There are short stories, there are very short stories and then there is flash fiction: the delicate and often tricky art of telling a story in as few words as possible.The stories in this tiny little book (all originally published between 2015 and 2020 on the fiction blog, Penstricken) are deliberate exercises in brevity.
In total, this book contains twelve flash fictions ranging from fifty to 2,000 words apiece, plus six collections of six word stories.
While these stories vary in mood and genre, you will find in many that the author’s tongue was firmly entrenched in his cheek; whether it be in the brief tale of a Martian liberating his ‘kin’ from the deep fat fryer of a Glasgow chip shop or the nightmarish tragedy of Santa Claus’ true genesis, Penstricken: Collected Stories is a brief snapshot of one writer’s meandering imagination.
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is a hefty tome about the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge in 12th century England. It’s full of lovable and deplorable characters, political intrigue, technical details about medieval construction and just a little bit more sex and sexual violence than was necessary.
I might have mentioned once or twice before that I have a little daughter….
‘And so,’ my wife suggested, ‘why not write a Super Snappy Speed Reviews post about books for children?’
‘Enchanting. Willy Wonka meets The Matrix’ (USA Today). That’s what the little quotation says on the front cover of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
High praise indeed. High enough to make me buy it and read it. But I know what you’re thinking: ‘did it deliver?’
I had the pleasure of interviewing Sharleen Nelson, whose debut novel The Time Tourists is available to buy on Amazon and other retail outlets. What follows is part one of that interview. Be sure to check back next week for part two!
I love a good space opera and the manifold positive reviews I read all suggested that was exactly what I was going to get, so I thought it was a safe bet. But I’ll be perfectly honest. I have mixed feelings about this book.
With a little help from everyone’s new favourite video conferencing app, I am now pleased to present this little video of Nancet Marques and I shooting the breeze about Chino and the Boy Scouts, life in Scotland and the proper shape of sausages.