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Showing posts tagged: novellas click to see more stuff tagged with novellas
Dec 6 2013 2:00pm

Michael Moorcock Elric at the End of TimeWelcome back to the Elric Reread, in which I revisit one of my all-time favorite fantasy series: Michael Moorcock’s Elric saga. You can find all the posts in the series here. Today’s post mostly discusses the novella “Elric at the End of Time,” originally published in 1981.

Outside of what we’ve treated as the core novels of the Elric saga, Michael Moorcock has also written a number of short stories and novellas about Elric. “The Last Enchantment,” written in 1962, was originally intended as the final Elric story, but was put aside in favor of the stories that eventually made up Stormbringer and wasn’t published until 1978. “A Portrait in Ivory” was written in 2007 for the Logorrhea anthology, inspired by the word “insouciant.” 2008 saw the publication of “Black Petals” in Weird Tales, and it was followed in 2010 by a sequel, “Red Pearls,” in the Swords and Dark Magic anthology.

[Read More]

Nov 21 2013 4:00pm

Sarah Pinborough The Language of Dying

In my review of Mayhem, published this past spring, I suggested that generations hence, people will revere this as the year of Sarah Pinborough. With six of her books published in the six months since, I think my argument still stands. There was Poison, Charm and Beauty too—a trio of neat novellas riffing on familiar fairy tales with such warmth and wit that Once Upon a Time seems shallow and artless in comparison—whilst the final volume of her first trilogy, The Forgotten Gods, will be re-released in North America in early December, as the previous books in said series have been throughout 2013.

It falls to The Language of Dying to bring the year of Sarah Pinborough to a conclusion, and the postscript it presents is both bittersweet and truly beautiful. It’s a life-affirming short novel about a tired old man waiting to die and the family of five that come together to bid him goodbye, and though I did not enjoy it at all, from first to last I admired The Language of Dying wholeheartedly.

[Read More]

Nov 8 2013 6:00pm

Still Life Tim Lebbon

Jenni and Marc have it all, almost. A relaxed relationship, equal parts attraction, affection and respect. They enjoy their youth to the full, and look forward to growing old together, too—but not before they’ve made a small army of babies to take care of them later.

And what better place to start a family than the idyllic little village they live in? It is “a beautiful, safe place, but sometimes beautiful and safe isn’t enough for Marc.” Sometimes, sadly, Jenni espies a look in his eyes that speaks of his “need for fear. [His] delight in danger.” So when one dark day the enemy emerge—whether from the heavens or the earth, even now no-one knows—he’s one of the first people to volunteer.

[Read More]

Nov 4 2013 12:30pm

Balfour and Meriwether

In recent years, the adventures of Balfour and Meriwether have been a rare yet redolent pleasure. Daniel Abraham’s dashing duo have appeared in only two tales to date—“The Emperor’s Vengeance” and “The Vampire of Kabul”—both of which I reread this week, the better to be ready to review what is certainly their best and most complex quest yet.

I really needn’t have—happily, no prior knowledge is required by The Incident of the Harrowmoor Dogs—though it was a pleasure to immerse myself again in said secret histories, and this novella’s revelatory resolution did prove particularly potent on the back of those stories.

[Read More]

Sep 19 2013 4:00pm

Book of Iron Elizabeth Bear This is a jewel of a book.

Elizabeth Bear is a versatile author as well as an award-winning one. Book of Iron, her new novella from Subterranean Press, is the latest addition to an extensive and varied bibliography. Set in the same world as Range of Ghosts, albeit many centuries after, it forms a prequel—of sorts—to another of Bear’s Subterranean Press novellas, the acclaimed Bone and Jewel Creatures. It’s also connected to one of her earlier short stories, “Abjure the Realm”

Bijou the Artificer is a Wizard of Messaline, the City of Jackals. Together with the Bey’s second son, Prince Salih, she and Kaulas the Necromancer solve problems of a magical nature. They’re adventurers in the prime of their lives and partnership.

[Read More]

Apr 9 2013 5:00pm

Book Review The Guiding Nose of Ulfant Banderoz Dan Simmons

Truly, few milieus stand the test of time in the way the wonderful, whimsical world of the Dying Earth has. It can be condensed to a simple premise—a planet about to expire—but exemplary execution, imagination and iteration made these stories something so much more; something elegant and indelible; something very, very special.

The many and various tales about this breathtaking place and its uniquely appealing people—and creatures—have enthralled generations, and inspired, in the erstwhile, innumerable imitations. Jack Vance basically remade the face of fantasy fiction in one fell swoop with these books, and as The Guiding Nose of Ulfänt Banderōz shows, there’s a proliferation of life left in the Dying Earth yet.

Then again, the world is still ending. And this time, those who use magic are being blamed... quite rightly, as it transpires!

Jan 23 2013 5:00pm

A Novella About “Nothing”: Tim Powers’ Salvage and DemolitionRichard Blanzac works in salvage and demolition—or at least, that’s what he tells Sophia Greenwald when he travels back in time to destroy her life’s work. Mere hours before that, he had read Greenwald’s manuscripts alongside Ginsburg and Kerouac, but the beats are the least of his worries when he arrives in 1957; Blanzac must stop a mythic organization from using Greenwald’s work to open up the proverbial wormhole that will suck all of mankind into non-existence. That’s right—not destruction or even death, but to the state of never having existed in the first place.

