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Black Static


Books Received - An Update

17th Jul, 2010

Author: Peter Tennant

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Listed below are the books received for review since the last update, which was back on 23 June 2010.

Fifteen books this time around, so my figures are on the up, though still below the high tide of a few months back, which means I get a chance to catch up on some of the stuff that's been stockpiled.

It's great to finally get sent a book by Anonymous, as I've heard so many good things about his or her work, though as a writer he (or she) seems to be all over the place, dabbling in so many genres and with a mind boggling level of productivity. The Devil's Graveyard is described as, "Tarantino meets Pop Idol in a sensationally blood-streaked adventure..." I really don't know what to say to that, other than that, metaphorically speaking, bloodletting in reality TV sounds like an admirable idea.

A couple of the books come from Black Static contributors in good standing. Off the Rails is the eighth and final Bryant & May novel by Black Static columnist Christopher Fowler. The agreeably eccentric detectives of the Peculiar Crimes Unit have one week to clear up business left over from the last book and catch the nefarious Mr Fox, and you can bet I'll be reading that one. Nina Allan's collection A Thread of Truth arrived a bit late in the day, but Nina is a regular contributor to TTA publications and her story 'My Brother's Keeper' from Black Static #12 is short listed for the Best Short Story Britfa, so I'm going to exercise my doddery old guy rights and turn a blind eye to the time lag. And I'll be posting an interview with Nina on this blog shortly, just as soon as I finish the book and can come up with some questions that won't put us both to shame.

In parenthesis, while I will be interviewing Nina, I've decided not to repeat last year's exercise where I interviewed any and all Britfa nominees who volunteered. It was fun, but also a lot of hard work, and this year I'm feeling lazy. Also I'm a nominee myself in the Non-Fiction category, which complicates matters. At heart I am a bad person and so if one of the other contenders in my category volunteered to be interviewed the chance to discredit them with loaded questions might prove too hard to resist.

In Black Static #18 I plan an anthology feature, and just weeks too late for that three more anthologies land on my doorstep, including the Des Lewis edited Null Immortalis: Nemonymous 10, which I understand is to be the last in this series. I've been thinking a lot lately about how much (or little) women writers are represented in horror publications. One interesting fact thrown up by the Campaign for Real Fear is that while only 31% of the submissions came from women, 65% of the accepted stories were by female writers, and as Christopher Fowler and Maura McHugh read blind there should be no suspicion of gender 'weighting' on their part. However, I believe Des also reads blind for Nemonymous, but of the twenty six stories that made the cut for Null Immortalis only three or possibly five (two writers use only their initials) are by women. It's an intriguing anomaly, and at some point I intend to write a further blog entry on gender disparity in horror fiction. To further muddy the waters, ten out of seventeen stories in The Bitten Word anthology are by women, but not knowing whether this was an open submission or by invitation only project I can only conjecture as to whether this disparity is because women are more engaged with vampire fiction than men or simply that editor Ian Whates has more women in his address book than his peers.

Last but not least, Last Exit for the Lost is a meaty volume from American publisher Cemetery Dance collecting the best of Tim Lebbon's short story output from 2000 to the present day. It contains nineteen stories, two of which have never been published before, and weighs in at 150,000 words of fiction.

The Standard Offer and Disclaimer - If anyone wants to query with me the suitability of their book(s) for a review in Case Notes, then I can be contacted by writing to and, as ever, an expression of interest in seeing the book does not guarantee that a review will be done. We receive many books and space is limited.

September 2010

  • David Wellington - Cursed - Piatkus paperback (ARC)

August 2010

  • Camilla Ceder - Frozen Moment - W&N hardback (ARC)
  • Anonymous - The Devil's Graveyard - Michael O'Mara Books Ltd paperback

July 2010

  • Rebecca Levene - Infernal Game: Ghost Dance - Abaddon paperback
  • Jonathan L. Howard - Johannes Cabal the Detective - Headline hardback
  • Edited by Carol Serling - More Stories from the Twilight Zone -Tor hardback/paperback (ARC)

June 2010

  • A J Kirby - Bully - Wild Wolf Publishing paperback
  • Tom Piccirilli - The Last Deep Breath - Tasmaniac paperback
  • David Moody - Blood Dog - Gollancz paperback
  • Christopher Fowler - Off the Rails - Doubleday hardback
  • Edited by Des Lewis - Null Immortalis - Megazanthus Press paperback

May 2010

  • Tim Lebbon - Last Exit for the Lost - Cemetery Dance hardback (ARC)

April 2010

  • James Miller - Sunshine State - Little, Brown paperback

March 2010

  • Edited by Ian Whates - The Bitten Word - Newcon Press paperback

July 2009

  • Nina Allan - A Thread of Truth - Eibonvale paperback



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