Back in January, I set myself a series of goals for this blog, and though we’re not quite at the end of the year just yet, this feels like a good time to go back and revisit them. Some of them I’ve achieved, while others have sadly fallen by the wayside. But if you don’t set a goal, how do you know if you’ve succeeded?
Review Every Science Fiction Book I Read
Achieved, with no issues. At the time of writing I’ve reviewed 119 science fiction books (not including audiobooks) and the only fringe cases not reviewed were Aldous Huxley’s Ape & Essence and Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Ogres, both of which fell squarely into the dystopian genre without quite having enough science fictional elements for me to discuss.
Read More Original Fiction
Achieved, with limitation. Warhammer 40,000 and Star Trek continue to make up a large part of my reading. Trek makes up about a tenth of my reading, while Warhammer is around the one quarter mark. That’s still significant, but is a step back from last year’s numbers. This has freed up some time to branch out into the classics of the genre, and some general dabbling.
Read More Debuts
Failed. Aside from keeping up to date with Black Library, I’ve hardly read any science fiction published in 2022, let alone debuts. As I prepare for the Boundy Awards, I’ve even noticed that I haven’t started a new series that began this year. Part of this is not seeing any debuts that massively appeal, but a larger part is me working through a backlog of existing series. Either way, this is one goal I have failed to meet.
Review More Films & TV
Failed. While I’ve kept up with my Star Trek and Star Wars TV reviews, I’ve ended up stepping back from the idea of TV reviews in general. I’m still watching plenty of great shows, but I find I don’t have that much to say about them in terms of reviewing. A conscious decision to abandon the plan, but a failure to meet the goal nonetheless.
Achieved. The first SPSFC came to a close earlier this year, and though I didn’t get on with a fair few of the books, I generally had a good time. As a consequence I’ve stuck around for SPSFC2 which is now in the quarterfinals phase. My intent with joining as a judge was to challenge my assumptions about self-published books, but I can honestly say that a lot of those assumptions have been confirmed. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next stages of the competition throw at me, but I’m currently on the fence about continuing for a third year.
Write More Articles
Achieved, but not as intended. I wrote a bunch of articles this year, including some as planned on introductions to a couple of subgenres, and a deeper dive on the origins of grimdark. However, my deep dives on particular series never materialised, and I quickly abandoned my plans to write more Ethics of Trek articles. I had planned to begin my Empires of Science Fiction series, but after a tester in March, I’ve put that on hold until 2023. One thing I have noticed, as other bloggers have commented, is that articles don’t do very well in terms of views. Even so, I enjoy taking the time to go into a bit more detail, and definitely plan more articles for the future.
Achieved, against all the odds. I actually managed to score two author interviews this year, with both Matt Adcock and Marc Collins stopping by to answer a few questions about their work, and science fiction in general. As well as being a wonderful confidence boost for myself, these two interviews have confirmed there’s a good audience out there for them. Having now refined some of my reviewing technique, I’m planning to reach out to more authors in the coming months to see if anyone fancies a chat.
That’s five goals achieved and two goals failed. Not a bad result, and it’s certainly one that’s hard to complain about. I think it’s pretty clear that I’m heading in the right direction, and the work still to be done isn’t too burdensome. I’ll be back in a little while to talk about my goals and ambitions for next year, but until then I’d just like to thank all the people who made this possible, and to wish you all good reading.