2008 - Canons
In terms of me enjoying fannish things, it's been a bit of a mixed year. New Who continued its general pattern of having a season with lots of enjoyable stuff going on as it went along but which overall undermines itself in retrospect by variously not paying off its running threads properly and fucking the companion over for the sake of the Doctor's emo, to the extent where I don't really want to rewatch it much. Overall, though, I've found it a lot easier to concentrate on the good since the Changing of the Guard has been announced. I'll miss Ten, but I'm ready to meet Eleven. Especially if he's Chiwetel Ejiofor, who I shall continue to hope for until there is a definitive annoucement. And although I've always known that RTD's particular vision of Who is not going to be stamped on the show forever and ever amen there's a difference between knowing that intellectually and having the proof (not that Moffat is going to be hugely different, and not that he won't have all sorts of issues of his own, but I am very much ready for a change).
The big fannish revelation for me this year has been Sarah Jane Adventures, which I didn't make enough effort with S1 of at the time, but which turns out to be amazingly good telly, children's or otherwise. I sort of wish the parent show could do whatever they're doing there that makes it work so well.
Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles (which shamingly I only started to watch for Shirley Manson) continues to intrigue me, but hasn't quite yet drawn me in all the way, though Virgin 1's showing of the second season stopped a few episodes short of whatever was going on in the US before the hiatus that had everyone so excited. It's very nice to see a show that's not afraid to explore its premise properly, but it's interesting how the apocalypse itself is de-emphasised compared to the films: it's much more about the future resistance and much less about, which probably tells us lots about how our culture has changed from the Cold War obsession with mutually assured destruction to a fixation on asymmetric conflict.
And I've continued to enjoy comics an awful lot. Not that there aren't all sorts of issues in there, but at least they're very obvious and so don't tend to get defended as violently as some of the bad stuff in things like Who (at least, not by people whose opinions I care to read). In particular, all the emotional spectrum stuff in Green Lantern has really resonated with the bit of my brain that likes to worry away at the rules of fictional universes and given me something to get my speculative teeth into. Plus I really like all the buddy cop story elements and the characters.
2008 - Fandoms
Doctor Who fandom has been its usual generally-failtastic-with-moments of awesome self, but I've got a lot better at ignoring the places where most of the fail happens. (Still not perfect, but better.) Some comms I was very sad to unwatch (dammit, I still miss Martha fandom the way it was during S3, and lifeonmartha has a lovely nostalgic feel for me), others not so much. I really wish we could do something about the Cult of Nice's strangehold on fic feedback, but it's a perennial problem in all fandoms, AFAICS. (Incidentally, there has been lots of great fic this year, much of it from you lot on my flist. \o/ for you.)
I sometimes wonder if I should get into comics fandom, but I suspect the ratio of fail to fun once you get deeply into it is horrendous, so I shall probably stick to reading the few blogs that I already do.
2008 - Me, fannishly: this is the longest section, on account of my vanity
On a personal level, I'm feeling quite pleased with my fannish year. I've produced far more fic than ever before (largely thanks to the kink meme, the success of which I continue to be astonished by -- I'm not at all sad that it's in a deep coma, because I'm far too lazy to keep up with it and really the fact that it kept ticking along as long as it did is all down to drho; the most satisfying aspect for me has been all the other people who it's helped to get writing/writing again/writing more) and some of it I'm very proud of. My Top Five personal faves of my fic from the last year are, in no particular orderTM and © Tess Daly:
- Brave Hearts, because I finally managed to do the Nyssa/Tegan reunion fic I've always wanted to write. (There have been many, many iterations of this in my head over the years, including a novel length Martha-shags-most-of-the-previous-compan
ions femslash epic that ended up with her and all her friends being yentas for them.)
- Eternity in an Hour, because I'm pleased with how I captured the feel of its era.</a>
- Hardly Moving Yet, which is probably not just my favourite of the year, but my all time favourite, again because it captured its era. What makes it extra-special to me is that the era in question (Seven and Ace) is my favourite and I'd previously been scared to approach it.
