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Archive for the ‘news’ Category

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

Managing Editor, Chris Phillips went into the trenches this week to bring you a Rogue One: A Star Wars Story review.

Released December 16, just in time for the holiday movie rush (and a Christmas shopping list tie-in), Rogue One fits in the Stars Wars timeline between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. So if you’re a Darth Vader fan, you’re going to have a lot to love.

darth vader rogue one

Starring Felicity Jones and Diego Luna, there are rumors that Rogue One is nothing more than a soft reboot. But according to Chris, the viewer gets a look at the gritty inside world of the rebellion–and it’s not the heroic Camelot we’ve imagined. It’s dark and dirty and more likely to get you shot in the back than anything else.

This definitely isn’t Star Wars like you’ve ever seen it before.

There’s another pronounced absence:

Lightsabers.

Yeah. You read that correctly. You’ll have to watch Chris’s YouTube video for more details, including a breakdown of story elements, why we engage or disengage with a character and the effectiveness of the CGI used.

And while you’re there, subscribe to our fledgling YouTube channel. We’ll have more reviews of movies and books plus insider tips on writing.

In the meantime, may the Force be with you.

And We’re Live!

Flash-Fiction-Online-2014-Anthology-KindleWow. Talk about a labor of love. There were moments when trying to get the first EVER Flash Fiction Online Anthology up and running reminded me of labor (yes, I have two wildling children so I know what I’m talking about here.).

But it’s done. It’s here. WE’RE LIVE!

The first ever Flash Fiction Online Anthology is available now from your friendly mega-million bookstore Amazon.com (Kindle users) and the local guy on the corner, WeightlessBooks.com (epub, mobi, PDF). And did I mention it’s only $3.99? For an entire year’s worth of fiction by some of the top authors in the business, that’s a steal.

Never spend another coffee break staring at the leftover muffin crumbs hiding at the back of your desk. No more train rides trying not to make eye contact and picking at your thumbnail. No more holding a paperback and trying to rock the baby one-armed (yes, I did that too).

Thirty six stories in a variety of genres from scifi/fantasy to surreal pigeons and choose-your-own adventure zombies.

So click here for Kindle.

Or here for everything else.

Go on. Do it.

Thanks. We appreciate you.

All my best,

Anna

Publisher, Flash Fiction Online

 

No More Smarmy Sexist Stories.

I wish it was as simple as a blog post. I really do.

The truth is that this post probably won’t make a difference in the number of sexist, degrading stories that wind up in the FFO slushpile every month.

But I just can’t handle it anymore. So for my own conscience’s sake, I’m stating for the record, as Publisher of this magazine:

I WILL NOT BUY SEXIST, DEGRADING CRAP DISGUISED AS STORIES.

Did you get that? Or do I need to say it again?

I WILL NOT BUY SEXIST, DEGRADING CRAP DISGUISED AS STORIES.

Stop sending us stories about the imprisonment, torture, rape, abuse, and degradation of women.

Stop sending us stories about bobble headed women whose only purpose in the story is to make your main character feel attractive and smart.

Stop sending us stories whose main characters think things about women such as “her place is in the kitchen” or “that (expletive) is better off dead.”

Stop sending us stories about stalkers peering through the blinds or hiding in the back of cars.

Stop sending stories about men who get the girl at the end of the story for no other reason than because they’re a nice guy.

No more women chained in basements.

No more making the female characters a plot point only so you can terrify them and then save them.

No more “pretending” to terrorize the female character only to have a twist happen to show that.. haha!..the female wasn’t really in danger..it was all a dream..or a day at the circus!

Equally, no more making your female character so idiotic that if she walked off a cliff, she wouldn’t know…and wait… haha! That’s funny too, right?

No.

No more females so sweetly sweet that I get a cavity from reading. That woman doesn’t exist either.

Guess what? Women are people. Men are people. Write about people. Individuals who are complicated and are more than the pigeonholed tropes we’d like for them to be.

And one more time… for the record.

I WILL NOT BUY SEXIST DEGRADING CRAP DISGUISED AS STORIES.

Don’t even send it. Burn it. Trunk it. Use it for parakeet cage litter. Learn from it. But don’t send it out into the world.

Sigh.

BUT… To all of you who DO send us good, important stories that make those of us at FFO love what we do, thank you. Your stories make us think. They expand our horizons and teach us to dream.

May we all live up to the standard that you’ve set.

