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What I read in 2012

Looking back at 2012, I read quite a lot, even with school going on. As in previous years, the lightbulb ( :idea: ) icon denotes recommendations—except that all items in the Shorter fiction section are podcasts where I had given the top ratings. Many goodies discovered this year, including tearing down my notion that Smashwords doesn’t publish good stuff—glad to be wrong there!

For easier list jumping:


Comics

As various series wrapped up, most notably xxxHolic and Castle Waiting (sob), new ones were happily discovered. :) Some of these have NSFW online content, so I’ve noted those as such. In addition, because most of these are independent comics, some of the ongoing ones have erratic updates as some creators work on them part-time.

ABe, Yoshitoshi. I am an Alien. I have a Question.

:idea: Bennett, Diana “Shazzbaa.” Runewriters (ongoing).

Bieser, Scott and Zeke. Quantum Vibe (ongoing). Occasionally NSFW.

:idea: Bitner, Emy. Trying Human (ongoing). Occasionally NSFW.

:idea: Burns, Charles. X’ed Out and The Hive; first two volumes of a trilogy. NSFW.

Cairns, Jon. Alpha Flag (ongoing).

:idea: Chmiel, Marjee and Lanz, Sandra. Luci’s Let Down. Buy a copy here.

CLAMP. Clover, volumes 1 through 4, and Gate 7, volume 1.

:idea: Dalquist, Chloë. Jamie the Trickster (ongoing, but on hiatus). Occasionally NSFW

Díaz Canales, Juan. Blacksad: Somewhere Within the Shadows.

:idea: Dresden, Kris. I started reading Manya back in the 1990s, but didn’t finish it since it didn’t really work for me. However, I did enjoy her more recent stories She Said and Grace. Occasionally NSFW.

Dresden, Kris. She’s In the Trees, and various short stories.

Flores, Madéleine. Once Upon a 4 O’clock in the Afternoon and Madéleine is Here! (ongoing).

Helmer, D. The Meek (on hiatus).

:idea: Henshaw, Julian. The Art of Pho, Requires Flash to view.

:idea: Iwaoka, Hisae. Saturn Apartments, volumes 1 through 6 (ongoing).

:idea: Kenealy, Robyn E. Steve Rodgers’ American Captain (ongoing).

:idea: Knisley, Lucy. Crave This.

Larson, Hope. Mercury.

Lemire, Jeff. Sweet Tooth: Out of the Deep Woods, volume 1.

:idea: Meconis, Dylan. Family Man (ongoing).

Meconis, Dylan. Outfoxed, a short story webcomic.

:idea: Migdal, Sylvan. Athena Whatley, or, Warp and Weft (ongoing). Sometimes NSFW.

:idea: O’Connell, David. Tozo – the Public Servant.

Recipe Comix at Saveur.com.

:idea: Rickheit, Hans. Ectopiary (on hiatus). Sometimes NSFW.

Rickheit, Hans. The Squirrel Machine. NSFW.

Rosca, Madeline. Hollow Fields, volumes 1 through 3.

:idea: Stiffler, A. Chaos Life (ongoing).

:idea: Smut Peddler, edited by Spike, Trisha Sebastian, and Johanna Draper Carlson. Oh so definitely NSFW, but so good.

:idea: Suburbia, Liz. Sacred Heart (on hiatus). Occasionally NSFW.

Takashima, Rica and Koka, Takami. Tokyo Love and Grace and Miki After School.

:idea: Telgemeier, Raina. Drama.

Tezuka, Osamu. Princess Knight, volume 1.

Unita, Yumi. Bunny Drop, volumes 1 through 7 (ongoing).

Wall, Heidi and Geneva. Summoned Creature (on hiatus).

Wiedle, J. Helvetica (on hiatus).

:idea: Wilgus, Alison. A Stray in the Woods (completed).

Wilson, G. Willow. Air: Letters From Lost Countries, volume 1.

Woolfson, Alex and Artifice. Occasionally NSFW.

:idea: Yang, Gene Luen. Level Up and Prime Baby.

:idea: Yoshizaki, Seimu. Kingyo Used Books, volumes 1 through 4 (ongoing).

Yumi, Kiiro. Library Wars, volumes 1 through 7 (ongoing).

Long Fiction

Carey, Jacqueline. Saints Astray. Not as moving and awesome as the first book, Santa Olivia, but still a good and worthwhile read.

:idea: Carriger, Gail. Alexia Tarabotti series: Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, and Timeless.

:idea: DiTerlizzi, Tony. A Hero For WondLa, the second book in the WondLa trilogy.

Klein, Rachel. The Moth Diaries.

:idea: Jemisin, N.K. The Kingdom of Gods

:idea: Lakin-Smith, Kim. Cyber Circus.

:idea: McCloskey, Michael. Trilisk Ruins.

