Five novellas to help you fall in love with shorter books

Last Updated on September 24, 2020

When the incredibly popular review, article, and free short story site announced they would be publishing novellas, I honestly had a bit of a publishing-business-gasm. What an absolute masterstroke of strategy to use the sheer weight of web traffic and established short story relationships they had to start a publishing business. And, what another excellent thought to look at the industry, realise that there is a market for shorter works that are still longer than short stories, in an increasingly time-starved market, and just go for it.

Needless to say, the team and I are big fans of, and you’ll find a stack of reviews of their novellas on this site. Five of our favourites, which we highly recommend you check out, are listed below.

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

River of Teeth, by Sarah Gailey

Just bloody excellent. Five stars. The very fucking cool alternate history world; the magnificent and engaging characters; and the thoroughly enjoyable plot—this novella has it all and more. I can’t recommend it highly enough and I can’t wait to read more Sarah Gailey.

Read the rest of Adrian’s review here.

A Song for No Man’s Land by Andy Remic

Andy Remic has hit that feeling of horror–much like we see in All Quiet on the Western Front–with a dark fantasy angle that felt smooth and enjoyable in his novella. Robert Jones joins the war to avoid a drinking debt and clean up. His past–not his financial past, but his childhood run in with some fantastical beasts in the Devil Wood–has chased him into the biggest slaughter the world has ever lay witness to.

Read the rest of Adrian’s review here.

The Builders by Daniel Polansky

One of the best pieces of fiction I’ve read in 2017, the Builders is a masterclass in character and story and world. Betrayal, tough as all hell characters, a little flavouring of grit and a glut of unsavoury characters working towards an unsavoury goal–this has everything I and any GdM fan could want.

Read the rest of Adrian’s review here.

The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht

The Monster of Elendhaven is a story rich enough for a full-length novel yet beautiful enough for a poem – a strange, grim, and mesmerizing tale that will leave you wanting to read it again immediately to find out what you missed, which is exactly what I did, and it was even better the second time.

Read the rest of malrubius’ review here.

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water is a brilliant novella. It provides all the entertainment, action, surprises, and hilarity one could want from 33,000 words, but in the end, it makes you think about people, their lives, their relationships, their motivations, and their futures. I most highly recommend this book to discerning readers of grim fantasy as well as to ‘literary’-type folks who enjoy books like Alix E. Harrow’s also-brilliant The Ten Thousand Days of January. And even though there are so many more new books to review, I think I’m going to have to dive into Zen Cho’s back catalogue for a bit first.

Read the rest of malrubius’ review here.

Check out more reviews of novellas

You can check out more reviews of novellas, here.

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Adrian Collins

Adrian Collins

Adrian Collins runs Grimdark Magazine and loves anything to do with telling darker stories. Doesn't matter the format, or when it was published or produced--just give him a grim story told in a dark world by a morally grey protagonist and this bloke's in his happy place. Add in a barrel aged stout to sip on after a cheeky body surf under the Australian sun, and that's his heaven.