Sunday, April 12, 2009

Flash fiction trifecta

Flash fiction -- stories no longer than a few pages -- is one of my authorial vices.

Why a vice? Because the shorter the story, the more effort each paragraph, each sentence, each word takes. Short stories are labors of love or necessity: compulsions demanding that they be set to paper. Short stories are seldom, in any financial sense, worth the opportunity cost -- the time spent writing them.

Flash fiction, being especially brief, takes special care. More than merely serve a purpose, each word must be essential. (Death to adverbs! Less is more!) The reward? Whether it serves up a punch line or an epiphany, a piece of flash fiction has an out-sized impact.

My flash pieces have appeared in Analog more than any other venue. One such story -- and a favorite of mine -- is "Grandpa?". It deals with the (in)famous grandfather paradox of time travel.

"Grandpa?" first appeared in Analog in 2001. In 2006, the story reappeared as a short film, written and directed by Jean-Francois Dasylva-Larue under the title "The Grandfather Paradox." The short is shown at film festivals and SF cons, where it has won awards. (It's even given me me a passing mention in the imdb.)

And now ...

A few days ago, "Grandpa?" made its third appearance, this time as a free podcast at Escapepod. Reader Ben Phillips did the story proud -- again.

Just this once, I'll promote a flash piece from vice to guilty pleasure :-)

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