BLACK STATIC #30
Black Static is now a new size, with more pages (96), a gloss laminated cover and a spine…
The art is The Ornithologist by Ben Baldwin (of which there is more on the back cover).
The Pig Farm by James Cooper
illustrated by Rich Sampson
When she came round she realised she had been strapped to the Scarecrow. It was pitch black; when she looked up she saw a spray of stars scattered across the heavens. The pulses of light in the darkness gave her hope, made her think that something was up there, far away, watching over her. It might float closer, if only she prayed hard enough. Wasn’t that how it worked? She closed her eyes, drawing whatever was out there towards the farm, imagining it poised above her, staring at the dark earth of the field. A hollow presence, an emptiness that, in her heart, she knew could never save her. Not now; not ever. No matter how hard she prayed, nor how brightly those distant lights shone down on the midnight silence of the farm.
All Change by Ray Cluley
illustrated by Vincent Sammy
Robert had become one of those people who ran for the train, huffing his way along the platform, briefcase in hand and heart struggling to keep up because he was getting bloody old. Seventy six, and feeling twice that. He knew people were making silent bets as to whether he would make it or not. To hell with them if he didn’t.
The Wayside Voices by Daniel Mills
illustrated by Ben Baldwin
I. The Traveler
The tavern came out of the mist. Hearth-light streamed through the shuttered windows, slicing lines in the dusk. The signboard creaked. The Wayside, it read. Inn & Spirits.
I cannot say what possessed me to take the Falmouth toll road. With the death of my boy, I fell into the dream and could do naught but walk the path my grief had blazed for me. That morning, I left his graveside and allowed my feet to carry me past the station and the church. In time, I reached the old toll route, disused since the arrival of the steam engine, and so passed from one kind of emptiness to another: the loneliness of fallen roofs, failing villages.
Recurrence by Susan Kim
illustrated by Dave Senecal
It was always the same: the scream of tires on asphalt, black branches and blue sky smeared crazily across windshield as the world spun. An explosion of glass, metal crushed against metal. Flames. The hot smell of gas.
Sometimes I Get A Good Feeling by Carole Johnstone
There’s one under the bloody house. I can still hardly believe it. Under the bloody house.
How it got there, I have no idea – well technically I do of course, that’s how I discovered it was there at all; I followed a trail of its leavings halfway along the front path, through my rose bushes and then right up to the ventilation opening into the crawl space. What I really mean is I can’t understand why it got there. I’m a careful man, I’m always a careful man – whether I want to be or not. It seems to me that of all the bloody people in the world, I must rank pretty highly amongst those who absolutely do not deserve to have one under the bloody house.
The Orphan and the Bad, Bad Monkey by David Kotok
illustrated by Rik Rawling
I was three years old when Mr Yang found me. That’s what he says. He says I am lucky, luckier than most. He says the mine-owners would have forced me to work three miles underground digging for coal or diamonds, one mile for every year of my birth, if he had not found me. There are orphans in the mines, he says, and they will never see the sun, or the moon, or the shapes that fold in and out of clouds. They will not feel rain or hear the fall of autumn leaves or smell the blossom in spring. They live in the ground, digging, digging, digging in the endless dark. They move by touch and the sense of smell and, yes, they have eyes but they cannot see. They sleep on bales of hay and they crap in trenches that fertilise mushrooms, which they eat every day. He says orphans are sent there so nobody can see them or smell them or hear their inane grunting. That’s what Mr Yang says.
Coffinmaker's Blues by Stephen Volk
the first in a two-part appraisal of Ghostwatch on its 20th anniversary
On Sunday July 8th I was invited by David Baldwin, the young programmer of the ‘Shock and Awe’ Festival, to come to Birmingham’s Electric Cinema to present a screening of Ghostwatch in its 20th Anniversary year.
Interference by Christopher Fowler
One thing we seem to be missing in horror films these days is a palpable sense of evil. Our vampires are drippy lovelorn teenagers, our werewolves and ghosts are misunderstood special effects in search of human emotions. I get frustrated with films like the Twilight series because they feel like reactionary Mills & Boon romances, but then I’m a middle-aged man writing about a teenaged female phenomenon. Unfortunately, expressing this opinion got me into a heap of trouble recently. And all because of a fairy tale.
Case Notes: Book Reviews by Peter Tennant
THE CONTENDERS: Gutshot edited by Conrad Williams, House of Fear edited by Jonathan Oliver, A Book of Horrors edited by Stephen Jones • DARK REGIONS PRESS: Carnacki: Heaven and Hell by William Meikle, Gathered Dust and Others by W.H. Pugmire, Nightingale Songs by Simon Strantzas, Tales of the Weak & the Wounded by Gary McMahon • THE BEAUTIFUL ONES: 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, Shadow Plays by Reggie Oliver • THE SWAN RIVER PRESS: Curfew & Other Eerie Tales by Lucy M. Boston, Strange Epiphanies by Peter Bell • TARTARUS PRESS: Five Degrees of Latitude by Michael Reynier, Black Horse and Other Strange Stories by Jason A. Wyckoff • SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW: Blood and Grit 21 by Simon Clark, Nitrospective by Andrew Hook • SHADOW PUBLISHING: The Satyr’s Head: Tales of Terror edited by David A. Sutton, The Female of the Species and Other Terror Tales by Richard Davis
Silver Bullets: TV Reviews by Mike O'Driscoll
High Fantasy Gets Down and Dirty: Game of Thrones
Blood Spectrum: DVD/Blu-ray Reviews by Tony Lee
The Amityville Haunting, The Paranormal Incident, The Lost Coast Tapes, Zombie 108, Remains, Extinction, [REC] Genesis, Mirror Mirror, Blood Car, Orlando, The Reverend, The Victim, Elfie Hopkins, Gone, Livid, The Aggression Scale, Dark Mirror, The Hunger Games, Curse, The Devil in Me, Axed, Creature, The Fields, Truth or Dare, Piranha 3DD, The Raid, plus Monster Braw, Detention, Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings, A Night in the Woods, Kill Zombie!, Silent House and others
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