At only a page each in length, Richard Mallinson’s elegantly structured short stories are a pithy fast fiction for a modern multi-media age. A rapid succession of carefully worked observations, the stories read like a dynamic anthology of life’s collisions and interactions; its projected plans and unexpected rotations. There is a great joy in the subverted (the interviewer becomes the interviewee; the private detective becomes the conspirator) as well as an interest in the open-ended. Possibility abounds for these are always tales of the present; the past is unclear and the future unwritten.
Adhering to the strict one-page format, the writing is marvelously precise: it is highly disciplined, but infinitely rich, conjuring the most unique and sharply observed characters with remarkably few words. If indeed, ‘we read fiction... in order to meet individuals’ as the character Tolson declares in Mallinson’s, Tolson’s Creed, then in this anthology we are introduced to a plethora of distinct personalities, rendered all the more compelling by their relentless unpredictability.