The week’s best online fiction, with recommendations from FictionDaily‘s editors.
“North London Fizzy Lager Pub Toilets” by TR Deeks, My Name is Mud
Reading TR Deeks is like being at a party and it is loud chair floor screaming strobe techno so everyone is always moving like the words are always moving everyone dark panic comfort decibels ear-shocking he inserts little bits of wisdom into the din like chaos is the dominant principle but then shows us a pair of breasts pierced with skulls and a politician headbanging with some adolescent girl or something and the whole world is in one moment he wields within his language because he refuses conventional grammars and punctuations which i like because we don’t get to have punctuation as we exist it’s just a constant stream of everything paradox contradiction swarm pululating overwhelming mess and syntax is like the side of the pool and Deeks just wants to swim in the middle of the deep end and almost drown and we should all read this piece because it’s like that.–David Backer
“It Looks Like a Heart, You Said” by Rebecca King, Decomp Magazine
This one’s about a squid (possibly living) in a bowl of broth, employing the curiously popular second-person narrative. “You held your finger just over the squid’s gummy, translucent skin, tracing the pink and blue veins though the bulb of its head.” Very nice. But that doesn’t sound like me. What would I be doing in Koreatown, and who let me out of my restraints? Can I even relate, here in the sticks?
In the country where
hot pig fat drips into the
bare fires of my mind
“Stuck Together” by William Dylan Powell, Dirty Noir
There may be no original ideas, but there are distinctive ones, and the hard-boiled fiction of William Dylan Powell is as distinctive as a cowboy on roller skates. It isn’t just that Powell peppers his stitch-tight prose with regional references – to songs, places, habits and scents – that are too odd not to be true. It isn’t just that his diction is spangled with as much detail as a sequined jacket. It is, at its core, the way his work sings with a clear and undifferentiated voice, even though most share the red soil of Texas as their foundation. I’ve never failed to be affected by a Powell piece, never been unimpressed and always find something to remember. “Stuck together” is no exception, Powell reviving that age-old murder weapon of the pulps, quicksand, for swift plunge into revenge that will fasten around your memory.–M. C. Funk
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