so I plan to do a feature on them along the same lines as this issue's feature on Eibonvale, with at least three titles reviewed. Also, for reasons I'm not really clear on, other than the possibility that publishers are getting the jump on next year's centenary of Bram Stoker's death, I'm receiving quite a few Dracula related titles, so a feature about the archetypal bloodsucker could very well be in the works.

That's all folks!


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