Every time it comes up, I enter the micro-fiction contest from Mischief Corner Books. To say that flash fiction is not my forté would be understating, and every freaking time I end up tossing a few ideas that turn out to be three times the word count maximum before finding something I can work with that’s only, say, double the word count limit, and then try to pare it back to target.
This year was no different.
The theme was ‘Flight,’ and I’ve included my wee story below (it was sparked from a dream I had, actually), as well as the links to the final anthology product, which launches today. If you’re at all a fan of flash fiction (and queer SF/F in specific within your flash fiction), it’s worth a look.
A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.
Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.
Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Cover & Illustrations Artist: Mila May
Length: 33.6 K
Format: ebook, print
Release Date: General release 9/21/16
Price: $4.99 eBook, $12.99 print b/w*, $24.99 print color*
*Book contains 5 illustrations inside.
Purchase/Information at: Mischief Corner Books, Amazon, ARe, Kobo, Goodreads, and check out the series of contest books at Goodreads, also. I’ll edit to add more links as the publisher makes them available, and as always, if there’s a way to order from your brick-and-mortar, you know that’s where my heart is.
An excerpt from “Conceptually Speaking,” by ‘Nathan Burgoine
Imprecise. That was the thing about their telepathy. The visitors communicated conceptually. Their initial message was barely translated in time, and only by those who could could “hear” it. Most of the mission training had focused on how difficult it would be to convey certain concepts that one side or the other didn’t already understand.
The tests were clear, though. Maddie “spoke” alien better than any other human who’d tried. No matter the misgivings of the military or the government or the population of Maddie’s birth county—and there were many—it was the highest score of conceptual communication on record, and so the UN chose Maddie.
The first direct communication with Maddie’s mind? Massive nosebleed, then unconsciousness.
In the first year of the Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction contest, we received about 15 entries for the theme “Endings”. In the second year, it was 115 for “Discovery”.
This year, we had more than 170 entries from people around the world, and from all parts of the LGBTIQA rainbow. “Flight” represents 110 of those people and their stories.
Colton Aalto, Kiterie Aine, Odin Alexander, John Allenson, Tam Ames, R.R. Angell, Bran Lindy Ayres, Jeff Baker, Jessica Bansbach, J.P. Barnaby, Capri S. Bard, Jonah Bergen, Michael J. Bode, L.M. Brown, Marie Brown, Michelle Browne, ‘Nathan Burgoine, Iona Burnfield, A.M. Burns, Katelyn Cameron, Hank T. Cannon, Foster Bridget Cassidy, Skylar M. Cates, H.J. Chacon, M.A. Church, Rebecca Cohen, S.A. Collins, J. Comer, Ross Common, Elliot Cooper, Gretchen Crane, Jase Daniels, Claire Davis and Al Stewart, Avery Dawes, Zev de Valera, Bey Deckard, Jana Denardo, Nicole Dennis, Kellie Doherty, Jude Dunn, Tray Ellis, Rhi Etzweiler, Thursday Euclid, K.C. Faelan, Christina Mary Francis, L.E. Franks, J.R. Frontera, Liz Fury, Elizabella Gold, Ofelia Gränd, S.E. Greer, M.D. Grimm, Jenna Hale, Kaje Harper, Qaida Harte, Saxon Hawke, Kelly Haworth, Cheryl Headford, Valentina Heart, Jaylee James, Jambrea Jo Jones, Michael M. Jones, Ryvr Jones, Ellery Jude, Jon Keys, K-lee Klein, Jennifer Lavoie, A.M. Leibowitz, Mario K. Lipinski, L.V. Lloyd, Clare London, Meraki P. Lyhne, Lloyd A. Meeker, Eloreen Moon, John Moralee, Christopher Hawthorne Moss, E.W. Murks, Rory Ni Coiliean, Jackie Nacht, Thea Nishimori, Bealevon Nolan, Alicia Nordwell, Mathew Ortiz, Nina Packebush, Donald Qualls, Kirby Quinlan, Mann Ramblings, Loren Rhoads, Jojo Saunders, Brent D. Seth, L.M. Somerton, Rin Sparrow, Andrea Speed, Paul Stevens, Ginger Streusel, Jerome Stueart, Julia Talbot, Jo Tannah, Natsuya Uesugi, Allen Walton, A.T. Weaver, Missy Welsh, Eric Alan Westfall, Brandon Witt, Alexis Woods, Christine Wright, P.T. Wyant, Victoria Zagar.