Why I Heart Tor.com’s Audio Novellas

I have a reading crush on Tor.com's new imprint. I listened to the imprint's first novella, The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, early this year, and loved it. It's definitely a top contender for my favorite read of the year. When I realized it was first in a new line, I started seeking others out, and they've all been great!

Here's why I love them:

They're short

The Drowning Eyes

I loved fantasy as a kid - I'd read anything with a dragon on the cover - but as an adult, I'm often daunted by the length of fantasy series. Game of Thrones is over 200 hours on audio, and it's not even complete yet! That's too much for this literary omnivore to commit to.The Drowning Eyes, by contrast, is under 3 hours but Foster manages to pack a lot of story - a ragtag ship and crew, a mysterious young passenger, and a brutal band of pirates - into those 3 hours.

They're diverse

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps

Although some of greatest fantasy writers of all time are people of color (hello, Octavia Butler & Samuel Delany), the genre as a whole struggles with issues of diversity and inclusivity. This imprint, however, features lots of writers of color, including Kai Ashante Wilson. In this interview, Wilson says one of his goals is to "weave specifically African-American passions and concerns with gripping supernatural drama." I can't speak to specifically African-American concerns, but I can say that this stunning story about a young demigod trying to protect his crew from a horrifying predator is unlike anything I've ever read or listened to.

They're a great way to sample a new author and narrator


Confession: I haven't listened to this one yet, but it's up next! Nnedi Okorafor has been on my to-read list for a long time, so I'm looking forward reading Binti, a space travel adventure about a young woman who is the first of her people to attend college. The audiobook is less than 3 hours, so it's a great way to sample a new author. If I like it, I can move the rest of Okorafor's novels up my list. If not, I'll know I can pass without feeling guilty!

I'm hooked on the imprint, love the narrators they're working with, and can't wait to see what they put out next!