BLACK STATIC 34
The front and (connected) back cover art is by Ben Baldwin.
The Nightingale by Nina Allan
illustrated by Ben Baldwin
You know how Hans Christian Andersen’s story goes, don’t you? A king, wearied by issues of state (he never wanted to be king in the first place, but it seems he was stuck with it) finds solace in the song of a nightingale that appears mysteriously each evening to perform its golden concert outside his window. He becomes addicted to its song, so much so that his evening retirements become a source of rumour and gossip among his courtiers. What the hell is he doing in there? What evil plans is he hatching? Why does he refuse all appointments, even at the risk of appearing not only discourteous but perhaps off his rocker?
In This Blue Shade by Joel Lane
illustrated by Martin Hanford
Lee was woken by a voice speaking into his ear. But when he raised his head to look around the dusty, curtained bedroom, the voice had gone. He must have dreamt it. Instead of drawing him deeper into the dream so he could answer, it had woken him up so he couldn’t remember the question. That was people for you. Too rattled to lie in bed, he stumbled to the toilet and the shower. At least he wasn’t hung over, though that probably meant he was still a bit drunk. And there was work to be done. No time for self-pity, or any other kind.
The King Of Love My Shepherd Is by Ilan Lerman
illustrated by Tara Bush
It wasn't my fault I saw. I was worried about Arthur when that thug Finlay Scrutton punched him in the throat. All because he wouldn't pass the football. Even though he was in on goal and everything. Poor little fella. He always looked sad. He was short like the Primary Twos, but the same age as the rest of us. His mum blamed the rationing. We all had it the same so I didn't see how that was true.
Bullet by Andrew Hook
illustrated by Richard Wagner
I searched for my girlfriend armed with a copy of Kafka’s Bullet, a false map, and certain knowledge of the gateway to her dreams.
The Tower of Babel by Sean Logan
illustrated by Joachim Luetke
It is night, because it is always night here, and starless. But I can see. Across the threshold and through the cancerous black air, I can see.
There is a craggy obsidian path, as jagged as an old man’s spine, that ends in a rusty iron gate, strewn with roots as dense and unyielding as the metal they surround. Even as I look, I can see them growing, curling and expanding into the silent, unprotected spaces where other roots have snapped and withered. And they continue their shrivelling death for they are beset by gnashing teeth and slashing claws. But here I do not see so clearly. The beasts that attack the gate are blacker than the shadows, like a void cut in this world. To look at them is to stare into nothing.
But they are there. And they are trying to get in.
Coffinmaker's Blues by Stephen Volk
It was perhaps an unexpected, but not unnatural, development for the new incarnation of Hammer to venture into theatrical production with tried-and-tested classic The Turn of the Screw at the Almeida, impressed no doubt by the phenomenal success of Ghost Stories at the Lyric Hammersmith and in the West End, and the indefatigable longevity of the stage production of The Woman in Black.
Blood Pudding by Lynda E. Rucker
I feel as though some sort of introduction is in order.
Over decades of watching horror and horror writers consistently try to rebrand themselves with more genteel-sounding descriptions of their genre from “dark fantasy” to “supernatural thriller” and beyond, I always admired the straightforwardness of Ramsey Campbell’s no-nonsense introduction: “I’m Ramsey Campbell. I write horror.”
So. I write horror, too. I write it, and I read it, and I watch it, and I have a troubled relationship with it, and that’s one of the things I’ll be writing about in this space.
Case Notes: Book Reviews by Peter Tennant
MARK MORRIS: Long Shadows, Nightmare Light; Vampire Circus; It Sustains; author interview / CELEBRATING CUSHING: Whitstable by Stephen Volk / GRAPHIC NOVELS: Interview With the Vampire; Claudia's Story; Adamtine / JOHN LLEWELLYN PROBERT: Ward 19; The House That Death Built / STEPHEN KING: IN TRIVIAL PURSUIT: The Illustrated Stephen King Trivia Book; The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Trivia Book / CHAPBOOKS: Creakers by Paul Kane; The Fox by Conrad Williams / DARKFUSE NOVELLAS: Snowblind by Michael McBride; F9 by Michael McBride; Clockwork Dolls by William Meikle; Children of No One by Nicole Cushing; The Mourning House by Ronald Malfi; House of Rain by Greg F. Gigune; Stalking You Now by Jeff Strand
Silver Bullets: TV Reviews by Mike O'Driscoll
The Following; TV Horror
Blood Spectrum: DVD/Blu-ray Reviews by Tony Lee
Sleep Tight, The Echo, Bait, The Collection, Spartacus: War of the Damned, White Tiger, Slice & Dice: The Slasher Film Forever, True Blood, The Hidden Face, Scanners, Scanners 2, Scanners 3, Blood Simple, Evil Dead 2, Knightriders, Baron Blood, The Facility
Flux is a forthcoming fiction supplement containing exciting stories that we're unable to place in Interzone, Black Static or Crimewave. This will be sent out occasionally to subscribers of both Interzone and Black Static, totally free of charge. You can buy dual subscriptions to Interzone and Black Static securely from the online shop.
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