Thanksgiving weekend is almost upon us! Many Americans will be making the long or short trek to family gatherings, or maybe a short vacation. Whether you’re flying, driving, or train-ing, you’ll want some good fiction to read or listen to on the way. Here are a few suggestions.

Long Reads


Many people reach for novels to accompany them on long trips, but if you’re up for something a little different, why not give a serialized story a try? A new publishing venture called Serial Box launched a couple of months ago with the idea that television shouldn’t be your only source of episodic stories.

They launched this “HBO for Books” idea with two series: Bookburners, headed by Max Gladstone, and Tremontaine, based on the Riverside novels by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman.

If you’ve ever read and loved a Riverside book—Swordspoint, The Privilege of the Sword, or The Fall of the Kings—then you need to get into Tremontaine. You can dive deeper into the world and, as a huge bonus, get to see Riverside stories penned by amazing authors who are also longtime fans (Alaya Dawn Johnson and Malinda Lo, be still my heart) as well as Kushner herself.

And if you haven’t read any of the Riverside books yet, I highly recommend that you start with Tremontaine—you can curse me later when you have to have all the rest.


If you’re looking for fiction that you can finish in a plane ride, novellas are the sweet spot. Luckily, there are several amazing ones available right now.

Advertisement’s new novella imprint has already produced some great stories, including Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. (Edit: originally I listed Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire but realized belatedly that it’s not out yet. I forgot that my copy is a way advance one. Apologies :( )

You can also dip a toe into the world of N. K. Jemisin’s Inheritance books with the novella The Awakened Kingdom, which doesn’t require full knowledge of the trilogy and may just get you to pick it up if you haven’t already.


I also highly recommend C. S. E. Cooney’s collection Bone Swans, which has several long stories you will want to slip into and never return from.

Audio Fiction


If you’re traveling by car, or just prefer to have stories read to you, there is a sea of great podcasts out there. Subscribe to them, download (at least) the last five episodes, and you’re all set for a short drive. Subscribe to several, to get you through a long one. I suggest you try these:

Lightspeed Magazine podcast, in particular:

Uncanny Magazine podcast, in particular:

Strange Horizons podcast, in particular:

PodCastle, in particular:

EscapePod, in particular:

If you want to fill up your Pocket account with even more short stories, novelettes, and novellas, I suggest you check out the io9 Newsstand column where I highlight incredible fiction every week.


K. Tempest Bradford is a speculative fiction author, media critic, issuer of the Tempest Challenge. Follow her on Twitter, G+, Tumblr, or her blog.


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