So if you have been online much at all in the last few years, you will have heard that cultural appropriation is Definitely A Thing.
I’m about to commit cultural appropriation. If this or the snark that follows triggers you, that’s not my problem.
A number of different cultures throughout history have had calendars which have included years with particular themes. One prominent example is the Chinese calendar, in which there are twelve years, each representing one of the signs of the Chinese zodiac, such as Year of the Horse or Year of the Monkey, just to name two. At the end of twelve years, the cycle repeats. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should check the placemats at just about any Chinese restaurant. And pick me up some honey walnut shrimp while you’re at it, if you don’t mind, please.)
In keeping with that spirit, I’m going to commit cultural appropriation by declaring 2018 the Year of Classic Fiction.
There are a number of classic works of fantasy, science fiction, and mystery on my shelves. These fall into two general categories. Those I haven’t read but should have. Those I’ve read so long ago that the details have pretty much faded. I’m not overly impressed with what I’m seeing from the main publishers, so I’m going to spend what reading time I have on works I am more likely to enjoy. In addition to Gemmell, Moorcock, Leiber, and writers of the post WWII era, I’ll be reading Merritt, Haggard, Burroughs, Lamb, and Sabatini. Among others.
There are also a number of small press items that have piled up, such as Cirsova, Weirdbook, etc., in addition to the short fiction markets I’ve got subscriptions to. I want to get caught up on those. Add into that mix a number of works by friends I’ve not gotten to yet. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for thick door stopper tomes.
Plus, I want to read more nonfiction, specifically more history. There have been a number of interesting titles published, and I have friends who make me aware of them. (I’m looking at you here, Jim Cornelius, Paul McNamee, and David J. West.) I’d like to get caught up on some of them. The aforementioned gentlemen have great taste, and they’ve yet to steer me wrong.
This shift in what I’m reading will show up in my blogging in several ways. First, the science fiction and mystery blogs have been rather dormant, and the history blog has pretty much died. (Links are at the top of the page.) I’m hoping to make those more active.
I’m not necessarily going to blog about all of the fiction I’m reading. Fiction writing will need to be my top writing priority, as I talked about in yesterday’s post. I’ll try to post some things that aren’t reviews, since essays are bit easier to write.
So that’s what you can expect around here for the next year. Cultural appropriation as The Year of Classic Fiction begins.