It is the curse of age that the older you get, the faster that time seems to move. I am not young, so the days go by in eyeblinks. My son, who is not yet seven, helps me retain a tenuous link to youth that keeps me from wearing my slacks up to my sagging pectorals and the hair from sprouting more than a good inch and a half from my ear canals. At this rate I’ll be writing next year’s Year in Review post after lunch tomorrow, and the one after that before my tongue has cleared the last fragment of potato chip from my molars.
- In January I released my short story Beneath the Ziggurat as a Kindle Single, to generally positive reviews. I explained the genesis of the story here (it’s probably not what you think). Later that month I interviewed author Adam Howe for the release of his newest Reggie Levine story in a satirical piece that we thought was pretty funny, at least. January was also the month in which I reviewed episodes one and two of Charles Band’s Ravenwolf Towers serial horror program.
- February was Trancers month, in which I reviewed three of the Tim Thomerson Trancers movies (the review series stretched into March). I reviewed the original film here, Trancers II here, and Trancers III here. Then I moved on to the other two Trancers films, Trancers IV: Jack of Swords, and Trancers V: Sudden Deth. So yeah, I’m kind of Tranced out.
- I read and reviewed Adrian Cole’s Tough Guys in March, which turned out to be my book of the year. Despite that I had read a great book that month, March was rough for me: I contracted the worst cold I’d ever had, something that progressed into an illness that required steroids and antibiotics to knock out. During that time I watched more television than I would have liked, and reviewed the high- (and low-) lights.
- April is indeed the cruelest month, and during that time I showed the reading public my much-prized Atmo Horrox cards. I also wrote a guide for people interested in writing for other websites in exchange for Exposure Dollars, the coin of the current internet realm. This piece helped crystallize my decision to stop writing for The Loftus Party, as my Exposure Checks kept bouncing and nobody thanked me for coming into work.
- May was the month of terrible movies. I had watched and reviewed so many of them that I had gained very minor notoriety for ripping them to shreds. One filmmaker so admired my deconstruction of the awful Strip Club Massacre that he sent me his own horrible movie, titled Gimme Head: The Tale of the Cuyahoga Valley Bigfoot. It was pretty much as bad as one might expect, so I performed as required, proving that I aim to please.
- Things got brighter in the month of June, when I watched what turned out to be my favorite film of the year, Deep in the Wood. I also wrote my most-read piece of 2017: Twitter Is the Worst Thing Ever Devised. Like I said, everyone loves to complain about social media even while we continue to make it a cesspool. Sadly, June was also the month in which my former boss Peder Lund passed away. Peder was an adventurer, a Special Forces A-team leader in the Vietnam War, and a brilliant business owner. From the loaded .45 revolver he kept on his desk (on it, not in it) to his legendary glower to his incredible generosity, he was the most interesting and remarkable man I’ve ever met.
- I wrote my favorite piece of the year in July, when I talked about the value of forgiving yourself, a thing so many of us find hard to do. It focused on separating the you from what happened to you, and understanding the difference between a bad experience and a bad decision. As is often the case, it didn’t get the kind of play I hoped it would. With writer Paul Hair, I also wrote an article describing Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer for the website Hollywood in Toto.
- The dog days of August saw me penning a piece about not alienating your customer base with your horrible politics (everyone’s politics are horrible and contradictory and poorly thought-out), a theme I would later return to. I also wrote a review of My Tired Shadow from an advance copy given to me by author Joseph Hirsch.
- In September I made the glossary for my Armageddon series of novels live on the website. This was also the month I flew out to Los Angeles to mentor some fiction writers for the Calliope Writers’ Workshop, sponsored by Taliesin Nexus. This was during the Hurricane Irma disaster, making it quite an interesting experience. Later in the month I interviewed noted book reviewer and writing promoter Nev Murray.
- October was a particularly dark month, not least because it hosted the worst mass shooting in American history, which I talked about here. Political activist and movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s disgusting crimes came to light not long after this, and I brought up a number of issues that hadn’t been addressed here and here. Just before Halloween I reviewed the indie horror/sci-fi/comedy film It Came from the Desert and interviewed its director Marko Mäkilaakso.
- Things for the site began to wind down in November, but I got a few good pieces out there. One was a review of Ann Bridges’s novel Private Offerings, and another was my article Endless War. There I gave the reading public the terrible news that the cultural divide was never going to heal, at least not for decades, if not centuries.
- In December Obsidian Point released Appalling Stories, a short story anthology I wrote with Paul Hair and Ray Zacek. Using social issues as the setting, not the plot, it’s an entertaining collection of old-school tales that stick a thumb into the politically correct eye of the current publishing culture. The print version will be available early next year.
So that’s 2017 in a nutshell. If things go well, 2018 will see the release of The Holy Warrior and the Last Angel, the last book in my Armageddon trilogy. We’ll see what happens after. Whatever it is, it’ll be extraordinary. I guarantee it!
Happy New Year, and thank you for reading.