by Henry Farrell on April 26, 2007

In honour of “International Pixel-stained Technopeasant Day”:, Charlie Stross is giving away his novella(??? I – never figured out the difference between novellas, novelettes etc myself) “Missile Gap”: for thems that wants to download it. I’ve put it on my iRex Iliad (which I promise to write a proper review of after the end of semester crunch) for consumption on an upcoming plane trip. Other good stuff is available for free on the technopeasant page from Jo Walton (the main instigator), Sarah Monette etc.



Kieran Healy 04.26.07 at 3:29 am

A novella is a female novel. A novelette is a kind of paper napkin with a lot of pages.


Alan Bostick 04.26.07 at 4:02 am

You can find a metapointer to more Pixel-Stained Technopeasant reading than you can shake a stick at here at

(Shame on you, Kieran. Anyone suffering from the nerd compulsion to post the correct definitions is going to look doubly nerdy now.)


David Moles 04.26.07 at 7:51 am

I thought a novella was the wife of a deceased novel and a novelette was a female novel not yet of marriageable age.


Kevin Doran 04.26.07 at 12:57 pm

Depends who you ask, but short stories are below 10,000 words, novelettes above that, and novellas above 20,000. I think.


FS 04.26.07 at 2:33 pm

Sigh. I guess I will be doubly nerdy, then.

The SFWA’s definition (which seems relevant for Stross’s work) is:

# Novel — 40,000 words or more
# Novella — 17,500–39,999 words
# Novelette — 7,500–17,499 words
# Short Story — 7,499 words or fewer


Cheryl 04.26.07 at 2:51 pm

Crooked Timber is supporting webscabs? Whatever next! :-)

There is no precise definition of short story forms. Different awards use different word lengths, and the Hugos (shock! horror!) have gray areas in the definition, so a work can be one or the other depending on how people vote. The only sure thing is that the longer the name, the shorter the work. Suggestions that the Hugos introduce a new category of Tome for supersized fantasy novels are currently stalled due to concerns that the epidemic of obesity is leading to health problems amongst young books.


Bloix 04.26.07 at 6:05 pm

Novelettes are wrapped in paper, novels and novellas use leaf.


Donald Johnson 04.26.07 at 7:03 pm

Anyone know what it’s about? Trying to decide if I’d want to download it.


Ignacio Prado 04.26.07 at 7:32 pm

I hear the techno-peasants dress all in black these days, but that’s just a rumor.


C. L. Ball 04.26.07 at 8:33 pm

Look forward to the iRex Iliad review, esp. re PDFs from JSTOR and other on-line journal sites.


Doug 04.27.07 at 8:54 am

We’re not peasants, we’re an anarcho-pixelist collective!


huxley 04.27.07 at 3:04 pm

You’re foolin’ yourself! We’re living in a didactorship. A self-perpetuating technocracy in which the working class …


rilkefan 04.27.07 at 8:53 pm

Seems to me the work in question is not a novella but a mishmash – three short stories, none of which has a raison d’être (esp. the central one, which is 3/4 exposition, 1/4 Carl Sagan getting whacked by means of poisonous pasta for knowing too much), interspliced without forming a less uninteresting whole.

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