This volume of The Conium Review features eight new stories from Joe Aguirre, Jenny Wu, Debbie Graber, Caroljean Gavin, Charles Conley, Alison Foster, Jasmine Sawers, and Rachel Brittain. Readers will find three darkly funny variants on a devil's bargain, two cursed moonshiner sisters, and one sprawling list of rodent qualities as compiled by an ex-boyfriend. Throughout the volume, tales of regret, reflection, and vindication pull readers into several absurdist worlds and inventive narrative structures.
This volume includes "Three Riffs for the Devil," by Joe Aguirre, winner of The Conium Review's 2019 Innovative Short Fiction Contest. The contest was judged by Sarah Gerard, author of Sunshine State and Binary Star. Sarah says "'Three Riffs for the Devil' is a confident, pitch-perfect satire of getting what you ask for, with winking jewels of dark wisdom. Sharp and original, it pokes at the reader's ribs, sticks its fingers into our weak points, asking, 'What's your own vice? In what form will the devil come for you?' Maybe he already has."
About the Author
James R. Gapinski's collection of linked flashes, Messiah Tortoise, is available from Red Bird Chapbooks. His work has also appeared in The Collapsar, F(r)iction, Juked, Monkeybicycle, Paper Darts, Psychopomp, and other publications. He's managing editor of The Conium Review, associate faculty at Ashford University, and an instructional specialist at Chemeketa Community College. James is originally from southeastern Wisconsin. He now lives with his partner in Portland, Oregon.
Sarah Gerard is the author of the essay collection Sunshine State, which was longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, and the novel Binary Star, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Her short stories, essays, interviews, and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, T Magazine, Granta, The Baffler, Vice, and the anthologies Tampa Noir, We Can't Help it if We're From Florida, and One Small Blow Against Encroaching Totalitarianism. She lives in New York City with her true love, the writer Patrick Cottrell. Find her at Sarah-Gerard.com.