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Black Static



4th Sep, 2017

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New subscribers can get this issue free by using "B60 FREE" as their Shopper Reference during checkout.



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The cover art is 'The King in Yellow' by Ben Baldwin



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Guest Editorial

The legendary Mick Reeks provides an introduction to our tenth anniversary issue.



Skyshine (or Death by Scotland) by Carole Johnstone

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What if it starts with a girl, walking down a street in Surbiton? An ordinary girl in many ways, but one who should never have been there. Who do we blame? Who do we ultimately hold responsible? And does it really matter now that the damage is irretrievably done? 


The Shuttered Child by Tim Lees
illustrated by Jim Burns

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Geoff Chapel called his heroes by their first names: “Karl said,” or, “Leon pointed out…” He organised our demos, drew up our demands, and once claimed that the college had a file on him so thick they used it as a doorstop. (This might even have been true.) Then, in the spring of ’68, he asked me to accompany him to Paris, there to aid our brothers in the struggle, and, as he put it, “strike a spark to blaze across the world just like a forest fire.” It sounded wonderful. I told him yes, straight off – and only found out later that his first three choices, all women, had wisely turned him down.


The Swans by Ray Cluley
illustrated by Richard Wagner 

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“Be careful, little man, I don’t want you falling in.”

The canal was shallow at the bank where they stood but still deep enough to worry about, Helen thought. And four or five feet deep in the middle; plenty reason enough to insist Charlie wore his lifejacket at all times on deck. Standing here on solid ground she had let him go without it and she regretted it already.



Langwell Sorrow by Stephen Hargadon
illustrated by Ben Baldwin 

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did not know his name but I knew his face. Everyone knew his face. By everyone I mean the regulars in the Black Rabbit, a cramped but popular tavern near the Town Hall. It wasn’t a face that welcomed strangers. Some faces are as open as the sky. Some faces are generous. But you couldn’t say that about his face, it was all dark corners and damp undergrowth, a ruddy assemblage of pustules and protuberances, with eyes no one wanted to meet. He normally kept himself to himself, in the Rabbit at any rate, so I was a bit surprised when he started talking to me, up there at the bar.



Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker


This is not the Black Static column you were meant to read this month. The intent of that original article had been to write about place, a topic I’ve tackled before, but I had more to say. In part, I wanted to write about the landscape of the American South where I grew up, and my fierce, visceral love for it.


Into the Woods by Ralph Robert Moore


Here we are, near Halloween. Put on the masks.

When I was a kid, there weren’t elaborate Halloween costumes. My parents would dress me up in old clothes, trousers rolled, burn a cork and smear it over my lower face so it looked like a beard, sort of, and tell me I was a hobo.




Case Notes: Book Reviews by Peter Tennant

Item image: BS0 Case Notes   Item image: BS60 Case Notes (Daniel Mills)


The Account of David Stonehouse, Exile
plus author interview


A Cold Silence
Zombie Apocalypse!: Acapulcalypse Now
The Hidden People
Five Feathered Tales
guest reviews by Stephen Theaker 


Ghosts of Punktown
Haunted Worlds


The Dream Operator by Mike O’Driscoll
Escape Plans by David Sakmyster

Blood Spectrum: Film Reviews by Gary Couzens

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American Gods, The Kettering Incident, Valkyrien, The Sinbad Trilogy, The Orchard End Murder, Blood Diner, Waxwork, C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud, Return of the Living Dead III, Life, The Belko Experiment, Killing Ground, A Dark Song, The Ghoul, Capture Kill Release, Voice from the Stone, The Transfiguration, The Evil Within, Phoenix Forgotten, Temple, Within, plus late arrivals


Where To Buy Black Static and How To Get This Issue FREE

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 is to follow any of the Shop/Buy Now/Subscribe links on this website and buy the new issue, or better still take out a subscription, direct with us. You'll receive issues much cheaper and much quicker, 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: you'll pay exactly the same as a UK subscriber.

SPECIAL OFFER: New subscribers can get this issue free by using "BS60 FREE" as your Shopper Reference during checkout. The same offer applies to Interzone (use "IZ272 FREE") and a dual subscription to both magazines (use "BS60 + IZ272 FREE").


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Coming Soon

Black Static 61 is out in November. Magazines like this cannot survive without subscriptions, so thank you for your support.


The Teardrop Method by Simon Avery

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Black Static readers will be interested to know that TTA Novella 4, The Teardrop Method by Simon Avery, is out now as a B-Format paperback with wraparound cover art by Richard Wagner and bonus connected short story. You can buy it now from this website's shop.

"The Teardrop Method is a story about stories; a beautiful novella about love and loss and the connections people make and then sometimes break. It's quiet, haunting, and ultimately moving" Gary McMahon

"Nightmare plotting infused with an aching mitteleuropäische sadness, Simon Avery’s tale of music and mortality could be the novelisation of a lost Argento movie" Nicholas Royle

"Without any prep or background, I started reading the novella The Teardrop Method by British author Simon Avery, and was immediately engaged by the moodiness, the bleakness, the desperation and creaky, world-weariness of the setting and characters. These appealing elements perfectly coalesced into a tragic and fervent eulogy to the creative process - to Art with a capital A - as a means of salvation and transcendence and doom, and to love itself in all its complex iterations, exploring the concept of loving, dying, and even killing, in order to achieve the proper reception code from the eternal Muse while the roaring Danube drowns out the rest of the world. This is a very European story, in all its faded baroque finery and cafe claustrophobia. The snow is heavier here, the dawn ever more surprising. The supernatural and the natural are not so far removed in places like this. The old and the new forever caught in a twirling waltz. I highly recommend this novella, and cannot wait to see what melody Mr Avery pens next. I'll be listening" T.E. Grau


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