Recommendations – Best Novelette

Post your suggestions for Best Novelette to this thread.

Eligible works are:

  • Between 7,500 words and 17,500 words
  • First published in 2015 in any format

Please list the following:

  • Title
  • Author
  • About a sentence saying why you think it’s great
  • Links to somewhere people can buy it/read it are also great
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29 thoughts to “Recommendations – Best Novelette”

  1. “Adult Children of Alien Beings”
    Dennis Danvers
    tor.com, 2015-08-19

    Yeah, I know it’s tor, but I’ve read zero novellas and few novelettes, so far, that come close to qualifying aside from this smoothly written, funny, poignant story of a man in his sixties who has decided to find out more about his family’s roots only to discover that they have none. More effort leads him to a strange conversation with a professor who informs that he’s the child of aliens. Which, as he asks the prof whom he initially thinks is nuts, makes him and his brother…? “Aliens.” If you disbelieve the professor and protagonist, even this isn’t SF but, if you do, it is.

    http://www.tor.com/2015/08/19/adult-children-of-alien-beings-dennis-danvers/

  2. Something appears to have gone wrong with the moderation process, so I’m resubmitting.

    “Adult Children of Alien Beings”
    Dennis Danvers
    tor.com, 2015-08-19

    Yeah, I know it’s tor, but I’ve read zero novellas and few novelettes, so far, that come close to qualifying aside from this smoothly written, funny, poignant story of a man in his sixties who has decided to find out more about his family’s roots only to discover that they have none. More effort leads him to a strange conversation with a professor who informs that he’s the child of aliens. Which, as he asks the prof whom he initially thinks is nuts, makes him and his brother…? “Aliens.” If you disbelieve the professor and protagonist, even this isn’t SF but, if you do, it is.

    http://www.tor.com/2015/08/19/adult-children-of-alien-beings-dennis-danvers/

  3. “Entanglements” by David Gerrold, F&SF, May/June

    Fascinating story about parallel worlds and the choices we make. Alas, it’s not available online.

  4. “The Audience”
    Sean McMullen
    Analog April 2015

    A strange encounter with an alien civilization on an Europa-like planet. Sometimes the only solution is to flee and hide…..

  5. HMS Mangled Treasure by L. Jagi Lamplighter in Sci Phi Journal #6

    Fantastic story about modern day Fae pirates and one young mother determined to take back what they stole. Fierce, beautiful & full of hope: this one’s the benchmark against which other stories are going to have to be measured for me this year.

  6. Clifford D. Simak’s “I Had No Head and My Eyes Were Floating Way up in the Air” from his collection I AM CRYING ALL INSIDE AND OTHER STORIES (Open Road Integrated Media, 2015).

    Released from THE LAST DANGEROUS VISIONS, it may be our last chance to honor one of sf’s true giants. Besides that, it’s a nice little story.

    BTW: Open Road plans to publish fourteen volumes of his complete short fictions, a worthy project deserving our support.

  7. Title: “The Body Pirate”
    Author: Van Aaron Hughes
    Published in: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July 2015

    In addition to featuring interesting characters and an engaging plot, this story does two of the major things that classic sci-fi is known for: it presents an alien race who are fundamentally *different* from humans (not just “humans with a quirk”), and it explores the disruptive effects of a new technology on society.

  8. Reposting, because I put them in the wrong category:

    Brooke Bolander – And You Shall Know Her By The Trail Of Dead
    http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/shall-know-trail-dead/
    A great cyberpunk story with some very stylish – though highly vulgar – narration, as well as an emotional, human element.

    Ray Wood – Schrödinger’s Gun
    http://www.tor.com/2015/02/18/schroedingers-gun-ray-wood/
    Noir detective story meets the many-worlds theory. Well-written and quite touching emotionally.

    1. I’m with you on “And You Shall Know Her By The Trail Of Dead”. I thought it was gonna be boring vanilla cyberpunk, but the narration and backstory elevates it. Worth consideration.

    2. And You Shall Know Her By The Trail Of Dead lost me by the 5th paragraph – I could not get past the language. That much vulgar language is an automatic turn off for me. I know that may sound prudish, but you don’t have to use the Universal Adjective that much in 5 paragraphs.

