Short Thoughts on Short Fiction is a new monthly column that will focus on short stories. Each month we will review a small selection of short stories from anthologies, collections, and zines, both old and new. We want to acknowledge some of the great short fiction that’s out there, shine a light on emerging writers, and point readers in the direction of great fiction.
Nap-Town by N.L. McFarland from Black Rainbow
Thomas Wolfe said that you can’t go home again. Nap-Town puts that idea to the test as a newly wed couple try to drive a long desolate country road to make it to a family reunion for the first time as a married couple. The unsettling country side has other plans for them. though This is a nice, subtle, creepy tale that leaves much to the readers imagination.
Creature Feature by Gary Jonas from It Came from the Multiplex: 80’s Midnight Chillers
Creature Feature is about a delivery driver new to the job. He delivers movie canisters to an out of the way location and is given a small set of rules, the most important of which is don’t ever be late. Well, I think we all know what’s going to happen. This is a fun and enjoyable cosmic horror story. It’s also funny and the central premise, once fully revealed, brings to mind one of the great scenes in Gremlins.
A Maji Maji Chronicle by Eugene Bacon from Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora
There’s this notion in time travel stories that you shouldn’t go back and mess with the past. What does this question mean in the face of historical atrocities? What would the consequences be if they were altered? This is a worthy entry into this inquiry and I love the larger world that is hinted at here.
Though Your Heart is Breaking by Laurel Hightower from We Are Wolves
Right from the get-go this story hooked me, but when we hit the reveal of why it happened, I was all “Oh my god, yes..” and then there’s this beautifully gruesome imagery and a song I’ll never think of the same way again. Fantastic job.
Brian Lindenmuth is the former non-fiction editor of Spinetingler Magazine and the former editor of Snubnose Press. He likes both kinds of books, fiction and non-fiction. He blogs about subtitled TV shows and movies at One Inch Tall Movies
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