The Novella Initiative

Book Smugglers Publishing Announces: Four Novellas for 2017

Introducing Book Smugglers Publishing’s first four official novellas for our Novella Initiative 2017!



Four Novellas for the Savvy Reader

Book Smugglers Publishing (BSP jpg)

Earlier this year, we announced our newest venture: The Novella Initiative. Starting in 2017, we will officially launch a new publishing program in which we acquire and publish a number of speculative fiction novellas per year–this, alongside our ongoing short stories, anthologies, novels, and other assorted works. On October 31, we soft-launched the program with the publication of Octavia Cade’s The Convergence of Fairy Tales. And today, we are proud to present to you our inaugural lineup of novellas for 2017!

As usual, we agonized over submissions for weeks–having received a number of incredible novellas from so many talented authors–but finally were able to agree on these four remarkable works to launch our first season of novellas in Spring/Summer 2017.

One novella is an Urban Fantasy-cum-Post-Apocalyptic tale of friendship and women (and hair product). Another is a LGBT paranormal romance featuring a female were-bear. One is a YA novella, featuring a secondary world, a female warrior and a lesbian romance (with a happy ending because we all need happy endings right now). Finally, we close out our first season of novellas with a shout-out to the girl reporter trope in a superhero story for the ages.

Each of the novellas we chose not only embrace and subvert tropes across different genres, but also embody our mission to publish diverse fiction from diverse authors. We hope you are ready for the four awesome stories we’ve selected for you.

And so, with that introduction made, without further ado, behold the Novella Initiative’s starting lineup from Book Smugglers Publishing!


Good Bye
Written by Dianna Gunn

All Lai has ever wanted is to become a priestess. When she fails the trials she runs away to the northern kingdom of Alanum, becoming the bodyguard of a wealthy merchant.

One night she hears stories about a mountain city where they worship the same goddesses she does. She abandons the merchant and heads north, determined to join the mountain city’s sacred order, the Sunrise Guardians, and serve her goddesses.


By day Dianna L. Gunn is a freelance writer helping social enterprises and non-profits change the world. By night she is a fantasy & science fiction author whose characters are intent on changing their own worlds. She has recently finished her first tabletop RPG setting for Tiny Frontiers: Mecha and Monsters and she has several novels in different stages of editing.


Written by Michele Tracy Berger

One summer morning in New York City in the 1990s, four women of color wake up with disfiguring purple lesions all over their bodies. Doctors dismiss it as skin rash, caused perhaps by a new hair product known as Reenu-You. Hysteria grows as this unknown disease spreads throughout the densely populated city. Medical providers face charges of conspiracy, cover-up and coercion from minority communities as this new malady begins to kill. The four women find themselves at the center of a looming epidemic. When these unlikely heroines develop strange powers, they are forced to confront their deepest fears to save themselves—and their city.


Michele Tracy Berger is a professor, a creative writer, and a pug-lover. Her main love is writing speculative fiction though she also is known to write poetry and creative nonfiction, too. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming in Glint, Thing Magazine, Flying South, Oracle: Fine Arts Review, Carolina Woman, Ms., The Feminist Wire, Western North Carolina Woman, and various anthologies. Michele was a ‘My View’ monthly columnist for The Chapel Hill News from 2012-2014. Her award winning blog, ‘The Practice of Creativity’ was featured in Southern Writers Magazine. Michele is completely undone by the sight of pugs and has to restrain herself from collecting any item they appear on. She lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina with her partner Tim. Come visit her at ‘The Practice of Creativity’.


Bearly a Lady
Written by Cassandra Khaw

Zelda McCartney has it all: a slightly dorky name, hippie parents, an awesome vampire roommate, a job that is technically perfect, and the need to transform into a werebear once a month. Her life gets complicated when her roommate Zora intervenes and sets her up on a date with Jakob, her high-school crush and alpha werewolf of Kensington. But as everyone knows, it never rains. It pours. Just when Zelda decides that things might be beautiful, life throws her another curve ball. Her boss Francesca assigns her an unusual task: to watch over fae nobleman Benedict for two weeks. Will Zelda be able to resist his charms long enough to get together with Jake?

And will she want to?

Because true love might have always been waiting around the corner for the whole time in the form of Janine, Zelda’s long-time crush and colleague.


CASSANDRA KHAW writes a lot. Sometimes, she writes press releases and excited emails for Singaporean micropublisher Ysbryd Games. Sometimes, she writes for technology and video games outlets like Eurogamer, Ars Technica, The Verge, and Engadget. Mostly, though, she writes about the intersection between nightmares and truth, drawing inspiration from Southeast Asian mythology and stories from people she has met. She occasionally spends time in a Muay Thai gym punching people and pads.


Girl Reporter
Written by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Tina Valentina is a living legend, president of her own media empire, but at 57 years old, she’s still remembered as that plucky girl reporter who scored the first interview with an Aussie superhero in the 80’s. Tina’s vlog-famous Millennial daughter Friday convinces some superheroes to help her investigate her mother’s disappearance, hoping to learn along the way if the gossip mags had it right about Original Solar being her dad…

A love letter to the long history of comic book plucky girl reporters, and the superheroes they follow off cliffs and the sides of buildings in search of a news story. This is Tansy Rayner Roberts’ return to her acclaimed superhero series and a follow-up to Cookie Cutter Superhero and Kid Dark Against the Machine.

Tansy Rayner Roberts

Tansy Rayner Roberts lives in Tasmania, Australia with her partner and two daughters. She has written and edited various science fiction and fantasy books including the Mocklore Chronicles, the Creature Court trilogy, Love & Romanpunk (a short story suite) and Cranky Ladies of History. She is the host or co-host of three podcasts: Galactic Suburbia, Verity! and Sheep Might Fly, and has won two Hugo Awards, for Best Fan Writer and Best Fancast. You can find Tansy on Twitter (@tansyrr) and at her blog which features fiction, feminist essays, comics reviews and pop culture criticism.


For more information about Book Smugglers Publishing, our books, artwork, and authors, make sure to check out our shiny publisher site:


  • neverwhere
    November 15, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    These all sound fantastic!!

  • Paul Weimer
    November 15, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Exciting news! 🙂

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