Download the Little (Flash) Fiction Collection from soundcloud.com
Little Fiction.com, 2012
In the post-Second World
War era there was a brief vogue in the British cinema for portmanteau films, comprising two, three or even four
short stories. Quartet (1948) and Encore (1951), both used Somerset Maugham as their source, and had
the author rather hesitantly introducing the stories at the beginning of each film.
Little Fiction adopts the same
framework; in a forty-five minute podcast we hear no fewer than fourteen stories. Some of them are no more than vignettes;
others contain longer plots and more developed characterizations. The range of material covered is astonishing, covering
all aspects of human life -- romantic, violent, melancholy, ecstatic, reflective. I do not want to prioritize one
story over another: suffice to say that I found the sheer range of writing quite wonderful. All credit to
the authors, who are listed here: Amanda Leduc, Len Kuntz, Peg Daniels, Leesa Cross-Smith, Vincent Scarpa, Brad Rose,
Paul McQuade, Troy Palmer, Sara Habein, Jessica Kluthe, Braydon Beaulieu, Will Johnson, Jen Neale and Andrew F. Sullivan.
The dramatic qualities of all
the tales were admirably communicated in Xe Sands' readings. Here is a voice-artist of immeasurable talent, whose tones can
change in a moment, depending on the type of story she is reading. She has a genuine feeling for the sound, as
well as the sense of words, and tries her best to communicate that to her listeners.
I do hope that Little Fiction
can repeat this experiment as soon as possible. I, for one, will look forward to listening to more short -
or even shorter - stories.