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November 2010 One-Off and Other Good Stuff

Welcome to the November 2010 Issue of 10Flash.

Lots of good stuff this month.  A new One-Off story by Dale Ivan Smith, commentary from Co-Editor Jude-Marie Green, and a brand-new feature — a book review by Feature Editor Sandra Odell.

Dale’s story, Last Hex Sacrifice is the third story of a trilogy.  Dead Wife Waiting, appeared in the January 2010 issue of 10Flash and Skinning the Sorcerer appeared in the October 2010 issue.  Jude-Marie examines the balance between what readers think of written work and the authors of the work.  And speaking of bodies of work, Sandra offers us a peek at Rigor Amortis, a collection of erotic flash fiction about zombie love.

Last Hex Sacrifice

fantasy by Dale Ivan Smith

They say high noon is the one time you can defeat a sorcerer. The sun’s magic weakens and reveals hexes, which draw strength from darkness. I didn’t make it by noon. By the time I reached the crossroads it was late afternoon.

I crawled through the sage brush until I could see her, sword in hand, standing inside the circle of glyph stones where I’d left Mira, still guarding this desolate pass. Huge chasms tore the earth a stone’s throw to either side of the circle.

A dusty breeze whipped her long black hair out like banner. White sand streaked her leather duster. My eyes narrowed and her face loomed close in my hexed vision, two hundred yards separation seeming only feet away. Despite the beating sun and the scouring wind, her skin was smooth, her eyes clear. I wanted to shout her name.

Rigor Amortis: even a zombie needs love

book review by Sandra Odell

What do you get when you mix a touch of Twitter whimsy, a sprinkling of flash fiction, and a smidge of rotting flesh?  No, not zombie cheesecake (well, maybe. . .), but a whole heaping helping of Rigor Amortis, edited by Jaym Gates and Erica Holt, from Absolute XPress.

The idea for a collection of zombie erotica (zom/rom) began as a throw-away joke on Twitter, and before anyone could say putrefied-hot-and-tasty it decomposed into a delightfully grizzly flash fiction collection offering morsels by established favorites such as Renée Bennett, Kay T. Holt, and Sarah Goslee, and new talents like Andrew Penn Romine, John Nakamura Remy, and Lucia Starkey.

The rotting schoolgirl/prostitute of Robert Nixon’s cover promises a bloody romp while the teacher isn’t looking, and the interior art of Galen Dara and Miranda Jean encourage any number of appetites.

What to Read

commentary by Jude-Marie Green

This editorial is written on the cutting edge of deadline so I’ll keep it short.  Who should you read?



Are you still there?

A long time ago, Robert A. Heinlein wrote a novel titled Starship Troopers. Some readers took issue with the simplistic, militaristic future that he posited.  That is to say, the politics he wrote about caused some controversy.

Still, writers read him.  Some were inspired to write responses to his political view.  One of those novels was The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison.

We the reader cannot let rumored controversy or someone else’s opinion stop us from reading a work.  If we do, we cheat ourselves out of forming our own opinion on the work.  More importantly we cheat ourselves out of the spark of response, the outrage or acceptance that might jiggle the muse into action or might just deepen our understanding.