2016 was, globally speaking, and to put it mildly, not the best of years. I will not be sad to see it go. But it’s worth it to remember that no year is entirely irredeemable. People have been passing around this list of 99 reasons 2016 was a good year, and I think that it’s a useful reminder to people who are feeling beat down by the last 360-some-odd days.
I think it’s also useful to remember in a year like this that there were good things in one’s personal life too, when they were there, and are in danger of being overshadowed by the overall tenor of a year. So, with that in mind, here are some reasons 2016 didn’t entirely suck, at least for me. Again, this is in no particular order, and not a complete list, merely a representative sample.
1. I wrote a novel I really like (that would be The Collapsing Empire) that I can’t wait for people to see.
2. I released my first short story collection ever (Miniatures! Which officially comes out tomorrow! Wheeee!).
3. Redshirts won an award in Israel, so that’s pretty cool.
4. The Dispatcher was the #1 audiobook on Audible for two weeks (two? Maybe three?) and in the top ten for two or three more, and while I’m not supposed to say specifically how many copies were downloaded, I am allowed to say “six figures” is accurate. Plus, it was read by Zachary Quinto, and how awesome is that. And people seemed to like it, which is also a thing that does not suck.
5. Short stories I wrote or co-wrote (“Muse of Fire” and “On the Wall”) appeared in two anthologies, published on the same day (Black Tide Rising and Mash Up), and I was featured in a third book (The Books That Changed My Life). For someone who doesn’t really appear in anthologies, this was kind of a banner year for ’em.
6. Became a Critic at Large for the Los Angeles Times, my hometown newspaper growing up, and in whose pages it was always a dream for me to be featured in.
7. My kid got through high school. Early! And she became an adult, which means Krissy and I got her through childhood all in one piece.
8. Finally went to Hawaii, which a) lived up to the hype, b) helped me get through a substantial portion of my novel writing by being six hours removed from the mainland, c) meant I got to hang out with a bunch of cool folks. A++++, would visit again.
9. Was awarded the 2016 Governor’s Award for Arts in Ohio, which is a pretty big deal here in the state, and was the first science fiction author ever to get that particular award, which makes me feel shiny.
10. I got to watch a whole lot of my friends have amazing years creatively, the highlights of which included NK Jemisin getting a hugely-deserved Hugo award, others land NYT bestsellers, seeing friends’ TV shows succeed, and watching friends’ movies gross more than a billion dollars worldwide to date.
Plus, I remained married to this fabulous person.
So, for all of that, thanks, 2016. You weren’t all bad.
If you’d like to post some good things that happened to/for you in 2016 in the comment thread, I would be happy to see them, and so, I suspect, would others.