Alec Austin (alecaustin) wrote,
Alec Austin

2013 in review

...or parts of it, at any rate.

2013 was split pretty much exactly in half for me - before July 1st, when I was unemployed and looking for work, and after July 1st, when I started working at my current employer. Before July, I was reading and writing fairly prolifically, but was also a bit of an emotional wreck. Long-term unemployment, it turns out, is no cakewalk, especially when you're on your second unemployment extension, your benefit checks have shrunk because of the sequester, and you're starting to wonder whether you're secretly really bad at your job, because if you weren't, wouldn't someone have hired you already? So yeah. Fun times.

After I got my offer letter, I set my start date, went to 4th Street, and then came home and immediately plunged back into making games. The combination of work + commute means that if I leave home at ~8 AM, I'll usually get home at... 8 PM. Financial security and a steady paycheck are wonderful, but as a result, my reading and writing time took a pretty big hit in the second half of the year.

From what I can make of my notes, I finished 4 stories in collaboration with mrissa and 3 stories on my own last year. I sold 2 stories at the end of January, and another in September, while 4 of my stories saw print:


"Matron Saint of Murder", in Crowded #1. (iOS only)

Short Stories

"Blood Remembers", in Beneath Ceaseless Skies #117.

"Milk Run" (written with mrissa), in Analog, July/August 2013.

"On the Weaponization of Flora and Fauna" (written with mrissa), in Beneath Ceaseless Skies #129.

"Weaponization..." was the one of the stories that sold in January.

My final sale percentage for the year was 2.75% (3 acceptances, 106 rejections). I also managed to write ~30,000 words towards a draft of a novel. (The working title is Coup de Grace. Dystopian SF about a military/secret police academy. Probably not marketable as YA.)

Books read, from June-December 2013


Robert Jackson Bennett, The Company Man
Lois McMaster Bujold, Captain Vorpatril's Alliance
Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
Anthony Price, A New Kind of War
Mark Waid, Irredeemable v. 9
Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind


Megan Crewe, The Way We Fall
Warren Ellis, Thunderbolts
Warren Ellis, Stormwatch - A Finer World
Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies
Anthony Price, A Prospect of Vengeance


Dorothy Dunnett, Gemini
Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Christopher Hibbert, The Borgias and their Enemies
Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety


Miles Cameron, The Red Knight
Craig M. Mullaney, The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind (reread for a panel)
Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man's Fear (reread for a panel)


R.J. Anderson, Ultraviolet
Mike Carey, The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Ship that Sank Twice
James S.A. Corey, Caliban's War
Ann Leckie, Ancillary Justice
Alastair Reynolds, Doctor Who: Harvest of Time


James S.A. Corey, Abaddon's Gate
Dorothy Dunnett, King Hereafter
Scott Lynch, The Republic of Thieves
Valerie Hansen, The Open Empire: a History of China to 1600
Masami Tsuda, Kare Kano Vols. 1-12 (re-read)


Philip Reeve, Fever Crumb
James Thurber, The Thirteen Clocks
Jonathan Hickman, Secret Warriors Omnibus
Ian Tregillis, Something more than night
Django Wexler, The Thousand Names

On top of everything else, I was sick as a dog through the holidays, which meant I basically did nothing but watch anime on Crunchyroll. While most of it wasn't from the last year, it led me to suspect that the reviewer who wrote's "Ten best shows of 2013" and I don't see eye-to-eye on very much.

Anime shows finished in the last week and a half

* Another (12 episodes)
* Attack on Titan (25 episodes) - Some shocking moments, but has pacing issues. (Also, spent too much time explaining the obvious: i.e. "If you only have one chance at victory, take it.")
* Durarara (25 episodes) - I would strongly suggest people who're interested in urban fantasy watch this. It has some significant flaws, but does several things I found interesting.
* Dusk Maiden of Amnesia (12 episodes)
* Henneko (12 episodes) - Meh. Watched this for Tsukiko.
* I Couldn't Become a Hero, So I Got a Job (12 episodes)
* Kokoro Connect (17 episodes) - Inaba is the best.
* My Little Monster (13 episodes)
* My Mental Choices are Completely Interfering with my School Romantic Comedy (10 episodes) - Double Meh. I watched this for Yukihira.
* The Pet Girl of Sakurasou (24 episodes) - Quite good, and far better than the title would suggest.
* Toradora (25 episodes) - Really liked this one.

Yes, I watched a fair amount of crap. I was sick and needed brain candy.
Tags: anime, books, year in review

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