Flash Fiction: a complete story
in one thousand or fewer words.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Review of Flash Fiction Online

Sam Tamaino at SFRevu has reviewed Flash Fiction Online's April 2010 issue available here. Other than taking offense at a New Jersey slam in one of the stories (no, he took it with good wit), he liked FFO's April foolery. By the way, Sam, the editor-in-chief of Flash Fiction Online is a NJ resident.

The April issue had stories by Daniel José Older, Caroline M. Yoachim, and Andrew Gudgel, plus a classic story and Bruce Holland Rogers' Short-Short Sighted column.

Sam also reviewed recent editions of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Apex Magazine, Asimov's Science Fiction, the first issue of Bull Spec, Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD), Jim Baen's Universe, Kaleidotrope, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Thanks, Sam.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ranking Literary Magazines

Lincoln Michel, book editor at The Faster Times, has compiled a nice, ranked list of literary magazines. I thought this would be of interest to Flash Fiction Online readers and authors. Our readers occasionally read something of more than 1000 words in length and our writers have been known to accidentally write a 1001-word or longer story and would like to find a home for it.

Mr. Michel warned that his list was not based on his personal taste in literary magazines, but on reputation. He said:

It is based on the reputation of journals as I’ve gleaned them and related factors like distribution, contributors, pay rates and awards (especially Perpetual Folly’s very helpful Pushcart Prize Ranking). What publications would most impress an agent or editor? What magazines routinely crop up in the acknowledgements of new collections?


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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Review of Flash Fiction Online

Sam Tomaino at SFRevu has generously reviewed the March issue of Flash Fiction Online in his Zines, Magazines, and Short Fiction Review column. The March issue of FFO has stories by Daniel José Older, Caroline M. Yoachim, and Andrew Gudgel, plus a classic story and Bruce Holland Rogers' Short-Short Sighted column.

You can find the March issue of Flash Fiction Online here: before/after the April issue is published.
Daniel José Older's "Midnight Mambo" seemed to be Sam's front runner,

Sam has also reviewed other magazines, including Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Apex Magazine, Asimov's Science Fiction, Interzone, Night Chills, Nth Zine, and Space and Time.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Review of Flash Fiction Online

Sam Tomaino at SFRevu has a review of the Feb. 2010 edition of Flash Fiction Online. This month, he seemed to favor "Six Reasons Why My Sister Hates Me":

The narrator of Aimee C. Amodio's story details "Six Reasons Why My Sister Hates Me" and helps draw a picture of their relationship and the world they live in. It was quite good.

You can see this edition of FFO here.

Sam also reviews Abyss & Apex, Apex Magazine, Black Static, Jim Baen's Universe (penultimate issue), Outer Reaches, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Review of Flash Fiction Online

Sam Tamiano at SFRevu has reviewed Flash Fiction Online's January 2010 edition. He liked "Caltrops" by Tim Pratt and "Hungry" by Tree Reisner. He seemed to especially like Ken Pisani's "Last Bites":

"Last Bites" by Ken Pisani takes place at a funeral parlor and begins with a boy biting off his dead uncle's nose and saying it tastes like chocolate. Soon, it becomes apparent that all the deceased are edible and tasty. This was an absolutely delicious story with a very amusing ending.

The staff at Flash Fiction Online had quite a lively discussion about that story. All three stories plus Bruce Holland Rogers' writing column can be seen here.

Sam has more reviews of speculative fiction magazines, including:

  • Analog Science Fiction and Fact
  • Apex Magazine
  • Asimov's Science Fiction
  • Black Static
  • Electric Velocipede
  • Encounters Magazine (first issue)
  • Interzone
  • Jupiter
  • Realms (first issue)

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Literary Magazines on Life Support

Mother Jones has an impassioned article by the editor of Virginia Quarterly Review, Mr. Ted Genoways, about the herding of America's stable of (usually) university-hosted literary magazines into postmodernism's most distant pasture...or off to the glue factory.

The author gives a 1930s heyday example of then Connecticut governor-elect and editor of Yale Review, Wilbur Cross, who continued editing the magazine while in office, publishing Aldous Huxley, Sherwood Anderson, Maxim Gorky, John Maynard Keynes, and Thomas Mann. All he had to do was "get up early" to handle the 500 submission the magazine received each year.

