I have just read three novels back to back, all out in paperback in June or early July. These are they. I really don’t normally read novels, but I am reviewing them for the next issue of Word magazine, and it was a pleasing novelty to gulp down so much fiction in one go. I won’t pre-empt the review, but I had to excise this opening paragraph, so I thought I’d post it here, as I quite liked it. But a preamble is a luxury, and I had to get to the books much quicker.
It’s often said that everybody has a novel in them. I’m sure this is hypothetically true. But the difference between becoming a novelist and remaining a would-be novelist lies in the ability to extract the inevitable half-thoughts and brief story flashes, bring them to the surface and assemble them into something that actually reads for at least 40,000 words. (The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have been nerdy enough to specify a word-count for books – in case you’re interested, if it’s under 7,499 words, it’s a short story; between 7,500 and 17,499 a novelette; and between 17,500 and 39,999 a novella.) Oh, and then you have to get it published.
I actually mainly liked the information from the SFWA. Who knew? (I have never written a novel. I think it might very well be too hard.)