Black Static 50 – Jan/Feb 2016
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Vince Haig (for Georgina Bruce's 'White Rabbit')
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press Magazine ISBN/ITEM#: 1753-0709
Date: 28 January 2016
Links: Black Static / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Black Static #50 is here and it's another good one.
The fiction begins with "White Rabbit" by Georgina Bruce -+- Sarah Little dies alone in her room while her husband of 58 years, Alec, is outside. He feels guilty that he was not there. Something like her ghost haunts the house. So do memories of Alec's past with his daughters. He is clearly failing, no matter what his daughters can do. A sad, poignant tale of loss.
"Man of the House" by V.H. Leslie -+- Dudley is 35 years old, living with his father. His sole interest is the doll house that had been his mother's. He has made Father and Mother dolls and has introduced a young woman named Dorothea to the house to meet "the parents". He begins to notice that things change in the dollhouse without his intervention. A visiting nurse named Marnie and her daughter, Molly, complicate things further. Nicely unsettling story.
"Child of Thorns" by Ray Cluley -+- Nessa is mid-wife at the birth of Danny and Jesse's child, a child covered in brambles and thorns. She herself is not fertile but has been receiving Danny's seed herself, even though she loves her husband, Merrin. But she finds something that she can call her own. Good atmospheric story.
"Greenteeth" by Gary Budden -+- Unable to live in London proper, our narrator and her man live on a boat. But her life continues to sink. Okay.
"Foul is Fair" by Tyler Keevil -+- Michael is an actor in London for a one-night performance as MacDuff. His wife Shona and four-year-old daughter are with him. In the hotel lobby, they encounter some Scottish football fans and one of them, Cal, thinks Amy is his daughter, Annie. As the story unfolds, we learn more about them and what may be a connection between Annie and Amy. Good story with a nice little twist in it.
The fiction concludes with "Bug Skin" by Tim Casson. -+- Ally's Goth son, Owen, is gone and she is moving out, getting rid of his things. All evidence points to the idea that he died near a bridge not far away from their house. He was obsessed with a mysterious singer named Miya who lives on a ranch in Texas. She has a certificate from this Miya saying that Owen had shed his bug skin and become something new. What really happened. Nicely done and eerie. Apparently, there are more stories featuring this Miya on the way. I'll be looking forward to them.