Millet, Lydia. The Fires Beneath the Sea.

Oliver, Jana. The Demon Trapper’s Daughter and Retro Demonology.

Pelland, Jennifer. Machine.

:idea: Perkins, J.F. Renewal, book 1.

:idea: Resnick, Mike. Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future.

Schenk, Bradley W. The Lair of the Clockwork Book.

:idea: Taylor, Laini. Days of Blood and Starlight, book 2 of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy.

:idea: Valente, Catherynne M. The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden, volume 1.

Yolen, Jane. The Cards of Grief.

Shorter Fiction

Again, due to sheer volume, I’ve limited myself to my favorite shorts of 2012—imagine an :idea: for each of these. Many of these are free to read, or listen to, from these online sources:

Several authors wrote multiple stories I loved—like Hilary Moon Murphy, Ann Leckie, Ken Liu, and more!—so I look forward to reading their other works, perhaps novels, if available. :)

Abraham, Daniel. “The Curandero and the Swede.”

Ahmed, Saladin. “Iron Eyes and the Watered-Down World.”

Alexa, Camille. “Flaming Marshmallow and Other Deaths.”

Allen, Mike. “An Invitation Via Email.”

Ashby, Madeline. “βoyfriend,” “The Education of Junior Number 12,” “Fitting a New Suit,” “Off-Track Betting.

Beagle, Peter S. “Barrens Dance,” “The Fable of the Octopus,” and “The Fable of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.”

Bear, Elizabeth. “Love Among the Talus” and “The Something-Dreaming Game.”

Blackwell, J.R. “My Angel Gabriel.”

Bobet, Leah. “Three Days and Nights in Lord Darkdrake’s Hall.”

Bradbury, Ray. “Homecoming.”

Brennan, Marie. “A Heretic By Degrees.”

Brown, John. “Bright Waters.”

Bull, Emma. “De La Tierra.”

Burgis, Stephanie. “Behind the Rules.”

Butler, Pete. “Lust for Learning.”

Cadigan, Pat. “Roadside Rescue.”

Carlson, Jeff. “Pressure.”

Charlton, Blake. “Endosymbiont.”

Chiang, Ted. “Hell Is the Absence of God.”

Chui, Janet and Lundberg, Jason (editors). A Field Guide to Surreal Botany.

Clare, Gwendolyn. “All the Painted Stars” and “Brass Canaries.”

Cooney, C.S.E.. “Household Spirits.”

Copley-Woods, Haddayr. “The Desires of Houses.”

Crosshill, Tom. “Fragmentation, or Ten Thousand Goodbyes.”

Crowley, John. “Snow.”

Dedman, Stephen. “A Single Shadow.”

Dellamonica, A.M. “The Cage.”

DeRego, Jeffrey R. “Union Dues: All That We Leave Behind,” “Union Dues: Tabula Rasa,” “Union Dues: All About the Sponsors,” “Union Dues: The Threnody of Johnny Toruko,” and “Union Dues: The Sum of Its Parts.”

Dermatis, Dayle A. “What Dragons Prefer.”

de Vries, Jetse. “Transcendence Express.”

DiChario, Nick and Resnick, Mike. “The Sweet, Sad Love Song of Fred and Wilma.”

Doctorow, Cory. “Other People’s Money,” “Printcrime,” and “Shannon’s Law.”

Duncan, Andy. “PC030: Grand Guignol.”

Edwards, Sarah L. “The Tinyman and Caroline.”

Ferebe, K.M. “Seven Spells to Sever the Heart.”

Ferenczi, Peter M. “The Womb Factory.”

Foster, Eugie. “The Snow Woman’s Daughter.”

Francisco, Ben. “Tio Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts.”

Frazier, Tony. “Astromonkeys!”

Gaskell, Stephen. “Thargus and Brian.”

Gray, Caspian. “Insect Joy.”

Gregory, Eric. “The Sympathy.”

Goonan, Kathleen Ann. “Electric Rains.”

Gudgel, Andrew. “Nightshift in the Automart.”

Haldeman, Joe. “Four Short Novels.”

Haskell, Merrie. “An Almanac for Alien Invaders,” “Dead Languages” and “Five Rules for Commuting to the Underworld.”

Hobson, M.K. “God Juice” and “The Hag Queen’s Curse.”

Hoffman, Nina Kiriki. “Ghost Hedgehog.”

Jemisin, N.K. “Cloud Dragon Skies,” “The Narcomancer,” “Red Riding Hood’s Child,” and “Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, In the City Under the Still Waters.”

Jia, Xia. “A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight.”

Johnson, Alaya Dawn. “Shard Of Glass.”

Johnson, Kij. “The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change.”

Kaftan, Vylar. “Christmas Wedding,” “Fulgurite” and “The Sighted Watchmaker.”

