Today is SF Signal’s 7th birthday! Yay us! 🙂
It’s been another thrilling year here at SF Signal…or as we like to call it: “Ned”. Our readership, like our waistlines and egos, continues to grow. So we thank you with this link-laden, self-promotion post disguised as a trip down Memory Lane…
Join us, won’t you?
Looking back, what did you, cherished SF Signal reader, like the most? The crown for most popular feature once again goes to our Mind Meld series. This year, we asked our esteemed guests (among other things) about robots, aliens, and villains (from both literature and film). We asked about favorite books, sf books should be in every fan’s library, memorable short fiction, underrated fantasy series, the best sword & sorcery stories (and the definition of S&S), and the best genre-related books/films/shows consumed in 2009. We asked what book introduced you to science fiction and what book introduced you to fantasy. We asked about books you love that everyone else hates (and vice-versa), the best story to never win a Hugo and who should be the next Grand Master. We went behind the scenes and asked Editors how anthologies are made. We asked about genre crossovers, International SF, book covers that blow us away, and the pros & cons of eBooks. We asked about sf/f books that would make a great TV series, scifi TV shows that deserve a remake, favorite anime titles (our most popular Mind Meld this past year), and intelligent scifi films. Lots of great topics and many more great and gracious guests. A huge thank you to all those who participated and to the readers who continue to enjoy reading the broad range of opinions expressed. [Insert Dating Game kiss-to-audience here. Now reach for hand sanitizer.]
We didn’t just solicit responses from others, we actually invited some folks to do guest posts for us. For example, Gabriel McKee told us why he’s not a fan of Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass; Lavie Tidhar talked about steampunk; Jason Sanford asked whether online magazines end the eternal slugfest between genre and literary fiction. Justin Allen talked about imaginative literature; Sarah A. Hoyt discusses the death of science fiction; Jennifer Brissett weighed in on the writer pay-rate flap; Matthew Sanborn Smith looked at an intersection of space opera and comics; Ari Marmell looked at antiheroes; A. Lee Martinez gave us a behind-the-scenes look at his latest book Divine Misfortune; and Gareth L. Powell listed five books that changed his world. We had guest reviews as well from Jason Sanford (The Windup Girl, Odd and the Frost Giants, And Another Thing…, Booklife), Chris Roberson (The Women of Nell Gwynne’s, Tom Strong), Athena Andreadis (Shine), and heather Massey (The Hidden Worlds).
Besides the aforementioned waistlines and egos, we also expanded our ranks by adding several “SF Signal Irregulars” as we like to call them. (We also like them to buy us bagels, but so far that angle has proven to be less than doughy.) Charles Tan, the kick-ass blogger of Bibliophile Stalker and many other venues, has been expertly helming the SF tidbit posts. he has also been conducting many of our interviews. Scott A. Cupp introduced his awesome Geeks (With Lots) of Books column. We are also fortunate enough to increase our reviewer ranks with Andrew Liptak (military scifi a specialty) and Ashley Crump (an English teacher who – gasp! – loves to read). SciFi songster John Anealio also did a stint providing music-themed posts. And we’re also thrilled to have Derek Johnson writing up insightful and in-depth movie reviews.
This past year saw lots of reader interest on the topic of…reading. We asked you What Book Are You Reading Now? and you told us…which is what usually happens when we end a post title in question mark. Educated as such, we naturally asked you more stuff, like: Which books have you bought more than once?, What’s your favorite slipstream story?, What book are you reading now?, Have you ever binge-read an author?, Does the ‘scifi’ label still apply? and What are Ursula K. Le Guin’s best short stories? Meanwhile, Peter Damien talked about comic books vs. natural selection while Jeff Patterson talked asked What Price Super-Heroics? It turns out our readers weren’t big fans of International Science Fiction Reshelving Day, but they did like our list of 40 books from 2009 you should read. (Perfect…more book titles that will inevitably prove that I’m a book collector.) Readers liked our rundown of the Amazon vs. Macmillan battle over eBook prices, but our most controversial post was the table of contents The Mammoth Book of Mindblowing SF. JP’s post on why he stopped reading The Gone Away World was popular, too. And there was more to love about books than just the stories, as evidenced by the popularity of our Book Cover Smackdown posts.
It wasn’t just books that we talked about. Briefly, in the film world, the biggest news was Avatar, which I though was good, but not as great as the hype made it out to be. And on television, the new Doctor Who, Flashforward and Stargate: Universe were topics of interest. That’s it. I said it was brief, didn’t I?
Once again, thanks for another fun year, SF Signal readers! We wouldn’t do it without you. (Mind you, we could, but that would be just sad.) In the spirit of conservation, I’ll recycle a sentiment from last year: We hope you had as much fun as we did this past year and we thank you for stopping by.
Peace. In spaaaaace!