Series of novellas

asp3

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I've recently enjoyed a couple of novella series. I like them a lot because the entries are not quite as long and the author can shift from one story in the series to another in a relatively short amount of time. I only know of two of them but I'm sure there are more. Please let me know your favorite series which are made up of novellas. Here are mind.

Wayward Children series - Seanan McGuire - I find this to be a very intriguing series and I've really enjoyed all of the books I've read from it. I'm through Come Tumbling Down but I'm looking forward to reading the next two.

Binti series - Nnedi Okorafor - A very interesting series where I've only read the first two books but I'm looking forward to reading the third.
 

tachyon

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I feel like the phenomenon of novella series is quite modern - publishers responding to ebooks and changing reading habits in the internet age.

Other recent series that come to mind:
The Murderbot Diaries series (Martha Wells) The most recent entry is a full novel however.
The Tensorate series by Neon Yang, which I haven't read yet but is on my TBR list.

Some older books that are on the shorter side but I don't know that they're novella-short:

Nine Princes in Amber is quite short (Roger Zelazny), and I don't think the other Amber books are too much longer.
Tea with the Black Dragon by R.A. MacAvoy is also quite short, though the sequel is longer.
The Earthsea series (Ursula K. LeGuin), at least the first three, I only read the rest in ebook form and don't have a real feel for how long they are.
 

hitmouse

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Please correct me if I am technically wrong here wrt definition of novella in the following.

Lots of the late 1960s-early 1970s series were shorter than todays stuff and probably qualified as novellas, e.g:

Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion stories, including:
Corum
Elric
Hawkmoon
Erekose
Plus the Jherek Carnelian stories, the Oswald Bastable stories.

Philip Jose Farmer’s World of Tiers series.

Almost everything by Jack Vance, with the exception of Lyonesse, and the Cadwal Chronicles, notably:
Planet of Adventure
The Demon Princes
Alastor
Durdane
 

KiraAnn

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As I remember those days, most novels of any genre were about 300 pages, in paperback format. Then, in the 70’s, they started getting longer and longer. The Name of the Rose was significantly noted being over 800 by critics.

Now, it’s multi-volume story lines thus really creating novels of thousands of pages. I don’t like them
 

Bick

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Please correct me if I am technically wrong here wrt definition of novella in the following.

Lots of the late 1960s-early 1970s series were shorter than todays stuff and probably qualified as novellas, e.g:

Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion stories, including:
Corum
Elric
Hawkmoon
Erekose
Plus the Jherek Carnelian stories, the Oswald Bastable stories.

Philip Jose Farmer’s World of Tiers series.

Almost everything by Jack Vance, with the exception of Lyonesse, and the Cadwal Chronicles, notably:
Planet of Adventure
The Demon Princes
Alastor
Durdane
I don’t think any of these are novellas, they are all novels, albeit shorter than many modern novels. They’re certainly not any shorter than most novels of the time, so they don’t stand out in any way.
 

williamjm

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The Murderbot Diaries series (Martha Wells) The most recent entry is a full novel however.
I really like this series as well.

Another one I've been enjoying recently is Lois McMaster Bujold's Penric and Desdemona series, although like the Murderbot series it has one full-length novel in it now.
 

Venusian Broon

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I don’t think any of these are novellas, they are all novels, albeit shorter than many modern novels. They’re certainly not any shorter than most novels of the time, so they don’t stand out in any way.

I think you are right. Asimov's foundation came to mind and the first one in the series comes in at 70,000 words or so. Quite short compared to modern SF but definitely still novel length. Needs to be 40.000 or lower.

Perhaps Blish's Cities in Flight might be made of four novellas - at least one of the four won the 2004 retrospective Hugo's 'best novelette'
 

Bick

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Most published SFF novellas (largely in magazines of course) fall within the range of about 20k to 30k words, though VB is of course right that the Hugo and Nebula definition or cut off is 40k.

However, most novels, even older, shorter novels, as published ‘back the day’ tended to be 70k upwards. This roughly translated to about 140 pages upwards, and was because readers expected a certain size for a ‘book’. It can be seen that, interestingly, there is this area between 40k and 70k (ish) where the definition is blurry, as few readers these days would think of a 45k word publication as a novel, but ‘technically’ it kind of is. Personally, I tend to have a cut off in my mind’s eye at around 100 pages for a novella, despite the Hugo definition. On this basis Heart of Darkness and The Stranger are (non genre) novellas. Murderbot stories are novellas (except for the recent novel), but all the novels of Heinlein, Asimov, Vance, Moorcock and so on, are certainly novels.
 

Randy M.

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There's Caitlin R. Kiernan's Tinfoil Dossier series of novellas: Agents of Dreamland; Black Helicopters; The Tindalos Asset. The first is one of the better horror novellas I've read, the second can be confusing but does extend what comes in the first; and I haven't gotten to the last yet.
 

J-Sun

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I think you are right. Asimov's foundation came to mind and the first one in the series comes in at 70,000 words or so. Quite short compared to modern SF but definitely still novel length. Needs to be 40.000 or lower.

Perhaps Blish's Cities in Flight might be made of four novellas - at least one of the four won the 2004 retrospective Hugo's 'best novelette'
Blish won for the novelette but it was only the title-part of the book-length fixup - all four parts of Cities in Flight are either novels or made up of smaller parts to reach novel length.

As far as Asimov, the trilogy is made up of books that are at least 70K words but the first is made up of 5 fairly short stories (one written for the book) and the other two have two each. The funny part is that each of those contains a "story" that is right around 40K words, so are around "novel length" though precious few things that short are "book length." [1] Either way, the Foundation series isn't a novella series like the OP wants. As far as I can recall, "novella series" are a new thing. Which raises a question, but first:

Most everyone follows the SFWA official definitions of the categories:

Short story <7,500 words
Novelette 7.500-17.499
Novella 17.500-39.999
Novel >40,000

Most paperbacks have (generalizing wildly) about 350-400 wds a page or so. From that, you can get an approximation of most things.

Question: I used to buy collections full of novellas. There used to be Year's Best Novella series which contained at least a half-dozen novellas. I remember being slightly annoyed that I bought an Alastair Reynolds collection that had only two novellas in it. You can hardly buy collections anymore. People do buy novels several hundred pages in length. Why do people pay full price for single novellas? And doesn't this undercut the excuse that the reason the big three print zines don't win awards is because they have a limited audience vs. the webzines being free? The novella winner is almost always a "Tor.com" novella that has a limited audience rather than a printzine novella or even a webzine novella (of which there are always a few).

[1] For instance, Poul Anderson's After Doomsday is a novel published at 128pp (and I think The Night Face is even shorter at 108) but that's pretty rare.
 

Randy M.

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Question: I used to buy collections full of novellas. There used to be Year's Best Novella series which contained at least a half-dozen novellas. I remember being slightly annoyed that I bought an Alastair Reynolds collection that had only two novellas in it. You can hardly buy collections anymore. People do buy novels several hundred pages in length. Why do people pay full price for single novellas?

Preachin' to the choir, Brother J.
 

.matthew.

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Adrian Tchaikovsky has quite a few novellas, some in a series and others standalone. He'd be a good read though.
 

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