BLACK STATIC 46
The cover art is by Ben Baldwin
So Many Heartbeats, So Many Words by Steven J. Dines
illustrated by Vincent Sammy
Don’t let the sunshine fool you. That beautiful yellow bitch may be out today, but she’s been hiding for months. They say we had the wettest winter and spring on record. But here she is, back. Like nothing happened after she left.
Like all is forgiven.
The Secret Language of Stamps by Neil Williamson
illustrated by Richard Wagner
Mr Harman broke the news when she brought his sausages.
“I’m afraid I shall be leaving you next week, Mrs Geddes.” He folded his newspaper and looked up at her through his spectacles. A fan of lace-filtered light sparkled the silverware, illuminated the bowl of Seville marmalade and glossed her guest’s lenses like the sea at sunrise. The moment unmoored her momentarily and she kept hold of the rim of his plate a fraction too long.
Falling Under, Through the Dark by Damien Angelica Walters
Kara’s sitting at her desk when she falls. There’s no time for panic; it happens too fast. One moment she’s working; the next, she’s in the water. Gravity and the force of the fall plunge her into the depths and everything blurs. She wants to yell but her body needs to conserve oxygen and won’t allow it. Natural buoyancy kicks in and she bobs to the surface, eyes still burning from the chlorine.
My Boy Builds Coffins by Gary McMahon
illustrated by Richard Wagner
Susan found the first one when she was tidying his room.
Chris was at school, and she’d been sprucing up the house before popping off to collect him after the afternoon session. The ground floor was done; the lounge was spick-and-span (as her mother had loved to say) and the kitchen was so clean it belonged in a show home. The downstairs bathroom was clean enough for a royal inspection. The en-suite would do, she supposed, and her and Dan’s bedroom was the best it could be considering they both liked to dump their dirty clothes all over the floor and the furniture.
Magnifying Glass by Sarah Read
Outside our new house, the sun flashed off the wall of windows and it looked like it was filled with liquid fire. But inside, the air was milky, dim with dust that floated on those relentless sunbeams. By the time we had the windows clean, we were wearing sunglasses inside, squinting at the wall of trees that held us in on all sides. Like a fortress of pine and glass. Safe. Hidden.
Men Wearing Makeup by Ralph Robert Moore
illustrated by Ben Baldwin
You are so tired.
Eyes closing, opening.
Falling backwards inside your mind, bright orange images, talking to people you don’t know.
The pillow feels so soft against the back of your head. Closing.
A tree falls off the ceiling, you jerk forward off the headrest of your car seat, swerve to the right, coffee splashing out of its cup.
Tires sliding sideways on asphalt.
Car stalled across the road.
Ticking from the engine.
Rub both hands over your face.
Coffinmaker's Blues by Stephen Volk
Horror (Not Horror)
In the context of a discussion of Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook and Mike Flanagan’s Oculus, film critic Anton Bitel recently noted: “I think at the moment there is a healthy rejection of ossified conventions (and cheap studio jump scares) within the genre. From the outside, horror has always been viewed with suspicion and a good deal of contempt – but now (always?) the genre’s boundaries are being interrogated from within as well, and the result is much adventurism, originality and idiosyncrasy.”
Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker
Reviews, What Are They Good For?
I’m not sure whether the word “reviews” or “awards” in a room of horror writers is more likely to send half of them running for the exit and the other half baying for blood, but the topic of reviews and criticism in the horror genre is almost certain to ignite passions among writers and readers alike. The problem is that it’s a crazy hydra head of a beast that comprises many elements including writer egos, fans, online culture, loyalty, friendship, commerce and more
Case Notes: Book Reviews by Peter Tennant
EVERYTHING SWARMING AROUND US: RALPH ROBERT MOORE
A review of Ghosters, the latest book from Ralph Robert Moore, plus a substantial interview with the author.
H.P. LOVECRAFT: THE MAN AND HIS MONSTERS
A review of Paul Roland's biography The Curious Case of H.P. Lovecraft, and of six HPL novellas recently released in special editions by PS Publishing, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Dreams in the Witch House, The Dunwich Horror, The Shadow Out of Time, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and At the Mountains of Madness, all of which come with introductions by S.T. Joshi and illustrations from Pete Von Sholly, plus other bonus material.
DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES
Reviews of I.N.J. Culbard's graphic novel adaptation of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Starry Wisdom Library edited by Nate Pedersen, Whispers From the Abyss edited by Kat Rocha, Amanda Downum's novel Dreams of Shreds & Tatters, and Donald Tyson's The Lovecraft Coven.
CRAWLING DOWN THE YEARS
Reviews of That Is Not Dead edited by Darrell Schweitzer, and Whispers in the Dark edited by Scott Harrison.
Blood Spectrum: DVD/Blu-ray Reviews by Tony Lee
Starry Eyes, The ABCs of Death 2, The Remaining, Hemlock Grove Season 2, Late Phases, Rigor Mortis, Discopath, Killer Mermaids, American Ghost Story, What We Do in the Shadows, Beneath, Hooked Up, The Asylum, World War Dead: Rise of the Fallen, Darkest Day, The Duke of Burgundy, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead
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