This is the Best of My Recollection (Jan 01 – April 16 ’05)
Best SF series: Deadwood. (for its rich world building, and its unflinching, unique examination of social structures and the birth of civilizations. Will it end with a moment of transcendence? I’m not convinced it won’t).
Best Novel to read if you can’t get enough "Deadwood" — "A Prayer for the Dying" Steward O’Nan
Best Horror series: Nip/Tuck Series 2. Begins with the horror of turning forty, ends with marvelous Alec Baldwin’s fey mad doctor cameo. In between: hallucinations, incest, surgical disasters, murder, mind fucks, and "The Carver." Just don’t do what I did — which is watch the whole series in a week (thank you .torrents). This sunlit Gothic will deeply disturb you especially if you concurrently read:
Best Nonfiction Horror: "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout.
Best Vilified Movie:
A tossup. "Sin City" inexplicably (to me)
offended or annoyed a lot of people who I’m usually more in sympathy
with. Or, "Million Dollar Baby" which did win the Oscar, and critical
accolades but offended the Limbaugh right. I have to give the edge to the latter because of:
Best Assumption by Coworker: She saw "Baby", didn’t like it because it was violent. When I
told her I loved it, she said "Why? Do you enjoy seeing women beaten
up?" Okay, ya got me.
Best Short Story in my writing workshop: "Bird Day" by Nisi Shawl. Soon to be published to great acclaim, I’m sure.
Best Memoir: Bob Dylan’s Chronicles Vol. 1.
Best episode of "Lost":
0104 "Walkabout" written by David Fury. Ft. great performance by Terry O’Quinn. (Okay, that one is almost too obvious to mention.)
Best gimmicky writing-method book that really worked for me:
"No Plot? No Problem: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days" by Chris Baty
Best post to the SFWA Forum:
I liked Darrell Schweitzer’s rebuttal to
Resnick/Malzberg’s recent short fiction market column, especially for
it’s "ice flows" metaphor. 2nd would be Michaela Roessner’s reasoned
argument for anonymous Nebula recommendations. But that would take the
fun away of trying to figure out who’s swapping. Seriously, I’d
probably nominate if I could do it anonymously.
I never read the Forum without feeling I need to take a shower after wards.
Richard Yates’ "Revolutionary Road" and "Collected
Stories." I would eat these stories if I could. (Sure I could eat the
pages — but that’s not the same thing.)
Best First Collection:
"Little Gods" by Tim Pratt. These stories & poems (some new to me, some I’ve read before) shine in their beauty, subtlety and sensuality. All qualities that are astonishingly enhanced by the cumulative effect of reading them all together.
Best New Gadget without a screen:
Best novelty cover song: Clint Black’s version of Eric Idle’s "Galaxy Song"
Best song from "Deadwood": "Hog of the Forsaken" Michael Hurley (can be heard over credits of Episode 01.11 "Mr. Wu")
Best song: Bob Dylan "Not Dark Yet"
Best Mashup: (tie)
The Strokes Vs. Christina Aguilera "A Stroke of Genius"
Kylie Minogue vs. Ludacris "Can’t Lick You Outta My Bed"
Party Ben – Green Day vs. Oasis vs. Travis vs. Eminem & Aerosmith "Boulevard Of Broken Songs"
Best 50 Cent – "Candy Shop" ft. Olivea
Best stuff I discovered way after anybody else (3-way tie): Richard Yates vs. Mashups vs. Frelling great Farscape swear-words.
Best Reread: "All That You Love Will Be Carried Away" Stephen King
Best song chorus to rip your heart out with: from "Metal Firecracker" Lucinda Williams
Best county song with reference to a starship: "Highwayman" The Highwaymen (Cash, Nelson, Jennings, Kristoferson)
Best Willie Nelson duets on my shuffle:
Best twangy : "Beer for My Horses" Willie Nelson / Toby Keith
Best father/daughter: "Be That As It May" Willie & Paula Nelson.
Best duet to make me pine for a place I’ve never been: "Memphis" Janis Ian ft. Willie Nelson.
Best "I’d have never believed I’d say this one day" author:
Best film project that’s actually been discussed but never going to happen:
Ian Fleming’s "Casino Royale" starring Brosnan, faithfully adapted and directed by
Best refutation to the phrase "power is the ultimate aphrodisiac":
According the Esquire magazine, on a scale of 1 – 10 women in the United States and abroad rate W.’s sexiness an average of 2.2.
Best improvement in ms. rejection turn-around:
Asimov’s. Down to 22 days for me, from 4.5 months under a previous regime.
Best Idea I can do nothing with:
Force John Grisham and Stephen King to adapt Kafka’s "The Trial" for television, with Vincent D’Onofrio as Joseph K. All other parts to also be cast entirely from various "Law & Order" series actors.
Best reasons not to give up on SF:
futurismic.com, more frequent stories on Infinite Matrix, & Doctorow’s recent stories riffing on well-known titles, especially "Anda’s Game." & Norman Spinrad as critic (yes, I mean it).
Best beverage: Coffee (winner for 44th consecutive quarter)
Best Stuff I’m Looking Forward to seeing/reading/hearing/writing in the next couple months:
Tim Robbins’ reading of "The Great Gatsby", Edwin Williamson’s biography of Borges, my iPod shuffle armband coming off backorder, Ichiro Suzuki batting over .400 for April, more Stewart O’Nan, finishing draft one-point-five of "The Entrepreneur" and moving on to draft two-point-oh of "Bad Idea."