Tag Archives: Black Static

Halloween Reads

One great thing about visiting the dealers’ room at British Fantasy Con (FCon) is that it reminds me how passionate people are who dedicate their time and energy to the small press and how much people still love the printed page.

I’m proud to have had work in TTA Press–  I love it because there’s nothing quite like it publishing short genre fiction in the UK.  Andy Cox, the editor, has an eclectic eye for work and high production values. Interzone, Black Static and Crime Wave win awards, as do the stories that Andy chooses.

As a horror fan, Black Static has contained some amazing stories that have stayed with me, such as “White Rabbit” by Georgina Bruce (British Fantasy Award Winner in the short story category) , “Shark! Shark!” by Ray Cluley (BFA Winner short story) , “When the Moon Man Knocks” by Cate Gardner  (BFA nominated), “Sunshine” by Nina Allan (BFA nominated), “Lullaby” by Steve Rasnic Tem, “Prespective” by Steve. J. Dines,  just to name a few.  It features work by a plethora of talent like Simon Bestwick, Stephen Bacon, Stephen Hardagon, Laura Mauro, Damien Angelica Walters, Kristi Demeester, Helen Marshall, Andrew Hook, Ralph Robert Moore, Gary McMahon, Stephen Graham Jones…

Black Static Issue 60The 60th issue is now out and contains excellent work by Ray Cluley, Stephen Hargadon and Tim Lees.  It also contains the tremendous “Skyshine (or Death by Scotland)” by Carole Johnstone. I become a fangirl after reading her BFA winning story “Signs of the Times”, which was also first published in Black Static. There was a real buzz around “Skyshine” at the conference and I read it when I got home. It’s early to start talking about next year’s awards but I think it would be criminal if this wasn’t nominated. It’s inventive, clever and wry. Oh, and new subscribers can get Issue 60 free by using “B60 FREE” as their Shopper Reference during the checkout.

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I read “The Beauty” by Aliya Whiteley, published by Unsung Stories last year. It was a stunning bit of work about men in a post-woman society, that manages to be both body horror and an exploration of gender roles. I wanted to buy everything on the stand at FCon. In fact, I was deeply put out to find Malcom Devlin’s debut collection, “You Will Grow Into Them”, was sold out by the time I got there. It’s already garnering praise – see James Lovegrove’s review in the Financial Times, no less.

Did I also mention their books are also extremely handsome?

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Daniele Serra won a British Fantasy Award this year for his artwork. I came home with a copy of “Five Feathered Tales” by Alison Littlewood, which Daniele illustrated. It truly is a thing of beauty and Alison’s stories are delicate and dark. Incidentally, I also bought her new novel “The Crow Garden” after I enjoyed “The Hidden People”.

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Black Shuck Books is a relatively new venture from Steve Shaw that launched an HB-Cover-400anthology at FCon called “The Dark Satanic Mills”. It’s the second in his annual collection showcasing British writers (plus an international one), containing original work by Cate Gardner, Charlotte Bond, Paul Finch, Andrew Freudenberg, Gary Fry, Carole Johnstone, Penny Jones, Gary McMahon, Marie O’Regan, John Llewellyn Probert and Angela Slatter. Steve also launched John Lllewellyn Probert’s collection “Made for the Dark”.

Black Shuck’s catalogue is interesting. I’m thinking of Black Shuck Shadows, micro-collections by Thana Niveau, Paul Kane and Joseph D’Lacey.  “A Suggestion of Ghosts: Supernatural Fiction by Women 1826-1897”   is curated by the very knowledgeable Johnny Mains, who has scoured periodicals, archives and collections for work that hasn’t been republished since it was first released.

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Another launch that I attended was Titan Books’ New Fears, edited by Mark Morris. It’s a stellar line-up with writers like Ramsey Campbell, Nina Allan, Conrad Williams, A.K. Benedict, Alison Littlewood and Stephen Laws, to name a few.

For an alternative Halloween read, I’d suggest Simon Bestwick’s “The Feast of All Souls”, which pulls off the trick of being a haunted house story, a Victorian gothic novel, flirts with quantum physics and is a study of loss. Another recommendation would be Laura Mauro’s novella “Naming the Bones”. I’ve watched her career with interest as she’s a fine writer.

