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I enjoy a thick novel as much as anyone but there s nothing uite like fleshy well rounded fiction crammed into 1 2 pages Like a message in a bottle or a severe note scrawled upon a Post It well written flash fiction has the ability to boggle the mind inspire or sadden just like lengthy fiction No I don t think it will replace the novel or even normal sized short stories but as our attention spans contine to shrink I can see flash fiction becoming increasingly popularAs far as this collection oes there are some amazing stories as well as a large number of duds I m not surprised It s hard to write FF well Nearly impossible The Sculpting Making a Toddler Doll good news is that the most time you ll spend reading a bad story is about 1 3 minutes Unlike slogging through a bad novel where 12 hours of your life could be wastedThese are the stories that stuck out to me as exceedingly excellent in one way or another Sashimi Cashmere Carolyn Forde Sleeping Katharine Weber The Voices in My Head Jack Handey Why You Shouldn t Have Gone in the First Place Samantha Schoech Bullhead Leigh Allison Wilson Accident Dave Eggers Words John A McCaffrey The Black City Leonardo Alishan That Could Have Been You Jim Heynen How to End Up Jennifer A Howard The Orange Benjamin Rosenbaum 21 Jim Crace To Reduce Your Liklihood of Murder Ander Monson Crazy Glue Etgar Keret Pledge Drive Patricia Marx The Handbag Michael Augustin Parrot Talk Kit Coyne Irwin The Death of the Short Story J David StevensSo yeah that s about 1880 reallyood stories Calculates out to 20% but only a few of the ones not mentioned were truly horrendous I only include this list because I found them to be truly spectacular If you don t have time to read the whole book or are interested in writing your own flash fiction you should at least check these out Then if you have time Soldados del Multiverso: Guerreros del pasado (Guerras del Multiverso n 2) go ahead and read the whole collection You won t be disappointed I ve been binge reading a lot of flash fiction lately which is a pretty easy and wonderful thing to do anytime and anywhere Riding the MTR waiting for mom to finish her errands at the bank sitting on the toilet you name itAs the title of the anthology suggests the stories in Flash Fiction Forward are each over in a flash and the authors only have so many pages that they can use to surprise or move usSometimes the stories end too soon and expectations are not met Most times however the pieces in this collection show me the magic of short formMany of the writers use the brevity of their stories to experiment with style Currents is told backwards To Reduce Your Likelihood of Murder is a list of of orders Do noto outside Do not On Disgust go outside on dates or to the store Test is a four part exam that makes you rethink your life with Extra Credit Fully explain the ways in which you are wrongA lot of the stories also use their endings to effectively reverse the impressions that we formed at the beginning meaning that our initial assumptions still linger in our heads by the time a story is over after all each one is so short and make us wonder about what on earth just happened In Accident a car accident that could haveone terribly wrong turns into an opportunity for the protagonist to potentially make new friends into an opportunity for The Protagonist To Potentially protagonist to potentially new friends come to terms with his loneliness in The Handbag a crime devolves into an unusual and low key romance story In The Good Life a woman who seemingly has it all oing for her turns out to be stuck in a rather dark placeDue to their brevity the stories also have the space to capture single symbols very wholesomely and memorably In Parrot Talk our protagonist like the parrot she talks about has also adapted to a hostile environment and flourishes in it In Toasters the image of two slices of bread popping out simultaneously plus the heatsuspenseforce that comes with it echoes the double domestic fights happening in the storyShort and daring some stories also just simply throw you something bizarre and let you absorb it for a spell My Date with Neanderthal Woman transfixes you from start to finish in all its brilliant strangeness and unconv. After publication of the first Flash Fiction anthology over a decade ago “flash” became part of the creative writing lexicon for readers writers students and teachers In this follow up collection the editors once again tackle the uestion “How short can a story be and truly be a story”. ,


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Flash Fiction Forward 80 Very Short Stories

