This year has been terrible. (Not the beginning of a personal essay, just an observation on everything in general. I genuinely don’t know if there’s more to say; certainly I can add nothing beyond that, except that if 2017 felt like a boulder pinning you down, you are not alone.)
This is some of the work I did this year.
This year involved a lot of work on projects that aren’t out (some of which aren’t even announced yet), but I had three short works come out this year.
Novelette: “Intro to Prom,” Clarkesworld (ed. Neil Clarke). Four teens, prom, a city underwater, abandonment, prom, the end of the world, and prom.
Short Story: “Overburden,” Infinity Wars (ed. Jonathan Strahan). A Colonel of the Glorious Forces watches a foot soldier dealing with carp, orders people killed, complains about the coffee, thinks the enemy is someone else’s fault, and learns a few technical terms about mining.
Short Story: “A Comfort, One Way,” Mad Hatters and March Hares (ed. Ellen Datlow). The Duchess, Alices and Mary Anns, and croquet with the Queen even when you know better.
This year had some truly amazing films in it. Somehow, I ended up writing the most about a Disney movie I got angry at, which is very 2017 of me. After Beauty and the Beast came out, I wrote about how the Disney adaptation compares with earlier iterations, why we like turning it into a dark story so much, and the costumes.
I also read and enjoyed some books, including The Radium Girls, Where the Water Goes, How to Read a Dress, High Noon, The Portable Nineteenth Century African American Women Writers, The Taste of Empire, and The Woman Who Smashed Codes. I also wrote a piece about two books – The Un-Discovered Islands and The Planet Factory – that are fascinated with two very different kinds of terra incognita.
In terms of TV this year, I recapped a handful of shows:
At AV Club, I recapped Harlots, a very enjoyable mob drama about women in 18th-century London who navigate a very particular hierarchy of power within the sex trade – the kind of show where characters routinely refer to one another with their full names just to make a point.
Also at AV Cub, I recapped the fifth season of Elementary, which still has plenty of great moments that I wish the show as a whole could live up to.
And I was lucky enough to get to recap the final season of Reign, which didn’t quite achieve the Everything, All The Time glee of the first season, but when it was on, it was on.
At Vice, I recapped The Handmaid’s Tale, which was a beautifully assembled and compellingly acted show that had fundamental issues with race that it never managed to satisfactorily address.
And at the New York Times, I recapped Outlander, which had some fantastic highs and some really awkward lows. (Plus a blue riding habit that ends up being the season’s MVP.)
And a few other things, including some reprints:
The paperback edition of ICON came out in July. Amid current events the politics at play in these books have gotten sort of interesting (who knew that the biggest science fiction element in these books would be how many politicians were acting according to conscience).
This year, my novelette “Everyone From Themis Sends Letters Home” (from 2016) appeared in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume Eleven, The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017, and – for the first time – The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy.
My memorial-AI family story “Small Medicine” was reprinted in the anthology More Human than Human.
“Familiaris” (fairy tales, motherhood, and hated things) was reprinted in Lightspeed Magazine.
Also reprinted in Lightspeed: My diplomacy story, “Carthago Delenda Est.”
(I also liked getting to pitch a dream Star Trek series over at Popular Mechanics; it was about the clothes, because I will always have questions.)
Thanks so much to everyone who’s read my work this year; it means the world. See you in 2018.
card via hyperallergic.com