May Flash May Entertain You
This issue was a lot of fun to put together.
First I read a quirky little story by John Moran called “Select Your Champions”. The opening line — “So there we were: myself and Hannibal and Genghis Khan.” — got my attention, and as I read further I had the rare pleasure of being frustrated and amused at the same time. Congratulations to John on his first sale.
Then I received a story from Bruce McAllister. He has been publishing stories and garnering accolades since 1963, and last year his short story “Kin” (read it online or on paper or listen to it) got him his second Hugo nomination. I think of him as a science fiction writer, but “Game” is one of those genre-benders that flash fiction produces so often — it feels like a literary story in a science fiction setting. I’m not even sure if I can describe why I like it, but it was one of the best two-minute reads I’ve had in a long time.
Bruce was also a pleasure to work with during the editing process. His story was over 1,000 words long, which means (as our submission guidelines say) that we needed to edit it down, and record the process for my “cutting” blog. I’m happy to say that within a few days my first blog entry, after a long hiatus, will provide the results.
After that, I received a submission from Ron Richardson called “Bus Ride”. If I talk too long about it, the discussion will be longer than the story itself. It clocks in at only 175 words, but it’s a real story, complete with plot and everything. It’s the last story of fewer than 500 words that we’ll publish. If you’re a writer you might be interested in this tidbit: because we pay a flat fifty dollars per story, Ron earned 28.6 cents per word. Those are some serious bragging rights.
Finally, after six months I went back to H.P. Lovecraft’s well for short-short horror fiction. It’s tempting to go back to him every month because of the moods he evokes so effectively. This month’s story, “Ex Oblivione” comes from 1921, and even though one needn’t interpret it supernaturally I think the nihilism and emotional content places it squarely in the horror genre.
Every story has original art by R.W. Ware, of course.
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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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