I read 94 books in 2014 which is almost exactly half the amount of books read in 2013. I did write a novel, and a short story collection, and edit 8 issues of Far Horizons though, so time spent reading was obviously a lot less than in 2013 -about half I reckon!
I also went to a lot of cons and ran a few events so busy book year. Very satisfying and enjoyable though.
I read 21 ARCs in 2014 compared with 11 in 2013 - I think 1 per month is more doable than 2 per month so am going to make that promise to myself, no more than 1 ARC/Review copy per month.
18 books by women (and 7 by Various - including women contributors) which is actually a lower proportion than in 2013. Must do better next year!
18 e-books and 2 audio books shows that these are still not my favoured formats.
The following books rated "Brilliant" in 2014 - books that everyone should read, really outstanding and memorable. Highly recommended.
The Haunted Book by Jeremy Dyson
Excellent collection of ghost stories
Overall – Are you sure there is no-one behind you right now?
All over coffee by Paul Madonna
Overall – Poetic and artful
The Great War by Joe Sacco
Overall – Just beautiful, I wish I had a wall big enough to display it
Goliath by Tom Gauld
Overall – Art & story in perfect harmony
Encyclopedia of early Earth by Isabel Greenberg
Overall – very few books get quirky right, this one does
Write by The Guardian
Overall – Lots of writers talking about writing, what’s not to like?
Incidents in the night by David B (translated by Brian Evenson)
Overall – Great art, great plot, great story
The gigantic beard that was evil by Stephen Collins
Overall – This is a book with a big idea, presented simply and beautifully rendered in A4 printed on high quality paper with a reassuring heft.
London Falling by Paul Cornell
Overall – Police procedural with supernatural elements, the start of what promises to be a great series.
The Johannes Cabal series by Jonathan L Howard
I really don't understand why Howard isn't a bigger star, one of the best comic writers working in books at the moment.
The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer
From the decision to release the entire trilogy in one year, to the weirdification of the Florida coast, to mouse detergent, definitely the best thing I've read for a long while. So good I read them twice, once as they came out and a second time one after another. Two different reading experiences. And I got to meet Jeff & Ann too which was great.
The girl with all the gifts by Mike Carey
Overall – Emotional and unputdownable. I stayed up late to finish this one, that doesn't happen often any more.
The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
Overall – This very much deserves all the praise and hype, go and get a copy, now!
Invisible: Personal essays on representation in SF/F edited by Jim Hines
Overall – Slim but packs a mighty wallop.
Derek Handley (who is one of the essayists in the book) had this to say about representation- Representation is important. When you’re a kid, it’s about having a positive role model with your defining characteristics. When you’re an adult, it’s about being reminded that you fit in somewhere and escaping into that character. And when you’re going through a major life change, it’s about finding solace in stories that show you that someone understands and that maybe you can overcome the challenges you face.
Tigerman by Nick Harkaway
Overall - Harkaway just seems to be getting better, if you like his other books go and get a copy
The Moon King by Neil Williamson
Overall - This is a very accomplished debut that deserves a wide readership. This is very much my sort of thing.
Do no harm by Henry Marsh
Overall - Honest insight into a career as one of Britains top neurosurgeons, heavy on the medical drama.
So that's it - 2014 is almost over and 2015 is round the corner, what will it hold for me? Well I'm hoping for good news on my short story collection, my novel will receive its final polish and start doing the rounds of agents and publishers and my writing group's anthology will be published thanks to all our lovely backers on Fundsurfer. I'll be at several cons (9 worlds, Archipelacon and BristolCon for sure so far) and busy on the local lit scene with Bristol Festival of Literature, North Bristol Writing and no doubt many other local lit scene events - as usual I'll blog about them as they happen!
Happy 2014! - See you in 2015
Monday, 29 December 2014
GARETH L. POWELLAck-Ack Macaque2013 BSFA Award for Best Novel.
You can find Gareth online here: http://www.garethlpowell.com/ and on Twitter as @garethlpowell and Ack Ack Macaque can be found on Twitter too @AckAckMacaque
I caught up with Gareth as I was sent a copy of Macaque Attack - the third and concluding part of the fantastic Macaque series. I previously interviewed him when the second book came out - http://brsbkblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/this-week-i-have-also-been-talking-to.html
Wednesday, 24 December 2014
Nathaniel Danes is a self-diagnosed sci-fi junkie and, according to his wife, has an over active imagination. Mostly blind, he writes to create universes where he has no limitations. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Washington, DC area.
Amazon (Pre-Order): http://www.amazon.com/Last-Hero-Nathaniel-Danes-ebook/dp/B00NI5UGPI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1410517044&sr=1-1&keywords=the+last+hero
Nathanial has dropped by to talk about his book - The Last Hero
Contact with a race of pacifists convinces mankind to lay down its weapons and keep the peace. The last Medal of Honor recipient, Trent Maxwell, trades glory for the comforts of a family after the U.S. Army disbands. All that ends when an alien menace attacks the New Earth colony, which forces a crash mobilization. Trent finds himself reactivated and traveling through space to distant worlds, in order to stop this new enemy. During the century long journey of death, love, and loss, he also deals with the law of relativity that wreaks havoc with his daughter.
Trent knelt down where Anna could throw her arms around his neck. She pulled against him tight and started crying again. Tears rolled down his face as he whispered, “I love you more than you can understand. I’m sorry.”
Her cries downed out his soft words.
After a minute, Trent summoned all of his strength to break free of her hold. Standing, he shared a look with Madison. She wrapped him in a loving, warm hug.
This time she did the whispering, “Remember what I told you. Make them pay.”
He pulled away, nodding as he placed his hand on Anna’s sobbing head.
“I’ll see you both again someday. I promise.” The words bound him to a promise he wasn’t sure he could keep.
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Whilst I was away (surely you noticed?) our Fundsurfer met its funding goals and all systems are now go!
We are finalising the text (all the stories are edited and we're just filling in the fiddly bits) and the art and are now talking to the publisher about the esoterics of getting a book published (lot's of things to sort out - like choosing between B & C formats and getting an ISBN amongst many other things)
It's exciting seeing this idea come alive slowly but surely and I'm really looking forward to seeing it in the flesh, which will now definitely happen due to all our lovely funders. Each and every one of them, from the lady who gave us £2 in the pub to the guys that pledged for the £200 reward, and everyone in between, deserve a massive thanks.
I'll keep you up to date with what happens.