Black Static #35

BLACK STATIC #35 (Jul-Aug 2013)


TTA Press

My RTRcausal of the fiction in this magazine that I received as a result of my subscription to TTA Press.

My previous Black Static reviews are linked from HERE.

The fiction in this issue is written by Daniel Mills, Steven J. Dines, Steve Rasnic Tem, Michael Griffin, Caspian Gray, Jason Gould, Carole Johnstone.

My review will appear in the ‘comment’ stream below as and when I read each story:

7 thoughts on “Black Static #35

  1. Isaac’s Room – Daniel Mills
    “…the depths of loneliness, loathing: his hatred, mine.”
    When I was a student with a flatmate in the 1960s, there existed certain similar inferred aspects of this story’s scenario, such as the casual meals concocted at the last moment, the parties and seediness, our sad break-ups with girl friends, the now loosely remembered darknesses, highs that always became lows, trips that always became falls … but today there is an added dimension for flat-shared students, a dimension of which all of us (even those of us who have since become oldsters) are openly aware and speak about with each other, but speak about with each other as if it is something else, and, indeed, it ever seems to remain unspoken of as an added dimension for a deeper darkness today wherein we might be forced to live and to endure, perhaps to endure forever. Unspoken of, that is, until now by this outspoken story.

  2. Men Playing Ghosts, Playing God – Steven J. Dines
    “But the tunnel does not forget the train; it embraces its fading echoes and in infinitesimal ways quietly shapes itself around them.”
    In contrast to the young students in the previous work and somehow benefiting as a separate story from that stark contrast, this poignant ‘old people’ tale has, as its main protagonist, a bereaved, but still love-seeking widower. He and his cronies trap the earlier fiction’s dark dimension-now-by-another-name and lock it up in the boiler room that is in the old age institution to which they have been consigned by their families.
    “In the early days after Mary, I refused to shave and took to roaming the house wearing her bathrobe, until the scent of her faded and the stench of me took over.”
    This Dines story starts as a classic ghost story which should appeal to readers who love classic ghost stories and it could have been written by May Sinclair or Elizabeth Bowen, but then, slowly, amid many really stunning sentences with crafted conceits, it becomes something else, but still ghostly, still haunting, but more ironic and absurdist. But this absurdism, as I see it, miraculously does not diminish the ghostliness. This story is on the brink of becoming a story that will appeal as a classic to many different readers with different tastes in the horror and supernatural genre. On the brink of outlasting itself, if that is not one conceit too far.
    “…and I breathed again, not an ocean from my lungs but mist on the windowpane.”

  3. Pingback: Des Lewis’s Gestalt Real-Time Review of Black Static #35 | stevenjdines

  4. The Monster Makers – Steve Rasnic Tem
    “Once upon a time perhaps gods and monsters walked the earth and a human might choose to be either one.”
    Here the protagonist is concerned with a form of the continuing unspoken dimension; he is a feisty oldster factoring into – and being factored into by – the other feisty oldster in the Dines story; this one here is a well-intentioned story-telling grandpa concerned not only with post-bereavement’s tussle against a mortality personified or anthropomorphised but also with his own personal guilt and a sense of legacy vis-a-vis his beloved grandchildren within the nuclear family to which he belongs, a family as beset by some sort of horror-trope or cinematic zombie or werewolf ‘to-your-scattered-bodies-go’ trauma, a universal trauma that seems to be atomising such nuclearity.
    Deeply felt and thus deeply read. A deft story about clumsiness.
    “Sometimes the death of who we’ve loved is but the final act in a grief that has lingered for years.”

  5. Arches & Pillars – Michael Griffin
    “It’s a surprise, yet totally expected. Happening again.”
    Rothko paintings, from my steady gazing upon them, often seem to develop a sense of black static. The pre-internet world’s first empty chat rooms. Yet another unspoken dimension, the geometric quietism of ‘Rothko Chapel’ by Morton Feldman, the old student flats that I once knew and were soon to grow into the William Gibson / John Shirley ‘The Belonging Kind’ moving from gallery to gallery, cocktail bar to cocktail bar, with recurring Ligottianism as a social badge of honour towards a suicide pact that our violent society as a third party would soon be only too willing to help along … obviating the need for people like me to face the last useless struggle against death in old people’s homes?
    I am tentatively interpreting this intriguing story and it may become clearer (even quite different!) with the retrocausal context of this magazine’s stories I have yet to read.
    “405” line TV screens now disappeared into their own fundament of white noise.
    “It feels like an old marriage and a new thing, both at once.”

  6. Pingback: What They’re Saying About “Arches and Pillars” (DF Lewis) | GriffinWords

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