This morning as I was reading some 'flash fiction' I was reminded of the BBC's Thought for the Day programme. At 7.45 am, from Monday to Saturday on BBC Radio 4, speakers from a variety of different religious faiths give a very brief talk which, they hope, will give the listeners something to think about for the rest of the day. I'm still thinking about these short flash fictions, and I thought I'd share them with you. They're not really romances because they're too short to show the development of a relationship, but they are romantic and optimistic in their endings. One could maybe be labelled 'paranormal' and the other possibly 'science fiction', but only in the very loosest of senses. The first, Goddess by Jon Hansen, involves, as you might expect from the title, a goddess. The second, A Clockwork Break by Shawn Scarber includes some clockwork (again, as might be expected from the title), but the object could not be built using current technology.
Sarah's been blogging about paranormal romances and whether, as Eric suggested, this sub-genre 'lends itself to allegorical reading, or at least metafictional reading'. I couldn't help but read Goddess this way. It seemed to ask questions about what it is that we fall in love with when we love someone and it seemed appropriate in the context of our recent discussion of how romances span the range from the mythic/paranormal to the mundane. All love may seem divine, but there's more than one kind of divinity, just as there's more than one kind of love, and which kind of love brings the most contentment to the individual?
A Clockwork Break also provides us with contrasts, this time between the mundane mechanical production line and the mechanical object created not to serve capitalism, but out of love and imagination. One seems to imprison, the other sets the characters free.
I hope you enjoy them too.
Oh, and they're both written by male authors. I didn't actually realise this until I read the mini-biographies at the end of each story but I thought I should mention it given that Sarah's discussion was also about heroes created by women writers.