In 2022, I spent time in Austria, Bavaria, Hawaii, Virginia, and Washington DC. I had poke bowls in Honolulu, explored a 500-year-old salt mine in Berchtesgaden, and ate my first Sachertorte in a Viennese café.
I attended a New York speakeasy in East Village, which was the bee’s knees. I visited the trippy Beyond Van Gogh exhibit in Hartford and enjoyed it.
My friends and I organized a Roman Saturnalia party, during which my head provided the model for the patron god’s shrine. I watched the human race achieve a significant milestone in fusion power, deflect an asteroid, and use CRISPR to alter immune cells to destroy tumor proteins.
My sci-fi novel REDSPACE RISING was published to critical acclaim and rave reviews. Locus Magazine says, “Once begun, it will grip you by the throat–like its soldier protagonist grips his many enemies–and compel you to read it all the way to its jubilant, battered conclusion. And you’ll be very grateful.”
I attended the wedding of my friends Joe and Heather, and (in one of life’s odder moments) won Best Actor at the murder mystery dinner that followed.
My humorous Lovecraft tale “The Doom that Came to Providence” was translated into Mandarin for Future Affairs Administration; my story “The Song of Lost Voices” appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction; “Reflections in Lizard-Time” was published in Baen’s Weird World War IV; “Love Song of the Wendigo” was published in Dark Cheer: Cryptids Emerging; “Legacies in Light and Dark” was sold to The Dread Machine’s Darkness Blooms anthology; “Howlers in the Void” was published in Baen Books’ Worlds Long Lost; “I, Arachnobot” was sold to Flame Tree Publishing; “Flawed Evolution” was sold to Weird World War China; “An Incident on Ishtar” was featured on Escape Pod; “The Dog and the Ferryman” was sold to Flame Tree Publishing’s Hidden Realms; “Cyrus, Defender of the Universe” was sold to an upcoming edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Lessons Learned From My Cat.
I completed writing one of my lifelong dream projects. More to come, hush-hush for now.
I was a guest speaker at the Connecticut Association for Human Services (CAHS) and AIDS Connecticut’s Oscar party fundraiser (part of Advancing Connecticut Together) to discuss Dune’s ten nominations. And unlike the real Oscars, no one physically assaulted anyone.
I watched my girlfriend Donna pull herself back from the brink of death after a near-fatal car accident, and was there by her side through every slow step of physical rehabilitation.
For film and TV, I was mostly disappointed. A glut of bad writing/directing has burst the superhero bubble for me: it’s time to move on. Same for several high fantasy shows that have managed to torpedo their own IPs. Otherwise, I saw Don’t Look Up, Operation Mincemeat, Earthstorm, The Adam Project, Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off, Borg vs McEnroe, Val, 9/11 Minute by Minute, John Adams, Seinfeld, Goodnight Oppy, Rivers of Life, Meltdown Three Mile Island, Magnum P.I. (original), Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99, Cabinet of Curiosities, that prophetic Ukrainian show The Servant of the People, and every 007 film in order (reviewing each in my November blog). To my surprise, the newest seasons of Stranger Things and Jack Ryan were very good. My favorite movie of the year was the improbably excellent Top Gun: Maverick, which reminded us that great movies are still possible.
For video games, I played Broken Sword 5, Dreamfall Chronicles, The Sinking City, and No One Lives Forever.
For books, I read Treasure Island, Basrayatha, Voyaging to Cathay, As You Wish, The Damnation Game, The House on the Strand, Orn, Kiss Me Again Stranger, Caribbean, Frenchman’s Creek, The High Frontier, and I re-purchased and reread The Satanic Verses and Midnight’s Children in honor of Salman Rushdie.
I deeply mourned the loss of Eric Flint, Greg Bear, my friend and mentor David Farland, Bob Saget, Yvette Mimieux, William Hurt, Ray Liotta, James Caan, Paul Sorvino, David Warner, James Lovelock, Nichelle Nichols, Olivia Newton-John, Peter Straub, Angela Lansbury, Robbie Coltrane, Kirstie Alley, as well as 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who was murdered by Iran’s morality police (and the many protestors murdered since).
And most importantly of all:
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year.
2022 was an understated year in scientific amazement, so let’s drill down a bit more into that scientifically amazing core.
The Orion spacecraft of Artemis 1 laid the groundwork for a return to the moon, serving as a 5,000 mph herald of a new era in lunar exploration that maybe, just maybe, will break our half-century dry spell of having no humans up there.
Meanwhile, NASA proved that we can, in fact, deflect asteroids. The results of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) are now in: by slamming an object into the asteroid Dimorphos, we successfully diverted its orbit. This paves the way to addressing Larry Niven’s truism: “The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn’t have a space program.”
The James Webb Space Telescope has also been busy , detecting the most ancient light in the universe from the most staggeringly ancient galaxies yet known… perhaps the very first galaxies that formed after the Big Bang.
And SpaceX made more than 50 missions through 2022, bringing resupply to the International Space Station.
In biomedical news, researchers announced that they’ve used CRISPR to alter immune cells to recognize and destroy tumor proteins. This edges us closer to making personalized cancer treatments commonplace, teaching our bodies to recognize and eliminate this timeless scourge.
Also in 2022, the oldest fossilized brain has been discovered. Dating back 525 million years, it belonged to that half-inch worm-like celebrity of the Cambrian, Cardiodictyon catenulum. And scientists in Japan this month announced progress on studying limb regeneration in fire-bellied newts. Even as adults, these newts can regenerate lost limbs. Zeroing in on the underlying cellular mechanism of these salamander superheroes points to a near-future in which human beings can replicate this feat.
Politics continue to be a study in lunacy. Social media is the worst development in the history of the world since the evolution of smallpox.
Science is what matters.
In closing out 2022, I’d like to share two stunning pieces of news. The first is that John Scalzi is displaying my book on his site! As a huge fan, this made my jaw drop.
The second was a glowing review of Redspace Rising over at Grimdark Magazine:
“From its well-developed cast of characters to its innovative worldbuilding and intriguing plot, Brian Trent has crafted an ingenious masterpiece of military sci-fi… With its fast-paced action, double-crossing characters, and focus on personal identity and memory, Redspace Rising is like a literary sci-fi version of the Jason Bourne movie franchise, with Brian Trent serving as the virtuoso cameraman documenting the gripping adventures of our proficient but broken hero.”
Happy New Year, everyone.