Book Review: A Flash of Words (an anthology by 49 authors published by Scout Media)

 

Flash fiction anthologies offer quick tastes of many authors’ works. They afford the opportunity to sample styles and genres while becoming introduced to new, often experimental, approaches to storytelling. A Flash of Words, published by Scout Media in 2019, includes within its 217 pages 49 distinct, brief stories by unique writers from around the globe. 

The stories represent several genres, from horror to heart-warming. Please note: Some of the offerings might trigger readers with their mention of rape (not elaborated upon), war, death, violence, and suicide. However, all of the stories will leave an impression. 

Since there are so many titles and artists, I’ll mention some of my favorites instead of giving impressions of them all. 

“A Family Thing” by Eldred Bird features an imaginative kid, and I found it delightful. 

“The White Poodle” by William G. Edwards proves appearances can deceive. Giggle.

“Superhero for Sale” by Marc Hemingway charmed me with its conversational job interview for a would-be super hero.

“Tooth” by Christine King provides a twisted look into a surprising job.

“Ugly Girl” by Jason Pere delved into teen hatred in an intuitive way.

“Albatross” by Elizabeth Montague visceral exploration of war incorporated the senses.

“Cimmerian Shade” by T.C. Morgan had my heart racing as inhuman creatures stalked a family.

“For the Want of a Name” by Dawn Taylor brought a bitter-sweet nostalgia.

“Barely a Story” by William Thatch, told from an unusual perspective, made a mundane danger darkly amusing. 

It’s interesting reading short story anthologies, because truly, each new title brings something different. For those short on time (or attention span), or for those enamored of brief dances with literary partners (like at a square dance or Victorian ball, complete with a dance card – haha!), anthologies are perfect. Collections allow diverse tastes to discover new favorite styles, genres, and authors.