Black Static 20 Out Now
The art on the cover is a crop from Darren Winter's illustration for 'At Night, When the Demons Come' by Ray Cluley. You can also see David Gentry's cover for Peter Tennant's Advent Calendar, a collection of twenty five seasonal flash fictions which you can download as a PDF from the link at the bottom of the page.
The Compartments of Hell by Paul Meloy & Sarah Pinborough
illustrated by Paul Milne
It’s the end of the world. ¶ We have a post-apocalyptic scenario. Who’s survived? It’s Roy Draper. So, it looks like it’s going to be from his point of view, I’m afraid. Was it biological? Chemical? Aliens? Some sort of celestial event? We might never know, folks, because Roy was out of his face on crack, lying on a mattress in the stairwell of a block of flats on an estate in Brighton and missed the whole scene. ¶ In a good novel, or story, it’s our luck that the protagonist is a hearty, resourceful type, interesting and charismatic, courageous but necessarily vulnerable. ¶ Not this cunt. ¶ The first thing he does as he stumbles blinking out into the carnage is to get down on his knees and go through the pockets of the middle aged man lying face down in the road.
Going Home, Ugly Stick in Hand by Nate Southard
illustrated by Ben Baldwin
You start in the sporting goods store, testing one wooden bat after another until you find one that feels good and sturdy. Heavy. A few practice swings tell you the weight is just fine. Some electrical tape wrapped around the neck, and it’ll hold up good. At least for a few good whacks. ¶ You pay for the bat and visit the hardware store to get nails. Good ones. Big, gleaming, fuck you nails. The box costs a few bucks, the hammer and tape a few more. Everything goes in the passenger seat, and you head for home. ¶ Two glasses of whiskey later, you hammer the last of the nails into the bat’s head. If it wasn’t a weapon before, it sure as hell is now. A real ugly stick. The black spiral of tape at its neck blurs as you swing, really swing, putting everything you’ve got into it, because anything less won’t get the job done. Anything less will get you killed. ¶ Like Chris.
The Covered Doll by Norman Prentiss
illustrated by Rik Rawling
Her father told her it was an antique doll that rich folk would put on a fancy shelf behind glass. The doll’s body was a soft pillow shaped like a baby, and the hands were made of porcelain that poked out beneath frilly sleeves. When she’d pinched Miss Rose’s arm hard enough, Cheryl Ann could feel where the porcelain hand ended inside the pillow limb, cut off at the wrist but with a thin rod at the end that kept the hand in place, like a bone that extended halfway up the forearm. The legs were like this too, but with white ceramic shoes instead of feet. When she held the doll by its waist and shook it, the weighted arms and legs would dangle, limbs scrambling in the air as if Miss Rose wanted to be set down to crawl across the carpet.
The Wounded House by Barbara A. Barnett
Birch beer bubbled over the sides of the soda can. The reddish-brown liquid streaked my hand and pooled on the floor like globs of carbonated, watered-down blood. ¶ My grandmother’s voice, as dusty and small as the kitchen in which I stood, sounded from the living room. “You’re gonna miss the rest of your show, Maggie.” ¶ I wiped up the soda with half-hearted haste. Even if I’d had more than a thirteen-year-old’s ambition at the time, the extra effort would have been a waste; the house held onto everything. And I had done far worse to wound it over the years, ramming toy cars into walls that had been slathered with a grandchild’s share of snot and crayon.
At Night, When the Demons Come by Ray Cluley
illustrated by Darren Winter
You’ll notice these records have no dates. I don’t think anyone really knows what the year is these days anyway. The last one I remember is 2020. Everyone remembers 2020, but my point is I didn’t keep track after. Why bother? I only write this because of what happened recently, because someone taught me that others might learn if only I provided the opportunity.
news compiled by Peter Tennant
Electric Darkness by Stephen Volk
Interference by Christopher Fowler
Night's Plutonian Shore by Mike O'Driscoll
Case Notes by Peter Tennant
Blood Spectrum by Tony Lee
DVD/Blu-ray reviews – including easy to enter competitions to win several discs
How To Buy:
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