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The Technology that Connects Us Wendy Nikel

Back in October, our editorial team took a technological leap forward: We held our first-ever staff Zoom meeting. Across five different time zones, with the help of computers and laptops and WiFi and Zoom, we were able to talk about some of our hopes and dreams for Flash Fiction Online and how best to continue bringing you, our readers, the most brilliant, dynamic, and beautiful flash fiction we can find.

Here’s just a few of the things we discussed, which we’ll be implementing going forward:

  • Flash Fiction Flashback
    In months with a fifth Friday, we’ll be using that final Friday to revisit a story from our archives that ties in with our current issue and that has stuck with us through the years.
  • Flash Fiction News Column
    Want to know more about flash fiction? We’ve asked Ancestral Futures’ Audrey T. Williams to share with us what’s going on in the flash fiction community, from reviews of flash anthologies and stories to interviews with those who are making waves in this unique niche.
  • Guidelines Changes
    If you’ve submitted work to
    Flash Fiction Online before, you may notice that our guidelines have some changes. We’re still looking for the strongest and most compelling stories of flash (500-1000 words) that you can send us but there are some changes in our process going forward, including:
    • Monthly submission windows
      We’ll now be open to subs from the 1st – 21st of each month.
    • No multiple subs
      Please wait until we have responded to one submission before sending another! (You may, however, send one original and one reprint when we open to reprints again sometime this spring.)
    • #ownvoices
      On our Submittable form, you will now have the option to indicate if your story involves the experience of someone within a particular marginalized group (race, nationality, culture, religion, disability, gender identity, neurodiversity, etc) which you also identify within and are comfortable sharing with our editors.

With all of the time we spent on computers and spreadsheets and Zoom and Slack over the past months, working to put together this issue and plan for moving forward, it worked out well for the first issue of 2021 to be all about the technology that connects us.

In “Across From her Dead Father in an Airport Bar,” Brian Trent presents us with a new invention that helps connect us not just across the world, but across time, and even beyond death. (Available online Jan 1)

In “Into the Lightning Suit” by Kyle Richardson, two siblings take very different views on the extent which technology should be used following the death of their mother. This story asks again that age-old sci-fi question: Just because we can, does that mean we should? (Available online Jan 8)

In “Warlord” by Steve DuBois, we see how technology can keep us connected to people we already know, but it can also help us form new bonds and connections going forward. (Available online Jan 15)

Our reprint this month, Southside Gods,” by Sarah Grey, is a story of broken technology, originally published at Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. (Available online Jan 22)

And finally, for our very first Flash Fiction Flashback, we’ll be revisiting Camille Alexa’s “The Girl-Shaped Jar” and reconnecting with the author, nearly ten years after that story’s initial publication in Flash Fiction Online. (Available online Jan 29)

As we enter this new year, may these stories inspire you to connect with the important people in your life, be it on Zoom or Slack or email or tin-can telephones or video game chat or some new technology that you invent yourself. Share a smile. Share a laugh. Share how much they mean to you.

Or simply share a story.

© Wendy Nikel

Meet the Author

Wendy Nikel

Wendy Nikel

Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she’s left her cup of tea. She’s had many of her own stories published in places such as LAnalog, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Cricket, and Nature. Her time travel novella series, beginning with The Continuum, is available from World Weaver Press.

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