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Black Static Twenty - December/January 2011
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Darren Winter
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 1753-0709
Date: 25 January 2011

Links: Black Static 20 / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Black Static #20 is here with new stories by Paul Meloy & Sarah Pinborough, Norman Prentiss, Barbara A. Barnett, and Ray Chuley, together with the usual fascinating articles and reviews.

Black Static is here with #20.and, once more, it shows why it's the premiere horror magazine on the planet.

The stories in this issue begin with "The Compartments of Hell" by Paul Meloy and Sarah Pinborough. The world has ended. Almost. Something has killed just about everyone. The only survivors are crackheads, Roy, Stamper, Bex, and Snail. It's the opiates in the crack that keeps them alive. If you think this ennobles them, you're wrong. This was gritty and nasty, but, boy, did it work!

In Nate Southard's "Going Home, Ugly Stick in Hand" our narrator has armed himself with a bat with nails in it. He's left his hometown of Dawson because of a horror there. It's killed just about everyone and now it's killed his best friend. He returns, armed, in this grim, little chiller.

Cheryl Ann is little girl with "The Covered Doll" in the story by Norman Prentiss. It's covered because it had been damaged and her father said if they cover it in a sack, she can just remember it as it was when it was new. As the story develops, we get the idea that there are other things covered up. This is another well-crafted story that will really get to you.

"The Wounded House" by Barbara A. Barnett is told from the point of view of a young girl named Maggie, thirteen years old when the story opens. Her grandfather has died and she is staying with her grandmother. She senses something wrong in the house and talks to her grandmother about it. Can a house be wounded? This effective little piece provides us with some speculation.

The issue ends with "At Night, When the Demons Came" by Ray Chuley. Charlie is one of a group on the run from demons that have killed most of humanity. The group encounters a strong man with the incongruous name of Frances and a little girl named Cassie that he is protecting. Frances is good at killing demons and Cassie helps out. But there is something else that will really stick with you at the end of this one. This was the best story in the magazine and a good way to end it.

If you like horror fiction, there is no reason in the world not to subscribe to Black Static!

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