I think it’s been a couple years since I actually posted my list of books read, but here’s everything I finished in 2022…
Empty Planet, by John Ibbitson and Darrell Bricker The Invention of Sicily by Jamie Mackay The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson MS copy of a banging horror novel by a friend Naturally, I also got to read the MS copy of Kelly Robson’s brilliant novella High Times in the Low Parliament. Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel (reread) Spear, by Nicola Griffith I Contain Multitudes, by Ed Yong Dragon, by Saladin Ahmed, drawn by Dave Acosta Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, Murder, Deceit and Obsession, edited by Sarah Weinman Hawkeye: Anchor Points, by Kelly Thompson art by Leonardo Romero & Michael Walsh Artemesia, by Nathalie Ferlinghetti & Tamia Baudouin The Terraformers, Annalee Newitz (yes, I got an advance copy, you should be very jealous of me.) Agatha Christie: an Elusive Woman, by Lucy Worsley Sex (The School of Life) by Alain De Botton Ducks, written and illustrated by Kate Beeton Unthinkable, by Helen Thomson
In many ways, the past year has been a blur. Kelly and I had a couple of family tragedies and other lesser setbacks, and these often felt huge and all consuming. Interspersed with these challenges was a much more thrilling distraction–a return to the delights of travelling! There was quite a lot of it, as Kelly’s High Times in the Low Parliament was out, so we cautiously attended some cons and writing festivals. Worldcon, Windycon, CanCon, and the Celsius festival in Spain were among the events that welcomed us, and I was so grateful to be able to go, to see my various writing friends again, and to once again reach out to the wider world.
There were virtual cons, too! You can see my panel for Augurcon, “Stories for the Futures we Need,” which also featured Premee Mohamed and Charlie Jane Anders, by clicking on the Youtube link at the bottom of this post. There’s a whole day of programming there to enjoy!
When we weren’t on the road and sometimes even when we were, I was writing. Mostly I worked on novel-length fiction, but I did write a novelette called “Horsewoman,” which will be out in Uncanny soon; I’m very excited about that! My “The Hazmat Sisters, which was a finalist for the 36th Asimovs’ Annual Readers Award will also be featured on Escape Pod, in text and audio forms.
Finally and in a very Gamechanger-y plot twist, my House of Zolo poem, “Starring You in the Role of the Fourth Rider,” is going to be adapted into a presentation–still to be determined–in VR by Black Bag media.
Working on books can make it feel like you have nothing to show for the hours and hours and hours and look, more hours! that one puts in. This is emphatically not me complaining about writing a lot. I loooovvvveee writing. But the publication dates come few and far between, and depending on your process you can work on something for months or even years without putting it in front of someone. It can be odd, and it forces me at least to rely on inner resources when I think about how a project’s going. The time scale for sharing long form fiction can be innately discouraging. I suspect that’s why many new writers struggle to see their work through to completion. It’s a marathon not a sprint: a long way to the finish line!
All of which is to say I’ve probably written half a million words this year, and it may be a fair while yet before you get to read many of them. I do have high hopes of committing more short fiction in 2023–so encourage me, if you dare!