Synopsis: Fifty-six flash fiction and twenty-one microfiction stories feature in this anthology of cunningly clever, award-winning stories from the Stringybark Flash and Microfiction Awards. From murder mysteries to goldfish and World War to pavlova, well-known and emerging short story writers demonstrate their skill in weaving compelling tales in fewer than one thousand words.
Bookish Things: 153 pages. The cover is very Australian (with that golden wattle) and does suit the winning entry’s title.
Behind the wattles is a collection of mostly Australian writer’s flash and micro fiction. Each of the entries in the book either placed or was highly commended in Stringybark Publishing’s flash and micro fiction competitions in 2012.
Every entry is either under 1000 words (flash fiction) or under 100 words (micro fiction). It is a true gift, to be able to sucker punch your reader in the guts in less words than most of us would put in an email to someone.
The absolute highlight for me in this book was Getting by by Maggie Veness. The 869 words of this story were so emotionally charged they left me feeling bereft and broken upon finishing. Yet, it was a strangely comforting story too, one of love and surviving and doing anything for those you cherish.
Another great story, this time a micro fiction, was Slim Hope by Michael B Fletcher. Those 50 words tell of a great adventure. Yet, of the 12 people I showed this to, only four of us ‘got it’. It was an interesting result. For what I thought of instantly, others hadn’t the foggiest idea about. Isn’t imagination and creativity great!?
Interestingly, of the five stories I flagged as my favourites, only one of them actually placed in the competition and that one entry was not my favourite favourite – if you get what I mean. I found this interesting as I wondered how the judging occurred.
I really liked getting a little information about the authors after each on their stories. It made me feel as if I somehow understood their stories better for that.
Now, this 153 page book took me four days to read and it shouldn’t have. I mused over this last night with my husband and I think it may have been because of the font used in the printing. The pages seemed heavier and more densely filled than even the 400+ page book I read over the weekend.
I can’t say that feeling has happened to me before, but I think next time I might get a kindle copy so I can change spacing and fonts.
All up, some great stories by a wide variety of authors. Stringybark Publishing and David Vernon, as well as all the authors should be supremely proud of this little collection.
You can buy this book from Stringybark directly or you can also find it on Smashwords. I fear that by not being available on Amazon, these books by Stringybark might be missing a larger readership. So guys, if you want to give this one a try, please head over to Smashwords and pick up an electronic copy today! You won’t regret it.