Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Best of 2005

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.

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