In 2019 I spent time in Bermuda, took a group cruise with cherished friends, visited New York City and Virginia, and celebrated the holiday at St. Clement’s Castle. I attended SoonerCon in Oklahoma where I participated in and moderated several literary panels.
I made 16 professional writing sales, including three stories to Fantasy & Science Fiction, two to Third Flatiron, two to Baen Books, and additional stories to Head of Zeus, The Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF, Shock Totem, XB-1, and Pole to Pole Publishing.
I had pie delivered to me in a park and it was wonderful.
I attended the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Hudson Valley, New York and it was enchanting.
At DragonCon in Atlanta, my novelette “Crash-Site” was announced as the winner of the 2019 Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF Readers’ Choice Award; my story “By the Moon Unblessed” was awarded First Place in the 33rd On the Premises short story contest; “The Anzu Protocol” opened the Holy C.O.W. anthology of Mesopotamia-inspired stories; “Tunnels” opened Third Flatiron’s Infinite Lives anthology; “Aftershock” was published in Galaxy’s Edge; “Cry the Thousand Sentinels” appeared in Third Flatiron’s Hidden Histories; “Old Spirits” was published in the Release the Virgins anthology; and “Crash Site” was published in The Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF Volume 5.
I completed writing the sequel to Ten Thousand Thunders.
For games, I finally played through the spectacular The Witcher 3, Bendy and the Ink Machine, Inside, the newest Hitman game, Song of the Deep, and The Outer Worlds.
For films, I enjoyed The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, caught Avengers Endgame through an overnight viewing (and was interviewed by local news for my review). Mixed feelings on Toy Story 4 and Spider-Man Far From Home and Joker. Hate saying this, but I was disappointed by The Irishman and Tarantino’s latest.
For TV, I binged on Mister Robot, a rewatch of The X-Files, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Stranger Things’ third season, and absolutely adored Good Omens (my favorite show of the year.) Thought Jack Ryan was extremely uneven. Really liked Carnival Row. Thoroughly enjoyed Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus. The best show of 2019, however, was HBO’s astounding and horrifying Chernobyl.
For books I indulged in a China Mieville kick, a Jules Verne reread, and ample nonfiction.
For music, I joined a weekly music discussion group started by my friend Doug Sobon, in which we recommend albums and meet for some in-depth musical analysis of everything from The Beatles to Nightwish to Queensryche. And speaking of music, I attended a live orchestra showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark at the Bushnell in Hartford, Connecticut, and Les Misérables at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Happy New Year!