New Year, New Goals 2023 Edition

Here were my writing goals for last year:

  • Finish my grant project (this is the big one. I made some progress in the back half of 2021, but this will have my focus for much of the first half of 2022. I have a significant number of short stories to finish drafting for this to be done, but work is ongoing, if slowed by the pandemic.
  • Finish another secret project which I can’t talk about yet, but I’ll let you know as soon as the contract is signed. It’s damn near there! One story left to draft and then some revisions down the pipeline. Hope to be able to announce it soon.
  • Draft and submit a novella, either the one I outlined in 2021, or another piece.
  • Keep my reading momentum. Since I’m hoping to get a lot of writing done, I’m setting a realistic goal of 50 books and 50 short stories read in 2022.

I finished my grant project (and on deadline!) as well as my final report. Twelve short stories drafted in twelve months, three of which have been revised and submitted, one of which has sold (I’ll talk more about that one when I’m able)!

That secret project is done and launched. You probably know by now that project was my Thunder Road short story collection, When the Sky Comes Looking for You: Short Trips Down the Thunder Road. When the Sky Comes Looking for You made the Winnipeg Free Press bestseller list and the Hamilton Review of Books bestseller list for October, which is super cool, especially considering the fine works I shared the honour with.

Maybe I should’ve set a more ambitious reading goal … I blew past my book and story goals (I almost read 50 short stories in May alone) before June. I’d almost doubled my reading goals halfway through the year. I won’t get into all the details here, you can read the breakdown in my annual reading round up here, but some excellent stories and books have been read.

really want to get back to writing novels, y’all, but for now, 2022 looks like a year of short fiction. If I hit my goals early, I hope to reward myself with starting a new novel, or returning to an old draft as a stretch goal.

That all said, here’s my goals for 2023:

  • Change up my reading goals. I’m still going with 50 books and 50 stories, but I’m making a point of finishing some of the giant doorstopper series I’ve collected but not started yet (first on deck is Tad Williams’ Shadowmarch books).
  • Revise and submit my WIP novella
  • Be more proactive about submitting my short fiction again.
  • Submit at least four new stories.

I think that’s it for now. Happy reading, happy writing, and have a great 2023!

My 2022 in Books (and Stories)

Since I had success with my 2020 reading plan, I made a spreadsheet to track my reading more in depth, and here’s how my 2022 in reading went:

Holy shit (again).

I cracked open 176 books, and finished 173 of them. Down from 2021’s ridiculous (and unlikely for me to ever top) total of 216, but still, I’m pretty pleased with the total. Of those 176 books, 13 were rereads (about a third as many as last year), and 70 were graphic novels (roughly the same as last year), which inflates the number a bit, but books are books, and I’m counting them.

I read 30 books by BIPOC authors (the same as 2021) and 30 by authors I know to be LGBTQ2S+ (weirdly also the same as 2021). I was hoping to improve both of those numbers in 2022, and so am mildly disappointed, but they also represented a larger percentage of my reading in 2022 than 2021, so that’s not nothing.

92 of my books read were by women (up from 83 last year), and I exceeded my goal of 50% of my reads being books by women! After two years of getting close to this mark, I was glad to finally get there.

I caught up on 17 books written by friends (a bit down from last year, sorry friends). Sorry it took me so long! I also read 56 books by authors who were new to me (meaning I’ve never read their work before, not that I’ve never heard of them), weirdly, again the same number as last year.

Non-fiction was a bit of a disappointment again. I read 10 non-fiction books in 2022, down from 2021 and still a slim percentage of my total reads. I tend to read non-fiction much more slowly than fiction, as I often make notes to myself of things I’d like to remember, or things that give me story ideas, this hasn’t changed, I don’t expect it to change. Short of completely revising my to-read stacks to include more non-fiction, I won’t see significant gains here. Still, I’m reading more non-fiction in general than I have in years.

I read a whopping 28 roleplaying game handbooks in 2022, almost twice as many as last year, which means once again I read more RPGs than I played in game sessions. Another bad year for gaming for me, sadly. What games I played were fun, but pandemic brain definitely caused me to step back from actual game sessions (and as good as Roll20 is at what it does, I vastly prefer to have my gaming take place in person). I only played three different roleplaying games in 2022, and none of them new to me. Still, I was able to be a mostly-regular player in my two ongoing campaigns, and had a fucking phenomenal final game of the year with some friends from my old university group. Looking forward to revisiting that new campaign.

