Dear readers, thank you all profusely for your comments, words of thanks, and emails over the year. It is my overarching goal to inspire you all to read more SF from the 50s-70s, dust off the boxes of your parents’ books in some forgotten closet, browse the shelves at your local used book store (or favorite online store), reflect on the often fascinating cover art…
2016 was not the most productive reading/reviewing year as my PhD dissertation defense date rapidly approaches. For the purposes of maintaining my sanity, reading and writing about SF remains my primary relaxation hobby—surprising perhaps as I read a lot of depressing SF that wouldn’t be “relaxing” for most people. According to Megan at From Couch to Moon I like my fiction “moody, broody, meta, and twisted.”
And other than a few satires here and there, my favorite SF reads of 2016 fit firmly within Megan’s descriptors.
- The Affirmation, Christopher Priest (1981)
- The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (variant title: The War of Dreams), Angela Carter (1972). Review forthcoming
- The Dream Millennium, James White (serialized 1973, novel 1974)
- The Committed Men, M. John Harrison (1971)
- Guest Post Series: Short stories by Women Writers pre-1969
- Interview with SF artist Emanuel Schongut
- Mini-series on the Italian SF art of Mariella Anderlini (here and here)
Of my endeavors this year I am most proud of all the wonderful reviewers who contributed to my Short Stories by Women Authors Pre-1969 Guest Post Series. I have one more post in the pipeline and a few more promised submissions. Thanks to all the contributors featured so far! (Rachel, MPorcius, Kate, Megan, Jesse, Kaggsy). And Ian, whose post will be up this weekend at the latest…
I also conducted my first interview (linked above) with SF artist Emanuel Schongut. Make sure to check it out. His insights on the ways cover art was produced for one of more avant-garde SF presses fascinates.
I’m a sucker for SF woodblock print covers—Mariella Anderlini.
Best short stories
- Kate Wilhelm, “Windsong” (1968), in Orbit 4 (1968)
- George Alec Effinger, “Biting Down Hard on Truth” (1974) in Irrational Numbers (1976)
- John T. Sladek, “The Poets of Millgrove, Iowa” (1966) in The Best SF Stories from New Worlds 2, ed. Michael Moorcock (1968)
- Gene Wolfe, “The Changeling” (1968) in Orbit 3 (1968), ed. Damon Knight
- Carol Emshwiller, “Animal” (1968) in Orbit 4 (1968)
- John Brunner, “Nobody Axed You” (1965) in The Best SF Stories from New Worlds, ed. Michael Moorcock (1967)
- Langdon Jones, “The Hall of Machines” (1968) in The Eye of the Lens (1972)
- Wyman Guin, “Beyond Bedlam” (1951) in Living Way Out (1967)
- Christopher Priest, “The Head and the Hand” (1972) in Real-Time World (1974)
- Robert Silverberg, “When We Went to See the End of the World” (1972) in Universe 2, ed. Terry Carr (1972)
- Gerard F. Conway, “Funeral Service” (1972) in Universe 2, ed. Terry Carr (1972)
- Robert Silverberg, “Passengers” (1968), in Orbit 4 (1968)
- The Best SF Stories from New Worlds, ed. Michael Moorcock (1967)
- Universe 2, ed. Terry Carr (1972)
- Orbit 4, ed. Damon Knight (1968)
- The Best SF Stories from New Worlds 2, ed. Michael Moorcock (1968)
- Universe 1, ed. Terry Carr (1971)
Authors I plan on returning to more seriously in 2017
- John T. Sladek: A few years ago I read The Reproductive System (variant title: Mechasm) (1968) but was unable to write a review. However Sladek’s “The Poets of Millgrove, Iowa” (1966) rekindled my interest in his surrealist, comedic, and biting brand of satire. His novel The Müller-Fokker Effect (1970) proves the point.
- James T. Tiptree, Jr.: As with Sladek, I read her collection Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home (1973) a few years ago but never reviewed it. Her short story about a traumatized astronaut “A Source of Innocent Merriment” (1980), although not a masterpiece, suggests I’ve been missing out….
Note 1: I read only a handful novels and many many many wonderful short stories…. My obsession with short SF will continue into 2017.
Note 2: I have only included stories I read or reread in 2016. Robert Silverberg’s Dying Inside (1972) received a short review this year but I read it three or so years ago. I have included all the short stories I gave a 5/5 masterpiece rating—as I consumed so many anthologies + collections there’s a chance a few fell through the cracks! I have also included a few that I have yet to review.
For previous year rundowns (missing 2015) consult the article INDEX
For book reviews consult the INDEX
For cover art posts consult the INDEX