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Black Static


2016: The Year in Reviewing

1st Feb, 2017

Author: Peter Tennant

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As in previous years, it's time for me to take a look back at what happened in the year just gone from a Case Notes review perspective, albeit somewhat belatedly on this occasion (life gets in the way).

In the six issues of Black Static that appeared in 2016 we ran reviews of a grand total of 60 titles, which once again is down on the preceding year (86 reviews in 2015). There are any number of reasons that could account for that drop - longer reviews, less pages for Case Notes (in 2016 we had 111 pages, 15 less than in 2015), running an interview in nearly every issue, some combination of all those things.

Breaking it down we get:-

  • Novels - 8 (12 in 2015)
  • Short Story Collections - 22 (18)
  • Novellas - 3 (24)
  • Anthologies - 16 (18)
  • Chapbooks - 5 (5)
  • Non-fiction - 6 (2)
  • Graphic/Illustrated work - 0 (7)

Looking at the list, the most significant changes seem to be the failure to review any graphic and /or illustrated work, and the big drop in the number of novellas that I reviewed.

During 2016 I listed a total of 159 titles received for review, a drop of 104 titles from the previous year, and overall only 38% of the books sent to us got reviewed, compared to 33% in 2015.

Of the 60 titles reviewed in Black Static itself, 17½ were either written or edited by women (approximately 29% of the total), while 39 of the titles received were by women (approximately 25%). The corresponding figures in 2015 were 26% and 22%.

We reviewed titles from a total of 33 different publishers, of which the following have been reviewed the most often:-

  • The Alchemy Press - 6
  • Hippocampus - 6
  • Fedogan & Bremer - 5
  • Nightjar Press - 4
  • Auteur - 3
  • DarkFuse - 3
  • Hydra - 3

Tor, KnightWatch Press, Snowbooks, and Gray Friar Press all had 2 titles reviewed.

In total I reviewed titles by 56 different writers and editors (the actual tally for writers is much higher, as for anthologies I am only counting the editor, and I should also note that some anthologies were co-edited). Nobody had more than two titles reviewed, with the exception of the editorial team of Richard Chizmar & Brian James Freeman (3).

Writers/editors who I reviewed twice were Simon Bestwick, Paul Finch, Molly Tanzer, Alex Davis, Damien Angelica Walters, and V. H. Leslie. Angela Slatter had 1½ titles reviewed.

That's all folks!



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