I already went over a bunch of stuff from 2019 in my eligibility post, so I'd suggest starting there for a general update on me. Otherwise, I also posted the Quick Sip Reviews 2019 Recommended Reading List today, so there's that. Anyway, I won't dally too long (I have to go shovel snow...boo). Below are the stats for 2019 plus some thoughts and updates. Cheers!
January: 62 stories | 9 poems [71 reviews]
February: 50 stories | 9 poems [59 reviews]
March: 50 stories | 10 poems [60 reviews]
April: 67 stories | 14 poems [81 reviews]
May: 63 stories | 9 poems [72 reviews]
June: 57 stories | 10 poems [67 reviews]
July: 52 stories | 16 poems [68 reviews]
August: 53 stories | 10 poems [63 reviews]
September: 56 stories | 13 poems [69 reviews]
October: 61 stories | 15 poems [76 reviews]
November: 62 stories | 13 poems [73 reviews]
December: 60 stories | 16 poems [76 reviews]* (not all December reviews are out yet)
2019: 693 stories | 144 poems [837 reviews]
Total: 3548 stories | 705 poems | 122 nonfiction [4375 reviews]
So there's that! I think this is my first year in a while that I actually increased the number of reviews I've done. It's not a huge increase, but I do like to see that I'm not losing ground. And it came mostly because I added a bunch to what I review, including a bunch of Serial Box projects, Translunar Travelers Lounge, PodCastle, Escape Pod, and Augur. That's been balanced by some publications closing (Apex, mainly) and some decreasing the amount they put out. But I'm super happy with what I've been able to cover, even if I will never be 100% satisfied. I do still feel that there's a lot of publications underserved when it comes to reviewing (still looking at you, Daily Science Fiction), but I personally don't have more to give.
Which sadly brings me to the other part of 2019 that's not fun to talk about. The erosion of paid short SFF review opportunities. After a relative boom, a few "big name" review backers (the B&N blog and Apex) stopped paying. Maria Haskins has moved her column to Curious Fictions, which is great to see (though I'm not sure the payment on that end) and A.C. Wise has continued reviewing short fiction on her excellent blog, but it still means that in recent memory we've lost not just those two paid opportunities, but those at The Book Smugglers, Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, and more. Strange Horizons hasn't put out a new short fiction review post. What remains is Locus and Tor. And Locus does provide a good range of reviewers, and I like the Tor review/recommendation posts. Plus there are the unpaid bloggers, including Adri Joy at Nerds of a Feather and the wonderful people at SFF Reviews, plus Vanessa Fogg with It's a Jumble. There are many others and I wish I had time to list them all, but even with the passionate people doing reviewing, it still feels like short SFF reviewing is being pushed out of paid markets and back onto blogs that don't typically see as much traffic and that still favor those who can easily afford to put in the time reviewing (which tends to favor the more affluent or privileged). Not sure I have any ideas about how to push back against that, at the moment. I do know that the only reason I can do the reviewing I do is with support from Patreon. So, I mean, if you want to help out what I'm doing, that's always an option.
I'm honestly not too sure what else to say. My plans for 2020 are up in the air. I know that I probably don't want to continue this kind of reviewing indefinitely. It's incredibly time consuming and emotionally draining and takes most of my "free time" which I could otherwise spend writing fiction. But I believe very much in the work and still love the work. So I'll probably continue and try at least to get to 5000 reviews. That would be something. But for however long I choose to do this, I will give it my all. I'm still trying to be the reviewer I'd like to see in the world. I'm just a mess otherwise and chronically short of time and energy.
Again, though, thank you all for being awesome. Five years is a long time to do this kind of work. Here's to another year! Cheers!
Thank you for another year of reviews! They have definitely enhanced my reading.ReplyDelete