Of the 173 books I finished in 2022, I liked 104 of them enough to recommend to others, and there were no real stinkers. Even the books I set down had some pretty admirable qualities, they just weren’t for me.

Here’s the books and stories I enjoyed the most in 2022 (not necessarily published in 2021, obviously).

Favourite Fiction Reads

  • Once Removed by Andrew Unger
  • In the Dark We Forget by Sandra SG Wong
  • When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo
  • Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo
  • The City of Brass by S.A.Chakraborty
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  • The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi
  • Red X by David Demchuk
  • Flight Risk by Cherie Priest
  • Spear by Nicola Griffith
  • My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Steeped to Death by Gretchen Rue

Favourite Non-Fiction Reads:

  • Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
  • The Secret Life of Fungi by Aliya Whiteley
  • Yours Cruelly, Elvira by Cassandra Peterson

Favourite Graphic Novel Reads:

  • Bitch Planet Book One: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick
  • Lore Olympus Volume One by Rachel Smythe
  • A Blanket of Butterflies by Richard Van Camp, Scott B. Henderson
  • Die Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker by Kieron Gillen
  • Four Faces of the Moon by Amanda Strong
  • Shadow Life by Hiromi Goto
  • Fangs by Sarah Anderson
  • The Autumnal by Daniel Kraus
  • Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin
  • Cold Bodies by Magdalene Visaggio

Favourite RPG Reads:

  • The Black Hack by Gold Piece Publications
  • 9 Lives to Valhalla by Gem Room Games
  • Pathfinder 2nd Edition Absalom City of Lost Omens by Paizo
  • Exploring Eberron by Keith Baker
  • Savage Worlds Rifts: The Tomorrow Legion Player’s Guide by Pinnacle Entertainment

As for short fiction, one of my 2022 reading goals was to read at least 50 short stories. I blew that goal out of the water. In 2022 I started reading a total of 211 stories and finished 203! Of these stories, 34 were by BIPOC authors, 28 by authors I know to be LGBTQ2S+, 43 by friends, and 100 by women (again, just short of that 50-50 parity I wanted). I liked 115 of those stories enough to recommend them, and only 8 were pieces I chose not to finish. The majority of the stories, 85 of them, came from anthologies (one of my 2022 reading goals was for each of my to-read stacks for the year to contain an anthology). Otherwise, my top venues were Lightspeed (14), Nightmare Magazine (13), and Beneath Ceaseless Skies (11).

Favourite Short Fiction Reads:

  • Le Cygne Baiseur by Molly Tanzer, Lightspeed Magazine
  • The Ones Who Got Away by Stephen Graham Jones, Nightmare Magazine
  • The Good Girls by S.M. Beiko, Alternate Plains
  • Bloodbath (VHS, 1987, DIRECTOR UNKNOWN) by David Demchuk, Alternate Plains
  • Of Men, Women, and Chainsaws by Stephen Graham Jones, Tor.com
  • That Story Isn’t the Story by John Wiswell, Uncanny Magazine
  • How to Become a Witch-Queen by Theodora Goss, Lightspeed
  • The Eternal Cocktail Party of the Damned by Fonda Lee, Uncanny Magazine
  • 10 Steps to a Whole New You by Tonya Liburd, Fantasy Magazine
  • The Root Cellar by Maria Haskins, Beneath Ceaseless Skies
  • Give Me Cornbread, or Give Me Death by N.K. Jemisin, Lightspeed
  • Every Tiny Tooth and Claw (Or: Letters From the First Month of the New Directorate) by Marissa Lingen, Beneath Ceaseless Skies
  • Guidelines for Appeasing Kim of the Hundred Hands by John Wiswell, Fireside
  • Research Log ~~33 by Rowena McGowan, Air: Sylphs, Spirits, & Swan Maidens
  • The Sea Half-Held by Night by E. Catherine Tobler, Dead North

Everything I read in 2022:

Here’s what I read in January.

Here’s what I read in February.

