Posts Tagged ‘novella’
Available April 30th, 2017
where I got it: received review copy from the publisher (thanks Subterranean!)
Mira Grant (also known as Seanan McGuire), is famous for her novels and series – the Newsflesh series, the October Daye series, and plenty of stand alones. Having read a small sample of her work, my opinion is that Grant’s talent shines brightest in her short fiction. Her new stand alone novella, Final Girls, can be enjoyed over the course of an afternoon. And trust me, you’ll only need the one afternoon to read this novella, because you won’t be able to put it down.
I wrote an entire page of notes just in the first 30 pages of this 112 page novella, and by the time I finished the story, all my notes were irrelevant because the story had twisted and turned in about hundred unexpected directions.
Esther Hoffman, a journalist who specializes in debunking quackery, has been assigned to do an investigative report on Dr. Jennifer Webb’s new methods of therapy. Dr. Webb uses dream therapy – her patients read about a horrific scenario in which they face their deepest fears, and then they are put into a hypnotic dream state where they dream the scenario and play it out to it’s conclusion. The person is physically perfectly safe, and a technician watches their vital signs to pull them out if anything dangerous happens. Ideally, the patient learns that they can, and will survive whatever hardships they’ve been facing, and that they can now move on and live a mentally healthier life.
At first blush, Final Girls feels like a cross between the movies Paprika and Inception. Except Esther brings plenty of baggage to Dr. Webb’s office, and Dr. Webb is only interested in seeing her name on research papers or a nobel prize. Dr. Webb convinces Esther that the only way she can honestly judge the quality of this new research is to do a session of therapy, and see how or even if it changes her thoughts. As Esther signs the release forms, you can practically see Webb’s ulterior motives in the corner of her toothy grin.
published March 31 2017
Where I got it: received ARC from the publisher. Thanks Subterranean!!
These ongoing series are fantastic, aren’t they? Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series, Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. You never run out of books to read!
On the downside, a huge series like that can be daunting for someone who hasn’t even started it yet. You mean I have to read 7 novels before the backstory starts up? You most certainly do not. Find yourself a short story or novella that takes place in that world as a “dipping your toes in”, as it were. Will you be reading things out of order? Yeah. Might there be spoilers? Yep! But, you’ll get a feel for if this is a world you want to invest more time in.
Kelley Armstrong’s first novel, Bitten, came out in 2001, and since then she’s written over 25 novels, primarily supernatural urban fantasy, but also mystery and a few books for kids.
Her newest novella, Lost Souls, is part of her Cainsville series, in which people are desperately trying to escape their past and live normal lives. This novella was my first first Armstrong (I know, right?), and I’m pleased to say I came out of it caring about these characters and wanting to keep their secrets safe. Even better news? If, like me, you haven’t read any of the Cainsville urban fantasy novels, this Lost Souls is a good jumping in point. Spoilers? Oh,sure, a few. But knowing the future is kinda fun, because when you go back and read the first two Cainsville novels, you’ll feel like you’re in on a big secret that no one else knows.
Aztechs by Lucius Shepard
published in 2003
where I got it: library
why I read it: Author came highly recommended, this was the first title of his I came across.
I first heard the name Lucius Shepard a few weeks ago. Since then, I’ve learned he’s been writing award winning scifi and sci-fantasy since the 1980’s, and is apparently once of science fictions best kept secrets.
Although much of his discography is out of print, much of his shorter works are available online, including Aztechs, available here for free. Hit up your local library (like I did), or start doing some downloading.
In this near future Mexico, a deadly laser fence locally known as El Rayo runs the entire US / Mexican border, sharing it’s name with the poverty stricken border town that runs it’s length. When he isn’t co-starring on his girlfriend Lupe’s loosely scripted and continually filming reality show, Eddie Poe makes his living running a security company. With Samurai drugs running rampant, there’s no shortage of brawlers, known as “Sammy”, and in a semi-lawless region of Mexico, there’s no shortage of contracts for Eddie.
In the last 10 years, a tech company called Aztechs has shown up, offering cheap tech to anyone who visits them. With offices in bizarre monuments out in the desert, the rumor is that Aztechs was founded by an escaped US born AI, who goes by the name Montezuma. Eddie’s latest contract is to escort the Aztechs representative, known as Zee, to meet with a local gangster family. Zee arranges for Lupe to film the entire thing, guaranteeing her a ratings boost when the world learns what Aztechs is willing to offer the right business partner. Montezuma is interested in creating a new country between Mexico and the US, putting the right family in charge of the whole thing, and throwing in immortality to sweeten the deal. Who could possibly refuse? Why would you want to? Imagine the possibilities!