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Black Static Three – February 2008 by Andy Cox
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: David Gentry
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 17530709
Date: 26 March 2008

Links: Publisher's Webpage / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Black Static #3 is here with new stories by Alexander Glass, Seth Skorowski, Tony Richards, Ian R. Faulkner, Carole Johnstone, Will McIntosh and Matthew Holness, together with the usual fascinating articles and reviews.

Black Static seems to be on a pretty regular schedule and #3 is the best yet. I loved the articles and all the stories got a Very Good from me.

The issue begins with its scariest story, "The Pit" by Alexander Glass. A young boy is awakened one night and is horrified to see a hole in the floor of his room. Just big enough for him to slip through, the hole seems to open into a bottomless pit. He talks about this with his friend, Sarah, who tells him she has seen the pit too, and the only way to close it is to cut your arm and drop blood into it. She shows him her many scars. Over the years, he sees the pit at times of emotional stress, until a final confrontation.

The next story is a first sale, "The Mist of Lichthafen" by Seth Skorowski. Set in the seaport town of Lichthafen, in some nameless past, the story concerns a deadly mist that descends on the town several times a year. The mist contains monsters that eat people, so sensible villagers keep inside and lock the doors. Two thieves decide to use this opportunity to steal a priceless artifact.

In Tony Richards' "The Sentinels," a man rejected by a woman takes an ill-advised ride out into the desert. Things turn deadly and he must learn things from an unusual source in order to survive.

"The Difference Between" by Ian R. Faulkner is set in a World War I battlefield. Arthur Watts and his commanding officer are the only survivors of a useless charge into the enemy line. Now they must get back to their own line, but they have more to worry about than German bullets. Women called "the Keres -- the daughters of the goddess Nyx" are dispersed amongst the dying, eating men but only after consigning their souls to eternal damnation. All Arthur wants to do is to return home.

Another first-time author, Carole Johnstone, contributes "The Morning After." This one is a short piece about a man after an especially bad night who just needs to get down a long flight of steps so he can catch the 8:20 to Glasgow.

Will McIntosh's "The Fantasy Jumper" is an artificially created woman produced by a machine. As soon as she emerges from the machine, she says, "This time, maybe I'll reach the fountain" and proceeds to leap from a rooftop to a street below, landing somewhat short of the fountain. Several people create these beings with different results.

Concluding the issue, "The Toad and I" by Matthew Holness features a disgruntled employee who finds a way to get even.

Black Static is really hitting its stride. You should subscribe.

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