Here’s what I read in March.

Here’s what I read in April.

Here’s what I read in May.

Here’s what I read in June.

Here’s what I read in July.

Here’s what I read in August.

Here’s what I read in September.

Here’s what I read in October.

Here’s what I read in November.

Here’s what I read in December.

Check out my roundup of my 2021 reading here.

Check out my roundup of my 2020 reading here.

The 2022 To-Read List: December

Since one of my writing goals was to read more, I thought it would help to keep track of what I knocked off Mount Tsundoku. Here’s as good a place as any to post what I’ve read to keep me honest, and what I thought of each book immediately after finishing.

I changed how I built my to-read stacks in 2022. This year, each stack of five I built from the home shelves had to include at least two books by women, one non-fiction book, one book by an author I know personally, and one anthology (I made a conscious effort to read more short stories this year). Previously my goal was for each to-read pile to contain at least one book by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author, one book by a woman, one non-fiction book, and one book by an author I know personally. Creating these piles from my own shelves was getting tricky after the last few years, and I still plan on trying to read through books I’ve already purchased as much as possible. I added at least one book from the library by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author for every stack I built to continue trying to diversify my reading.

The library has become my go-to for keeping up on what’s going in comics, so I’m sure there’ll be a number of graphic novels (and roleplaying games I backed on Kickstarter) that jump the queue and end up in the piles from time to time as well.

Final stack of 2022! What’s a Ghoul to Do? by Victoria Laurie, Buried in a Bog by Sheila Connolly, Steeped to Death by Gretchen Rue, Pirating Pups edited by Rhonda Parrish, From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty.

Pathfinder Vol. 2: Of Tooth and Claw by Jim Zub, Jake Bilbao, Ivan Anaya, Sean Izaakse, Kevin Stokes: Another fun graphic novel set in Pathfinder’s world of Golarian. In general I liked the art in this volume better than volume one. I do wish that either Izaakse, or Anaya had been responsible for the art in the entire book, as their styles suited my sensibilities more.

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones: A love letter to the slasher genre. I haven’t read a bad book by Jones yet, can’t wait to see what he does next.

The Grande Odalisque by Bastien Vivès, Florent Ruppert, Jerome Mulot: A French graphic novel translated into English. Two art thieves take on a third partner to pull off the biggest job of their careers, robbing The Louvre. Loved it. Lots of fun, and just plain funny. A caper with lots of heart underneath. Apparently the characters will return, so I’m excited to read more about them.

Final library stack of the year: Boss Witch by Ann Aguirre, SFSX Vol. 2 by Tina Horn and G. Romero Johnson, Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell, The Grande Odalisque by Bastien Vivès, Florent Ruppert, Jerome Mulot

Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin, Jamal Campbell: A Green Lantern story introducing a rookie Lantern, Sojourner “Jo” Mullein from Earth who’s been sent to a city where emotions have been left behind as dangerous. Jemisin really nailed this on every level. One of my new favourite Green Lantern stories. Loved Campbell’s art too, stellar character designs and just frame by frame glorious. Will be looking forward to reading more comics work from these two as a team or individually.

Boss Witch by Ann Aguirre: The second book in Aguirre’s paranormal romance series. I enjoyed the narrator pairing more than I expected to, as I really liked the couple from the first book and normally I’m not a fan of rotating the established narrator in a series, but it makes sense here. Danica and Titus already had their happily ever after in Witch, Please. Really enjoyed seeing the worldbuilding for the series grow and getting to see other sides of characters I already met in the previous book.

SFSX Vol. 2: Terms of Service by Tina Horn, G. Romero Johnson: Second volume in this sex workers versus dystopian puritan future series. I think I preferred the art in volume 1, but Johnson’s work grew on me as I read the book. Looking forward to continuing the series.

Buried in a Bog by Sheila Connolly: First in a new Irish-themed cozy series. I might pick up more in the series if I come across them.

Steeped to Death by Gretchen Rue: A bit of a new direction for fantasy and romance author friend, Sierra Dean. I think this might be my new favourite work by her. Can’t wait to read more in the series.

