This year in review (pun intended)

I’m crap at reflective practice so this is not an easy post for me. I am going to stick to  my usual simplicity, so here I go.

My favourite book of the year is surprisingly easy this year. Serial Killers Incorporated (SKINC) by Andy Remic. It may not be one of the most popular books of the year but for me it struck a chord somewhere deep down. For a start it had a motorbike chase that was believable and exciting to read. That is a lot harder than it sounds. Andy Remic quite often has protagonists that are not very nice or likeable. He took it a lot further in this book though. I don’t think I have ever disliked a main character quite as much as I did all the way through this one. For me this somehow added to the story and kept me totally engrossed.

The biggest surprise for me this year was that I really enjoyed The Adventures of Cash Laramie by Edward A. Grainger. Cowboy fiction is not just passe but dead as a genre right? Well bugger me if it not only isn’t dead but can be as fresh as the daisies that the bad guys tend to be pushing up.

The most anticipated book of the year for me was without doubt Empire State by Adam Christopher. Luckily for me Waterstone’s Elves managed to supply my copy two weeks earlier. That rocks. If you don’t follow Mr Christopher then I certainly suggest you give him a look. A more genuine and nice bloke you are not likely to find. I’ve not finished Empire State yet but it is a fascinating read and 180 pages in I am still trying to work out what is going on with no idea of how it is going to end.

I said you are not likely to find a nice man just now, but moving on to my favourite author of the year is probably THE nicest person. I think Matt Forbeck would probably smile as you sawed his fingers off one-by-one with a rusty spoon. It is rare to see author advertising rather negative reviews on their blog. I am a huge fan and have bought a lot of books that Matt Forbeck has either written or contributed to. Have a look at his Resume some time. It is like somebody took my xmas wishlist for the last twenty years and put it all on one page. If like me you’ve ever tried NaNoWriMo and ended up with a pile of unfinished shrivelled cat poo you will bow down and worship the insanity that is his 12 for twelve project. That is TWELVE brand new books in one calendar year. He hasn’t even cheated and started early. The man is a legend. I love his simple and elegant writing style that drags you like a lemming off a cliff towards the end at terminal velocity.

Talking of legends I have to mention J Robert King. He is like a modern Confucius. He rarely says much, but whenever he does there are no wasted words and everything he says holds weight like a black hole. I still rave to anybody that will listen about Suicidals Anonymous which is just a fantastic piece of short fiction.

I am a great believer in people finding a cause and fighting for it. In fiction one of the few things left is that in certain genres women do not get the recognition they deserve. I remember earlier this year reading about Ian Sales reading only Science Fiction read by women for a while. I won’t go that far but I will highlight City of Hell Chronicles Vol.1 as a book that is edited by Colin F. Barnes but has a fantastic array of talented female horror writers as contributors. I’m not talking fluffy bunny Twilight style horror. I’m talking the eat your brains and rip you to pieces style of horror. If you are an old fashioned kind of person you may have trouble reconciling the writing of these young ladies with their profile pictures. If you haven’t read this yet then I suggest you do as I am fairly sure there are some glittering careers ahead for some of these writers.

I could ramble on about all the amazing books and people I’ve chatted with this year but I must go and get drunk soon.

Have a great holiday season all and try not to drink yourself into a coma.


3 thoughts on “This year in review (pun intended)

  1. Really interesting summary, Tony. I agree with the Cash Laramie write-up, those stories are very fresh and original. Well worth people looking out for. I was unaware of some of the writers you mentioned here, but have added their books to my TBR pile.

    Thank you for mentioning me and my City of Hell Chronicles project. I’m really pleased with the way it’s been received and it’s great that people seem to get the ethos behind it. I was of course lucky to have a talented bunch of writers working with me, and I think you’re right, they have the potential to have a long and fantastic career.

    Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year 🙂

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