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Black Static Eight – Dec 08/ Jan 09
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: David Gentry
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 1753-0709
Date: 26 January 2009

Links: Black Static Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Black Static #8 is here with new stories by Patrick Samphire, Lynda E. Rucker, Steve Rasnic Tem, James Cooper, Steven Pirie, and Gary Fry, together with the usual fascinating articles and reviews.

Black Static #8 is here with its different brand of horror. I loved the articles and all the stories.

The fiction in this issue begins with "At the Gates" by Partick Samphire. Grace is a young girl living with her mother and her mother's horrible boyfriend, Malcolm. She takes in a sick dog and also cares about a nice old man named Mr. Uri, who is their tenant. Malcolm wants to evict him but Grace protects him and finds a way to improve her lot. This was a well-written story and Grace was a great character.

Next up is "These Things We Have Always Known" by Lynda E. Rucker. Neil lives in the town of Cold Rest (straddling the border of Georgia and North Carolina) with his wife Sarah (who is a native of the town), their daughter Emma and his brother Gary. He states at the beginning that he always knew there was something wrong with the town. Things begin to get worse as people start to disappear in this chillingly effective tale.

I always know that a story from Steve Rasnic Tem will be something unique and fascinating and "Noppero-bo" does not disappoint. Aaron is a young boy living in Japan with his father, who works there. He finds it difficult to get along with his classmates who are polite but just regard him as a foreigner. He is feeling more and more alienated when things taken an even scarier turn. This was an unsettling story from a master of the trade.

James Cooper shows us some real horror in "There's Something Wrong With Pappy". Henry's mother is dead and his father is lost in grief. He tries his best to take care of his sister, Alice, who has a strange creative talent. They live near a moor and a foreboding grey house from which his father warns them to stay way. But Alice makes a fantastic model of all of the area around their house and a horrific series of events is set in motion. This one will really chill your bones.

The title "The Book of Ruth" in Steven Pirie's entry refers to a book which speaks to a young woman named Ruth who works in a book store for a man named Curtis. He is sexually harassing her in a very insidious way and she begins to get advice from the book. This was another example of the kind of story that makes this magazine unique and worth reading.

Finally, there is Gary Fry's "Taking on Life". Louis is a sixteen-year-old boy with a girlfriend named Melinda who is more well-off than he is. His family life is grim but he uses his computer in a strange way to predict his future. Things spin out of control in this dark, uneasy tale.

This was a flawless issue and you really should be subscribing!

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