by Joshua James Jordan

Distant Body

by Richard King Perkins II

A New Creature

by John Grey

I, Tiresias

by Stephen Scott Whitaker

Three Poems

by Wesley D. Gray

Issue 7 AUTUMN 2016

Swallow and Beyond

by Rebecca LuElla Miller



Submission GUIDLINES




Fiction and Poetry


The Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow is looking for speculative fiction up to 5K words and poetry containing speculative elements. (We will consider up to 3 poems at a time). The following sub-genres will be considered: science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, horror, alternate history, and paranormal.


Humor or satire mingled with any of the above subgenres is always appreciated.


Please do not submit erotica.




Reviews are welcome for novels or story collections within the sub-genres mentioned above. We desire honest criticism and thorough analysis of the author’s style and execution, including strengths and weaknesses. If a synopsis is included please keep it short. Star ratings will not be included in any reviews.


Review Requests


Authors may solicit reviews from the editor. The request should contain a one-paragraph synopsis and the first 1K words of the novel or story collection.




We are also accepting graphic art and illustrations. Submit up to 2 pieces at one time.


Submission Process


***Submissions for the Autumn 2016 issue are OPEN through September 1st, 2016.***


Please send artwork submissions directly to jessicathomas (at) jessicathomasink (dot) com.


All stories, poetry, reviews, and review requests must be submitted through the HeyPublisher form. Please submit one story at a time. Simultaneous submissions are not permitted.




There is no payment at this time.


Terms and Agreements


We ask for First Rights and specifically First Internet Publication. After publication, your work will remain in our archives unless you ask us to remove it.


Please make sure that you have read the submission guidelines before submitting your work.  Documents must be a DOC, RTF, or TXT file. April 1st is the final day to be considered for the Spring 2017 issue.


Lou Antonelli is a life-long science fiction reader who turned his hand to writing fiction in middle age; his first story was published in 2003 when he was 46. Since then he has had 85 short stories published in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, in venues such as Asimov’s Science Fiction, Jim Baen’s Universe, Dark Recesses, Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD), and Daily Science Fiction, among others. His steampunk short story, “A Rocket for the Republic”, was the last story accepted by Dozois before he retired as editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction after 19 years. It was published in Asimov’s in September 2005 and placed third in the annual Readers’ Poll. His story “Great White Ship”, originally published in Daily Science Fiction, was a 2013 finalist for the Sidewise Award for alternate history. His collections include “Fantastic Texas” published in 2009; “Texas & Other Planets” published in 2010; and “The Clock Struck None”, published in Feb. 2014. He is a professional journalist and the managing editor of The Daily Tribune in Mount Pleasant, Texas. A Massachusetts native, he moved to Texas in 1985 and is married to Dallas native Patricia (Randolph) Antonelli. They have three adopted furbaby children, Millie, Sugar and Peltro Antonelli. “In a spare, swift, convincing narrative style, conveying in a deadpan voice a wide array of sometimes Paranoid suppositions about the world, Antonelli juxtaposes realities with very considerable skill, creating a variety of Alternate Worlds, some of them somewhat resembling the constructions of Howard Waldrop, and making some sharp points about American history, race relations, dreams, and occasional nightmares in which the twentieth century goes wrong.”[JC] - From the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Find Lou online at


Tom Barlow is an Ohio writer. He is the author of the science fiction novel I’ll Meet You Yesterday, and his work has been featured in anthologies including Best American Mystery Stories 2013, Hard-Boiled Horror, Best of Crossed Genres #2, Battlespace and Desolate Places, as well as many magazines including The Intergalactic Medicine Show, Digital Science Fiction, Coyote Wild and Encounters. Find Tom at


Marleen S. Barr is known for her pioneering work in feminist science fiction and teaches English at the City University of New York. She has won the Science Fiction Research Association Pilgrim Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction criticism. Barr is the author of Alien to Femininity: Speculative Fiction and Feminist Theory, Lost in Space: Probing Feminist Science Fiction and Beyond, Feminist Fabulation: Space/Postmodern Fiction, and Genre Fission: A New Discourse Practice for Cultural Studies. Barr has edited many anthologies and co-edited the science fiction issue of PMLA. She is the author of the novels Oy Pioneer! and Oy Feminist Planets: A Fake Memoir.


