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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Flash Fiction Online #52, January 2018

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Flash Fiction Online #52, January 2018

The Solid Years of My Life” by Holly Collingwood

Life, Hacked” by Krystal Claxton
Mother’s Rule for a Burned Girl” by Rebecca Mix

Reviewed by Stephanie Wexler

In “The Solid Years of My life” by Holly Collingwood the leading researcher/lab rat has woken from a 300 day period of being frozen. Despite the slushy thoughts and desperate need for coffee all the researcher can think about is fame, money and a nice trip somewhere warm. Of course, he waits impatiently for his colleagues to show up. After utilizing his cheap scrapper he starts to realize that more is going on than he bargained for and he might be the first and the last of this costly experiment. Collingwood’s experiment story gone horribly wrong is a nice balance of slapstick and tongue-in-cheek shock value.

Be prepared to enter a Matrixesque world in “Life, Hacked” by Krystal Claxton. A mysterious entity engages in a philosophical conversation with a rather confused hacker. The entity hovers between forms as if tormenting the supposed computer programmer. Underneath the muddled and shifting events there is still a feeling of Schrödinger’s cat. The hacker and maybe even the entity are playing a game of cat and mouse that they will never really escape. Claxton poses interesting segues of what and when are things real. Will numbers show us the universe’s secrets or will we lose touch with what is fantasy and/or reality?

In “Mother’s Rule for a Burned Girl” by Rebecca Mix, Rona is a young girl watching a dragon burn a village. If this isn’t horrific enough, Rona is sitting there enjoying the carnage. She knows she should be sad, frightened and scared, but all she wants to do is get closer. Ever since she was a little girl Mother Judith drilled into her the rules on what to do when she sees a dragon. Hide, run, and jump in the lake! However, it isn’t long before Rona lets her instinctive nature emerge and soon finds out the horrible and wonderful truth. Mix creates an invigorating moment, when a young girl breaks the restrictions she is forced to endure, discovering she is so much more.