Biting and Brief
"The Red Button" was a great short read. Nothing flashy about it, and that's the whole point. Just bare-bones, raw emotion. Being inside the mind of the man who volunteers to wipe out a whole population was jarring, compelling, and a bit heartbreaking. Straith sold me with one of the last lines: "They killed our children, they killed my Emily." The sheer force of that sentence really hit me. THIS is how you write a short, short story.
Can't seem to praise this one enough. The blend of historical fiction and magical realism had me engaged from the onset. Watching the protag struggle with his faith (and his sanity, at times) was a wonder to experience. Absolutely nothing to criticize here. Well done!
A Bittersweet Tale Deftly Told
I really enjoyed "Ella the Alien Spy". As a flash novel (which seems simple but is actually pretty hard to pull off), it works incredibly well. The voice of the protagonist never wavers, and it's filled with such a child-like sense of wonder that its almost painfully sweet. Such a great concept, and the writing itself is superb. Well done!
An excellent read.
The Color of Happiness kept me engaged from beginning to end. The author did a fantastic job creating the small town of cultists, as seen through the eyes of an educated, skeptic drifter, perfectly balancing both the hilarity and horror of the situation. This one had me cracking a smile one moment and cringing with dread the next. The magical-realism aspect of the ending is really the thing that sealed the deal for me, heightening the piece from a simple "Stepford Wives"/everybody's brainwashed nightmare to a surreal, almost sci-fi horror.Highly recommended!Read the story now
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