Black Static Nineteen - October/November 2010
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Ben Baldwin
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press ISBN/ITEM#: 1753-0709
Date: 26 October 2010
Links: TTA Press / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Black Static is here with #19 some fine horror fiction.
The stories in this issue begin with "Chain Reaction" by Steve Rasnic Tem. Our narrator is driving a truck, annoyed at the car in front of him when some kind of rock slide occurs, causing him and the other cars to fall down an embankment. He wakes to shouts that digging them out will take some time. Over the rest of the day, he visits some of his fellow drivers. I won't say more except that this had a very unsettling ending.
A boy named Tommy is "Beachcombing" in the story by Ray Cluley. He picks things up and experiences the thoughts of those that held the objects last. He does not understand them but we do, especially in the case of a man whom he sees on the beach. This one was a fascinating look into the mind of a boy who seems to be simple-minded, but sees things no one else sees.
Dennis has had problems sleeping and dreaming in "The Sleep Mask" by Joel Lane. He is finally diagnosed with a sleep disorder and wears a mask which helps him sleep and dream. His dreams are of his parents who died in a fire. As the story develops, we learn more about Dennis and his life and this effective, haunting story gives us a chill.
"They Will Not Rest" by Simon Clark has one of the more bizarre world disaster scenarios, coffins appears out of nowhere and if you fall asleep near one, you wake up with a dead body next to you. Then, you die. John, Penelope and Letty are driving around the countryside, avoiding as much as they can. Letty’s immunity to the coffins protects them, but John assures their survival through other methods. This was the creepiest story in the issue, and the best.
The issue concludes with Lavie Tidhar's "The Wound Dresser". Our narrator is some sort of angel who helps people in their last moments of life. In 1940s Germany, his job is a difficult one. Tidhar is one of our most talented new writers and this is one of his best.
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