Saturday, October 04, 2008

Third Anniversary Hullabaloo

Three years ago today, I joined the thundering herds and started a blog. My second post tried to explain what the point of Antick Musings was (later expanded or mutated in a Credo and a longer explanation).

In the past year, I've posted 834 times, which is less than last year (841, inflated by a lot of "Blog in Exile" posts) but more than 2006 (809). But those three numbers are pretty consistent; I guess this is about as much as I blog.

On the last two anniversaries, I had long posts -- 2006, 2007 -- with lots of links and comments about what had gone on in the previous twelve months. So I'm doing it again.

One year ago today I bought a new car (which isn't all that new now, but it was then). Soon afterward, I also asked for opinions on laptops, though I managed to avoid doing one of those tedious opening-the-box liveblogs when I actually got the thing. Both of those purchases had to do with the new job, which started just over a year ago now, and so I probably shouldn't mention it here. Oops.

I've also been reviewing books for ComicMix for this past year -- I started a little earlier than that, though.

The travails of the name of Andrew Wheeler are of obvious interest to me, as with People Whom I Am Not, I Aten't Dead, the meme of Eating Everything, and The Wide World of Andrew Wheelers.

I mostly avoided talking about my family this past year, out of a worry about either boring the audience or over-sharing, though I did blog the Halloween costumes of Thing 1 and Thing 2. I also noted that My Son Does Not Appreciate Me. There was a tiny bit of More Bragging About My Smart Kids. There also was An E-mail From My Wife, Reposted Verbatim. But that's about it: my boys are ten and seven, and wonderful kids (if utter doofuses, at the same time), even though I don't mention them much.

At the end of last year, I posted my annual Favorite Books of the Year, neatly divided by month rather than by genre or anything more obvious.

David Itzkoff's been ducking me this year -- at least, that's how I prefer to describe the situation -- but we did have A Very Itzkoff Christmas. Some time later, Itzkoff resurfaced to review two short YA novels, and I wasn't happy then, either. Since reviewing books is such hard work, he then turned to asking random people who the new Arthur C. Clarke was. Later in the year, Itzkoff was enthusiastic about the new editions of Michael Moorcock's Elric books, but even that could not satisfy me.

I reviewed a bunch of books over this past year, and I think it was during this year that I finally broke down and called what I do "reviewing." Some of the reviews I think said interesting things are these for Naomi Novik's Empire of Ivory, Karen Russell's St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Richard Rhodes's Making Love, John Mortimer's Rumpole Misbehaves, Iain M. Banks's Matter, Cory Doctorow's Little Brother, Jim Steinmeyer's Charles Fort, Paul Melko's Singularity's Ring, Carrie Vaughan's Kitty and the Silver Bullet, Richard Aleas's Songs of Innocence, Jack O'Connell's The Resurrectionist, Charles Stross's Saturn's Children, Toby Barlow's Sharp Teeth, and John Varley's Rolling Thunder. (Since I was also reviewing books -- comics and graphic novels, mostly -- for ComicMix, I'll just link to my longest and most time-consuming review there, for the biography Schultz and Peanuts.)

My review of Anton Strout's Dead to Me turned into an examination of the Ace Standard, a critical term I don't believe anyone else has used before or since.

Speaking of reviews, I pondered Bad Reviews at unconscionable length once. And worried at that bone once more in Negative Reviews Redux.

I also reviewed many movies, in an even more slapdash fashion, but I think I was amusing about Enchanted, The TV Set, semi-liveblogging Batman Begins, Stardust, actually liveblogging Beowulf, Girl From Rio, You Kill Me, and Blow Dry.

I also complained about things at great length -- that's what blogging is for, isn't it? -- such as the New York Times bestseller lists, the idea that health care should be "free," and a Double Shot of the Times.

Speaking of complaining about things, I should break out my SF-related mutterings into a separate list: another round of the SF vs. Fantasy debate, the much less common SF vs. Romance discussion, On the OTW, More Picking on the Nebulas, Giving Awards To Everything, Probably the Last Thing I'll Ever Say About "Worlds Enough and Time," In Which I Fail To Get It, and a repeatedly updated post about Terry Goodkind's move to a new publisher, SFWA's New Grand Master, and the traffic-spiking King Canute Has a Posse. I should add that I'm really not as grumpy as I might seem; it's just that complaining is so much fun.

I poked at various lists of books, such as the Nebula Nominees, Hugo Nominees, SFX Top 100, and Handicapping the Hugos. Once the Hugo results were in, I went back to that well for a third time with the usual pessimism of My Discouraging Hugo Second Thoughts.

And I also declared myself an expert on all of publishing far too often, in such posts as Bad Publicity, What Is the "Disappearing Bestseller?", More Bestseller List Shenanigans, On Moving Targets, and On Those Moving Them, On Bookscan, The Same Ol' Same Ol', Another Comment Turned Into a Post, Manifesto of the Week, Publishing Death Watch, In Lieu of a Comment Elsewhere, The Stupidly Reductive Sentence of the Day, The Difference Between Writers and Publishers, The Stupidity, It Stings, and Sarah Lacy's Five Lessons.

And what would a blog be without unwarranted attacks on others? They're All Quitters. Blog Reviewers Are Being Whiny Again. Pay Me, Damnit! Pay Me!

I performed a public service on April Fool's Day, rounding up all of the joke posts I could find.

I also did a lot of memes, most of which aren't fit to be resurrected. A few that might be are this seven-sentence story, two Song Charts, one of those random long lists of questions, another really puerile set of questions where I dialed the sarcasm up to eleven, nine songs I really liked in April (and still do), yet more questions, and the Obscure Book Meme.

Every so often, I feel the need to poke about with some numbers, which I do about as well as any ex-English-major can be expected to. This past year, I examined SF Award Watch's "Poll of Polls." I also extracted the SFF titles from Publishers Weekly's lists of the bestselling books of 2007. And then I knocked around some figures about 2007 from R.R. Bowker's PubTrack Consumer service. I also looked at what people were buying from Amazon through my links. It saddened me that Indiana Jones Ages Rapidly.

I keep saying that I'm going to blog about music more, since I'm listening to a lot more new music lately than I used to, but it hasn't really happened so far. One thing I did do was post an Amazon widget linking to my favorite songs by the great (now-defunct) band The Mendoza Line. (I also keep saying that I'll do more with that widget, or ones like it, and that hasn't happened yet, either.)

And then there's the category of general weirdness and/or humor, usually related to the publishing world as well, represented by What We Talk About When We Talk About Rejection and An Open Letter to Writers.

My life isn't nearly as interesting as I think it is, but here's me yattering on about it:
And I poke about with BookScan numbers once in a while as well:
Since I'm now a "comics guy," I thought I had to link to a whole bunch of my favorite webcomics, which I led off with a naughty quote.

That's far too many links, but it'll have to stand in lieu of new content for today. Thanks for reading me this last year, and I intend to keep doing the same kind of thing for at least one more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Congratulations on the anniversary, and thanks for giving me some distraction at work every day.

Jeff P.

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