It’s a pleasure to present a bunch of thirteen stories that have stood out, out of those received since Sep 2016, because of their rather out-of-the way character. They have impelled us to create a special feature – the New Annual Fiction Bonus. Offering a thematic, narrative, expressive and stylistic variety, the stories come in a spectrum of volumetric range, the shortest being less than 500 words and the longest spilling over five times. A couple of them could be hybrid between a story and a non-story – but there is something in them that can’t be ignored. This is apart from a four-in-one flash fiction where the shortest piece is just 174 words.
The heterogeneous mix of the stories takes you on a tour of a polychromic topography – politico-military-scientific mystery; the spooky; the occult; the anthropomorphic; terrorist machinations; inter-caste marriages; surrogacy; a Partition time love story rooting for the roots; the differential upbringing or growth of children; the fluctuating compulsions in commercial/professional relations; familial equations; and the continuing woes of the older lot. And in moods that are witty, frivolous, humorous, rebellious, indignant, angst-filled, romantic, satiric, sympathetic, and empathic. Each in its own way, hoping for the earth to be a far better place to live in for everyone.
‘I will do whatever you say, provided you say only whatever I like.’ – Isn’t it a good idea to write a story on?
And greetings on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Independent India.
Editor, New Annual Short Fiction Bonus