Short Story: Street Signs in Sarajevo

To almost all pedestrians, the cobblestone streets were most charming in the lamplight of evening. They were reminiscent of grander cities, or of grander times for the once triumphant city of Sarajevo. But, for Ethan, the darkness could not be illuminated by wane streetlights, and searching for street names and signs of the bus terminal … Continue reading Short Story: Street Signs in Sarajevo

A Moment of Reflection, with David Foster Wallace

Four of us sit on the back stoop of our cabin, at the precipice between forest and not, with the dim glow of the porch light illuminating only half faces. David Foster Wallace’s first novel, The Broom of the System, lays open in front of us. The cover has been stripped from its spine—exchanged between … Continue reading A Moment of Reflection, with David Foster Wallace

Lessons on the Power of Concision from Yasunari Kawabata

In judging this year’s flash fiction contest entries, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Yasunari Kawabata, a master of the form. Yasunari Kawabata was a Japanese writer who, in 1968, became the first Japanese author to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. While he is likely better known for his novels, such as Snow … Continue reading Lessons on the Power of Concision from Yasunari Kawabata

On Reading What You Want To and What You Don’t

I often find myself wondering why I’ve come to enjoy the things that I do. The literature that I prefer to consume occasionally has acknowledgeable intellectual or literary merit, but more often than not, it is not “capital L” literature. It’s very lowercase L. It probably has elves in it. Or spaceships. And I’m not … Continue reading On Reading What You Want To and What You Don’t

Essay: Sci-Fi and the Trick to World Building in Creative Fiction

Sci-Fi. An abbreviation that has the power to invoke utter joy or disgust given the beholder of the topic. I personally used to be one of the blind that discredited this genre as gimmicky and meritless. Though I appreciated the concepts and imagination, I never considered anything even faintly classified as science fiction to be … Continue reading Essay: Sci-Fi and the Trick to World Building in Creative Fiction

Issue 35 and Sudden Fiction Contest Winners!

The staff of the Berkeley Fiction Review is pleased to announce the winners of our 19th Annual Sudden Fiction Contest! Their work is featured in the current issue of the Berkeley Fiction Review. Visit our Current Issue page to see a glimpse of Issue 35, or visit our Order page to purchase your own copy today! First Place: … Continue reading Issue 35 and Sudden Fiction Contest Winners!