Sunday, September 11, 2011

CIENFUEGOS by Chris Deal

The 100-word story is mighty tough. Sure, short stories are tough and so are novels, blah blah blah, but the 100-word story seems particularly difficult to master. Do you try to cram a whole story into that tiny space? Do you tell just one little corner of a story? I've seen a few very good examples of this length and a lot of adequate ones that often rely too much on punchline endings.

Chris Deal's Cienfuegos is the best collection of microfiction I've seen. Each is a gem -- crafted with care, every word critical to the story. Deal explores different genres and styles, yet the collection has a remarkably cohesive feel.

This is writing that's alive. No punchline endings here -- each piece is lyrical and expressive, driven by a strong sense narrative. You get the sense that you've taken a very brief journey with each of these characters. You get only the essence of their full story, only the most important part and nothing else.

Cienfuegos is available as a free download from KUBOA Press, a new venture by Pablo D'Stair. KUBOA Press also has free downloads of work from other excellent authors like D'Stair, Nigel Bird, Mel Bosworth and others, and you would do yourself a favor by checking it out.

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