My story, The Secret Language of Stamps, is out this week in Black Static magazine. My first supernatural story in a long time, it is set in a post-war English port town and touches on themes of xenophobia, travel and loss in what I hope is a fairly creepy way.
As always, if you’re a fan of the spooky stuff, I recommend Black Static with all my bones. It’s packed full of fiction, comment pieces and book and film reviews and is more than worth the cover price.
6 thoughts on “Black Static Stamps”
I just read this and I think it’s the best story I’ve read since subscribing to Black Static last year. From the opening paragraph (the sea – unmoored pairing, and holding on to the plate for a fraction too long), through to the inevitable ending, I loved it!
It’s its own thing, I know, but it reminded me of the best of the Pan stories – it fits the time perfectly. The unspeakable returning from beneath the sea to an out of season guest house is a great theme…. Ringing the Changes by Robert Aickman is one of the best, but yours compares extremely well. Thank you!
That’s really kind of you, Darren. I’ve been really surprised at how well this story has gone down since it’s been my first attempt anything supernatural in a long, long time. I grew up on the Pan collections and any comparison to them, and to Aickman, is a huge compliment.
Thanks, and I’m really glad you enjoyed the story.
Compelled to look you up after reading this story. More, please! Best thing I’ve read in ages!
Cheers, Heather! Very pleased this one has managed to entertain a few people.
I’m working on longer things right now, but I’ve got time put aside for some new short stories after that. I suspect one or two of those might have a similar feel to this one.
Thanks again, Neil
I finally cracked open this issue of Black Static and I must say “Stamps” is one of the best stories I have read in a very long time. It’s one of those stories that is going to stay with me. I too had to look you up, and did so immediately upon finishing the story.
The atmosphere was just right. The ups and downs of Hilda’s emotions were delicately conveyed. I felt her actions and reactions were at all times completely believable (which isn’t always the case in the genre :)) I also found the subject matter of the stamp placement immensely interesting to boot. What a build, from budding love to terror!
A solid story. Definitely a favourite!
Cheers! I’m really delighted you liked it. I love supernatural stories of this type, love the way that–without showing you anything horrific–they can creep into your subconscious and give it a shiver. And I’m relieved that I managed to get it right with this one.
And thanks for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed it. I really appreciate it.