Pirating Pups edited by Rhonda Parrish: Another anthology that contains a story of mine: “The Empress of Marshmallow” in this case (about an obstinate chow chow in the world of my Thunder Road novels). After the success of Swashbuckling Cats a lot of the contributors to that anthology were looking to Rhonda to keep the puns flowing with a dog-themed anthology. My favourite stories included: “What Frisky Wrought When the Wheels Fell Off the World” by E.C. Bell, “Let the Water Drink First” by V.F. LeSann, and “Artistic Appropriation” by George Jacobs.

What’s a Ghoul to Do? by Victoria Laurie: A “ghostbuster” distantly related to gunfighter Doc Holliday. Sadly, my third and final “did not finish” of the year. Just not to my taste.

Exploring Eberron by Keith Baker: New Eberron (well, new to me, at least) from the setting’s creator! Fantastic addition to the setting!

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty: Enjoyable almost travel memoir of Doughty examining death customs around the world. I think I preferred her first book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, but this was still a very interesting read.

And that’s another year of reading! I was thrilled to finish that final to-read stack on New Year’s Eve so I could start 2023 off with a fresh pile of books and new reading goals. Happy reading, folks!

Here’s what I read in January.

Here’s what I read in February.

Here’s what I read in March.

Here’s what I read in April.

Here’s what I read in May.

Here’s what I read in June.

Here’s what I read in July.

Here’s what I read in August.

Here’s what I read in September.

Here’s what I read in October.

Here’s what I read in November.

Check out my roundup of my 2021 reading here.

Check out my roundup of my 2020 reading here.

New Excerpts Are Live

In all of the hubbub of launching When the Sky Comes Looking for You, I forgot to add some new excerpts to the site. So, here’s four new Thunder Road snippets for you to taste!

“The Empress of Marshmallow” from Pirating Pups. Read an excerpt here.

“Ballroom Blitz” from When the Sky Comes Looking for You. Read an excerpt here.

“Far Gone and Out” from When the Sky Comes Looking for You.  Read an excerpt here

“No Sunshine in Hel” from When the Sky Comes Looking for You.  Read an excerpt here.

Thanks for reading!

The 2022 To-Read List: November

Since one of my writing goals was to read more, I thought it would help to keep track of what I knocked off Mount Tsundoku. Here’s as good a place as any to post what I’ve read to keep me honest, and what I thought of each book immediately after finishing.

I’m changing how I build my to-read stacks in 2022. This year, each stack of five will have to include at least two books by women, one non-fiction book, one book by an author I know personally, and one anthology (I’m making a conscious effort to read more short stories this year). Previously my goal was for each to-read pile to contain at least one book by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author, one book by a woman, one non-fiction book, and one book by an author I know personally. Creating those piles from my own shelves was starting to get tricky after two years, and I still plan on trying to read through books I’ve already purchased as much as possible. I’m going to add at least one book from the library by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author for every stack I build to continue trying to diversify my reading.

The library has become my go-to for keeping up on what’s going in comics, so I’m sure there’ll be a number of graphic novels (and roleplaying games I backed on Kickstarter) that jump the queue and end up in the piles from time to time as well.

Transformers the Roleplaying Game by Renegade Studios: The Transformers RPG uses a similar rules set to the G.I. Joe RPG (I have clearly failed another saving throw against nostalgia). My biggest complaint about this one (and G. I. Joe the Roleplaying Game as well), other than both seeming a little fiddly for my gaming tastes, is that I can’t imagine wanting to play a Level One Transformer. Still, the book is very well put together, has great art, and the intro adventure looks fun.

The Autumnal by Daniel Kraus, Chris Sheehan, Jason Wordie, Jim Campbell: Fun spooky season graphic novel found at the library. Excellent folk horror tale with a very cinematic feel. Fantastic and creepy art.

Miskatonic by Mark Sable, Giorgio Pontrelli, Pippa Bowland, Thomas Mauer: An H.P. Lovecraft-inspired police procedural set during the early days of the Bureau of Investigation under Hoover. Plays with Lovecraft stories “The Shadow over Innsmouth,” “The Terror at Red Hook,” and “The Thing on the Doorstep.” I enjoyed the way it blended the three stories into one narrative.

