Tim Foley and the other editors of The Farallon Review aim to, “share the work of writers who still believe that short fiction is a unique artform, worth writing, and worth reading.” The realistic fiction in this new journal is certainly long on imagination and features distinctive narrators.
The standout story “Brown Sparrows,” by Ken Rodgers, allows the reader to consider what it might have been like for soldiers returning from the Vietnam War. The narrator attempts to get back to normal, downing a good, old-fashioned burger-and-beer lunch with a buddy. One moment, he’s relaxing: “Juice oozed out of the cheeseburgers and the fat dripped down our chins as we ate and the ketchup on the French fries got all over the bone-white plates.” The next moment, this peace is shattered by the realization that random violence can also occur on this side of the Pacific.
S.J. Sasken’s story, “Road Signs In A Pigeon’s Paradise,” is an engaging meditation on the nature of happiness. Sue, the owner of Cakes Café, is annoyed by the pigeons flapping around her establishment. Marge, on the other hand, likes to feed the birds. After Sue takes extreme measures, Marge must wait to feel “the pride and joy she had felt inhaling the silky aroma of the head of her newborn child.”
Brief and written in second person, Abeer Hoque’s story, “The Businessman,” manages to grab the reader and raise important questions about the way we build our personal and professional lives.