You’ve found the website of (very) short fiction writer Randall Brown. Below are some favorite compressed works. Enjoy!
“El Dinosaurio” (“The Dinosaur”), Augusto Monterroso
Cuando despertó, el dinosaurio todavía estaba allí.
(“When [s]he awoke, the dinosaur was still there.”)
“You Fit Into Me,” Margaret Atwood
You fit into me
like a hook into an eye
a fish hook
an open eye
from Michael McFee’s The Smallest Talk, one-line poems
Silence is the smallest talk
From Lydia Davis’s break it down
The girl wrote a story, “But how much better it would be if you wrote a novel,” said her mother. The girl built a dollhouse. “But how much better if it were a real house,” her mother said. The girl made a small pillow for her father. “But wouldn’t a quilt be more practical,” said her mother. The girl dug a small hole in the garden. “But how much better if you dug a large hole,” said her mother. The girl dug a large hole and went to sleep in it. “But how much better if you slept forever,” said her mother.
From Michael Martone, in The Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction
IN THE TALLADEGA NATIONAL FOREST
Looking for the body, we found hundreds of burned-out lightbulbs in a clearing. Found four bodies, not the body we were looking for.
From Martha Ronk and the Poetry Foundation
In a landscape of having to repeat.
Noticing that she does, that he does and so on.
The underlying cause is as absent as rain.
Yet one remembers rain even in its absence and an attendant quiet.
If illusion descends or the very word you’ve been looking for.
He remembers looking at the photograph,
green and gray squares, undefined.
How perfectly ordinary someone says looking at the same thing or
I’d like to get to the bottom of that one.
When it is raining it is raining for all time and then it isn’t
and when she looked at him, as he remembers it, the landscape moved closer
than ever and she did and now he can hardly remember what it was like.
Lee Rourke writes in A BRIEF HISTORY OF FABLES: FROM AESOP TO FLASH FICTION, "One only has to visit sites such as flashfiction.net and smokelong.com or journals such as Matter: The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts to get a real sense of some of the most electrifying and ground-breaking flash fiction published today; displaying work from authors all around the world who manage to compress the weird, the fabulous and the truly astonishing into their fictions."
From The Brooklyn Rail: "Brown is also famous for working with private workshop writing groups at Martin Scorcese’s Zoetrope, groups founded by modern flash fiction torch bearer Kim Chinquee, who has a cult-like following; there is history here and in the making. As the futurists were to early 20th century Italian painting, Brown and Chinquee are to flash fiction."
From Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Flash Writing Flash Fiction: "Michael Martone and Diane Williams are shaping the next generation of flash writers, such as Randall Brown, Kim Chinquee, Sherrie Flick, and Pia Z. Ehrhardt, with their unique styles that all serve as vehicles for some truth."
From Dave Clapper, SmokeLong Quarterly Founder, "But if asked to name one person who has been the most tireless advocate of flash generally (and, to our great fortune, of SmokeLong specifically), I would name Randall in a heartbeat. His blog, flashfiction.net has become a daily must-read for anyone really interested in the form. Submissions to SLQ under his leadership grew from 300 to 1200 per issue. New journals publishing flash could always count on an excellent piece from Randall arriving in their in-boxes."
Interview up at Flash Fiction Chronicles.
Recent work appearing or forthcoming in American Short Fiction, Lake Effect, Descant, Tin House Plotto Challenge, Apollo's Lyre, Drunken Boat, Inch, The Linnet's Wings, The Pedestal Magazine, Necessary Fiction, MHR, Fourteen Hills, Split Quarterly, Barrelhouse, FRiGG, Blink|Ink, J Journal, Gathering of the Tribes, Prime Number Magazine: A Press 53 Publication, and Lit Magazine
Review of Mad to Live up at Brooklyn Rail.
"Instead of the Glass" up at SmokeLong Quarterly
"The Office They Gave Me" up at Moon Milk Review.
"The Third Way" at Red Hen Press
Deluxe Edition of Mad to Live now available.
Writing Spaces at Fictionaut
"On Reading" at Laughing Yeti
- Productive Navel-Gazing in CNF: Some Examples
- Flash News from Matter Press
- The Calculus of Writing
- The Although-Construction in George Saunders' "The Falls" (And Your Own Writing)
- Flash Fiction Focus: The One About the Dog
- Craft: Hang On, I'm Thinking (how do you clearly write unclear thinking)
- Flash Fiction Battle: Hemingway Versus Faulkner
- The Definitive Flash: 50 Shades of Flash, Day 50
- The Definitive Flash: 50 Shades of Flash, Day 49
- The Definitive Flash: 50 Shades of Flash, Day 48