CHARACTERS ☆ E-book, or Kindle E-pub ´ Tara Lynn MasihTeaching tool at the Mile High MFA program at Regis University in Denver I highly recommend it for all creative writing teachers workshop leaders etc But also this is just a fantastic read Kudos to Tara Masih Robert Olen Butler and all of the contributors Other than occasional stories this is the first collection of flash or small fiction I have read And this has been an interesting exciting and in some ways educational experience I m learning that as in so many other things in life I have much to learn about this story form but I will not let that inhibit my enthusiastic review of this bookWhen I began reading I had decided to se post it markers to mark those stories I enjoyed Well that didn t work as I ickly realized that I would run through my supply of markers So I broke my book commandment and wrote in the book Gasp I am doing that lately and feel the eyes of my early teachers scowling at me But at the same time I believe they would be happy I am so invested in reading as an adultI found that I enjoyed probably 34 of the stories in this book to one degree or another Some I loved The Garden Sky stands out in my mind and I will read that many times And Pistols at Twenty Paces that took me back to another place and then left me thinkingWhat has amazed me is how much can be said so ickly so economically I also found that there were a couple of stories that I found difficult and actually off putting but also had to respect for the skill of As someone who has dabbled with flash fiction I recognize the challenges of writing short short or microfiction Every word has to count for there is absolutely no margin for error no room for luxuryThis collection might aptly be titled The Best of the Best because it is exactly that Each story in contention was nominated by a literary magazine or journal and the guest editor Robert Olen Butler made the final selectionButler says in his introduction They are small but brimming with our shared human experience I found the From Mistress to Wifey uality of these stories to beniformly excellent A few didn t connect with me on a personal level but even then I admired the ality of the writingIt s very difficult to pick favorites in a collection like this so I won t even try The stories cover a broad range of issues "from the safety of abandoned mine shafts to "the safety of abandoned mine shafts to irony surrounding a corporate job filled by a long dead employee They span the spectrum from light to dark and the lengths range from a tweet 140 characters to flash 1000 words There is truly something for everyone who likes short fiction a variety of styles and forms give the collection a subtle rhythm that attests to the skill of the editors The collection will take its place on my virtual shelves along with its longer cousins in short fiction from George Saunders Kurt Vonnegut and EL Doctorow Note I received a free review copy of this book from the editor Favorites Wimbledon by Seth Brady Tucker Scale by Michael Martone Happiest Black White Man Alive by Dan Gil You Must Intercept the Blue Box Before It Gets to the City by Ron Carlson which is super fun and most of all Something Overheard by Yennie Chung which hit me really hard A lot of power Nearly 45 In this very strong anthology of flash fiction Ets where such pieces are published continue to grow along with
The Interest Of Readersinterest of readers writers in the form The time is right for a Best of the Year anthology Stuart Dybek author of The Coast of Chicago and Ecstatic CahootsThese small fictions are small only in length not in impact Their minuteness provides a different lens pon life one that illuminates the telling yet elusive moments that bigger stories often overlook A different slant on the truth emerges not in spite of their length but because of it Short shorts often seem like the Dance With The Devil uiet stepchild in the fiction family overshadowed by vociferous novels notite dressed in the right attire as conventional short stories A series celebrating these tiny gems is long overdue Grant Fa. ,
We finally have the Kindle reissued The Best Small Fictions 2015 guest editor Robert Olen Butler series editor Tara L MasihWhat a wonderful anthology What a joy What fun
Tara L Masih and her editors are to be congratulated on assembling what to me isL Masih and her editors are to be congratulated on assembling what to me is premier annual anthology of flash fictionThere is a breadth and depth here that readers Smitten unfamiliar with flash will likely be astonished by There areirky funny serious and sentimental selections In other words just about something for everyone This collection is comprised of 55 fictions which were selected by Robert Olen Butler from 105 provided to him The remaining selections are listed in an appendixThe opening story By Heart will literally grab you by the heartstrings and set them ringing playing over and over and isn t that exactly what a good story does lodges itself inside you reverbrating ringing playing over and over in your mind and in your soulIt s all but impossible to pick any one best anything but for me there were two stories here tied for the top but immediately
by others Those two were A Dream with the Wind It by Kelly Cherry and Before She Was a Memory by Emma Bolden Both incredible stories that will rattle your soulAnother pair of stories here tripped my trigger in a specific way Ifollowed by others Those two were A Dream with the Wind
