Friday Favorite Five: Novellas

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For previous posts and future FFF topics check out my Friday Favorite Five page here.

Favorite Five Novellas

Recently in the last few years the novella has been making a come back and I have to say, I’m really excited for its rising popularity. Novellas are great, especially if you’re looking to take a break from the huge epic tomes so prevalent in the fantasy genre. Tor.com publishing has been great for breathing new life into the novella, in particular.

  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

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I love this story, it’s been my favorite of the Wayward Children series so far. It’s just so atmospheric and I love the horror elements. It’s a great read for Halloween if you haven’t read it yet!

 

 

 

 

  • All Systems Red by Martha Wells

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I recently fell in love with The Murderbot Diaries and this is where it all starts. If you like science fiction stories you can relate to, look no further than Murderbot.

 

 

 

 

  • The Jewel and Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde

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This was such a lovely fantasy short from Fran Wilde. The magic system is interesting, using jewel based magic, but it’s really the story of these two characters and what becomes a moment in the history of this world.

 

 

 

 

  • The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

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There are a ton of mixed thoughts on this one as some fans wanted more of the Kingkiller type story from Rothfuss here, but what he wrote instead was absolutely beautiful and touching. As someone with anxiety and depression, I related to this story in such a personal way.

 

 

 

  • The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang

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Okay, this is a bit of a cheat because I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve heard so many great things, I’m sure I will love it. I do have a copy in my tbr, just need to find the time to squeeze it in!

 

 

 

 

Those are my picks! Have you read any of these? What are some of your favorite novellas? Thoughts on novellas in general? Leave me a note in the comments or feel free to link up with your own post, I’d love to hear from you!

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19 thoughts on “Friday Favorite Five: Novellas

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  1. I love novellas too, because, short! Lol. I adore The Wayward Children series and this is also my favorite so far. But they are all amazingly creative!

  2. You know I have to comment on this post, Lisa. This won’t be as in-depth as yours, of course, but I did, somehow, manage to pare down the list of novellas I love to a mere five.

    Call Me Joe (Poul Anderson) — The parts of Avatar (the movie, not the anime) that weren’t cribbed from Dances With Wolves were snipped out of this highly influential novella. Ignore the science (full of blown tubes and wires) and focus on the story. It’s a great one.

    At the Mountains of Madness (HP Lovecraft) — “The Call of Cthulhu” might have launched one of the most popular shared worlds in modern literary history, but this story is perhaps the best of the Mythos stories that Lovecraft wrote. It was a thematic inspiration for both John Carpenter’s The Thing and Ridley Scott’s Alien. The sense of inevitable creeping doom as the Miskatonic University team explores deeper and further into the ancient Antarctic ruins is thick as ectoplasmic slime by the end.

    The Willows (Algernon Blackwood) — This story about a trip into the shifting lands of the Danube is unsettling for just about any reader, but try reading it after coming off of a two-week hike in northern Georgia and eastern Tennessee, when the days of being convinced that your maps and even your memory doesn’t match what you see around you. No writer has captured the sense of claustrophobia, the sense of being in waters much deeper than what you’re prepared for, that weeks in the wilderness can cause in even a skilled and experienced hiker.

    Lean Times in Lankhmar (Fritz Leiber) — There may be more influential Sword and Sorcery novellas I could have put on this list, but this is by far the most fun of the bunch. This story is both a gentle parody of S&S fiction and a perfect example of the same. I’m not sure how many times I’ve read this but I’m probably going to read it again after I finish this article.

    Coraline (Neil Gaiman) — I was tempted to create one entry for “Coraline/ Ocean at the End of the Lane/ Graveyard Book” but I decided to just pick one. Plus, The Graveyard Book edges into short novel territory. Coraline can be read in one nail-biting sitting, and should be. The movie is a pretty good adaptation, but the story is perfectly paced, with nary a stray word, and is creepy in its own distinct way.

    Alright, and now I’m off to add the books you reviewed. I’ve only heard of one of them, and the rest look amazing, especially the Seanan McGuire and Fran Wilde books. At least novellas don’t put my TBR pile at risk of toppling over.

    1. I was gonna put Ocean on here but after looking I don’t know if it’s officially a novella because the awards it was nominated for were all in novel categories.
      Yes, one of the joys of novellas is the length! I highly recommend this particular Seanan McGuire novella. You don’t need to read the first in the series, you can start with this one.

      1. Novelette, novella, and short novel are essentially marketing titles, anyway. Edgar Allan Poe said that the ideal story can be consumed in one sitting; I’d say that novelettes are at the longer end of that standard, novellas require you to get up and get another cup of tea, and perhaps visit the bathroom, and a short novel will either take you all day, or require you to call in to work the next day to finish it.

        I do wish Mr Gaiman would publish more novellas. I’ll read anything he wrote under 150 pages or so.

  3. I used to not be a fan of novellas, but they’ve really started to grow on me. They really do provide a nice break from longer books or if life is too hectic. I really enjoyed A Slow Regard for Silent Things as well, though I understand why it has mixed opinions. I really need to continue on with the Wayward Children books. Nice list!

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