Figure 1 – Niven with Mind Out of Time

Starting a bit late this year, but I’ve been working hard, trying to clean up my office and the basement. I’ve emptied a number of bins (“This gets recycled, this gets shredded, this gets trashed, this gets donated”), but not enough to satisfy my wife, I suspect, who hoped I’d get it all cleaned up and out. I believe it was Kurt Vonnegut who said, “So it goes.” One does what one can.

Well, we’ve had a momentous IRL January so far; I’m writing this before the inauguration. I’ll leave it stet so I can compare what happened. I won’t attempt to comment on the political ramifications, but as an expatriate (voting) American in Canada (voting here, too! Citizenship has its obligations!), I’m rather happy with the outcome of the election. And that’s all the politics in this column, folks!

I’ve got a few things planned for 2021 (Can you believe it? 2021 and we STILL don’t have rocket belts or Larry Niven’s “stepping discs”! Yes, I’ve been rereading a lot of old Niven and reading some of his stuff that I’d skipped before. We spent some time with him a few years ago and he was such fun—and posed with MY book, so I thought I’d return the compliment (Figure 1). That’s my short story collection being held by one of the best authors science fiction’s ever produced!

All right, let’s take a look at the 42 columns I did last year. Click on the title to go direct to any given column:

Column 274 (Jan. 10) – A review of all 2019 columns plus Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout
Column 275 (Jan. 24) – Spoiler Review of The Witcher
Column 276 (Jan. 31) – BBC/Netflix Dracula (Part 1) Review
Column 277 (Feb. 14) – Gemini Man Quick Review (Spoilers)
Column 278 (Feb. 21) – “Near-Perfect Movies #1” (Near Dark)
Column 279 (Feb. 28) – “Near-Perfect Movie #2” – Pitch Black
Column 280 (Mar.  6)  – Riddick Review (Spoilers)
Column 281 (Mar. 27) – F&SF Jan-Feb 2020 Review
Column 282 (Apr.  3)  – F&SF Mar-Apr 2020 Review
Column 283 (Apr. 10) – “Near-Perfect Movie #3” Aliens Review part 1
Column 284 (Apr. 17) – “Near-Perfect Movie #3” Aliens Review part 2
Column 285 (Apr. 24) – “Near-Perfect Movie #3” Aliens Review part 3
Column 286 (May  1)  – James Bond Themes part 1
Column 287 (May  8)  – James Bond Themes part 2
Column 288 (May 15) – Robert J. Sawyer’s “Oppenheimer Alternative” Review
Column 289 (May 22) – Damn Yankees Retro Movie review
Column 290 (Jun.  4)  – Redux: Sixties, Science Fiction And Secret Agents
Column 291 (Jun. 18) – F&SF May-June 2020 Review
Column 292 (Jul.  3)  – (Book Reviews) – A Last Kick at the Can–Flint!
Column 293 (Jul. 17) – Shark Week and Sharknado (Column 57 redux)
Column 294 (Aug. 7)  – Retro Movie Review – Devil Girl From Mars
Column 295 (Aug 14) – Retro Movie Review – Red Planet Mars
Column 296 (Aug 21) – F&SF Jul-Aug 2020 Review Part I
Column 297 (Aug 28) – F&SF Jul-Aug 2020 Review Part II
Column 298 (Sept. 4) – Goodbye, Chadwick & Sputnik Review
Column 299 (Sept. 11) – Diana Rigg Farewell
Column 300 (Oct.  2)  – Lisa Mason’s “Oddities” Review part I
Column 301 (Oct.  9) – Lisa Mason’s “Oddities” Review part II
Column 302 (Oct. 16) – Ed Willett “Moonlit World” Review
Column 303 (Oct. 23) – F&SF Sept.-Oct 2020 Review
Column 304 (Oct. 30) – Spooktober – 31 days of Halloween movies
Column 305 (Nov. 27) F&SF NOV-DEC 2020 REVIEW – Amazing Stories)
Column 306 (Dec. 4) – “25 Gates of Hell” Anthology Review
Column 307 (Dec. 11) – Jeffrey A. Carver, Two Book Reviews

And that’s all, folks, for 2020. Are you looking forward to 2021? I sure am. Just wish they’d get busy on those jetpacks or stepping discs.

Comments on my column are welcome. You can comment here, or on Facebook, or even by email (stevefah at hotmail dot com). All your comments, good or bad, positive or negative, are welcome! (Just keep it polite, okay?) My opinion is, as always, my own, and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of Amazing Stories or its owner, editor, publisher or other columnists. See you next time!

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