Lightening Up A Little

After last month’s moody issue — appropriately for an October issue, it was filled with death: premeditated, living, and accidental — I thought we should have a little fun.

We start with “My Superpower” by Leslie A. Dow. I won’t say much about it, except to note that it sounds like the sort of blessing that’s half-curse. I’m also half-convinced that most moms actually do have it.

The second story, Alan Grayce’s “A Delivery of Cheesesteaks,” doesn’t seem all that light-hearted, but I enjoyed it as a redemption story: unfrivolous, but not dark. When reading it for the first time I wondered how he could possibly end it in time, but the last line of dialogue clinched it for me. There’s more to come here, clearly — literally, in fact, since this is actually an excerpt from a novel — but there’s a lot of rich development over those few hundred words, and it resolves nicely.

The third story is a science fiction story. Or an anti-science-fiction story. Or something. I don’t know what to say about Janene Murphy’s “Irma Splinkbottom’s Recipe for Cold Fusion” except that I feel like I know old Irma, or knew her once, and that if anyone could do what she did, she’s it. Yeah, I know, I’m descending into gibberish. Just read the story.

Bruce Holland Rogers serendipitously provided a pretty lighthearted story for us, too, called “President of Baseball Operations.” George and baseball — pretty familiar, right? But not that George. The story serves as an example for his Short-short Sighted column, which talks about using characters the reader is already familiar with.

Our Classic Flash this month comes from third century B.C. China, an account — perhaps creative non-fiction? — of how Sung Yü’s righteous character and silver tongue kept him from losing his place at court, while exacting a humorous revenge on his rival. It’s named after its antagonist, “Master Teng-t’u”.

This is our twenty-fourth issue, I’m happy to say, and we’re still going strong. Every story gets read about a thousand times during the month it’s released, and often hundreds more times every month after that, so the exposure is good for our authors and, I hope, a good experience for our readers. We also just added some staff to our roster: Gary Cuba, Anne Pinckard, David Steffen, and Patrick Dey. Welcome aboard, folks.

We could also always use a little more funding in order to keep the stories coming — if we were ever to consistently get enough, we’d add more stories — so please contribute if you’re able. If not, just keep reading.