Insolent Rudder is an online magazine publishing flash fiction and very short "relatively" plotted stories of "no more than 1113 words." The stories in the current issue oscillate between the comical and the poetic, and almost all of them are perfect illustrations of the condensed observations typical of flash – those seemingly effortless "pow!" moments that pack a lot of truth into very few words. From Jamie Lin's Sequence of micros, "Falling Uphill": "She was the round, shiny apple. I was the rotten tomato with too many weaknesses." From Liesl Jobson's "Ashram": "I kneel before him, bending to kiss his instep. He loved it before when I sucked his toes. We must wait for the guru, he says, pushing me away." From Bosley Gravel's "The Bone Tree": "Mother said they buried him deep that autumn, and she imagined him frozen in the earth waiting for spring like a fresh seed as the snow blew the last of the orange leaves."
The stories in this issue cut right to the strongest image, the most astounding emotion – that's what flash is about. Surprise is only the beginning. At first glance, this might make the stories seem slighter than "full length" short stories, but this is not the case. The fiction in this issue tickles, surprises, pops – not only on first read. This is the kind of writing that satisfies the need for a quick literature fix but is profound enough to withstand attrition. The tones and moods vary widely between stories. Frank O'Connor's "Coffee" is an all-out funny homage: “Dolloped, Twisted, Shorted or Flatpack? Spiced, Spangled, Glucose or Creemeedunk? Grandee, Extra-Grandee, Grandee Dandee or Extra-Grandee Dandee?” In contrast, Liesl Jobson's "Saviour" is a sparse story about the loss of a child, which is nicely complemented by J.M. Patrick's "Lacuna," a quiet celebration of life. The reader is advised to enter the current issue during their coffee break and sample the buffet.