As much as I love a good novel, there is something to be said for a good novella. They're a bit of the red-headed stepchild in fiction, because they're too short to be a full-fledged novel and too long to be a short story. I suspect the gradual rise in popularity of e-books could help bring about a new renaissance for the novella length story.
This week, I thought I'd point out three novellas I have heard some very good things about and would enjoy the chance to read for myself. As hard to find as some novels are, novellas are like four-leaf clovers--damn near impossible to find them in a bookstore.
Chasing the Dragon by Nicholas Kaufmann - This is one that is supposedly out in paperback this year, so my chances of seeing it on a shelf somewhere has increased incrementally. I hope I do spy it somewhere because it sounds like a compelling and fun read. Saint George is fabled to have killed a dragon, but he really didn't. The dragon lived and has been up to its terrible ways for centuries, even protected by an army of zombies. And it's up to a descendant of St. George--a heroin addicted descendant, no less--to hunt down and slay the dragon once and for all. Doesn't that sound enticing?
Miranda by John R. Little - This one has been on my wish list for over a year now. It's like an urban myth for me, because every time it's mentioned it is raved as an absolute treasure to read, and one of the most beautifully written pieces of horror fiction in years--and I can't find it anywhere. Grrr. I think it falls into the category of "slipstream" fiction as it deals with a character who ages backwards, kind of like Benjamin Button.
The Eyes of the Carp by T.M. Wright - Have you ever seen a carp? Not exactly horrific, and not exactly a fish I'd say deserved to be used in a title. I first heard the title of this story and wondered: Is this a story about an evil fish? Can you blame me? In truth, it's a ghost story and by an author heralded as one of the best ghost story writers alive. He's been described as an intellectual author, a cerebral author, and an author who will force his readers to keep up with him. I'm game, and this story sounds like a good start in familiarizing myself with Wright's work.