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Black Static

New Horror Fiction BLACK STATIC 82/83 OUT NOW


3rd Sep, 2018


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The cover art is 'Dream On' by Joachim Luetke



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Impostor/Impostor by Ian Muneshwar
illustrated by Joachim Luetke

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The old woman arrives at their home on an evening ill with February’s bile. The dirt road from town is ridged with mud and slicked with mouldering leaves and the remains of all those hoary, earthbound insects that cannot survive the indifference of winter.


The End of the Tour by Timothy Mudie
illustrated by Warwick Fraser-Coombe 

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Manny lets out a raw, primal yowl as he kicks into his drum solo. Same as every show. And same as every show, I lower my guitar to a stand and slip off the side of the stage. Avoiding eye contact with the roadies and hangers-on, I make straight for the dressing room, the crowd's cheers and Manny's rattling drumbeat fading as I close the door. I glance at my watch. Still six minutes left until the solo ends and I need to be back on stage.


Marrow by E. Catherine Tobler
illustrated by Vincent Sammy 

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Eatr prowls the ashen field and pulls food free from the wedge where it is stuck; sucks it into maw and chews. The food is bitter and rancid, formless and warm, but Eatr swallows every bite, rivers of teeth in a shortened gullet guiding food into endless belly.


In the Gallery of Silent Screams by Carole Johnstone & Chris Kelso
illustrated by Dave Senecal 

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Ong notices the similarities between the White Dice pavilion and the entrance area of the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin: pristine, antiseptic white. Air-tight. She writes this observation down in her notebook, which is full of observations that will never see the light of day. Ong puts the notebook back in her purse, which contains all her current belongings: two large safety pins, an earring-back (she knows it’s in there, although she’s never been able to find it), a USB flash drive containing her thesis, ‘Aesthetic Experience: the Schopenhauerian Genius versus the Dominion of Will’, and a worn-out paperback of The Funhouse by Dean Koontz.


The Pursuer by Kailee Pedersen

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My wife does not like the painting – it upsets her, of course. She’s not wrong, in that respect – it is a profoundly upsetting painting, created by a profoundly upsetting man. It was one of my father’s final paintings, and is now the last extant work of his late career since a small fire broke out in the storage room at LACMA that contained Nemesis, Holofernes with Head of Judith, and a small tondo depicting my birth. I have been offered enormous ransoms for its purchase. I keep it secluded, away from the public. I cover it with a sheet, so as not to disturb our infrequent guests, but I cannot hide its presence. Our small brownstone barely has room for it, a massive portrait more than six feet high and five feet across.


The Gramophone Man by Matt Thompson
illustrated by Richard Wagner

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That night, Masayuki performed his bedtime rituals in the usual manner. Something about his actions seemed off-kilter to him, though. It was as if his feet touched the ground with less weight than before, or his toothbrush skimmed the enamel of his teeth with only superficial pressure. His bones creaked and snapped as he slid beneath the sheets. He slept almost immediately, the alarm clock ticking on the night-table beside him matching the beat of his heart.


Squatters' Rights by Cody Goodfellow

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We were turned away from the free dinner at St. John the Divine Presbyterian Church on a rainy gray Sunday after the buses stopped running, so squatting in the neighborhood was both necessity and sweet revenge.



Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker


We don’t talk about class in America, so the conventional wisdom goes. We don’t have class in America – that’s another piece of so-called conventional wisdom, but pretty much everyone in America knows it’s bullshit. Of course class is everywhere; it’s embedded in our horror fiction, too. A grasp of the nuances of the English class system remains beyond me, but I think Clive Barker spoke for both sides of the pond and plenty of other countries too when he called zombies “the liberal nightmare”: Here you have the masses, whom you would love to love, appearing at your front door with their faces falling off; and you’re trying to be as humane as you possibly can, but they are, after all, eating the cat.


Into the Woods by Ralph Robert Moore


I was taught by nuns. Entering the classroom in black robes, tall stiff white bandeau across their wrinkled foreheads, above their small blue eyes, white coifs around their throats, white guimpe like a stiff half-length bib covering their breasts. My family was Catholic. I went to a Catholic grammar school, Catholic high school. In high school, a priest new to the parish, Father I Forget His Name, intense face, gave his first speech to all of us assembled in the school’s gym, for the purpose of meeting him, by reenacting Christ’s crucifixion, him playing the role of Christ, screaming in pain as his right hand mimed hammering an imaginary spike into his left palm, pinning the palm to the side arm of a large wooden imaginary cross, lifting his by now sweating face, mouth drooping open in agony. “My God, my God, Why have you forsaken me?” He disappeared a month later, amid rumors he had had a nervous breakdown. Like I said, intense.



Case Notes: Book Reviews

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Nina Allan: Litttle Eve by Catriona Ward (plus interview) • Laura Mauro: Lost Objects by Marian Womack • Mike O'Driscoll: The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay • Georgina Bruce: Figurehead by Carly Holmes (plus interview) • David Surface: One Good Story: The Two Sams by Glen Hirshberg • Daniel Carpenter: We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix, Strange Ink by Gary Kemble


Blood Spectrum: Film Reviews by Gary Couzens

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It Happened Here • La Belle et la Bête • Hammer Volume 3: Blood & Terror • Razorback • The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey • Tideland • The Changeling • Rare Chills • A Quiet Place • It Lives • Extinction • Death Line • Assault • Revenge • Miss Leslie's Dolls • Arcadia • Picnic at Hanging Rock (2018) • Doom Asylum • Victor Crowley • Apprentice to Murder • Proud Mary • Dark Crimes


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 is to click on Shop above or the link below 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.

The TTA Shop is currently offering a 10% discount on all orders throughout September with the code SEP10, which can be reused as often as you like.


Please Spread the Word

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


Coming Soon

Black Static 66 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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Shortlisted for a 2018 World Fantasy Award

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 the new TTA Shop or subscribe to four novellas for just £24 (10% off during September with the SEP10 code).

"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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Available from the TTA Shop for just £10 is the new edition of Crimewave. 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.

“One of the very best anthologies I have ever read, in any genre. An absolute gem” Tim Lees


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