Wednesday, January 01, 2014

A Resolution

Let's do some reading. Are you with me?
Happy 2014, everyone! Another year down, a new one ready to go. Hope your hangover isn't too bad. Mine's all right. Should be a good day.

Let's see, I suppose I should tell you what my resolutions are. Or the one resolution I'm making, anyway. (Don't worry, though, I'm sticking to the whole 'lose 5 pounds a month' thing. That's not a resolution. That's determination.) So, here it is:

Read more books from this century.

That's my resolution for 2014. Usually I make some complicated, overfull list of everything I want to accomplish in a New Year. Over the last few years I've done some really thoughtful, oblique kinds of resolutions that I've been able to mostly keep to. I didn't necessarily put them up here, but I made some little posters that I kept in my office at work and at home. I'm posting this here this year because I want to be held accountable.

Here's the explanation:

I want to be a full-time science-fiction writer. I've spent my life reading a really pretty narrow list of writers who've been influences on me: Heinlein, Bradbury, Dick, Burroughs, Moorcock, et al. For 2013 I vowed to read more authors whose work I've heard of and even read about but never actually cracked open.

I did that. Read quite a few: Jo Walton, Kurt Vonnegut (I know!), Nancy Kress, John Scalzi, James M. Cain, Clifford D. Simak, James Thurber, Norman Spinrad, Jack McDevitt, Kage Baker. I enjoyed every single one of them. I also read Stephen King, some Michael Moorcock, Richard Kadrey, Alex Grecian, Mike Carey (can't WAIT for his new one), George R.R. Martin, Warren Ellis.

Not as many books as I wanted to, but more than last year. I think

My friend Christie is vowing to read a hundred books this year. No way I can do that. But what I can do is read books that have been written in the last thirteen years. That list of authors I read, many of them were books that were twenty or more years old. The stuff I grew up reading was nominally current to the time I read it, thirty years ago.

So it's time to read some more current stuff. Starting off with some cool stuff that's only six or seven years old, moving on to Year's Best SF 18 which is the only anthology I read every year. It's consistently, consistently packed with awesome science fiction shorts. After that, things are kind of up in the air. I should read another Charles Stross book, I really want to read the Prophet comic but I haven't sourced a copy of that. Lots of other things on my radar. Probably some Michael Swanwick. I love his short stories. More Scalzi. Right now I've got a Connie Willis collection of short stories that's tugging at me, too.

Lots to choose from. SF is alive and well and doing just fine. I'm going to get current and then we'll see what happens. Lots of good things, I hope.

All I have to do is crack open a book. Or two. Or seventeen.

No comments: