As mentioned on Facebook yesterday, I've given this a lot of thought and I'm wondering if the time has come to stop blogging. . .
After 6 years, a couple of millions of visitors from over 100 countries, 263 book reviews and counting, many fun and interesting interviews, and countless giveaways and related SFF material, maybe it's time to hang 'em up. . .
Funny thing is, I wasn't even supposed to last more than a couple of weeks. Six years is pretty much like a lifetime on the web. And needless to say, the Hotlist went far beyond what I ever envisioned. Pat's Fantasy Hotlist's mission has always been to help spread the word about all that's good in the SFF genres, something I've been striving to uphold since its beginning in January of 2005. And I feel it's mission accomplished.
Though I have my detractors (and yes, they are many), I was nonetheless able to establish myself as a fair and honest (one can only hope) online reviewer over the years. The Hotlist's ever-growing popularity is probably a good sign that there are a lot of people out there who have come to trust me. And although I've never taken myself very seriously, it's nevertheless heart-warming to realize that I have earned the respect of so many people, both in and outside the industry. For you see, respect is never deserved. It has to be earned. And the fact that so many people visit the Hotlist in droves every day means that I've done a few things right.
Being on a first name basis with most editors-in-chief and big-name editors on both sides of the Atlantic means something, no question. But one of the most rewarding aspects of running this blog for so long is that I'm now on a first name basis with some of the SFF authors I've admired the most for years and years. People like Guy Gavriel Kay, Robin Hobb, L. E. Modesitt, jr., George R. R. Martin, and many others, have helped me enjoy this adventure on a more personal level.
In my own small way, I helped launch the careers of new SFF writers such as Scott Lynch, Naomi Novik, Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, Brian Ruckley, Patrick Rothfuss, Carrie Vaughn, Peter V. Brett, and many more. The beauty of running this blog remains that it allowed me to discover so many talented authors and bright new voices in both the fantasy and science fiction genres. No, I don't deserve much credit, but I'm glad of the exposure I was able to provide for each of them.
I'm also quite proud of my unflagging promotion of Canadian talent, and will continue to support authors such as R. Scott Bakker, Steven Erikson, Guy Gavriel Kay, and Peter Watts until they put me under.
There were some unexpected surprises along the way, things I never would have thought could become a reality. And yet, a character based on me (kind of a prick, I'm told) will be brutally killed in GRRM's A Dance With Dragons. Even better, Speculative Horizons, an anthology compiled and edited my Yours Truly, will soon be available.
I'm not going to lie; I loved every moment of the last couple of years. Yes, there were a few pissing contests and flame-ups, especially early on. It wouldn't have been as much fun otherwise. But all in all, we've managed to keep things civil enough, the GRRM haters' spam bomb notwithstanding. Hence, turning my back on all this wouldn't be easy. But sooner or later, every good thing must come to an end. . .
God knows I'm not about showmanship, but it's always better to go out on top. And as one of the premier SFF bloggers in the world, maybe it's time to say goodbye to Pat's Fantasy Hotlist. . .
Jon Sprunk left this very nice and probably underserved comment on my Facebook page: "I consider you a voice of reason in a wasteland of useless chatter." It appears that quite a lot of people echo the sentiment.
As I mentioned in response to those Facebook comments, I haven't made up my mind yet. But I will do so soon enough. For if I do decide to hang 'em up, it will probably be at the end of December, right after my year-end awards.
Whether or not I elect to keep the Hotlist running, I owe a debt of gratitude to all of you. Authors, editors, agents, publicists, marketing people, the SFF online community, and all the SFF readers out there, you made it happen. Indeed, it would be no fun without an audience and you guys have been awesome!
Pat's Fantasy Hotlist would never have been the same without each and everyone of you! =)