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Black Static Fifty-Seven – Mar/Apr 2017
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Lepidopterists by Ben Baldwin
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 1753-0709
Date: 02 May 2017

Links: Black Static / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Black Static #57 is here with stories by Ralph Robert Moore, Simon Avery, Mike O'Driscoll, and Aliya Whiteley, together with the usual fascinating articles and reviews.

Black Static #57 is here and it's one of their best.

The fiction begins with "Will You Accept These Flowers from Me?" by Ralph Robert Moore. -+- Michael Kurtz is a professional magician in his thirties, still hoping to make it big. Part of his act is his "lovely assistant, Bella" who is actually a monkey. He offers her flowers every night which she refuses. He says that he'll remain a bachelor all his life and gets laughter from the audience. His agent gets him a gig in Lake Tahoe and before he gets there, he buys what is called a Treet top hat at a magic store. But putting it into his act is not easy. A sad, poignant tale with a perfect conclusion.

"Sunflower Junction" by Simon Avery -+- Our narrator is living in an old building with a junkie named Colin on the floor below and an alcoholic named Ingrid above. He buys old records from Colin and is having an affair with Ingrid. There is a woman named Emily in his past whose story we eventually learn. He buys a CD called Sunflower Junction by an unknown artist named Hugo Lawrence from Colin. He is intrigued by the album and wants to learn what ever happened to Lawrence. His research achieves its end and other things change for him too. A fair amount of horror comes in at the end but it ends on what certainly seems to be a positive note. Very good story.

"Shadows on Parade" by Mike O’Driscoll -+- When James burns the records of her past life, Gillian is upset. All those pictures of her previous lovers made her feel real. She had had a breakdown and met James as part of her recovery. He was particularly upset with a disc labeled Joyner which depicted a woman named Julianne, her husband, Tom, and their children, Kate and Kris, but he had not destroyed that one. Gillian begins to put together a disc detailing her relationship with James and then things take a very unsettling turn, This story takes a direction that you don't see coming and builds to a really disturbing end.

The fiction concludes with "The Chambermaid" by Aliya Whiteley. -+- Bonnie works as a chambermaid at a resort hotel in Avalon and is intrigued by what she sees left behind in the rooms. She takes a photograph from one and brings it to one of the regular guests, a woman named Xania. As she has done before, Xania makes predictions about the couple with the photograph. She also makes predictions about Bonnie. What should Bonnie do about them? Good little tale to end the issue.

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