Here we are again, beginning a new year. Funny how that all works, isn’t it? The old planet takes another run around the sun and we have to start doing all over again what we just finished doing, whether it’s work, raising crops, animals or a family — or writing a weekly column! Can you imagine doing the same things day after day if you knew you had only a short time to live — or an eternity? (I just finished reading, for the first time, Robert J. Sawyer’s Starplex, a book published back in 1996, where the main character finds out he’s in no immediate danger of dying. Or at least — barring accidents — for the next ten billion years. Talk about your grand SFnal concepts! Believe it or not, Rob Sawyer has just recently published his twenty-third novel! I think I’m going to have to review that book (Starplex) soon!) But our immediate purpose in this column is to talk about the year just past, and my small part in it, at least as far as Amazing’s concerned.
So here, in order, are all my columns from 2016, with links:
Column 125 Jan 8 2016 https://amazingstories.com/?p=78175 Three “B” movie reviews: Extinction, Crimson Peak, & The Visit
Column 126 Jan 15 2016 https://amazingstories.com/?p=78511 2015 in review (list of columns with links)
Column 127 Jan 22 2016 https://amazingstories.com/?p=78783 Review of Jan/Feb 2015 F&SF
Column 128 Jan 29 2016 https://amazingstories.com/?p=78985 Three movie reviews: The Power, Absolutely Anything, and American Hero
Column 129 Feb 5 2016 https://amazingstories.com/?p=79272 Movie Review: Freaks of Nature, and a new Canadian SF semi-prozine, Polar Borealis
Column 130 Feb 15 2016 https://amazingstories.com/?p=79518 A review of the Mar/April F&SF, and some talk about SF postage stamps. And a big “Hello!” to Donald Fish!
Column 131 Feb 19 2016 https://amazingstories.com/?p=79665 Book review: John Whalen’s The Big Shutdown, and a first-part review of 11-22-63, the TV series “based on” the King book.
Column 132 Feb 26 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/02/reviews-why-i-hunt-flying-saucers-by-hugh-a-d-spencer-and-11-22-63-and-a-call-to-robert-a-heinlein-fans Book review, TV episode review and a chance to buy Heinlein’s birth home!
Column 133 Mar 4 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/03/magazine-worlds-science-fiction-issue-1-1952-random-stuff IF magazine first issue and some other stuff
Column 134 Mar 11 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/03/second-looks-marvels-deadpool-ant-man-words-writing Movie reviews (Deadpool & Ant Man) and some writing advice
Column 135 Mar 18 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/03/book-review-fright-mares-edited-billie-sue-mosiman-award-nomination-deadlines-writing-information Book Review: Frightmares, and some… well, you can read the link, right?
Column 136 Mar 25 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/03/terrible-twos-movie-reviews-5th-wave-hell-back-plus-something-old Two bad movies: The 5th Wave and Hell And Back
Column 137 Apr 1 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/04/book-review-quantum-night-robert-j-sawyer-canadas-aurora-awards Book review: Robert J. Sawyer’s Quantum Night. Good book!
Column 138 Apr 8 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/04/mary-karen-reid-2016-book-reviews-finn-fancy-books-randy-henderson Farewell to a fan, Mary-Karen Reid, and reviews of two books by Randy Henderson
Column 139 Apr 15 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/04/two-average-films-boy-2016-forest-2016-ebooks Movie reviews: The Boy & The Forest and an ebook bundle
Column 140 Apr 22 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/04/book-review-star-guard-andre-norton-stuff Book review (Andre Norton’s Star Guard) and some cover artist information
Column 141 Apr 29 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/04/reviews-midnight-special-aurora-graphic-novel-nominees Movie review and some graphic novels
Column 142 May 6 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/05/two-classics-h-beam-piper-keith-laumer Two late great SF writers: H. Beam Piper & Keith Laumer
Column 143 May 13 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/05/ebooks-movies-new-storybundle-plus-10-cloverfield-lane-battle-planet A new Storybundle plus two movie reviews: 10 Cloverfield Lane and Battle Planet.
Column 144 May 20 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/05/times-running-get-storybundle-review Another Storybundle and some new Canadian Star Trek stamps
Column 145 May 27 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/05/farewell-another-friend-fannish-memories-storybundles Another fan, Debra Miller, is gone, plus memories of MosCon and New Venture. And more Storybundles!
Column 146 Jun 3 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/06/moscon-memories-misty-watercolour Memories of MosCon–one of the best little cons that ever was… IMO!
Column 147 Jun 10 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/06/reviews-mayjune-fsf-three-movies Review of the May/June F&SF and three short movie reviews
Column 148 Jun 17 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/06/mars-friend-foe-two-retro-movie-reviews Reviews of The Angry Red Planet and Invaders From Mars!
