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Orchid – 2004

With so many outstanding stories in this journal, it’s hard to know where to begin. Does one talk about the honest, dead-on dialogue of Ron Rindo’s “Crop Dusting”? The dreamy and lyrical narrative of Anne Spollen’s “Fishdreams”? The landscape of losers in Andi Diehn’s “Burning Season”? It’s impossible to do justice to this fine fiction journal in two hundred words.

With so many outstanding stories in this journal, it’s hard to know where to begin. Does one talk about the honest, dead-on dialogue of Ron Rindo’s “Crop Dusting”? The dreamy and lyrical narrative of Anne Spollen’s “Fishdreams”? The landscape of losers in Andi Diehn’s “Burning Season”? It’s impossible to do justice to this fine fiction journal in two hundred words. One could say that haunted voices predominate, with a vein of sadness running through, but that would overlook the biting wit of Jo-Chieh Jennifer Chang’s short-short “Eating Seaweed” as well as the redemptive ending of Gary Eldon Peter’s “Skating.” The only commonality in this well-balanced issue is writing of the highest quality. Spollen’s narrator, a girl whose mother has recently died, offers this perspective on silence: “I learned that silence has a motion. It slides over you without shape or form, but with weight, exactly like water. It glides. It moves toward you in a river of silence, then it glides across you, only it doesn’t leave: it continues. Its color is silver. And silence has a sound, a sound you hear only after hours and hours of wading inside it: the sound is soft, flute notes rising up like the words of glass speaking.” On second thought, who needs two hundred words? Beautiful—there’s nothing else to say. – DM

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