Posts Tagged ‘tor’

The Novella Hype

Last summer, Tor announced the creation of a new imprint dedicated to novellas. Last week they put out their list of inaugural titles, which seems to have caused a bit of a stir among the authors I talk to or follow.

(Some of the stories look pretty cool, so I’ll probably look into them. If I remember.)

It’s not the novellas themselves, nor the release titles. No one seems to have a problem with the idea of an imprint dedicated to novellas. In fact, most authors think it’s a pretty cool idea. The novella, as a prose length, has been notoriously hard to sell. Not long enough to be a novel, not short enough to be a short story, but somewhere in between, novellas have typically gone the way of a lot of not easily marketable genres or cross genres: ignored.

What this has done, however, is created a wave of people declaring that novellas are the new publishing norm, that people can’t sit still long enough to get through a full-length novel. And then, of course, you have the counterwave, declaring that those people are crazy and have no idea what they’re talking about.

Seeing how almost every new publishing trend seems to be hailed as the new norm, I admit I agree more with the latter camp.

I can’t help but think that it’s the same sort of thing as when someone rounds up quotes going back a thousand years or so about the state of technology, or how the newest generation is the worst, or how every story ever has been told and everything modern is a hack.

(Plus the continued popularity of the Game of Thrones books seems to directly counteract the original argument.)

The fact is that, through epublishing, it’s a lot easier to put out works that don’t fall into a traditional length. Authors may finally be able to let a story by the length it wants to be instead of bulking it up to reach novel lengths, or cutting things out to reach short story lengths.

But does that mean that people–readers and writers–are suddenly only going to write/read things that are novella length?

Of course not. Everyone has a reading comfort zone. (Mine used to include 1000+ page books, but has shrunk over the years to under 700 pages, barring exceptions.) No one is going to change theirs just because of a new imprint.

What do you think, Squiders? Are shorter books the wave of the future? Or is this just a nice alternative for both the people who write novella-length scfi/fantasy and the people who like to read it?

The Dangers of Being Informed

So, like most of you, Squiders, I love to read. I love a drizzly afternoon with a book in my lap and a cup of cocoa close at hand. I love visiting new places and meeting new friends.

And, also like most of you, Squiders, I have a gazillion books floating around that I have yet to read. They come from a variety of places — gifts, second-hand stores, garage sales, new releases that I couldn’t wait for. They are everywhere, just waiting to be read.

It is my hope that I will eventually get to all of them. But I probably won’t, for one simple reason: new books keep coming out.

And I, like a good reader/writer, keep track of trends and so forth by subscribing to publisher’s newsletters and so forth. And they tell me about their new releases, and they sound fantastic, so I keep checking new books out from the library and I never get to the gazillion I have floating around the house.

My husband is this close to banning me from the library. (I put another book on hold yesterday. Don’t tell him.)

Tor is by far the most evil. They send out a couple of different newsletters — one has articles by authors (which I read and like, and then go read the author’s new book) with giveaways (oh, I so hope I win this month’s — they are ghost stories, eeeeee) and the other has free short stories and excerpts, and then enough awesomeness to make any scifi/fantasy fan go into rapture: re-watches of television shows, re-reads of book series, news on books and movies and related media, articles about science fiction and fantasy, etc. I would like to go live in that newsletter.

So, alas. I dare not give up my newsletters. But maybe I should be a little less impulsive about new books, no matter how awesome they sound.