Reflecting on 2018

In 2018, I visited Copenhagen and spent time touring Rome, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Orvieto, Sienna, Assisi, and Tuscany. I attended Archon in Illinois and got to moderate and participate in several literary panels, where I also read from and signed copies of my book.

Speaking of, my novel TEN THOUSAND THUNDERS was published and received rave reviews from Robert J. Sawyer, Mike Resnick, Marguerite Reed, Midwest Book Review, and numerous online review sites. I finished writing a new novel, and am working on the sequel to my published book, and started an exciting new alternate history series.

My story “An Incident on Ishtar” appeared in the March/April issue of Analog; my story “Crash-Site” was in May/June’s F&SF; “Jackbox” was in May/June’s Galaxy’s Edge; “The Memorybox Vultures” appeared in September/October’s F&SF; “Extinction Studies” was published in September’s Terraform. I also made professional sales to The Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF, Escape Pod, Galaxy’s Edge, Third Flatiron, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, and three anthologies. I was a guest on the Baen Books podcast and the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe.

For films, I thought this was one of the better years for pure escapist entertainment: Black Panther, Avengers Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Ready Player One, and Mission Impossible Fallout. Appreciated First Man and loved A Quiet Place and adored Bohemian Rhapsody, but my favorite film of 2018—stunning me right in the last days of the year—was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Having said that, the most important film of 2019 is Peter Jackson’s outstanding WW1 documentary They Shall Not Grow Old—a grim and powerful document that should be required viewing for everyone.

For television, I finally discovered Rick and Morty. I had seriously mixed feelings on the Lost in Space reboot (better than the original, at least) and slogged my way through Better Call Saul

For video games, I can say that for the first time in my life the majority of games I played were in virtual reality, including I Expect You to Die and Fallout 4. In 2D, I also played the long-awaited Call of Cthulhu game.
I mourned the passing of Anthony Bourdain, William Goldman, Ursula K. LeGuin, Stephen Hawking, and Stan Lee.

As for books I’ve read, research carried me into Ancient Carthage, French cooking techniques, aquatic engineering, rocketry, quaternions, and Middle Eastern archaeology.

Happy New Year!

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