Flash Fiction Online #38, November 2016

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Flash Fiction Online #38, November 2016

Perfectly Not Normal” by Alexis A. Hunter

Quartet of the Far-Blown Winds” by Matt Dovey
Boxes and Lockets and Clocks” by Samantha Murray

Review by Michelle Ristuccia

Perfectly Not Normal” by Alexis A. Hunter uses a bold second person perspective to tell the story of a human mother raising her child that she knows is an alien despite conventional evidence to the contrary. Hunter’s direct, moving prose transforms an impossibly odd situation into a highly relatable, emotional experience that taps into readers’ parental instincts. Props to the non-traditional family structure which makes this piece even more interesting.

In “Quartet of the Far-Blown Winds” by Matt Dovey, the narrator strives to deflect a threat from human colony Eritty to save her daughter and grandaughter, and to give herself a chance to apologize to her daughter. Steeped in hard SF terminology and phraseology, Dove relays the diamond-hard beauty of space and the terror of going up against a large, unknowable alien object—much larger than an apology.

Samantha Murray brings us a bitter-sweet coming-of-age style fantasy in “Boxes and Lockets and Clocks,” in which the characters carry around a personally-tailored unknown truth in small boxes and lockets. As Tia grows up, she learns how important the boxes are and how they relate to life and her complicated relationships with her loved ones. When one of her relationships ends, Tia gains new perspective, drawing the story to a close.

Michelle Ristuccia enjoys slowing down time in the middle of the night to read and review speculative fiction, because sleeping offspring are the best inspiration and motivation. You can find out more about her other writing projects and geeky obsessions by visiting her blog.