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Black Static



13th Jul, 2012

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Black Static is now a new size, with more pages (96), a gloss laminated cover and a spine…



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This is the front and back cover of the new look Black Static. The art is Trickster by Ben Baldwin.



Sunshine by Nina Allan
illustrated by Ben Baldwin

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You asked me where I came from. I was born in Paris, in the shadow of Montmartre, but my mother soon moved me first to Brighton, on England’s south coast, and then to London. I have no memories of Paris from when I was a baby, though I have visited that city more than a dozen times since. My mother’s name is Michaela Olsen, and I am Daniel Clement Olsen. I don’t know my father’s name, and nor do I wish to.

I am a shade under six feet tall, light of build and with a knock-kneed, somewhat stooping deportment. I have been called scrawny, though my victims seem to find me good looking. I have wide, slightly flaring nostrils, fine shoulder-length hair the colour of barley water. My eyes are a watery blue.

I am a student of philosophy, though I am unlikely to ever gain my degree. If anyone asks me my age, I say twenty-six.


Horseman by Renee Carter Hall
illustrated by Rich Sampson

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The birth was not going well. He watched on the black-and-white closed-circuit monitor as the dapple gray mare, Carolina Moon, strained and panted through what should have been the shortest and final stage of labor. Nothing was happening, and that wasn’t good.


Chodpa by Baph Tripp
illustrated by Rik Rawling 

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I haven’t told anybody where I’m going. Which is, after all, pretty easy. People are generally only interested in the lives of others to the degree that they think will be perceived as polite. Gave my notice at work – unskilled in any but the broadest of senses and essentially inessential. A couple of disinterested questions from my supervisor to which I gave ambiguous answers that were apparently good enough for whatever forms needed to be filled out.


Shark! Shark! by Ray Cluley 

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We’ll begin right away with the title.

‘Shark! Shark!’

We’re on a beach in the summer. I could tell you about how beautiful and clean the stretch of sand is, and how the sea is calm and bright and blue beneath a sky that’s just the same, but you won’t care about that now, not when someone’s calling “Shark!” The cry comes from a blonde woman in a bikini, her hands cupped around her mouth, looking around the crowd. “Shark!”


The Counterweight by Tim Lees
illustrated by Robert Dunn 

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In films, they’re suave and debonair; or savage, fierce and terrible. They’re sexy. Murderous. They’ve got extreme stamped right across their skulls, a presence and an energy that seems to shrink all human efforts into nothing by comparison. They’re angels, devils, and the moment they’re on screen, you’re hooked. You just can’t look away.

But films are simple things. One-celled animals, amoebae in the world of narrative. Real life’s more complex, harder to pin down…and much too easy to get wrong.



Coffinmaker's Blues by Stephen Volk

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I recently received notes from a network drama exec on a new proposal. My main character was too passive. Too reactive. Could he have more of a “goal”? Could he be more charismatic? “Could he, I don’t know…play the violin?” As my script editor responded with no small amount of sarcasm: “I know. Let’s have him play the trombone!”

Aside from the stupidity of the exec’s suggestion, the obvious thing here is, he was talking about characterisation, not character. It made me realise even hardened readers and TV professionals have little or no idea what goes into making a character great. Or even interesting.


Interference by Christopher Fowler

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In the previous issue my esteemed colleagues Mike O’Driscoll and Stephen Volk discussed Being Human and The Exorcist, and both touched on something that has long fascinated me. Believability is something all genre writers must grapple with. We write about the undead, vampires and ghosts, and are expected to provide plausible explanations for mankind’s oldest fears, which are really only the summation of one fear – the fear of death. The fact that we are irrational creatures should absolve us from providing explanations, but we also need satisfying outcomes to our stories. This creates a problem for the writer: how do we satisfy, yet make believable our tale by leaving part of it unknowable?



Case Notes: Book Reviews by Peter Tennant

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Nicholas Royle: Regicide, Murmurations, interview • Magazine Spotlight: Shadows & Tall Trees • Devil's Advocates: Let the Right One In, Witchfinder General • Chapbooks: Into the Penny Arcade, Marionettes, Rough Music, The Eyes of Water, Joe & Me • Novellas: The Respectable Face of Tyranny, Hunter’s Moon, Bad Blood, Lords of Twilight, Thirty Miles South of Dry County, Reign of Blood, Down Here in the Dark, Rusting Chickens, Blindspot, The Engines of Sacrifice, The Architect


Silver Bullets: TV Reviews by Mike O'Driscoll

It's the Blood, Stupid!: True Blood, Dexter, Braquo


Blood Spectrum: DVD/Blu-ray Reviews by Tony Lee

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Coverage of current and forthcoming releases including War of the Dead, Juan of the Dead, Exit Humanity, The Howling: Reborn, The Darkest Hour, The Grey, Piggy, Yatterman, Bleach, Chronicle, Island of Lost Souls, Jabberwock, The HOuse, The Squad, The Innkeepers, The Woman in Black, Absentia, Crows Zero II, Airborne


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