All my best,

Anna

Publisher,

Flash Fiction Online

 

 

 

 

 

I Need Your Help… aka Save Me From Snorting

I need your help.

No, I haven’t fallen down a well. Or been possessed by a disembodied phantom (though that would make for a fabulous story).

But I need you. Yes, you. Right there. Not someone else. Not the person you could share this post with. Or their Aunt Mabel.

You.

Because you’re my reader. And that means you have a vested interest in Flash Fiction Online and the FlashBlog.

You see, Flash Fiction Online and the FlashBlog are free. As in, you don’t have to put a credit card number in the tiny box and push pay. You don’t have to insert quarters into the DVD drive of your laptop (PS. It doesn’t work. My three year old tried it. Took him $1.25 and the Geek Squad to learn that it doesn’t make change. And they thought *I* put the quarters in. Seriously. Because grown women looove to put quarters in DVD drives.. Sorry. Rant over.)

Yes. The magazine you know and love is free.  And our authors are paid professional rates. Most of our staff are writers. We know firsthand how little writers are actually paid. And writing takes work. And time…oodles of time. Staring at the screen. Plotting. Planning. Writing. Re-writing. Critiquing. Throwing it all out and starting again… You get the idea.

We believe we should actually PAY writers for what they do. They’ve honed their craft enough to produce the beautiful stories we bring you every month. They deserve every penny I pay them and then some.  Many magazines only pay a fraction of what we do. Or nothing at all. Some places even ask writers to pay them to be published (Yes, really. Don’t do that. But that’s another post.)

So how do you take a free magazine and shake enough coins out of its pockets to pay for three professional stories a month? Plus custom illustrations and web hosting fees and all the other little dribs and drabs that add up?

Well, that’s where I’m hoping you come in.

Flash Fiction Online has teamed up with Patreon, an amazing crowd-funding site that pairs donors with creators. We’re looking for donors willing to pledge a certain amount for every new issue that we produce. And you set that amount based on your own budget (and the luminous generosity of your sweet, sweet spirit… overkill? Yes? Sorry. I’m trying here.)

Better yet, there are individual rewards and incentives for the magazine as a whole. If Flash Fiction Online reaches a donor level of $300/month the heavens will open and a winged pegasus will… Nah.  Actually we’ll add a fourth story twice a year for you. Way better and far less smelly.

On an individual level, for $2/month, you get an ongoing e-subscription for Flash Fiction Online delivered directly to your inbox in either epub, PDF, or mobi format.

Or… drum roll…  my favorite and something we have requests for on a regular basis… starting at $10/month, you can send in your own manuscript and have it critiqued by FFO’s senior staff (including She Who Wields Great Editorial Power aka Suzanne Vincent herself).

So. Moment of truth.

To donate: Click here.

Please don’t reduce me to grovelling. It’s not pretty. The mascara begins to look like a raccoon and I get the worst crying face ever. And I snort. Yes, I confess. I’m a snorting, sniffling beggar. Don’t make me do it.

If you can’t help us out, don’t worry. I won’t snort at you. I still love you just because you love us enough to have read this far. But I will ask a favor. Share this link on your favorite form of social media for me. (Let the whole world know about my little sniffling problem. Great…)

Help us get the word out. Donate if you can. But most of all, keep reading!

All my best,
Anna Yeatts,

Publisher

Flash Fiction Online

 

 

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

Publications by FFO Alumni for 2012

Flash Fiction Online alumni (authors who published previously at FFO) may add news of their publications at other venues for 2012 to the list below. Post your news in a comment to this post or contact the editor. Your comment won’t be posted; the news be added to this post.

FFO Alumni who published elsewhere in 2012:

Zach Shephard

 

Odyssey Writing Workshop–Summer 2013

Barbara Barnett-Stewart, Flash Fiction Online alumnus and Odyssey publicist, announced the Odyssey Writing Workshop’s summer 2013 session.

According to their press release:

Since its founding in 1996, Odyssey has become one of the most respected workshops in the fantasy, science fiction, and horror writing community.  Odyssey is for developing writers whose work is approaching publication quality and for published writers who want to improve their work.  The six-week workshop combines advanced lectures, exercises, extensive writing, and in-depth feedback on student manuscripts.  Top authors, editors, and agents have served as guest lecturers, including George R. R. Martin, Harlan Ellison, Jane Yolen, Terry Brooks, Robert J. Sawyer, Ben Bova, Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Hand, Jeff VanderMeer, Donald Maass, Sheila Williams, Shawna McCarthy, Carrie Vaughn, and Dan Simmons.  Fifty-eight percent of Odyssey graduates go on to professional publication.

