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Short Stories & Novellas

A short story is currently defined as anything up to 7,500 words, while a novella is between 17,500 and 40,000 words.

The span between 7,500 and 17,500 is often defined as a "novelette", although some authorities state that a novella starts at 10,000 words.

Since it's all rather arbitrary, and defined mostly by literary contests, we are using the term "short novella" for novelette, because the term "novelette" is sometimes viewed as a work that is frothy or silly, or of limited literary value. One doesn't want one's work to be viewed as silly, now does one? :-). A reference on word counts is listed on the Rules page of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Nebula Awards.

Waking Up Dead and Confused is a Terrible Thing Waking Up Dead and Confused
is a Terrible Thing
~ a short story (4,239 words) that will one day become a short movie, starring the author ~
Hiram Hazlacker's last living memory was the sight of the Revenue Men coming down the path to his cave. Hiram called it his Whiskey Cave, even though it was just a bunch of rocks that he’d thrown together to hide his still. The woods of Northern Maine didn’t have too many caves, so a body had to make do with what was handy. more
The Epiphany of Zebediah Clump The Epiphany of Zebediah Clump
Zebediah Clump was doomed. Knowing this, his interest in life had taken a sharp left turn into the toilet of resentful destiny. All that was good was flushed away.

He had never been a happy man. Aging, overweight and bald, Zebediah had spent decades drinking from a glass that was half empty. Every bird dropping that fell on his fine new automobile convinced him that Chicken Little was a depressingly prescient bird of death. more
Love at the Red Lobster
~ A short, short story ~
He heard the doors open behind him and he turned to see another family entering the foyer - a mother, a father, and the most beautiful little girl he had ever seen. She was wearing a pink dress and pink shoes with yellow socks. In fact, she herself was pink and yellow. She had yellow hair, pink cheeks, pink lips and blue eyes. She seemed to float there among the people waiting for tables. more
The Postmortem Adventures of Edward Wild:
The Girl in the Tavern
[a novella: 22,402 words, approx 35 pages]
He was very surprised when he died. No amount of death scenes can prepare an actor for the real thing, even a Shakespearean actor. One can rehearse being stabbed, and poisoned, and shot, and even hung. But how can one prepare to be hit by a truck as one crosses the street? It is especially grievous if it is the street that one lives on. Edward had carefully locked the door of his theater on Grove Street, and had paused to admire the new sign that proudly declared to the cultured wits of Greenwich Village that the Wild Theatre was at the top of its form. more
The Orchid Queen
Can an orchid forget?

One might not think so, but this one forgot. She was born next to a thicket of vines in a forest that echoed with the whine of bullets and the screams of men. When she was very young, a boot had fallen on her body, exhausting her in a bewilderment of panic as she struggled to free herself. Eventually, the boot had been dragged away, leaving behind scars and confusion in her delicate heart. more
The Child in the Forest
~ The Chivalry of a Thief in the Time of Charlemagne ~

[a short novella: 13,943 words, approx 25 pages]
He had been shunned and kicked and spat upon. He had been chased and tortured and had lived alone, unwanted and unnoticed by the world. To have a knight and the grandson of an emperor trust him and look to him for help was beyond his imagination. more
The Attack of the Devil Bug Gang
Members of the Devil Bug Gangs are very smelly creatures, rank with old sweat and an atmosphere of curse words not spoken in our parts for a very long time. They are very old, and very vain, and angry. more
The Ad Hoc Committee to Save the Queen
It was a mad scheme. The Count knew this, for he was not at all mad. Grim. Formal. Humorless. Boring. But not mad. Even his enemies at court admitted that the Count was a fount of common sense. His only friend, as well as his sixty-year-old mother, would sigh in unison as they bit into their crumpets at tea time. They would sigh, and nod, and admit that the Count was too boring to be mad. more
The Day the Moon Smiled
The Master of the Moon was just finishing a detailed sketch of a dimple when the light over the message tube flashed red. He paused, and thoughtfully erased a smudge on the paper, trying to ignore the insistent flashing. He had been expecting it for days. more
The Republican Corpse
~ A Sarah Kim Escapade ~
It’s not every day that you find a Republican corpse stuffed upside down in a broom closet on Capitol Hill. The fact that the head of the victim was rudely jammed into a dirty mop bucket caused even more stir among the faint of heart gathered that morning in the Ways and Means Committee room on the first floor of the Longworth House Office Building. more



“The Epiphany of Zebediah Clump”
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