Can you believe it? Because I certainly can’t. I’ve actually been writing this column for an entire year here on Nerdery Public. So, as befits a one-year anniversary, here are six of the best “Six of the Best” columns from the past year:
6. …gaming strategies my kid uses — I love gaming, and I love my kid. Why wouldn’t I want to write about both together? Seriously, though, this column allowed me to examine my own strategies of gameplay (tabletop and electronic) and how what I do influences what she does… and also, what I can learn about playing like her.
5. …Space Quest games — I think nerd-dom is at its best when it’s at the intersection of genre fiction, nostalgia, and something electronic. Space Quest games exist at the perfect location for me, because I played them growing up as a young nerd who was into Star Trek, computer gaming, and puerile humor based on puns. Another thing nerds love: showing other people how much they love the things that make them nerdy. Well, this certainly qualifies.
4. …Discworld Onramps — We also like to share our favorite book, movie, and television serieses. Many of us are Discworld fans, surely, but it can be quite difficult to get people interested in the story because there are more than forty books. My personal favorite on-ramp is, as mentioned in the column, Moving Pictures, but it could be that that’s not yours, or it could be that I’m sharing the Discworld with someone who wouldn’t respond as well to the themes of that book. Plus, I got to relive the books as I wrote about them, and share the Discworld love with you.
3. …problems that are all CNN’s fault — This column more than any other was the precursor to the “Six of the Worst” monthly feature. It was (at the time) the longest one I’d ever written, and the first that had sub-heads under each item. As a former member of the news machine, I have an insight on the process of newsmaking, newsgathering, and news-disseminating. I left the news business after ten years, transferring over to sales, but I’ve covered elections, accidents, weather events, and all sorts of crises. It was a good experience, but it showed me how the sausage is made… and in some cases, the sausage is full of things you’d rather not eat.
2. …things about being Mark Oshiro — I’m really proud of this two-part series of columns. It’s been a long time since I’ve done an interview, and I had a lot of fun showing the greater internet what I love about what this guy does. Though it came out three months later than I’d planned (my fault, not NP’s), it’s still one of the best non-fiction pieces I think I’ve written this year. (Read part 1 here, and part 2 here.)
1. …things about long-distance relationships — At the time that column was published, I had been in a long-distance relationship for five months. We met, fell in love, and somehow managed to make things work despite how difficult it was to see each other only four to eight days per month. I know it’s harder for people who live, say, across the country (or world) instead of just a couple of states over, but in some ways I think it’s actually more difficult for people who live as close as she and I did because we were so close and yet so far. But as of July of last year, the distance ceased to be a factor, and in August of last year we moved into a new apartment together. Hence the follow-up column, to talk about how great things can be once a long-distance relationship is no longer long-distance and what we learned from being long-distance that makes our relationship stronger. Not perfect, because no relationship is perfect, but strong enough to overcome what disagreements and difficulties we do have. (Read the first column here, and the follow-up here.)
Six of the best columns that didn’t make the cut:
- …defunct webcomics (an area of Nerdery that is ripe for the picking)
- …Buffy crossover fanfics (because little is as nerdy as fan fiction)
- …ways to ruin an otherwise-good idea for a genre fiction story (enjoy more of me bitching about genre writing)
- …odd-numbered Star Trek films (because they weren’t as bad as you like to say they were)
- …Star Trek AU beards (this one was just fun to write)
- …fanfic writing tips (this one got lost when my work computer had a kernel panic and I hadn’t saved it… 2000 words, down the drain)
Got an idea for a future “Six of the Best” column? Tweet it to me @listener42.