The program is held every summer on Saint Anselm College’s beautiful campus in Manchester, NH.  Saint Anselm is one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the country, dedicated to excellence in education, and its campus provides a peaceful setting and state-of-the-art facilities for Odyssey students.  College credit is available upon request.

Jeanne Cavelos, Odyssey’s director and primary instructor, is a best-selling author and a former senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing, where she won the World Fantasy Award for her work.  As an editor, Cavelos gained a reputation for discovering and nurturing new writers.  She provides students with detailed, concrete, constructive critiques of their work.  Cavelos said, “I’ve worked with many different writers, and I know that each writer thinks and works differently.  We limit attendance at Odyssey to sixteen, so I can become deeply familiar with the work of each student and provide assessments of strengths and weaknesses.  I work individually with each student, helping each to find the best writing process for him, suggesting specific tools to target weaknesses, and charting progress over the six weeks.”  Her critiques average over 1,200 words, and her handwritten line edits on manuscripts are extensive.

Odyssey class time is split between workshopping sessions and lectures.  An advanced, comprehensive curriculum covers the elements of fiction writing in depth.  While feedback reveals the weaknesses in students’ manuscripts, lectures teach the tools and techniques necessary to strengthen them.

The workshop runs from June 10 to July 19, 2013.  Class meets for four hours in the morning, five days a week.  Students spend about eight hours more per day writing and critiquing each other’s work.  Prospective students, aged eighteen and up, apply from all over the world.  The early action application deadline is January 31, and the regular admission deadline is April 8. Tuition is $1,920, and housing is $790 for a double room in a campus apartment and $1,580 for a single room.

Go here for more information.

 

Publications by FFO Staff

The Flash Fiction Online editorial staff members are generally writers, too. Occasionally FFO lets them beat their own drums, and so they will–without a hint of embarrassment. As this information rolls in for the 2012 publishing season from the editors and slush pile readers, I’ll update this post. Here is the present information, including publications and conferences:

William Highsmith

  • “Tempest Kings” is a Pushcart Prize-nominated short story in the Third Flatiron Publishing’s Spring 2012 anthology, entitled Over the Brink: Tales of Environmental Disaster, found  at Smashwords and AmazonTrouble follows anthropologists at a dig in Honduras in the near future and the Mayans living there in the distant past. Third Flatiron has other anthologies published and underway.

Lydia Ondrusek

  • Staffer Lydia Ondrusek co-conspired with John Jasper Owens in the writing of “The Best Laid Plans,” Omnium Gatherum Media‘s FORTUNE: LOST AND FOUND, an anthology about capital, cash, gold and lucre. This anthology may be found at Amazon.

Nancy DiMuaro

  • Nancy has been busy this year.
  • Novel: Paths Less Traveled, published by Musa Publishing. Sometimes finding justice means finding yourself. This can be found at Amazon, Amazon UK, BN, and Musa.
  • Novel: Shots at Redemption, published by Musa Publishing. Even mythical beings need a chance to correct their mistakes and reclaim lost love. This can be found at Amazon, Amazon UK, BN, and Musa.
  • Short story in the anthology: Jack Gorman Got Cut By a Girl, published by Musa Publishing. This can be found at Amazon, Amazon UK, BN, and Musa.
  •  Novel: Apollo Rising. Shot by a golden arrow, Apollo has only truly loved Daphne….This can be found at Amazon and Amazon UK.
  • Workshops/Conferences: World Fantasy (Oct/Nov 2012), Dave Farland’s Novel Rewriting Workshop (August 2012), and Superstar’s Writing Seminar (April 2012).

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.

 

SF Writers’ Imaginings about 2012

In 1987, some science fiction writers of note made a time capsule of their expectations for 2012, as reported by the gizmag tech blog.  So now the cork has been popped from the capsule. What did they think? Mutant avengers take over the world? Dead atmosphere? Elvis returns to finish what he had begun? The experiment looked ahead only twenty-five years, so it’s surprising what some of the conclusions were.

I won’t tread on the original blogger’s turf much, but one prediction has an interesting note in today’s news. The Mars explorer craft, Curiosity, landed today, unmanned and unwomaned. One time-capsule prediction was that there would be Mars and moon bases by now. That prediction was off by half, at least.

The time capsule was the baby of the Writers of the Future folks.