Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Round-Up, Part I: The Best of Raritania

Happy New Year, readers.

Today we start 2013 here at Raritania with a look back at 2012, starting with what seems to have interested you most this past year.

Interestingly the two most widely-read posts went up in previous years.

The first was my article "The Problem of Belonging in Robert A. Heinlein’s Friday," which first appeared in the literary journal Foundation back in 2006 (and which I put up here back in 2009).

The reason was io9's linking to it from an article about science fiction classics unlikely to be made into movies. That says a lot about the popularity of that site. Perhaps it also says something about what people look for from the Internet, as that particular link was situated within the words "group marriage" (an arrangement in which Friday is involved early in the book).

Given that what those clicking the link got was a lengthy academic article which only mentioned group marriage in passing (which, I might add, in early draft form was taken to task by one reader for insufficiently addressing the book's sexual content), I wonder if some were let down. (Thus far, though, no complaints.)

The second most-read piece went up back in 2011, "Returning to Sahara: The Dirk Pitt Novels On Screen." To go by the search keywords listed in my stats, people usually seem to find it looking for word about either a sequel to Sahara, or a reboot of the Dirk Pitt series, a project for which there is clearly some enthusiasm out there.

Unsurprisingly, the most widely read of my 2012 posts had to do with Clive Cussler as well, "Dirk Pitt Returns?" which considered the prospect of a sequel. Also popular: my review of Cussler's Deep Six (the tenth most widely read piece).

My second most-popular: "On Star Trek Bashing," which offered my thoughts on what the enmity shown Star Trek from within the science fiction community is really about.

Number three on this list is "A History of the Spy Story," which first appeared in two parts, but which I consolidated into a single post, here. Not counting the posts regarding the Cussler novels, several of my other most popular posts were also spy-themed. Certainly my posts regarding James Bond got a good deal of attention, particularly "Skyfall's American Opening and Global Earnings Prospects" (at #6) and "Thoughts on W. Somerset Maugham's Ashenden" (at #8).

Number four is my post "Paul Kincaid and Last Year's Best," in which I gave my thoughts on the state of science fiction, and in particular its hesitancy to engage the world around us. As the title indicates, my take-off point was the September book review by Kincaid which started a running debate online last year (my other posts about which you can find here).

Number five is my post "December 21, 2012 Has Arrived – And Nothing Is Happening (Or Will Happen)."

Number seven is "On the Eureka Paradigm," my critique of the clichés of science and technological R & D, and how they distort our thinking about that subject.

Number nine is my "Thoughts on Brigadoom" – the episode of Lexx which seems to have been the first to insert a musical episode into a science fiction series (and as far as I'm concerned, still the best).

Below is a fuller listing of my more substantive posts from the post year, organized by category for easier perusal.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts about how the year went.

Book Reviews
Fiction
"The Other End, by John Shirley." Raritania (December 8, 2012).

"A Dance With Dragons, by George R.R. Martin." Raritania (September 22, 2012).

"Deep Six, by Clive Cussler." Raritania (January 21, 2012).

"Scarecrow Returns, by Matthew Reilly." Raritania (January 13, 2012).

Nonfiction
"Vultures' Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores, by Greg Palast." Raritania (November 15, 2012).

"The Man Who Saved Britain: A Personal Journey Into the Disturbing World of James Bond, by Simon Winder." Raritania (September 24, 2012).

"The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, by Julian Jaynes." Raritania (May 10, 2012).

Other Reviews
"Analog, June 2012." April 28, 2012.

Science Fiction
Print
And the Best Science Fiction Novel of the Twentieth Century Is . . .
12/24/12
Cyberpunk as Retro Arrives
12/17/12
My Five Most Important Science Fiction Novels
12/8/12
Reading S.M. Stirling's Draka Novels
11/1/12
The Debate Continues . . . (As Paul Kincaid Answers)
10/24/12
Paul Kincaid and Last Year's Best
9/17/12

Television
Watching Smallville
12/12/12
Remembering Babylon 5
6/1/12
The Anti-Humanism of Battlestar Galactica
5/1/12
Game of Thrones: Season One
3/30/12
Stargate as Star Trek
3/23/12
On Star Trek Bashing
3/23/12
The Cancellation of Terra Nova
3/6/12
Thoughts on "Brigadoom"
1/19/12
Lex Gigeroff, 1962-2011
1/12/12

