Here Comes Everybody
The next voice that you hear will probably be Andy, letting the cat out of the bag as to the full contents of Black Static #30, which should be mailing out to subscribers any day now. In the meantime here I am with a rundown of the Case Notes book review section, and this issue it's an all short story bonanza:-
Reviews of three anthologies that are in contention for various awards: Gutshot edited by Conrad Williams, House of Fear edited by Jonathan Oliver and A Book of Horrors edited by Stephen Jones.
Dark Regions Press
Reviews of four collections from this American publisher: Carnacki: Heaven and Hell by William Meikle, Gathered Dust and Others by W. H. Pugmire, Nightingale Songs by Simon Strantzas and Tales of the Weak & The Wounded by Gary McMahon.
The Beautiful Ones
Reviews of five collections that primarily seem pitched at the collectors' market: Flame & other enigmatic tales by Maynard Sims, Rumours of the Marvellous by Peter Atkins, Devils' Drums by Vivian Meik, Bone Marrow Stew by Tim Curran and Shadow Plays by Reggie Oliver.
The Swan River Press
Reviews of Curfew & Other Eerie Tales by Lucy M. Boston and Strange Epiphanies by Peter Bell.
Reviews of Five Degrees of Latitude by Michael Reynier and Black Horse and Other Strange Stories by Jason A. Wyckoff.
Something Old, Something New
Reviews of Blood and Grit 21 by Simon Clark and Nitrospective by Andrew Hook.
Reviews of The Satyr's Head: Tales of Terror edited by David A. Sutton and The Female of the Species and Other Tales of Terror by Richard Davis.
That's twenty titles reviewed this issue, one of them by a woman, taking my figures for the year so far to 64 books reviewed and 20 of them either edited or written by women (31%, compared to the current figure of 21% for books received).
I did review two more story collections by women, Bluegrass Symphony by Lisa L. Hannett and Bread and Circuses by Felicity Dowker, both from Australian publisher Ticonderoga Press, but at nineteen pages we were pushing the envelope of what's reasonable for book reviews in Black Static and the envelope started to push back. However, as those two books had strong fantasy elements and there was spare room in Interzone the reviews got placed there instead, so nobody lost out.
Last time I checked, the total of books received for the year so far was one hundred and thirty five, so at the moment any individual title has a 1 in 2 chance of getting reviewed, or as near that as I can get without using a calculator.
The change in schedule means there will be one less issue of Black Static this year, and to offset that this issue and next I'm dropping the author interview feature, so that we can cram in as many reviews as possible. I'd also planned to make the next issue an all novel special, but as there are still some collections in the 'read but not reviewed' pile that won't now be the case, though #31 will show a heavy bias to work at novel length.
All told the twenty titles reviewed in #30 contained a total of two hundred and fifty six stories (plus twenty seven more in the Interzone reviews), some at novella length, and obviously not everything could be discussed, but to paper over any cracks I'll be posting some supplementary material to this blog throughout September.
Next week I'll post the full Table of Contents for each volume reviewed, including the two that appeared in Interzone, so that you can compare those to the magazine and see who/what didn't get a mention.
The week after I'll post reviews of some of the individual stories from my back catalogue. As an example of what I mean by that, seven of the stories in the Gary McMahon collection I reviewed when they originally appeared, and so I'll dig those old reviews out and post them here.
Right, that's all for now. I'm off to read something, anything, as long as it isn't a short story.
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