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Black Static

New Horror Fiction BLACK STATIC 82/83 OUT NOW


7th May, 2014

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Item image: Black Static 40

The wraparound cover art is The Devil In Dreams by Ben Baldwin (for Reclamation Yard)



The Crone at the Meadow Gate by Tim Casson
illustrated by Richard Wagner

Item image: The Crome at the Meadow Gate

Late in the evening a monk from Gori brought a boy to Beso’s door. Snow fell slowly from a black sky, covering the yard and the outbuildings, allowing for a peculiar light. The monk told Beso that the boy had been rescued from the Leshi in the forest. At the mention of Leshi, Beso shivered. Three years ago, in summer, he and his brother Giorgi had spotted a juvenile wandering the steppe alone. Something was wrong with the young Leshi. Its shoes were on backwards. The brothers bound the confused stripling and held its feet in the campfire. Its howls were so great they feared more might come so they quickly hacked off its head.


Ravello Steps by Chris Barnham 

Item image: Ravello Steps

“You look like shit.”

I cleaned myself up in the room and rinsed my mouth with some whisky from the mini-bar, but I obviously show signs of the afternoon.

“Like you care.”

I get myself a Peroni and sit at Elizabeth’s table. She pushes her bag under the table with her foot. She looks fantastic again; dark hair pulled back and tied with a jewelled clip, lips full and dark, as if she has eaten cherries. This morning’s faint lines around her eyes are gone and she is spray-painted again with youth. 


Golden Avery by Sarah Read
illustrated by David Gentry 

Item image: Golden Avery

Avery held the panties at arm’s length and stretched them wide. “Whose are these?” she asked. And every face turned to her, just like they always did. Her strawberry gold hair and cold blue eyes turned every head at camp, including mine, and when I turned this time, I saw my underwear pinched in her fingers in not at all the way I had dreamed it.


World of Trevor by Stephen Hargadon 

Item image: World of Trevor

Pops up in all the pubs. The Old Monkey on Portland Street is his favourite. But you’ll have seen him over Yates’s, down the Ape and Apple, all four ’spoons of course, Sawyer’s, Mother Macs, the Vine (if he’s flush or lost), the Crown (but not if Johnno’s serving) and definitely the Square Albert, rolls up there most nights before he goes home. My mate from work Col reckons he saw him up in the Marble on Rochdale Road but I find that hard to believe. The Marble’s a respectable place, one for the tourists, all glossy tiles and heraldic handpumps. You see it in the beer guides, wins awards. Pricey, too. But I think I know who Col meant: certainly looks similar but he’s a different character altogether, one with another story.


The Hanged Man by Steve Rasnic Tem
illustrated by Richard Wagner

Item image: The Hanged Man

His wife came home earlier than usual. Perhaps. He was no longer a proper judge of time. Time had gotten away from him, had hopped into a red convertible with a beautiful woman and roared out of town, time’s mouth open and wailing so harshly even the most practical were driven to tears. Time was a manic depressive, as was the street they lived on, as was Roger, before he’d hanged himself.


Reclamation Yard by Paul Meloy
illustrated by Ben Baldwin

Item image: Reclamation Yard

Wet leaves; wet, shiny railings. Sepia mirrors of water under his feet. Thin, leafless trees like streaks of black lightning petrified at the point of impact in the cold, hard rubble of mud at the side of the road.

Elliot stood and looked through the big iron gates. They were old and buckled and flaking with rust. They were chained and padlocked. The padlock looked like a robot’s heart, he thought, hanging there cold and clockwork, waiting to be wound up.



Coffinmaker's Blues by Stephen Volk

A couple of years ago I was invited to visit the set of a feature film I wrote called The Awakening (starring Rebecca Hall, Dominic West from The Wire and Imelda Staunton) in South London. It was all there. Dozens of 1920s vintage cars. Fifty or so extras in period costume. Urchins. Policemen. Chinese opium peddler. Rag and bone man, plus horse. Lights. Rain machine. Grit covering the yellow lines on the road. Crew of about seventy. Catering. Coffee. Endless assistant directors and assorted technicians, grips, and so forth… And I’m palpably hit by the feeling I get whenever I visit a film set of something I’ve written, and it’s this: Everybody’s looking at me thinking Who the fuck are you?


Blood Pudding by Lynda E. Rucker

A few days after my column two issues back about the potential of a wider readership for horror prompted several exchanges online with people who both agreed and disagreed with me, conversations in which the one thing we all agreed on was that a writer like, say, Thomas Ligotti was destined to have limited appeal no matter how popular horror in general became, an interview with Nic Pizzolatto, creator of the latest HBO sensation True Detective, appeared in The Wall Street Journal namechecking not just Ligotti but such beloved-to-us-but-obscure-to-the-rest-of-the-world writers as Karl Edward Wagner, Simon Strantzas, Laird Barron, and John Langan, and praising weird fiction in general.



Case Notes: Book Reviews by Peter Tennant

Ramsey Campbell: Fifty Years of Horror: The Inhabitant of the Lake & Other Unwelcome Tenants, The Last Revelation of Gla’aki, The Pretence, The Kind Folk, Ghosts Know, Holes For Faces, plus substantial author interview • Two From TartarusStrange Tales Volume IV edited by Rosalie Parker, Mercy and Other Stories by Rebecca Lloyd • Themed Anthologies: Demons and Devilry edited by Stuart Young, Little Visible Delight edited by S. P. Miskowski & Kate Jonez, Splatterlands edited by Anthony Rivera & Sharon Lawson, Dark Hall Press Cosmic Horror Anthology, X7 edited by Alex Davis, New Ghost Stories edited by Rob Redman, Horror Without Victims edited by D.F. Lewis, DarkFuse #1 edited by Shane Staley


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

Blind Woman’s Curse, White of the Eye, Blood Sucking Freaks, Phantom of the Opera, Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings, Tourist Trap, Frankenstein and The Monster From Hell, Sisters, Butcher Boys, The Borderlands, Antisocial, The Invoking, Hustlers, The Last House, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Wrecked, Camp Dread


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