Monday, January 06, 2014

Checking in with 2014 and SpecFic'12

Somehow, someway it's already 2014. Time flies and since my birthday is on New Year's Day it literally is another year older for me. But I digress.
Last year had the distinction of being my least productive blogging year in the 8 years this blog has been around. I hope to improve on that this year, but I doubt it'll be dramatic. I do have about 7 reviews in various forms of writing (mostly in my head still) so hopefully I can get a few of those posted soon. Anyway, I imagine I'm still going to be on a 1-2 reviews per month pace while I read about 3 books per month. Nothing notable there, but it's been ages since I've been anything close to a post per day blogger. I may do a 2013 summary post and I may not - I'll decide later.
However, somehow last year I never got around to blogging about one of the coolest things that's happened to me in 8 years of blogging. I was actually published (and paid). I think that makes me semi-pro now, though you'll have to pry my amateur status out of my cold, dead hand (I should note that I have no aspirations of being a writer, so it doesn't matter one way or another).
One of the reviews I wrote in 2012 was selected for publication in Speculative Fiction 2012, (Indiebound, Book Depository, Amazon) which is a collection of reviews and other non-fiction web-based content from 2012. It's sort of a best-of publication and it's an honor to be included. I mean, my contribution is clearly bringing up the average with authors like Kate Elliot, Elizabeth Bear, Christopher Priest, and Joe Abercrombie holding the publication back. Anyway, it's a good read and I think it's worth checking out. Nomination are still open for the next publication in 2013 of what I hope will become a long-running series.
Below is a bit of promo from the editors Jared Shurin and Justin Landon the book that I figured I pass along.
What are we asking?

We're writing this particular message to make a request. Speculative Fiction 2012 is eligible for a Hugo Award in Best Related Work. As a contributor to the project we would very much hope you would include it on your nomination ballot (if you have one). If you're a member of LonCon3, or were a member of LoneStarCon3, you have the ability to nominate. You can do so here.

Why nominate SpecFic'12?

Well, as contributor I'm sure you know all this, but Specfic'12 came to be for two reasons: to create a record of the year and to recognize blogging, for the first time, as a legitimate means of commentary in a world obsessed with... erm... legitimacy. We believe the project was outlandishly successful on both fronts. Three reasons, even, as all the proceeds have been donated to Room to Read.

The collection included over fifty of your pieces written on subjects ranging from ethnocentrism in My Little Pony to the role of historical authenticity in fantasy. We were privileged to publish your book reviews, biopics, essays, and eviscerations. We convinced Campbell Award winner Mur Lafferty to write the foreword because we knew she'd win the award and aid us in our quest to build votes for the project (that's what we call REVISIONIST history). In short, we put together a time capsule for future generations of science fiction and fantasy readers to understand what was important to readers in 2012. And we're excited to see it happen again in 2013, and on into the future.

What else can you do to help?

Share the contents of this email on your social media and blogs. Leave out the first paragraph. It's terribly charming, but may not make a lot of sense out of context. Encourage your networks to consider SpecFic'12 in Best Related Work. Talk about why criticism and commentary and blogging and online debate are all important. Share links to Room to Read. Talk about how fun it would be to own exactly 1/50th of a Hugo Award. We believe it's a project shared among the entire online community, a symbol - and hopefully some sort of small representation -  of all the great work that's happening online.

Regardless of what you decide to do with your nominations, thank you so much for contributing to SpecFic'12. It's a project we felt passionate about and we're so proud that it came to fruition, and even more proud that it's in good hands for 2013 with Ana Grilo and Thea James of the Book Smugglers.


Justin Landon & Jared Shurin

P.S. Because we're especially shameless, we're making the eBook of Speculative Fiction completely free this weekend - January 11 and 12th.

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