2012 was the first full year of operation for Papyrus Independent Author Reviews. What a great year for indie reading – at least for this reader!
There were some misfires for me, but being self-published has its pitfalls. Professional proof-reading and editing is a challenge for D.I.Y. e-publishing and although editing problems are necessarily reflected in my ratings, I definitely appreciate the issue. For all those authors I’ve read this year – even those I’ve given lower ratings, I’ve respected your achievements and encourage you to continue doing what many of us could or would not do.
For those who have submitted requests that did not actualise into a review, this is not necessarily a reflection of your efforts. Being a single reader/reviewer, my filtering process can sometimes be arbitrary and harsh.
Finally, let me say that although what I say goes on this site, I do not put myself up as the arbiter of good taste or quality either in writing or story-telling. Just like the authors I review here, I am just doing my best to showcase talent.
So in that vein, let me describe some of the more memorable indie reading experiences I’ve had this year.
In January 2012, I encountered the fascinating De Bello Lemures by Thomas Brookside (Click for Review). This blend of “found manuscript” fiction masquerading as a controversial historical analysis cemented my appreciation of this author. He applies the sensibility of a historian with the desire to entertain and it’s a winning combination.
March 2012 was a marvellous month for fiction. Wool (Omnibus) by Hugh Howey (Click for Review) demonstrated why this author has become the poster boy of independent fiction for 2012. The novel has gone on to attract interest from the BBC, Hollywood and even a major publisher who purchased the rights for a hardback/paperback release. After reading the book, I not only congratulate the author for his achievements, I will add my voice to the long list of endorsements. Of special note, the first part of this omnibus formed the best prologue to a story I can recall reading.
In the same month, I encountered the wonderful The Survival of Thomas Ford by John A. A. Logan (Click for Review). After reading this book I decided that Scottish authors were worth a risk. A dark and moody literary drama, this novel captivated me throughout. In February 2013, I will be reviewing his anthology Storm Damage. I’m looking forward to it.
In August, I encountered the science fiction anthology Dead Men Don’t Cry by Nancy Fulda (Click for Review). These tales were fantastic and I would highly recommend this author for lovers of science fiction short stories. I’m really looking forward to what she can do with a full length novel.
November was Martuk month with my reading of Martuk … the Holy by Jonathan Winn (Click for Review). This novel may be an acquired taste and not for every reader, but I found the prose to be mesmerising and the tale imbued with both a relentless darkness and an intoxicating sensuality. I’ll be hunting around for his next novel.
In December 2012, I capped off a great year with The Puppet Maker’s Bones by Alisa Tangredi (Click for Review). This was a dark and inventive fantasy that I thoroughly enjoyed. Although part of a planned series, it can be happily read as a standalone. Expect another review of this author’s work in 2013.
Wool (Omnibus) – by Hugh Howey
After an internal debate, I am awarding Wool (Omnibus) the 2012 Papyrus Independent Fiction Award. This is an author who really knows how to tell a tale and the story continues with a prequel omnibus probably out sometime in 2013. The silo obviously has more secrets to divulge and I will be an avid reader for the foreseeable future.
Keep an eye out for a review of the next omnibus released by Mr Howey as I’ll probably make room for it not too long after its released. In the meantime, feel free to head on over to the author’s home page where he blogs about his writing and his books. He also maintains a forum for fans, obviously relishing the interaction with his readers. Indie done right? This reader says yes!