While at FCon I saw James Everington read from his novel “The Quarantined City”, in which the protagonist’s search for an author takes him deep into the man’s short stories. James Everington’s fiction is quiet and unsettling, having drawn very favorable attention from The Guardian reviewer Eric Brown. I have to mention Kit Power at this point too, who has a very different (set of) voices, all of them convincing, and who is the only person at the convention who could carry off a reading with a hammer in his hand. His collection will be out next year.

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“The Doll’s Alphabet” by Camilla Grudova is a truly weird collection, repeating motifs
and ideas. Even the stories that non-plussed me left me pondering their meaning long afterwards. Her dystopic short story “Waxy” was nominated in the short story category of the BFAs this year and was a strong contender. Read The Guardian review which draws comparison with Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood and David Lynch.
I’m going to sneak in a mainstream author here. I’m a big fan of Sarah Hall.  Her new collection “Madame Zero” is pure genre. It contains “Mrs Fox” which won the BBC National Short Story Award, in which a woman is tranformed by pregnancy into a vixen. Elsewhere she explores a wind drenched world, the liberation of sexual appetites and an era where a change in antenatal priorties mean to chose a woman’s life over that of her unborn child is illegal.
She’s been twice nominated for the Booker prize and this book reveals the poet at her heart in the concise beauty of her writing.
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Last but not least is Undertow Publications, a Canadian venture run by Mike Kelly. It’s fast gained an excellent reputation for its Year’s Best Weird Fiction and Shadows and Tall Trees, as well as its single author collections, being nominated for Shirley Jackson Awards, World Fantasy Awards and British Fantasy Awards.
Mike Kelly is releasing the range in both hardback (below) and paperback.
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I think they’re good looking books too, with as much style as substance. Does that mean I’m shallow?

 

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BSFA Awards 2016

Congratulations to artist Tara Bush for her nomination for a British Science Fiction Association Award for her cover of Black Static #53 (above).

I’m so excited to announce that my cover art for issue #53 of Black Static magazine has been shortlisted for an award at the BSFA Awards in the category of Best Artwork. Thank you to everyone who nominated, and also to Andy Cox of TTA Press for putting it on the cover! It is really […]

via BSFA Awards Shortlist —

The nominations contain some terrific work, so congratulations to all who made the list.

Best Novel

Chris Beckett – Daughter of Eden (Gollancz)
Becky Chambers – A Closed and Common Orbit (Hodder & Stoughton)
Dave Hutchinson – Europe in Winter (Solaris)
Tricia Sullivan – Occupy Me (Gollancz)
Nick Wood – Azanian Bridges (NewCon Press)

Best Short Fiction

Malcolm Devlin – The End of Hope Street (Interzone #266)
Jaine Fenn – Liberty Bird (Now We Are Ten, NewCon Press)
Una McCormack – Taking Flight (Crises and Conflicts, NewCon Press)
Helen Oyeyemi – Presence (What is Not Yours is Not Yours, Picador)
Tade Thompson – The Apologists (Interzone #266)
Aliya Whiteley – The Arrival of Missives (Unsung Stories)

Best Non-Fiction

Rob Hansen – THEN: Science Fiction Fandom in the UK 1930-1980 (Ansible Editions)
Erin Horáková – Boucher, Backbone and Blake: The Legacy of Blakes Seven (Strange Horizons)
Anna McFarlane – Breaking the Cycle of the Golden Age: Jack Glass and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy (Adam Roberts: Critical Essays, Gylphi)
Paul Graham Raven – New Model Authors? Authority, Authordom, Anarchism and the Atomized Text in a Networked World (Adam Roberts: Critical Essays, Gylphi)
Geoff Ryman – 100 African Writers of SFF (Tor.com)
Ann & Jeff VanderMeer – Introduction to The Big Book of Science Fiction (Vintage)

Best Artwork

Juan Miguel Aguilera – Cover of The 1000 Year Reich by Ian Watson (NewCon Press)
Tara Bush – Transition (Cover of Black Static #53)
Suzanne Dean and Kai & Sunny – Cover of The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan (William Heinemann)
David A Hardy – Cover of Disturbed Universes by David L Clements (NewCon Press)
Sarah Anne Langton – Cover for Central Station by Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon Publications)
Chris Moore – Cover of The Iron Tactician by Alastair Reynolds (NewCon Press)

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The Dark

The December 2016 issue of The Dark includes work from wonderful writers Steve Rasnic the-dark-december-2016Tem, Cate Gardner and Thana Niveau. I’m thankful to be included with a reprint of “The Absent Shade”, a story that originally appeared in issue 44 of Black Static.

