Category Archives: reviews

Diversity in Fiction aka Vanilla Slush

I’ve been reading a lot of slush this past month.  Mountains of it, really.  So much slush that I have imprints of the little yes/no/maybe buttons burned indelibly into the inside of my eyelids so I can see them staring back at me even in my sleep.

That’s a whole lot of slush.

But the biggest problem for a slush reader is that so very much of it is the same.  Well not really.  The setting changes a bit.  This one is set in a car.  That one is on a far away planet.  There’s a cute setup about a mystical creature under a bed.  But more times than not they all come back to the same thing.

Vanilla slush.

A white, middle class, educated protagonist.  Heterosexual.  Generally male.  Sometimes we get an educated, middle class, heterosexual white female.  Usually she’s fairly angst-ridden and she’s looking for love.  Or she’s bitter about love.  Or she has a cat.

We get an awful lot of cat stories.  You submitters sure do love your cats.   And I’m glad you love your cats…. *sigh*  But that’s beside the point.

So I’m challenging you to throw some other flavors into the slush.  Send us some rocky road.  Some pistachio chip with sprinkles.  Avocado with bacon chips and a dash of honey drizzle on top.

The world’s too big and diverse and wonderful.  Not that vanilla isn’t wonderful.  I’m about as vanilla as they come.  But vanilla is so much tastier with a zesty side of Latin   transgender astronaut.   Or a QUILTBAG family battling to stay together after the alien apocalypse.

Send us every age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, and creed you’ve got.  Send characters with disabilities and physical limitations that make us reexamine our stereotypical expectations.  To the LGBTQ community, Flash Fiction Online is your ally in a search for equality.  This is an open invitation.  We don’t publish erotica or gore.  But we do love characters and story plots that push the boundaries and make us think.

Now, a caution.  You can send the best flavor ever conceived, but if it’s not well written as a story, it’s still not getting through slush.  If it’s dripping all over the sides of the cone and puddling on my good shoes, that literary Harlem deliciousness isn’t getting a yes.  Craftsmanship is everything.  Hone your skills.  Make your characters sing.  Because slush needs them.

Flash Fiction Online needs them.

Now go write!

Much love,

Anna Yeatts, Publisher, FFO
annayeatts.com

Flash Fiction Online in the News

Worlds Beyond (“News and reviews for the geek in all of us”) liked the current FFO issue’s subversive  Zombie Walk, linking to it on their Flash Friday page.

Sam Tomaino at SFRevu has reviewed Flash Fiction Online’s October 2012 issue, which has two original and one classic flash stories, including:

  • Zombie March Tension by Brynn MacNabb,
  • Mid-Autumn Moon by Lani Carroll, and
  • Classic Flash: A Fratricide by Franz Kafka

Speaking of Mid-Autumn Moon, Sam said, “A wonderfully quirky tale.”

See Sam’s other short fiction reviews here.

 

SFRevu’s Review of FFO, Jan. 2012 Issue

Sam Tomaino at SFRevu has reviewed Flash Fiction Online‘s January 2012 issue. Thanks, Sam. The Jan. 2012 issue had three new flash stories, including:

  • Sea Ink by Jennifer Linnaea,
  • To Fly a Pig in the Dorseny Sky by Tom Crosshill, and
  • AI Robot by Patrick Dey.

Sam also review other short fiction publications, Including Asimov’s and Analog, here.

Tom Crosshill is a veteran at FFO with these earlier stories: Sandra Plays for Cast-Iron and The Zombie of His Early Days.

Enjoy the new issue and let your friends know about it.

 

New Review!

Special thanks to short story reviewer Sam Tomaino (and, of course, editor Gayle Surrette) for a brief review of our brief stories from last month.

The problem with reviewing such short stories is that you can’t say too much without giving the whole thing away, and the problem with thanking people for such short reviews is that you can’t give a flavor for what they say without quoting most of the review. I’ll shut up now so you can read Sam’s reviews. (Hint: he seems to have liked them.)

While you’re there, you might be interested in the interview with Paolo Bacigalupi. He’s paranoid without letting it get him over the edge, which is interesting, and I like this line from his comment about The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement: “I love it. It means more elbow room for me and mine.”

Five Star Literary Stories

I just found a great site called Five Star Literary Stories, run by three-time Pushcart nominee T.J. Forrester. I don’t suppose it’s shocking, with a name like that and an editor with those credentials, that it focuses on literary fiction (as opposed to science fiction, thrillers, etc.).

It might be especially beneficial if you don’t always like literary fiction, or if you’re not sure what people see in some of those fancy-schmancy stories. The reviews I’ve seen so far have been intelligent without being pretentious, so you’ll read a very short story plus a good review — and nothing, in my experience, enriches a reading experience more than seeing what other intelligent readers see in a given story.

Naturally, when I saw what TJ was doing, I wanted to be a part of it, so I spoke to TJ and I’ll be nominating Stefanie Freele’s “James Brown is Alive and Doing Laundry in South Lake Tahoe“.

I’ll be adding this to my links page, too.

Review by Sam Tomaino at SFRevu

Sam Tomaino at SFRevu kindly reviewed our April issue a few days ago. I thank him for his kind words, summed up like this: “I got a big kick out of them and look forward to next month’s issue.” (And here it is, by the way…)

Here’s the link.