Dead North edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: An anthology of Canadian zombie fiction. This book contains probably my favourite zombie story of all time, Richard Van Camp’s “On the Wings of This Prayer.” Other favourites from this anthology were: “The Herd” by Tyler Keevil, “The Sea Half-Held by Night” by E. Catherine Tobler, “Kissing Carrion” by Gemma Files, and “Rat Patrol” by Kevin Cockle.

SFSX Vol.1 Protection by Tina Horn, Michael Dowling, Alejandra Gutiérrez: I grabbed this one from the library without knowing anything about it. A near future puritanical dystopia being resisted by sex workers. I enjoyed the story, though it was a tough read at times, and really enjoyed the art.

Pathfinder Vol.1: Dark Waters Rising by Jim Zub, Andrew Huerta: Been reading a lot of Pathfinder setting material lately, so I decided to revisit this book. It was still a fun read. I like Jim Zub’s fantasy aesthetic, but Huerta’s art wasn’t to my personal taste.

Dracula by Bram Stoker, Illustrated by Jae Lee: I’ve wanted to reread Dracula for ages. It’s probably been over twenty years since I’ve read it. Really enjoyed revisiting it after all that time. I’m not used to reading works of this era anymore, so it definitely slowed down my reading. Reminds me that I want to write an epistolary story of my own some day.

Cold Bodies by Magdalene Visaggio, Andrea Mutti, Nate Piekos: A fun winter slasher comic. Really enjoyed this. It felt cinematic. Had it been an actual slasher movie, I’d have watched the hell out of it. As it is, I’ll probably want to revisit this read in the future.

A Girl Called Echo Vol.1: Pemmican Wars by Katherena Vermette, Scott B. Henderson, Donovan Yaciuk:

A Girl Called Echo Vol.2: Red River Resistance by Katherena Vermette, Scott B. Henderson, Donovan Yaciuk:

A Girl Called Echo Vol.3: Northwest Resistance by Katherena Vermette, Scott B. Henderson, Donovan Yaciuk:

A Girl Called Echo Vol.4: Road Allowance Era by Katherena Vermette, Scott B. Henderson, Donovan Yaciuk: I read the complete series in one go. Echo Desjardins slips from her present into the past learning about her Metis history. Includes reproductions of historical documents and a time line of events. Excellent introduction to some history on the prairies that I wasn’t taught in school, and just a good read with great art and beautiful colours.

Castaways by Laura Pérez, Pablo Monforte, translated by Silvia Pérez Labayen: Set in Madrid in the 80s and then Barcelona ten years later. Each location and time receives its own colour palette browns for the 80s and blues for the 90s. I don’t read a lot of European comics. Very different pacing and structure than I’m used to, but it held my interest despite lacking any speculative elements.

Pathfinder 2nd Edition Absalom City of Lost Omens by Paizo: A fantastic bit of setting lore that opens up campaigns worth of adventure. I think even if you didn’t want to use the city of Absalom as it exists in Pathfinder’s Golarion setting, you could mine this text for ideas for any major fantasy city in gaming. Really impressed with this supplement.

Here’s what I read in January.

Here’s what I read in February.

Here’s what I read in March.

Here’s what I read in April.

Here’s what I read in May.

Here’s what I read in June.

Here’s what I read in July.

Here’s what I read in August.

Here’s what I read in September.

Here’s what I read in October.

Check out my roundup of my 2021 reading here.

Check out my roundup of my 2020 reading here.

Award Eligible Works Published in 2022

It’s that time of year again! If you are one of those nominating, or thinking about nominating, works for science fiction/fantasy-related awards (the Nebula, the Hugo, the Aurora, in particular), in 2022 I published the following:

Books:

When the Sky Comes Looking for You, Ravenstone Books (October 2022). If you’re voting in the Auroras, When the Sky Comes Looking for You is eligible in the Best Related Work category.

Short stories:

“The Empress of Marshmallow,” Pirating Pups: Salty Sea-Dogs and Barking Buccaneers, Tyche Books, Rhonda Parrish, editor, August 2022. About 5800 words, eligible in the short story category. Read an excerpt here.

“Ballroom Blitz,” When the Sky Comes Looking for You, Ravenstone Books, October 2022. About 7550 words, eligible in the novelette category. Read an excerpt here.

