Year-end review, part 3: publications

We finally saw the Doctor Who Christmas special last night. [mild spoilers ahead]

The story hearkens back to the beginning with the appearance of the first Doctor and it is the swan song for the twelfth, as well as the end of the Steven Moffat era. New things are in the offing with the appearance of the first female Doctor, although we’ll have to wait until the fall to see how it all plays out. It was nice that, for once, the alien incursion was not hostile, and it was good to see the Doctor a little befuddled by that discovery. It had a few good cameos, although at times it felt overly drawn out, like the parody of how an actor stretches out his death scene in an old Western. I liked the interplay between the two Doctors, especially the way #1 made fun of some of the things that had evolved with his character and “ship” in the intervening 1500 years. (It’s also funny to consider what an utter bastard David Bradley played in Game of Thrones.) I absolutely did not recognize Mark Gattis as the soldier until I saw he after-show scene with the table read for the episode. And the scene of the legendary World War I Armistice was terrific. And I loved the 13th Doctor’s first word, her reaction to the revelation. Brilliant!

2017 was a pretty good year for publications. This collage above contains the covers of all the physical venues where my work appeared this year. I had six new short stories come out this year: “Truth or Dare?” in Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, “Aeliana” in СИЯНИЕ В МРАКА, the Bulgarian translation of Shining in the Dark and my first publication in that language, “The Halloween Tree” in Halloween Carnival: Volume Four, “Sticky Business” in Snowbound: The Best New England Crime Stories 2017, “The Illusion” in The Shadow Over Deathlehem and “Pain-Man” in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, a market I’ve been trying to crack for many years.

I wrote the introduction to a new edition of The Godsend by Bernard Taylor from Centipede Press and my interview with Richard Chizmar and Stephen King has appeared in multiple venues, including Where Nightmares Come From. My essay on King’s crime fiction appears in Reading Stephen King from Cemetery Dance Publications. I contributed several items to Horror Literature through History: An Encyclopedia of the Stories that Speak to Our Deepest Fears. Hank Wagner and I discussed Stranger Things in Dead Reckonings #21 and I reviewed Sleeping Beauties in DR #22.

At Cemetery Dance Online (aka News from the Dead Zone), I reviewed The Dark Tower, It, Gerald’s Game, 1922 and Sleeping Beauties. I got to attend my first movie premiere (The Dark Tower, in Bangor) and my first press screening of a film (It, in Houston, a week after Hurricane Harvey). I also made my first appearance on Sirius XM satellite radio when Robin Furth and I spent the better part of an hour talking about all things King with Anthony Brenzican of Entertainment Weekly.

All in all, as I said, a pretty good year, and I already have a number of things cued up for 2018, including one huge project about which I’m terribly excited but can say absolutely nothing about. If the stars align, my novella project with Brian Keene might see the light of day next year, too. Here’s hoping.

In some aspects, this was a dismal year, though. Let’s hope for better in the New Year.

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