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Black Static #55 - Nov/Dec 2016
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Catharsis by Martin Hannaford
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press Magazine  ISBN/ITEM#: 1753-0709
Date: 31 December 2016

Links: Black Static / How to Order / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Black Static #55 is here with stories by Stephen Hargadon, Lisa Tuttle, David Hartley, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Simon Avery, and Jeff Bowles, together with the usual fascinating articles and reviews.

Black Static #55 is here and it's a really good one!

The fiction begins with the novelette "McMara's Rock" by Stephen Hargadon. -+- The titular rock is actually a rock split in two. It's in a field owned by two brothers, Michael and Jerome, near the town of Drumsheedy. There is a legend about how the rock got there, but no one really knows. The two brothers are different. It is Michael who stays at home and would never leave. Jerome travels and gets himself into trouble. But it's when Jerome comes home that things happen. Nice buildup from what seems like a lot of Irish nonsense to some true horror.

"A Home in the Sky" by Lisa Tuttle -+- Cara is intrigued by a small model house, about the size of a garden shed that is on a platform with a ladder leading to it. She encounters a young man who might be squatting there. She later finds out that there are no more houses being built in the development. When she returns, the house seems smaller. What is happening? Another great horror story from one of the best writers in the genre.

"Pigskin" by David Hartley -+- Pig wakes up to find that his skin is bacon, his brain is pork. his face is ham, his cock is sausage spiked with rosemary and thyme, his heart is black pudding. Similar things are happening to the other farm animals. He does something about it. Great satiric horror here.

"Something Deadly, Something Dark" by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam -+- Grace, Jamie and Owen are in a band touring the Land of the Dead. There has been something called the "encroachment" and the rules of life are different there. Jamie's cousin, Taj, has found a curious hallucinogenic plant and there are other odd things. Truly creepy story.

"A Very Lonely Revolution" by Simon Avery -+- Tom's friend, Julian, committed suicide and Tom misses him. He becomes convinced that someone is living in Julian's house. He finds out that Julian had contacted a business called ISO and he gets into contact them to deal with his own loneliness. He has the same experience Julian had but that gives him a purpose in life. Very imaginative and horrifying story that touches the heart.

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