Top Ten Tuesday: Novellas & Short Stories

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that started at thebrokeandbookish and is now hosted by Jana @ thatartsyreadergirl. There’s a different prompt each week and you can interpret it to your bloggish heart’s desire! This week’s theme: Favorite Novellas/Short Stories


Tor Is the New Bae //

Good golly, Tor is amazing, just churning out the best in short stories and novellas that are queer as the fantastical depths of hell and lovely and diverse and chilling and imaginative. I have four or five from this publishing house out on my Overdrive (ebooks) account atm and I just need moremoremore Tor. Thanks to Mel for turning me on to one of these recent loves of mine, and I’m so glad I’ve fallen back down the rabbit hole that is Tor and its wicked fab authors. (For lovers of science fiction and fantasy~)

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey // An alternate Wild West-era America with HIPPOS and a five person caper crew consisting of a queer POC Englishman, a pregnant assassin, a black demolitions expert who uses they/them pronouns, a fat classy con-woman, and a token white guy and I love what happens to him. In short, hippos, feels, EXPLOSIONS. (Also Rick Riordan loved it ~~~~ reminder to self, read Rick Riordan!)

Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire // I love alt histories of our world that are like the stories are truuuuuuue especially when the characters in this alt world are so diverse and full of longing and haunted by their losses. I have a mighty need to finish this novella series before the end of the year.

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy // What a lovely dystopic drop into demons and magic and compulsive Instagramming. In such a short span of time, I believed in these characters. I love Danielle Cain (and Vulture!!) and would love to read their stories for a long, long time.

My Spooky Children //

This next set are short story collections I’ve read more than once and they’re all lovely and formative and drenched in blood, smirking from the dappled shadows, and gritty with passion and play. (For fans of horror and dark fantasy~)

Clive Barker’s Books of Blood Volumes I & II // Barker has crafted some of the most unique and unsettling imagery in this collection. He has a way of spinning words across the page that pull you downdowndown and you’re not sure if you ever want to struggle for the surface. Or at least, that is his writing for me. My first tattoo is of Barker artwork (something pretty innocuous from Weaveworld), and I will always rec The Thief of Always, and I wrote about Hellraiser for part of my senior thesis in college, so I’ve loved Barker’s style for a long time. I think this collection is perfect for horror fans, and think several of the stories stand outside the genre/this collection as truly brilliant.

Red As Blood, Or Tales From the Sisters Grimmer by Tanith Lee // I don’t know if it’s become apparent yet, but Lee is one of my favorite authors. I can’t get enough of her science fiction and fantasy and darkly poetic mind. When she twists a faerie tale, it’s sheer bliss.

American Supernatural Tales Penguin Horror Classics Edition // A really fab primer for getting into supernatural/horror/suspenseful fiction that spans 200 years of American authorship. Honestly, I picked this up because A) that cover!! (and dark sprayed edges) and B) Guillermo Del Toro wrote the introduction.

Can’t Beat the Classics //

These are collections I’ve loved for years. They’re powerful and beautifully written and all, across different genres and moods, incredible examinations of the human condition. (For those unafraid to turn on the light~)

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury // Really, any short story collection from this maestro of speculative fiction would be worthy of inclusion on this little post of mine. But this was the first I read from Bradbury and it. is. wicked. lovely. Bradbury romanticizes Mars, ripples humanity across time, space, and red, and plays with your mind, heart, and soul. There’s so much to see in this collection. It’s mesmerizing.

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri // The characters in Lahiri’s stories are so fully realized, it honestly feels like you could turn a corner IRL and bump into them. Her writing is the best of tearing your heart out and stitching it back together at the same time.

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang // Arrival is one of the most gorgeous films I’ve ever seen. Definitely teared up at that one, and this screenwriting examination video from Michael @ LessonsFromtheScreenplay looks at the changes made in order to adapt the short story to film, and it’s wonderfully insightful. And actually, those changes are why I prefer the film, technically, to the short story. (Obviously don’t watch that clip if you haven’t consumed either because Spoiler City). Having read the entire collection from Chiang after seeing the film, well, lordy. They’re fantastic stories, trippy for someone like me who often feels like a monkey clacking on one of those calculators with the lil receipt papers — like, WTF am I doing here, numbers ?? science time? sdfj;jdkfj m-m-m-m-me?, and not a word is wasted.

Why, Hullo Thar //


Gorilla, My Love by Toni Cade Bambara // This is a collection I have not read, but really want to! Honestly, only learned of it because I was looking up authors with at least one of my names, and the reviews look fab. Has anyone read anything by her? Let me know down below!


Have you read any of the above? What are some of your favorite short stories and/or novellas? What draws you in and ultimately gives you satisfaction within the medium of the short story?

7 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Novellas & Short Stories

  1. I really enjoyed Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, so I definitely want to check out Unaccustomed Earth. The Different Seasons Novella is pretty good, it’s got The Shawshank Redemption (a bite size version) and The Body (Stand By Me).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Eeeeeeeeek, yay, so glad to see someone who LOVES that film (please say you love Chris Chambers).
        Hope you enjoy it, I think you’ll really love the last story, I’m not a major fan of romance but that one was adorable all over.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so embarrassed to say this – but I still haven’t read River of Teeth and I don’t even know how! But… now I have a mighty need! Also, this entire T10T just warms my heart. SUCH GOOD PICKS, SHAI! And I love your spooky children. Perfect for… Octoberween! Hehe! Happy reading, my love! 💕xx


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