Black Static Fifty-Two – May/June 2016
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Wetwork by Ben Baldwin
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press ISBN/ITEM#: 1753-0709
Date: 30 May 2016
Links: Black Static / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Black Static #52 is here and it's a good issue once you get beyond a disappointing beginning.
The fiction begins with the novelette, "Wetwork" by Carole Johnstone. -+- DI Lawry and DS Farquharson of the Stewart Street CID deal with horrendous murders in what seems like some sort of zombie apocalypse. But Farquharson is hiding something from his partner. This is an overly long story that takes forever to get to its conclusion but can't find a moment to give us a modicum of background on what the disaster is. Disappointing.
"Deep Within the Marrow, Hidden in My Smile" by Damien Angelica Walters -+- Courtney's widowed mother marries a man who lost his wife and they move into his mansion. His daughter, Alyssa, doesn't like the intruders and keeps to herself. Courtney wakes up several times to find Alyssa in her room and does not know how to deal with it. One night, things come to a climax and things get really unsettling after that. Really creepy.
"The Oestriade" by Robert Levy -+- Billy and Dara's mother disappeared 20 days ago and Billy has put off leaving for college. Suddenly a woman looking like their mother shows up saying she is their mother's sister, their Aunt Lydie. Billy is suspicious but Dara accepts her. But when Aunt Lydie seems to be drawing the life out of Dara, Billy must do something. Very good.
"My Sister, the Fairy Princess" by Michelle Ann King -+- Ann, now calling herself Annamaria, has returned home to her sister, Daisy, after the death of their mother. Ann's mother had once told her that Daisy was a changeling, but then denied it. But there is something about Daisy. Well told in just two pages.
The fiction concludes with "Trying to Get Back to Nonchalant" by Ralph Robert Moore. -+- Hal is an ex-boxer and is attracted to Nora, the receptionist at his doctor's office. He befriends Nora's daughter, Jasmine, who tells him that her doll had breast cancer. Nora's husband is dead and they begin dating. Hal and Jasmine get along, especially when he helps her burn and melt her doll to show her that she has breast cancer. If you think things are getting weird you are right, but you have no idea how weird. Very effectively done with a real growing sense of unease.