Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Top ten posts from 2015

Lairich Rig [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

It's not been the most prolific year on the blog for me - but I've maintained a steady flow of updates and articles that I'm pleased with and in some cases downright proud of.  

Here are the top 10 most viewed pieces this year. It's no surprise that those posts written with an audience in mind - be it environmental activists or SF fandom - tend to do the best.

1. Hard Science, Hot Mess: Liu Cixin's The Three Body Problem

"Liu mixes astrophysics, the politics of science, the history of the Cultural Revolution, virtual reality and Pynchonesque conspiracy theories to create, well, the hottest mess this side of Philip K Dick."

2. Ten reasons to get involved in a Friends of the Earth local group 

"While I was travelling home last week I challenged myself to come up with ten compelling reasons to join a Friends of the Earth local group. Here they are, collected in tweet form." 

3. Kevin J Anderson's The Dark Between The Stars: control, not mastery

"Dark is more of what Anderson does - space opera on an epic scale [...]. And what an elaborate, detailed, techno-baroque sandbox it is too, taking in psychic empires, gas giant mining, insectoid robot, gestalt forests, plague collectors and colours from out of spaaaaaaaaaace."

4. Now That's What I Call Kinda Okay: Reading the Hugo short fiction nominees

"And the Hugo's are not awards for the merely alright. What would be the point in that?"

5. A big hug from the golden age of high fantasy: Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor

"The Goblin Emperor is a Bildungsroman, high fantasy style, and goodness knows we've had a lot of those. But there's no Eddings-style chosen one wish-fulfilment trip for our protagonist here." 

6. Introducing the libertarian dismount  

"I think we're going to see more of the dismount here in the UK in the years to come. Not only is the boundary between the market and the state once again becoming contested territory, but there is a worrying backlash against the politics of diversity on the breeze too." 

7. Black metal ecology: Agalloch's Marrow Of The Spirit

"It's also sometimes hard to locate the human element in Agalloch's work, or to escape the feeling that they have nothing to say about the present other than the need to transcend or transform it. Listening to them is occasionally a visceral joy, but more often an austere, intellectual pleasure, especially given the length of the songs."

8. Quick review of Ancillary Sword, plus my best novel vote 

"What I will say is that I enjoyed it a great deal, although it lacked the shock of the sorta new that it's prequel Ancillary Justice had, as well as its driving heartbreak-n-revenge narrative."

9. Last Day Working For Friends of the Earth

"After seven years and a little more, yesterday was my last day working for Friends of the Earth. It's been an amazing experience in ways I have yet to fully reflect on, and I've been deeply touched by the response I've had from colleagues in the staff body and comrades in local groups as I've been heading out the door."

10. What we don't talk about when we don't talk about The Big Ask

"When we leave out The Big Ask from our conversation as a movement, we don't just leave out an occasion for nostalgia, we omit an opportunity to remind ourselves what it is to be successful."

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