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Flashing the Dark, by Bruce Boston, Marge Simon Book Review | SFReader.com
Flashing the Dark, by Bruce Boston, Marge Simon Genre: Mixed Genre Anthology Publisher: Sam's Dot Published: 2006 Review Posted: 8/12/2006 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 10 out of 10
Flashing the Dark, by Bruce Boston, Marge Simon
Book Review by David A. Olson
Have you read this book?
Flashing the Dark is a collection of short fiction by Bruce Boston and Marge Simon, his wife, who did the abstract cover art and coauthored two stories. Most of the stories are flash fiction with lengths under 1000 words.
As one might expect in a book with 40 stories written from 1978 to 2005, there is a lot of variety here. There are horror, science fiction, fantasy, and literary pieces. Some are funny, while others are deadly serious. I'll review a couple of the pieces that stood out for me. I liked most of the stories, although a few were not to my taste.
"Last Novitiate"--A fantasy story about how all of the artisans were kicked out of the world and what it became. Despite its shortness, this story really gets into the characters and feels more like a novel than a piece of flash fiction.
"Surreal Chess"--a science fiction story about a game of chess that has no understood rules that all happens in dream state. The writing in this story captures the dreamlike war well with its concrete abstractions.
"Alien to Alien"--A science fiction story with a twist ending as old as the winds.
"Cathedral of Lost Faces"--A literary story about a hunchback ringing a bell. Though a simple story, the language brings it to life.
"Sailing off the Edge of the World"--I think this is a literary story, but I'm not quite certain because I don't understand it. With phrases like "fading dauphism of objective positivism," and, "guilty susurrus of newspapers," I'm not sure the average reader is supposed to be able to make sense of this story.
"Death of a Super Antihero"--A comedic conversation between a comic book writer and his boss. The humor works well in this story and the writer's frustration makes the story even more fun to read.
Who would I recommend this chapbook to? Anyone who is a fan of Bruce Boston will want a copy, of course. If you're looking for a diverse collection of stories where you can read each one in five minutes (or less), you should buy this book right now. However, if you're looking for a collection with a tight theme or specific genre, you should look elsewhere.
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