I don’t have to tell any of you that this has been a pretty
rotten year in many ways, but around here, Livia and I have been fortunate in
that we’ve been able to carry on working as usual. Because of that, I topped
one million words of fiction for the 16th straight year (my usual
goal of slowing down not having panned out, also as usual). That million words
encompassed eight solo novels and five collaborative novels. No short fiction
this year, but I plan to do at least one novella in 2021. No fiction under my
own name, either, but that will change next year.
On the reading front, I had my second-best year since I started keeping records in 1980, with 164 books read. The fact that we were home more than usual may have had something to do with that. Here are my top ten favorites from the books I read, in alphabetical order by author and with links to my reviews of them:
WILD BLOOD, A.C. Abbott
THE SPICY-ADVENTURE MEGAPACK, Robert Leslie Bellem, Victor Rousseau, et al.
HOLOCAUST HOUSE, Norbert Davis
A HACK’S NOTEBOOK, Ben Haas
DEATH SQUAD, Alan Hebden
FOREVER AND A DAY, Anthony Horowitz
DEAD EVIDENCE: THE COMPLETE BLACK MASK CASES OF HARRIGAN, Ed Lybeck
ENGINEERING INFINITY #1: THE DUST OF STARS, Robert E. Vardeman
WHEN TIGERS ARE HUNTING: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF CORDIE, SOLDIER OF FORTUNE,VOLUME 1, W. Wirt
A TRAWL AMONG THE SHELVES: LAWRENCE BLOCK BIBLIOGRAPHY 1958-2020, Terry Zobeck
That’s four books reprinted from the pulps and two more by authors who sold to the pulps (Abbott and Haas). There were a lot of other good books on my list that came close to cracking the top ten. Overall, it was a good year for reading, and I already have a lot of great stuff lined up to read in 2021.
Which I hope will be a vast improvement for all of us. I’m not at all convinced that it will be, mind you . . . but there’s nothing wrong with hoping.