My 2016 Reading and Writing Wrap-Up
Well 2016 is finished, but I’m going to buck the trend and not bag it out. Yes, some crappy things happened; Trump and Brexit the first two big things that come to mind, and a whole lot of celebrity deaths. But I think the cries of ‘worst year ever’ are un-called for. Lots of good things have happened, like just the other week we got an Ebola vaccine. Besides, it would be hard for 2016 to be any worse than say, 1942.
And for me personally, 2016 has been a great year. My partner and I bought our first home, I’ve enjoyed my first ever continuous year of regular work, I started this blog, and have read a lot of good books. In this post, I’m going to do a recap on some of the things I’ve read.
First things first, remember how earlier this year I said I’d do a book bingo? Well, here are the results of that:
|Noun in the Title: The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin
|Features My Dream Career:
||A Bestseller: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J. K Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
||Book I have previously not finished:
|Author Under 25:
|Retelling of a Folk or Fairy Tale:
||Set Within the Entertainment Industry: Redshirts – John Scalzi
||Debut Novel: All the Birds in the Sky – Charlie Jane Anders
||Features a Conspiracy: A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin
||Being Adapted into a Movie: The Brave Little Toaster – Thomas M. Disch
|Features Strong Familial Relations: The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin
||Has Sleuthing and Crime-Solving: Ghost Talkers – Mary Robinette Kowal
||Features Royalty: Uprooted – Naomi Novik
||Stars on the Cover: Transpecial – Jennifer R. Povey
||Comic Book, or Graphic Novel:
||Features Unlikely Friendship: Transpecial – Jennifer R. Povey
||Has Asian or African Protagonist: Binti – Nnedi Okarafor
||Third Book in a Series: Ancillary Mercy – Ann Leckie
|Published in the Month of my Birth: All the Birds in the Sky – Charlie Jane Anders
||Has Alternating Perspectives: Seveneves: A Novel – Neal Stephenson
||Over 500 Pages Long: Seveneves: A Novel – Neal Stephenson
||Set Outside Earth: C. Chase Harwood – Bastion Station
||Book Translated from Another Language:
|ebook or Audio book: The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin
|Number in the Title: Beacon 23 – Hugh Howey
||Features Political Espionage: Hunt for FOXP5 – Wallace Kaufman & David Deamer
||A Book That a Friend Loved:
||A Book Owned for More Than a Year: Lord Prestimion – Robert Silverburg
|Features Mental Illness or Disability: Beacon 23 – Hugh Howey
||Features Murder or Assassination: A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin
||Short Story or Novella: Binti – Nnedi Okarafor
||Had Angels or Fairies:
As you can see, I didn’t complete the card. But I got two Bingos. I only did so well because the challenge creator didn’t unveil two mystery challenges, so they became free squares. For this year, I’m going to make my own card.
I also did the Goodreads Book Challenge. I joined Goodreads in May and selected 30 as my target when I was prompted to do so. I never gave it much thought until recently, so most of the books on the list were entered at the end of the year based on memory. The dates given for them were pretty much made up, because I just could not remember. I just made my target, reading 32 books. By books I mean Novels and Novellas, but not magazine issues, so the ten issues of Analog didn’t count. This year I’m going to change that and include fiction magazines, because they do take a while to read and often include some really great stories. For this year, I have pledged to read 50 books. If you’re on Goodreads, feel free to follow my progress here
To see what I read this year, click here
I’m not going to list all the books here, since most of them I’ve reviewed, but I will list all the novels I read that were published in 2016:
All the Birds in the Sky – Charlie Jane Anders
The Many Selves of Katherine North – Emma Geen
The Obelisk Gate – N. K. Jemisin
Bastion Station – C. Chase Harwood
Ghost Talkers – Mary Robinette Kowal
Ninefox Gambit – Yoon Ha Lee
The Hunt for FOXP5 – Wallace Kaufman and David Deamer
Seven new novels. Plus a new script; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and J.K. Rowling. As stated, I also read most of this year’s issues of Analog Science Fiction and Fact (nearly done with November now) and have also read an issue of Asimov’s and Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I have also read two other novellas published this year: Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold, and The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson. Now that the year is done, I’ll probably find myself rushing to read more Novellas and short fiction before my Hugo nominations for this year are due. If anyone has read any really amazing works of science fiction or fantasy published this year, then don’t hesitate to give me some recommendations.
I’m a bit better prepared for reading new books this year. So far, I have eight 2017 novels and two novellas on my to-read list. Their release dates are in my journal and this time, I’m going to try to get them read as soon as I can. Last year there were so many books I wanted to read but then missed or forgot about. I’ll make a post in a few days about the books I’m looking forward to this year in a few days.
So enough about my reading for now. Let’s talk about my writing. I haven’t really been saying much about what I’m working on lately. Part of the reason is because I’ve been working on this novel for about three years and this year, I hit the reset button on it for the second time. This second reset changed everything about the story, and it’s always felt weird talking about a story that might change again at any time. But now I’ve got over 70,000 words of this new version of the novel done, and I am certain this is how the story is going to go. The novel I’m working on is called Beyond the Fence and I am so near the end. Well, the end of the first draft. Of the first book. I now know enough about what I’m doing with this story, that I’ll make a post about it within the next few days.
Beyond the Fence isn’t the only project I’ve been working on. I have a novella that is almost ready to be shared with the world, but I’m trying to get an extra pair of eyes to go over it before I unleash it on the public. I also have dozens of ideas for short stories, but with the way Beyond the Fence is taking up my time, it’ll be a while before they get written.
I also wrote a novel in 2015, which is finished, but not quite ready to share yet. I’m currently combing through it and fixing some grammar issues. The title has changed from Jerry’s Story, to Unresolved, and now back to Jerry’s Story. At the moment though, I’m thinking of making the title Memoir of a Man out of Time and credit Jeremiah James Vaughn (the story’s protagonist and narrator) as the author. I’ll make a more detailed post about this book later.
My partner has also been working on a science fiction themed table-top RPG called Orion’s End, and I’ve been helping with the world-building. This is an extremely fun project that’ll continue to keep me busy this year.
So, that’s what I did last year. I read a lot of books, did a lot of writing, and have really enjoyed my first year of blogging. This year, I’m going to try to diversify my blog. I’ll still post regular reviews, but I hope to also write more about my writing, and now that I have Goodreads figured out, I may join some groups and complete some reading challenges. I have big plans for this blog in 2017, and I hope you all stick around.