NANO Fiction is a small booklet, not much bigger than the size of my hand, and only about sixty pages. A wistful-looking woman adorns the cover, her shock white hair blowing in the wind, looking forward; the surrealistic scene continues on the back where a girl has antlers growing out of her eyes, flowing to connect with the hair of the woman on the front. Swirling strokes of blues, greens, reds, oranges and yellows engulf the two figures. The artist, Nomi Meta-Mura, has three enigmatic black and white drawings in the journal. Enigma is appropriate for a journal that consists of short-shorts.
NF contains thirty-eight short-shorts, some as brief as one or two paragraphs. The majority are no more than one page. All are competent, a few avant-garde, some brilliant. In an unusual twist, M. David Hornbuckle applied mathematics to fiction in “Bertrand Russell Sees a Man.” He begins, “Let (x is human and x is male) be true where (x=x) is always true and (x has the name “John”) is sometimes true.” This makes for surprisingly human equations, aptly drawn. On the other hand, a lesson in how to pierce the heart in one paragraph comes from “The Way the Ruin Came” by Blake Butler: “My stomach eating my other parts. No more food in cans. The faucet cragged so fat with insects the water won’t even drip.” He becomes brilliantly more devastating as he goes on, a satisfying literary bite out of many bits in this lunch of words. There is such variety, there is bound to be something for any fiction-lover. Published by a student organization at the University of Houston, NANO Fiction is off to a good start with this high-caliber work.