Tag Archives: novella reviews

Book Review: Three Space Opera Novellas from Tor.com Publishing

8 Nov

In the evolution and growth of the Novella program from Tor.com Publishing, an innovation that they have hit upon, as their lineup has grown and they have expanded their horizons, is the idea of thematic seasons. Instead of a welter of novellas of all kinds as they did in their initial phases, starting with 2017, the publisher has focused on themes. In Summer of 2017, the focus was on Space Opera.

I’ve previously discussed All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries, by Martha Wells, which kicked off the Summer of Space Opera. I’ve since gone on to read three of the four other novellas in the set. Continue reading

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Short and Sublime: Dream Houses by Genevieve Valentine

13 Feb

Genevieve Valentine’s Dream Houses, a suspenseful but thoughtful 2014 novella from WSFA Press & Wyrm Press, opens with protagonist Amadis awakening early from hibernation on the junky spaceship she’s a low-ranking crew member for — and the rest of the crew are dead in their hibernation pods. This makes her the de facto captain with no one for company except the ship’s creepy A.I. on a six year trip with no real communication options and not enough food.

The narrative dips back and forth in time over the course of Amadis’ journey, and the reader gets to know and mourn the small crew as well as Amadis’ fraught relationship with her brother. The particular run is a simple cargo transport to a far-off, barely habitable planetary outpost and thus attracts crew that are a little dodgy, or just can’t stop running — except for the captain Lai, who’s something of an enigma. Amadis and her brother love each other in a way that’s tainted with the traumatic horrors of their past and the resultant divergent goals of their present. Continue reading

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