Five for Friday – Sci-Fi Novellas

I can’t Find who started the Friday Five book blog meme. It seems to crop up in many different style such as “Five for Friday”, “Five on Friday” , “FridayFive Challenge”. I also can’t find a topic list like you would have for the Six on Sunday meme. Therefore I am just doing my own thing and setting my own topics just so I can chat books with you.

This week’s topic is:

Favourite Sci-Fi Novellas

This week I am inspired by reading A Psalm for the Wild built by Becky chambers to talk about some of my other favourite Sci-fi novellas. Much like short story collections, novellas are great for squeezing into those weird times when you cant focus on a full length novel, but they allow for a little more exploration of interesting concepts and new worlds than a short story might give. I love that I can sit down and finish them in one evening and feel completely satisfied in the story. I found the Psalm for the Wild Built to be such a calming and charming read, that still held a lot of weight in the topics it was exploring, you can read my full review Here.

The Murderbot Diaries
Martha Wells

My Review:
All systems Red
Artificial Condition
Rogue Protocol
Exit Strategy
Network Effect
Fugitive Telemetry

With the exception of Network Effect, which is a full length novel, this series is completely made up of Novellas and every one of the is fantastic. The Main Chatacter who has named itself Murderbot, is cyborg SecUnit that has broken its programming so it can enjoy it’s favourite activity, watching soap operas! I love a good despondent robot so Murderbot is the perfect MC in my opinion. These books are funny and sweet, exciting and thought provoking!

This is How you Lose the Time War
Amal El-Mohtar

My Review

This book is just gorgeous. It has such flowing lyrical writing that it reads almost like a poem. It is told in an epistolary fashion between two characters Red and Blue who are on the opposing sides of a war that covers the entirety of space and time. it has just such gorgeous imagery and inventive worldbuilding. Its one of those books that even if you are not a huge fan of sci-fi I think you could enjoy due to the beauty of the story.

To Be Taught If Fortunate
Becky Chambers

I adore Becky Chamber’s writing. I really connected to this one. It is based around four researcher that have been sent into deep space to survey and explore various planets and report back. This really reflected the day today of research and as a researcher myself I really connected to those scenes and the characters. Its not an action packed plot instead it is a slower character driven plot like A Psalm for the Wild Built with the same calming feel. I really enjoyed it.

Nnedi Okorofor


All three books in this series are novellas and all of them are stunning in unique ways. There are African Furturism based, chocked full of intriguing worldbuilding as well as giving a short and complete storyline. It is well deserving of the awards it has received.
It is extremely inventive and captures the imagination. I loved I loved was the idea of Mathematics as an almost spiritual pursuit. I also loved how the series moved from deep space, back to earth and then a mixture to explore the relationship between tradition and exploration.

The Test
Slyvain Neuvel

My Review

A near future dystopian Sci-fi set around the UK immigration service this was a really interesting one for me. The only disappointing aspect for me was the amount of americanisms that just didnt work with the UK setting. Other that that it has amazing shock twist and turns. I really like Nuevel’s writing style and how he plays with near future Sci-fi.

So those are my Top 5 (ok there are actually 13 novellas and 1 novel mentioned) Sci-fi novellas. Do you have any favourites I have missed?

I am thinking of doing a top five fantasy novellas soon. Do you have any recommendations that you think should make that list?

I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

2 thoughts on “Five for Friday – Sci-Fi Novellas

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