Today is SF Signal’s 3rd birthday! Yay us! If we could make only a single birthday wish, it would be for eternal peace, true love and extreme joy for all our readers across this great, big, wonderful globe. But only for those who are on our Frappr map, of course. There’s only so much peace, love and joy to go around, you know.

In the grand tradition of birthday posts, this recap will be filled with action-adventure, drama and sex. It’ll sort of be like one of those self-absorbed pulp-fiction books except without the action-adventure, drama and sex; which pretty much leaves self-absorbed.

Our third year was memorable for several reasons. Oh wait – I’m thinking of some other blog. Our blog was preoccupied with no less than three web host changes. On the “bright” side, we managed not to lose the readership of our favorite whipping boy, Pete. No matter how much we moved. Three times, people! (I kid!) Actually, Pete provided one of the best bits of in-comedy with his SF Signal poem, for which we will extend both his Maxim and FHM subscriptions – but only in his imagination. Also of note, Pete channeled his supermodel obsession from past years into actual blog content, but only because it involved Kate Beckinsale. We take what we can get, folks.

This past year saw the launch of a spinoff blog, Gaming Signal, a move which mostly ended the non-sf game posts in SF Signal’s gaming category. This, in turn, led to a less diluted, more focused science fiction blog. Maybe that’s what helped us get mentioned in SciFi magazine. Or the bribe money. Probably the bribe money.

Our impression of television sci-fi has notably improved. In the absence of Firefly, which we discovered post-mortem and so dearly miss, we had Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who to fill the void. And while we discussed – JP opined, the rest of us discussed – the Top 50 SciFi Shows and new TV sci-fi, we took matters into our own hands with our Studio President for a Day posts. And to show we cared about our readers (and by “show” I mean “make it look like”), we also asked you. We might even have been listening. I’m not sure – I was just skimming over the post looking for my name.

Movie-related posts this past year were mostly us fawning over Serenity. We asked if film was a poor medium for science fiction and we gave you list after list after list after list after list after list after list after list after list after list after list after list. What can we say? We likes the lists, we do.

Reading, as always, played a prominent role in our lives. We challenged our readership to name the top sf books, which resulted in many answers and a poll. Our second Reader Challenge was less popular thanks to my own poorlyized wordimications. Better was when we asked why you read/watch science fiction, a post in which Tim has the final clap of approval. We also asked about your own reading habits. Are you a literary snob and do your reading follow the popular vote?

Other popular matters of reading included reading/publication order, deciding what to read next, the last good book you read, declining book readership and overseas book-buying. At least that’s what I think was happening. I was kinda busy complaining about my postman, repeating a reading project, listing my top 7 external impediments to reading (did I mention we likes the lists?) and fleeing.

Reading inevitably turns into reviewing. Our new book review index is a good starting point to see if you think we are objective reviewers. (You do.) Which is not to say that the authors themselves are happy with our reviews. One personal note of accomplishment: this was the first year I read all the short fiction nominees for the most recent Hugo and Nebula awards. (I still think those stories would make a good anthology, if not a profitable one.) JP’s Orphans of Chaos review turned into a relatively popular post since John C. Wright, the book’s author and accused SF Signal fanboy, gave it the personal touch. Which is exactly what George Kennedy would do. JP, on the other hand, has since moved on to post more about Legos. Other review bits: Scott posted his review criteria and one of Tim’s reviews earned him a fan this year; two if you count her other personality!

After reading and reviewing, what’s left but publishing? This past year saw the rise (Bean online, Orson Scott Card’s web mag) and fall (iBooks, SciFictionsave it while you still can) of publishing outlets. We talked bloated books, media tie-ins, book remainders, and innovative authors. As a way to generate some intellectual property revenue for the blog (cheap bastages that we are), we even created the never-before-seen subgenre of undead time-traveling nazis/facists/pirates/ninjas/1972 Green Bay Packers. Hmmmm…maybe there’s a reason that was never seen before.

The sf/f genres in general were also topics of discussion. (Again, we discussed while JP opined.) We asked if science fiction was too geeky and whether Golden Age sf sucked. We mulled over military sf and once again talked about the definition of sf. As if that weren’t enough, we had a SF vs. Fantasy world-building smackdown. Last year’s list of sf/f authors who blog is still fairly popular. This year’s post on authors who should blog? Not so much.

Anywho, thanks to all the loyal readers for sticking around and thanks to all the new readers and authors for giving us a try. We may be a bunch of contentious boobs, we might make mistakes both grammatical and politically incorrect, we may not strive for excellence, we may not have any goals, we might be lazy and smell a little ripe, we might have issues with our irrespective mothers, we may be egotistical, selfish and mean, but darn it we…we…ummm…where was I going with this?

Oh well, happy birthday to us!

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