Book Review – Ellipsis Three

Ellipsis Three

Compiled by Steve Campbell and Amelia Sachs

Print edition: GBP 5.00

Digital edition: GBP 3.00

Ellipsis ‘Three’ is, unsurprisingly, the third digital zine produced by Steve Campbell and his team of editors. It is a collection of forty-five pieces of flash fiction, with a limit of three-hundred words or less to test their submitters’ pith and discipline.

What results is the perfect coffee table magazine. Five minutes to kill until you leave to pick the kids up from school? Desperately fighting off the weekly house clean? Then Ellipsis is your friend.

Some of my highlights are as follows…

‘Office Space’ by Emma Kernahan is an obliquely amusing and just-the-right-side-of-fantastical tale of an office woman who starts (and continues) to grow one day.

Also darkly humorous is ‘Three Reasons they Call me Dyke’ by Bonnie Scott, where a seemingly classic story about a bullied high school girl is given an wonderfully unexpected and schadenfreude-inducing twist.

However, it’s not all light and quirky. ‘Night Music’ by Emily Devane is a beautifully sad tale of a girl hiding from her family’s angst. ‘She conjures the peppery perfume of the cornflowers that fringe the path beside the sand dunes, their blue in competition with the sky’ is a phrase that will stay with me for a long time.

Perhaps the best line in the entire magazine, however, comes courtesy of Tim Goldstone in the wonderfully feral and ferocious ‘Sisters of the Marsh’. ‘Rousted by his father from a deep skullcap sleep in the yolk-yellow glow of a flaming smoking redmace, wind groaning through gaps in the roughly-fitted logs, now at twelve years considered a man.’ Pure flash fiction gold in a frostbitten, ice cracking piece.

There are some off-the-wall pieces here as well. ‘The Three Types of Home in England with Some Examples’ by David Cramer Smith shouldn’t work as a narrative; it indisputably does though, providing us with a tongue-in-cheek look at social stereotypes and what our houses say about us.

The spartan word count in Ellipsis Three ensures that these stories are sharpened and honed to a gliding edge. Quality oozes from the pages – there isn’t a dud note or a clumsy step amongst the stories chosen by the editors. If you want to know how to write great flash fiction, then here’s where you start.

Copies can be purchased from Ellipsis’ website, Amazon, or Etsy.

27 thoughts on “Book Review – Ellipsis Three

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