Best Read (Novel) of 2005:
Kill Whitey by Ken Harvill - A surreal, violent, fun read from a fresh voice.
Twisted City by Jason Starr - The story of how a man's life falls apart when his wallet is stolen, expertly held together by Starr's confident writing.
The Pistol Poets by Victor Gischler - A rye tale of stolen drugs, mistaken identity, and cutthroat academia.
Best Read (Short Story) of 2005:
"Tall Boys" by Rob Kantner - Ben Perkins' first case, great period flavor and excellent plot twists.
"The Dean Curse" by Ian Rankin - Another fine Rebus puzzler, this one involving assumed identity and a car bombing that isn't what it seems.
"East Side, West Side" by Max Allan Collins and Matthew V. Clemens - The first appearance for a Nick and Nora Charles-like duo, who uncover some good old-fashioned celebrity intrigue.
Best Movie Seen in 2005:
Serenity - Finally, a fitting farewell for Joss Whedon's "Firefly"
Batman Begins - Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale get the Bat back on track.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith - A fun romantic action movie, the gossip pages be damned.
Best Writing Experience of 2005:
"This Never Happened to Superman" - Veteran readers of this blog know how long I've worked on this story. To turn the corner on it this year was hugely satisfying.
"Cleaning House" - my first serious rhyming poem, also an exercise in empathy.
"The Carrier" - my first attempt at speculative fiction, a challenge to make believable.
Much of my success this year came from more than tripling last year's submission output. When I didn't know how to work on a piece, an editor's comments would help me take a fresh look at things. 2005 seems to have flown by because it was my busiest writing year so far, and as I continue to learn how to move from one project to the next, I hope for even more in the future.