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Black Static

New Horror Fiction BLACK STATIC 82/83 OUT NOW


16th Dec, 2015

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Item image: Black Static 50

The cover art is by Vince Haig (for Georgina Bruce's 'White Rabbit')



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White Rabbit by Georgina Bruce
illustrated by Vince Haig

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When Sarah Little dies, the crows in the garden raise their wings and take to the sky in a black, flapping murder. They hurtle upwards towards the noontime sun, a flock of feathers. It is a dog day, the peak of summer.


Man of the House by V.H. Leslie
illustrated by Richard Wagner 

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It was not without a little trepidation that Dudley brought Dorothea home to meet the parents. He’d decked out the guest bedroom especially, consigning the items it housed – Mother’s sewing machine, Father’s collection of antique clocks – to the attic. He decorated it with William Morris wallpaper and long sweeping lengths of floral fabric that framed the windows and spilled out from the four-poster bed in a cascade of primroses and forget-me-nots. He’d decorated the other rooms in the house to a similar standard, with overly large ceiling centrepieces and imposing gilded fireplaces. It was indicative of his taste for excess and opulence but it wasn’t just a sense of grandeur he wanted to evoke. He was equally obsessed with the small details, with the trim on a cushion, the inlay on a cabinet, with the beauty of the infinitesimal.


Child of Thorns by Ray Cluley
illustrated by Martin Hanford 

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The cabin’s single room was small but three people in it made it smaller still and Jessie’s screaming made it worse, filling the room – what was left of it to fill – with a jagged howling that just about tore the world apart.


Greenteeth by Gary Budden 

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Nell sits on her bench. Hair like duckweed and a coat the colour of bilge, textured like algae. She must be hot. Her little black dog dozes in the sun by her feet. She’s drinking from a can clenched in a fist, that chemical super-strength stuff that rots you from the inside out.


Foul is Fair by Tyler Keevil 

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How startling to enter the lobby of the St Pellier Hotel, on the night of his only performance in London, and find it filled with men in kilts and tartan colours. Dozens and dozens of them. 

At first Michael thought it was a wedding party of some sort, the kind of thing you’d expect at a luxury hotel. He had his daughter Amy cradled in his arms, and he tried to shield her as he worked his way through the throng, with his wife Shona following close behind. Once he was among the men, surrounded, Michael began to realise that it wasn’t a wedding party at all; many of the men were dressed in football shirts. Blue and white. They had pints of ale in their hands, or cans of lager. The floor was slick and sloppy with spilt beer. The men were swearing, shouting, laughing. Across the foyer, one of them called another a dozy fucker.


Bug Skin by Tim Casson

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Ally was in the kitchen packing when Phil came in wearing Owen’s T-shirt. She wondered if Phil had been through Owen’s drawers. The T-shirt was black with one of those weird designs Owen seemed to go for. Something to do with that singer Miya. Owen didn’t do plain, see a blank space and he had to fill it. Just look at his old school books, his bedroom walls, the tattoos on his arms



Coffinmaker's Blues by Stephen Volk


Horror can of course be played for laughs, as we all know (and as Lynda Rucker explored in the last issue) – there are horror movies that are holding-your-ribs hilarious, like Peter Jackson’s Brain Dead, or laffers (as Variety would call them) with a dark undercurrent, like Lars and The Real Girl – but a comedy idea can be played for absolute horror, too.


Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker


It’s something of a fool’s game to try and chase the origins of a mode or genre of fiction. No matter how far back we look there seems to be something that arguably came before, and even if we start with the earliest known stories, we must assume that something preceded them. It is certain, however, that while horror storytelling did not originate with the gothic, it is one of the more significant waystations in the development of horror fiction as we know it today.



Case Notes: Book Reviews by Peter Tennant

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Dark Screams Volume Three, Dark Screams Volume Four, Dark Screams Volume Five

The Home by Tom Fletcher, The Harvest­man by Alison Moore, Last Christmas by John D. Rutter, The Woman Who Lived in a Restaurant by Leone Ross

Angels of the Silences, Hell’s Ditch, plus author interview

Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties by Jan Edwards, Dead Water and Other Weird Tales by David A. Sutton, Give Me These Moments Back by Mike Chinn, Monsters by Paul Kane, Music in the Bone and Other Stories by Marion Pitman, Evocations by Hames Brogden


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

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Maggie, Fear the Walking Dead Season One, Sinister 2, The Reflecting Skin, Ghost Story, Dartmoor Killing, American Horror Story: Freak Show, Maneater, The Honeymoon Killers, The Stranger, Blood Rage, River, The Gift, and much more


Where To Buy Black Static:

Black Static is available in good shops in the UK and many other countries, including the USA where it can be found in Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and elsewhere. If your local store (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 from places like Weightless Books, Amazon, Apple, Smashwords, etc.

The best thing though – for you and for us – is to follow any of the Shop/Buy Now/Subscribe links on this page and take out a subscription. You'll receive issues much cheaper and faster that way, and the magazine will receive a much higher percentage of the revenue. Potential subscribers outside the UK should note that six issues of 12-issue subscriptions have absolutely no postage added: they pay exactly the same as a UK subscriber.


Please Help Spread the Word:

If you enjoy Black Static please blog about it, review it, or simply recommend it to your friends. Thank you!


Coming Soon:

Black Static 51 is out in March. Watch out for new fiction by Stephen Graham Jones, Norman Prentiss, Caren Gussoff, Gary McMahon and others. Subscribe now!


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