REVIEW: “Alistair Catfish” by Cindy Phan

Review of Cindy Phan, “Alistair Catfish,” Luna Station Quarterly 49 (2022): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

“You grant small wishes and complain” is an absolute stunner of a line, said by Colin Abrams, the narrator, to the titular Alistair Catfish, whom he rescued from a hurricane and rehabilitated in his bathtub, and who now owes Colin wishes. Small wishes only, and only granted with complaint.

This was was an ordinary twist on the traditional “fisherman catches a glamorous fish and is well rewarded” tale until it was slowly overcome by a creeping horror. I was not expecting the story to go where it did, from how it started. Kept me on my toes!