2016 in review, sans Politics

2016 is almost over. John Oliver hit the political side quite well. I won’t jump on the ‘F*ck You 2016’ bandwagon, because 2016 is also the year that I became a father. I had a pretty good year. Instead, let’s have a look at some of the entertainment that 2016 has brought.

Books

I tend to read novels some time after they’re initially released. You see, I buy most novels on Amazon for a Kindle, meaning I only buy a license to read the novel by the grace of Amazon and in exchange for my privacy. And a license to a novel that Amazon can pull at a moment’s notice just isn’t worth as much as a physical book. For most books, the price at launch, however, is as much as a physical copy, or more. I rarely feel the need to do the extra investment just so I don’t have to wait a few months.

That’s a bit hypocritical since I want to make my living as a writer. Still, I do it, and it means I’ve read only a handful of novels published this year. Actually, I read Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson, the first three books of the Deathspeaker Codex by Sonya Bateman, and the Last Mortal Bond by Brian Stavely.

I’ve already stated my not so stellar opinion of the Last Mortal Bond. That leaves the DeathSpeaker Codex and the Bands of Mourning. Both are good, but the Bands of Mourning is just better. Or I’m a bigger fan of Sanderson’s than of Bateman’s style, of course.

There are some books that came out this year that I haven’t read, but still want to. First, Babylon’s Ashes by James S.A. Corey, which came out two weeks ago. I read Nemesis Games earlier this year and I am very excited about what happens next. Second, The Malice by Peter Newman. I did read the Vagrant, and that was a refreshing new take on Angel & Demon fantasy.

Let’s move on to movies.

Movies

With a baby in the house, going to the movies wasn’t really worth the extra effort to do regularly this year. I went to two movies. I was hoping for a third, that being Rogue One, but it will have to wait for next year.

Still, I took care which I movies I did want to see, choosing Captain America: Civil War, and Dr. Strange in favor of X-Men: Apocalypse, Batman vs. Superman, and Star Trek: Beyond. Why? Because I was very disappointed by X-Men: Days of Future Past, all DC comics movies, and Star Trek: Into Darkness. Marvel disappoints a lot less.

I have to say that I found Captain America to be a bit of a mess. I could hardly find the plot amidst the parade of fighting super heroes.

Dr. Strange I can highly recommend. It is awesome.

TV shows

I watched quite a lot of television shows this year, but again, often pre-2016 things such as Hannibal. I did dig into the new season of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Stranger Things, and watched the Expanse season 1 (which technically aired earlier, but not in the Netherlands). Yeah, I’m a Netflix user.

Anyway, the new season of Daredevil was only fun when it was about the Punisher (meaning less than half of it), Jessica Jones started strong than spluttered out like a candle, and I couldn’t get past the first episode of Luke Cage.

That leaves two. Stranger Things was very well-made. The premise was exciting. I did have two problem with it: the characters were often pretty stupid (as in much of the horror out there), and it very much has an E.T.-vibe. I hate E.T. I don’t know why, I know you’re supposed to like it, but I hate that movie.

Expanse, on the other hand, is a pretty complicated show with a lot of build-up. I’m prejudiced, because I really loved the book. My wife saw the show before reading the book and found some characters annoying and some plot points over-complicated. Especially when she found out those complications had not been in the original book.

All things considered, the Expanse is my personal favorite this year. You don’t have to agree, of course.

Dishonorable mention

One gem at the end of the year was the release of an honest to god Sense8 Christmas Special. I’ve already shared my opinion of Sense8, but let me repeat: it’s what shit would call crap. I briefly skimmed the Christmas Special episode and read the summary online.

Wow. It seems that the second season is set up to be… more endless drivel with no agency and no explanations. Well, ho, ho, ho, merry christmas, and another senseless season.

Ah well, some people love the show. Good for them. They can go watch it alongside E.T.

Anyway, a pre-emptive happy New Year to all readers! See you next year.

Author: Martin Stellinga

I'm a science fiction and fantasy writer from the Netherlands

2 thoughts on “2016 in review, sans Politics”

  1. I liked the Expanse. Though I’m very worried it will get cancelled. Still the concept is pretty great, and finally proper Science fiction with spaceships and all (and relatively good physics as well). And no super heroes. I’m so done with super heroes.

    1. We can hope it keeps going. The fifth book would make a great season 🙂 But if it does get cancelled, at least there’s still the books. It annoys me a lot more when a show is cancelled and you never learn how the story ends.

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