Flashathon 2012 Hour Ten

Last year Bud Sparhawk provided one of the more abstract prompts of Flashathon. That prompt inspired a story by Day Al-Mohamed that resulted in a sale. She thanked him, and he provided another fantastic and abstract prompt for our enjoyment. It’s long, so let’s get right into it.

Short stories contrive to use a single incident to illuminate a whole life: They aim for a short, sharp shock. Novels, those fabulously loose and baggy monsters, frequently transcribe entire biographies, reveal cross sections of society or show us the interaction of several generations.  They contain multitudes.  In between lies that most beautiful of fiction’s forms, the novella or nouvelle.  Here, the writer aims for the compression that produces both intensity and resonance.  By focusing on just two or three characters, the short novel can achieve a kind of artistic perfection, elegant in form yet wide in implication.  The closest analogue may be Aeschylean tragedy – two actors on an almost bare stage, ripped by the torments of the human heart.

Bud Sparhawk is a hard science fiction short story writer who started writing in 1975 with three sales to ANALOG. Since returning to writing his works have appeared in ANALOG, Asimovs, several anthologies as well as in other print media and on-line magazines both in the United States and Europe. He has two short story collections and one novel. He has been a three-time Nebula finalist. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland and is a frequent sailor on the Chesapeake Bay. A complete biography, lists of stories, copies of articles, and other material can be found at his web site.

  1. avatar

    #1 by Dana Gunn on October 27, 2012 - 6:54 pm

    Done! This one pretty much came out crap in my opinion. I had a good idea, and it sort of went thppth! just like a deflating balloon. And then the idea ran away from me just like the balloon. :( I think I’ll definitely have to revisit this story another time. Quite frankly because I love the prompt!

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