Read online here.

The Dark is edited by Sean Wallace and Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Jack Fisher is the assistant editor.

Sean Wallace is the founder, publisher, and managing editor of Prime Books. He has edited or co-edited a number of projects, including three magazines, Clarkesworld Magazine, The Dark, and Fantasy Magazine.

Table of Contents: December 2016

“Too Many Ghosts” by Steve Rasnic Tem
“The Curtain” by Thana Niveau (reprint)
“As Cymbals Clash” by Cate Gardner
“The Absent Shade” by Priya Sharma (reprint)

the-dark-logo

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Black Static Issue 53

Issue 53 of Black Static is now out with cover art by Tara Bush, who has also illustrated myBlack Static Issue 53novelette, “Inheritance or The Ruby Tear”, which is included alongside stories by Steve Rasnic Tem, Harmony Neal, Kristi DeMeester, Danny Rhodes, Stephen Hargadon, and Charles Wilkinson.

Both Tara and regular, Richard Wagner, have done the interior artwork.

Features: Coffinmaker’s Blues by Stephen Volk (comment); Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker (comment); Case Notes by Peter Tennant (book reviews); Blood Spectrum by Gary Couzens (DVD/Blu-ray reviews).

Thanks to Andy Cox for taking “Inheritance” as I know it won’t be to everyone’s tastes.

Buy a copy here.

Get Issue 53 free when you take out a 6 or 12 month subscription.

Inheritance

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Story Acceptance

My thanks to Andy Cox for accepting my story, Inheritance  (or The Ruby Tear) for Black Static magazine. It’s the most traditionally Gothic thing I’ve written and I really appreciate him taking a chance on it.

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Black Static’s 50th Issue

Andy Cox has celebrated the 50th issue of Black Static with a fantastic line up of fiction by Georgina Bruce, V.H. Leslie, Ray Cluley, Gary Budden, Tyler Keevil and Tim Casson, alongside columns by Stephen Volk and Lynda E. Rucker, DVD reviews by Tony Lee and reviews by Peter Tennant – which includes a feature on Simon Bestwick.

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Black Static Issue 50 with cover art by Vince Haig

I look forward to reading work by all of these writers but am particularly pleased to see much made of Georgina Bruce’s story “White Rabbit”. I’ve long envied her work for her style and vision which is matched by her technical skill.

I’m also very pleased to see the magazine being featured in the mainstream press. Damien Walter’s article The ominous ordinary: horror writers finding scares in the everyday praises Andy Cox’s vision, Georgina Bruce for  “undermining our faith in the ordinary” and Simon Bestwick’s work as “the most engaged with ordinary British life of any horror writer working today”.

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Blonde

Blonde, illustrated by Martin Hanford.“When did you go bald?”
Only Clarice would ask such a forthright question.
“Leave her alone,” Jake drains his beer. Only he would dare contradict his sister.
The clock hands have gone from late at night to early in the morning. Jake’s bar is empty of customers. The staff, who are sitting round the table, fall silent, intent on their drinks.
“It’s okay,” Rapunzel says. “I was sick and it all fell out.”
Her scalp is shiny, every follicle devoid of life. Nor does she have any eyebrows. Or hair elsewhere for that matter.
“What colour was it?”
“Blonde.”
There’s a pause, then laughter.
Jake nudges her. “You’re a joker after all.”
She knows what he thinks of her. That she’s vague and evasive and hasn’t a clue what’s going on most of the time.
“Lucky you’re beautiful enough to be bald,” he adds.
Rapunzel touches the nape of her neck where she feels most exposed and tries not to smile.

