Writing Reflections: Why I wrote a novella, not a novel

‘So what exactly is a novella?’

This is the most common question I got when I told friends and family I had a novella coming out. And, honestly, it’s not a question I probably could have answered myself until relatively recently. However there’s a fairly short answer.

Put simply: a novella is longer than a short story and shorter than a novel.

So what does that mean in practice?

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Introducing my debut sci-fi novella: ‘All the Orphans in the Galaxy’!

Over the 2020 lockdown, a lot of people learned how to bake sourdough bread. Some took up knitting. Others got very into gardening, or puzzles, or reorganizing their closets. I, on the other hand, got very into 1990s’ sci-fi TV and, specifically, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. These far off worlds were my escape. My world had become so small. I really wanted to go BIG in my imagination. Space operas felt perfect.

I had started watching Star Trek during my PhD, a few years back, and it had become a comforting escape for me during stressful periods. But Deep Space Nine hit differently somehow. I’ve heard people say that it’s the ‘grittiest’ Star Trek series and, from what I’ve seen, that’s definitely true. During the lockdown, it particularly resonated with me because of its themes of grief, loss and people trying to pick up the pieces after dark and difficult things.

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