Small Magic: Collected Short Stories

Rated 4.14/5 based on 8 reviews
"Polson is a master of the flash fiction form..." - A Story a Day Keeps the Boredom Away

Small Magic collects 73 stories, quick jabs of less than one-thousand words each which draw blood. Love, horror, fantasy, crime, magical realism, science fiction... Small Magic has a little bit of everything. More

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Words: 35,360
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465815323
About Aaron Polson

Aaron Polson lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife, half dozen children, and the first half of the Benjamin/Franklin dog duo. Aaron's stories have been reprinted in The Best of Every Day Fiction 2009 and 2010, listed as a recommended read by Tangent Online, received honorable mention in the storySouth Million Writers Award and Ellen Datlow's Best Horror of the Year. Aaron prefers ketchup with his beans and enjoys musical theater. You can visit him online at

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Review by: Deb Novack on Dec. 09, 2011 :
This is the first flash fiction I have ever read, I will say it was a little frustrating at first but I got into it. I have read other books by Aaron Polson and this was written as well as all the others. I would of course continue reading his work
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Katy Sozaeva on Dec. 02, 2011 :
Aaron Polson again brings his stories to vivid life by using only the bare bones to describe them - these little flash fiction gems are really amazing. Most if not all of the stories are quite dark - some range into horror, but most are, at the least, dark fantasy or dark magical reality. If you are looking for something to be able to read in small snippets in between other tasks, this is the book for you!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: R Shelton on Nov. 21, 2011 :
I'm a new fan of short stories and this book had some good ones inside of it. Some of the stories a little odd, but they all made me want to read more of the book. Overall, a great collection.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Gavin Lipscombe on Nov. 19, 2011 :
This was my first attempt at reading flash fiction and I am so frustrated!

Aaron has so much potential as a writer, his style and the some of the ideas in this work are really good. But, I just felt left out to dry in all of the stories. They felt like, very short, passages from a longer work leaving me wanting more but then so let down that the story just stopped, or it seemed to start mid story.

If you enjoy reading small parts of stories then it's worth a try!

The potential seen in the writing means I will probably try some of his other work.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: melissa on Nov. 13, 2011 :
I won this book on LibraryThing and i'm rather glad i did. I would have never heard of such a wonderful author otherwise. "Small Magic: Collected Short Stories" is a collection of stories that ranged from downright funny, to slice of life, and then sometimes a little disturbing. I wil say that oddly enough chapter 61 stuck in my head the most. Whenever my computer is not working right i'd like nothing more to do what the man does in this chapter and say i won "this time". Then laugh a little crazily.

This book is not for younger audiences and not for those who like "serious" stories. I would recommend it to those who like a good crazy story which makes you think. Oddly enough as it sounds.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Anne Sweeney on Nov. 12, 2011 : (no rating)
Flash fiction and ultra-short stories are two themes I have not tried before. Since getting this collection in a giveaway, I am sure to read more stories of the same. I enjoyed the quick short stories and actually picked up a few pointers on "howtos." The first story,"How to burn a house" had me cracking up with laughter. Told tongue in cheek, I enjoyed the deadpan humor. Will be looking forward to more from this author.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: J. H. Sked on Oct. 29, 2011 :
I'll hold my hands up to never previously being a fan of flash fiction. The ultra-short story tended to leave me more frustrated than fulfilled; like having someone wave a bit of your favourite treat under your nose and then yank it away from you.

And then I got this.

Every now and then you come across writing that makes you turn green with envy, simply because you never wrote it.
This little book of magic is one of those. From the funny to the outright disturbing, not a single one of these pieces of flash fiction is boring. Some of them are pure delight. Most of them are not for the squeamish, and the ability to make me flinch in the space of a paragraph is pretty impressive.

The best part of all, though, is the sense that Aaron Polson just had an absolute blast writing these; even the darkest of them have the overtone of the author rattling them out with one major grin on his face.

I still prefer longer fiction, but missing out on these would have been my distinct loss; I'll be hunting down more from this author.

Recommended for : horror fans and short commutes.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Doskoi Panda on Oct. 27, 2011 :
Aaron Polson's flash fiction collection, Small Magic, is composed of brilliant, bite sized, dark short stories, ranging from slightly-off-kilter to downright macabre. The stories do not rely on shock tactics for their effectiveness; instead, the writing is subtle, cleverly and tightly written, all the more impressive considering the length of the stories. He uses touches of black humour and little nudges to prick up the reader's senses to the realisation that something is ever so slightly out of place. A few of the stories revolve around words or writing; a guide to writing horror fiction is deliciously tongue in cheek, while in another, the words themselves take action. Others revolve around normal daily occurrences that veer towards the hideously wrong, or are focused on children's interactions. All in all, a wonderful collection of weird tales covering a wide variety of themes.

Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys well written short, dark fiction.

Review copy supplied by the author as part of LibraryThing's Member Giveaway program.
Overall rating: 5 stars
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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