The Bending of Strong Forms is a novella told in three tales, A beginning, the dolphin, and the hobo, which deal with the central questions: "Why do we suffer?"; "Why do we die?" Each story is complete in itself, and therefore, autonomous. But they also extend each other in the reader's mind to produce a sumptuous narrative on what it means to be human.
Mutton Curry shortlisted for the Fish Short Story Prize 2017/18
Richard Philip's Mutton Curry, a story about a boy, his mother and their favorite food is on the shortlist for the Fish Short Story Prize 2017/18. Irish author Billy O'Callaghan judged the entries. Here are his comments on the stories:
"Reading these stories, also those that fell short of the final cut, was a real pleasure but also quite a challenge. The standard of this work is high, and even the ones that didn’t make the anthology had so much about them worth admiring, not just in terms of the stories being told but also in the polish of the sentences, the development of the characters and, especially, the emotional impact these writers managed to wring from just a few pages. Aware of just how much was at stake, I struggled in particular to separate the top five stories, and loved them all for different reasons, and it was only after several readings that I settled on my final order. On another day, and with another judge, the results could very well be different."
Many people have asked how the Fish Short Story Competitions are judged, so here is a brief explanation of the process.
Sonny's Last Day on the Special Mentions list of Fabula Press's 2016 Aestas Short Story Contest
Sonny's Last Day is included on the Special Mentions list of Fabula Press's 2016 Aestas Short Story Contest. The story is about a man who decides to camp in the lush grounds of an estate that is out of bounds to him. What follows is a tale that keeps you wondering about the fate of a nobody in the hands of the powerful.
An excerpt: His tent is not one of those quick-pitch tents that spring into a habitat when thrown into the air. It is a dome-shaped shelter with flexible poles criss-crossing its surface through layers of waterproof covers. It can house a dozen people and looks as if it is there to stay. There is a thick trail of talcum powder around the tent to keep the ants away, an easel and a foldable stool, both lying flat on the grass. A couple of office-issue grey folders, pencils, sketchbooks and notebooks that flip open at the top, encircle him on the tarpaulin sheet upon which he is seated. "This is no ordinary trespasser - he seems to be breaking the law with legal permission," the physicist and Frenchman, Malcolm Ancil, says to himself...