My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

May 2

The 12 Burning Wheels

Category: Opinions

So, I recently read The 12 Burning Wheels, a collection of twelve “micro stories” by Cesar Torres. 12 Burning Wheels is sort of a concept book, not a typical collection of short stories. It’s a book that started as a not-so-simple simple challenge. Torres challenged himself to write twelve stories, stories around a thousand words each, in twelve days. The result of this personal challenge ended up being a rather solid collection of micro fiction.

The 12 Burning Wheels equates to eighty-two pages of engaging fiction. I consider it a collection of magic realism, stories in which people drive cars, slurp Big Gulps, ride L trains, then pop into local pawn shops to pick up magical scrying devices. Stories in which magicians are dubbed “aura technologists” and featured in People Magazine. Stories in which an iPhone app can interpret dreams and foretell one’s future. Magic is a part of every-day life in these stories, it’s just a fact. I always love fiction in which typical human experience is infused with magic, where working love potions can be purchased alongside Mountain Dew. The 12 Burning Wheels tells these sorts of stories.

A few of the tales in The 12 Burning Wheels don’t feel like standalone pieces of micro fiction, they’re more like reading excerpts from much larger pieces of work. I found their abrupt endings to be a little jarring. I’m of the thought that micro fiction or flash fiction, no matter how short, should still tell a complete story. I felt this in only three of Torres’ twelve stories, and even so, I enjoyed the three stories quite a lot. Tores’ prose are lush and delightful to read, 12 Burning Wheels is a collection I definitely recommend.

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