I think it's been A Good Year, all told.
First, if not foremost, I've read more than I ever have before - more than 100 books, which is a big deal for me - and I've chosen said books better. That is to say, in 2011 I found a tolerable balance between those books I've read solely to review, and those books I've read simply to read, because I love reading.
And there have been some great books.
I still haven't watched as many movies as I usually would, but I've seen a fair few, and a few more since I put together this list of my favourite films of the year, including Conan, Attack the Block, Another Earth, A Lonely Place to Die and Super 8. Reviews will follow shortly.
In video games, meanwhile, 2011 was great. Portal 2 was my game of the year, of course, with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim hot on its heels, and I'm still playing that. Well... truth be told I'm taking a short break, because last week I finally got my hands on a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. It's the first game I've played on my Wii in at least a year, and realistically it's probably the last game I'll ever play on the thing.
Even so, it's been brilliant. A fitting send off for rather an ill-fitting console, if I'm honest.
In 2011, I also started reading comic books again. I didn't put together a Top of the Scots about them largely because even now, I'm up to my ears in collections and recommendations to catch up on. It'll be an almighty long time before I'm anywhere approaching current, but maybe... just maybe... comic books will get theirs in 2012.
In the interim, I'd very much recommend Daryl Gregory's Planet of the Apes ongoing, anything by Jeff Lemire or Scott Snyder, and Stephen King's N., which I'll be posting about shortly.
Gosh, only everything!
I can't hope to hit on all my personal or professional highlights here in this li'l baby blog, but I do want to say one last thing, to all the people I've met in 2011, whether thanks to The Speculative Scotsman or thanks to things that have come to pass because of The Speculative Scotsman, like having my reviews published in Strange Horizons and Starburst Magazine, or on Tor.com, SF Signal, The Zone and so on.
So to all the lovely folks I've met through the community - to the bloggers, the authors, the publicists, the editors, the agents - to each and every one of you, a tip of the hat, and a hearty thank you for sticking with me in 2011.
We'll talk again next year, alright?
Which is to say... tomorrow.
Because in a bit, we'll be putting this year out to pasture -- and who knows what 2012 will bring?
The end of the world? I'm going to say no.
New books, new movies? New video games and new comic books? I should think so!
Not only, but also: I'll be making some serious changes to The Speculative Scotsman in the weeks and months to come. I have a good few new features on and off the drawing board, a whole new look and feel in the offing, and maybe, just maybe, something... more.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. There are still a few hours of 2011 to go, and if you'd care to spend some small portion of them telling me about the highlights - even the lowlights - of your year... why I'd be much obliged! Because that's kind of what this whole thing is about. You know: The Conversation.
And The Conversation will continue in 2012.
Before that, though, brace yourselves... I'm going to say it.
In the words of Neil Gaiman, international treasure:
Meanwhile, in the rather less inspiring words of me, to each and every one of you, and all of yours: Happy New Year! :D