Musings on Short-Short Fiction

As my goal of 50,000 words by the end of November becomes more and more of a logistical impossibility, I've begun to turn my focus toward shorter and shorter fiction forms. After wandering around various news sites, I came across a book review on Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer, edited by Robert Swartwood.

The one I love is this: “Houston, We Have a Problem,” by J. Matthew Zoss.

I’m sorry, but there’s not enough air in here for everyone. I’ll tell them you were a hero.

I've checked a couple of bookstores and have not been able to find a copy, so I may have to resort to ordering it online.

In another review of the book, Ian Crouch of The New Yorker quotes an excerpt of Swartwood's introduction. Evidently, there are codified terms for various lengths of fiction now:

Sudden: 1 to 5 pages (the current BR 100 lines contest would fit here)
Flash: 300 to 1,000 words (or just over 1 page to 4 pages, so sudden and flash still seem interchangeable)
Micro: approximately 150 words
Drabble: 100 words (the current BR 100 word contest would be here)
Dribble: 50 words

And hint fiction would be after dribble. Swartwood does not seem to name the six-word fiction that may (not) have been pioneered by Hemingway.

In any case, I will still doggedly plug away at my novel until the end of the month after which it will join the couple-three novel attempts from previous years.

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