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A June Challenge Suzanne W. Vincent

Each month I make a sometimes thin attempt at finding some common link between the stories we publish.  Maybe they’re all fantasies.  Maybe they’re all about people coping with death.  Maybe they’re all about winning a lottery–money or Shirley Jackson-esque.  Sometimes it’s easy.  Sometimes it’s a bit of a stretch.

Here I sit with two stories on my desk for our June issue:

“Home Isn’t,” by Kelly Sandoval–a touching sci-fi story that I found strikingly relevant to our society run amok with cultural sensitivity.  What happens when cultural sensitivity loses sight of being sensitive to the individual?

And “Copy Machine,” by Shane Halbach.  Science fiction?  No.  Heartbreaking?  No.  Some might actually find it a little goofy, even sappy.  But with my 25th wedding anniversary approaching, I found this story to be an endearing exploration of romantic love, of the joy and giddiness and anxiety that comes with complete commitment to another person.

So, my challenge to you, as the reader, is to come up with a single connecting element between these two stories.  Be creative, think hard, post your ideas in the comments below.  I look forward to reading them.


© Suzanne W. Vincent

Meet the Author

Suzanne W. Vincent

Suzanne Vincent is the editor-in-chief of Flash Fiction Online. That’s what people think anyway. Actually, she’s really a pretty ordinary middle-aged woman packing a few extra pounds and a few more gray hairs than she’s comfortable with. As a writer, she leans toward the fantasy spectrum, though much of what she writes is difficult to classify. Slipstream? Isn’t that where we stick stories when we just can’t figure out where else they go? Suzanne’s first professional publication was right here at FFO, published before she joined the staff: “I Speak the Master’s Will,” — a story she’s still very proud of. While she doesn’t actually have time to blog anymore, she once did. You can still read her ancient posts on writing at The Slushpile Avalanche. Suzanne keeps a house full of kids (3), a husband (1), and pets (too many to number) in Utah, USA. Yes, she’s a Mormon. No, there isn’t another wife. Mormons haven’t actually practiced polygamy since the 1890s. Too bad. She’d love to have another woman around to wash dishes and do laundry.


  1. Astroname
    June 18, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

    Just figuring out what make one tick


  2. PriyaSridhar
    June 6, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

    Losing relationships, while struggling to maintain them with the ones you love


  3. janeward54
    June 5, 2014 @ 6:58 pm

    Going to extremes to find where you fit/belong/should be headed?


  4. NC
    June 3, 2014 @ 8:02 pm

    What comes.
    Both end at a vista of potential.


  5. A Davies
    June 2, 2014 @ 11:04 pm

    There’s a link between the two stories with looking at what might have been, or suggesting alternative endings.


  6. weequahic
    June 2, 2014 @ 7:07 pm

    “What happens when cultural sensitivity loses sight of being sensitive to the individual?”  I understand, and I’ve asked that question lots of times.  But would you believe, through the fog of time I can’t recall any specific story or movie that made me ask it, though I know there were many.  Can you give my memory a hand here?


  7. JBK64
    June 2, 2014 @ 4:09 pm

    Optimism, even in the downtrodden, in one, and the whimsically
    bizarre, in the other


  8. Aggie in NC
    June 1, 2014 @ 1:42 pm

    Identity beyond appearance, who were truly are and will become.


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