2020 Novella Reading Challenge

I’m a fool for a challenge, especially a reading challenge. I’m already undertaking my own Short Story Tarot Challenge-attempting to read 78 short stories over 78 weeks, one for each card in a Tarot deck. Its purpose is to both get me back into reading more regularly and to finish a few collections from my TBR pile. I’ve kept it going for seven weeks so far and I am enjoying the short story format.

So, onto this latest reading challenge. As we all know, there is so much great fiction out there that is just waiting to be read. But–like you I’m sure–my reading time is limited. Therefore, I am launching a 2020 Novella Reading Challenge. My aim is to read more works by more authors, especially authors new to me. So I think the novella format is a great way to achieve this goal with its shorter length and reasonable price.

I am basing my selections off the new Locus Magazine Recommended Reading List for 2019 which has just been published. The Locus contributors have put together a shortlist of 32 novellas. Here is the list:


  • The Butcher’s Table, by Nathan Ballingrud (from Wounds)
  • A Time to Reap, by Elizabeth Bear (Uncanny 12/19)
  • Vigilance, by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • And Cannot Come Again, by Simon Bestwick
  • Longer, by Michael Blumlein
  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate, by Becky Chambers
  • Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom, by Ted Chiang (from Exhalation)
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015, by P. Djèlí Clark
  • Desdemona and the Deep, by C.S.E. Cooney
  • Of Birthdays, and Fungus, and Kindness, by Aliette de Bodard (from Of Wars, and Memories, and Starlight)
  • Radicalized, by Cory Doctorow (from Radicalized)
  • Unauthorized Bread, by Cory Doctorow (from Radicalized)
  • Miranda in Milan, by Katharine Duckett
  • This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
  • Alice Payne Rides, by Kate Heartfield
  • The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday, by Saad Z. Hossain
  • Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water, by Vylar Kaftan
  • How Alike Are We, by Bo-young Kim (Clarkesworld 10/19)
  • Glass Cannon, by Yoon Ha Lee (from Hexarchate Stories)
  • The Menace from Farside, by Ian McDonald
  • The Work of Wolves, by Tegan Moore (Asimov’s 7-8/19)
  • Waterlines, by Suzanne Palmer (Asimov’s 7-8/19)
  • My Beautiful Life, by K.J. Parker
  • Sisters of the Vast Black, by Lina Rather
  • Permafrost, by Alastair Reynolds
  • Ormeshadow, by Priya Sharma
  • The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes
  • New Atlantis, by Lavie Tidhar (F&SF 5-6/19)
  • Into Bones Like Oil, by Kaaron Warren
  • The Fire Opal Mechanism, by Fran Wilde
  • Catfish Lullaby, by A.C. Wise
  • The Ascent to Godhood, by JY Yang


I’m going to start with The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djeli Clark.

How about you? Do you see anything you fancy?

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