BLACK STATIC #32
The front and back cover art is by Richard Wagner.
The Withering by Tim Casson
illustrated by Richard Wagner
It was clear that Miss Appleby trusted nobody associated with my profession. Her attitude was no doubt influenced by her father’s disgrace and the tragedy ten years ago in 1881, the details of which, in the form of yellowed newspaper cuttings, I carried in my waistcoat pocket. Still, I persevered, suggesting that an arrangement between us would be to her advantage.
Love as Deep as Bones by Ilan Lerman
illustrated by Tara Bush
“Do you remember the first time you got high?” asks Benedict. He tugs the rubber strap tight on my arm, popping my vein up like a plucked guitar string. The high pitched sting as the needle slides in. Shit. No going back now. At first there’s a chill, then warmth spreading, radiating out from my arm. “All the best times, Cath, darling, this will blow them away.”
The Death Drive of Rita, nee Carina by Ray Cluley
illustrated by Ben Baldwin
Rita searched for road kill on the nights she couldn’t sleep. She would drive until she found a dead animal or became drowsy, whichever happened first. One fifth of all road traffic accidents were caused by people falling asleep at the wheel, but Rita had never nodded off while driving. She didn’t sleep much at all these days. Counting sheep only helped if they were broken shapes of bloody wool, and so far she’d never found such a thing. Instead she’d find an explosion of feathers that was once a bird, or a hedgehog spewing its own insides out, or a badger with its head twisted around on a bone-splintered neck. Once she’d found a fox that had been flattened by something so big that its body had separated into two pieces, one either side of a dirty orange-furred tyre print smeared across the road.
The Anatomist's Mnemonic by Priya Sharma
illustrated by David Gentry
Samuel Wilson’s life wasn’t a search for love at every turn. There’d been girls he’d liked, with whom he’d managed fragile love affairs, but something was always lacking no matter how hard he tried. Something that failed to ignite.
Black Sun by Drew Rhys White
I met your father, Roman. We went to a coffee shop, the first time, and, naturally, talked of you. When the door to the shop opened, the bell on the door would ring and a fresh gust of air would rush to meet the air from the kitchen window. I remember your father clenching his fists, outraged that spring should arrive in the year his last hope had been destroyed.
What do we talk about when we talk about z------ by Lavie Tidhar
She turned her head from him and looked away. She looked at the wall. He said, “Lenore…”
“And don’t call me that no more.”
Silence between them. He couldn’t break it. She looked at the wall. The white paint was chipping at the bottom. A fly, very slowly, traversed it, like a mountaineer on a sheer wall of ice.
Bedtime Story by Steve Rasnic Tem
illustrated by David Gentry
He often referred to her as his “miracle child,” which annoyed his much younger wife to no end. “John, it’s too much to try to live up to,” she complained.
“Oh, I wouldn’t say that in front of her. But when you father a child at age sixty-one, well, it does feel like some kind of miracle.”
“Just be careful, okay? She’s just a little girl.”
His wife always seemed to know better about these things. His first two children were grown, their childhoods a distant memory, and he’d never devoted as much time to them when they were young as he should have. “Too busy making a living” had been his poor excuse. “Too busy to live” might have been more accurate. He was determined not to make that mistake again.
Coffinmaker's Blues by Stephen Volk
When exactly did cinemas become Palaces of Disappointment? I’m sick of trailers so desperate for attention they make me think of the studios as no more than a grotesquely overgrown, needy child; but I think the real disappointment comes in our innate sense of writing – of being told a story – and when that feels genuine and when it feels faked.
Interference by Christopher Fowler
We’re all branded by what we choose to write about. J.K. Rowling will always be Harry Potter, no matter what else she writes. She’s safe. She occupies the middle road of writing, a default mode for a nation that buys books at WH Smith and jumpers at M&S, and likes Michael McIntyre and Jeremy Clarkson and Twilight – and of course there’s nothing wrong with that.
Case Notes: Book Reviews by Peter Tennant
Steve Rasnic Tem Deadfall Hotel*, Ugly Behavior, Onion Songs, plus author interview; Titan Books Dark Shadows: The Visual Companion, Resident Evil Volume 1: The Umbrella Conspiracy, Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr Moreau, Romeo Spikes; Solaris The Faceless*, Silent Voices*, Magic*; Gray Friar Press Enemies at the Door, Terror Tales of East Anglia, Peel Back the Sky, From Hell to Eternity; Chapbooks Thin Men With Yellow Faces, Small Animals, Puck, What Gets Left Behind, The Way of the Leaves; Miscellaneous 28 Teeth of Rage, The Day and the Hour, No Turning Back, When We Join Jesus in Hell, The Fleshless Man, Motherless Child • *win copies
Silver Bullets: TV Reviews by Mike O'Driscoll
Horror Europa; Frankestein: A Modern Myth
Blood Spectrum: DVD/Blu-ray Reviews by Tony Lee
X Game; V/H/S; The Amazing Spider-Man; The Dark Knight Rises; Dredd; Sound of my Voice; Southern Comfort; Zombie Flesh Eaters; Berberian Sound Studio*; When the Lights Went Out; The Possession; House at the End of the Street; Stitches • *win a copy
Flux is a forthcoming fiction supplement containing exciting stories that we're unable to place in Interzone, Black Static or Crimewave. This will be sent out occasionally to subscribers of Interzone and Black Static, totally free of charge. (We might also place a downloadable PDF on the website along with a 'donate' button.)
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