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In A Flash 2020

by Christopher J. Burke

In a Flash 2020 Anthology
ISBN: 978-1949691436
Pages: 100

Twenty stories of fantasy, science fiction, pirates, horror, spies, and kindergarten noir. From the space-based lothario to the diminutive thief each looking for their next score, and from the jilted romantic traveling through time to the kingdom refugee whose day never ends, there's something for everyone In A Flash!


Publisher: eSpec Books
Imprint: eSpec Books
Cover Artists:
Tropes: Bad Robot, Band of Misfits, Becoming a Monster, Clones, Cross-Species Friendships, Dying World, FTL, Post-Apocalyptic, Time Travel


The captain studied the map in his quarters as the sloop rocked gently in the warm waters off the Spanish Main. In the back corner, a young lad of barely a dozen years sat at the writing desk, surrounded by books. Captain Edward Coyle turned to leave when the boy called out, “Uncle!”

Coyle looked back and glared.

“I mean, ‘Captain’. Uncle. Sir.”

He nodded. “What now, William?”

The boy closed his book, with a finger holding the page, smiling mischievously. “Why are goats popular with pirates all across the seas?”

Not a serious question, the Captain could tell. He didn’t venture a response though he knew what his men would say after a few fingers of rum. And also what some might actually do with a goat after a skinful, given their less-than-reputable companions at their last port.

He allowed the barest hint of a smile. “You’re the one with the studies, lad. You tell me.”


“Because,” William grinned, “in Tortuga they can sell goats for a ‘buck an ear’ but in Algiers, they buy ’em for their ‘coarse hairs’!”

Crossing to the desk, he took the book from the boy, and flipped through its pages. “Lad, you worry about your studies, and let the crew worry about the goats.”


About the Author

Christopher J. Burke is a writer, math teacher and webcomic creator living in Brooklyn, where he was born and raised. (He walked across the Brooklyn Bridge before it got crowded.)

He's loved the idea of writing since an early age, and finally broke through with the story "Don't Kill the Messenger", published in the Steve Jackson Games house magazine Autoduel Quarterly. This led to creating a fiction fanzine, Driving Tigers Quarterly, and ultimately co-writing GURPS Autoduel, 2nd Edition.

After switching careers and raising a family, he started writing again, mostly turning out flash fiction and short stories, in addition to a webcomic that was started on a lark but has run for over a decade.

His geeky comic, (x, why?), about the lives of teachers, students and living math concepts, can be found on his blog: