Often I do the year end recaps and year-ahead look-forwards as separate posts, and in some cases I do an even SEPARATER (not a word) post about the pop culture stuff I took pleasure in–.
This year, Im running them all through the mixer and am just gon na dispose the resultant blog healthy smoothie onto your screen. Since honestly, 2020 was a hot fucking fuckmess of a year, and time ran together like so much wet paint– it may still be a Monday in March? I dunno. So, why not Frankenstein a whole lot of blog posts together? Its just appropriate.
What The Fuck Did I Do This Year?
To respond to that, I had to recall over emails just to see like, the things I did. For an excellent portion of the year I didnt actually compose anything brand-new– I did 2 brand-new drafts of The Book of Accidents, one big draft at the start of the year, and some tiny-but-plentiful tweaks midway through. And a copy-edit for that. Plus a set of edits on Dust & & Grim, and I helped curate the beast motivational Magic Skeleton book– though primarily there it was the publisher selecting what ones go in the book and after that having the terrific Natalie Metzger use her wonderful art weirdness to all of it. However all that time I didnt truly compose anything brand-new until this fall– and as such Im 50k deep into the Wanderers follow up, Wayward. Part of that is due to the fact that we didnt have a surefire schedule for my next a number of books? Like, we understood TBOA was getting vacated October 2020 to not get crushed by election coverage (whew), and then it was a concern of whether the Wanderers follow up was next, or if it d be another horror novel of mine, currently titled The Orchard. There were questions as to what I was even expected to compose next?
There was great news, of course: Wanderers was nominated for both the Stoker and the Locus, which was actually nice. Theres genuine factor to celebrate but right now Im mostly simply tired? Christmas was good, however mainly I just want to get through to 2021.
It was merely tough to get innovative traction this year. It was a difficult, bad year. A tough, bad, strange year.
I wish to be clear it is not a joke when I inform you that reviewing this year and trying to gauge its scope and its contents is like battling an oily pig in a carnival hall-of-mirrors. I cant get a grip on it and I dont understand where I am. I honestly do not understand what occurred this year and what I even achieved? Eennnhhh?
Undoubtedly a big part of it too was–.
Im a lucky person and Im doing alright, better than a lot of folks– certainly not my goal to play anguish olympics. At the exact same time, I think its all right for all of us, me included, to recognize that the year was a shouting fuckshow either method, and that very few people were operating at 100%.
Things That Were Good That I Enjoyed Maybe?
Enola Holmes– what a delight. I type of thought it would be even worse fare than it was? Honestly, Netflix can do actually well with TV, however their film offerings have not always been aces-and-eights. But this felt real, and fun, and just fired on all cylinders for us here in the Wendighaus.
Cobra Kai doesnt constantly understand what it is, whether its a saccharine nostalgia-bomb or a cynical subversion of all that– often its glib and goofy and in some cases its like BOOM HAVE SOME REAL CONSEQUENCES. Sometimes its making fun of itself, and then itll switch equipments and be genuine as fuck.
So, who knows if Im even keeping in mind all this properly.
I believe Perry Mason rambled a bit, and its quite fucking dark, but it worked for me.
BEWARE: SPOILERS AND STAR WARS FAN WANK TO ENSUE.
There were a great deal of excellent adult-friendly kids-TV, too. The brand-new season of Hilda. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts may be one of the finest animations of all time, right up there with Avatar: the Last Airbender– it is, in its method, the Ted Lasso of animations, featuring a hugely optimistic character who picks to befriend all their enemies, constantly choosing empathy over the other thing. Summertime Camp Island is relaxing as hell. Craig of the Creek and Apple & & Onion are hugely excellent.
Once again Im left wondering … what even happened this year? What came out? The 2 media kinds that controlled my story-consumption practices were tv and computer game– both, I believe, easy to get in and get out of rapidly. Films take some time in spite of being much shorter than television, because theyre best viewed in a single two-hour-chunk. And with a kid home 24/7 instead of remaining in school, we didnt constantly have the time or mental fortitude to plop down for that temporal portion. Books were hard, too, because, initially, I found my concentration levels in the pandemic were lowered to the level of “concussed squirrel” and 2nd, again, my kid was home. Its really difficult to sit quietly with a book. TV and video games were simpler to grapple in the time allowed. Their intake: uncomplicated.
JFC, was Schitts Creek this year? Goddamn. Liked that a person, too. Its clear to me that I am enjoying a specific type of show, a show that in some way balances sweet and salted effectively– that takes itself seriously, however not too seriously. What I would think about the Parks and Rec model. The Good Place too and wait WTF that ended this year too? That was 2020?! What the fuck.
What We Do In The Shadows is among the funniest, weirdest shows. The Jackie Daytona episode may be one of the best episodes of television of all time.
Palm Springs was the very first piece of media that I believe unintentionally comprehended the vibe of the trespassing pandemic. It felt true in a manner other stories did not just by its distance to whatever going on. It is the movie of 2020– not always the best movie (though it is quite terrific), but simply a motion picture that lived in the exact same hell-realm we were all occupying.
Wolfwalkers is among the most wonderful animated movies of perpetuity. I have not seen Soul yet, and will quickly, however this is it for me. Its deeply, unabashedly good, and unashamedly itself.
Goldilocks, Laura Lam. I read this right before the pandemic and hahaaahahaha it landed differently as soon as the pandemic hit. Character-driven into-space thriller with roots in the world and in our present. Its great, and if you liked Wanderers, I believe youll like this, too.
