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Black Static



30th Oct, 2020


Item image: Black Static 77

The cover art is 'The Proposition' by Ben Baldwin



The Guardian by Philip Fracassi 

Item image: The Guardian

“Welcome to paradise!”

Eva gripped the chrome handrail and stood, bare feet balancing on the boat’s laminate floor. Their bronze, shirtless guide eased them into a cove and the small island – which had appeared as nothing more than a thatch of dense palm trees ten minutes ago – took on more dimension and character.


The Dead Outside My Door by Steve Rasnic Tem 

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Some days the dead drifted: the ones empty of viscera, whose skeletons had worn wafer-thin, whose remaining skin was like parchment. They were as vague and insubstantial as memories imperfectly recalled. Sometimes the slightest breeze picked them up and tumbled them along the ground or flew them like kites. Jay suspected no one flew kites anymore and he didn’t have the words to express how sad this made him.


The Rabbit: A Memory or a Dream by Françoise Harvey

Item image: The Rabbit: A Memory or a Dream

This is a simple story. An anecdote, almost. I don’t know why I bother to tell it, except to pin it on paper, to find the edges of it.

It was the early 90s. I must have been about ten years old, and my younger sister eight or nine. We were old enough to be trusted, on long summer afternoons, to walk home from our nearby school by ourselves.

We went to a small school almost at the outskirts of the village, and lived down a short leafy glen road, away from the grouped houses in the small estates, the community. Perhaps if we had had to follow the main road home, which ran through the village as a clamouring rumble of diesel fumes, we wouldn’t have been allowed to make the journey by ourselves. But we only had to cross it with the lollipop lady, traipse through the quiet cul-de-sac where the tar popped in satisfying bubbles between the pavement slabs, and from there we sauntered up a few sloped and gravelly steps to the railway track.


Fossil Light by David Martin

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Denny and me are up on the roof as the first stars poke through the deep blue summer twilight. It’s just a little patch of flat roof over the kitchen, you have to scramble out of my bedroom window to get on to it. You worry a bit about it giving way and landing you on your arse in a load of rubble in the middle of the washing up, but it’s magic up here.


The Bride by Shaenon K. Garrity

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As you drive south, the heat rushes up to greet you like your name is in the guestbook and it has your room prepared. A wet, eager heat, scarlet and citrus, the heat of orange crayons melting under a windshield, a heat that already feels like a sunburn. She’s at the center, and you might as well know you’ll never reach her. But here you are, still driving.


Hell and a Day by Eric Schaller
illustrated by Joachim Luetke

Item image: Hell and a Day 

Cobwebs might be the better metaphor, after all. Derrick still didn’t understand how the movie had gotten recommended to him by the Amazon Prime algorithms. He’d lost track of the plot early on. The acting was amateurish or maybe the director employed stilted dialogue for artistic reasons. That level of artificiality used to be all the rage. The choice of camera angles to frame the scenes was also limited. All Derrick saw of the house was its front porch and the lower half of a bay window on its second floor.



Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker


The discovery of Christmas as a season of ghosts was something of a revelation for me as an adult. In America we also had A Christmas Carol, of course, but besides the three shades who visited Scrooge to warn him of the terrible consequences of his greedy ways, there was no particular sense of this time of year as one for spectres and hauntings. As far as I am aware, we did not have the Victorian tradition of telling ghost stories at Christmas – we were perhaps too busy in the 19th century creating a frontier mythos and fighting a civil war – or if we did, it did not carry over in any serious way to contemporary times. I think it was surely the Anglophile in Henry James that led him to set the framing of The Turn of the Screw on Christmas Eve.


Into the Woods by Ralph Robert Moore


The ‘Author’s Warning’ preface to Paul Reiser’s 1994 collection of humorous essays about relationships, Couplehood, states, “You will notice in just a second that this book actually begins on page 145. Don’t be alarmed – this is not a mistake… It’s just that I know when I’m reading, I love being smack in the middle of the book… This way, you can read the book for two minutes, and if anybody asks you how far along you are you can say, ‘I’m on page 151. And it’s really flying.’



Case Notes: Book Reviews

Alexander Glass: NVK by Temple Drake • Daniel Carpenter: The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson; True Story by Kate Reed Petty + author interview • David Surface: One Good Story: Slimikins by Charles Wilkinson • Andrew Hook: Ivory's Story by Eugen Bacon; Barking Circus by Douglas Thompson • Georgina Bruce: The Fountain Road Files by Richard MacLean Smith • Mike O'Driscoll: In the House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt


Blood Spectrum: Film Reviews by Gary Couzens

I’m Thinking of Ending Things • The Woman in Black • Dementia • The Man Who Laughs • Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi • The Painted Bird • Gretel & Hansel • The Alejandro Jodorowsky Collection • Pitch Black• Circus of Horrors • I, Monster • Sleepwalkers • The Deeper You Dig • The Devil All the Time • #Alive • Relic • Two Heads Creek • The Comic • Psycho • The Last Wave • Fury from the Deep • and more


Where to buy Black Static

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Coming soon

Black Static #78 is out in January 2021. Please subscribe now.


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