Flash Fiction Forward: 80 Very Short Stories (review: 3.5/5)

Flash Fiction Forward collects a bunch of stories that only take a couple of page turns to finish. One thing I thought was odd is how none of the stories take on a particular genre, and how many of them seem to have a contemporary setting. Why not a tight little detective story, or a scene from a Civil War battle field, or a nice little 13th century abbey? I’m all for penetrating meditations on modern relationships and culture and stuff, but it’s a shame to see such talent spent in a narrow range.
In any case, many of these stories are quite good, and the low cost of reading means you should take a glance. Some of the stories I particularly liked are:

“Before the Bath” by Ismail Kadare
“The Great Open Mouth Anti-Sadness” by Ron Carlson
“Rose” by John Biguenet
“The Old Truth in Costa Rica” by Lon Otto
“I Never Looked” by Donald Hall
“Fab 4” by Jenny Hall
“Words” by John A. McCaffrey
“21” by Jim Crace
“The Orange” by Benjamin Rosenbaum
“Geometry Can Fail Us” by Barbara Jacksha
“Bill” by Dan Kaplan
“00:02:36:58” by Bayard Godsave
“Traveling Alone” by Rob Carney
“The Death of the Short Story” by J. David Stevens

One final note: it’s incredibly disappointing how many of these stories are not (easily) available online.

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