And so we arrive at Day #30 of my Flash Clash reading challenge, and I’m down to finishing off the reading of my two final flash fiction collections, before declaring my overall ‘champion of flash’ (for this contest at least).
Leading the way today not surprisingly (because he seems to do that a lot), is Alex Burrett with another inventive little tale, called The Burners. The story follows a community of slaves living in the mountains, and the trials and tribulations that their ‘master’ has, in ensuring that the slaves remain wholly responsive to his bidding. Not every detail of ‘How to be an Effective Overlord’ is laid bare on the table here though. Rather the story focuses on one niggling little problem that he’s keeping an eye on. And that problem is a family, endearingly known as ‘The Burners’.
Now, aside from anything else, what makes The Burners a ‘good un’ is the fact that it demonstrates quite clearly just how imaginative the story’s author is. I wouldn’t say that this is Burrett’s most accomplished story to date, but it’s certainly good enough to hold it’s own against the very best of the imaginative storytellers out there. Don’t take my word for it though. Thanks to the generosity of Harper Perennial (Burrett’s US publisher for this collection) and their Fifty-Two Stories website, you can read The Burners for yourself, for FREE. Isn’t that nice of them? I thought so too. If you read it, let me know what you thought.
Onwards then to today’s rundown:
*Keeping in the spirit of flash I’m limiting myself to only giving single-word comments for each story.
**As they are incredibly short in length, David Gaffney’s stories are being ‘ticked off’ two at a time.
*** Dan Rhode’s stories are even shorter than Gaffney’s and to ensure that I finish his collection in time, I have to cover three per day.
Inspired by the publication of Nik Perring’s debut flash fiction collection, the Flash Clash Challenge is a fun contest in which
threefour other experts in the field are compared alongside Nik. You can find out more about it HERE.