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Black Static Twenty-Two - April-May 2011
Edited by Andy Cox
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 1753-0709
Date: 25 May 2011

Links: Black Static / TTA Press / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Black Static #22 is here with new stories by Alan Wall, Tim Lees, Alison J. Littlewood, Steven Pirie, and Simon Kurt Unsworth, together with the usual fascinating articles and reviews.

Black Static is here with #22 and we get our bimonthly feast of horror fiction.

The fiction begins with "The Salt of Eliza" by Alan Wall. Jim is a writer who accepts an assignment from Fred Hurlingham a rich man who he doesn't like. Hurlingham takes Jim on his boat and shows him a hotel on the Yorkshire coastline called the New Elizabeth. The old Elizabeth had fallen into the sea. Hurlingham wants Jim to do a story on the owner of the hotel, a strange old man named Peshgau. Jim books a room in the hotel and starts investigating in the nearby town. He does find something, but not what he is expecting. This was a very good start to the issue.

A man named McDowell attends "Durgen's Party" in the story by Tim Lees. He is accompanied by a young woman named Wendy Mill who he has known less than three days. As the story develops, we find out the people gathered at the party, including McDowell have special powers. The sense of unease increases when Wendy goes missing. This was a great example of the quiet horror that this magazine is known for.

In "Black Feathers" by Alison J. Littlewood, Mia is a young girl who wishes her brother Davey was something else. She is not very daring, but Davey is and he has friends who love him for it. He will take risks but seems to have a knack for surviving. She makes a cloak for him that she hopes will transform him, but things do not turn out as she wanted in this sad, little tale.

"This Is Mary's Moon" by Steven Pirie features Mary, who has been forced into prostitution by an evil woman named Mrs. Anderson. The woman even killed Mary's mother. A man named Morton appears to her and puts wonderful dreams of the Moon in her head. I won't say more except that this was a very positive story about the triumph of the human spirit.

The fiction concludes with the brief "Child" by Simon Kurt Unsworth. A husband is awoken at night by a strange sound, He gets up to investigate and realizes that it is coming from the nursery that he and his wife furnished for a child that miscarried. This, too, is one in which I can't say too much except that it is beautifully written and also ends on a positive nite.

Another pitch-perfect issue of Black Static. Subscribe!

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