Black Static (Magazine)

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Black Static (Magazine)Edited by Andy Cox

Published by TTA Press

Do you read Subterranean, Cemetery Dance or Shroud magazines? Check out Fangoria, HorrorHound and/or Rue Morgue every so often? Are you looking for something new that combines some of the best elements from each of these magazines? Then look no further than Black Static.

This award-winning (British Fantasy Award and International Horror Guild Award for Best Magazine) UK-based bi-monthly, edited by Andy Cox and published by TTA Press, contains almost everything a horror fan needs (with the exceptions of set visits, Mezco collectibles and four-colour grue – better to stick with Fangoria and HorrorHound for those).

What Black Static does offer horror fans is amazing horror fiction by some of the genre’s biggest names: Lisa Tuttle, Michael Marshall Smith, Scott Nicholson, Simon Clark, Steve Rasnic Tem and Conrad Williams, to name just a very few. The magazine is also jam-packed with insightful book reviews by Peter Tennant (“Case Notes”) and extensive DVD/BD reviews by Tony Lee (“Blood Spectrum”). There are also commentaries from such UK horror luminaries as Stephen Volk (“Coffinmaker’s Blues”) and Christopher Fowler (“Interference”) in every issue.

Founded in 1994 as The Third Alternative, the magazine published fantasy, sci-fi and horror fiction; but with the arrival of sister publication Interzone in 2005, it was no longer necessary to publish the fantasy and sci-fi so The Third Alternative became Black Static, a completely horror-based publication. In case you’re wondering about the magazine’s name, “black static” is another name for “white noise,” or EVP (electronic voice phenomena), which people think is communication from the dead.

Black Static recently underwent an overhaul and is now a 96-page bound magazine with unsettling wrap-around cover art for every issue. The DVD and book reviews have increased as well as the amount of brilliant fiction the magazine is so well known for.

In the current November-December issue, one can find stories from Steven Pirie – “The Perils of War According to the Common People of Hansom Street”, “Two Houses Away” by James Cooper, “Barbary” by Jackson Kuhl, “Sister” from Seán Padraic Birnie and V.H. Leslie’s “Skein and Bone,” among others. This is good stuff, folks!

US subscriptions are available for £30.00 (about $48.00) for 1 year (6 issues) or £51.00 (about $81.70) for 2 years (12 issues). Black Static also offers a lifetime subscription for £270.00 (approx. $432.50)

Praise for the magazine has come from all corners of the horror world: Editor extraordinaire Ellen Datlow, who counts Black Static her favourite horror magazine, recently said, “I’ve taken at least one story, often two, for every Best Horror of the year and likely will this year as well.” And in Datlow’s most recent, The Best Horror of the Year Volume 4, she did have two entries from Black Static.

Canada’s Rue Morgue, another wonderful horror magazine, pronounced Black Static as “a must-have for fans of both high-end pulpy weirdness and creepy literary fare.

So, what more do you need to hear? There are bookstores here in the US which carry Black Static so you should be able to check an issue out before you sign up for a subscription – it’s just THAT good a publication.

4 out of 5

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