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Mark S. Bacon

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Faulkner’s ‘Fissures’ filled with strange moments

Grant Faulkner
Press 53    2015
122 pages
Trade paper $14.95

“We all carry so many strange little moments within us,” author Grant Faulkner says in the introduction to his new book of one hundred, 100-word stories. In Fissures he offers weird day dreams, wonderful expressions, stories of love and morality, character studies and other “strange little moments” that will have you rereading, pondering and admiring these delicately crafted vignettes.

Although short tales have been around since Aesop, flash fiction has only recently become an accepted–though evolving–literary genre, and a challenging one, especially if you limit yourself to an arbitrary 100 words. Arbitrary is perhaps not the correct terminology because the 100-word limit fissures-web-optiseems to be the most widely accepted format for flash fiction, though there are others. The arbitrariness lies in selecting this daunting form.

Faulkner’s stories sometimes neared 150 words as he wrote, he explains in the introduction. But with discipline, the excess is removed. And the result is a collection of precise, incredibly creative moments in the lives of Faulkner’s characters.

Faulkner is not a newcomer to the genre. He is founder of the online literary journal, 100 Word Story. He’s also executive director of National Novel Writing Month.

It’s impossible to provide a complete review or synopsis of any 100-word story without almost repeating the story. Instead, let’s talk about the book’s style, subject matter and characters.   In his flash fiction, it’s Faulkner’s sentences that make the stories and it’s his inventive metaphors, similes and his succinct philosophical observations that make the sentences. A few samples:

True lovers are experts at constructing penitentiaries.

He felt like a cheerleader with Tourette Syndrome.

Funny how when Russians speak, it always sounds like someone is going to get killed.

Palm trees swayed like drugged witches… Continue Reading →

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