I may not have published many reviews on Book Punks last year. Cough cough. Ok, I did not publish any reviews. But I didn’t stop writing about books. That writing just wasn’t being published here but—trumpets please—on my then-brand-new column on Tor Online. Tor, or I should say Fischer Tor, is a science fiction and fantasy imprint run by German publishing house Fischer and in cahoots with Tor.com. My understanding is that the two are something like step-cousins: sorta related, sorta not. Either way wooo column high fives hot!
Mine is the only English-language column on the site, and for now I am focusing on reading and reviewing—in the most ridiculous terms I can come up with—the novella series being published by Tor.com. (Let’s just say I’m using the word “review” pretty loosely here.) Every column is (totally, and I hope obviously, fictionally) sponsored by a short story from Tor.com, so if you are looking for recommendations for something even shorter than a novella, I’ve got your back there too. So if you want to catch up on the book-related writing I did in 2016, I’ve drawn a map for you below.
Wherein I contemplate why novellas are very good reading choices for anyone short on time or skeptical about a new genre or author. Consider this the series introduction.
“Novellas truly are the perfect gateway drug. Gateway to a new genre, gateway to a new author, gateway to reading anything, ever, when you come home from work with your brain wrung out like a damp, sweaty towel and can’t manage much more than a vacant stare and a nod.”
Though every book blogger I follow and respect, ever, loved Kai Ashante Wilson’s novella Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, I have to tell you: I fucking hated it. Yeeeeeah. So I put it in the ring with Paul Cornell’s novella The Witches of Lychford and let the two beat on each other for a few paragraphs. Who wins? You’ll have to read the column yourself to find out because I’m an asshole, and this is clickbait.
“Welcome, welcome, and thank you to everyone who showed up for today’s exciting boxing match here at the Tyrell Center, where we can build you! Today is the first match in a tournament of Tor.com novella on novella action, words against words against my quickly lapsing judgment! Flying fists!! Cheap shots! Ripped pages! Etc!”
Part 3: Two Novellas Walk Into a Bar
Wherein Nnedi Okorafor’s novella Binti gets drunk with KJ Parker’s novella The Last Witness.
“Two novellas walk into a bar. What, you’ve heard this one before? I doubt it. You haven’t heard the one about Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti and K. J. Parker’s (who is actually Tom Holt) The Last Witness walking into a bar. Will they fight? Will they kiss? Will one of them get sloppy drunk and puke in the bathroom sink while the other holds its hair back? Well, you’re here, so I guess you’re going to find out.”
If you like what you see there, stay tuned because it is only going to get more ridiculous from here on out. And if you follow me on Goodreads, you’ll be able to figure out what I’ll be reviewing next. See you around.
EDIT: I did review something in 2016: The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley.