You know it’s been A Year when the thing you remember most is Story Land, which felt like two years ago until you looked up the thread about it and realized it was only a handful of months ago that you first went to the only currently-operating haunted theme park in the States.

But Story Land wasn’t the only good thing that happened this year. There was also Face Jug! (2018 was eight years long; I’ll take joy where I can find it.)

I wrote quite a bit this year, and did work on several projects, but that’s a post for future me. Here are some things I published this year.



“Abandonware,” about despair, video games, and deer, was published at Lightspeed.

Mozilla’s IRL podcast asked me to write a story about what I saw as the future of elections. If you, too, were stewing in 2018 politics and ambivalence about automation, “Hello, I’m Your Election” will not surprise you.

(And this is a reprint, but I’m chuffed that “La beauté sans vertu” is included in Worlds Seen in Passing, the best of’s first ten years.)



I have a long story in Ghost in the Shell: Global Neural Network, an anthology in which a handful of creators (under the auspices of Shirow Masamune) wrote stories in the world he created. My story, “After the Ball is Over,” doesn’t involve Section 9; it takes place in the fractured post-civil-war America he envisioned in which water scarcity, casual fascism, surveillance, and class stratification have come to define American life. Science fiction is fun, isn’t it?



I did quite a bit of this; in true 2018 fashion, I started a personal essay and found myself unable to finish, but I did finish many other things. Some pieces I really enjoyed writing:

Elementary almost ended! I will almost certainly wish it had ended here. I wrote about why for AV Club. This show has been coasting a long time, but when it remembers Watson and Holmes as characters, it earns its place among the adaptations.

2018 was the anniversary of Frankenstein. I wrote about Frankenstein, adaptation, and a very nervous British clerk for NPR.

Some book reviews there this year: A Place of Darkness, The Queen’s Embroiderer, The Strange Case of Dr. Couney, The World in a Grain, Darwin Comes to Town.

I gave a presentation about the history of Catwoman mapped over historical archetypes of European women in power at the 2016 Wonder Woman Symposium, because of course I did; then I turned it into an 11,000 word article about iconography, narrative, comics, and royal portraiture, because of course I did. It was published in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics.

Harlots has more interesting characters than it can use, which gets frustrating, but when that’s your biggest problem, that’s pretty good. Its characters also refer to each other with full names a lot, which is even better. My Season 2 overview is here.



The red carpet continued to be as fascinating and sinister as ever. I covered The Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, the Oscars, the Met Gala, and the Emmys.



Honestly, I’m going to take my cue from the amazing New Year’s greeting card I found for my header: May 2019 bring you all the joy of being a bird on a branch, watching the unworthy freeze to death.