love stories that play with time and space and identity and these two are wonderful Scarletstories that play with time and space and identity and these two are wonderful Scarlet by Stefanie Freele and Let s Say by Julia Strayer On the lighter side were A Notice from the Office of Reclamation by J Duncan Wiley I m sure I was attracted to its minor resemblance to my own A White Slave in Turkey Book 1 - A BDSM Novel unpublished poem Notice of Recall and Dead Gary by Dan Moreau I and probably anyone who has ever worked in a modern office knows Dead Gary Excellent humorous storyMy remaining selections of note from my admittedly personal perspective wereNot About Liz by Catherine Moore a wonderful story with an increadible final sentenceBrisket by Stuart Dybek one of my favorite writers of all time and while I personally might not choose this story of his as his best it is definitelyp there with any of his best flash fictionsLithopedion by Randall Brown a devastatingly serious fiction addressing a condition which to my knowledge is real and can actually happenChicken Dance by Misty Shipman Ellingburg an interesting look at a one night stand which manages to include American Indian culture Sherman Alexi Chicken Dancing and The Way Some Men Are all in 100 wordsSomething Overheard by Yennie Cheung which takes s into a position we have all been in at one time or another in our livesEl Paso July by Jeff Streeby a story of life and death and survival in the West Texas landscapeShaping Air by Danielle McLaughlin a story of hands and balloon animals love and magicI loved reading this anthology and I do so hope it continues year after year a I teach a flash fiction class titled The Brilliance of Brevity This excellent and compelling anthology captures just that At a mere six lines Stuart Dybek s Inland Sea is masterful Then there s the gritty glory of Leesa Cross Sm I m proud to have served as Consulting Editor for this excellent book It is a brilliant compilation of small fictions from some of the best writers of the form I plan to se this book as It takes many small things to make something big Fifty five acclaimed and emerging writers including Emma Bolden Ron Carlson Kelly Cherry Stuart Dybek Blake Kimzey Roland Leach Bobbie Ann Mason Diane Williams and Hiromi Kawakami have made the debut of The Best Small Fictions 2015 something significant something worthwhile and something necessary Featuring spotlights on Pleiades journal and Michael Martone this international volume with Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert Olen Butler serving as guest editor and award winning editor Tara L Masih as series editor is a celebration of the diversity and Night of the Werewolf (Choose Your Own Nightmare, uality captured in fiction forms fewer than 1000 wordsWhatever one calls them flash fictions microfictions short shorts the number of outl. Tories range from Tweet length to a few pages but are alwaysnder 1000 words Titles and first lines "Carry A Lot Of Weight "a lot of weight of the best openers is I didn t recognize her without her head Before She Was a Memory Emma Bolden In genre the stories run the gamut from historical fiction to whimsical fantasy a boy who turns into a bear and a dead office employee who keeps showing p for workYou ll be introduced to a wealth of fresh and
Existing Talent There Aretalent There are dozens of stand outs here but if I had to choose a top 3 they d be A Notice from the Office of Reclamation by J Duncan Wiley The Lunar Deep by David Mellerick Lynch and overall favorite Something Overheard by Yennie CheungSee my full review at BookTrib Here s what some reviewers have said about our small press bestsellerThis is truly a well selected collection and it has given me a new appreciation for small fiction The Best Small Fictions 2015 will make you a believer in small fiction as literature Joseph Spuckler Evil Cyclist s Bookshelf What an astonishing book how practically every fiction seems a vaster story told in brief XJ KennedyWith Best Small 2015 readers will be introduced to a wealth of fresh and existing talent Discover some haunting voices for this fall Rebecca Foster BookTribThe best of these stories drop s with a minimum of hand holding into moments of human extremity Jack Feerick PopdoseI ll confess I m Vérité (Love at Center Court, usually not excited by best of anthologies Then along comes The Best Small Fictions 2015 edited by Robert Olen Butler and Tara L Masih to change my mind about anthologies Kathryn Kulpa KYSO FlashEach short short hands over an exuisite example of something finely done Bunny Goodjohn Mom Egg Review When I heard Moira Crone speak a couple of weekends ago in response to aestion she talked of how a novel is a journey but a short story is about a moment I d started this book at the time so I silently wondered if that meant small fictions are about less than a moment My own belief and I m sure I stole it from somewhere is that the best of long short stories live beyond the page and that s even truer of shorter fictionNot only have series editor Tara L Masih guest editor Robert Olen Butler and their staff done fans of small fictions a great service rounding Beyond the Qumran Community up the best of the past year so we don t have to hunt for them in the various journals they originally appeared in but this inaugural volume will also be a great introduction for the curiousNo one person will like every single story and that s a tribute to how varied this collection is I m on record in a couple of reviews saying flash fiction sometimes frustrates me I don t always get it but that s also true of my relationship with poetry and in many ways a small fiction writer is a poet the writer having to do so much with less I guarantee you there will be surprises I inwardly groaned at the title of Pistols at Twenty Paces On the Last Recorded Duel in Hancock County Mississippi April 23 1866 but this piece by Michael Garriga is probably my favorite a lesson to not only not judge a piece by its title but probably not even to judge a short by its label I received an ARC of this book from the editor This has not affected my revie. Ulkner cofounder of 100 Word Story author of FissuresThe loud and long message of the seeminglyiet and the definitely short is in ample supply in The Best Small Fictions 2015 From a mother’s fury over misspelled words in Dee Cohen’s ‘By Heart’ to a father’s disintegration in David Mellerick Lynch’s ‘Lunar Deep’ there is pathos depth and welcome language fireworks in these small gems Chekhov would be proud of how briefly these writers manage to speak on lengthy subjects Nuala Ní Chonchúir author of Miss EmilyThe Best Small Fictions 2015 is essential reading for anyone who enjoys not just small fiction but fiction in general Don't miss it Robert Swartwood editor of Hint FictionAn Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Few.
Tara Lynn Masih