Kehrli, Keffy R.M. “Advertising at the End of the World.”

Kenyon, Kay. “The Acid Test” and “The Last Wave.”

Kiernan, Caitlin R. “Ode to Katan Amano.”

Kirtley, David Barr. “Beauty” and “Blood of Virgins.”

Klages, Ellen. “House of Seven Librarians.”

Klaver, Christian. “The Right Kind of Town.”

Kling, Jim. “Semi-Autonomous, Or For Whom the Warranty Tolls.”

Kloster, Gary. “From Their Paws, We Shall Inherit.”

Kosmatka, Ted. “N-words.”

Kowal, Mary Robinette. “Chrysalis” and “Jaiden’s Weaver.”

Kress, Nancy. “Margin of Error” and “Nano Comes to Clifford Falls.”

Kritzer, Naomi. “Honest Man.”

Lake, Jay. “The Angle of My Dreams” and “On the Human Plan.”

Laidlaw, Marc. “Sleepy Joe.”

Leckie, Ann. “The Nalendar,” Marsh Gods.”

Lee, Tanith. “Rapunzel.”

Levine, David D. “The Last McDougal’s,” “Wind From a Dying Star,” and “Written on the Wind.”

Liu, Ken. “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species,” “The Five Elements of the Heart Mind,” “State Change.”

Ludwigsen, Will. “The Speed of Dreams.”

Lyon, Richard K. “Standards.”

MacFarlane, Alex Dally. “The Notebook of My Favourite Skin-Trees.”

Martens, Paul E. “The Color of a Brontosaurus.”

Martin, George R.R. “The Way of Cross and Dragon.”

McAllister, Bruce. “Kin.”

McCarron, Meghan. “I’ll Give In.”

McDonald, Sandra. “The Fireman’s Fairy.”

McHugh, Ian. “Requiem In D-minor (For Prions, Whale and Burning Bush).”

McHugh, Maureen. “Ancestor Money.”

McIntosh, Will. “Friction.”

Merriam, Joanne. “Little Ambushes.”

Monette, Sarah. “Blue Lace Agate” and “A Light In Troy.”

Murphy, Hilary Moon. “The Grand Cheat,” and “Nine-fingered Maria.”

Nazarian, Vera. “Three Names of the Hidden God” and “The Witch Who Made Adjustments.”

Ness, Mari. “And the Hollow Space Inside.”

Nix, Garth. “Sir Hereward and Mr. Fitz Go to War Again” and Across the Wall: A Tale of Abhorsen and Other Stories.

Pelland, Jennifer. “The Ghosts of New York.”

Phillips, Holly. “The Small Door.”

Pratt, Tim. “Another End of Empire,” “Captain Fantasy and the Secret Masters”, “Impossible Dreams,” “Incubus,” “Komodo,” “Origin Story,” and “Unexpected Outcomes.”

Prineas, Sarah. “Dragon Hunt” and “Illuminated Dragon.”

Rambo, Cat. “Angry Rose’s Lament,” “In Order to Conserve,” and “Kalakkak’s Cousins.”

Resnick, Mike. “The Boy Who Yelled Dragon,” “Distant Replay,” and “Travels With My Cats.”

Rosenbaum, Benjamin. “Start the Clock,” “The House Beyond Your Sky.”

Rosenblum, Mary. “My She.”

Rotundo, “Matthew. “Fuel.”

Rountree, Josh. “Gone Daddy Gone.”

Rusch, Kristine Kathryn. “Elites” and “Results.”

Salaam, Kiini Ibura. “Debris.”

Samatar, Sofia. “Honey Bear.”

Scholes, Ken. “Summer in Paris, Light from the Sky.”

Schwartz, David. “Bedtime Stories for Alien Children.”

Shaw, Heather. “Little Match Girl” and “Mountain Man.”

Shawl, Nisi. “Down In The Flood.”

Sherman, Delia. “The Fiddler of Bayou Teche” and “Wizard’s Apprentice.”

Simner, Janni Lee. “Alien Promises” and “Raising Jenny.”

Skillingstead, Jack. “Bean There.”

Sloan, Robin. “Mr. Penumbra’s Twenty-Four-Hour Book Store.”

Snyder, Lucy A. “Faery Cats Cutest Killers.”

Sparrow, Katherine. “Hello I Love You” and “Pirate Solutions.”

Stanton, Sarah. “The Switch.”

Stone, Eric James. “Rejiggering the Thingamajig.”

Strock, Ian Randal. “Get Me to the Job On Time.”

Stross, Charles. “Rogue Farm.”

Sulway, Nike. “Her Lover’s Golden Hair.”

Swirsky, Rachel. “Skyscrapers.”

Thomas, Benjamin. “Rainmaker.”

Tidhar, Lavie. “The Secret Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Tolbert, Jeremiah. “This, My Body.”

