Dec 31, 2013

End of 2013

Here it is.  The obligatory end of year post where I inflict my reflections on you.  This post will be a mixture of the personal and the professional( is my blogging professional?).  First up:


Number of books read


Number of manuscripts read


Gender Breakdown

Female 25 (46%)


Male 22 (41%)


Mixed 7 (13%)

Genre Break down

Non-Fic    2


SpecFic 43


Crime 5


Comics 2


Poetry 1


SF Erotic Fiction 1

Nationality/ Ethnicity  





3 ( 2 Single author, 1 anthology)


1 (anthology)

International Non Anglophone

2 (Int. journal, anthology)

International Anglophone

1 (collection)



Australian Aboriginal


First things first, the number of works read is significantly down on the two previous years. I blame (ironically) having to manage and run a library.  About 7 hours a week were eaten up in commuting, not to mention that I did take over the helm at Galactic Chat and with the help of the dedicated team of roving interviewers managed to put out a show a week from mid year on.  But more on that later.  I suspect I will read more and work less next year.

I read only 7 more books after my October gender audit and while I still managed to read more women overall(53% when I take out mixed collections), it was still shy of the 60/40 split I aim for.

My genre breakdown as you would expect from a SpecFic reviewer is heavily weighted in favour of that genre.  I don’t expect that this will change too much.

Nationality/Ethnicity was an attempt to dig down into how diverse me reading is.  As you would expect the largest grouping is Australian authors (13 of which would be women) skewed by the Australian Women Writers Challenge.  The next biggest grouping being American authors, shows I think, the dominance of that market in publishing.  There might have been one or two traditionally published review books in my Australian authors but I suspect most SpecFic being published traditionally is coming in from the US.  The UK books would be mostly Crime, with some Young Adult fantasy.

Thanks to Charles Tan I discovered the wonderful Filipino writing community.  His tireless efforts in getting hard copies out and Flipreads’ forging ahead to make digital distribution inroads led me to discover some really great speculative fiction writers.  I now have several books to continue on with next year. 

Thanks also to Joelyn Alexandra for bringing a number of works with her from the Singaporean community in 2012, some more will feature in my reading list next year as well. 

What I would like to do next year is to incorporate some extra diversity in the form of QUILTBAG fiction.  There’s been a smattering of stories throughout some of the collections that I have read this year but would really like to challenge myself with some different perspectives and longer works.  I have enjoyed work from Benjanun Sriduangkaew (see Silent Bridge, Pale Cascade) and JY Yang.  Feel free to suggest QUILTBAG writers, collections, stories in the comments.



I started the year with some grand plans to run the Adventures of Bookonaut Podcast and managed to create 5 Episodes.  They are worth checking out here.  But then the opportunity came along to take on the Galactic Chat Podcast previously run by the award winning team that brings you Galactic Suburbia.  I had been a heavy contributor to the show (hence my desire to create my own podcast) and when Tansy and Alisa looked at their schedules they decided to offer the show running to me instead of closing it down.

I found out how hard (even with help) producing a podcast is.  Never forget the often silent behind the scenes work that goes into the free content you listen to.  That being said I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Relaunching in June with the prelaunch special interview with NK Jemisin it has been a good year.  Our achievements were:

  1. 22 Interviews in 6 months (almost an interview a week)
  2. Gender breakdown of 17 female and 5 male authors
  3. Nationality breakdown of 19 Australian(1 POC), 3 International (two POC included)
  4. Site visits quadrupled from 11652 at the start of 2012 to 44586 as of today
  5. Episode hits increased from 1493 to 3732 in the same period
  6. Our top 5 most downloaded episodes(bearing in mind some have been live longer) were
    1. Margo Lanagan and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz who tie on 192 downloads
    2. Julia Rios
    3. Kathleen Jennings
    4. NK Jemisin
    5. Stephen Ormsby

You can peruse our selection of interviews below, just clik on the icon in the top right hand corner to  see all the interviews.



I surprised myself this year by becoming a published poet.  A big thanks must go to Jodi Cleghorn and Adam Byatt who initiated the Post-It Note Poetry Event in February.  It was they and the subsequent formation of the Post It Note Poetry Society that saw me develop the confidence to start submitting first to non paying venues and then on to paying gigs.  My thanks to my fellow society members for their wise words and shoulders to cry on.

My tally this year was:

  • 2 poems hosted at The Glass Coin (non-paying curated site)
  • 1 poem published at Adelaide INDAILY magazine ( paid in stock)
  • 1 poem accepted for publication in March 2014 Tincture Journal (paid publication)
  • 1 poem accepted for Speculative Fiction Anthology published in 2014

I am probably forgetting things but looking back over the year there’s good reason I was feeling a bit knackered come the Christmas Holidays.  I think I can mark this year off as a success.

Thanks for reading and see you next year.


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