Sunday, 6 January 2013


It is the year AD 2013. Or, if your prefer, 2013 CE, or MMXIII. In Thailand it is 2556 of the Buddhist calendar, although it is 2557 in the traditional scheme of things, before they synced the dates to the Gregorian. It is the twenty-fifth year of the Heisei Period of Japan. In the months to come, the Chinese calendar will reach 4649, it will hit 1435 in the Islamic calendar, and 5774 in the Hebrew calendar. It is the 12,013th year of the Holocene, also known as the Human Era, which is close enough to being the Humanian Era that my Time Lord geek side takes notice.

All of which just goes to show that a New Year is entirely arbitrary, and only means anything in the current version of our civilisation's calendar, which happens to be the dominant one worldwide these days. (This state of affairs won't last forever, of course.) Still, it's a good excuse to start taking stock, making plans and generally assessing where we're all going with our lives.

I'm fully aware that New Year's resolutions rarely make it past February. Still, this year I'm going to persevere. Last year I cut down on my alcohol intake - which isn't to say I don't go out and get sloshed every now and then - so this year I'm following it up with a caffeine reduction. I've realised that my caffeine intake is worryingly high; I average about eight or nine cups of black tea a day, and maybe three cokes when I'm working, plus coffees when I'm out. So that's ten to twelve caffeinated drinks pretty much every day. I've cut myself down to two cups of black tea a day, although I've cracked and had a coke a couple of times. Other than that, I've stuck with decaffeinated Earl Grey and herbal infusions. I always thought that caffeine withdrawal couldn't be that bad. After three days of headaches, nausea, exhaustion and twitchy discomfort, I realise that, by fuck, it is. Thankfully, the expected irritation and depression haven't kicked in, probably because I already have those so simply haven't noticed. I'm starting to feel a lot better now, although I think that if I'd known this was going to be a six-day working week, I'd have left it for a while.

What else? Well, apart from the usual - get fit, learn to drive, find a new job - I need to seriously get back on track with my reading and my writing (but I'll leave the arithmetic). 2012 wasn't a great year for me creatively; although I wrote a fair bit for the blog, I did very little fiction. So this year I intend to make up for that. I still owe some people some very overdue fanfic, but I also want to get back to just writing the stuff for fun, then see about posting or submitting it somewhere. I'll keep writing the reviews and articles, though; there'll be more to come from me at Television Heaven, and I plan to enjoy my favourite shows some more by taking them apart and over-analysing them, as fans are wont to do. It's been a while since I did a Captain's Blog, and I also want to keep reviewing the Doctor Who material that's being released, and I'm dying to write more on Ghostbusters. So watch this space, fellow geeks.

On the subject of Doctor Who, and of 2013... you may have realised that there is an anniversary this year. In fact, there are several. It's the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who, and the Daleks, but also the fiftieth anniversary of the X-Men. It's the sixtieth anniversary of Quatermass, the twenty-fifth of Red Dwarf, the twentieth of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (just a few days ago, in fact), and the fifteenth of Iris Wildthyme in the Whoniverse. So yes, there'll be some celebratory material coming. A number of fans are going to be reading some original Doctor Who novels over the course of the year - one per Doctor, one a month, leading up to the anniversary in November. I'm going to join in, with a mix of old favourites and those previously unread. Which ones depends one what I still have hanging around the place, and what I can get my hands on, but look out for some reviews. I also plan to write articles on each of the Doctors, looking at their characters, the performances of the actors behind them, their time on the show and their legacy. That's twelve articles, not eleven (yes, twelve), so one month with include two articles to keep in step with the book reviews.

Iris, on the other hand, will be celebrating her anniversary in style, with a new anthology of stories from Obverse Books, this time featuring a whole range of her incarnations. So expect a review of that, and maybe a little feature on her various iterations. In fact, expect a lot more reviews of Obverse books to come in the very near future. I also have a rough resolution to a) read more classic of science fiction, and b} read more non-genre fiction. This boils down to one directive: read more fiction. God bless Kindle (or your preferred e-reader of choice).

Where I'm going to find time for all this, I don't know. Don't be disappointed if I don't fulfill all my plans. Actually, be disappointed, I'd rather that than disinterest - but look forward to the future. I am.

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