Damon L. Wakes
Published August 9th 2012 by Smashwords
Rating: Four stars
OCR is Not the Only Font is a collection of 31 very short stories, written over the course of 31 days for Flash Fiction Month. The mission? Write a story every day ranging from 55 to 1000 words. The result? A fast-paced romp of wacky hijinks where robots are romantics and minotaurs are oppressed. Intrigued? You should be.
Okay, okay, I exaggerated a little bit. It’s not all madcap-mayhem. Some of the stories are, actually, serious. In fact, if you look at the graphs at the end of the book (and, yes, I did skip to the end and read those first), you’ll see the pie chart indicating that about 1/4 of the stories are of a more serious nature. So, it’s 3/4 wacky hijinks. Not bad, right?
Not bad if you like silly stories, which I do. Some are clever with little twists that make you smile. Others are rather corny, taking on the quality of a joke that makes you groan while waiting to hear the “ba-dum-tish” piping from your computer (or e-reader, or whatever you use). But I love to laugh, so even these found a way into my heart and I admire the author’s moxie in not only writing such things down, but also in sharing them with the public in all their cheesy glory.
There are, of course, the more serious stories. Though these are good, it was the fun, quirky tales that drew me into the book. At first I thought it was the nature of flash fiction that lent itself well to silliness, but after further consideration, I don’t think that’s the case. There’s something unapologetic about these stories, exhibiting the act of writing for the simple joy of it. Considering the circumstances under which they were written, I think that makes sense. Who could manage to write a story every day for a month, if one didn’t love to write?
The writing itself, though rough in spots, was quite good, and any bumps in technique were made up for in heart. The brevity of the stories provides for an easy read, creating a “just one more” craving, like intellectual potato chips. It’s fun, it’s whimsical, and it’s worth picking up. After all, where else can you find stories about a drunken Superman or revolutionary zombies, all in one spot?