Issue Sixteen

Demons, utopias, Norse mythology, magic, robots, and call backs to classic literature. This issue has a little of everything you’d expect from a speculative fiction literary magazine. Since day one, Devilfish Review has received amazing submissions and we’ve struggled to choose the best ones to share with you. And yet, I’m continuously amazed at how much I love each new issue. I’m certain you’ll find a new favorite too.


Scare Tactics by Aeryn Rudel – Lindsey pulled up to the curb, killed the Accord’s engine, and glanced out the passenger-side window. The house was small and well-kept, and the surrounding neighborhood agreeably upper middle class.

Disconnected by E. K. Wagner – He woke that morning, and sat down in front of the console, coffee in a sanitized thermos at hand. He logged onto the server with his ID code. The options on the screen were limited.

Epistle to Ahab from a Giant Squid by Robert P. Kaye – My Dear Captain, I propose an alliance between our species as a boon to the planet, videlicet, the extermination of that most irritating creature, the whale.

Skerry-Bride by Sonya Taaffe – You love a jötunn. You have never grown used to the cold. Of such contradictions are the loves of Midgard made.

Purpose by EM Beck – The servos in her neck were malfunctioning again. LD27-I, known as Lady, sighed. It was a singularly human expression of her frustration, one picked up from so many years of living among them, but it was apt in this case.

Dystopiary by Kathryn Michael McMahon – They think I should marry up, but when my roommates drop me at his address, they say, “Are you sure you want to go in?” I do because he is handsome and when I met him his eyes held mine and lingered.

The Queried by Damjan Krsteski – The pipes’ groan wakes him up. He springs out of the straw bed, listens to the approaching noise. A rattle passes through his chamber’s ceiling pipes before moving toward the corridor. He dons the tattered leather cloak and darts out.

Evil and Abigail Carr by Michael Ryder – The Defense will show that Abigail Carr is innocent of the charges of which she is accused; that the murders of nine people at 47 Mayfair Place on the third of March, 1886, were the actions of a maniac and not young Abigail; and that young Abigail is a victim herself, the only survivor of that terrible night, who must now battle the horror of false accusation.


Chanel No. 5 and the Big Bang by David Olson – Open a vial of perfume. Let it breathe/into the room. Sniff here and there/to confirm that a whiff of scent

After Dinner Myth by Douglas Thiele – Doing the dishes I drop a plate/(my hands became feathers/at just the wrong moment)/but the window is closed/so try as I might I can’t escape.

Coffee Shop Painting by Lisa M. Bradley – To begin,/she orders green jasmine tea,/a dark-roast Sumatra blend, black,/and three saucers.

The Boyfriend by Samantha Renda – With a smile like milk being poured, so long,/(Too long. Dear Lord, look at all those teeth!)/He introduces himself with a peculiar flourish,/“Excuse me?” I titter nervously,

Marine Layer by Ariel Kusby – It did not thin, even when tar-filled/cracks yielded to pressure/of a big toe, prehistoric/play dough.

Spider in the Clothes Pile by Ace Boggess – never have I seen one so large indoors/a baby’s fist with bristles visible on its back/black as the fusion crust on a meteorite/black as any imagined spider black

Eldest Son by Judy Kaber – My mind moved in a thumping wind that day,/hefting the ax, boots hitting leaf bred trail./Thoughts of all the empty places—beneath/the bed, the wooden peg, kitchen shelves,

Labor Day by Dina Honour – I don’t remember/(no I don’t remember)/giving birth to this black and/blue bruise/child who curls in my arms and