Film
And The Worst Movie of All Time Is . . .
12/22/12
The Star Wars prequels and The Hobbit: Audience Expectations
12/16/12
They Live, a Generation On
12/1/12
Neuromancer, Coming to a Theater Near You? Looks Like It
11/16/12
Star Wars: Episode VII?
11/1/12
X-Men: Days of Future Past
11/1/12
Robert Heinlein's Friday - Probably Not Coming to a Theater Near You
10/30/12
The 2012 Summer Movie Season
9/19/12
Cory Doctorow On Summer Blockbusters
9/18/12
In Defense of the Star Wars Prequels
6/5/12
G.I. Joe 2 Delayed
6/4/12
Coming This Year: Genre Movies in 2012
1/19/12

Superheroes
Watching Smallville
12/12/12
X-Men: Days of Future Past
11/1/12
Making Iron Man 3: A Geopolitical Perspective
4/25/12
Alan Moore on Before Watchmen
2/26/12

Spy Fiction and Film
James Bond
Dirk Pitt, an American James Bond?
12/1/12
On Bond Bashing
11/21/12
Has Quantum of Solace Been Overcriticized?
11/15/12
The Best and Worst of Ian Fleming's James Bond Novels
11/11/12
Ian Fleming's 007 as Gary Stu
11/10/12
How James Bond Got to Have a 50th Anniversary
11/6/12
Review: The Man Who Saved Britain: A Personal Journey Into the Disturbing World of James Bond, by Simon Winder
9/24/12
New in Print . . . (The Many Lives and Deaths of James Bond)
9/14/12
Reading Bulldog Drummond
5/22/12
The 50th Anniversary of the James Bond Film Series
4/9/12

Clive Cussler
Dirk Pitt, an American James Bond?
12/1/12
New and Noteworthy (Indie Publishing, A Call for More Dirk Pitt Movies, Rules for Cinematic Blockbusters)
9/5/12
Dirk Pitt Returns?
5/20/12
Review: Deep Six, by Clive Cussler
1/21/12

Other
Reading the Jack Ryan Novels
12/12/12
Of Alternate Literary History: Jack London's The Assassination Bureau
11/16/12
The Return of Xander Cage?
9/26/12
Reading Bulldog Drummond
5/22/12
The Matarese Circle – Coming to a Theater Near You?
3/26/12
Thoughts on W. Somerset Maugham's Ashenden
1/11/12

Posthumanism, Transhumanism and the Singularity
Of Right and Left Transhumanism
12/1/12
Leon Trotsky's Transhumanism
11/16/12
Paul Kincaid and Last Year's Best
9/17/12
The Neoliberal Singularity
6/7/12

Postmodernism
David Walsh on The Life of Pi
12/20/12
What is Literature?
11/30/12
Postmodernism and Self-Censorship
11/10/12
A Note on Literary Technique in an Age of Muddle
11/7/12
Of Postmodernism and Conservatism
11/4/12
Paul Kincaid and Last Year's Best
9/17/12
The Neoliberal Singularity
6/7/12

Literature
Reading Literary Classics
12/1/12
What is Literature?
11/30/12
Of Genre Fiction and Literary Fiction
11/11/12
Postmodernism and Self-Censorship
11/10/12
A Note on Literary Technique in an Age of Muddle
11/7/12

December 21, 2012
Happy December 22, 2012 Everyone
12/22/12
December 21, 2012: An Update
12/21/12
December 21, 2012 Has Arrived - And Nothing Is Happening (Or Will Happen)
12/20/12

Other Posts
This Year at the Movies: The Commercial View
12/26/12
The End of Leverage
12/24/12
Reading Sinclair Lewis's Arrowsmith
11/29/12
At My Other Blog . . . (John Kenneth Galbraith's Big Trilogy, Reviewed)
11/26/12
The Myth of Liberal Hollywood
11/1/12
On the Graying of the Action Hero
10/30/12
Of Science Fiction and Futurology
10/28/12
Remembering the Titanic
4/15/12
The Blockbuster Strategy
3/10/12
The Irrelevance of Oscar Night?
3/5/12
Mad Men: A Second Look
1/21/12
Bestsellers in 2011
1/20/12
SOPA Blackout Protest
1/18/12
2011 Round-Up, Part I: The Best of Raritania
1/2/12

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