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.
Long Time Lurker, First Time Bomber by Malon Edwards from Fiyah Issue #1: Rebirth
I realized I still had a couple of unread older issues of Fiyah and carved out the time toot sweet. This was my first story by Malon Edwards and it damn sure won’t be my last. This was a rich world with fantastic characters and rsonant themes of guilt, the power of the state, what it means to want to bring bout change, and how others see you vs how you see yourself. Powerful and thought provoking with a fierce imagination and a something to say.
From Witch to Queen and God by L.D. Lewis from Mermaids Monthly Janurary 2021
I went into this first issue of this new to me publication cold and I went into this story even colder. I just wanted to read some new short fiction. I had no idea what I was in for when a kind of gnarly re-telling of The Little Mermaid kicked into gear. Great premise, great world, great story.
Sandra Ruttan sez
The Crack in the Ceiling is a short story by Patrick Barb, published by Dread Stone Press.
The opening line introduces us to this future dystopia, a world cut off from the sky. “At the end of every week, our town hangs burning bodies from the Ceiling so we’ll remember what stars look like.”
Right away, Barn captures my interest and he centers the story on Callie and Devon, orphans living in this starless world. There’s a looming sense of dread as they prepare to head to the weekly event. We learn about their parents and the bleak society they inhabit as events unfold. Barb creates compelling characters we care about and maintains the tension from start to finish.
An exceptional story.
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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