Happy New Year booklings! I hope you all had a sufficiently turkey-filled holiday season (or succulent nut roasts and other non-meaty things for my veggie pals) and that you’re all nice and rested up for a wonderful new year brimming with books.
2019 was the year I started this little blog and even though it’s only been going for a few months, I’ve already met a bunch of fab like-minded bookworms who share my passion for all things literary. So first things first, I’d just like to say a big thank you to all of you stars who take the time to stop by my little corner of the internet to read my ramblings – you’re the best.
I read a lot of great books in 2019, from new releases like Tade Thompson’s THE ROSEWATER REDEMPTION and FLEET OF KNIVES by Gareth L. Powell to older books that are old faves, like Philip Pullman’s HIS DARK MATERIALS series and others that I’d just never got round to reading, like THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy (that book wrecked me). However, there’s a few things I’d like to do differently in the coming year, so these are a few short goals I’d like to work towards in 2020.
1. READ MORE WOMEN
Despite things improving significantly in recent years, women still get a raw deal in the science fiction and fantasy world. And it’s not because women aren’t as prolific in the genre as men; some of the best SFF I’ve read recently was written by some incredible female writers. Melissa Caruso’s SWORDS AND FIRE trilogy (beginning with THE TETHERED MAGE) blew me away; THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE, Aliette de Bodard’s futuristic gender-swapped Holmes and Watson story, was a wonderfully imaginative tale; and UNDER THE PENDULUM SUN, Jeannette Ng’s dark faeworld fantasy scared the shit out of me.
Women are writing great science fiction and fantasy, and always have done. Unfortunately most of the marketing still skews towards men. And don’t get me wrong, to men who write great books. Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, John Scalzi – all these guys are super-talented authors and deserve every ounce of their success. I just think it’s telling that among all the modern giants of SFF, it’s not the case that the likes of Fonda Lee, Rebecca Kuang and N. K. Jemesin are truly held in the same regard, despite the quality of their writing.
So this year, I’m planning on making a conscious effort to read and promote the women out there who are writing such great science fiction and fantasy, starting with COIL by Wren Warom, which I’ll be reading and reviewing in the next couple of weeks.
2. READ MORE NEW BOOKS
If you’ve followed Parsecs & Parchment from the beginning, you’ve probably noticed I’ve developed a reputation for reading a fair few older books. I actually think older books don’t get enough love, always being pushed aside in favour of the exciting shiny new releases to be left, dusty and forgotten in a darkened corner of the bookshelf. So I’ll still be reading and reviewing older books, but at the same time I actually do still get excited about a lot of new releases! Unfortunately, it’s often the case that they’ve drifted into the ‘Old Book’ category by the time I get round to them.
So I’m pledging to keep up with as many new releases as I can this year. Problem is, I’m not up to speed with the best people, websites and social media accounts to follow to keep up to speed. So if you have any tips on how to keep up with new releases, or have any specific books and authors you’re particularly excited to read this year, please let me know 🙂
And that’s pretty much it. I like to keep my goals simple so I don’t get overwhelmed. Read more women and read more new books seem like good starting points. More generally, I’m looking forward to improving the blog, posting more reviews and getting to know more of you in this great bookish community we’ve got going.
So cheers to the new year, and happy reading everyone!
Let me know your reading plans for 2020 and if you enjoyed this update follow the blog to never miss a post!