REVIEW: Flash Fiction Online, ed. Suzanne W. Vincent, November 2017

Review of Flash Fiction Online, ed. Suzanne W. Vincent, November 2017 [Read Online/Purchase Here]. Reviewed by Meryl Stenhouse.

Stories in this issue:
Crater Meet by Brian Trent
Last Long Night by Lina Rather
The Stars and the Rain by Emily McCosh
Baker by Sheila Massie

Crater Meet by Brian Trent

This story is both heart-lifting and heartbreaking. Two sides of a war meet in the middle of no-man’s land for a convivial, makeshift dinner. There’s no personal enmity between these men. They are the same people on different sides of a war. This story beautifully captures the ridiculousness of war and the feeling of being caught up in something that doesn’t touch them, even as it kills them.

Last Long Night by Lina Rather

The crew of a spaceship, believing themselves to be the last humans, struggle to reach a half-terraformed planet where they might survive. Along the way they meet a Russian cosmonaut who saves them and gives them hope. I felt on edge every moment of reading this story. Rather paints a picture of people on the edge; of sanity, of survival, of hope, and the most unlikely meeting that surely must be a sign.

The Stars and the Rain by Emily McCosh

This story deals in fear, but it’s the small, daily, family fears. The narrator runs away from home, but she can’t admit to herself that she’s running away for many years. But it’s the sort of unacknowledged running away where you still talk to your family, but you just don’t have the strength to do it face to face. What I really loved about this story was the way the author used snapshots as both communication and story structure. It reads like a succession of freeze frames and is compelling because of the little we actually see.

Baker by Sheila Massie

There’s a grim hopelessness to this story that wasn’t present in the previous tales, and a feeling that things will never change. Rafael, a baker with a touch of magic, bakes bread that helps people, but he never has enough magic for all the people who need help, and you can feel his desperation. Who does he choose? Who can he help? His final choice is intellectual, but you can already feel that it will do no good in the end. However that doesn’t stop him trying.

Overall, I found this edition to be uplifting and heartful. I enjoyed the science fiction stories especially.

Published by

Meryl Stenhouse

Lover of nature, writer of things. Scientist, humanist, pessimist.

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