Monday, February 22, 2016

2016 Nerds of a Feather Resolutions

Now that a new year has begun, we should begin to look at what resolutions we might want to make for 2016. It is a time of rebirth and renewal, is it not? Out with the old, in with the new. That's what they say, right?  So, as we begin our first steps into this untested year, we here at Nerds of a Feather have deci.....

Wait. What?

We're almost through February already?

Wasn't there supposed to be an announcement somewhen around the end of December that a new year is about to emerge?

I suppose this explains why nobody came to my New Year's Eve party last night.


On to the resolutions. 

Image Credit: Bill Watterson - Dec 31,1989

1. 52 consecutive Taco Tuesdays
2. Learn more about amateur video production to add some gameplay footage to reviews.
3. Read one more book than I did in 2015. (According to Goodreads, I read 12 books in 2015. My 2016 goal is 13.)
4. Stop jamming blog post material into a series of tweets. Just write the blog post and tweet that link.
5. Run a tabletop RPG that isn't Pathfinder or D&D for at least one session.

Charles Payseur:
My book resolutions don't change much from year to year, but this year I am adding one. Namely, 2016 is my K. Tempest Bradford Reading Challenge year (for novels and graphic novels at least). Otherwise, my resolution is (as always) to review everything I read. I'm actually almost all caught up on my reviews for 2015 (just have to finish up two more on Goodreads), and I'm hoping to do keep it going for 2016. I am a review machine. Just keep me fueled with beer and nachos and carry on.

My reading resolution was to read more books off of my to-read list and stop adding new books to it until I did....I've already broken this resolution, though.

Mine is basically to read more - I want to post at least one review of something SFF per month. I had a lot of DNFs and disappointing books last year, so I am hoping to find some stuff I enjoy more. And though it doesn't fit under the Nerds of a Feather banner as much, I want to get back to reading more history and non-fiction.

English Sribbler:
My resolution is to read more and watch less, to stave off the relentless slide towards mental oblivion that reading websites and watching endless full series of dramas then reading reviews of said dramas on my phone is surely causing. So my new year's resolution is to ditch last year's reading list and start afresh, and to read darker and more disturbing novels than ever before. 2016 will be the year of darkness, both in story and on my phone!

The G:
I've grown disenchanted with "trope-forward science fiction" lately, by which I mean literature that's classifiable as science fiction primarily by the existence of well-worn, recognizable conventions. Note: I am not judging anyone for liking that kind of thing, nor claiming that I won't enjoy it again myself in the future. But I feel like science fiction, as a sort of collective entity, is increasingly content with churning out stuff that "looks" and "feels" like authentic item, but isn't' terribly concerned with mapping out plausible futures or exploring what kinds of human stories can be told under such circumstances (and that includes the supposed "scientific rigor" of hard SF, which nowadays is often just "physicsporn"). And I'm tired of all that right now. So my resolution is to seek out novels are rigorously speculative, but equally focused on human stories and human conditions (psychological,sociological, political, etc.). 

If we don't consider "read all the books" to be an actual resolution, let's go with this: I want to read more short fiction this year, both in anthologies and magazines. I want to finish my Melanie Rawn and Katherine Kurtz re-reads. I want to do some serious damage to the pile of books on my shelves that I've never read and that my wife taunts me about. I want to read more Kate Elliott, Lois McMaster Bujold, Rosemary Kirstein, C.J. Cherryh, Nicola Griffith, Kristine Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Katharine Kerr. I want to read at least two to four more Pulitzer Prize winning books. I want to read Joanna Russ, Elisabeth Vonarburg, and Julie Czerneda for the first time. I want to read all the books.

I want to try to stop being such a snob about speculative fiction TV shows and start watching more. I read plenty, but always turn my nose up at TV shows and blow them off as lame and cheesy with bad acting unless they get some high critical acclaim. A little cheese never hurt anyone. I've already binged Mr. Robot and The Expanse, both of which are freaking awesome. On my to watch list so far  is the Shannara chronicles (MTV), The Magicians (SyFy), The X-Files (Fox)... and of course my favorite cheese factory, The Librarians (TNT) which has been renewed for a third season (YESSSS).

I've been working too hard for the last two years, and one of the most significant casualties to that has been reading books. I still do audiobooks constantly, but I miss reading books desperately. So my resolution this year is to fill in some gaps with my favorite authors. I've read all of Raymond Chandler's novels except, inexplicably, THE LONG GOODBYE, which is now at the top of my pile. I'm a huge Shirley Jackson fan, and found a pair of her novels I hadn't read at a used bookstore, so those are next. Nor have I ever read the (no longer canonical) Thrawn Trilogy, which I have in lovely graphic novel form. So I'll be striving to put some spackle in my broken reading life this year, and those seem like good places to start.

My reading resolution for 2016 is that I want to stop being such a sniveling coward when choosing what to read. When I was a kid I was way more open to reading things based solely on their covers, but now I demand detailed information in the form of synopses, general background info on the authors, etc. This timidity, this cowering behind lofty standards simply has to stop. It's time to return to the age-old 'judge a book by its cover' standard!

Resolutions: They're funnier in February.

COMPILED BY: Joe Sherry - Writer / Editor at Adventures in Reading since 2004, Nerds of a Feather contributor since 2015. Minnesotan.