James Thomas ´ 2 Review

Reading like disasters John Edgar Wideman s Stories for example reads for all the world like a list of story ideas enerated by a writing exercise but if you list of story ideas enerated by a writing exercise but if you with it it provides a surprising and almost poetic turn at the end that keeps me rereading the piece again and again Tom Hazuka s I Didn t Do That is a haunting disturbing little piece barely a page long again Tom Hazuka s I Didn t Do That is a haunting disturbing little piece barely a page long heavy on the mind Kit Coyne Irwin s Parrot Talk and Eva Marie Ginsburg s The Kettle ought to read like silly puns or cute cocktail party jokes but they bring such human emotion and clever wordplay into these tiny stories that I read each of them out loud to my wife just for the excuse to read them a second timeI could o on because while some of these stories are disappointing the bulk of them are delightful and a surprising number are true ems tiny but radiant examples of what Italo Calvino calls the uality of uickness at work in only the best literature It s not a perfect book but it s certainly worth reading and if you re a writer worth keeping on your bookshelf A lot of ood stuff a lot of okay stuff Raises a lot of uestions in my mind about the Dirty Work gimmicky nature of flash and makes me nervous but overall I still love theenreMy favorite stories from this collection are Stories by John Edgar Wideman Sleeping by Katharine Weber Currents by Hannah Bottomy Consuming the View by Luigi Malerba Things You Should Know by AM Homes Blind Fish by Melanie Rae Thon Why You Shouldn t Have Gone in the First Place by Samantha Schoech All Girl Band by Utahna Faith Words by John A McCaffrey 21 by Jim Crace To Reduce Your Likelihood of Murder by Ander Monson Oliver s Evolution by John Updike Crazy Glue by Edgar Keret Pledge Drive by Patricia Marx and Test by GA IngersollYes I had 15 favorites But that s out of 80 stories This was a rewarding read Eighty stories each under 750 words to really test the writers and explore how to tell a complete story in such constraints This is an educational manual for any writer I feel as well as an excellent creative challenge The writers within did an excellent job of plunging into engaging narration with vivid characters Hearts Farthings giving the reader every cause to follow the actionThere are in my estimation two negative points about this collection One is that many writers had nothing else to say within the constraints of an urgent message than to pontificate over dead babies personal tragedy the miserable side to human existence and suffering Much of this book is a real downer like someone saw their door was only open a crack so they d better shoot you in the face and make it countThe second point is my problem entirely not the fault of the writers or the editors at all One problem I have with contemporary short stories at any length in many publications is that they re fucking pointless You start toet to know the characters you The Mount Shasta Mission get into the flow of the action and then they just end with nothing happening at all No satisfying conclusion no denouement no punchline nothing It s likeoing to see a slow moving drama and walking out after the first third of the film What was the point What were they trying to express Is every work of postmodern fiction beholden were they trying to express Is every work of postmodern fiction beholden underscoring the arbitrary nature of existence I can t stand it but it s a very popular approach for many very talented and insightful writers so I recognize the problem is mine alone That doesn t make me like it any better and this book has it in spades 35 stars I had to read this for class and I thought it was really cool just because I ve never read this many stories this short before There were some that were REAL weird but here are my top 5 favorites in the 80 stories In no particular order1 Currents by Hannah Bottomy2 The Wallet by Andrew McCuaig3 To Reduce Your Likelihood of Murder by Ander Monson4 Oliver s Evolution by John Updike5 Test by G A IngersollI really liked about 10 or so maybe a little less It was a very uick read luckily If you re a busy person looking for just a tiny bit to read before bed these type of stories are for you. Ers of our time including Ron Carlson Robert Coover Steve Almond Amy Hempel A M Homes Grace Paley and Paul Theroux In addition Rick Moody properly defines armoire Lydia Davis delves into a world of cats and Dave Eggers explores narrow escapes Over and over these stories prove that often less. ,
Entionality the ending of Crazy Glue feels like a dream and The Orange is about a fruit that ruled the world until it was eatenThe last piece in the collection is called Death of the Short Story but the imagination and usto of the stories in this anthology prove that the short short story is alive than ever Even the ending of that last piece which reveals how everyone started Making Up Lies About The Story Demonstrates The Immortality Of up lies about the Story demonstrates the immortality of As writers and readers we are indeed always waiting for a sliver of light to break loose from the oblong suspended momentarily like a musical note on fire before streaking recklessly into the surrounding night inspiring our writing and illuminating our lives with a literal flash of fiction So this was my first time reading flash fiction short short stories no longer than 2 pages each and I really enjoyed it I made a list of the stories in this anthology that really struck me Then The List Kept Getting Longer And Longer And Wound the list kept etting longer and longer and wound being about half of the book so I had to condense it to just the very very best I ve found a few new authors I need to stalk and read of I would definitely recommend reading this if you like modern stories literary stories weird stories somewhat funny stories I was pleased with the collection A list of my noted favorites Before the Bath by Ismail Kadare translated from the Albanian by Peter ConstantineSleeping by Katharine Weber1951 by Richard BauschThe Voices in My Head by Jack HandeyReviving Pater by John GouletMy Date with Neanderthal Woman by David GalefThe Orange by Benjamin RosenbaumTo Reduce Your Likelihood of Murder by Ander MonsonWhat Were the White Things by Amy HempelTest by GA Ingersoll00023658 by Bayard GodsaveMr Nikos Nikou by Ersi Sotiropoulos translated from the Greek by Stratis HaviarasToasters by Pamela PainterOh and this line from the story The Black City by Leonardo Alishan every day that she spends with you is spent in sorrow for the day and in despair for tomorrow thus I her yesterday Greenwich grow happier and radiant in her memory How wrong you are on the other side to think the past cannot be changed As with any collection of short stories whether by a single author or anthology there will be selections that often range widely and will appeal to different people but overall I thought thisroup enjoyable and en 1 Sentence Summary A collection of flash fiction storiesMy Thoughts It s always a mixed bag with anthologies like this Some of the stories I loved and others I hated My two favorites were Reviving Pater by John Goulet and The Handbag by Michael AugustinRecommend to People who enjoy flash fiction This was such a fun read I wasn t aware that flash fictionshort short fiction was a thing so when My Creative Writing Teacher Put This In Our Hands And creative writing teacher put this in our hands and began discussing it for class I fell i I have mixed feelings about the short short or flash fiction of micro fiction or whatever it is we want to call it these days On the one hand it s a powerful form as close to the compression and deceptive complexity of poetry as fiction can et my friend Beth Ann Fennelly who is one of my favorite poets insists there is no difference between the short short and the prose poem and I can t find any ood reason to disagree with her But because the short short is so well short writers deceive themselves into thinking it s an easy Your Name Here genre and to be honest most of what I read turns out to be silly at best they re often sketches in theuise of a story or scenes that belong in a longer story or poems having an identity crisis Sometimes they re not anything at all a writing exercise Mate Me [If You May] (The Millennium Wolves, gone bad or just foolishness made out of words And to be fair some of the stories in this book are like that inglorious examples of all of the above Why for instance did the editors insist on including humor bits from the New Yorker s Shouts and Murmurs section I m as big a fan of Jack Handey as any New Yorker reader can be but really is thisenuine fiction But some of these stories are surprisingly effective even when they start out. Determined to find the best flashes from America in the twenty first century James Thomas and Robert Shapard searched everywhere for stories that were not merely True good but memorable Moving and certainly unforgettable this collection includes stories from the best and most popular fiction writ.