That bit of trivia is the springboard to the problem. Mr. Genoways' magazine now receives 15,000 submissions per year. The fault belongs to the economy, the evaporation of short fiction from mainstream periodicals, and most interestingly, writers. Most of those time-soaking 15,000 stories were submitted by authors insufficiently skilled to write at the level needed to sustain interest in literary magazines. Says Mr. Genoways:

You may be a precious snowflake, but if you can't express your individuality in sterling prose, I don't want to read about it.

(Snork.) In other words, it's better (and more economical) to receive 100 gems in the mail than 10,000 stones. Authors have become gutless, afraid to write about big issues. Says Mr. Genoways:

Stop being so damned dainty and polite. Treat writing like your lifeblood instead of your livelihood. And for Christ's sake, write something we might want to read.

Go here to read, "The Death of Fiction?" Take note also of the many comments following the story, including some responses by Mr. Galoways.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Radium Age Fiction

I stumbled upon this flash fiction contest for stories of 250 words or less, with the theme, troubled or troubling supermen, conducted by Hilobrow.com. Their contest is interesting, but I found their explanation of the theme, pre-golden-age supermen, or "Radium Age" fiction, as author Joshua Glenn called it, quite entertaining. Here is the contest theme:

Long before Alan Moore asked “Who will watch the Watchmen?” Radium-Age (1904-33) science fiction writers worried whether supermen would rescue us ordinary mortals — or try to dominate us.

The link in the quote above is to an earlier io9 article, which was the source of some of the Hilobrow article on pre-golden-age science fiction. The author provides ten SF novels published in the 1904-1933 period as examples, including some nicely retro book covers, including Poul Anderson's Brain Wave.

The Radium Age superman was superior in body and intellect, along several evolution-inspired lines of reasoning, including "greater capacity for action and freedom."

Aye, there’s the rub: for, as Nietzsche has Zarathustra predict, “Just as the ape to man is a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment, man shall be just that to [superman].”

Included in the article is a summary of the ten most influential novels of the Radium Age, with a synopsis of each, and the cover art. There is also a bibliography of related fiction from the period 1804 to 1937, under several sub-genre categories.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Bruce Holland Rogers Kudos

Flash Fiction Online likes its monthly columnist, Bruce Holland Rogers. See the Short-Short Sighted column in each issue of FFO.

Realms of Fantasy likes Bruce, too. According to SF Scope, the editor of RoF went off their story-purchasing cycle to purchase Bruce's "Fallen" story to accommodate his upcoming travel plans. Nice.

Bruce, could you ask them to reject my stories by saying "it's not horrible," rather than, "it's not right for us at this time?"

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Review of Flash Fiction Online

Sam Tomaino at SF Revu has a review of recent short fiction, including a review of the December 2009 issue of Flash Fiction Online. That FFO issue is here. Thanks, Sam.

Sam also has reviews of Apex Magazine, the Thoughtcrime Experiments anthology (in which Yours Truly has a story), Jim Baen's Universe (one of the final issues of that great magazine), Shimmer, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New SF Magazine: Lightspeed

According to Locus Online and others, John Joseph Adams will leave Fantasy Magazine to edit Lightspeed, a sister publication that will publish science fiction. At the time of posting this article, the Lightspeed web site just has some slick graphics. Writers' guidelines will appear in early December. The first publication date is set for June 2010.

Here is what John Joseph Adams' personal website had to say about the content of Lightspeed Magazine:

Lightspeed will focus exclusively on science fiction. It will feature all types of sf, from near-future, sociological soft sf, to far-future, star-spanning hard sf, and anything and everything in between....New content will be posted twice a week, including one piece of fiction, and one piece of non-fiction. The fiction selections each month will consist of two original stories and two reprints, except for the debut issue, which will feature four original pieces of fiction. All of the non-fiction will be original.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Realms of Fantasy Moving Ahead

SF Scope reports that Realms of Fantasy (which had ceased operation), is now operating. They've purchased stories that the previous owner had accepted but not yet published. They've not opened their submissions gate yet because of these prior commitments to authors. This is a Good Thing.

See SF Scope's article on Realms of Fantasy's first purchases.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Twitter News: Worms and Twitterzines

On the positive side, Thaumatrope, a popular twitterzine has reopened for submissions:

We’re currently looking for stories for dates between September 14th and December 11th. We are also looking for serials for May through November.

On the negative side, the Twitter message service suffered some embarrassment [1 2] due to Easter weekend worms that sent unintended messages atwitter. Some of the comments on the first link are enlightening. All you had to do to become infected was to visit an infected user profile and you'd start spreading the infection. In theory, the problem has been patched.

