Never before in my life have the ideas of others occupied so much of my thoughts. In grad school, twenty books a year seemed like a lot. This year, I’m past that and we haven’t even scratched December. Most of this push has been for the sake of Vernacular Books.
After nearly a year since Joe and I’s first brainstorming emails, one thing has become abundantly clear: we chose the right name.
Vernacular is the common language used by the people of a region. On this site, I’m thankful to say we talk about extraordinary works of speculative fiction in a way anyone can understand, illuminating the heights of brilliance even Shakespeare knew he couldn’t reach without employing the fantastic or macabre. His works like Hamlet, or Macbeth, or A Midsummer Night’s Dream are a case in point.
Illuminating the majesty of genre literature, questioning what makes us human, what makes us similar, the intersectionality of humanity and technology, and how far the bounds of ethics can be bent without breaking, illuminates the human news this generation sorely needs. The Black Mirrors and Middle Earths, the galaxies far away and long ago, can help us see the world clearly. I’ve never been more thankful for the opportunity to frankly talk about writing and art, and illuminate the wondrous hidden within the wonders.
So on this Thanksgiving eve, here are the works from 2019 that I am most thankful for.
Best fantasy novel: “Make Me the Monster I Need to be”: Half-Witch by John Schoffstall
Best horror collection:Nathan Ballingrud’s Wounds
Best horror novel: Craig Laurence Gidney’s A Spectral Hue
Best sci-fi novel: Close Your Eyes by Paul Jessup
Best television show, fantasy: The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
Best television show, sci-fi drama: Living With Yourself
Best short work: “Every Song Must End” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
Best short story collection: Meet me in the Future by Kameron Hurley
Best movie: Into the Spiderverse
Thursday, when the food is gone and the football and family have left, enjoy one, two, or three helpings of my favorites, and feel free to drop us a line by commenting. Talk with us. We’re listening.
I’m thankful for you’re reading, too.