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Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer Paperback – November 1, 2010

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Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer + Micro Fiction: An Anthology of Fifty Really Short Stories + Flash Fiction Forward: 80 Very Short Stories
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Some of these stories suggest entire novels in just few words. So, in this small book, you have a whole library. It’s reading at the speed of light.” (Robert Shapard, editor of Sudden Fiction and Flash Fiction)

“The perfect story collection for all of us with too little time on our hands is a brilliant reminder of the magic that happens when you string the right words together. A must-read for anyone who is or wants to be a writer.” (Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of House Rules)

“The stories in Robert Swartwood's Hint Fiction have some serious velocity. Some explode, some needle, some bleed, and some give the reader room to dream. They're fun and addictive, like puzzles or haiku or candy. I've finished mine but I want more.” (Stewart O'Nan, author of Last Night at the Lobster)

About the Author

Robert Swartwood is the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Serial Killer's Wife, The Calling, Man of Wax, and several other novels. His work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review, The Daily Beast, Wigleaf, and PANK. He created the term "hint fiction" and is the editor of Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer. Visit him online at robertswartwood.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393338460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393338461
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 0.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A.M Donovan on November 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Just got my copy last night. Started reading, (Sorry "Chuck" had to pass up our usual date, will catch you next week) and it's like potato chips. Just can't stop with just one, and then the next thing you know, you've eaten the whole bag!
Don't skip the titles, they are an integral part of the stories!
If you are looking for something with everything spelled out for you, from the color of his eyes to the length of her hair and the age of the oak tree in the front yard, then you will hate this.
Well, raspberries to you!
But, if you like a good conversation, where you need to stretch a little and have your imagination triggered, you will really enjoy this book!
Some of these come at you straight on, and some will blind side you.
Enjoy!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lillerenee on December 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am one of those people who like every little detail. I always thought condensed books were a crime against literature. I didn't expect to be anything but frustrated by a "hint" of a story. OK, I ordered the book because my daughter's submission is part of this collection. It is usually her poetry that is published so I was curious. I was surprised that I found the little blurps to be refreshing right before my eyes fell shut in my bed at night: they nudged my imagination. Rather than be annoyed, I was intrigued by the clever craftsmanship of the writers. When I ordered a book I usually would not have ordered, I found out that a lot can be said with just a "hint". It doesn't take a lot of words to provoke creative ideas. This book is a lot of fun, whether a great distraction is needed or a spurt of imagination is needed. It is, also, great the second and third time around because the hints provoke different scenarios each time they are read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Josh Mauthe on December 31, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
25 words doesn't seem like enough room to tell a story. And yet, Hint Fiction collects 125 tales, all 25 words or less, that manage to convey more in their few short lines than you'd expect - hence, incidentally, the term "Hint Fiction," since much of what's left is hinting at something much bigger. Hint Fiction is a pretty fascinating anthology, one that forces authors to focus their skill and craft at a few words and test the impact of certain phrases. Some are truly fantastic at it; look, for example, at Joe Lansdale's story, which tells a whole tale in 5 words, or Gary Braunbeck's "House Hunting" (readable on editor Robert Swartwood's website, along with a few other selections from the anthology), which creates a glorious sense of unease that only amplifies as you think about the implications of the title and the closing sentence. As with every anthology, of course, some work better than others, and some will be more to your taste than others; there's quite a few that lean toward the morbid or the violent, but some that become more poetic, and others that feel more like a single image that suggests lifetimes around it. In other words, it's an anthology that's as interesting for how people choose to deal with the 25 word restriction and how they approach it. There are funny ones, haunting ones, disturbing ones, powerful ones, and everything in between. In many ways, Hint Fiction may be an anthology for passionate readers and writers more than casual fans; by their very nature, these are nibbles, not a whole meal, and they may leave some a little unsatisfied or wanting more. But for those of us who love language, there's a lot to take in here, and it's fun to digest each of these little pieces and see how much story you can tell with only a few words. It's a fast read, of course, but don't let the length confuse you; there's a lot of craft in these short tales, and they pack in more than some full length books I've read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kim Offenburger on April 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With twenty-five words or less this review is longer than the stories in this book. Hint fiction is just that, a hint of a narrative with a whisper about the characters and a whiff of plot.

Some of the stories are distillations, others a denouement, still others anticlimax. But my favorites are the ones that reference other works like Nick Mamatas' Found Wedged In the Side of a Desk Drawer in Paris, France, 23 December 1989, which references Beckett's Waiting for Godot.

Hint fiction is an exciting new form and in a Twitter world of 144 characters or less, might be a genre whose time has come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By whitebuffalo on April 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable reading especially I think for those who also like to write. Hint fiction is fun to read and fun to try to write because it can be done in your head while, say, stuck in traffic. This book is a bit thin for the price and I would have liked to have the authors' info be included on the same page as their work rather in the back of the book. But I do look forward to another compilation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By avon92 on May 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this after I finished a creative writing class and I'm glad I did. it's short stories that make a point, and it gets creative juices flowing. A must have for any writer or someone who just enjoys quirky little stories.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Susan Patterson on July 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lots of oohs & aahs! It's addictive. I've read it 3x already! Recommend it to everyone.
I was inspired to write some of my own hint fiction!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marsha on August 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Flash fiction like this is so hard, but this collection is excellent. It would be great to see these turned into longer works.
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