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2019 Novella series


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#1
Red_Shift

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I bought 11 out of 12 of the 2019 novella series and read the first of them tonight. I couldn't see a thread for them so I thought I would start one.

Iron Resolve was a very pleasant read and from picking it up I've read it non stop this evening and just finished it. It's made me think I might have to pick up the new IG anthology as IIRC it has a Lyons book in it.
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#2
Xisor

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Good shout! Which of the 10 did you duck out from?

Lyons' books are very good. Ultimately quite "basic" - even in his stellar "Dead Men Walking" he sticks very close to basic Guard stories - fairly basic people fighting fairly low-key battles, and war is an utter crap parade.

Him, Peter Fehervari (deeper, less simply human stories) and Richard Williams all do very decent stuff on that front. Most of the IG series is ace too - as are Guy's Guard stories.

I really enjoyed "Iron Resolve" too.

I'm on "Thieves' Paradise" currently - and have loved the lot so far. Edourdo's was a touch dry and detailed compared to "Measure of Iron" and "Severed" - but even allowing for that distinct touch of dryness - I've got to say: I've loved this series.

Varied, but also with a ton of utterly ace stories in here, and some unexpectedly immense.

So only 2-and-a-half to go for me. I'd been hoping to finish the lot by the end of the year, but I've read at a snail's pace over Christmas.

Too many other people about to settle down.

#3
aa.logan

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I’ve also really struggled to get into this year’s series; like Xisor I’ve barely ‘read’ this month, though I have listened to plenty of audios- I’m going to struggle to have finished one novel with my eyes, which is way below my regular rate.

Severed I read and really enjoyed, and have Iron Resolve, The Colonel‘s Monograph, and Low Lives ready to go, likely in that order. Hopefully January will reinvigorate my reading enthusiasm, though to be honest, I wasn’t blown away by the Necromunda short in the Events Anthology, so it may be a while longer before I give Low Lives a go.

(Edited because I was overconfident about what books were called and didn’t check the titles)

Edited by aa.logan, 30 December 2019 - 10:20 AM.


#4
Roomsky

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I've had a bad December for reading and it's made worse that I'm not huge on novellas. I think between novels, novellas, and shorts, novellas are the hardest to make really compelling: something that isn't overstretched or feels truncated. 

 

I enjoy Ware's Sisters but didn't bother to finish Wreck & Ruin, I just don't care about a ~100 page adventure. Give me 400 pages with a bit more substance though and I'm down. Same goes for Severed, which I did finish but want more of, the comedy and tragedy of the Necrons is shown brilliantly but it all feels a bit shallow. Effective intrigue is hard to pin down in ~100 pages while vying with action and world building as well. Isha's Tears didn't grab me at all, and It's been a slow start on Lords of the Storm, though for the latter I have been quite impressed by Albert's writing. Another author to look out for a full book from, then.

 

Not bothering with Lyons, definitely not bothering with Mcneill.


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Hey I've started a web comic! You can read it here.

 


#5
Red_Shift

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@Xisor it was the AoS warcry book I missed as in general I'm not a fan of chaos focused books.

I quite like the novella format, I can usually read them in an evening and I get to sample new authors for a bargain price. In the current era where most books come out in hardback I sometimes find myself reluctant to start a new series and the novellas are great.
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#6
Xisor

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@Xisor it was the AoS warcry book I missed as in general I'm not a fan of chaos focused books.

For what it's worth - I really was surprised by how much I enjoyed that one. Guy Haley did the same with his Khorne shorts in "Call of Archaon"(?!), managed to turn stories that I'd have rolled my eyes at into surprisingly characterful, readable stories.

First I'd read of hers, but I'm mighty keen to read more from Jamie Crisalli(sp?).

Then again, I always think I won't enjoy Chaos stories - especially fantasy ones - and I'm rarely (if ever?) correct about that.

Thank goodness few people are granting me wishes...

I quite like the novella format, I can usually read them in an evening and I get to sample new authors for a bargain price. In the current era where most books come out in hardback I sometimes find myself reluctant to start a new series and the novellas are great.


Very much the same for me. I love short stories too - but I find most authors don't really make much use of them. Rather, too many populate them with "filler chapter" stories - not bad, per se, but not really making use of the short format to tell a different sort of story.

That's where I find Novellas come into their own - they can be used to tell "big short storily" style tales - high concept that struggles to be a full novel.

Equally, they can also be used to tell the main thread of a novel - the distinction between novel and novella is artificial really. After about 40,000 words, you're into "not feasibly one sitting" territory, which is basically becoming a novel.

Given how many novels are filled with meandering foolishness in an effort to disguise the key plot points (coughASongOfIceAndFirecough), and how many people don't have the time - I love that authors aren't bullied or funnelled into 400page monsters at every turn.

Like, if I'm enjoying a book of course I want more.

But at the same time, in practical terms, I'm impressed by authors able to fit a solid, streamlined story into 120 pages or thereabouts.

Still, folks who write a good novel mightn't enjoy the novella size. But I also like a bit of variety, and a change of author, and I'm a fairly slow reader...

The novella has a lot to offer me, and for the general crop of authors, it seems to be a more accessible staging point than jumping onto a whole novel ill-advisedly, or struggling to tell your type of story in short form.

That said, I can sympathise with the "just give me a novel" feeling - but I'm usually bothered by the reverse, much like the jokes go at work - this meeting could have been an email.

That novel could have been a novella!

(Or in "The Outcast Dead" for example - four properly self-contained but related novellas.)

I'm fond of them though.
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#7
aa.logan

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The Colonel’s Monograph is excellent. It’s really well written and well-paced, grabbing the attention from the off with a pretty cheap but still effective opening line and keeping hold of one’s attention throughout. It may be a touch heavy-handed with the eater eggs and callbacks to other 40k and maybe even 30k stories at times, but creates a really good and plausible atmosphere in a low page count. The premise isn’t the most challenging, but it does take some unexpected turns and is written with a pretty distinctive voice- think Imus from the Eisenhorn short but even more so.

The Horror imprint is fast establishing itself as one of my favourite corners of BL.
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#8
Red_Shift

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I've just finished Isha' s Lament, which I thought was really good. I've very much enjoyed the Blackstone fortress short stories so far and this was a longer adventure. A good effort from a new author
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