I described last month’s flash fiction stories as “intriguing”. They were thoughtful, even pensive.
Fine, be that way. So maybe 60% of our material was “intriguing”. The ratio won’t be as high this month. Instead, we have a bunch of stories that pretty much only fits in months that start with fools’ holidays — stuff that would seem a little “out there” at other times.
We have Carl Frederick’s story about a geeky and musically dyslexic violin-playing robot. (Before anyone complains, please read the author’s forward.) In reading Carl’s work in Analog, I’ve really been impressed with his ability to write tension-filled stories that don’t involve death and blood and guts. “The Dyslexicon” is a great example. It also had me giggling as I read it for the first time; fortunately, I was waiting for the train into Manhattan and didn’t look out of place.
Speaking of death and blood and guts, we also have Kurt Bachard’s post-apocalyptic vision of Macbeth: not a post-apocalyptic setting of Macbeth, mind you, but ordinary post-apocalyptic people — that is to say, zombies — actually staging Macbeth. And, as with the Bard, the voice is everything. (No, I don’t mean to say that Kurt is the next Shakespeare, but I think he might have liked being mentioned in a bit about zombies.) Anyway, I’d be a gormless twit not to publish “How Not to Stage a Play at the Royal Theatre in the Aftermath of a Zombie Apocalypse” — although it might have been sensible to demand a title change.
If zombies aren’t your thing, maybe Dalton Keane’s “Call of the Wild, Line Three” will work. It’s about stockbrokers. That’s more ordinary, right? This is about a whole pack of them. To say more would ruin the surprise.
And if you haven’t groaned yet, then you clearly haven’t clicked on Hank Quense’s “Fast Living”. It’s a Feghoot: if you know what that is, consider yourself warned. If you don’t, consider that one staff reader actually said, “Track this guy down and cane him.” Yes, it’s that bad. And that’s what makes it that good.
Finally, we have a quaint and silly flash fiction story by Kevin Scott, whose only electronic trace may be this story, “Quiet, Please!” It’s from the November 1961 issue of World of If.
And for all these funny, quirky stories, we have more amazing artwork by our artist-in-residence, R.W. Ware. Rich, the ‘zine wouldn’t look the same without you.
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About the Author
Jake Freivald lives in New Jersey in a house that teems with life: a wife, eight kids, two dogs, two cats, and ten fish. They’re all being neglected right now, so he’s going to stop writing this.
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