Inside Mens Shorts (An Anthology of Gay Themed Flash Fiction)

100 Must-Read Contemporary Short Story Collections
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I find it clunky as all get out. There is a way Kindle books to be done properly but most of them are clunky, especially for short stories Safe travels and hopefully you will get better by the time you make it to the fun activities :. Edited: Aug 14, , pm. Story 16 in August. Published in Robots versus Slime Monsters. Collection and story published in This Kickstarted story collection provides an original new short story set in the universes of each of the author's standalone novels. I had rated the novel The Automatic Detective at 4.

I'm a sucker for quirky hard-boiled PI tales, and this author combined a funny tone with more emotion than I'd expected. This short story follows a minor character from the novel, namely a mutated intelligent gorilla named Joseph Jung. As far as Jung knows, he's the only intelligent gorilla trying to make his way in the world, but one day, a greyback in a blue dress walks into his office I found this story amusing and quick to read.

It felt a tiny bit rushed to me, though, and I wasn't sure how tightly the plot elements here tied into those of the novel. Still quite enjoyable. I haven't read any of his other novels yet, and I want to read each novel before I read the corresponding short story set in that world, so it will be a while before I return to this collection.

But this does give me incentive to move another of the author's novels higher up on my TBR pile. He has quite a unique style. Story 17 in August. Granted, flash fiction is short, but I don't see the point of having an unlikable main character and have nothing change -- why did I just read that? Nobody learned anything and nothing changed, so what was the actual story?

He pointed at a pair of shoes and asked for "six more like these," so either he meant six more individual shoes 8 total or six more pairs 14 shoes total. Yet the aliens have twelve sets of limbs and the narrator tells us that all appendages either 12, or 24 if he really meant "sets" of limbs -- but are those pairs? Granted, the alien might already have had some shoes and was looking to just get the rest of what was needed -- but why I am being distracted with imprecise language sets of limbs?

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None of the other stories have had baby shoes in them so far, and neither editor's note indicates that baby shoes was anything like a theme for this anthology. So either the anthology was named after this story was accepted possible, but seems unlikely , or the author was trying for an extra bit of cleverness when submitting. Apologies for my snarkiness, but this just rubbed me the wrong way. Edited: Aug 15, , am. Story 18 in August.

This is a mainstream flash piece, in which a narrator walking through New York City sees a woman wearing a crimson-colored scarf, which triggers memories of his lost love. This didn't work for me for a number of reasons. In my opinion, flash stories are too short for a lot of flashbacks, unless there's a really good reason for them, or the author is somehow deliberately experimenting with story structure to achieve some particular effect. I also didn't find this story realistic; for instance, the man talks about how he wore his brand-new tux on a first dinner date at a restaurant.

I know no person alive who would do this unless attending an invitation-based formal function. Then, just when I was worried that he'd lost her due to death and we were going to get a crimson blood-stain reference which would have been way too on-the-nose for my taste , instead it just turns out that she leaves him with no explanation after four years of dating. Yes, technically that can happen, and once in a while it probably does, but it's not very common that people leave after years of dating without saying something.

There was also a bit of clunkiness in the writing, such as this sentence: She had a complex mind, but something about her made me admire the simplicity of our love.

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Grammatically, there's nothing wrong with this, but something about her made me admire our love? It just struck me as quite odd. I better stop reading for the night as I'm apparently getting harder to please! Aug 18, , pm.

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Story 19 in August. Two men on their way to a hit job for a crime boss have a conversation. This one didn't work for me. It's a snippet rather than a story -- which doesn't have to be a bad thing, but it didn't have much to like or by which to be entertained, so I didn't see the point. In addition, it felt like it tried to hard for an "everyman" style of writing. Not only is the dialog simplistic and rough, which I can see is appropriate for the characters, but the sentence structure of the few non-dialog portions is extremely simplistic as well.

I think some readers probably find that to be an effective choice, but it didn't work for me because I felt like I could feel the author trying for the effect. Examples: Bower pushed the visor back. The light turned green.

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Kelly put the gas to the car and they went up and over a hill and they turned right on Melroy. They stopped at a stop sign and Kelly got out a cigarette and pushed in the lighter. Story 20 in August.

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Published in Talesbones 30, Summer Having read so much flash recently, I was looking for a longer story and thought this was it, based on the starting page number of the next story. But this was actually flash, and not terribly interesting to me. A man in a generic historic European setting I think hires a man to create the most impressive clock tower ever built, I'm going to give away the whole thing here but kills him once the clock tower is completed so it can never be superseded.

But the joke is on him when the clock bells strike for the first time; the first bell kills the man by matching the exact frequency of his heartbeat. Realizing that there are two more bells in the clock tower, the man's wife and daughter flee, but they can't get far enough away in time. The second bell kills the wife, and the third would have killed the daughter -- with whom the clockmaker was sleeping, by the way -- except the fact that she is unknowingly pregnant has changed her heartbeat frequency just enough that she is spared.

I feel this story didn't get a fair read from me in a way, because I was in no mood for clever flash. But I think I still would have been bothered by the fact that I could not see the clockmaker's motivation in killing the wife and especially the daughter with whom he was sleeping.

It felt like that motivation was conjured out of nothing, because without it, you couldn't have the twist ending of the clockmaker's own unborn baby thwarting his plans. Edited: Aug 18, , pm. Story 21 in August.

Samuel R. Delany

Published in Unlocking the Air and Other Stories. Collection and story published This is a mainstream short story following an elderly woman who's riding on the bus and talking to a friend about her sister's recent fall. It's nicely written, but there's not much too it -- more slice of life than anything else.

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At the same time, this was perhaps a little too on the nose for me. Become a Patron! I hadn't noticed the flash-heavy roster or anyway, you tend to go in runs , and you're still reading more than I am even on the drugs! I think it's domestic violence, but nothing is made clear in this story. JULY At least it wasn't actually a weremoose horror story.

Story 22 in August. Yet another strong story in this anthology. It's narrated by an overweight, brainy African American teenager named Lamont who makes two friends upon starting high school: a big kid named Tommy who is the only Caucasian kid in the freshman class, and a girl named Deidre. Their tentative friendship formed the first day of school is cemented a few weeks later when they all happen to join the Writing Club. Lamont writes poetry, mainly about his parents' divorce, but is too shy to share it with the group. Observing how Tommy doesn't care that he looks different than everyone else, Lamont finds his courage.

Story 23 in August.

This story is from the POV of a sniper in Baghdad, who is about to shoot a suicide bomber knowing that he'll also kill the child the bomber carries on his shoulders as something of a shield. I felt this was clunky in a few places and a bit heavy-handed with the term "heartstrings" overused a tad. Structurally, I thought the story would have been more effective in simple chronological order, rather than with a flashback within a flashback, just to get back to the same spot.

Edited: Aug 24, , pm. Story 24 in August.

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