Next SFF Author: Gena Showalter
Previous SFF Author: Martin L. Shoemaker

Series: Short Fiction


testing

The Way Home: Beagle remains one of our most elegant of fantasists

The Way Home by Peter S. Beagle

This is a glorious month for Peter S. Beagle fans, with The Way Home (2023) offering up two novellas set in the same world as The Last Unicorn, and not one but two retrospective collections of stories: The Essential Peter S. Beagle: Volumes I and II. Even better, one of those two novellas is brand new and serves to show that Beagle remains one of our most elegant of fantasists.


Read More




testing

All the Traps of Earth: 9 expertly told stories from a sci-fi grand master

All the Traps of Earth by Clifford D. Simak

Looking back, it strikes me with some surprise that, up until very recently, I had not read any of sci-fi Grand Master Clifford D. Simak’s shorter work in over 40 years. Oh, I had read any number of the author’s novels during those four decades, but since reading his 1968 collection So Bright the Vision back in 1981, none of his work of a shorter length. Coming to my rescue in this regard was the Wisconsin-born writer’s All the Traps of Earth,


Read More




testing

Crashing Suns: Five adventures of the Interstellar Patrol

Crashing Suns by Edmond Hamilton

In his serialized novel of 1930 entitled The Universe Wreckers, which originally appeared in the pages of Amazing Stories magazine, Ohio-born author Edmond Hamilton gave his readers a tale concerning the pancake-shaped residents of Neptune who were trying to increase the spin rate of our sun for their own nefarious purposes. But this was hardly the first time that Hamilton had presented his audience with a gaggle of bizarrely shaped aliens who were weaponizing the celestial bodies;


Read More




testing

Rose/House: Hits the sweet spot

Rose/House by Arkady Martine

As I’ve noted multiple times, I often struggle with the betwixt and between nature of the novella. But Arkady Martine’s newest, Rose/House hit the sweet spot for me with its unique mash-up of a classic clinical locked-room murder mystery and a lyrical fever dream exploration of art and identity and narrative all held within just the right size container. I was variously enthralled, amused, and bemused and pretty much loved this richly layered story start to finish with just a few blips here and there.


Read More




testing

Untethered Sky: Enjoyable but doesn’t reach its full potential

Untethered Sky by Fonda Lee

Untethered Sky
is a mostly enjoyable fantasy novella by Fonda Lee, but one whose brevity I felt prevented it from reaching its full emotive potential. This is, however, something I often feel upon reading novellas (though not always as per my 5-star review of The Lies of the Ajungo), so readers of this review should keep that in mind. Some of us, it appears, are just generally not built for the form, though exceptions can always break through.


Read More




testing

White Cat, Black Dog: Link bats nearly a thousand

White Cat, Black Dog by Kelly Link

The vast majority of story collections by their nature vary in relative strength from piece to piece. I’m always happy when I fully enjoy more than half of the stories and thrilled if that hits three-quarters. Well, there are seven stories total in White Cat, Black Dog (2023), Kelly Link’s newest collection in which she brings her trademark style to a series of retold fairy tales, and of the seven I only disliked one, while the others ranged from really good to great.


Read More




testing

Tread of Angels: Exquisite setting, disappointing story

Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse

The setting in Rebecca Roanhorse’s 2022 novella Tread of Angels is eerie and vivid, like a strange dream, both ethereal and concretely described. The conceit of this world is wonderful and I would like to read more stories set here. This particular one was disappointing, with fairly flat characters acting out a familiar plot.

Long ago, the battle of the rebel angels against heaven actually took place. In the setting of the story, Lucifer’s great general Abaddon was vanquished and fell to earth.


Read More




testing

Yellow Jessamine: A dark, disturbing treat

Yellow Jessamine by Caitlin Starling

Having thoroughly enjoyed Caitlin Starling’s 2019 novel The Luminous Dead, I was very happy to learn that I wouldn’t have to wait long to read more of her work.

Yellow Jessamine (2020), Starling’s new novella, is completely different from The Luminous Dead but similarly features creepy atmosphere, a background of family trauma, and relationships filled with dysfunctional tension and longing.

Evelyn Perdanu is a wealthy woman in the city of Delphinium,


Read More




testing

Arch-Conspirator: Roth pretty much nails it

Arch-Conspirator by Veronica Roth

Arch-Conspirator (2023), by Veronica Roth, is a tautly written reimagining of Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone. While some will probably wish for a bit more world-building detail and deeper development of some themes, fans of the novella form will find a lot to like here.

Set in a post-apocalyptic, far-future refuge where the land outside the story’s locale is uninhabitable, it’s a world whose population rests on a knife’s edge of survival and so has chosen to lessen the chance of extinction by mandating births (“It didn’t matter if a person wanted a child or not … If they were viable … they were required to carry a child,


Read More




testing

The Secret Skin: So many scares!

The Secret Skin by Wendy N. Wagner

There are so many scary things in Wendy N. Wagner’s short 2021 novella, The Secret Skin. There is the nasty housekeeper who gives the nasty housekeeper in Rebecca a run for her money. There is the leering, unpleasant overseer of the Vogel family sawmill. There is Abigail, a deeply disturbed little girl who may be telekinetic. There is the “community meeting” of the white men in the nearby town of Coos Bay, Oregon, and their white robes and hoods.


Read More




Next SFF Author: Gena Showalter
Previous SFF Author: Martin L. Shoemaker

We have reviewed 8327 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

Subscribe to all posts:

Get notified about Giveaways:

Support FanLit

Want to help us defray the cost of domains, hosting, software, and postage for giveaways? Donate here:


You can support FanLit (for free) by using these links when you shop at Amazon:

US          UK         CANADA

Or, in the US, simply click the book covers we show. We receive referral fees for all purchases (not just books). This has no impact on the price and we can't see what you buy. This is how we pay for hosting and postage for our GIVEAWAYS. Thank you for your support!
Try Audible for Free

Recent Discussion:

  1. Marion Deeds
  2. Avatar
  3. Marion Deeds
  4. Avatar
July 2024
M T W T F S S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031