Tim Powers’ upcoming novella, Salvage and Demolition has all of the elements of an entertaining, rainy-afternoon read: time travel, evil religious sects, action, romance, and enough whiskey and cigarettes to give Mad Men a run for its money. It lacks a heap of essential development, though, so if you’re looking for plot and character growth, you’d best go elsewhere for your two hours of reading. For hijinks and entertainment, however, do read on.

[Read more]

Feb 16 2012 10:00am

Strata by Bradley Beaulieu and Stephen GaskellIn the 22nd century, resource depletion and Earth’s ever-increasing energy demands have led humanity to a brand new frontier: huge platforms circle the Sun and draw energy directly from its surface. In the past, corporations offered enticing contracts that included free transfer to the platforms in order to motivate workers to join the solar workforce and leave an often dire existence on Earth, but what they neglected to mention was carefully hidden in the fine print: transfer back to Earth is insanely expensive and not included. The result is a class of indentured servants, toiling away in unpleasant and dangerous conditions, trying to earn passage back to Earth while their corporate masters grow ever richer.

[Have you never heard a way to find the sun?]

Jul 22 2011 3:12pm

The 2011 Hugo Awards Nominees for Best NovellaNovellas! Who doesn’t love them? Don’t get me wrong, I love short stories (probably more than any other format, actually) and read a fair share of novelettes, but a novella is always something special. To me, a novelette feels like a short story that’s been given a bit more room to breathe, whereas a novella feels like a novel in miniature: it has just enough space to develop plot and characters fully without taking over your entire backyard. The novella is, in Parks and Recreation terms, the Li’l Sebastian of the literary world.

Here’s a brief look at the five novellas on this year’s Hugo Awards ballot.

[On to the stories...]

Jan 12 2011 4:05pm

Eligible content for the Hugo and Nebula AwardsNominations are open for both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, and wouldn't you know it, had the honor of publishing some eligible works in 2010!

The Hugo and Nebula Awards are presented each year to outstanding works of science fiction, fantasy, horror, or related fiction genre published during the previous year.

Hugo winners are selected by the members of Worldcon. This year’s convention is Renovation, in Reno, NV, but members from last year are also eligible to nominate; you need to buy at least a supporting membership for Renovation by January 31 in order to nominate.

The Hugo nominations period is open through Saturday, March 26th, 2011. The ballot is here, and you may nominate up to five works in each category.

The Nebula Awards are voted on by active members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA for short). Nebula nominations are open through Tuesday, February 15, and the form is here; you must be a SFWA member, and logged in, to nominate.

[See our eligible novelettes, short stories, graphic stories, and editors below the fold]

Aug 7 2009 10:32am

Just out from Subterranean Press are two steampunk novellas, James P. Blaylock’s The Ebb Tide and Kage Baker’s The Women of Nell Gwynne’s. Both take place in Victorian England. Both have great illustrations from J.K. Potter. In both stories the protagonists are trying to keep anti-gravity devices from the hands of evildoers. One is pretty good; the other is really good.

James Blaylock’s The Ebb Tide reprises his hero, Langdon St. Ives, adventurer, scientist and member of the Explorers Club, and his narrator, Jack Owlesby, who is really the star of the show. St. Ives first appeared in “The Ape-Box Affair” in 1977, and, thus, Blaylock can be considered one of the founding fathers of the steampunk movement in fantasy and science fiction. Although there have been several other St. Ives stories, The Ebb Tide is the first new adventure in nearly 20 years.

The tale begins as Owlesby, St. Ives and their friend Tubby Frobisher await dinner at their favorite pub, The Half Toad. An acquaintance comes in with a copy of Merton’s Catalogue of Rarities. Listed for the reasonable price of two pounds six is a “hand-dawn map of a small area of the Morecambe Sands, the location not identified.” The mention of a small letter K followed by a figure-eight drawing of a cuttlefish leads the trio to suspect that this may be the long-missing map fashioned by Bill “Cuttle” Kraken which may lead to one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the age.

Dinner is forgotten as the three adventurers begin a quest that will take them to the an underground laboratory containing a Nautilus-like submarine and an amazing diving bell apparently created by the nefarious Dr. Hidalgo Frosticos.

[More about The Ebb Tide and The Women of Nell Gwynne’s after the break...]

Jul 3 2009 10:24am

A couple of weeks ago it was announced that Joe Hill’s Gunpowder is on the short list for the British Fantasy Award.  If there is any justice, this great science fiction novella will win, and other awards will follow from this side of the pond.

I like novellas best. I have friends who just love to sit down with big, fat novels and who become addicted to series. I have other friends who love short stories, who say they just don’t have time to devote to a “whole book.” Of course, I have other friends (curse them) who don’t read at all. I read short stories and big books and even, occasionally, series, but I like novellas best.

For me, 20,000-25,000 words is just the right length for a science fiction or fantasy story, long enough for the author to establish a plot and develop a charismatic character, or even several, but short enough that I haven’t forgotten those characters’ names as I approach the climax. I can usually read the tale in one sitting, so I don’t let the vicissitudes of life get in the way. And I know that, when I reach the end, I won’t be surprised to discover that I need to read the next volume to find out what happens to those characters.

Unfortunately, it seems most major publishers don’t agree with me. And, in these economic times, many book buyers are even more concerned with the cost per page than the quality of what they read, so the fiscal reality is that not many novellas see print, except those published by (all gods bless them) small presses.

[Just a bit about Gunpowder below the fold...]