Why do we here at Devilfish Review stick to speculative fiction and its associates? Mostly, it’s what we like to read. I love science fiction and I’ll happily read fantasy. Horror is not my favorite, but it’s alright. Sarah is the other half of the coin; she more into fantasy and digs horror way more than I do. When we started Devilfish Review, we did so to publish stories we wanted to be reading. It’s not so much that there aren’t places publishing stories we like reading, but we wondered what was out there and we wondered if maybe there were things we’d love that other editors wouldn’t look twice at. So, Devilfish Review, and the policy of if we love it, we run it, were born.
Speculative fiction gets a lot of crap in the capital L literary world. Students in the MFA program Sarah and I came out of are forbidden from writing it. It’s often dismissed as formulaic and/or childish. (And before I go further, I want to say that I am often a fan of Literature, even if quite a bit of it is sort of boring sometimes.) Possibly most frustrating is that it seems like when a piece of spec fic (or genre writing, as scifi, fantasy, horror, et al are generally referred to, often with what feels like a bit of a sneer built into the pronunciation of genre) is grabbed up by the Literary world, they strip it of its beginnings and pedigree.
Ultimately, we don’t care. We publish what we love. Some stories we’ve published can definitely hold their own with the capital L crowd (and I do tend to favor the arty capital L stuff), but we fully admit that there are plenty of stories we publish because we straight up enjoy reading them. We go back and read them. We want other people to read them because maybe they’ll make you laugh, or cry, or think, or want to change things, or just because they are fun. That’s why we publish what we publish. And if the capital L crowd takes a shine to one of our stories, great. And if they don’t? Well, it’s not our fault they’re missing out on some pretty cool stuff.
*Related note! The Best American series has finally seen fit to create The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy anthology. We look forward to nominating all of our qualified authors.