SO. I’ve actually seen a lot of discussion about novellas and short stories recently, and there seems to be a hung jury on the subject. Personally . . . I love ’em.
Sometimes . . .
I don’t like to read short stories for the sake of reading short stories, but as an addition to a beloved series? I will read that sucker every, single time. There are also a handful of authors that anything they write, I will read—standalone short stories, novellas, serials, POVs, imaginary twitter conversations, ANYTHING.
But mostly when I read a novella/short story, it’s of the in-between-books variety, and I go into it with certain expectations:
- It’s relevant.
- It’s new information, not just a rehash of things I already know.
- It’s written thoughtfully, not just squeezed out in an attempt to make more money.
I’m rarely disappointed on this front, but when I am . . . Every reader has a relationship with the authors they read. Even if they never meet them. And relationships are built on trust. If an author betrays my trust too many times, just like in any other relationship, I lose respect for them, and who wants to read the books of a person you don’t respect? Not me.
As much as I love getting BONUS stories (b/c that’s really what novellas/short stories are), I have a love/hate relationship with anthologies. This isn’t as much of a problem as it used to be, b/c more and more frequently, novellas/short stories are being sold individually. AND as they become more popular, and series have several bonus stories, they are getting bundled together and printed as whole books.<——I LOVE this.
Anthologies on the other hand . . . as I previously mentioned, there are certain authors that I have to read whatever they write, no matter what. When one of them writes a novella or short story, and the only way to read it is to buy the over-priced anthology it’s a part of . . . I get annoyed. I get annoyed, b/c I have to spend MORE money (than an entire book by the author usually costs) on a book that I only want to read a very small part of. Sometimes I get lucky, and a single anthology will include multiple MUST-read authors. When that happens, I don’t mind as much. But that is a rare occurrence, so mostly I hate anthologies.
A couple anthologies I don’t hate are:
And while the novellas/short stories-bundled-into-a-book thing is currently more of a YA phenomenon, several of my favorite adult Urban Fantasy authors have done that too:
Or they have several:
Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock novellas/short stories aren’t available in paperback, but you can still get them bundled together in an ebook:
There are also some fabulous options on the YA front.
Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux series is highly popular, but a lot of readers who aren’t as into novellas/short stories overlook:
which is a shame b/c at 165 pages, it’s pretty close to novel-length, and a wholly complete story by itself. If you’re a Lux fan, I cannot recommend Shadows (Lux 0.5) enough.
A couple of my favorite YA novella/short story bundles are:
There are also a TON of novellas/short stories available for FREE.
From Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy:
From Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles:
And a LOT of my favorite adult Urban Fantasy authors also post FREE fiction on their websites: