Recs

Stories I have loved:

The Infill Trait by CC Finlay at Lightspeed.
A really interesting Military Experiment Gone Wrong story with a wonderful, fracturing, freewheeling voice perfectly suited to the increasingly lost and paranoid narrator.

The Finite Canvas by Brit Mandelo at Tor.com
Beautifully-judged story of murder, betrayal and (possible) redemption with both a gripping plot and complex, layered characterisation.

Child-Empress of Mars by Theodora Goss reprinted at Lightspeed
I've never read the 'Mars adventure' stories that this is riffing off (note to self: you should rectify that) but it was still interesting to see this kind of thing done from the aliens' perspective, and I liked the themes of performance and storytelling. The world-building initially seemed random and overwhelming, but quickly became charming.

Final Corrections, Pittsburgh Times-Dispatch by M Bennardo  at Daily Science Fiction
This is great fun, with a tremendous dry sense of humour. Original format, and a lovely example of what flash does best: telling you the story without actually telling you the story.

Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back by Joe R Lansdale - currently free for Kindle at Amazon
I love post-apoc stories, and this is a wonderfully visceral, brutal version with lashings of crunchy survivor guilt and some highly unusual zombies.

New Skin by Peter Kispert at Word Riot
Sharp flash that's a lovely depiction of refracted grief.

Taking Care of Ma by Lee Hallison at Daily Science Fiction
Great story about wariness around technology, with an adorable robot 'character' and an absolutely killer last line.

The Magnificent Rife Machine by R D Kuensting at Eunoia Review
I like unusual format, and this sad story about a potential miracle cure makes good use of news clippings, emails and blog entries as well as traditional narrative.

Requiem in the Key of Prose by Jake Kerr at Lightspeed
Another story in an unusual format, this one using the structures and styles of fiction itself. A full story with plot, worldbuilding and emotional resonance, told using the hint and snapshot technique that gives good flash its impact. A treat for readers and writers alike


The Poinsettia by L. Lambert Lawson at Every Day Fiction.
A woman gets an unexpected lover, pot plant and life advice in this great flash. What I loved most about it is the confident weirdness of the writing; this is a story that's totally comfortable in its own skin.

The Long Con by Megan. R. Engelhardt and Frog/Prince by Melissa Mead, at Daily Science Fiction.
I enjoy remixed fairy tales, and these are a couple of excellent examples. The first has a wonderful psychologically logical core, and the second is a touching and beautfully played out backstory.

Out of Thin Air by Kathryn Netzel at Eunoia Review.
I'm not a massive fan of second person POV, as I don't find it a natural method of storytelling. For this, however, with its self-reflective, journalling style, it works perfectly. A raw, emotional piece.

Zombie vs Ninja by Lee Williams at Smokelong Quarterly.
I just love this. Gorgeous, captivating snapshot of a dysfunctional bromance played out against the backdrop of a disintegrating society. Original and surreal.

 Languaging by Jessica George at Every Day Fiction

This is *fantastic*. Loved it to pieces. Creepy as hell, with a dystopian vibe that reminded me of The Handmaid’s Tale. Like #10, I thought there was a lot being suggested about the silencing of women’s voices. But for all that, the MC was an engaging and sympathetic character (and equally, so were Bekah and Henri, even though they oppose/don’t appear!)

The prose and descriptive details were lush and sensuous, contrasting and complementing the cold, harsh and restrictive world they painted.

Everyone Gets Scared Sometimes by Ari B Goelman at Daily Science Fiction

A different take on the zombie story, looking at life for a survivor after things have returned -- for most people, anyway -- to normal.  Great voice, some compelling ambiguity and unanswered questions, and a wonderfully unsettlling tone: chilling and strangely sweet at the same time.

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