      My sister likes Cyber Punk, I’ll pass it to her to read.

      1. I don’t understand why the crutting writers insist on bleeping using the same tired Belgium expletives as many kakamaqaque times as finagling possible in every srizonified paragraph.

  9. Folding Beijing by Hao Jingfang. Translated by Ken Liu

    Reposted from my blog:

    Folding Beijing, a novelette published by Uncanny Magazine, depicts a fantastical future Beijing where the skyscrapers fold and unfold like origami in a forty-eight-hour cycle. Each time the city folds, a new space is revealed, and its inhabitants begin their day. Five million enjoy the use of twenty-four hours and seventy-five million split the remaining twenty-four.

    It’s a wonderful and evocative metaphor for a divided and unequal city. The story itself follows Lao Dao, who lives in the poorest sector – Third Space – as he illegally smuggles messages to earn the money to pay his adopted daughter’s kindergarden fees.

    This is a wonderful story on every level. Lao Dao’s quest is mainly a magical mystery tour through the setting, but it’s sufficiently compelling that there’s no chance of getting bored. The ideas and social commentary comes thick and fast. Among the best being the banquet in First Space where Lao Dao overhears bigwigs discussing making tens of millions from Third Space redundant – as though they were simply numbers in a spreadsheet.

    And there’s an amazing sense of place:

    “Customers packed the plastic tables at the food hawker stalls, which were immersed in the aroma of frying oil. They ate heartily with their faces buried in bowls of hot and sour rice noodles, their heads hidden by clouds of white steam. Other stands featured mountains of jujubes and walnuts, and hunks of cured meat swung overhead. This was the busiest hour of the day—work was over, and everyone was hungry and loud.”

    I can’t recommend Folding Beijing enough. It’s an intoxicating mix of economics, physics and politics delivered through the everyday life of an ordinary man. The author is a former student in physics, economics and management from probably the best university in China… and it shows.

    Available to read here: http://uncannymagazine.com/article/folding-beijing-2/

  10. “Obits”, by Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams): Story featuring a guy who can cause people to die by writing their obituaries. Nasty fun.

    “Our Lady of the Open Road”, by Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s, June 2015): In a post apocalyptic (ish) world, a band remains on tour with fewer and fewer venues willing to accept live concerts and the overall encroachment of televised concerts you can only watch in your house (of which, I’ve been hearing radio advertisements for almost exactly that service with Qello). Fantastic story.
    http://sarahpinsker.com/our_lady_of_the_open_road/

  11. Zhang Ran – Ether
    http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/zhang_01_15
    A well-written, engrossing story, even if I felt the sci-fi angle was a little unbelievable.

    Stephen Case – The Wizard’s House
    http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/the-wizards-house/
    Excellent story in classic awe-inspiring fantasy vein. Odd eldritch entities and eccentric powerful wizards, what more can a man ask for? It’s actually a prequel to “The Unborn God” (http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/the-unborn-god/) which is even better, but unfortunately from 2014.

  12. Check out “Pure Attentions: A Novelette” by TR Dillon. The story is about a boy, Max, who has to change time to keep his mother alive. It’s available on Kindle.

  13. So Much Cooking, by Naomi Kritzer

    Another story that plays around with it’s narrative form and structure – imagine Contagion as told by a food blogger. As always, the execution is the thing, and this is flawlessly executed.

    Be sure to have food ready while reading though – you’ll need it!

  14. Here’s another vote for Pure Attentions by TR Dillon. It’s a thought-provoking story with vivid descriptions and a powerful message all wrapped in an easily-readable package. I highly recommend this!!

  15. “Asymptotic” by Andy Dudak, Clarkesworld June 2015.
    “The cadets stand at attention for their passing-out ceremony, a random sample of the motley gamut of branched sapiens, and Nuhane is the smallest by far—but he adds his voice to their oath with towering conviction:
    “We swear to uphold the Einsteinian limit!…
    It doesn’t quite live up to that opening, but it’s solid far-future SF

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