Summary Judgement:  With very few words, Full Moon Hill offers an airtight story that is as bio-politically disturbing as it is utterly compelling.

Written by: Matt Moore

Photo by: AP/Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic

This story has left absolutely no doubt in my mind that Matt Moore is a master of mood.  Full Moon Hill immediately establishes a literary space that is grim, driven by greed and powered by self-serving men.  The characters in this story show such a striking disregard for individual life that it evokes memories of OCP’s appropriation of Alex Murphy’s body in Robocop.  I dare say that is no small feat for seven hundred words of story.

Although Full Moon Hill can be classified as science fiction, there is no escaping the story’s macabre and supernatural elements.  At the same time, the story suffers from none of the weaknesses endemic to any of those genres.  In short, the narrative is absolutely airtight.  Without giving anything away, I can say that the story plays with a contemporary issue that many of us would rather ignore.  Using this issue proves brilliant on two points.  On the one hand, the story works in an area where Western civilization’s track record is utterly underwhelming.  Our collective inability to address this issue goes so far as to put readers in a place where they are invited to empathize with the questionable deeds of the central characters.  Rest assured, there will be people who see the idea presented in this story as common sense, rather than miscarriage of human decency.  For my time, that is powerful writing.

Were it not for the strength of Matt Moore’s language, there’s no way the story could convey so much in so few words.  The narrative’s prevailing tone pairs a sales pitch with dispassionate dialogue to eliminate the need for exposition or back story.  Although the details are a little sub-textual, the story gives readers everything they need to understand the characters’ motivations as well as what will likely unfold after the story finishes.

Ultimately, Full Moon Hill is the kind of tale that sets a benchmark between a good story and great literature.  A good story leaves me with a few talking points and nothing that merits serious complaint.  A great work of fiction keeps going in my mind long after I’ve finished with the text.  I anticipate that Full Moon Hill will be rattling around in my brain for quite some time.  Why not give it a read and see if it can take up residence in your cranium?

The full text of Full Moon Hill can be found at Lightning Flash Magazine.

Overall Score: +4