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Black Static



2nd Mar, 2020


Item image: Black Static 74

The cover art is by Richard Wagner



Memories of the Occupation by Matt Thompson
illustrated by Richard Wagner 

Item image: Memories of the Occupation

Death lay in the courtyard; the stench of sour milk and grave-soil, a mercy stroke splayed out on the cobbles in threadbare coat and tattered shoes. Streaks of gaslight spilled through the iron gate leading to the street. Viktor, sputtering lantern clutched between numb fingers, stood paralysed at the threshold of the house, a whip-crack of freezing air prickling at his skin. The sound of clacking hooves drifted in on the night breeze, soon fading to silence.


Shattering by Christopher Kenworthy 

Item image: Shattering

A horse got spooked and came down from the bridle path towards the bypass. The rider kept the horse going in circles, patting and calming and doing things with the reins to get it under control, but then it trotted into the road anyway. A coach full of pensioners clipped it, and the horse’s back end went away in a fuzz of red. The front part was intact and galloped as best it could, hooves slippery on the tarmac. The rider stayed in the saddle until the bubble-gum guts slopped out the back and the horse folded over. All the cars stopped, and you couldn’t hear anything except murmuring voices and birdsong.


The New You by Ainslie Hogarth

Item image: The New You

The night before they left for the cottage, Rita conjured a pair of French braids down the back of Annie’s head, skin twisted tight into each seam like the ridges along a lizard’s head. As the bed winced beneath their settling, Annie blipped her tongue in Rita’s ear. “Cut it out,” Rita swatted at her, rolled over, “or I’ll make you sleep in your own room.” And Annie, hushed immediately by the threat, clasped both hands over her mouth and stared into her sister’s curls until she fell asleep.


In the Wake of My Father by Ray Cluley 

Item image: In the Wake of My Father

I was surprised by how many people visited my father in hospital. I shouldn’t have been; he was popular enough, in his own way, despite the distance he maintained between himself and others. He’d buy as many rounds as he was bought, no matter how tight money might have been, and he never said no to a job that was offered to him. Bringing the sheep down from the fells, dipping, shearing, working the market, helping at the auctions; my father could always be relied upon whenever an extra man was needed. He had no close friends, but he was known, and if he wasn’t especially well-liked in the most social sense, he was at least respected.


The Turn by Seán Padraic Birnie 

Item image: The Turn

She was a fool to be driving, three drinks down and in a desolate mood, and the narrow lanes of the weald given to sharp, capricious turns. She wasn’t used to roads without streetlamps, nor to skies without the glow of light pollution. She had set out without thought, without destination in mind, and at some point she had left the A roads behind her. At least it isn’t raining, Marie thought, or murmured: small mercies.

White Cedar, White Birch by Andrew Reichard
illustrated by Joachim Luetke

Item image: White Cedar, White Birch

From the south bluffs he could see the two white wind turbines on mainland Michigan, south of the broken suspension bridge. They were the tallest structures on the horizon, and they were long useless but still standing, turning – simple and serene in the scant sky.



Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker


Earlier this year, I took a social media break. I’m still on it. Mediums that had once made the world feel more open to me than ever before had instead begun to make it feel small, crabbed, claustrophobic. I know every argument that exists about staying online for writers because I’ve made them all myself.


Into the Woods by Ralph Robert Moore


In the second episode of The Sopranos, ‘46 Long’, there’s a scene where Christopher Moltisanti, cousin to Tony Soprano, is in the noisy sidewalk crowd at a movie premiere in NYC. A black limousine pulls up to the curb, and out steps Martin Scorsese (or at least an actor playing Scorsese in the episode), with a tall brunette. As Scorsese gives a head-down wave to the crowd, Chris shouts out, “Marty! Kundun! I liked it!”



Case Notes: Book Reviews

Mike O'Driscoll: Eden by Tim Lebbon • Andy Hedgecock: Tim Lebbon interviewed • Daniel Carpenter: The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher • Philip Fracassi: The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature by Chrisatopher Slatsky • David Surface, One Good Story: Police Dreams by Richard Bausch • Laura Mauro: The Child Cephalina by Rebecca Lloyd • Andy Hedgecock: Petals and Violins by D.P. Watt


Blood Spectrum: Film Reviews by Gary Couzens

Night Tide • Chained For Life • Relaxer • Holiday • Under the Shadow • Horse Girl • What Did Jack Do? • Little Monsters • Ready or Not • Zombieland: Double Tap • Bliss • One Missed Call Trilogy • Daniel Isn't Real • Deadly Manor • Edge of the Axe • Black Angel • Hôtel du Nord • A Serial Killer's Guide to Life • Sons of Denmark • Harpoon • 47 Meters Down: Uncaged • The Gallows: Act II


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 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 we send overseas copies by airmail for 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 75 is out in May. Magazines like this cannot survive without subscriptions, so thank you for your continued support.


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