Flash Fiction Online – December 2015

Flash Fiction at its Best – a Small, Cool, Collection

Self Portrait 2010
Self Portrait 2010

Each of the four stories collected here is as good as flash fiction gets. Each is set in a cleverly conceived world, and that can be hard to do in 1000 words, while still telling a story. Each is built around a beginning, unfolding of the telling, and an end; also a challenge when the allowed canvas is 1000. If you like fantasy/slipstream flash then I unreservedly recommend.

That said, I don’t “like” all of the stories. But … so what? (What has “liking” to do with reviewing? – if anyone wants to answer that Q for themselves … less than 1000 words please!)

So … without giving away ANYTHING of the actual stories …

Fibonacci by Eleanor R. Wood is … actually … quite brilliant. It has a certain telling structure that is unique. And the sentences and paragraphs are painterly. Very nice brushwork. And how it spirals to the conclusion is elegant, in a mathematical sense. The Snow Globe by Kate Hall is set in a cleverly built world … but that world is kinda ho-hum at the same time. A lot of fantasy/slipstream takes a slice of our “everyday” world, shatters it, and then reconstructs the shards to tell a prismed, parallaxed in parallel, and dark story. Spoke to my mind … but not my heart. No “hope” there. But a fair question is, who needs hope? Very gifted writer though.

To the Havens by Ariel Bolton is also set in a cleverly conceived world; taking a sentimental urban myth and re-telling it from the perspective of a world somewhat governed by hyper-capitalism and exploitation. I liked the DaughterSon of Noir take. But then … I kinda like noir. And Hoarfrost by Michelle Muenzler is set in a sorrowful, painful world, where nature is harsh; wherever and whenever that world is. It is the most abstracted-away from our world. I liked it. It is mythic, without knowing anything else about that world.

If you want to learn to write flash, or better your flashcraft, this collection is one place to most certainly start. If you like reading very well-written flash … then … say no more … this is one for the reading. One last point. I experience bingeing on flash rather sickly when the quality is poor. No danger of that here.

There! No spoilers. And well under 1000 words.

There is a fifth piece. A “motivational” piece. I suppose for authors who feel they are not motivated enough or not as successful, yet, as they would like to be. I personally did not resonate with it. But it makes a deep point; should you focus on one thing, say a novel, or address all your talents at the same time? Vertical or horizontal? And, is the approach strongly advocated here at odds with “Follow Your Dream”, or not? My reaction is likely a minority one; so that is worth reading too.


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