Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Book Rambling: Short Story to Novel

When I read Anne McCaffrey's book of short stories Get Off The Unicorn a couple of weeks ago, the one thing that really struck me about the book was the way so many of the stories later became full novels. For sure there was the Thorns of Barevi (Freedom's Landing) and The Lady In The Tower, but I'm fairly certain also of the story A Meeting Of Minds as well. It seemed vaguely familiar when I read it. I just can't remember the title of the book for sure, although I think it was Damia.

Lady In The Tower turns up more or less in the middle of the novel The Rowan, and fits in pretty well. In fact I'm not that far past that point in the book now, and I wasn't at all jarred out of the read by reading the short story inserted into the novel.

Anne McCaffrey's not the only author to do that either. I've noticed it a few times with Mercedes Lackey as well. The first time I saw it was with a short story she wrote for one of the Sword and Sorceress anthologies edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley. That later became chapter 6 in the novel Oathbound.

The start of the pair of novels centering on Alberich is another of these stories too. Originally called Stolen Silver, it's supposed to have appeared in the anthology Horse Fantastic if my memory's not playing tricks on me. And, it almost seems like half the novel, but there are three short stories that make up a part of the novel The Wizard Of London.

Now, I'll admit that these are the only two authors where I've read their short stories extensively, but they're also the only two where I've seen this happen. Short stories set in the same worlds as the novels I've seen a lot of though - Sherrilyn Kenyon, J. R. Ward, Patricia Briggs etc have all done it.

Are there other authors who reuse short stories as parts of novels? And, what do you think of it when it happens? I personally don't tend to mind too much, at least if the story works well.
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