The May-June issue of Black Static once again delivers some fine stories, thoughtful non-fiction pieces and a smorgasbord of movie and book reviews. I have become a regular reviewer of this wonderful magazine in recent months and have been awakened to some exciting voices within the dark fiction genre.
Opening, as is usual with two non-fiction articles, I was moved by the piece by Ralph Robert-Moore. Here, Moore talks about how he and his partner came to terms with her stroke, and perhaps more importantly how they came to love and communicate with each other in new ways. It is a heartfelt piece in which Moore talks about how art comforted and helped him get through this difficult time.
After this, we dive straight into a gem of a story from Mark Morris. Holiday Romance is exactly the sort of dark, brooding, eerie tale I have come to expect in this magazine. Morris’ strange tale of a man unsure of himself and his existence is both odd and deeply unsettling, particularly when body parts wash-up on the beach and the DNA matches his own! The ending to this story left a dark stain in my mind when I’d finished reading it, truly excellent. Morris is an exceptional talent and I have never been disappointed by anything he has written. I was similarly impressed with The Process of Chuddar by Tim Carson – a very strange story that seems to be heading in a certain direction before suddenly turning into a sort of weird body horror tale involving fungus! Marvellous! Survival Strategies by Helen Marshall was also very good, though I didn’t much care for the stories by Gwendolyn Kiste and Tim Casson. That isn’t to say they were bad, not at all, they just didn’t work for me.
The usual movie reviews and book reviews round things off. An in-depth review of Richard Chizmar’s collection, A Long December (which is a great read, by the way), his collaboration with Stephen King, Gewndy’s Button Box, and also a review of his recent release with Brian James Freeman. The magazine finishes with an interview with Chizmar himself.
Another strong issue of this magazine. Mark Morris story, in particular is a real highlight. Maybe one of my favourite stories of 2017.
4/5 spectral figures from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.