Top 10 Blog Posts for January 2014

And here they are:

  1. The Vigilante in American Mythology (Brief Thoughts) #monthofjoy
  2. Movie Review: Riddick (2013) (or, I'm Going to Mega Rant Now)
  3. Guest Post: The Polarization of Genre Fiction by David Chandler
  4. Movie Review Rant : Catching Fire (2013)
  5. Silly Reader Questions: Super Powers, Magic, Bathrooms, and Poetry
  6. Top 10 Most Ridiculous Moments in Science Fiction and Fantasy Film in the 90s
  7. Self-Published Books vs. Literary Awards: In Response to Linda Nagata
  8. Star Trek: a Worf TV Show? (Some Thoughts)
  9. Gender Essentialism, Genre, and Me
  10. The Diversity Pledge: Crunching My Numbers for 2013
Interesting...

The Diversity Pledge: Crunching My Numbers for 2013

I think this is the first time I've seriously looked at my reading numbers.  And now I'm going to share them with the world.

The list only includes novels, collections, and narrative non-fiction.  I have not factored in multiple books by the same author.

Here's the author list:

Gareth L. Powell
Myke Cole
Christopher Barzak
Nir Yaniv
Brian McClellan
Paul Cornell
Michael R. Underwood
Michael J. Martinez
Nick Mamatas
Wes Chu
Doug Lain
Richard Phillips
Mike Resnick
James Anthony Froude
Stephen N. Cobham
Michel Maxwell Philip
C.L.R. James
Edgar Mittelholzer
Roger Mais
George Lamming
V.S. Naipaul
Kim Stanley Robinson
John Scalzi
Saladin Ahmed
Brandon Sanderson
Jay Lake
Max Gladstone
Chuck Wendig
Karen Lord
Merle Hodge
Caryl Phillips
Dionne Brand
Erna Brodber
Mary Seacole
Evie Manieri
Linda Nagata
Nalo Hopkinson
Rhiannon Held
Lauren Beukes
Yoon Ha Lee
Ruth Frances Long
Emma Newman
Cassandra Rose Clarke
Ann Leckie
Cherie Priest
Jean Rhys
Beryl Gilroy
Suzanne Collins
Mira Grant
Lois McMaster Bujold
Nancy Kress
Aliette de Bodard
Zen Cho
Mur Lafferty
Stina Leicht

Here are the percentages w/ commentary:

Gender
Male (50.9%)
Female (49.1%)

I'm actually surprised with this.  While I make an effort to maintain gender parity for The Skiffy and Fanty Show, that same effort does not apply to my academic work.  There, I'm concerned with a tradition of literature, which is historically male-centric.  But apparently even my PhD project is fairly equal in terms of gender.

In any case, I'm happy.  I wanted to get close to 50/50, and so I have.  A+

Diversity
White (61.82%)
Non-White (38.18%)

I'm uncomfortable with this category for two reasons:  1) I don't like the idea that there are two groups (white and non-white); 2) I don't know how to get around that without making completely idiotic assumptions about other people's race.  But this is the only way I have to measure racial diversity, and so I have to use it.  If anyone has a better idea, please don't hesitate to leave a comment.

I also wanted to include a note about LGBT authors here, but I realized that I'd have to go digging around to figure who is who.  And, well, it's really none of my business.  It wasn't something I intentionally selected for this year, though I certainly would like to read more works by LGBT authors.

In any case, I'm not dissatisfied with these numbers.  They're not as bad as they could be, and they could certainly be better, but considering that I didn't actually try, I'm genuinely pleased that nearly 40% of my reading came from people of color.

U.S./U.K. (65.46%)
Elsewhere (34.54%)(includes expatriates)

This doesn't surprise me at all.  Since my field of research is Caribbean literature, a good chunk of what I read this year would have to be from elsewhere on the planet.  In 2014, that number is going to look very different indeed thanks to the World SF Tour.

If I had more time, I'd break these numbers down by region (the Caribbean, continental Europe, etc.).  For now, I'll settle for the above.

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And that's that.  How about you?  Leave your numbers below!

