BLACK STATIC 50
The cover art is by Vince Haig (for Georgina Bruce's 'White Rabbit')
White Rabbit by Georgina Bruce
illustrated by Vince Haig
When Sarah Little dies, the crows in the garden raise their wings and take to the sky in a black, flapping murder. They hurtle upwards towards the noontime sun, a flock of feathers. It is a dog day, the peak of summer.
Man of the House by V.H. Leslie
illustrated by Richard Wagner
It was not without a little trepidation that Dudley brought Dorothea home to meet the parents. He’d decked out the guest bedroom especially, consigning the items it housed – Mother’s sewing machine, Father’s collection of antique clocks – to the attic. He decorated it with William Morris wallpaper and long sweeping lengths of floral fabric that framed the windows and spilled out from the four-poster bed in a cascade of primroses and forget-me-nots. He’d decorated the other rooms in the house to a similar standard, with overly large ceiling centrepieces and imposing gilded fireplaces. It was indicative of his taste for excess and opulence but it wasn’t just a sense of grandeur he wanted to evoke. He was equally obsessed with the small details, with the trim on a cushion, the inlay on a cabinet, with the beauty of the infinitesimal.
Child of Thorns by Ray Cluley
illustrated by Martin Hanford
The cabin’s single room was small but three people in it made it smaller still and Jessie’s screaming made it worse, filling the room – what was left of it to fill – with a jagged howling that just about tore the world apart.
Greenteeth by Gary Budden
Nell sits on her bench. Hair like duckweed and a coat the colour of bilge, textured like algae. She must be hot. Her little black dog dozes in the sun by her feet. She’s drinking from a can clenched in a fist, that chemical super-strength stuff that rots you from the inside out.
Foul is Fair by Tyler Keevil
How startling to enter the lobby of the St Pellier Hotel, on the night of his only performance in London, and find it filled with men in kilts and tartan colours. Dozens and dozens of them.
At first Michael thought it was a wedding party of some sort, the kind of thing you’d expect at a luxury hotel. He had his daughter Amy cradled in his arms, and he tried to shield her as he worked his way through the throng, with his wife Shona following close behind. Once he was among the men, surrounded, Michael began to realise that it wasn’t a wedding party at all; many of the men were dressed in football shirts. Blue and white. They had pints of ale in their hands, or cans of lager. The floor was slick and sloppy with spilt beer. The men were swearing, shouting, laughing. Across the foyer, one of them called another a dozy fucker.
Bug Skin by Tim Casson
Ally was in the kitchen packing when Phil came in wearing Owen’s T-shirt. She wondered if Phil had been through Owen’s drawers. The T-shirt was black with one of those weird designs Owen seemed to go for. Something to do with that singer Miya. Owen didn’t do plain, see a blank space and he had to fill it. Just look at his old school books, his bedroom walls, the tattoos on his arms
Coffinmaker's Blues by Stephen Volk
10 WAYS COMEDY AND HORROR ARE ALMOST THE SAME THING
Horror can of course be played for laughs, as we all know (and as Lynda Rucker explored in the last issue) – there are horror movies that are holding-your-ribs hilarious, like Peter Jackson’s Brain Dead, or laffers (as Variety would call them) with a dark undercurrent, like Lars and The Real Girl – but a comedy idea can be played for absolute horror, too.
Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker
MEET THE NEW GOTH, SAME AS THE OLD GOTH
It’s something of a fool’s game to try and chase the origins of a mode or genre of fiction. No matter how far back we look there seems to be something that arguably came before, and even if we start with the earliest known stories, we must assume that something preceded them. It is certain, however, that while horror storytelling did not originate with the gothic, it is one of the more significant waystations in the development of horror fiction as we know it today.
Case Notes: Book Reviews by Peter Tennant
Dark Screams Volume Three, Dark Screams Volume Four, Dark Screams Volume Five
The Home by Tom Fletcher, The Harvestman by Alison Moore, Last Christmas by John D. Rutter, The Woman Who Lived in a Restaurant by Leone Ross
FUTURE UNCERTAIN: SIMON BESTWICK
Angels of the Silences, Hell’s Ditch, plus author interview
THE ALCHEMY PRESS
Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties by Jan Edwards, Dead Water and Other Weird Tales by David A. Sutton, Give Me These Moments Back by Mike Chinn, Monsters by Paul Kane, Music in the Bone and Other Stories by Marion Pitman, Evocations by Hames Brogden
Blood Spectrum: DVD/Blu-ray Reviews by Tony Lee
Maggie, Fear the Walking Dead Season One, Sinister 2, The Reflecting Skin, Ghost Story, Dartmoor Killing, American Horror Story: Freak Show, Maneater, The Honeymoon Killers, The Stranger, Blood Rage, River, The Gift, and much more
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Black Static 51 is out in March. Watch out for new fiction by Stephen Graham Jones, Norman Prentiss, Caren Gussoff, Gary McMahon and others. Subscribe now!
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