The fiction in Black Static never ceases to intrigue and this issue continues that trend with some excellent stories. The artwork that sits alongside each tale always adds another layer to the narrative. I love this magazine. Let’s have a little look at a couple of the stories that rang my bell…
Ruth EJ Booth’s flash piece, The Anniversary, is short yet packs a huge punch (literally!). It is a work of poetic yet ugly storytelling and one that will stay with you for some time after. Ralph Robert Moore is back once again and delivers another excellent tale. His work continues to impress me and his story For Whom The Dogs Bark is no different. For Whom The Dogs Bark tells the tale of Hans Zitter. Zitter has cataracts, his eyes are betraying him as a result of this. What follows is a collection of strange memories and visions that make you question the narrator. Moore’s story is just the right side of weird and unsettling. It features a superbly strange ending and if you haven’t read his work yet, you must.
Do Not Google by Andrew Humphrey is probably my pick of the bunch and it is best you read it for yourself. Whenever you hear somebody tell you not to do something, you almost always want to do it, right? This story reminded me of the movie The Ring. Very cool and another great ending. Whatever you do, DO NOT GOOGLE!
I enjoyed the other stories too in this latest issue of Black Static. Mel Kassel’s entry is another standout. Tancho is a quietly unsettling slice of weird, dark fiction. Here is a question for you: How far would you go in order to breed the perfect fish? I actually did a little research on the Tancho Koi after reading this and the story made much more sense to me. So much so, I read it again.
There is usually a little ambiguity with some of the stories within Black Static and this is one of the reasons I continue to read it. Thoughtful, weird, creepy, but always brilliantly written, the stories will always elicit some sort of reaction I guarantee.
Bookended with in-depth reviews and great non-fiction, Black Static sits at the forefront of dark fiction magazines. Essential reading.
4/5 blurred images from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.