Honestly, I can’t believe I’m writing this year-end post, because I genuinely don’t know how we got to December already. It’s been a year.
This year in fiction:
PERSONA, my near-future political thriller. It’s so hard for me to talk about my own work that I tend to just avoid it, particularly with this book, in which the plot actually matters enough that I try not to just spoil it all instantly. (Obviously to some extent that’s true for all books, but I can talk concretely about a lot more things in, say, THE GIRLS AT THE KINGFISHER CLUB than I can in this book, because those girls were neglected and kept in close quarters for years and still ended up immeasurably better adjusted than literally anyone in PERSONA, and none of them is conspiring to murder any of the others. For example.) It has diplomacy, ecopolitical precipice, and celebrity culture; beyond that, who knows.
Maybe we’ll just do the three-things approach to the rest of the year.
“This Evening’s Performance,” in The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk. Actors, some robots, and unwilling retirement.
Only a few this year (that I know of – honestly, if I forgot one, tell me, it’s been that kind of year), but I’m proud of them.
“Visit Lovely Cornwall on the Western Railway Line.” The Doll Collection. A little girl holding a doll; a train; you.
“Given the Advantage of the Blade,” in Lightspeed Magazine. A fairy tale knife fight. Literally. That’s it.
“Blood, Ash, Braids,” in Operation Arcana. A war, the Night Witches, and a real witch.
“(dis.)”, in Hanzai Japan. Haikyo, those friends you hate, and a corpse.
The year in comics:
CATWOMAN – art by Garry Brown (35-40) and David Messina (41-46), colors by Lee Loughridge, covers by Jae Lee (35-40) and Kevin Wada (41-46): My arc started started late last year with Catwoman #35, and my run concluded with Cawoman #46 in November. Sorry to be gone, but glad to have had a chance to tell a story for one of my favorite characters in comics.
“Waking,” VERTIGO’s STRANGE SPORTS STORIES #4 – art by Joseba Larratxe: A short-form story about training hawks and training wives, and how well either one of them is likely to go.
BATMAN AND ROBIN ETERNAL – art by Raúl Fernández and Alvaro Martinez, Sandra Molina, covers by Dan Panosian: I’m part of the Batman & Robin Eternal writing team, and so far I’ve gotten to script issues 7 & 8, featuring murderous ballerinas, for the usual reasons.
The year in nonfiction: I mean, the year in nonfiction is that I got lucky and made a living by basically never shutting up; my nonfiction word count outstrips my fiction word count this year by a considerable margin. I was lucky enough to appear in some new venues, including The New York Times and The Dissolve, and to get to write about many things I loved.
Some favorite pieces:
The feminine desert of Max Mad: Fury Road, at The Dissolve
Have Courage: Ex Machina, Cinderella, and the Construction of Feminine Identity, at Strange Horizons.
How the vampire became cinema’s most feminist monster, at The Dissolve. (In my heart, this article, just like my imaginary band, is named Dracula’s Daughters.)
Crimson Peak and the Gothic, at the AV Club.
Birds do it, bees do it: Mad Men’s the unsexiest show on TV, at the AV Club.
The Rise of TV’s Lady Jerks, at Salon.
I only occasionally stepped in for this season of Scream Queens, but I was very glad one of those times was “Pumpkin Patch,”, so I could talk at length about manufacturing camp.
A recap of my favorite episode of Penny Dreadful this year, the superhero origin story / act-off “The Nightcomers”, at io9.
And a piece on the execrable The Briefcase and the Victorian “virtuous poor,” at The Atlantic.