Detail from the cover of ‘Izanami’s Choice.’

Adam Heine’s Sci-Fi Debut Is Short on Pages, Long on Ideas

A samurai battles robots in a compelling new novella from a Seattle press.

“Life moves fast—books should too,” promises a promotional website for mega-bestselling author James Patterson’s new line of branded mini-novels. BookShots are Patterson’s take on the genre novella, a slick package intended to appeal to Twitter-friendly attention spans. BookShots.com promises that each of the thrillers and romances under the BookShot umbrella will be “Under 150 pages. Under $5. Impossible to put down”—and in case the breathless copy doesn’t get the point across, the site features a 30-second ad featuring a Patrick Bateman-looking young man being chased through the streets of a big city as he reads a BookShot.

Honestly, BookShots are a terrific idea. The genre novella is an underappreciated form that stretches back to pulp magazines of the 1920s and ’30s—the age of serialized heroes like Doc Savage and The Spider and midcentury sci-fi novelists like Hubbard and Heinlein. These are books that introduced protagonists quickly, solved a succession of problems with a rat-a-tat rhythm, and then resolved situations neatly. If you’re looking for something cheap and fun and light for your summer vacation, a BookShot-sized read would be just the thing. Read the rest of this review in Seattle Weekly’s print edition or online at The Seattle Review of Books.

Paul Constant is the co-founder of The Seattle Review of Books. Read daily books coverage like this at seattlereviewofbooks.com.

More in Arts & Culture

Trailer Park Blues

Megan Griffiths’s Sadie taps into the dark side of teenage angst through Sophia Mitri Schloss’s strong lead performance.

Death Cab for Cutie Headlines Deck the Hall Ball 2018

The annual 107.7 The End holiday bash moves to WaMu Theater.

Kena (Samantha Mugatsia) and Ziki (Sheila Munyiva) are beacons of light in <em>Rafiki</em>. Image courtesy Film Movement
Getting It Twisted

What to watch for at this year’s edition of Twist: A Queer Film Festival.

Ryan Gosling blasts off as Neil Armstrong in First Man. Photo by Daniel McFadden
Sea of Tranquility

In Damien Chazelle’s ‘First Man,’ Ryan Gosling delivers a fascinating blank slate portrayal of astronaut Neil Armstrong.

The new Chris Cornell statue resides outside of MoPop. Photo courtesy MoPop
Seattle Rock Star Statue Breakdown

The new Chris Cornell statue at MoPop got us wondering about the statues honoring local music legends.

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga as star-crossed lovers. Photo by Neal Preston
Not the Brightest Star in the Sky

Lady Gaga shines in the otherwise underwhelming ‘A Star Is Born.’

Jazz harpist 
Brandee Younger. 
                                Photo by Kyle Pompey
A Beginner’s Guide to Earshot Jazz Festival

A look a seven of the most intriguing performers at Seattle’s annual month-long jazz celebration.

Most Read