Tangent Online

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Flash Fiction Online #23, August 2015

E-mail Print

Flash Fiction Online #23, August 2015

"The Last Mardi Gras" by Derrick Boden

"Concerning your Recent Creation of Sentient Horse-things on the Next Planet Over"
by Stewart C. Baker
"Bugs Eat Light" by Izabella Grace

Reviewed by Jason McGregor

Readers of this month's Flash Fiction Online get a dystopian future, a humorous piece about the cosmic scale of academic infighting and relationships gone wrong, and a horror piece that is sure to bug you, all in 903 to 999 words.

"The Last Mardi Gras" by Derrick Boden

After the environment, government, and society have mostly collapsed, especially in New Orleans, that city is flooded and abandoned but the narrator sneaks into the area with his trombone to observe "The Last Mardi Gras." There is a trace of an interesting idea that is, of course, not developed in this short-short piece, regarding arcologies (such as one at Baton Rouge) which were supposed to provide tolerable living conditions but have mostly failed. Otherwise, this is competently executed but has nothing superb, new, or distinctive.

"Concerning your Recent Creation of Sentient Horse-things on the Next Planet Over" by Stewart C. Baker

Humor is a tricky thing and this probably won't work for everybody but it did for me. In this set of space mail, two academics with a past are uplifting species, being bureaucratic and, as a side-effect of their personal issues, basically trying to start an interstellar war. This really has nothing newer than "The Last Mardi Gras" (but isn't trying to, as one of the sets of mails being sent from "Brin St., New New New London" indicates) but is zesty and funny (at least if you're like me).

"Bugs Eat Light" by Izabella Grace

This is billed as fantasy but I don't see how it's anything other than horror (albeit of a fantastic yet slightly SF-rationalized sort). A woman is hiding inside with bugs rustling and scratching all around in a perpetual twilight because the bugs have been eating the light. Her boyfriend or husband (or just friend) has gone looking for food and not come back. And when she smashes a bug, things get worse (though it took me a second try to figure out why and how, but I can be slow). This is an interesting (if that's the word) idea and the story is fairly presented. If you like this sort of thing, it should suit.


Jason McGregor's space on the internet can be found here.