10 TV Shows I’m Looking Forward to in 2013

There are so many things to watch this year, but I don't have a billion hours to stream every single TV show being made right now.  I've got to be picky.  Very picky.

The following are my top picks for the year.  Do with it what you will...

Here goes:
Sherlock (Season Three)(BBC)
Need I explain why I cannot wait for the third season of Sherlock?  Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are simply amazing as Sherlock and Watson, so much so that I cannot imagine anyone else in the role.  Plus, I am chopping at the bit to find out what happens next!

Bonus Point:  A clever, modern take on the classic character is always fun.

Game of Thrones (Season Three)(HBO)
I've reviewed enough Game of Thrones to make it clear that I would probably sell a kidney to afford cable for the remainder of the show.  The first two seasons were amazingly good, with knockout performances from a wide range of cast members.  Fantasy television has never been this good.  Ever.

Bonus Point:  Finding serious, well-written, compelling fantasy TV is impossible...until now.

Defiance (Syfy)
Original programming on Syfy.  By that I mean original programming that isn't B-movie drivel that makes Christmas TV Movie season look like a joyride...  I'm intrigued by the premise, if only because I have some vain hope that it will be much better than Fallen Skies, which may be the most predictable TV show next to Walking Dead...

Bonus Point:  Syfy is taking the show seriously enough to work with Trion Worlds to create an MMO to run alongside.  Pretty cool.

Color me psychotic, but I love dark crime thrillers.  The Following feels something like Millenium, but with a stronger, more connected storyline.  The idea is intriguing.  Plus, James Purefoy plays the villain, which should work just fine!

Bonus Point:  Kevin Bacon.  I've loved the man since Tremors.

Anyone who knows me also knows that I call them communists every chance I get.  Why?  Because I find it amusing to resort to political hackery for the sake of comedy.  Thus, The Americans has a plot similar enough to my hobby to make it interesting enough to try.  Considering that there is so much garbage on TV right now, I could really use a good old fashioned non-genre drama with a little political spunk to it!

Bonus Point:  Keri Russel = heaven.

Doctor Who (Season Seven Part Two)(BBC)
Doctor Who has fallen in the ranks for me.  I really love the show, and Matt Smith is a decent Doctor, but the stories are getting a little tired for me.  If I see one more Dalek, I'm going to throw something, if only because every major series surprise always includes the Daleks.  That's not entertaining anymore.

But I'll keep watching and hoping that things will improve.  I'm hoping for some amazing story connections, some brilliant plotting, and some old time Doctor fun!  We'll see...

Bonus Point:  It's science fiction and still better than 90% of the stuff on TV that has the audacity to call itself science fiction...

I'm quite fascinated with BBC productions at the moment (if this list isn't enough of an indication).  Some of the best writing is found there, and I suspect Ripper Street will be no exception.  The show follows the aftermath of the Ripper murders, which tells me that it will be less about the Ripper himself than about how a police force regains its respectability after failing to bring the Ripper to justice.  Intriguing, methinks.

Bonus Point:  Jerome Flynn.  You know, the guy who plays Bronn in Game of Thrones?  I know, right?

Hemlock Grove (Netflix)
The first Netflix beast on this list.  And I really hope it turns out well.  Netflix has the perfect platform for original television; if Hemlock Grove and Arrested Development do well, then say hello to a new generation of online-only entertainment.

But to Hemlock Grove:  it's a kind of urban fantasy crime thriller staring Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgard. What else do you need to know?

Bonus Point:  Aaron Douglas of Battlestar Galactica fame plays the Sheriff.  Woo!

Orphan Black (BBC America)
BBC America has big shoes to fill with this one.  Its UK mother has already produced some amazing shows, so I'm hoping that Orphan Black is the American branch's response to great cable SF/F.  And it's about clones, which is always fun for us academic types.

Bonus Point:  It's coming soon!

Arrested Development (Season Four)(Netflix)
I do not need to say a damn thing.  It's Arrested Development, and it's coming back to us through Netflix.  Thank you, Netflix!  Thank you so so so much!

Bonus Point:  It's Arrested Development...completed.  What more do you want?

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And that does it.  Which TV shows are you looking forward to in 2013?  The comments are yours!