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Black Static

New Horror Fiction BLACK STATIC 82/83 OUT NOW


5th Jul, 2018

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The cover art is 'Another Ghost' by Martin Hanford



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Something to Burn by Phoenix Alexander

I fall out of time and space and tumble into the room just as you lower the blade to your wrist.

I am a raggedy man, an overstuffed pillowman like a Guy Fawkes effigy or another traitor from the anthill of history, a thing not even worth burning.


Out of the Blue by Seán Padraic Birnie
illustrated by Richard Wagner 

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After the funeral, after the wake, after everything, Dad came home.

He just turned up one day out of the blue, wearing the old navy-blue suit in which we had buried him that April, waiting in the path for someone to answer the door. He hadn’t rung the bell. He was just standing there with his eyes closed, hands hanging loosely at his sides. It was not like him. It was a sunny day.


The Asylum by Tim Cooke

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The asylum lives and breathes in the wood. Of course, some of the trees have been cleared away and a narrow road with a roundabout now slices this particular edgeland in two, but still it’s wild enough. The institution’s walls swell and throb, and warm moisture sweats from the clay and shale, seeping deep into the soil below. An unusually large community of slowworms draws occasional environmentalists from far and wide, and the buzzards are huge – they crash talons-first into branches with almost reckless confidence – but this is generally a quiet zone. You can even catch goshawks twisting erratic channels through boughs and foliage, if you’re patient enough.


The Monstrosity in Love by Sam Thompson 

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Amy Semper was twenty-two years old. Her hair was cropped short and dyed black. She wore gunmetal eyeshadow and heavy kohl. One of her ears was pierced in five places, the other in three. Her style of dress suggested the art-school drop-out: camo jacket, rara skirt, sixteen-hole boots. She had a white umbrella patterned with red strawberries, and the way she twirled it on her shoulder, like all her gestures, said that the hungry gazes and clumsy overtures to which the world subjected her counted for nothing, because she pleased herself.


The Blockage by Jack Westlake

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It began before me, but for me, it starts with a shadow.

There is something else I should say up-front. Me and my neighbour, we have an unusual relationship. Sometimes we go for walks, and sometimes, on those walks, we do strange things. But I’ll get to that.


Why We Don't Go Back by Simon Avery
illustrated by Richard Wagner

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This is the story of Eleanor and Lily. It’s also every-thing that I know about Father Joseph Abernathy. After what I lost in the village of Marston Dewbrook, I began to compile information on the priest, to gather a better picture of who the man was and who he became.

That way I could track him down and recover what was lost. And then I would kill him.



Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker


Shirley Jackson had it right when she wrote, “No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.”


Into the Woods by Ralph Robert Moore


I saw Psycho with my parents when it first came out. I was nine years old. You might think it odd that parents would take a young boy to see that movie, but the truth was, at that time, during its initial release, no one knew anything about the film. Hitchcock had mostly made thrillers up to that point. And Psycho seemed like it would be another thriller.



Case Notes: Book Reviews by Peter Tennant

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Small Ghosts by Paul Lewis, Terror Tales of Cornwall edited by Paul Finch, Kat of Green Tentacles by Sam Stone


Walking Alone: Short Stories by Bentley Little, The Ones Who Are Waving by Glen Hirshberg


New Fears edited by Mark Morris


Ornithology by Nicholas Royle, Bremen + The Unwish by Claire Dean, The Hook by Florence Sunnen, Living Together by Matt Thomas


The Girl With the Peacock Harp + Tree Spirit & Other Strange Tales by Michael Eisele, Fragile Dreams + Behold the Void by Philip Fracassi, I Wish I Was Like You + Strange is the Night by S.P. Miskowski


Little Ghosts by Mary Borsellino, Never Now Always by Desirina Boskovich, Perfect Darkness, Perfect Silence by Richard Farren Barber


Blood Spectrum: Film Reviews by Gary Couzens

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The Old Dark House, Frankenstein the First, The Addiction, Filmworker, You Were Never Really Here, The Quiet Earth, Cargo, The rain, Mayhem, The Cured, The Lodgers, Xtro, The Endless, Rawhead Rex, Insidious: The Last Key, It Came From the Desert, Habit


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

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Coming Soon

Black Static 65 is out in September. 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 popular contributor Simon Avery, is out now as a B-Format paperback of 160 pages with wraparound cover art by Richard Wagner and a 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

“Majestic and compelling throughout, The Teardrop Method is an exemplary specimen of a standout novella. It’s beautifully written, excellently produced, and a sign of publisher TTA Press at the top of their game” Gareth Jones, Dread Central

"I can honestly say that Simon Avery's The Teardrop Method is one of the finest and most fascinating novellas I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I highly recommend this novella to speculative fiction readers, because it's a beautiful and subtly complex exploration of death, love, loss and how to recover from a tragedy. Its darkly beautiful atmosphere and delicate story will captivate everyone who appreciates quiet horror" Rising Shadow

"The Teardrop Method is a complex, intricately structured piece of dark fiction, or perhaps quite horror. It is a story about the weaving of stories, about the transmutation of the darkest personal grief into art, and about the coming to terms with the inevitability of death. As a key line puts it – Art leads you back to the person you were after the world took you away from yourself" Gary Dalkin, Amazing Stories

"Simon Avery’s prose is spare and masterly, and certainly the equal of any Booker Prize nominee I’ve ever read. As much goes on between the lines as on them. The interstitial dark spaces are filled with horrors and a creeping unease that drags the reader in and won’t let go. The characterisation and storytelling, too, are brilliant" John Dodds, Amazing Stories

"This highly original piece is written with the sad, chilly atmosphere of much central European fiction but it has a very British rejection of miserabilism for its own sake. The desire for even the most fantastical stories to make sense and to make progress keeps breaking through and the result is a charming, and charmingly odd, novella which stays in the mind like an overheard song" Mat Coward, Morning Star

"Avery's story is a dark and tense thriller, set against a cold Hungarian back drop. 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 hence, genuinely spooky. The prose here is compulsively readable and even the stranger members of the cast pop off the page" Nick Cato, The Horror Fiction Review


Crimewave 13: Bad Light

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Black Static readers might also like to know that a new volume of Crimewave is out now. This 240-page American Royal paperback contains groundbreaking and often genre-bending new stories by Simon Bestwick, Gerri Brightwell, Georgina Bruce, Ray Cluley, Mat Coward, Catherine Donnelly, Stephen Hargadon, Andrew Hook, Linda Mannheim, Ralph Robert Moore, Mike O'Driscoll, Steve Rasnic Tem and others, with wraparound cover art by Ben Baldwin. It's only £10 and available from the Shop now.

"Crimewave goes further, and the quality is higher" The Times

"It just keeps on getting better, maintaining its capacity to both please and surprise" Crime Time

"A must-have collection of the hottest crime stories around" Ian Rankin


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