Year in Review 2023

In 2023, I spent time in Athens, Belize, Crete, Honduras, Mexico, Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, and Turkey. I explored Roman ruins in Ephesus, got yelled at by howler monkeys in the Central American jungle, and stood atop Akrotiri’s stunning caldera to gaze backward in time.

I went to an Edgar Allan Poe Speakeasy, which was as deliciously gothic as it sounds. My friends and I held our second annual Saturnalia party, and a lively Friendsgiving.

I visited the Titanic exhibit in Manhattan, which was fascinating. I also explored the first chartered copper mine in the U.S., learned to shoot 18th century cannons in Sturbridge Village, and took my first foraging class to learn about the edible wilderness (and how to make medicinal salves) in my home state.

I signed copies of Redspace Rising at Brooklyn Books & Booze @ Barrow’s Intense Ginger Tasting Room in Industry City. Redspace Rising also enjoyed a photo-tour of the American Southwest thanks to my friend Kathryn Hammond, and was signed by dozens of celebrities at Yuri’s Night thanks to For All Mankind actress Tasha Dixon.

I enjoyed not being addicted to social media. There’s more to life than our phones.

“Isle of Masks and Blood” was sold to the United We Stand anthology (latest installment of the New York Times bestselling Black Tide Rising series); “Death on the Nefertem Express” appeared in China’s Science Fiction World; “Legacies in Light and Dark” appeared in The Dread Machine’s Darkness Blooms anthology; “I, Arachnobot” was published by Flame Tree Publishing; “And Lifts Her Leafy Arms to Pray” appeared in Third Flatiron’s Rhapsody of the Spheres; “Flawed Evolution” was sold to Weird World War China; “The Eyes of Damocles” was sold to Tales of the United States Space Force; “The Dog and the Ferryman” appeared in Flame Tree Publishing’s Hidden Realms; “Cyrus, Defender of the Universe” was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Lessons Learned From My Cat.

For movies and TV, I finally watched Ted Lasso, The Diplomat, Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb, The Wonderful: Stories of the Space Station, Space Force, Cunk on Earth, The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari, Chris Rock’s Selective Outrage, The Night Agent, The Gray Man, Madam Secretary, Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1, Oppenheimer, Suits, Band of Brothers, Renfield, The Super Mario Bros Movie, Death on the Nile, and the excellent documentaries Our Universe and Life on Our Planet. My favorite film of the year was a three-way tie: Leave the World Behind, Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant, and the unexpectedly heartfelt Godzilla Minus One.

For video games, I played Iris Fall, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Mafia Definitive Edition, Greedfall, and Crimson Skies.

For books, I read Sphinx, Around the Roman Table, A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome, The King is Dead, The Bull from the Sea, Fire From Heaven, Kon-Tiki, On the Beach, and Reliquary.

I deeply mourned the loss of David Drake, Norman Lear, Burt Bacharach, Raquel Welch, Tom Sizemore, Lance Reddick, Harry Belafonte, Ray Stevenson, Tina Turner, Treat Williams, Alan Arkin, Paul Reubens, Bob Barker, Jimmy Buffet, Richard Roundtree, Matthew Perry, Suzanne Somers, Andre Braugher, and from my Facebook circle, Ken Riches.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and a better 2024.

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