My first ever review of a horror fiction magazine is for issue 45 of Black Static. There’s nothing finer than sitting back in your favorite chair and paging through a new magazine, and, if the publication is good enough, you will find yourself reading it from front to back. If not, well…
So which kind of magazine is Black Static? Judging by this single issue, I’d say it’s something you’ll treasure.
First off, I like the way it’s bound – it has a proper spine instead of staples so that you can see which issue sits on the shelf. The cover design is professional and the artwork throughout is tasteful and catches the eye. A real top job.
Between the covers, what you have is a healthy dose of frightening fiction sandwiched between non-fiction articles. In this issue, in a section called “Comments,” we have an article for screenwriters and a second article about the female body in horror. The community of horror writers on the Internet is healthy and I can see how the hunger for writing tips might spill over into a fiction magazine, however I am not sure if many non-writers would care about selling a movie script. A good article to be sure, but let’s see more like the second.
Next up, we have what most readers are really after: horror stories. I was pleased with the level of quality and the variety of tales here. There is not one subpar story in the bunch and I foresee each horror fanatic having their own personal favorites among them; mine were the ones by Laura Munro and Danny Rhodes—a matter of preference, as all these authors are either old pros (Tem) or writers to watch. Really excellent stuff in the heart of the thing and an easy recommendation for horror fiction readers of all tastes. Quite an accomplishment.
At the back, we have movie and book reviews. Tony Lee packs in a ton of film reviews in a limited space with not a word wasted. This is really efficient writing and what I prefer in a DVD review, rather than having fewer, long-winded ones. On to the book reviews and, as is appropriate, Peter Tennant stretches things out a bit to accommodate his shrewd opinions on recent publications. Also included here is a fascinating author interview with Helen Marshall.
So, ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. I don’t recall reading a more engrossing fiction magazine in recent years. Black Static is damn good and I look forward to reviewing the next issue where I hope to focus more on fiction.