10 Most Popular Posts in 2016

This isn’t a list of my ten best posts in 2016, which I might do, but would prove a much more difficult post to write.  Every Day Should Be Tuesday remains strictly small potatoes, and blog traffic remains subject to heavy volatility when I pick up outside links.  Nor is it a list of my ten most popular posts from 2016.  A few posts from November 2015 proved very popular over the past year, so I decided to do the ten most popular posts in 2016.

But I look at the most popular posts and I’m pretty happy.  The Nick Cole Fiasco post benefited from a signal boost on Cole’s Facebook page.  But the Ranking the Original Wheel of Time Covers and The Six Main Characters in the Wheel of Time posts weren’t linked anywhere outside, to my knowledge.  I’m particularly proud of the latter, an original essay.  I’m also pleased to see two posts from my new Throwback SF Thursday feature make it onto the list.  My quite recent review of Miles Cameron’s The Plague of Swords passed my ranking of the new Wheel of Time covers to make the list in just the very last few days of 2016.

Full Path of Daggers Cover Art

Without further adieu, in reverse order:


Review of The Plague of Swords by Miles Cameron

A carefully constructed structure is the best thing about The Traitor Son Cycle.  Well, that, and the great fight scenes.  And the loving attention to historical detail.  And the elaborate and innovative worldbuilding.  And the dragon demi-gods.  A carefully constructed structure is among the many great things about The Traitor Son Cycle.

Read the full post.


Throwback SF Thursday: The High Crusade by Poul Anderson

As much speculative fiction as I read these days, stories that do something different are highly prized.  And the variety and imagination offered is one of the reasons I love speculative fiction in the first place.  (Weirdly and annoyingly, the would-be literati and tastemakers of speculative fiction seem very committed to fitting speculative fiction into as small a box as possible.)  The High Crusade isn’t just an example of a very weird and long forgotten subgenre (What else belongs?  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court?).  It does three things foreign to modern SF.

Read the full post.


Hugo Award Nominations are Bigly

Maybe the Sad Puppy vote will be so diffuse this year that it gets swamped by the Rabid Puppies.  Or maybe David Gerrold’s immature little show at the awards ceremony last year has pushed Sad Puppies into the Rabid camp in quantity.  Maybe whoever gets nominated is doomed to be No Awarded by the other side.  Or maybe it’s too little, too late, and the Hugo Awards will continue to lose relevancy in favor of other awards such as the newly announced Dragon Awards.

Read the full post


2016 Hugo Awards Ballot

I didn’t wind up reading a lot of the nominees and blogged about even fewer, but I at least wanted to get my votes up.  To be honest, I’ve lost a certain amount of interest in the Hugos.  And despite the big, big nomination numbers, the Hugos don’t seem to be getting nearly as much attention this year in general. It will be interesting to see if that is reflected in the voting.

Read the full post.


Hugo Awards Postmortem – 2016 Edition

Signs indicated that things were going to get ugly well before last night’s Hugo Awards ceremony.  The Worldcon business meeting passed resolutions moving the deadline to register and nominate from January 31 to December 31 and limiting the eligibility to nominate to the current and past year Worldcons not the next year Worldcon.  Both minor, but both clearing targeted as shrinking the pool of nominators.  More striking, Dave Truesdale was kicked out of MidAmeriCon II.  His crime?  As moderator of a panel titled “The State of Short Fiction,” Truesdale opened with a monologue on . . . the state of short fiction.

Read the full post.


The Six Main Characters in The Wheel of Time

Loial (reading from the Book of Translation): And the Creator spake, saying “there shalt be six main characters, no more, no less. Six shalt be the number of main characters, and the number of main characters shalt be six. Thirteen shalt thou not count, neither count thou three, excepting that thou then proceed to six. One is right out. Once the number six, being the sixth number, be reached, then I shalt tell thou who I think they are and why those six.”

Read the full post.


Throwback SF Thursday: Women of Futures Past, edited by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

In my announcement post, I fingered three female pulp writers in particular I was interested in highlighting.  Lucky me that Rusch lines up C.L. Moore, Leigh Brackett, and Andre Norton right in a row for me.  After one short story by C.L. Moore, I’m sold.

Read the full post.


Review of The Dread Wyrm by Miles Cameron

The Traitor Son Cycle might be the best epic fantasy series ongoing right now. Cameron is known for his historical fiction (published as Christian Cameron), and he is really good at the things you would expect him to be good at. There is a lot of what I’ve seen called “vambrace porn.” Which has a certain negative connotation, but Cameron shows the rich tapestry of medieval life in a way fantasy all too rarely does. The battle scenes—and there are a lot of them, in the series and in this book—are phenomenal—tense, chaotic, and bloody. The character list is long, and those characters are distinct and think like people from a very different time. As the story blooms into an epic, the main characters grow and the minor characters flesh out. And the story takes a distinctly fantastic turn as godlike beings begin to take a more direct hand. Those fantastical elements are really, really good. Cameron continues to build on his interesting hermetical magic system. But it is his wild, wonderful Wild full of monsters and magic that makes The Traitor Son Cycle.

Read the full post.


Ranking the Original Wheel of Time Covers

I’m partial to hardcovers sans dust jacket, and the only Wheel of Time books on my shelves (as the blog banner shows, I have a complete set in hardcover) with the dust jackets still on are The Eye of the World, The Dragon Reborn, The Path of Daggers, and A Memory of Light.  Sweet’s covers are much maligned.  They sometimes commit egregious canonical sins, such as the far too human trollocs on The Great Hunt cover (one of the better covers nonetheless).  They tend to butcher human proportionality.  And any depiction of Perrin is nothing short of disastrous.

Say what you will about the Sweet covers technically, but it was the cover of The Eye of the World that made me pick up the series.  And that is my reaction to pretty much any Sweet cover.  I want to read that book!

Read the full post.


The Nick Cole Fiasco

It’s cyberpunk. It’s supposed to be political.  The barbs are aimed to the left, sure, but declaring any target off-limits is pretty much the apotheosis of punk.  And it’s a gamer cyberpunk.  Gamers have particular reason to be aggrieved at the Left these days, between the ludicrous response to Gamergate and a Democratic frontrunner [checks primary results] major candidate [checks delegate counts] frontrunner who is almost as opposed to violent video games as she is to political speech opposing her.

Read the full post.

About H.P.

Blogs on speculative fiction books at Every Day Should Be Tuesday.
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