55 Slightly Sinister Stories – Racha Mourtada

Illustrations – Lynn Atme

Do you know how hard it is to get your point across in only 55 words? I’d never be able to accomplish that because when it comes to ideas and books, I’m a rambler. I don’t even get my thoughts organised that quickly so I take my hat off to the author for managing it.

That paragraph there? 55 words.

While I really like the idea of bite sized stories I don’t think they’re for me. I love world building and character development too much.

A lot of these stories revolve around love, finding it and losing it. While there were some that had no impact on me at all, I did have a couple of favourites: A Literary Death and Fashion Victim.


Thank you so much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

55 stories. 55 words each. No more. No less. Enjoy this collection of flash fiction with a sinister twist. 

Size does matter in these delightfully tiny tales populated with narcoleptic drivers, bickering backers, suspicious spouses, and other memorable characters. Full of dark humour, intrigue, and absurdity, this collection of slightly sinister (and occasionally sweet) stories delivers a bite-size reading experience to satisfy any literary craving.

Nevertheless She Persisted: Flash Fiction Project – A Tor.com Original

She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

This book was my introduction to flash fiction. While I probably would have read this collection anyway, especially since it’s currently free to download here, it was the inclusion of a Seanan McGuire story that sealed the deal for me.

I usually find short story collections a bit hit and miss, and this quick read was at various times, ‘I love it!’, ‘It was okay’, and ‘What did I just read?!’ I’ve marked the ones I loved with 💜 and have included a short quote from each.

Our Faces, Radiant Sisters, Our Faces Full of Light! by Kameron Hurley 💜

They came to extinguish light, and hope. She was here to remind them they wouldn’t do it unchallenged.

God Product by Alyssa Wong

Caroline hated having been chosen by a small god, whose presence was so quiet that most people forgot she was there.

Alchemy by Carrie Vaughn 💜

(“You’ll never find what you’re looking for,” they told her. “Nevertheless,” she replied.)

Persephone by Seanan McGuire 💜

I wasn’t supposed to see that. I don’t believe anyone was supposed to see that.

Margot and Rosalind by Charlie Jane Anders

“Plus you start to ask questions, and the worst thing about questions is that sometimes, they have answers.”

Astronaut by Maria Dahvana Headley 💜

Miss Baker was on a mission to defy gravity.

More Than Nothing by Nisi Shawl

“But you ain’t gonna lemme keep you from doin magic. Is you?”

The Last of the Minotaur Wives by Brooke Bolander

Once you’ve been in the light for awhile, Blue finds, it’s hard as hell to willingly walk back into darkness.

The Jump Rope Rhyme by Jo Walton

She was warned, and explained at, and patronized But persisted still, against their lies, For you, the future, she in the past Persisted, to make things good at last.

Anabasis by Amal El-Mohtar

A warning is the same as a threat. Television teaches this. Is that a threat / call it a warning. Call it by a different name, and it changes.

The Ordinary Woman and the Unquiet Emperor by Catherynne M. Valente

When he was a young man, the Unquiet Emperor had banned questions, inquiries, curiosities, rhetoric, and finally question marks entirely, for such things were surely the source of all the mistrust and isolation in modern society.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

Three short lines, fired over social media in response to questions of why Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced on the floor of the United States Senate, for daring to read aloud the words of Coretta Scott King. As this message was transmitted across the globe, it has become a galvanising cry for people of all genders in recognition of the struggles that women have faced throughout history.

Three short lines, which read as if they are the opening passage to an epic and ageless tale.

We have assembled this flash fiction collection featuring several of the best writers in SF/F today, including Seanan McGuire, Charlie Jane Anders, Maria Dahvana Headley, Jo Walton, Amal El-Mohtar, Catherynne M. Valente, Brooke Bolander, Alyssa Wong, Kameron Hurley, Nisi Shawl and Carrie Vaughn. Together these authors share unique visions of women inventing, playing, loving, surviving, and – of course – dreaming of themselves beyond their circumstances.