I am not particularly happy about it being this time of the year already. Or maybe I am? Who knows, the year doesn’t care about my happiness.
Anyway, completely pointless blurb aside, this tag does exactly what it says on the tin. This year Celeste at A Literary Escape tagged me and many thanks to her. I think this is the same as one as I did in 2020 when it was credited to booktuber Ariel Bissett?
Guess we’ll find out as it goes…
Is there a book that you started that you still need to finish by the end of the year?
I got bored of typing out manic laughter as an answer to this, so I settled for a manic laughter gif.
Which raises an interesting question. Ballooning currently reading lists are apparently a feature of mine come the end of the year. Running out of interesting books? Mood affecting reading? I know I’m probably going to declare myself in a slump and leave the books alone for a little once I hit my yearly goal of 150 (11 away, don’t be surprised if there’s a lot of Asterix comics). Impatience with running out of time leading me to try everything?
Anyway, technically everything on the latest WWW should be finished but barring recent kill Jurgen, I wouldn’t hold my breath on any of them. There’s also my goal lists from the beginning of the year. Continuing series is only missing Eames’ The Band, Gladstone’s Craft Sequence, Williams’ Winnowing Flame, and Lee’s Green Bones Saga for a perfect sweep. Might start some of them, which might even mean finishing? The Retry List is similarly close, with only Wurts, Banks, William Morris and Jemisin to close it out. Again, might target that. The Main 11 List is also tantalising as it only needs De Lint, Swanwick, and Lucy Holland. I even got the De Lint to try the other day. I know I shouldn’t be starting new books but, well…
Anyway, point is, there’s a ton I could finish, but I’m very happy to roll most of them over to next year. The only one I’d feel bad about is CM Caplan’s The Fall Is All There Is as it being a recent ARC means it deserves a soon-ish review.
Do you have an autumnal book to transition to the end of the year?
Besides… what autumn? It went from summer to winter in about a week where I was, falling leaves aside. And I type this from Florida, where it feels like a cool summer. Hell, do bloggers from ‘Straya and New Zealand and South America and the many other places that exist in the Southern Hemisphere look at this one and giggle?
Maybe next year I’ll read an autumnal book if I can even figure out what one is.
Is there a release you are still waiting for?
I am a horribly cheap bastard so while it’s already released, I am watching like a hawk to see if Erin Evans’ Empire of Exiles gets discounted soon-ish. Which isn’t quite the same as released, but close enough for my purposes – I have literally no idea what else is even getting released this year, particular with Aliette de Bodard’s Red Scholar’s Wake recently released.
Name three books you want to read by the end of the year
*waves hand at the above*
Beyond that and my recent haul, I wouldn’t mind checking out Henry Kuttner’s Elak of Atlantis as I have no other Retro Review material on. The list is getting fantasy heavy, so maybe some palate cleansing with some… *stares blankly at list of books*
Ah to hell with it. I deffo want to finish the GGK Tigana reread, and I’d like to finish Tad Williams’ The Dragonbone Chair because I suspect it’s going to drag and I want it off the decks, and can’t usher it off the plank per usual.
Is there a book that can still shock you and become your favourite of the year?
Not a fucking chance. A Song for Arbonne’s growth arcs and strong thematics have kept it strong in my mind throughout the year, and All The Seas In The World hitting me right in my emotional core probably beats that out anyway. Both Guy Gavriel Kays. To beat that, an author is going to have to pretty much make my top four favourite authors out of absolutely nowhere, and that’s real unlikely. I guess maaaaaybe if I cave and get Evans now and it’s as good as everyone says?
Have you already started making reading plans for 2023?
I’m having a few thoughts.
I want to forge ahead with Project Retro Reviews, which could mean practically anyone. The big two I’ve not covered so far are Howard and Lovecraft, so there’s a very good chance I’ll do at least one. I could also see a few of William Hope Hodgson, Algernon Blackwood, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Henry Rider Haggard, Evangeline Walton, and Kenneth Morris getting read, subject to availability.
I’ll be picking a few more elevens for the year, including a few rollovers no doubt. JV Jones will be getting a proper try for one. I think I might make really getting to grips with Jo Walton a priority too. Erin Evans is top of the list. I want to try more mysteries and horrors outside of fantasy. Continuing series, I can see Tade Thompson’s Murders of Molly Southbourne and Lois McMaster Bujold’s Penric and Desdemona getting put there.
My desire to know everything about 80s/90s epic fantasy means giving Stephen Donaldson a proper go, and I might take another shot at Malazan, a series where I let the surrounding noise influence me too much (I think I just don’t get on with Erikson’s voice though).
I’m also finding myself increasingly intrigued by 60s/70s fantasy. It seems to be a time of writers who believed in big stories in small packages, a time when the avant-garde and mainstream fantistika were more or less one, and a time that perhaps gets written out of the popular narratives all too often (although not as much as non-epic 80s/90s). I’ve tried some Delany and Zelazny, some Harrison and Moorcock… I think I might visit this period in more detail.
Although I’m also considering trying to finally get to grips with modern epic fantasy, a genre where the blurbs themselves put me off.
And beyond that, I’d like to fill in a few favourite author holes. I’m going to finish the two Discworlds I couldn’t finish, Snuff and Raising Steam, if only so I can start internet fights by ranking all Discworlds. I will continue through GGK’s bibliography, and keeping working back through Saad Z Hossain’s too.
Am I going to achieve all of this? Hell no, but that’s kind of what makes it fun.
And that’s it. Let me know what you think, and see you next year for more manic laughter…