12 cert, Myriad Editions, iPad (also iPhone, iPod Touch) ***
Stephen King once said that “if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time to write”. That was before the advent of Quick Fictions, a nifty new app that’s regularly updated with morsels of prose no longer than 300 words. As it happens, it’s an optimal length for a short story: There’s enough room for engaging characters and narrative, and you can read one in a queue, waiting for a kettle to boil or, if you’re a bad person, while a friend is telling you an anecdote. The app is a brainchild of Prof Nicholas Royle and collects material from mostly unknown authors. The standard is generally high, and members of the public are encouraged to submit their own stories for consideration. The layout is a little sparse, though. For example, why not have genre categories, or a public vote on the most popular stories? But, minor quibbles aside, this is a cheap and appealing app.