When Scotch Rutherford released the contributors to Issue Five of Switchblade, many were impressed by the list of contributors. With Alec Cizak, Court Merrigan, and Rob Pierce – all writers I have reviewed here –, I was looking forward to it as well. Merrigan’s Broken Country made my 2017 Best of List.
A bit of confession time. I have a stack of Switchblades and its brother from another mother Pulp Modern (edited by Cizak) on my bookshelves. I have read none of them straight through. I find them to be particularly good reading for the throne room, a story here, a story there. But with the new issue of Switchblade, I promised myself, I read it straight through and not always in the bathroom.
The wife looked over my shoulder while I was reading – I think the cover struck her as something different asking me what kind of porn I was reading. “It’s just some nasty crime fiction,” I said. She asked what the font was because she really liked it. It’s some sort of sans serif that I’m not a fan of. She’s wrong but to each their own.
If you put a knife to my throat and ask me what story I liked the most, I’d go with Timothy Friend’s Bad Dog. When the story began I was only amused that it was told from a dog’s point of view. Then Bad Dog turned into something else, something better than I expected.
Issue Five of Switchblade does not have one page of filler, not one. Every story deserves to be included. If you have eight bucks in your pocket, pick up the printed version of Switchblade, it’s worth it.