Grace Bridges is a dreamer whose muse blows best when it's fresh from the sea. A graduate of the University of Auckland, she translates German for a living, and writes from her hilltop in New Zealand although faraway places call to her just as often. Her stories appear in various international anthologies and magazines, and she is working on a series of novels. She is inordinately happy that her hair has started going silver. Find her at


Lawrence Buentello is the author of over eighty published short stories in a variety of genres, including science fiction, fantasy and horror. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.


Chris Bullard is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. He lives in Collingswood, New Jersey. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.F.A. from Wilkes University. Kattywompus Press published his third chapbook, Dear Leatherface, in January of 2014, and WordTech Editions published his full-length book, Grand Canyon, in 2015. His work has appeared in publications such as 32 Poems, Rattle, Pleiades, River Styx, and Nimrod.


Andy Decker lives in central Illinois. He teaches writing and literature at Illinois Central College and pastors a small church nearby. Feel free to visit his blog at


Jill Domschot writes speculative novels with a Gothic flair, as well as odd short stories and philosophical memoirs. Most of her current writing has been in one way or another inspired by accordion music and the really long eighteenth century. (When she says really long, she means stretching from Cervantes all the way to an unfixed point in the nineteenth century.)  Jill can be found online at


Mike Duran is a novelist, blogger, and speaker, whose short stories, essays, and commentary have appeared in Relief Journal, Rue Morgue, Relevant Online, Zombies magazine, and other print and digital outlets. He is the author of The Ghost Box (Blue Crescent Press, 2014), a Publishers Weekly starred review item and first in a paranoir series, a short story anthology Subterranea (Blue Crescent Press, 2013), the supernatural thrillers The Telling (Realms May 2012) and The Resurrection (Realms, 2011), an e-book fantasy novella entitled Winterland (Amazon digital, Oct. 2011), and a non-fiction exploration on the intersection between the horror genre and evangelical fiction entitled Christian Horror (Blue Crescent Press May 2015). You can learn more about Mike Duran,his writing projects, cultural commentary, philosophical musings, and arcane interests, at


Lelia Rose Foreman has raised and released five children. She now writes science fiction.


John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in The Lyric, Vallum and the science fiction anthology,The Kennedy Curse with work upcoming in Bryant Literary Magazine, Natural Bridge, Southern California Review and the Oyez Review.


Kat Heckenbach is a graduate of the University of Tampa, Magna Cum Laude, B.S. in Biology. She spent several years teaching, but never in a traditional classroom–everything from Art to Algebra II―and now homeschools her two children. Her writing spans the gamut from inspirational personal essays to dark and disturbing fantasy and horror, with over fifty short fiction and nonfiction credits to her name. Her YA fantasy series, which includes Finding Angel and Seeing Unseen is available in print and ebook.  Enter her world at and


Ed Higgins poems and short fiction have appeared in various print and online journals. He and his wife live on a small farm in Yamhill, Oregon, where they raise a menagerie of animals including two whippets, a manx barn cat (who doesn’t care for the whippets), a flock of blue-green egg laying Araucana hens (plus a handsome, happy rooster named Crows-a-Lot), and an alpaca named Machu-Picchu.


Chris Limb is a writer and designer based in Brighton, UK. In 2011 he self-published a short memoir as both an eBook and print-on-demand title. I Was a Teenage Toyah Fan went down well with its core-audience and continues to sell at a steady rate as an ebook. Chris reviews books and audiobooks for the British Fantasy Society and has blogged on a regular basis since mid-2009. Chris’ finished novel Comeback is currently being submitted to agents and publishers and he recently completed the first draft of the follow-up. Chris also writes short stories, one of which was recently published in The Root Cellar and Other Stories anthology from eKhaya (June 2013) and another in the Contact anthology from Dreamscape Press (December 2013). A further story is due for publication in The Undead War anthology in June 2014. Find him at


Denny E. Marshall has had art and poetry published, some recently. He has a personal website with previously published works at


Robert McClain  Prior to writing his first novel, The Cabbage Head, Robert wrote political and apologetic pieces for various small publications in eastern Pennsylvania. His second novel, Isles of Myst, was published in the summer of 2013. “Focal Point” is an excerpt from an upcoming novel.  Robert can be found online at


