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Black Static


Black Static 10

21st Apr, 2009

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We are giving this issue away FREE with all new subscriptions received until the end of May. You need do nothing to get this free issue except subscribe via the website Shop (click on the link above, the Buy Now star or the link at the bottom of the page) or by post to the editorial address (cheques payable to TTA Press). This offer is open to anyone and we invite you to spread the word by posting this news and/or a link to this page to your own website or blog, and to as many forums as you like.



As usual, cover art and original interior art is by David Gentry



Piano Man by Christopher Fowler

I knew I was right to hate jazz, but New Orleans gave me a reason to fear it. For years I figured it was black-sweater-and-goatee music that appealed to aged hipsters, but in the Big Easy that image is only part of the story. There are plenty of jazz-funksters and rap­masters around that town now, but you can still find bars where the music hasn’t changed in eighty years. The real trouble is that old jazz can be twisted into easy listen­ing and piped into elevators like soap bubbles that burble through the over­heated air at a volume just loud enough to cloud your thoughts. A reworking of Weather Report’s ‘Birdland’ was play­ing in the lobby of the Marriot hotel when I arrived, and a horrible, plinky electro-version of Miles Davis’s ‘So What’ issued from the speakers as I handed my key in to the concierge.

The Chair by Gary McMahon

The long winter evenings were hardest of all: when day­light ended early and the darkness that took its place was hard and flat as sheet metal, Ben waited in vain for his father’s shadow to arrive. He waited for so long and so often that it became habit, a ritual like so many others that made up his existence.

Washer Woman by Scott Lambridis
inspired by art by Dave Senecal, reproduced here

Now he mutters, mostly. Except the nights when I hear him sing. All through the night. Sure, Minks became a nutjob long before he ever got here, but oh man, when he sings he pacifies the angels and drives the devils mad and sleepless. Before he was enlisted he taught mythology. Both him and his wife. So he’s familiar with fear. He should know better than anyone in the platoon, hell, anyone I’ve ever met, how easily it turns to superstition. They were high school sweethearts, him and his wife, in love with their own story, he’d said. When I stole the old letters he was reading one night I asked him where she was. “Cancer,” is all he said, and then he turned over in his cot. The aluminum frame holding the stretched green canvas made a clack-clack sound on the cement floor. I put the letters back and left him alone. The only other thing he ever reads is his old book of Celtic myths. He was probably that one high school teacher you re­member later who actually liked his job for the right reas­ons. You know, the reasons you’re still trying to find.

Vic by Maura McHugh

Vic’s room was small and awkward, just like him. When Father built the extension above the garage the narrow asymmetrical space was intended as a storage closet for chemicals, equipment, and spare parts, not for toys, books, and a boy. Its best feature was a large double window that spied across the fenced-in overgrown back yard, and offered Vic a slice of the street and the houses beyond. The sash only opened a little, but the breaths of air that slipped in spoke of wet grass and freedom, and masked the workshop stench from next door.

Because Your Blood Is Darker Than Mine by James Cooper

When Lilly walked into Michael’s bedroom, he was sealing his gerbil in a clear, zip-lock bag. He was dress­ed in bright blue pyjamas and his face bore a look of baffled concentration. He knew that what he was doing was wrong.

Eastlick by Shannon Page

I first see the guy up close when I’m coming home from school. Junior high. I’m wearing purple corduroy pants and a white blouse with lace ruffles at the top and on the sleeves. It itches, but it looks cool, so I wear it anyway.


White Noise by Peter Tennant

Interference by Christopher Fowler

Electric Darkness by Stephen Volk

Night’s Plutonian Shore by Mike O’Driscoll

Blood Spectrum by Tony Lee
DVD/Blu-ray reviews, including the Feast trilogy, Mutant Chronicles, Max Payne, Saw V, Scar, Blindness, The Children, Hansel & Gretel, Fingerprints, Boogeyman 3, Mirrors, Watch Me When I Kill, Babysitter Wanted, They Wait, Red Sands, Vacancy 2: The First Cut, Borderland, Manhunt, Anamorph, Undead Or Alive plus draws to win free copies of several of these (see Competitions category)

Case Notes by Peter Tennant
reviews of books by Charlie Huston, L.H. Maynard & M.P.N. Sims, John Skipp & Cody Goodfellow, Thomas Ligotti (plus interview), Ellen Datlow (plus interview), David Moody, Tom Piccirilli, Brian Keene, Andrew Neiderman, David Devereux, Allyson Bird


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