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Black Static #2 – December 2007 by Andy Cox
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: David Gentry
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 17530709
Date: 24 January 2008

Links: Magazine Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Black Static #2 comes soon after #1 with fiction by Lisa Tuttle & Steven Utley, F. Brett Cox, Scott Nicholson, Steve Rasnic Tem, Melanie Fazi, Lynda E. Rucker, and Andrew Humphrey accompanied by the usual fine reviews and articles.

Black Static #2 is another collection of "alternative" horror. You don't get standard monsters here. You get haunting stories, some of which are hard to summarize. Nonetheless, all the stories got a Very Good from me.

The issue begins with "In the Hole" by Lisa Tuttle & Steven Utley. Heath is a former prisoner of war, returning home after a long captivity. He arrives in his home town and seeks out the "girl he left behind". But things are not that simple in this grim, haunting story. Next up is "The Serpent and the Hatchet Gang" by F. Brett Cox. Julia is a widow in mid-19th century Rockport, Massachusetts. She is a part of a group of militant women who destroy every bottle of alcohol in the seaport town. But an encounter with a sea serpent gives her a frightening view of the future. Scott Nicholson's "Must See to Appreciate" tells us of Reynolds, a frustrated real estate agent who wants to complete the sale of a house to a young couple. Can he keep them out of the basement where an unwelcome visitor might scare them off? This has a great ending.

Veteran writer Steve Rasnic Tem contributes "Unknown", a tale of a man who wants to be nameless in a strange town. That proves impossible. Melanie Fazi's "In the Shape of a Dragon" features a young girl named Faustine. Her father is an artist and she is fascinated by his studio. She has artistic visions of her own but must find an independent way to express them. In "Ash-Mouth" by Lynda Rucker, Ivy's grandmother is fearful of a creature she calls Ash-Mouth who will come to kill her. She tells Ivy strange things and Ivy's mother thinks she's insane. But is she? Last of all, there is "Holding Pattern" by Andrew Humphrey. Douglas first notices something is wrong when his reflection in the mirror is out of sync. Gradually, things get even more out of hand as his life gets further and further from reality.

Black Static is for people who like horror which is more obscure and mysterious. If that's you taste, pick this up.

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