Steve Weddle's Missed Flight is a poignant story about what's to be done when a runaway is returned home to abusive parents. You can make your flight reservation at Beat to a Pulp, where you will also get a little Mortification from Sophie Littlefield. It's painfully good stuff.A brief comment to webzine publishers: Readability. If the stories on your website are in white print with a black background (and that seems to be a very popular color treatment at crime fic webzines), that's really hard on these old eyes. If you want people to read the stories, make the readability factor as high as possible. Pay attention to line spacing, too. When the lines are too close together for comfortable online reading, I have a tendency to just move on to another site. I bet other readers do the same. It really isn't enough to just throw words against the wall. Showcase your stories by making them oh-so-easy to read. You'll be doing yourself a favor, because readers will stay longer and be more willing to return.
If you wander on over to Pulp Pusher, Gerard Brennan provides the atmospheric tale of a tense snitch who's got Nothing But Time, and a limited amount of that. Sandra Seamans reminds us that females have great Survival Instincts, and that more often than not we are deadlier than the males. And Dave Zeltserman surrounds the reader with Nothing But Jerks, a story that is as gritty and cold as any of his longer works of noir.
Sandra Seamans, a very busy writer, rewrites the lyrics of a classic Rodgers and Hart song, and gives us Once Upon a Blue Moon, a vignette of a twisted family that recalls another loathesome tribe, the Peacocks, if anyone remembers that chilling, killing clan. You can hum along at Thrillers, Killers 'n Chillers.
I wonder if my bro-in-law, an inveterate Wal-Mart shopper, would enjoy a trip to the big box store with Keith Rawson's protagonist in Retail Therapy: A Wal*Mart Story. At least this guy gets his books from a real bookstore, then goes to Wal-Mart for his other needs. A sociopath with class, right? Check out Rawson's blue-light special at A Twist of Noir.
Interested in some flash fiction? You know those rowdy neighbors of yours that are always fighting? Talk to Stephen D. Rogers over at Powder Burn Flash. He'll see that you get Peace Restored. While you're there, do a little shopping if you're not burnt out by that earlier trip to Wal-Mart. You might just find that -- Congratulations: You're our one-thousandth customer! courtesy of Mark Robinson.
January 5, 2010
Short stops #2
Never having heard Ben Franklin's aphorism that fish and company both smell after three days, the bitter cold has settled in for a long visit. And it stinks. So grab a throw, the hot toddy of your choice, and the laptop. Then see if some of these short stories don't chill you to the bone in spite of your preparations.