“Far Gone and Out,” When the Sky Comes Looking for You, Ravenstone Books, October 2022. About 8000 words, eligible in the novelette category. Read an excerpt here.

“No Sunshine in Hel,” When the Sky Comes Looking for You, Ravenstone Books, October 2022. About 9400 words, eligible in the novelette category. Read an excerpt here.

If you’re voting on any the various speculative fiction awards this year and want to read more of any of these stories please drop me a line, and I’ll make sure you can read any of my work that interests you. If you’re looking for more additions to your reading list, Cat Rambo and A.C. Wise keep pretty comprehensive lists of who published what in 2022.

Thanks for reading, folks!

A Couple Fun Things

A couple fun little bits of promo material happened to cross my desk at the same time yesterday, so I thought I’d post the links here too.

I wrote up a guest blog for the publishers of the Thunder Road series where I talk about my “writing studio.” I give a little tour of where and how I write.

It took me a moment to decide exactly what I should call my “studio.” I can—and do—write pretty much anywhere and everywhere. I write on the bus to work, on my coffee and lunch breaks. I’ve dictated scenes into my phone while on the road, edited on planes and in hotels on my way to, from, and during, conferences. I’ve transcribed notes on the couch while watching D&D livestreams and cartoons. Pretty much wherever I can steal a moment and a scrap of paper and pen is fair game to make some new words or fix some old ones. All that said, my home office is still where I call my writing home.

And, an interview I gave with Kelsey James with CanStar News to promote When the Sky Comes Looking for You is out in the world now, where I talk about about my love of fantasy and how I ended up as a fan of Norse Mythology.

“What I like about fantasy, as a writer, is it allows you to do anything,” Ginther said.

Thanks for hosting me, and thank you for reading!

The 2022 To-Read List: October

Since one of my writing goals was to read more, I thought it would help to keep track of what I knocked off Mount Tsundoku. Here’s as good a place as any to post what I’ve read to keep me honest, and what I thought of each book immediately after finishing.

I’m changing how I build my to-read stacks in 2022. This year, each stack of five will have to include at least two books by women, one non-fiction book, one book by an author I know personally, and one anthology (I’m making a conscious effort to read more short stories this year). Previously my goal was for each to-read pile to contain at least one book by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author, one book by a woman, one non-fiction book, and one book by an author I know personally. Creating those piles from my own shelves was starting to get tricky after two years, and I still plan on trying to read through books I’ve already purchased as much as possible. I’m going to add at least one book from the library by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author for every stack I build to continue trying to diversify my reading.

The library has become my go-to for keeping up on what’s going in comics, so I’m sure there’ll be a number of graphic novels (and roleplaying games I backed on Kickstarter) that jump the queue and end up in the piles from time to time as well.

My Spoopy Month Reading Pile! A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, Suicide Stitch by Sarah L. Johnson, Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge, Dead North Edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Fangs by Sarah Anderson, My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones, Dracula by Bram Stoker (Illustrated by Jae Lee), Yours Cruelly, Elvira by Cassandra Peterson

Die Volume 3: The Great Game by Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, Clayton Cowles:

Die Volume 4: Bleed by Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, Clayton Cowles: The finale of the RPG-inspired portal fantasy graphic novel series. I think this is a series I’m going reread again and again. I can’t wait for the RPG based on the series to show up!

Fangs by Sarah Anderson: A delightful love story about a vampire and a werewolf. I read it when it was releasing weekly as a webcomic, but the collected edition is a gorgeous book.

When I Arrived at the Castle by Emily Carroll: A fun dark fairytale rendered in black and white and red. A reread from a few years back. I still loved it.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll: A reread. Carroll’s lush colours and hand lettering are some highlights to me. The book collects five dark fables, “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold” was probably my favourite on this read, giving off a Bluebeard’s Wife sort of vibe.

The Gift by Zoe Maeve: A graphic novel about the children of the Romanov family. Rendered in blues and white, the colour gave the book a dreamlike quality.

Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger, Sara Kipin: A YA graphic novel featuring Batman character Pamela Isley. I really dug this one! Deals in themes of abuse and gave an alternate origin for Poison Ivy.

