ISSN: 1946-1712
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Jake Freivald

August 2008

Our August Issue

Jake Freivald, Editor
Jake Freivald, Editor

This marks our ninth month as an online magazine, and I have to say that the thing I love most about it is seeing the tremendous range of our authors. The sub-one-thousand-word story can be extremely difficult to write, but hundreds of people each month take a crack at it and I'm amazed by the results.

Sometimes the most striking aspect of the story is the voice. Voices can be simple and rich, as with Dave Hoing’s “Souls of the Harvest” from February, or youthful and breathless, as with Bruce McAllister’s “Game” from May. But this issue, the voice that sticks out most is the obsessive, optimistic main character of Michael Kelly’s “On The Road With Rutger”, a mainstream story about an over-the-top Rutger Hauer fan.

That’s not to say that the other voices aren’t strong here too. Elizabeth Creith’s “Stone The Crows” certainly has a strong narrator, but what struck me most with her story is amount of information it conveyed obliquely. Read the story — just over 650 words — and see how much you know about this woman. Does she ever directly tell you about her attitudes towards nature? How much she knows about birds? How she’s dressed, even? Then how do you know all of these things about her?

Then there's the “idea-story-with-a-plot” that's offered by Mark Cole, “Reverse Engineering”. I won't say much because I don't want to give it all away, but I like the twist — not because it's a joke (like those stories where the author seems to say, “Ha-ha, fooled you, the narrator is really a hamburger bun!”), but because the narrator doesn't see it coming either. And it's a great play on an old saying. (Well, old for sci fi.)

This diversity extends even to fables. I was evaluating some Classic Flash options this month and came across Lord Dunsany's “The True History of the Hare and the Tortoise”. After Bruce Holland Rogers's column last month, it seemed like quite a suitable story to tell. But it's not just the old story retold — it adds a dash of political satire and a nice twist at the end as well. Depending on your political leanings, you may even think it's more relevant today than it was when it was written.

Finally, note that Bruce Holland Rogers had a glitch on his system, but hopes to have his new article to me within the next few days. While you’re waiting, check out Suzanne Vincent’s tips for writing speculative flash fiction. She wrote “I Speak The Master’s Will” in our first issue. I promise that both are worth reading.

And don’t forget to stop into the Flash Forum for more color commentary, and to add your own!

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About the Author

Jake Freivald

The eyes of Jake Freivald

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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