Two Reading Projects: Dozois’s Best of the Best novellas and The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time

Seven years ago, I finished the decades long journey of the 14 volumes series by Robert Jordan. I never thought to return any way soon, as it’s a really huge time investment with over 4 million words, each book over 800 pages long. I just visited a fun statistical site analyzing the whole series not only for its word distribution but also gender distribution and other facts. One chapter in the last volume is longer than the whole Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 😀

So this is the project: Start buddy-reading the series with my daughter and see how it’s developing. No guarantees for continuation. The set mode is one chapter every two days or so. I probably won’t write many posts about it, probably. Which takes some two months per volume.

The Best of the Best Volume 2: 20 Years of the Best Short Science Fiction Novels • 2007 • SF anthology by Gardner Dozois

I just finished Dozois’s third anthology covering 2003-2017, and have also his first anthology covering 1983-2002 reviewed. Completing this with the second volume seems like a good idea.

This anthology is nearly as thick as the other two with over 600 pages. But there aren’t so many stories in it, because all of them are short novels – or in SFF speak “novellas”. That’s 12 great pieces with fabulous names and I’m really looking forward reading them. So far, I know only two of them from Nancy Kress and Ursula K. Le Guin (I haven’t reviewed the later one).

This time, I won’t be able to read one story per day and publish a review for it. Let’s just see how it flows.

Contents as from isfdb (stories are ordered from oldest to newest):

Meta: isfdb, published 2007 by St Martin’s Griffin.

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15 Responses to Two Reading Projects: Dozois’s Best of the Best novellas and The Wheel of Time

  1. pdtillman says:

    Re: Dozois, Best of best novellas. This one I have read, library copies, back when it was new. I expect you’ve read most of these already, over the years. Ah, GR decided to work again, so here’s my take:
    I’d forgotten I’ve read it twice! Very, very best (imo) is Haldeman’s masterwork, “The Hemingway Hoax” (1990). Novella is better (and tighter) than the short-novel version. If memory serves, the novel came first, then Dozis suggested cuts so he could publish it in Asimov’s. Great, great work. Swanwick has remarked on several occasions on what a wonderful story-doctor Dozois was. But an indifferent writer, imo.

    The Wheel of Time. Never read & never will!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andreas says:

      I‘ll wait to read your review after I‘ve read this myself.
      Beggar in Spain is the other piece that has also a novel length version. I prefer the tighter novella. There are authors who cannot write shorter works and restrict themselves. But if one can, it nearly always will be better with a novella.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Joachim Boaz says:

    Huge fan of Dozois short fiction — wish he wrote more… but the editing took over.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, good luck with the Wheel of Time project! I never got too far in the series myself, but I think it’s a great one to do as a buddy read, especially with your daughter. Good luck with it! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andreas says:

      I can’t believe yet that we‘ll do the whole thing.
      The series falls short somewhere in the middle, and one gives up easily. But the last couple of novels are great!


  4. Will says:

    I’ve read most of the WoT books twice, except for 2-4, which I’ve read between 3-5 time Eye of the World, which I’ve read 8 😅 and I’d love to do a reread but it’d take so much time! And this year I’m doing a Stormlight reread, so I doubt I’ll get to it soon. Either way I hope you enjoy it! And I hope your daughter likes them! Has she read them before?

    Also: 14? Did you skip New Spring?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andreas says:

      New Spring is the prequel and I don’t count it among the main body. But if you want, then it’s 15 books 👍

      It’s my daughter’s first time, and she wants to read it to prepare for Amazon‘s series.
      I‘m within my reread of Stormlight – just in the second half of WoR – I already have the new book ready, but need to catch up, because memory 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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