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Black Static

New Horror Fiction BLACK STATIC ISSUE 68 OUT NOW!

BLACK STATIC #68 (MAR-APR 2019)

28th Feb, 2019

Cover

Item image: Black Static 68

The cover art is 'Memento' by Joachim Luetke

 

Fiction

Unchain the Beast by Stephen Volk
illustrated by Ben Baldwin 

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Let me tell you about my friend José Camacho Mestre, the director. You’ve heard of him? No. Perhaps not. He’s not well known outside my country. I don’t remember how we met. We were always together. José – always known as ‘Pepe’. And me – Abelino? Always ‘Beeno’. My mother came from La Paz and threatened to go back there with myself and my four sisters on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. She used to say my father’s job at the bottle factory was his dream job, seeing as he liked bottles so much.

 

In a Dry Season by David Martin
illustrated by Dave Senecal 

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You dream of burning on that first night. You wake soaked in sweat, tears pricking your eyes. It’s okay darling, Emily whispers in the dark.

The heatwave was already a month old when you moved to the village and even the wheatfields spreadeagled under the merciless midday sun bear its marks. Within the tawny golds, an elusive, bleached, pale shade flickers, like old bone grinning through the packed tinder-dry crop.

 

Totenhaus by Amanda J. Bermudez

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Herr Köhler is a handsome man, all jaw, rigorous cloud-grey eyes that darken and mist as he speaks of his wife. Frau Köhler – the object of his sorrow – lies in an elegant, parable-caliber state of repose on the stretcher beside him. She is a lithe, fragile, mythic beauty, exquisitely inert. Her skin is nearly translucent, speckled with vivid purple, blood-rushed bruises.

 

Roiling and Without Form by Kay Chronister
illustrated by Joachim Luetke 

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The couple washes up in the Flamingo’s dimly-lit lobby way past sundown, heedless of the No Vacancy sign illuminated by a row of sputtering candles. Molly’s in the middle of laying down cards for solitaire when they come in.

 

The Stop-Tap by Tim Lees 

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I was not his friend. I hated and I feared him, and when I heard his mother telling mine I was "the brother that he'd never had" it was as if a big black hole had opened under me and sucked my life away.

Bad enough, that Michael Purley might possess a brother. But that the brother should be me?

Oh no.

That was more than I could bear.

 

The Beast in the Palace by Tom Johnstone
illustrated by Richard Wagner

Item image: The Beast in the Palace

At the age of fifteen, Caleb Anvil got work in the Royal Pavilion Gardens, escaping the countryside where the Swing riots were later to rage like a fire through a field of bone-dry corn ricks. That was how he came to be there in the spring of 1829, the year before Captain Swing’s brief reign began, sharpening his scythe on a beach pebble, in preparation for cropping the lawn for His Majesty’s pleasure, when he saw a pair of dark-brown eyes regarding him steadily from behind an ornamental gorse bush. 

 

Columns

Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker

WHY HORROR?

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a horror movie in my life. What attracts you to horror?” someone asked me recently. I did what I always did when someone asks me a question like that and panicked. And I kind of staggered through an answer that included phrases like “well horror’s not just a guy in the woods with a machete” (but sometimes it is! and it’s awesome!) and words like “psychological” (why am I trying so hard to make myself respectable here?) and, really, I just failed all around. Later on I thought, We horror people need an “elevator pitch” for when that question comes up.

 

Into the Woods by Ralph Robert Moore

BOTH EYES BLINKING BACK

I always tense up when someone makes a telephone call on a TV show or in a movie. Don’t you? Because I know they’re going to disappoint me. I’m thinking, Please don’t say the telephone number. Please don’t say the telephone number. But they always do. “Yes, and the number is [area code]-555—” And they’ve lost me.

 

Reviews

Case Notes: Book Reviews

Mike O'Driscoll: The Worst is Yet to Come by S.P. Miskowski • Andrew Hook: The Suicide Machine by Douglas Thompson • Daniel Carpenter: The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell • Philip Fracassi: The Pale Ones by Bartholomew Bennett • Georgina Bruce: The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh • David Surface, One Good Story: How Can I Get in Touch With Persia? by Janet Frame • Laura Mauro: The Monsters are Due in Madison Square Garden by Tom Johnstone

 

Blood Spectrum: Film Reviews by Gary Couzens

Russian Doll • Possum • Horror Express • William Castle at Columbia, Volume Two • Berserk • Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte • Halloween • Parents • Class of 1999 • The Unholy • Laura • Human Desire • Boar • Videoman • The Possessed • The Fifth Cord • Before We Vanish • Climax • Dave Made a Maze • Venom • The Predator

 

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, Barnes & Noble 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.

 

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 69 is out in May. Magazines like this cannot survive without subscriptions, so thank you for your support.

 

The Teardrop Method by Simon Avery

Item image: The Teardrop Method

WORLD FANTASY AWARD FINALIST

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

Item image: Crimewave 13

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

“Crimewave 13 explores a broadly common theme — the utter blurring of the traditional boundaries between the criminal and the victim, with the trajectories and locations of each of the stories quite distinct from each other and the clever use of partial perspectives confounding the reader throughout” Morning Star

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