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Black Static

Dark Fiction & Film BLACK STATIC ISSUE 61 OUT NOW!

BLACK STATIC 36

7th Sep, 2013

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Cover:

Item image: Black Static 36

Cover art by Vincent Sammy

 

Fiction:

No Kill, No Pay by Jacob A. Boyd
illustrated by Vincent Sammy

Item image: No Kill, No Pay 

It was an exquisitely accurate Savage Arms center fire rifle, its high luster barrel drilled for .270 Winchester Short Magnums. A slender, earnest man handed it over the display case to Howard. The man wore a green vest with a white duck embroidered on its breast, the emblem of the outdoors megastore an hour’s commute from Howard’s downtown apartment. The man’s name tag read Will. Will said Savage Arms made the best rifles for North American big game. The one Howard held was the best of the bunch. It was also the most expensive.

 

Apports by Stephen Bacon
illustrated by Tara Bush
 

Item image: Apports

They met at a café on the corner of Mulberry Street. It was a fairly nondescript place – greasy net curtains, laminated menus, chipped Formica tables. Probably bustling with overweight truckers first thing in the morning, but at this hour it was almost deserted. Casual patrons had possibly been deterred by the rain. Or maybe the poor hygiene.

 

Day 12 by Tim Waggoner

Item image: Day 12

I wake with the sun shining in my eyes. Guess I forgot to slide the window shut last night. I pull it down – it takes more effort than I expect. It’s way too early for me to deal with light right now, although truth to tell, I don’t know what time it is. I haven’t for quite a while now. For all I know, it’s afternoon. I’m also not certain how many days it’s been since we took off from the airport.

 

The Scent of Roses by Christopher Fowler
illustrated by Richard Wagner

Item image: The Scent of Roses

“It is a story I have dared not tell anyone,” began the man seated opposite. “But now the weight of it is destroying me. I will speak and you may listen. At the end, you will decide what must be done.”

 

Namesake by V.H. Leslie
illustrated by David Gentry
 

Item image: Namesake

Her name was Burden. Cecelia J. Burden. Her parents had at least tried to compensate by giving her a pretty first name, hoping no doubt to disguise the surname behind flowery sibilance. Yet neither name was really quite right. The J. stood for Joan or Jan or Jane, a legacy of some distant aunt. Whichever name, it had been forgotten and mislaid long ago with her birth certificate in a loft full of paper. J was happy just to have retained the initial, whatever it stood for. Jane, most probably, on account of how plain she was. Its mystery appealed to her, so that’s what she went by. J.

 

The Festering by Ray Cluley
illustrated by Joachim Luetke
 

Item image: The Festering

Ever since she was a little girl, Ruby had whispered her secrets into the top drawer of her desk. It had been a present from her dad, somewhere for her to make things because that was what she liked doing. He taught her how to make papier-mâché masks. They were easy to make. You mixed flour and water and dipped strips of newspaper in and then stuck them on a balloon and when it dried – pop! – you had a curved solid shell for a mask. Cut it to shape, add more papier-mâché lumps and bumps for facial features, maybe cut eyeholes, and then decorate it with paints, glitter, stickers, whatever. She had lots of craft stuff. There was a cupboard under the desk next to where her legs went where she kept old newspapers and phone directories, and there were three normal drawers on the other side for her pens and scissors and everything else, but best of all there was the secret drawer that pulled out from underneath the desktop. That was what her dad called it, the secret drawer, so that was what she used it for.

 

Comment:

Coffinmaker's Blues by Stephen Volk

When Mark Gatiss held his Masterclass at FantasyCon 2012, he said “I’m just one of you battling with the same problems you are every day, and, believe me, it feels no different.” Absolutely. Novice or veteran, we are all grunts in the same trenches doing the same battles.

 

Blood Pudding by Lynda E. Rucker

Let’s briefly recap part one for those of you just joining Blood Pudding for the first time: Genre readers often seem to fall into one of two camps, one that insists that reading and watching should consist purely of escapism and that the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror have abandoned the goal of entertainment in favour of chasing after greater cultural capital (imagining perhaps a reality in which writers sit down and say to themselves “Time to write something boring and obscure that won’t sell well but will win me loads of awards!”) and another that seems embarrassed by the pulpy origins of much modern genre fiction and seems to feel that anyone reading or watching for entertainment is some sort of drooling Morlock. Certainly these are broad exaggerations, but for the most part all of us can locate ourselves somewhere along this continuum. So, does horror storytelling, and genre storytelling in general, need to grow up? Or are we doing just fine as it is? 

 

Reviews:

Case Notes: Book Reviews by Peter Tennant

books by Nina Allan (including in-depth author interview), Stephen J. Clarke, George Berguño, Alison Littlewood, Gary McMahon, Simon Bestwick, Arthur Machen + M.P. Shiel, Rosanne Rabinowitz, Ilsa J. Bick, Michael G. Preston, Alice Thompson, Stephen McGeagh, Chris Butler, Daniel Mills, Martin Jones, D.F. Lewis

 

Blood Spectrum: DVD/Blu-ray Reviews by Tony Lee

The Car, The Returned (2004), Escape, Possession, Dark Skies, The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh, Evil Dead (2013), The Moth Diaries, Dead Sushi, The Fall of the House of Usher, Apocalypse Z, A Field in England, Little Deaths, The Seasoning House, Deranged, Into the Dark, The Dyatlov Pass Incident

 

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Black Static is available in good shops in the UK, USA and many other countries. If your local shop (in any country) doesn't stock it they should easily be able to order it in for you so please don't hesitate to ask them. You can also buy the magazine from a variety of online retailers, or a version for e-readers/PDF from places like Smashwords, Amazon, iTunes, Weightless etc.

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These lifetime subscriptions can be found on the order form inside both magazines, and on this website's shop. It goes without saying that such long term subscriptions are of great benefit and support to the magazines, so many thanks to those of you who are taking up the offer.

 

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