It's New Year's Day and I've made a resolution. This year I'll read and review more short science fiction novels. Years ago these thin paperbacks could be found stuffed like bumper crop fruit on the racks of rotating drugstore displays. Now you don't see them much in stores. They've been replaced by longer titles since people want better value when buying much more expensive paperbacks.


Although it's now more difficult to find them in print, many popular books have been short. Consider these:


  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  • The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
  • The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury


All contain fewer than 50,000 words. I'll be reviewing books under 65,000 words.


Since these books won't come from retailer's shelves, I'll be reading them as eBooks. Many shorter eBook titles are written by self-published authors. I don't mind that, but I do have standards, so here's what I won't be reading:

  • Anything that begins with a lengthy information dump. Milieu building should be natural.
  • Anything that makes wildly unscientific assumptions. The galaxy is huge. Spaceships that easily travel between galaxies fail to convince me.
  • Anything stuffed with technical or military jargon.
  • Anything that uses convoluted grammar or unpronounceable words.


I'm open to suggestions and free copies. I'm daveloeff at gmail dot com.