On the March

This month we’re a little more mainstream than usual.

Our first story, “Deconstructing The Nihilist” struck me as interesting because of the development of the narrator, who is essentially seeing the lack of development in her lover. His assessment of her becomes more disconcerting over time, and the not-with-a-bang-but-a-whimper result seems just right for this story.

I enjoyed our second story, “Ring Worlds” by Peter Fisk, for a variety of reasons: the detached British attitude of the protagonist (the author himself is Swedish), the dry humor, and the multiple misdirections contained in a mere 1,000 words. This is definitely not a mainstream story.

I confess to liking any story that combines blunt relationships and skillful typography, but that’s not the only reason I liked our third story. “The Whole Of The Brush,” by T D Edge, is a good example of a simple story that’s still very solid. One of the things that made it interesting for me was the choice of perspective: The narrator is essentially being told why he’s weak. And clearly he is weak; I find myself not liking him. Hearing this in his voice feels a little like talking to a friend that you want to smack upside the head and say, “Are you listening to yourself? Are you listening to your uncle?” The ending, though abrupt, is at the right place. This story wasn’t one of my favorites at first, but it grew on me quite a bit.

I felt we needed a little humor, so I included a Classic Flash from Punch called “Cutting Down”. And honestly, it somehow seemed appropriate during a month in which President Obama started a third war in the Arab world, continue to live through the so-called Great Recession, and yet still have signs of excess all around us.

Bruce Holland Rogers continues his Technically Speaking column with the second installment of “Naming The Baby,” which is, as you might guess, about titles.

April will be a bit foolish, as is our wont; although we’re publishing stories later in the month these days, we’ll still keep the foolishness coming.

Thanks for joining us! We’ll see you in April!