Yesterday saw the release of Lucretia and the Kroons, a new novella from Victor LaValle, in electronic form. LaValle’s publisher describes it as “a fantastical novella about a young girl’s journey into a dark netherworld to find her missing best friend.”

In roughly a month, The Devil in Silver, LaValle’s third novel (and fourth book overall) will enter the world. The timing of this — the novella to whet the appetite for a forthcoming longer work — recalls Edie Investigates, prelude to Nick Harkaway’s Angelmaker. (Which, for the record, I thoroughly enjoyed.)

And it makes sense: both LaValle and Harkaway are writers who embrace both pulp traditions and stylistic, distinctive prose. (And I suspect that it’s no coincidence that these books are all released by Random House.) I’m curious to see what will become of these novellas: will they remain as electronic editions only? Will versions of both show up in future collections of short fiction from Messrs. LaValle and Harkaway? In some ways, I’m surprised that their publisher hasn’t experimented with POD versions of each for readers who prefer physical editions; a slim, handsome novella is always a welcome thing on a bookshelf.

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