Valente, Catherynne M. “Fade to White” and “A Hole to China.”

Valentine, Genevieve. “Advection.”

VanderMeer, Jeff. “Secret Life.”

van Eekhout, Greg. “Change,” and “Chinatown.”

Vaughn, Carrie. “Astrophilia.”

Van Allsburg, Chris (editor). The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: 14 Amazing Authors Tell the Tales.

Weinstein, Jacob Sager. “Eugene.”

Wentworth, K.D. “Hallah Iron-Thighs and the Change of Life.”

Wheeler, Ramona Louise. “Blink. Don’t Blink.”

Wittman, Jason. “On Bookstores, Burners, and Origami.”

Zangwill, Israel. “The Queen’s Triplets.”

Art monographs

:idea: Cash, Julian. The People of Burning Man.

Dempsey, Amy. Destination Art.

:idea: Ihara, Miyoko. Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat.

Non-fiction

:idea: Arellano, Gustavo. Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.

Bhide, Monica. The Everything Indian Cookbook: 300 Tantalizing Recipes–From Sizzling Tandoori Chicken to Fiery Lamb Vindaloo and Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors For the Contemporary Kitchen.

Boyce, Kim. Good to the Grain: Baking With Whole-grain Flours.

:idea: Carroll, Rikki. Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses (3rd edition).

:idea: Chernila, Alana. The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making.

Farnham, Jody and Druart, Marc. The Joy of Cheesemaking.

:idea: Gollner, Adam. The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and Obsession.

Karlin, Mary. Artisan Cheese Making at Home.

:idea: Katz, Sandor Ellix. Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods.

:idea: Krissoff, Liana. Canning For a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors For the Modern Pantry.

Lahlou, Mourad. Mourad: New Moroccan.

:idea: Malouf, Greg & Lucy. Moorish.

Nguyen, Luke. Indochine.

Nguyen, Pauline, Nguyen, Luke and Jensen, Mark. Secrets of the Red Lantern: Stories and Vietnamese Recipes from the Heart.

Ong, Pichet and Ko, Genevieve. The Sweet Spot : Asian-inspired Desserts.

:idea: Ottolenghi, Yotam and Tamimi, Sami. Jerusalem.

:idea: Peltre, Béatrice. La Tartine Gourmande. French-inspired, gluten-free recipes, based on the food blog.

Reader’s Digest. New Complete Guide to Sewing.

:idea: Sass, Lorna. Whole Grains: Every Day, Every Way.

:idea: Slater, Nigel. Tender and Ripe.

Taylor, A.G. and Joudrey, D.N. Organization of Information, 3rd edition.

Vinton, Sherri Brooks. Put ‘em Up! A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide for the Creative Cook, from Drying and Freezing to Canning and Pickling.

:idea: Virant, Paul. The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-doux.

:idea: Weinberger, David. Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Order.

Unfinished

Including ongoing webcomics I started but didn’t continue reading. Again, NSFW online items denoted.

American Psychological Association. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition

Baca, Murtha (editor). Introduction to Metadata.

Bane, Jason, et al. Carpe Chaos.

Black, Holly and Castellucci, Cecil. Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd.

Brittin, Helen. The Food and Culture Around the World Handbook.

Brubaker, Jason. reMIND.

Connolly, Harry. Child of Fire.

Cook, Katie. Gronk.

D.G., Gigi. Cucumber Quest.

Desai, Anita. The Artist of Disappearance: Three Novellas.

Diaz, Aaron. Dresden Codak.

Dougan, Jim.Sam & Lilah.

Farnham, Jody and Druart, Marc. The Joy of Cheesemaking: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Making, and Eating Fine Cheese.

Fink, Jess. Chester 5000 XYV. NSFW.

Foglio, Phil and Kaja. Agatha H. and the Airship City.

Frye, Eliza. Death and Regalia.

Gillman, Melanie. Smbitten. Unfinished because the creator hasn’t posted the final pages, alas! (As of this writing.)

Goldman, Dan. Red Light Properties.

Horne, Emily and Comeau, Joey. A Softer World.

Kelly, Kevin et al. Silver Cord.

Kesel, Karl. Section Zero.

MacAvoy, R.A. Death and Resurrection.

Mann, Thomas. The Oxford Guide to Library Research, 3rd edition.

McGee, Harold. Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes.

McWilliams, Margaret. Food Around the World: A Cultural Perspective.

Medlej, Joumana. Malaak: Angel of Peace

Migdal, Sylvan. Curvy. NSFW.

Rowntree, Winston. Subnormality.

Speck, Maria. Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries and More.

Spike. Templar, Arizona.

Stevens, R. Diesel Sweeties.

Summers, A.K. Pregnant Butch.

Turner, James. Rex Libris: I, librarian, volume 1.

Walker, Tom. S.S. Myra. NSFW.

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