I just found out about the #6degrees meme today, and I thought I’d give it a go! It’s hosted by Books Are My Favourite And Best. It works by finding a connection between six different books, beginning with a stipulated book.You don’t have to have a connection between all six books, but for my first go-around.. that’s what I decided to do. Specifically: 6 SFF novellas written by an author whose last name is also a first name.
The Turn of the Screw – Henry James | Add on Goodreads
A very young woman’s first job: governess for two weirdly beautiful, strangely distant, oddly silent children, Miles and Flora, at a forlorn estate…An estate haunted by a beckoning evil.
But worse-much worse- the governess discovers that Miles and Flora have no terror of the lurking evil. For they want the walking dead as badly as the dead want them.
(1) I read The Turn of the Screw in undergrad, some four score and seven years ago, and can remember nothing about it. Given that I was Not in a good place for undergrad, this checks out. Still, it feels like a shame, as the blurb sounds really creepy. Has anyone read this (and can remember it?) What did you think?
The Lifted Veil – Mary Anne Evans (George Eliot) | Add on GoodReads
Published the same year as her first novel, Adam Bede, this overlooked work displays the gifts for which George Eliot would become famous—gritty realism, psychological insight, and idealistic moralizing. It is unique from all her other writing, however, in that it represents the only time she ever used a first-person narrator, and it is the only time she wrote about the supernatural.
The tale of a man who is incapacitated by visions of the future and the cacophony of overheard thoughts, and yet who can’t help trying to subvert his vividly glimpsed destiny, it is easy to read The Lifted Veil as being autobiographically revealing—of Eliot’s sensitivity to public opinion and her awareness that her days concealed behind a pseudonym were doomed to a tragic unveiling (as indeed came to pass soon after this novella’s publication). But it is easier still to read the story as the exciting and genuine precursor of a moody new form, as well as an absorbing early masterpiece of suspense.
(2) I had NO idea George Eliot wrote anything approaching SFF! I also didn’t realise she was unveiled during her lifetime.. This one is definitely going on by TBR: it sounds fantastic, and I’m quite keen to read more classics (especially classics by women).
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson & Robin Wasserman | Add on GoodReads
Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.
So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be.
(3) Okay, so TECHNICALLY this is a book of short stories but a) it’s classed as a novella and b) since the short stories in this book are in chronological order and are meant to be read as one, I maintain its actually a novella framed as short stories. Anyway, I really liked this anthology and I wanna reread it.
The Bane Chronicles – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan & Maureen Johnson | Add on GoodReads
This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.
(4) Listen. Sarah Rees Brennan also has a surname that is a first name, so it’s going on here. And I thought that was cool enough that it got its own slot.
Coming To You Live – Mira Grant | Add on GoodReads
A Newsflesh novella from the New York Times bestselling author that brought you Feed, Mira Grant.
(5) Okay, I thought the Bane Chronicles GoodReads blurb was bad, but this one is another level of suck. Coming To You Live is a novella that serves as an epilogue to Mira Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy, a political thriller with zombies. Even though I’m not entirely sold on Coming To You Live, it will always hold a special place in my heart because Georgia and Shaun Mason get the happy ending they deserve. Georgia and Shaun are one of my all-time OTPs, and I very much need to write more fanfic about them at some point.
The Deep – Rivers Solomon with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes | Add on GoodReads
The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society—and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future in this brilliantly imaginative novella inspired by the Hugo Award nominated song “The Deep” from Daveed Diggs’ rap group Clipping.
Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.
Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.
(6) THIS SOUNDS PHENOMENAL. Going onto my wish list right the fuck now! Also, it’s inspired by a song?? By Daveed Diggs? AAAH! I was going to suggest another Bernardine Evaristo for my Tiny Book Club’s next book, but I might have to suggest this one instead.
This post was worth doing if only because I discovered The Deep and The Lifted Veil. Damn, books are amazing. Why don’t schools teach more widely? Why is the canon the canon?! (Actually, don’t answer that, we know why: racism and sexism and a Western centric worldview. Damn). New question: are there any novells you like, or would like to put on your TBR?