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Black Static



22nd Aug, 2020


Item image: Black Static 76

The cover art is 'Pestilence' by Richard Wagner



Fatal Memory by Rhonda Pressley Veit
illustrated by Ben Baldwin 

Item image: Fatal Memory

The phone, which has taken on mystical qualities, summons him. Medder isn’t sure if it rang. He’s never sure anymore. He knows that because he’s lived alone for a very long time, he occasionally mistakes his thoughts for reality. Revised histories rattle around in his mind, things he wishes he’d said, some persistent, niggling hopes from his past. None of it is real, in the proper sense. But the summoning he’s sure of.


Resting Bitch Face by Lucie McKnight Hardy
illustrated by Richard Wagner 

Item image: Resting Bitch Face

The wife knows it’s coming before it arrives. She can see it in his splayed-leg stance, the curl on his upper lip.

“Chewing wasps again, love?” The husband leans against the sink, a pear in his right hand.

“What?” But she knows what he’s going to say.


Phantasmagoria by Abi Hynes 

Item image: Phantasmagoria

Phantasmagoria: a sequence of real or imaginary images like those seen in a dream

We spent half an hour trying to “thread the needle”. You sit on the floor, plant one foot and lift the other. You clasp your hands, and as you try to stand (one-legged, remember, like a heron) you thread the needle of your lifted leg through the eye of your arms. Then back down again, each movement in reverse. It was the sort of torture-disguised-as-training that our physical theatre teacher liked to indulge in. She liked to demonstrate, at length, and then watch us fail, marking against our names on her clipboard when we did. I had the sort of swollen, second-year-of-uni body you see worn by girls who didn’t go to private school, who are spending their own money for the first time – on beer and chips to fill the space inside them which has recently become huge and lonely. It was a body that had always wanted to move, but it had been through enough high school PE lessons and village hall ballet classes to know that it would only be punished for it.


Nights at the Factory by Tim Cooke
illustrated by Vincent Sammy 

Item image: Nights at the Factory

cloak of blue darkness swept over the landscape, giving it an abstract character, like an oil painting. I crouched down within a cluster of dustbins, bullets of rain pelting my hood. Geraint, who was stooped with his hands on his knees, coughed loudly.


The Stationery Cupboard by Stephen Hargadon

Item image: The Stationery Cupboard

Byrne never thought he’d last this long. Two or three years at the most, not twenty-five. That’s how he thought back then. He hopped from job to job, each move earning him a little more money. He was not the type to be promoted internally. He didn’t have the charm, the guile, the studiously ironed trousers. Small talk didn’t come naturally to him. Hi, how was Anglesey? How’s your little boy doing? Did you buy those curtains in the end? He didn’t know what to say to the managers he passed in the corridor, his eyes searching for items of interest in the carpet. He never commented on the weather or discussed last night’s telly. He was too busy listening to the voices in his head.



Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker


Horror is the fiction of trauma. I’ve always felt that the real fear at its heart comes less from the specifics in the story than that cracking open of reality, the sudden understanding of how illusory any sense of stability is. In that regard, it reflects the human condition: that no matter how comfortable and charmed your life may have been, if you live long enough, you, too, will live through that event, get that devastating phone call, that delivers the same appalling knowledge.


Into the Woods by Ralph Robert Moore


Twenty years ago, when Mary and I were still working in ceiling-lit offices in Dallas, we were driving home one night on 75 Central, an eight-lane highway running north and south through the city, when hands on the steering wheel I realized there was something other than a car on the road up ahead. I was expecting to only see traffic, so it took me a moment to realize what was rolling and bouncing from lane to lane up ahead was a huge bundle of cellophane.



Case Notes: Book Reviews

Philip Fracassi: Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay • Laura Mauro: The Dregs Trilogy by Chris Kelso + Chris Kelso interviewed • Daniel Carpenter: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia • David Surface: One Good Story: Reassurance by Allan Gurganus • Georgina Bruce: Regret by Robert Stone + The Wash by Daniel Gothard + Trick of the Light by Andrew Humphrey + Hide by Roberta Dewa + The Illiterate Ghost by Alan Price


Blood Spectrum: Film Reviews by Gary Couzens

Snowpiercer • The Vast of Night • The Lighthouse • Little Joe • Hagazussa • Revenge • The Woman • The Vanishing (Spoorloos) • Black Rainbow • After Midnight • The Beast Must Die • Mr. Vampire • Throwdown • The Grudge • Inferno of Torture • Blood Tide


Where to buy Black Static

This issue is available in good shops in the UK and 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 a version of the magazine for e-readers from places like Weightless Books (highly recommended, and they also offer subscriptions), Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, etc.

The best thing though is to click on the Shop button above or the link below and buy this new issue or 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 overseas orders are sent via 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. Thanks!


Coming soon

Black Static 77 is out in November, with new fiction by Philip Fracassi, Steve Rasnic Tem and others. Please subscribe now.


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