- Fitz Kreiner and the Chronology Protection Conjecture, because it's my favourite middle school era, and I like the barmy sci-fi plot (repurposed from a never finished "original" story of mine from ages ago).
- The Assistant, because I like how it blends Handy, Three-and-UNIT and EDA-Eight into one big ball of shiny.
Funnily enough, all of those are from ficathons, which suggests to me that my creative side works best when I'm trying to work within a particular set of limits. Even most of the non-ficathon fics I write are in response to either a prompt (as on the kink meme) or someone else suggesting an idea in a looser way. (The fics I write completely off my own bat tend to be very much in response to episodes, so again a specific trigger.) Which reminds me, another thing I'm pleased about is that I've also done better than in previous years at sticking to fannish commitments like ficathons and things (again, not perfect -- toobroadtoodeep completely died on its arse -- but much, much better).
And sort of on that subject, here are my Yuletide fics: The Morning After, which was Black Books fic for basingstoke (and which I must again thank livii for the beta on) and Running Commentary, which was IT Crowd for doyle_sb4. There's been lots of nice feedback, a lot of it centring on the "voices", so it seems I can do a passable impression of Graham Linehan if I put my mind to it (though that's probably more to do with years of overdosing on Ted than the particular canons here). If I do sign up for Yuletide '09 (which is by no means certain) I probably won't offer any comedy fandoms, though: the pressure to not only be funny but be funny in the same sort of vein as the show in question is really quite stressful.
Clearly it is not 2009, because that means next year is 2010 and we will be failing at living up to Arthur C Clarke all over again
I have some fannish New Year's Resolutions. They go like this:
- Read for at least five hours every week. (This is largely motivated by the fact that I really, really enjoyed having time to crack through the new Alastair Reynolds over Christmas without ending up forgetting it because it had been so long since I last read it.) I am going to motivate this by copying in_the_end's thing from 2008 of reading 30 books in a year, which hopefully I will hit quite easily. (It boils down to eight hours for each book, if I go for the minimums in each case, and I tend to read books in more like six, so I've got room to read some longer ones and/or do more than thirty. Oh, and Atom Bomb Blues is so going to count, even though I started it on the 31st. If I manage to finish it, that is: Cartmel's perving over Ace is getting increasingly hard to stomach.)
- Go and see at least one film at the cinema every month, and review it here on LJ. Dammit, I really like going to the cinema, but it has somehow become an amazingly rare thing for me to do.
- Not flake out on any fannish commitments by not biting off more than I can chew.
(There are other ones but they are of the eat less/exercise more/don't embarrassingly die of lifestyle diseases that aren't meant to hit home for another few deacades variety.)
In addition to the book thing, I am also going to pinch that 500 episodes of telly thing from in_the_end. Not that I'm going to make a special effort, but just so that I can keep track of what I watch, because shamingly at the current rate of progress I think I'll probably hit the target some time in April. (I'm already more than 1% of the way there after yesterday's viewing. I am going to finish the DW S1 rewatch, but it's stalled a bit at the moment. I'm sort of expecting AoL/WWIII will look better now I like the Slitheen more, but I am not overly hopeful because of Keith Boak.) I will probably do these in post-dated end-of-each-month roundups, if I can make LJ's "date out of order" thing work for me.
Things I'm particularly looking forward to in 2009 are Nick Fury being back in Marvel, more Blackest Night buildup in Green Lantern, the Eight anthology from Big Finish, the hope of more Faction Paradox books, the second half of SCC's second season and the third seasons of SJA and Torchwood (this last being the triumph of hope over experience). Also, I'm probably going to run an EDA ficathon again, if people want one.
Er, anyway, Happy New Year, everyone! One of the lovely things about 2008 has been how great all my flisty people are, so *hugs* to you and I hope your 2009s are as good as you made my 2008. If that makes any sense.
I might do that icon meme in a minute, if I can be bothered to pinch someone's HTML.