Dropping the Light Ball

by wjw on January 2, 2015

It’s New Year’s Day.  I am for the most part recovered from the stomach bug that’s kept me down the last couple days, and which meant that instead of going to any New Year celebrations, I remained at home and watched the Times Square ball drop not on CNN, because CNN cut to commercial just before midnight, causing me to jump to NBC just as the countdown reached 11.

(I know that all the celebrations were on tape delay, because the ball dropped on the East Coast two hours before midnight here, but still the folks at CNN might have paid a little attention to their viewers in the flyover states.  No wonder those clowns are down in the ratings.)

It’s customary in these end-of-the-year posts to make some kind of summing-up of the previous year, something that I find hard to do, because I don’t remember much of the previous year.  Not in the sense that, “If you can remember the Sixties, you weren’t there,” but rather because most of my days are unmemorable— or to put it another way, they’re just like all my other days.

To further explain: I work every day when I’m at home.  I don’t work Monday-to-Friday with the weekends off: I work every day unless I’m sick, or unless there’s some social obligation that takes up my time, or unless I’m not at home.   So my average day in 2014 was more or less the same as my average day in 2013, or 2001, or 1994.

“What did you do today, Walter?”

“I worked.  Thanks for asking.”

Not that there weren’t memorable days– in fact there were probably more memorable days in 2014 than in my typical year.  There were memorable days teaching at Taos Toolbox, there were memorable days in Belize, and Israel, and France. There were memorable moments hanging out with my peers, and there were memorable moments that were personal, which I won’t discuss because they were personal.

So yeah, there were some fine times, some disappointing times, some lousy times, some memorable times, but mostly there was just time.  All in all, 2014 was . . . another year.

At least I had stuff published in 2014, all of it short fiction.  And because it’s award season, and because some of you might need a reminder of what a terrific writer I am, here’s a list of this year’s greats.

  • “The Golden Age,” novella, DEAD MAN’S HAND, ed. John Joseph Adams, Titan Books, May 2014.

  • “Diamonds from Tequila,” novella, ROGUES, ed. Gardner Dozois and George RR Martin, Bantam, June 2014.

  • “Prompt.  Professional.  Pop!” novella, (Wild Cards), Tor.com, November 2014.

  • “Road Kill,” WILD CARDS: LOWBALL, Tor books, November 2014.

So we have a novella about the superheroes of the California Gold Rush, another seriocomic SF mystery featuring Sean Makin, the narrator of The Fourth Wall, a story about a teleporting thief/reality star, and another story about a forensic pathologist with odd hobbies featuring moon rockets, dead animals, and missing mutants.

So whatever 2014 was, it wasn’t a year for consistency.


Foxessa January 3, 2015 at 7:56 pm

That’s what it’s like for us too, and most of the people with whom we have close relationships!

If 2015 works as well as 2014 — sans 2014’s broken elbow — I shall be both pleased and relieved and satisfied. TASC comes out this year . . . hard to believe . . . .

Love, C.

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