Suicide Stitch by Sarah L. Johnson: A short story collection by a friend from Calgary. I think I was expecting more of a straight horror vibe from this one, but many of the stories were more unsettling than horrific. Still loved the title story, Krampus story “The First Wife” and “Playing the Game” as standouts among the book.

Yours Cruelly, Elvira by Cassandra Peterson: Autobiography of the Mistress of the Dark. I kind of wished I’d gotten the audiobook, because as I read it, I was constantly hearing Peterson’s Elvira voice in my head (which is not a complaint). A fascinating and interesting life.

Shadow Life by Hiromi Goto, Anne Xu: Not my usual fare when I look for a graphic novel, but I really enjoyed this one. Black and white art with simple but evocative linework that really suited the story.

Cryptid Club by Sarah Anderson: Another webcomic from Sarah Anderson, this one in her more usual cartoony style from Sarah’s Scribbles, but featuring monsters like Slenderman, Mothman, and Nessie. So much fun!

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night by Ana Lily Amirpour, Michael Deweese, Patrick Brousseau: A fantastic black and white vampire graphic novel. It’s based on the film of the same title, which I still need to see.

Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge: I’ve perennially seen this book on best reads for Halloween lists. I’m so glad I finally got to it. It’s so lush and evocative. Partridge manages to make every creepy piece click into place just moments before the reader realizes them. Highly recommended for spooky season especially, but just a great horror read.

Dungeons & Dragons Eberron: Rising From the Last War by Wizards of the Coast: A reread. I still love this setting. Sigh. One day I’ll run a campaign using this book.

G.I. Joe Roleplaying Game by Renegade Game Studios: A failed saving throw versus nostalgia. However, it did make me watch the old 80s cartoon again, and seeing the game got the theme song stuck in my head for days. I don’t hate the system, I think I’d rather play this one than run it, as the system is a little bit fiddlier than my tastes run these days. It also seems difficult to imagine a “level 1” Joe.

Big month for new roleplaying games. Pathfinder Absalom, Exploring Eberron, Transformers the Roleplaying Game, G.I. Joe the Roleplaying Game, Call of Cthulhu Starter Set.

Eat the Rich by Sarah Gailey, Piuk Bak, Roman Titov: A fun (is fun the right word?) critique of capitalism via cannibalism. I’ve previously enjoyed Gailey’s River of Teeth novella and the other works in American Hippo, but this is my first experience with Bak’s art. I really liked this! The art was the perfect mix of realistic yet cartoony to get the story across.

A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny: Continuing my annual tradition, I read this book a chapter a day every night of October. I still love this book. I think maybe next year I might try to read the book in a sitting or two, rather than a chapter per night to see how it changes the experience. Alternately, I might try picking up one of the audiobook versions and listen to the book a chapter per night, just to switch things up.

Here’s what I read in January.

Here’s what I read in February.

Here’s what I read in March.

Here’s what I read in April.

Here’s what I read in May.

Here’s what I read in June.

Here’s what I read in July.

Here’s what I read in August.

Here’s what I read in September.

Check out my roundup of my 2021 reading here.

Check out my roundup of my 2020 reading here.

New Thunder Road Art!

Every book I’ve published I’ve commissioned a piece of art from Winnipeg artist Scott Henderson to celebrate the occasion.

Here’s what he came up with for When the Sky Comes Looking for You:

I fucking love it so much!

I gave Scott what I thought would be a nigh-impossible task: a reference to each of the ten short stories in When the Sky Comes Looking for You, and daaaaaamn, did he ever nail it.

Thanks, Scott! I can’t wait to hang this up in my office.

Three Podcasts are Live!

Hey folks,

You can check me out on some fun podcasts talking about When the Sky Comes Looking for You, short stories, writing, gaming and other fun stuff! Huge thanks to GMB Chomichuk and Justin Currie at Super Pulp Science, Jonathan Ball at Writing the Wrong Way, and Sean McGinity at SeanGeek for inviting me by to chat.

Super Pulp Science: One Weird Thing

Writing the Wrong Way: Chadwick Ginther on short stories and submitting your work

SeanGeek & FastFret Podcast: When Chadwick Ginther Comes Looking for You

I hope you you’ll give these a listen, thanks!