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Black Static 5 – June/July 2008
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: David Gentry
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 1753-0709
Date: 23 July 2008

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

Black Static #5 is here with new stories by Kathleen Winter, Tom Casson, Tony Richards, Daniel Kaysen, Joel Lane, Gary McMahon and Christopher M. Cevasco , together with the usual fascinating articles and reviews

Black Static #5 is another well done issue. I loved the articles and all the stories.

The fiction in this issue begins with "How Deep is His Loneliness" by Kathleen Winter. Geoffrey regularly visits his friend Norm's father, Malcolm. In doing so, he meets a woman and her son and becomes interested in the woman. It is through Malcolm that he understands about loneliness and what he can do, not to fall prey to it in this beautiful, sad but hopeful tale.

Tim Casson's "The Second Death of Johan Kluge" takes place in the past in a doomed town named Eidelbruck. The titular character arrives at night to help his sister but he falls prey to the monsters of the town. He awakes to finds himself horribly changed and must decide what to do in this tale of heroism under impossible circumstances.

In "Night Game", Tony Richards gives us Eric Menway, a salesman who finds himself in the desolate town of Shaddaton at night. Unable to close a deal, he winds up at a soccer match between the two teams of the town. It's the most exciting, entrancing soccer match he's ever seen but why does everyone seem so hypnotized by it? This makes for a chilling tale of the ultimate obsession with sport.

"The Rising River" by Daniel Kaysen features a young woman who cannot explains to her flat-mate why she cannot visit her brother for Christmas. We find out that the woman can communicate with the dead but this one has an even better twist than The Sixth Sense. This is a great little tale that you won't forget very quickly. Next, Joel Lane contributes "Winter Journey". A man who seems to be connected to the police comes into contact with a feral boy. The boy had been normal until he had met up with a strange East European woman named Irena. The man (who the boy spat on) finds himself witnessing some strange events as he tries to find out what happened to the boy. This one's only two pages but quite effective.

Gary McMahon's "Slap" is the story of a man who sees a group attack a woman in a ritual known as "Happy Slapping" in which one slaps a woman down and the others record it on their cell phones. He chases the slapper down and causes his death but now must deal with the consequences. This is a bitter look at our modern "culture".

The last story is "Less a Dream Than This We Know" by Christopher M. Cevasco. It's March 11, 1937 and Howard Phillips Lovecraft is deathly ill and in a hospital. In his last hours, he has visions of his past with things added to events. This is a nice tribute to HPL and an interesting speculation as to what his last hours were like.

This magazine is well worth getting. You should subscribe.

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