Black Static Eleven – June/July 2009
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: David Gentry
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA ISBN/ITEM#: 1753-0709
Date: 26 June 2009
Links: Black Static Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Here we are with Black Static #11 which, once again, has arrived in my mailbox just in time for me to review it. Everyone of these stories was a worthy entry in the horror genre.
The fiction in this issue begins with "De Profundis" by Al Robertson. The title comes from the Latin version of Psalm 130, de profundis clamati means "out of the depths I have cried". Saul is a policeman who works pulling bodies out of the Thames. He fishes out the body of a man named David Bushell. The face had been distorted from its time underwater and he does not get a good look at it. The man's widow contacts him and shows him a picture of her and her husband. He is looking at his own face. He had been adopted and finds out he is one of triplets who had been born to a woman whose mind had been addled by her time with a cult called The Evolution in the 1960s. Things go on from there and even veer into familiar territory but this was still a very effective tale.
Will McIntosh’s "None Had Sharp Teeth" is a chilling story about a woman named Isadore whose daughter has died in a horrible accident. We see quickly how unhinged she is in her quest for vengeance. McIntosh has succeeded well in showing obsession and madness.
In "The Likeness" by Lawrence Conquest, we get a story of Aleksander Pasternak, an artist in Krakow who has fallen in love with an enigmatic woman named Nenita. He saw her in a window and was immediately entranced. Incredibly, he is asked to paint her portrait by a strange shop owner named Kazimierz Jakowski. Jakowski has some hold over Nenita and Pasternak decides to free her of him. That is not so simple in this distinctly unsettling tale.
Well, revenge is a dish best "Served Cold" but there is nothing cold in the entry of that name by Gary Couzens. We get two stories, one of a woman being horribly abused by three other women and another of the brutal murders of three women. The gross out factor here is very high but it works well. This one was the nastiest story in this issue and not one that you can forget easily.
"Off with the Furies" by Daniel Kaysen is a story in which the line between fantasy and reality is blurred in the mind of a newlywed who is disappointed and suspicious of her husband. I can’t say much more without spoiling it but I did find it quite compelling.
Last, there is "Red Ribbons" by Stephanie Burgis. Set in "Thermidorian France", after the Terror is over, the story focuses on two women, Therese Mondoval and Annette Davenant, who have survived the Terror but not without cost. They are attending a fancy dress ball and we see just what they are, and what others are. This was a good take on a traditional monster.
I am rarely disappointed in anything in Black Static and this one scores with every story. TTA Press must really be congratulated for consistently publishing top-notch horror every two months. You should subscribe!