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Black Static

New Horror Fiction BLACK STATIC 82/83 OUT NOW


2nd Nov, 2017

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The cover art is 'Lucretia' by Tara Bush



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The Anniversary by Ruth EJ Booth

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When you first met, you asked her why she wouldn’t smile for you. She had such a beautiful smile back then. Red-lipped, pearl white — demure, yet dazzling. Everybody knew it. It was why you wanted her most of all. 


For Whom the Dogs Bark by Ralph Robert Moore
illustrated by Joachim Luetke

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Clock ticking in darkness.

Black breeze across the bedroom window, branches scratching.

Eyes adjusting.

Ghostly humps of his knuckles on top of the sheet.

Hears a dog barking in the neighbor’s backyard.

Barking, barking, stopping, barking.


The Book of Dreems by Georgina Bruce
illustrated by Vince Haig 

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In the Book of Dreems, a dog is a friend.

Fraser told Kate the dog was in her head. You imagined it, he said. The mind can play all sorts of funny tricks. But Kate was sure about the dog. It was the only thing she remembered: the little dog running around and through her feet as she tripped, stumbled, whirled in the darkness. A long vague slow sick wrestle with wet branches and thorny bushes, and the little dog tumbling at her feet, whining and yelping. After that – nothing. A lacuna, a drop of darkness in her mind. As if someone had reached in with thumb and forefinger and pinched out a little of her brain. An absence felt in the centre of her head, a something missing.


Do Not Google by Andrew Humphrey

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I have tried hard to convince myself that what happened wasn’t down to me. It’s what we do, isn’t it? Flail around for someone else to take the blame. It’s not our fault. Even when we act the bigger man and hold our hands up, which I’ve done, often enough, at the same time ostentatious and self-deprecating.

A Small Life by Carly Holmes
illustrated by George C. Cotronis

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It’s amazing how your perception of the place you live changes when you view it from a boat. The footpaths you walk, the picnic bench you sit at, even your own car in the car park, all look strange when you’re on the river, swan-high, pulling away from it. What is this village? you think as you lean into the stroke of the oar and slide into the cool shadow of slate banked beside you. Do I know it? Do I really live here? Drifting, groundless, you finally see the land for what it is: ancient, permanent, human-scarred but enduring. It doesn’t miss the unique weight and balance of your feet any more than the river will miss the trail of your fingers when you withdraw them and slip your hand back into your glove.


Tancho by Mel Kassel

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Laurie hates how easily the man is able to drown her. It’s laughable, drowning in less than six feet of water, held under by just one of his hands splayed in a heavy star on top of her head.

She tries to make excuses: how long, after all, has it been since she really had to fight? To push, physically, against an opposing force?



Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker


In America, unlike in England, we do not have a ghost story tradition associated with Christmas. ‘A Christmas Carol’ is perennially popular, but in general there is no particular sense that Christmas is a time for ghosts.


Into the Woods by Ralph Robert Moore


My father had piercing blue eyes. Most people who met him would mention those eyes, usually when he was in another room.



Case Notes: Book Reviews by Peter Tennant

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The Sea of Blood by Reggie Oliver; Written in Darkness by Mark Samuels; The Satyr & Other Tales by Stephen J. Clark; Horthólary by Michael Reynier; Earth, Air, Fire & Water by Brian Lumley; The Abandonment of Grace and Everything After by Shane Jiraiya Cummings; Zoopraxis by Richard Christian Matheson


Hap and Leonard: Savage Season by Jussi Piironen; The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers/I.N.J. Culbard; Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, Volume 1 by M.R. James/Leah Moore/John Reppion


Jackdaws by Neil Campbell; The Numbers by Christopher Burns; Fury by D.B. Waters; Rounds by Wyl Menmuir; Paymon’s Trio by Colette de Curzon; The Automaton by David Wheldon


The Last Night at Tremore Beach by Mikel Santiago; The Golem by Gustav Meyrink; The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango; The Chosen by Kristina Ohlsson; A Small Charred Face by Kazuki Sakuraba; Kill the Next One by Federico Axat


Blood Spectrum: Film Reviews by Gary Couzens

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George A. Romero: Between Night and Dawn; The Walking Dead: Season Seven; The Thing; Blood Feast/Scum of the Earth; Cult of Chucky; Not Quite Hollywood; Dark Age; Kadaicha/Innocent Prey; Out of the Shadows; Red Christmas; Cage Dive; The Bad Batch; Blood Simple; Willard/Ben; See No Evil; The Mummy; Vampir Cuadecuc; Don't Torture a Duckling; The Crunch…And Other Stories; Tag; Bushwick; Suntan; Eat Locals; Nails; Cabin 28; The Unraveling; Resurrection of Evil; Channel Zero


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Coming Soon

Black Static 62 is out in January 2018. 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

"A monumentally haunting novella" Des Lewis

“Simon Avery’s descriptions of Krysztina’s music makes me want to hear it. It’s a subtle and beautifully told tale with echoes of European film-makers like Haneke and Kieslowski, as well as their predecessors like Franju and Polanski. It conjures a powerful sense of foreboding that reminds me of Roeg’s Don’t Look Now, and shares with that film a sense of being haunted. It has moments of profound sadness and yet still managed to surprise me with its uplifting ending. One of the novellas of the year” Mike O'Driscoll

“A dark and tense thriller, set against a cold Hungarian backdrop. The reconnection between father and daughter gives The Teardrop Method melancholy in light of the father’s declining health, and the handling of the supernatural element is done so latently it feels authentic and genuinely spooky. The prose is compulsively readable and even the stranger members of the cast pop off the page” Nick Cato, The Horror Fiction Review

“A quintessential TTA novella: horror with a vein of oddness that runs through it; a strange story where the protagonist hears the song that precedes a person’s death. With vivid descriptions of Budapest, it all helps to create a wholly believable narrative. Recommended, especially if you’re a fan of Dario Argento” Christopher Teague


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