From my story, “Blonde”, Issue 260 of Interzone, now available from TTA Press.

Thanks to Andy Cox for including this story.

862_large[1]The September-October issue of Britain’s longest running science fiction and fantasy magazine contains new stories by John Shirley, Jeff Noon, Priya Sharma, C.A. Hawksmoor, Christien Gholson. The 2015 cover artist is Martin Hanford, and interior colour illustrations are by Richard Wagner, Dave Senecal, Martin Hanford, Warwick Fraser-Coombe. Features: Where O Where Has My Hugo Gone? by Ian Sales; Ansible Link by David Langford (news and obits); Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe (film reviews); Laser Fodder by Tony Lee (DVD/Blu-ray reviews); Book Zone (book reviews); Jonathan McCalmont’s Future Interrupted (comment); Nina Allan’s Time Pieces (comment); and Shaun Green interviews Becky Chambers.

857[1] 856_large[1] 855_large[1] Interzone 260

 

 

 

 

Interzone’s sister magazine, Black Static is also out at the same time, and it promises to be a great issue with the line-up listed below.

Black Static 48The September-October issue contains new novelettes and short stories by Jeffrey Thomas, Cate Gardner, Steven J. Dines, Andrew Hook, and Stephen Bacon. The cover art is by Martin Hanford, and interior illustrations are by Joachim Luetke, Tara Bush, and Richard Wagner. Features: Coffinmaker’s Blues by Stephen Volk (comment); Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker (comment); Case Notes by Peter Tennant (book reviews and an interview with Simon Kurt Unsworth); Blood Spectrum by Tony Lee (DVD/Blu-ray reviews).

 

864_large[1] Black Static 48 867_large[1] 866_large[1] 865_large[1]

 

 

 

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Black Static 44

The January–February 2015 issue of Black Static is now out, containing novelettes by Simon Avery, Tyler Keevil, Jackson Kuhl, E. and Black Static 44Catherine Tobler. My short story, “The Absent Shade”, is also included.

The cover art is by Martin Hanford, and interior illustrations are by Martin Hanford, Richard Wagner, and George Cotronis. The usual features are present, including the regular comment columns by Stephen Volk (Coffinmaker’s Blues) and Lynda E. Rucker (renamed Notes From the Borderland); Blood Spectrum by Tony Lee (DVD/Blu-ray/VoD reviews); Case Notes by Peter Tennant (book reviews), which includes an extensive interview with Tim Waggoner.

The Absent Shade is illustrated by Richard Wagner.

More information about the story can be found here.

The Absent Shade, illustrated by Richard Wagner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ellen Datlow’s Honorable Mentions for 2013

Ellen Datlow has released her longlist of Honorable Mentions for 2013, which includes work by Nina Allen, Stephen Bacon, Laird Barron, Elizabeth Bear, Georgina Bruce, Ramsey Campbell, Adam Nevill, Stephen King, John Llewellyn Probert, Steve J. Dines, Stephen Volk,  Ilan Lerman, James Cooper, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Alison Littlewood, Livia Llewellyn, James Cooper, Carole Johnstone, Cate Gardner, Simon Bestwick, Gary Fry, Michael Kelly, Joel Lane…to name a few.

Ellen says of the list, “Some readers might find it useful to see the range of publications that are publishing worthwhile horror stories. Although this list is long, it’s a tiny percentage of the stories I actually read. So if you find your story and name on this list, that’s a good thing.”

I am delighted to be included with the following:

“After Mary” Alt History 5.

“Rag and Bone,” Tor.com April.

 “The Beatification of Thomas Small, Arcane II.

 “The Sunflower Seed Man,” Black Static #37.

Rag and Bone. Illustrated by John Jude Palencar  Arcane 2 Alt Hist Issue 5 Black Static 37

Thanks, as ever, to Ellen Datlow, and editors, Mark Lord, Nathan Shumate and Andy Cox.

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Story Acceptance

A massive thanks to Andy Cox for accepting my short story set in Hong Kong,  The Absent Shade, for Black Static magazine. This will appear in an issue out early in 2015.

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