Melissa McDaniel is a staff editor at The Newer York Press and one of the co-founders of Scintilla, a multimedia event in Brooklyn that features emerging artists and writers. She has been published in Stillpoint Literary Magazine, Stray Dog Almanac, and Liars’ League NYC, and she was a finalist in the NYC Midnight flash fiction contest. Melissa is currently at work on a speculative fiction novel. She can be found at


Mirtika lives in South Florida with her prince and thousands of books. She blogs at Find her short speculative fictionat


M.V. Montgomery is a professor at Life University in Atlanta. His most recent books are Beyond the Pale (2013) and A Dictionary of Animal Symbols (2014). His website is


Robert E. Petras is a resident of Toronto, Ohio and a graduate of West Liberty State University. His poetry and fiction have appeared in a variety of genres in more than 170 publications throughout the world.


Marisca Pichette is a young adult fantasy writer and student at Mount Holyoke College. She spends much of her time reading classical and fantastical works as well as writing short stories, poetry, and two novel series. She has created two fantasy languages for her novels, which take place in both the ‘real’ world and imagined worlds. Her long fiction writing is mostly directed at young adult readers and is peppered with magic, myth and humor. Poems and vignettes are directed at a larger audience of those who appreciate the beauty of words.


Stoney M. Setzer lives south of Atlanta, Georgia, with his beautiful wife and three wonderful children. As a fiction writer, he strives to create suspenseful stories with Christian themes. His works have been featured in such publications as Residential Aliens, Fear and Trembling, and Christian Sci-Fi Journal, as well as a number of anthologies. He has published two anthologies of his own short stories, Zero Hour: Stories of Spiritual Suspense and Zero Hour 2: More Stories of Spiritual Suspense, as well as a novel entitled Dead Man Running. They are available on Amazon and on Smashwords.  Stoney is employed as a middle school special education teacher. He maintains a blog at


Ed Shacklee is a public defender who represents young people in the District of Columbia. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Angle, Calamaro, Kin Poetry Journal, Light, and Snakeskin, among other places. He is working on a bestiary.


Jacob Smith is a writer and freelancer from the east end of Long Island. He currently lives and works in Crown Heights, a few blocks from where his father grew up.


Robert D. Stanley was born in the heart of Georgia in a small town of 10,000 people. Ever since seeing Pete's Dragon as a child, he's had a fascination with dragons (and a burning desire to have his own). He wrote his first fantasy story at age twelve called Phoenix 2000 and has been writing science fiction and fantasy stories ever since. Having an over-active imagination helped. Robert has been a professional wrestler, a bass player in an alternative band and has written numerous short stories in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genre with a few published in online magazines. The Storm Seer’s Prophecy Book 1: The Core Stone is his first novel. Robert currently lives in Arizona.


Caryn Studham Sutorus lives in Charlotte, NC, and writes tales of Viking villages, medieval saints, and modern day horror. Her stories appear in History Will Be Kind from Copperfield Press, The Rose Red Review, The Grotesquerie: an Anthology of Horror, Darkhouse Books’ And All Our Yesterdays, and the Ni Bona Na Coroin anthology of American stories. As an active member of the North Carolina Writer's Network and the Women’s National Book Association, she enjoys creating, editing, and discussing both fiction and nonfiction. In the professional world she writes freelance communication materials for financial companies, but writing fiction is much more fun. For more about Caryn’s work, please visit her website at


Patrick Todoroff wasn’t raised by the ancient Kōga ninja clan, didn’t discover the fabled Pharos Lighthouse off the coast of Alexandria, and has never hunted werewolves in Babiyal. A former missionary and pastor, he’s married, with three grown children and three grandchildren.   He currently lives on Cape Cod where he runs a stained glass studio when he isn’t writing. He blogs at


Gerald Warfield’s short stories have appeared in Perihelion, NewMyths, Bewildering Stories, and Every Day Fiction. “The Poly Islands,” won second prize in the first quarter of the 2011 Writers of the Future contest. The same year, his humorous story “The Origin of Third Person in Paleolithic Epic Poetry” took first place in the nationally syndicated Grammar Girl short story contest. Gerald published music textbooks and how-to books in investing before turning to fiction. His publishers were Harper & Row, MacMillan, John Willey & Sons, and Longman, among others. He is a graduate of the Odyssey Writers Workshop (2010) and a member of SFWA.


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