Black Static Sixteen - April/May 2010
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Chris Nurse
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press Magazine ISBN/ITEM#: 1753-0709
Date: 24 May 2010
Links: TTA Press / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Black Static is here with #16 and this is another great issue!
The stories in this issue begin with "The Overseer" by Tim Casson. Darius is down on his luck, lucky to be working in a mill after the business his father founded went belly up in a cataclysmic financial disaster known as the Crash. The manager of the mill wears a special mask that protects him from the fumes that Darius and the other workers are exposed to. The mask reminds him of an artifact his father owned, fragments of an Egyptian stone tablet that showed a jackal–headed overseer supervising slaves. Darius has a promise of a better life but must attend to something first. We learn more about Darius and his situation in this well-done piece of horror.
M.G. Preston follows with "Extreme Latitude", a short piece featuring the diary of a man named Krog, a scientist working at a weather station 1000 kilometers from the North Pole. Even though the ice caps are melting, things are still cold and Krog is in the middle of a months-long night. He is a solitary man and the dark leads to dark thoughts when he hears what he thinks is a humming sound. Another element is that the graveyard in the town had to stop accepting corpses eighty years previously because the bodies would not decompose. This was a perfectly written descent into obsession and madness.
In "One Last Wild Waltz" by Mike O'Driscoll, Ceri Edavane returns to his hometown in South Wales when his abusive brother Frank dies in a fire. The fire consumed most of the house in which Ceri had grown up. Ceri also reconnects with Alison, his brother's wife who he had once loved. Events become more and more unsettling as this builds to a grim conclusion.
"The Empty Spaces" in the story by Alison J. Littlewood are things which our senses cannot perceive and are filled in by hallucinations. Laurie Turner sees Marilyn Monroe in the sitting room he shares with his brother-in-law, Bill. Their wives, who were sisters, were slain some time ago when the two were getting drunk in a bar and did not pick them up at a train station. Laurie sees but does not hear because, while his sight is bad, his hearing is perfect. Laurie has visions of their dead wives and knows when he can hear them, his time will be up. This was another very unsettling story.
Last of all, is "The Moon Will Look Strange" by Lynda E. Rucker. Colin has fled to Spain after the death of his daughter, Samantha. His friend Yarrow says he knows magic to bring her back, but that Colin must participate. When Yarrow dies of cancer, Colin tries to do his part to bring Samantha back leading to an especially nasty ending.
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