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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Diabolical Plots #37, March 2018

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Diabolical Plots #37, March 2018

What Monsters Prowl Above the Waves” by Jo Miles

Soft Clay” by Seth Chambers

Reviewed by Kevin P Hallett

There were two short stories in this issue.

What Monsters Prowl Above the Waves” by Jo Miles

An octopus emerges from the sea in this SF short. It travels in a clear sphere, rolling it up the beach near a deserted city. It’s exploring a strange land full of unknown dangers.

As it makes its way inland, it encounters a land-based monster covered in fur. At first the octopus tries to escape back to the sea, but it’s also curious. Overcoming its fear, it returns to the place where the monster waits.

This was an intriguing short story, easy to read with an unusual perspective on alien encounters.

Soft Clay” by Seth Chambers

In Chambers’s short fantasy, a faceless, ghost-like, female entity prowls the streets of Chicago looking for a chance to be someone’s lost love, even if only for a brief period.

She follows any sad man with a hole in their heart. Then she becomes his lost love. It is a symbiotic relationship; the man gets a last chance to be with their love and she gets an identity for a night. But one day she realizes that a man is following her. This has never happened before and creates a new challenge that frightens her.

This was one of those appealing stories that grabbed the reader from the first sentence, never letting them go until the final twists.