Were there other films out this year? Did I see some of them? Anyway, onward we go.
Class Action Park isnt my childhood exactly, however its next door.
Not an exhaustive list.
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones is a short, impactful, elk-fueled book of terror and sadness. The guy writes in a manner in which is simply easy-breezy– literary, if you care to call it that, however conversational. Its high-minded storytelling informed in a low voice, and please believe me when I guarantee you this is not bad– its the very best way a story can be.
Supercharged rabies pandemic, thanks to Paul Tremblay? He will constantly injure you. And you will constantly like it.
Ill note here an intriguing contrast– I view movies for escape, but read books that dont necessarily aim for escape. I do not know why that is. Perhaps because books contextualize experience differently, and provide catharsis in a more impactful, nuanced method. Ill keep in mind that I think scary is the genre to enjoy over the next 2 to 4 years. And I do not simply state that as a person with a scary novel out in 2021. Uhh, likewise because of that.
Blacktop Wasteland, SA Cosby. Propulsive-at-times, sad-and-reminiscent in others, this is a gut-punch of a book, that puts a great point on race and racial tensions in this hard-as-hell criminal offense novel. I like books that dont fuck around and this is a book that does not fuck around. I d even argue the noblest pursuit of a novelist is to write a book that declines to fuck around, so read this to get that.
Listen, Im sure Im being overwrought by stating its one of the greatest seasons of tv ever, however it sure felt that method when I watched it. Funny, just a little fucked-up, appropriately profane, and eventually deeply sweet and positive. I think about it frequently.
There were some shows that missed for me, too– chief among them is Mandalorian.
I needed amusing this year, and this brought the funny. Samantha Irby is one of the funniest goddamn people on Planet Earth and if there is any factor to save this world it is due to the fact that she is on it.
Scare Me is an unusual piece of not-quite-horror-movie excellence. A story about stories, but likewise a story about storytellers. Weird and hilarious and dark. Minimalist and spare. Shudder, by the method, is a terrific streaming service if you like creepy scary spoopy things.
The Boys isnt that. Its zero sweetness, all salt. It works. It reimagines superheroes as deeply fascist, fucked-up conceited hell-beasts masquerading as people and it feels really apropos to 2020.
A few of these may be hallucinations, I do not even understand.
A few of this too is hard due to the fact that I try to keep in mind, say, what motion pictures I saw this year, and after that when I look back at what motion pictures came out in 2020, its like, truly? Birds of Prey was out this year? Was it? Truly? That occurred this fucking year? Jesus.
Costs & & Ted Face The Music– what a happy film. And a happy-making movie. It wasnt just fond memories sustaining it, though that never ever hurts– it was crafted with love and care and fun, and you can feel it in every frame.
For noble reasons, admittedly, but in a way that feels like hes simply giving in to it instead of owning his function. They simply fought through hell just to have Mando offer away the kid to a dark-clad complete stranger who just murdered a bunch of Terminators. Theres no closure, theres simply the end of the show, and then theres a Boba Fett show however a delayed Mandolorian season and– ennh, I dunno.
Hummingbird Salamander, Jeff VanderMeer. Its not out yet, however mark it– its a Fincherian puzzle to be solved, this book, and its as much about you as it is about the protagonists. All books alter you a little but some books change you more than that, and this is one of those.
Here are the things I enjoyed this year in their various classification.
However, benefit: Cobb Vanth!
This is getting long, so Ill simply say these are the games that geeked me out this year: Hades, Ghost of Tsushima, Miles Morales, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Spiritfarer. I truly wished to love Valhalla but its a buggy ruthless mess where youre mostly simply a dickhead Viking who shows up and does some pillaging– up until now the “bad men” are barely that. It invests me in the story, and the storytelling is good, but it seems like more of a task than the lavish (if too long) Odyssey. I also desired to enjoy Squadrons, but couldnt really get into it. It felt great! However only that. I believe it was the too-short single-player that left me feeling unsatisfied? Hey, Rae Sloane and the Starhawk!
Also a weird shout-out to No Mans Sky, a game that continues to deepen itself and enhance extremely– doubly so now on the PS5, where it looks fucking amazing and its abysmal load-times are now a mere fraction of what they were.
What The Hell Happens Now?
I honestly dont know what occurred this year and what I even accomplished? It was just tough to get creative traction this year. At the very same time, I believe its alright for all of us, me included, to recognize that the year was a shouting fuckshow either way, and that very few people were operating at 100%.
In the meantime, Ill see you on the other side.
Hope you can find some peace and innovative convenience in the new year.
Like Loading …
Ill be back then to talk about that a little more– what we can do going forward, as writers, as the calendar burns the previous tire-fire of a year and we step out of the smoke and haze into a (ideally) restored 2021.
I indicate, at least provided THE FUTURE OF THE world and the nation, Ive no idea. I hope Trump is done, his goose prepared, his brownies baked, his fate signed and sealed and provided. His legal options are long exhausted, so all he has left is turmoil– however he may make more mayhem yet, because I think what waits at the end of it is prison. Hes a cornered beast, and not to be trusted.
Ill keep writing Wayward in the meantime.
Hope you enjoy em all. And if you dont, thats okay, too.
Be well, frandos. Give to a local foodbank, if you can.
When again Im left questioning … what even happened this year? Ill note that I think scary is the category to view over the next two to 4 years.
I hope the pandemic will fade this year– we have vaccines, but we also have brand-new mutations of COVID increasing, and hope however not verification that the vaccines will work against them.
I have no concept.