In Short: December

Posted 31st December 2023 by Sia in State of the Sia / 4 Comments

This month, the hubby had (minor) surgery and my right arm just…freaked out. (Fibromyalgia? Terrible posture? Who the fuck knows? Could be both!) So I wasn’t able to write much at all. Luckily, fibro = autoimmune disorder = no family nonsense over the holidays, which is always a relief. I refused to let the hubby get me Yule gifts this year, what with being laid off, but I had plenty of boxes to open anyway – I SUCK at opening packages, so I had allllllll the Kickstarter things and special editions I’d ordered (some from last year, even!) to enjoy. And luckily I prepare EARLY for Yule, so the hubby’s gifts were bought long before we were laid off.


ARCs Received

I was super excited for all of these, bar The Stars Too Fondly, which I hadn’t heard of before I spotted it on Netgalley. But I’m excited for it now! Alas, Voyage of the Damned proved a disappointment, but Exordia is excellent so far, and I’ll be hugely surprised if I don’t enjoy the others too!


24 books read this month – more than November! I’ve steadily been reading more and more, which is hugely reassuring, after the struggle I was having a few months back.

Knock Knock, Open Wide was eerie and awful and really great horror; Paladin’s Faith made me fall in love with the Saint of Steel series all over again; Blackheart Ghosts went nowhere I was expecting, and I loved every second of it! The Darkness Before Them and Dark Heir were both great surprises, albeit incredibly different; and a reread of The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home was the perfect way to finish off the year.

To the best of my knowledge, only one of this month’s authors were BIPOC. Bloody awful.


Well, just two reviews is pretty abysmal. But with everything I had going on this month, I’ll give myself a pass.


I wrote about these yesterday, but the tl;dr version is Crown of Starlight and Voyage of the Damned are both objectively dreadful, and Jinn-Bot and Orphia & Eurydicius did not work for me.

ARCs Outstanding

I’m behind, but I feel a lot less stressed about it than I did. I’m determined to catch up, though, and I feel like I’ll be able to. It doesn’t seem impossible!

I’m conflicted about reading my arc of The Poisons We Drink, though, because the author mentioned – while making the very valid point that BIPOC reviewers ought to get priority when it comes to BlPOC-authored works – that the draft that was turned into the arc really wasn’t ready for readers. In which case, how can I judge it? I might wait to read and review the published version in March, instead. Not sure what to do – more thinking on it is required.


As usual, I threw every queer Adult SFF release I know about at KA Doore for the list she makes every year (here is 2023’s, with links to the earlier ones). I have far too much fun doing that.


In the Pastiche, homages and sequels section of the Wiki page on William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land, I’M FUCKING QUOTED.



This was not a thing I had on my bucket list, and I am massively confuzzled – but also really, hilariously delighted. WHAT EVEN???

Then I managed to put together alllllllll the lists to wrap up the year – my Best SFF of 2023, for the first time accompanied by a list of my Favourite Backlist Reads (also SFF, obviously).

And what I’m most proud of – Unmissable SFF of 2024! Aka, a guide to all the SFF I consider must-haves for the coming year! I’ll add more to it as new books are announced/I learn about them, but I’m pretty damn proud of it.

Looking Forward

I can’t wait for any of these – new Wayward Children book! The science fantasy I’ve been waiting for since 2020!! A sequel to A Taste of Gold and Iron!!! I predict a seriously great reading month!

And that’s a wrap. Happy New Year, everyone – may 2024 be wonderful for all of us!

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