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Black Static

New Horror Fiction BLACK STATIC ISSUE 71 OUT NOW!

BLACK STATIC #72 (NOV-DEC 2019)

1st Nov, 2019

Cover

Item image: Black Static 72

The cover art is 'SETI' by Joachim Luetke

 

Fiction

The String People by Matt Thompson
illustrated by Ben Baldwin 

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The string people lived underneath the DLR tracks, near to the western exit of Leamouth station. I walked past them each morning on my way to work – doing my best to pretend they weren’t there, of course. Eyes front, head bowed, I would find myself increasing my pace until they were safely out of sight. The glimpses I caught of them out of the corner of my eye haunted me nevertheless, flickering into my thoughts throughout the day and breaking my concentration in the middle of presentations or meetings.

 

The Longest Night by Emily B. Cataneo
illustrated by Richard Wagner 

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The longest night of the year crept towards them from the Arctic, whose southern border lay just across the sea from the village of Fiskurfjörður, where Birta had lived all her life. At this time of year, gold light snuck up from behind the northern mountains at noon, lighting the ice-frozen road, then disappeared, pallid and bitter, only two hours later. The view out Birta’s kitchen window – salt-scrummed boats beached for the long winter, wind whipping at the fjord – lay always either in twilight or in that midnight dark when Fiskurfjörður seemed as far away as it was possible to be from the sun while still remaining on the earth.

 

The Hope Chest by Sarah Read 

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Hannah walked the half mile from the bus stop, but  Grandma didn’t meet her at the bus, or on the road, or on the porch. Or in the house. Her mother sat alone at the table, with her hands clutched around a glass of ice water as if it were keeping her warm. 

 

Don't Come Looking by Jack Westlake 

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To whoever finds this letter: don’t come looking.

 

As Dark as Hunger by S. Qiouyi Lu
illustrated by Richard Wagner 

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The sun bears down hot and twisted against the nape of Ellen’s neck. She wades into the muddy waters, slick yellow-brown silt clinging to her worn rubber boots. The rotten scent of fish hangs heavy in the air, which is loud with the buzz of iridescent flies and the shrieks of cicadas.

 

Watching by Tim Lees 

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I follow Carmen up the stairs. 

There’s a sweetish, sickly smell comes off him, like bad fruit, and it strikes me, if I’m smelling that, there must be tiny molecules of Carmen drifting through the air between us, little pieces of him, filling up my nose, my lungs.

His dirt, his sweat, his stink.

 

Columns

Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker

I CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU: THE COMFORTS OF HORROR?

Maybe it’s the autumn weather – almost surely it is in part, the crisp cool feel of the air, the mellowing light and colors, the nights drawing in – but I’ve sort of found myself falling in love with horror again. Not that I ever fell out of love, of course, but “falling in love again” in that long-term relationship sense, one of those times when you look at the person you’ve been with for a while and feel that same heady burst you did in the early days.

 

Into the Woods by Ralph Robert Moore

BE PREPARED

You’ve received this latest issue of Black Static, found a time that’s perfect to sit down with a lit lamp to the left of your shoulders, relax with the issue, open its cover, like unenveloping a long blue-inked letter from a friend, the day’s work done, start reading another excellent issue. At some point you’re reading this Into the Woods column by me and you hear a noise coming from your closet. Stand up, put the issue’s wingspread of text down on your side table, paragraphs above wood grain, walk over to the closet door, twist the brass knob, and a jabbering thing with two heads stumbles out.

 

Reviews

Case Notes: Book Reviews

Mike O'Driscoll: Catfish Lullaby by A.C. Wise • Daniel Carpenter: Mistletoe by Alison Littlewood • David Surface: One Good Story: The Little Mermaid by Douglas Clegg • Gary Couzens: Coffinmaker's Blues by Stephen Volk, Tommy by Kit Power, Sight Unseen by Brian Howell • Andy Hedgecock: The Uneasy by Andrew Hook, The Forest of Dead Children by Andrew Hook, The Bone Weaver's Orchard by Sarah Read • Sadie Hartmann: Out of Water by Sarah Read • Laura Mauro: And the House Lights Dim by Tim Major

 

Blood Spectrum: Film Reviews by Gary Couzens

Rabid (1977) • Rabid (2019) • Suspiria (2018) • Child's Play (2019) • The Banana Splits Movie • Critters Attack! • The Dark Half • The Stand • Nightbreed • An American Werewolf in London • Legend of the Witches • Secret Rites • And Soon the Darkness (1970) • The Invitation • The Dead Center • Marianne • The Curse of La Llorona • Skinner • Double Date • American Horror Story: Apocalypse • Harpoon • The Wind • The Furies • Isabelle

 

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. No postage charge is added to UK orders, and overseas shipping is just £1 per item.

 

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 73 is out in January 2020. Magazines like this cannot survive without subscriptions, so thank you for your support.

 

The Teardrop Method by Simon Avery

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2018 WORLD FANTASY AWARD FINALIST
NOT MANY COPIES LEFT • NOW ONLY £5 

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

NOT MANY COPIES LEFT

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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