I came across Dan Malikin on twitter. I'd tagged a link to some nonsense I'd written myself with #FlashFiction. Dan gave it a retweet. I found Dan had a book on Amazon. Since I live outside the UK I couldn't download the Kindle version. I contacted Dan and he sent me a copy via e-mail. I'm glad he did.
Smiling Exercises by Dan Malakin consists of 30 small but perfectly formed pieces of flash-fiction. I am put in mind of some of Aliyah Whiteley’s terrific work as Dan manages to imbue the truly bizarre with just enough of the mundane to make his tales entirely believable. The collection kicks off with “Plugs” - a tale of incompatibility displaced and discovered - and passes through some truly memorable writing with an economy of language which is refreshing to see. I found “Mirror” particularly intriguing, but I expect everyone will find their own favourite.
Several of the stories in this collection won prizes or were singled out for special mention in competitions, Dan’s work has been short-listed twice for the Bridport Prize.
At the end of the book there are some chapters from Dan’s novel in progress, The Vaccine Slaves, which whetted my own appetite for the day when it is published.
In the ten years he’s been writing seriously, he’s had over a hundred stories published, and been shortlisted twice for both the Bridport Prize and science fiction’s Aeon Award. He is also an Editor at The Forge Literary Magazine.
In 2013, he completed an MA in Creative Writing at Brunel University, and since then has been working on a novel, a thriller called The Vaccine Slaves.
You can download Smiling Exercises from Amazon here
Dan's web-site is here
* Much in Little