Saturday, January 2, 2016

Quick Thoughts - A New Year

Okay everyone, 2015 is officially on the books. Done. Welcome, 2016!

I will no-doubt have some stats to post about soon enough for the year, but as I looked back last week, this week I want to look forward. To how I want to tackle the new year. Which, surprise surprise, isn't all that different to how I tackled last year. I started this blog because I wanted a place to give my thoughts on short SFF (fiction, poetry, and nonfiction). That is still the case. I love SFF, and I love the freedom that short SFF affords, the chances that it takes, the voices that it highlights. Now, short SFF is a mercurial thing. Sometimes it seems even the best of stories is swallowed up by the sheer tide of work coming out. But fuck, I think it's a tide worth swimming against. Worth holding up a story, a poem, and saying "This. This is amazing. Read this."

In that vein, tomorrow will mark the start of the First Annual Sippy Awards! Which have been killing me to pick, because I have loved so much put out this year. I already recommend nine stories every month at Nerds of a Feather, so cutting down that list to just twenty-five for the entire year, when sometimes it is agonizing choosing only nine a month, has been an exercise in hard decisions. But what I want to do with what voice I have is to showcase stories I love. And to promote thinking about and discussing short SFF.

So what more can you expect in 2016? Well, in the world of novels I will be participating in the K. Tempest Bradford Reading Challenge, so my Quick Links will likely be filled with those reviews. I will not be extending the challenge to short fiction, because I still want to review every piece of original fiction that I can, and review full issues regardless of ToC. I feel this might be a bit of a dodge, but I do think it's important to keep looking at everything I can, especially because policing who qualifies and who doesn't when it comes to short fiction can be impossible. Not everyone is out or can be out, and I don't want to be that asshole who is going around picking works based on author name alone and how non-white they sound. The truth is that I don't trust myself to be able to do due-diligence when it comes to fact-checking each author I would read, so I'm just leaving short SFF as is for 2016.

I also have a hankering to do something along the lines of interviews with peeps doing short SFF in 2016 (called, of course, Quick Questions), but I have no idea when I might be able to get this going. My plate is...full at the moment, and I need to make sure that I keep up on my commitments elsewhere. Just saying, though, that I would love to sit down and talk to some people about their stories and about short SFF in general. So I hope that maybe I can add that to the lineup. Of course, I will be a little hard-pressed to find time to post all of this. At 313 posts in 2015, I clocked in at exactly averaging six a week. Not exactly a lot of space to add more, but who knows?

I'd also love to get more involved with contributing elsewhere. I was thrilled to participate in K. Tempest Bradford's "Best of..." post and I've been a few other places around the internets, and I just love talking about genre and short SFF and everything. But again, I don't want to overbook myself (well, more than I already do...). So yeah. And if anyone wants to shout-out some ideas or suggestions in the comments, feel free. What would  you like to see in 2016? Anyway, thanks for reading. 2015 is dead. Long live 2016!

All the best,

Charles Payseur

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