Well this issue was inordinately long in coming, but we think it’s worth the wait.

Sarah, Katie, and I are all in (or recent escapees of) academia, which means our brilliant publishing schedule often has us facing down Devilfish Review deadlines in conjunction with the bits of the semester that have the heaviest workload. It took four years, but we realized we call the shots here, and so have decided to use the delay to shift our publishing schedule. No more putting out an issue and grading midterms and finals and, for the fourth issue of the year, trying to navigate the holidays in December. So now, as we head into our fifth year of publishing (!), We’re shifting our schedule to late January, April, July, and October. This also gives us more time at the end of the year to get things submitted to various best of anthologies.

We don’t always get everything exactly right around here. But the fact that we’re still finding challenges means we’re growing and pushing our boundaries. Five years ago Sarah and I had worries about finding eight stories to fill an issue (and on a couple of occasions weren’t able to). Now, we could probably fill a year’s worth of issues from the Submittable queue right now. We’ve added poetry, and three amazing poetry editors (Katie, Shannon, and Minadora), and we’ve also added two fiction readers to help keep up with submissions (the fabulous Gabrielle and Allison).

Fiction

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.

Poetry

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

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