For the geek-minded, the problem was poor coding practice that allowed URLs included in profile data to be displayed (non-escaped). Allegedly, the malicious new accounts that were the root of the infection were created by a rival service created by a 17-year-old.)

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Free Download: Shimmer #10

You've gotta love Shimmer. No, really, you do. It's a law.

To help you avoid violating the social contracts you signed as an embryo, Beth and the Shimmery People are giving away issue #10 as a free PDF download.

The magazine is run by a great team. We published Editor-in-Chief Beth Wodzinski's The Human Clockwork in our second issue, and Shimmer's Art Director Emeritus, Mary Robinette Kowal, was nominated for a Hugo and is the secretary of the SFWA. Other members of the crew have sold to Analog and IGMS or won the Writers of the Future contest. These are seriously good people dedicated to a great small press magazine of dark-ish speculative fiction.

Here's the line-up for issue 10:

Blue Joe, by Stephanie Burgis
The Carnivale of Abandoned Tales, by Caitlyn Paxson
A Painter, A Sheep, and a Boa Constrictor, by Nir Yaniv (Translated from the Hebrew by Lavie Tidhar)
One for Sorrow, by Shweta Narayan
The Bride Price, by Richard S. Crawford
Jaguar Woman, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Firefly Igloo, by Caroline M. Yoachim
The Fox and the King’s Beard, by Jessica Paige Wick
Interview with Cory Doctorow, by Jen West
River Water, by Becca De La Rosa
What to Do with the Dead, by Claude Lalumière
The Spoils of Springfield, by Alex Wilson
Counting Down to the End of the Universe, by Sara Genge

Good stuff. Go get it!

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

After One Year: Who's Linked to FFO Now?

Flash Fiction Online has been around for a little more than a year. So...who's linked to it? Here is a partial list. My search certainly didn't find them all. Note that most of the mentioned sites have links to FlashFictionOnline.com, though some notable mentions (without link) are included:


Media links

Various links to FlashFictionOnline.com (including many blogs)

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Are Your Magazines Missing from the Racks?

Are your favorite fantasy, SF or other magazines missing from the newsstand? Locus Online is reporting a struggle between publishers and distributors over increases in cost-per-unit to deliver magazines to the retail outlets, including some of the largest magazines. Some publishers are unable or unwilling to pay the increase.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

RIP Realms of Fantasy Redux

More on Jake's post of the death of Realms of Fantasy. Some avid fans are trying to reverse the decision. Here is the appeal, reported by SF Scope.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

RIP Realms of Fantasy

We heard from SFScope, via @clarkesworld on Twitter:
Breaking news: Realms of Fantasy is closing down following publication of its April 2009 issue. Managing Editor Laura Cleveland told SFScope the news came very suddenly, indeed, even Editor Shawna McCarthy (currently on vacation in Italy) hadn't been informed yet. The only reason we got the story is that rumors broke through the blogosphere today.

More information at the SFScope link.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lastest Issue of SFRevu (and a review)

Thanks again to Sam Tomaino of SFRevu for his review of our October issue. He summarizes by saying, "All the stories are well-worth the time spent on them," and I couldn't ask for anything more.

I should note that he says of "Dani-Girl" that "If there was any fantasy element here, I missed it." He's right: We don't only publish speculative fiction, although we like to when we can.

Turnabout being fair play, I noted a few good items in SFRevu while I was checking out Sam's review.

First, I noted another Sam's review of Kaleidotrope #5 -- and spotted an old friend there: Barbara A. Barnett, who wrote "Lucky Clover" (our St. Patrick's Day special) from our March 2008 issue.

I like to read short non-flash fiction in my spare time, so I found Colleen Cahill's review of Tesseracts Twelve, edited by Claude LaLumiere, to be worthwhile -- I'll probably pick up that volume somewhere along the way.

I'm a big fan of Orson Scott Card, so I read Sam Lubell's review of Ender in Exile as well.

Finally, Mary Rose-Shaffer wrote an essay called "Exploring Genre: Dark or Gothic Fantasy". It made me think, and it was a valuable contribution to any discussion of genre. I wonder, though, whether trying to pin down attributes and characteristics is really a fruitful way to approach a complex tradition. I would have liked to see an exploration of the way Gothic Fantasy developed rather than simply identifying its traits and then using earlier authors as examples (e.g., Poe); although trait identification feels scientific, it tends to highlight how fuzzy the boundaries of the genre are rather than show how (say) urban fantasy can be a natural extension of the tradition. She clearly sees the relationship, but it's harder to explain it outside of its tradition.

Don't believe me, of course. Go read it!

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