By G. David Schwartz
Jay Leno has shown, and commentated any numbed of times, on the fact that a comedian who “trips” over lines will not win the laughter. The reason is that such strutting slows down the joke, gives the audience time to think about what went before.
James Thomas (in Flash Fiction authored with Tom Haguka (N.Y.W.W. Norton and Co, 1992) distinguishes “sudden fiction” from “flash fiction,” in terms of the letters shorter limit (‘by a full thousand word); 17OO dawn to 750)(pg 12).
But we are dealing with 1000 words which could be either Post modern fantasy, with which the includes sci-fi as a subcategory “must always be humorous. By definition it affirms the discount, and inherent otherness of the self, language, and the word,” (62, Olsen Circus).
Such short fictional treatments are pre-novelistic (or pretreatment of the suddenly here, saddest told, scrimmaging gone genie of fairy tales. As is obvious by the mere mention of fairy tales, flask fiction need not be humorous. Fantastic as folklore is not necessarily humorous.
George Gibian in the “Introduction” of The Man in The Black Coat: Russian Literature of the Absurd (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1987) calls Daniil Kharms frequently humorous tales “a working out of a simple hypothetical supposition: they are ‘what if’ stories.” (38).
Why does short science fiction tend to be humorist or funny or irony? Why does short-short fiction tend to make us laugh or smile?
We need not get bogged down in discussing and distinguishing theories of laughter. Whether we laugh because of incongruity (Koestler; Kant (177, Critique of Judgment. A psycho-emotional release (Freud, Jokes, Kant, Critique (179) of indenturing with the success of lived-power) over dull (inert) things.
Bergson – the so-called dulled, so encrusted is, laughable, not us) is all the same Both the incongruent analyses and the “not us” analysis deal with comparing and contrasting- the first with comparisons leading to contrasts, the second with contrasts leading to comparison and each rarely on psychic or emotions follow the train of thought which tiers out to be funny.
Wherever we decide to call pierces of fiction which are 1000-words or so will have metanarrative implications. “Short stories” suggest they are minuscule works (which is why Kafka and (some say) James Joyce, two of the best known collected of these pierces, characterize them with one of the following descriptions: “Sudden fiction’ suggests, perhaps that we were unprepared for their occurrence. In terms of science fiction (or any fiction for that matter) being too proponed denotes a trite storyline, a predictable plot or other narrative intercessions) but science fictions, unlike most if not all other forms are palpably unpredictable. After all, scene fiction deals with alien beings, space travel and other undersign yet interesting beings, while they must be coherent in terms of strutted, plot, scope and shape so they could be afforded to be more daring than mainstream fiction.
But while the term ‘sudden fiction’ suggests our unprepairdness, the term “flash fiction' sugars the rapidity, snap, crispness that is within the narrative itself.
If sudden fiction catches us unaware in the sense in which we are not prepared, flash fiction catches us unaware in the sense that we could not have been prepared.