Book review: ‘Tiny Giants’ by ARC professor Jason Sinclair Long

Joseph Daniels and Joseph Daniels

While short on word count, Jason Sinclair Long’s flash fiction collection, “Tiny Giants: 101 Stories Under 101 Words,” is not short on imagination.

The definition of flash fiction varies from person to person. It could range up to 300 or 1,000 words total.

A popular example of flash fiction is the six-word story that is usually attributed to Ernest Hemingway.

The story goes, “For Sale, Baby Shoes. Never Worn.”

“Little Giants” is the product of Long’s attempt to produce a story once a day for a year on his blog, “Flash Fiction 365.” Each story’s word count was determined by a roll of two eight-sided dice.

This may be off-putting to some readers, but what gives the book its charm is that Long gives the reader just the right amount of information for the reader to be able to fill in the blanks of what comes before and what happens next.

There are an eclectic selection of genres to choose from in “Tiny Giants,” as the book opens up with a fantasy and ends off with a comedic ghost story.

There are several love stories that can be found within, but a standout piece is a Tim Burton-esque romance titled “Made in Hell”. It tells a tale of star-crossed lovers: one who is a vampire and the other is a zombie.

What makes “Little Giants” remarkable is not that Long can tell a story under a 100 words, but that he can do so while making every word and detail necessary to the story.

American River College students who are taking writing courses, creative or not, could learn a thing or two from Long on how to write clear sentences.

Long belongs with authors such as Edgar Allan Poe: an author whose words are meant to be read aloud than read silently.

Seeing that Tiny Giants only contains 101 of his stories, hopefully there will be another collection by Long that will feature his remaining pieces.