the diamond-dusted edge of 2017

This is the point in our conversation where the humble blogger once again begs the pardon of you, the reader, for their negligence of this venue, most likely in some kind of neo-Regency turn of phrase. I’m kind of shit at the faux Regency stuff, though, so I’ll drop the pretense for the most part. As ever, real life and mental health got in the way, as they are wont to do, leading me to believe I didn’t have anything longform worth saying, didn’t have the ability to get it out onto the digital page, didn’t have the energy to write it.

This mostly isn’t actually the case, but brainweasels are feisty and persistent, and they’re now being reinforced by the global sociopolitical precipice we find ourselves on. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain to you how or why this is the case–I just would like to note that the fascists and trolls and other people who want marginalised people to shut up or be dead use the same, if somewhat more violent and disgusting, kinds of tactics as the self-sabotaging brain, for a reason.

I resolve, going forward, to push the fuck past that. I did some creative stuff myself this year (I put down original fiction words! I did some drawing for the first time in ages!), though nothing that has yet panned out into completion. It seems to me that my best bet for next year is to DO MORE OF THAT, push past the pathological hate, as much as is possible. So that’s my goal, for what little it’s worth. We’ll see if I find that hopelessly naive on coming back to this later.

For those keen on my reviews, I did see/hear/watch some awesome media this year, and I would like to make particular note of a few things that come to mind off the top of my head:
– The People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror collections, all of which raised the bar for the Destroy series to huge heights. For example, I’d not read the work of Isha Karki, Gabriela Santiago, Terence Taylor, and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson before, and I am very glad to have been introduced to their writing. Huge kudos to the editors and staff as well as all the content creators.
– The podcast Alice Isn’t Dead (Fink & Nicole et al) which is the diverse weird Americana horror story I needed in this world.  By the way, Night Vale itself continues to be first rate.
– The Glasgow SF Writers Circle collection Thirty Years of Rain, some of whose contributors I’m fortunate to know physically or virtually and some that I’ve not met. There’s something about knowing a place and recognising it in fiction that is a bit like representation of the self, a lightbulb moment.
– Two new published stories by Rose Lemberg in their Birdverse, which I know I have mentioned here before, but they just keep getting better. I’m so pleased Rose now has an agent for their Birdverse novel too.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (North & Henderson et al), which improves my mood every time I think about it.
Hild by Nicola Griffith, which came out in the UK two years ago but I have only just finished it today because I was trying to savour every last paragraph. I now need to go back and reread it all.
– The reviews of Charles Payseur, who inevitably finds gems of spec fic that I’d otherwise be unaware of entirely. Also he’s from Wisconsin.
– A damn awesome Springsteen show, part of The River Tour, here in Glasgow. I’m also looking forward to reading Born to Run, which I got for Christmas.

Also, late last year I decided to start supporting a little on Patreon, and it’s been really good. Here are a few folks who I can personally say are producing great content that you can support on there:
Tanya D
– Rose Lemberg (as above)
Bogi Takács
Captain Awkward
Also, Flavia Dzodan doesn’t use Patreon (contribute to her via PayPal linked here) but her independent reporting on white nationalism and extremism and the links between Europe and the US is becoming even more vital.

I hope to be able to afford to support more folks a little bit in the future, but Brexit’s been a setback for money in dollars (student loans now cost me $40-$50 more a month due to exchange rates). Still, hoping.

Please note that I liked so much more stuff, and this is just what comes to mind off the top of my head. Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows I am Our Lord/Lady of Perpetual Nope, but I do really think we need to raise each other up when there’s good to be had. And I’m planning to do more of THAT in 2017, as supporting and recognising each other is critical for people to be able to continue to do awesome work.

So hey, friends? Don’t let the bastards get to you. At least one person out there–me–thinks you are fucking amazing.

(…incidentally, the B on my laptop keyboard got royally borked a year ago today thanks to an incident with eating an exploding liqueur chocolate which watching a bad film and chatting with old friends, and it still tends to stick. If there are any Bs missing in this post, I sincerely apologise. I have learned my lesson regarding where it is safe to eat such things.)

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