Column 149 Jun 24 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/06/reviews-two-british-end-world-films-retro Reviews of two old British SF movies: Crack in the World and The Day the Earth Caught Fire. Great movies!
Column 150 Jul 1 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/07/one-eye-good-two-eye-bad-two-retro-movie-reviews Reviews of two old SF movies: Warning From Space and Killers From Space. Good movies? You tell me.
Column 151 Jul 15 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/07/rumble-jungle-film-review-legend-tarzan Film review: The Legend of Tarzan
Column 152 Jul 22 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/07/pal-jerry-sohl All about my late friend, the writer Jerry (Gerald Allan) Sohl
Column 153 Jul 29 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/07/stranger-things-homage-copycat Review of Netflix series Stranger Things (good stuff!)
Column 154 Aug 19 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/08/review-julyaugust-magazine-fantasy-science-fiction-fsf Review of July/Aug Magazine of Fantasy & SF
Column 155 Aug 26 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/08/perfect-movie-review-groundhog-day Review of the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day (1993)
Column 156 Sept 2 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/09/mrs-peel-youre-needed-avengers-review Review of the classic (1960s) TV series The Avengers
Column 157 Sept 9 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/09/book-review-f-paul-wilsons-panacea A book review of F. Paul Wilson’s Panacea… a good read!
Column 158 Sept 16 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/09/movie-reviews-allegiant-others A full review of Allegiant, and capsule reviews of several other movies
Column 159 Sept 30 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/09/movie-reviews-arq-final-fantasy-xv-kingsglaive Two more movie revies: ARQ and Final Fantasy: Kingsglaive. Both are watchable, but not great movies.
Column 160 Oct 7 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/10/new-reviews-wendigs-invasive-septoct-fsf Reviews up the wazoo! Chuck Wendig’s new book Invasive, the special David Gerrold F&SF and lots of TV and stuff!
Column 161 Oct 14 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/10/tv-not-tv-question-tv-reviews TV show reviews, good & bad series: Aftermath, Luke Cage, Timeless, Supergirl
Column 162 Oct 21 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/10/retro-review-andre-norton-1-several They don’t make SF/F writers like Andre Norton any more!
Column 163 Oct 28 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/10/happy-helloween-scary-movie-reviews-says-count-floyd Halloween movie reviews: Walking Dead in the West (bad!), Against the Dark (bad!), Young Frankenstein (a classic!)
Column 164 Nov 4 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/11/nanowrimo-column-25-redux NaNoWriMo starts; column 25 (Modesty Blaise) redux
Column 165 Nov 11 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/11/column-21-redux-nanowrimo-wha So what is NaNoWriMo, anyway? Column 21 redux.
Column 166 Nov 18 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/11/ace-doubles-cover-illustrators-part-one-redux Another redux column, this one about Ace Doubles cover illustrators
Column 167 Nov 25 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/11/ace-doubles-amazing-illustrators-part-ii-redux The last “redux” column, continuing Ace Doubles illustrators (Emsh, Valigursky, Gaughan, Freas, et al.)
Column 168 Dec 2 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/12/double-double-whats-trouble All about the collectibility of Ace Doubles.
Column 169 Dec 23 2016 https://amazingstories.com/2016/12/review-novdec-fsf-happy-holidays Review of the last F&SF for 2016. Great magazine!
So that seems to be about 45 columns, meaning I missed 7 for the year. Not a bad average; what keeps me going is envisioning your shining little faces coming down the stairs and looking forward to unwrapping all your presents… whoops! I just got confused between Friday (Column Day) and Christmas. Not that there’s a whole lot of difference; you should see my snowy white beard! (Yes, I did revise and rewrite some old columns during NaNoWriMo. But I got part of a book written.)
Okay, just for fun, to wrap this one up, here’s something kind of SFnal: an “acoustic tractor beam.” Granted, it can only pull little styrofoam beads, but still…. Check it out (and, if you’re a fan of “maker” stuff, subscribe to the “instructables” feed): http://www.instructables.com/id/Acoustic-Tractor-Beam/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email. Well that’s it for my first column of 2017, beginning my fourth straight year on Amazing Stories. I hope it’s been as much fun — and continues to be fun and/or educational — for you as it has been for me!
If you have anything to say about this column — compliments, brickbats, or corrections, for example — please post your comment here. It’s easy, and you can even sign up to get automatic notifications of new columns! (I do publish corrections when you send me information, and even apologies if I got something egregiously wrong.) Or you can comment on Facebook; I post links every Friday when a new column comes out. (I’m more likely to see the Facebook comments than the ones posted here, however… I tend to check that more often.) My opinion is, as always, my own, and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of Amazing Stories or its owners, editors, publishers or other columnists. See you next week!