Anyway, you know me, much ado about nothing and lots of rambling and circling around the point, but the point of this particular post is to summarize the year's good stuff. Without further ado, hit the "Continue Reading" button for some rambling on the year that was. I intended this post to focus on A Song of Ice and Fire in 2016 but it just warped into something completely different. Sorry for that, and you've been warned - another non-Westerosi post.
BEST READING EXPERIENCE OF 2016.
right here in this post. For some reason I forget to count Star Wars novels as actual reading experiences (because it's Star Wars which is a thing entirely separate from everything else, at least in my bubble); which means I did read more 2016 novels than I at first thought: the best of them was (again, without doubt) Aftermath: Life Debt, while the rest were so-so mediocre (Bloodline, Catalyst). The rest of the stuff I've been reading this year has been either re-reads or non-fiction, or stuff from 2015 (catching up). Been reading short stories too, both H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar A. Poe have been studied, and even Lord Byron's poetry has been delved into. It was the purchase of a real Kindle (instead of using the free apps for PC and Android) that pushed me into reading more, and more varied. As I like to try writing stuff myself, I know it's smart to read outside my comfort zone/preferences, but I do usually fall back to fantasy. Because it RAWKS. RemindMe!: You still haven't read Steven Erikson's Fall of Light, you clodpate.
BEST VISUAL EXPERIENCE OF 2016.
review here) and twice to accompany my sons (kiddie movies). I have bought exactly two blurays for myself this year: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (surprise!) and the sixth season of Game of Thrones (double surprise!). Two favorite franchises, though. So for Best Visual Experience 2016 I really have only two choices, Rogue One and Game of Thrones. Rogue One is a visually stunning movie, no doubt; Game of Thrones likewise, but both had (IMO) flawed scripts.. oh, not to forget I did actually plow through Netflix hit series Stranger Things this year as well. Oh wow, it's a 2016 series, I thought it was 2015. Cool. But was it objectively better than...oh right can't be objective. So few choices, yet so difficult! And pointless, of course. "The best movie of 2016, based on the one film I've seen, is...." According to Rotten Tomatoes, the best movie of 2016 is Zootopia. I believe my boys have seen it. Looking at that website's list makes me want to watch a few of them, though. Hell or High Water, for example. If only movies lasted five minutes. I'll stop rambling and get on with it. I'll give the award out of loyalty to Rogue One.
BEST VIDEO GAME OF 2016.
BEST AURAL EXPERIENCE OF 2016.
This is the big one for me. I'm a geek but I'm even more a metalhead, hopelessly devoted to its crushing epicness of epicality. Rawr. Throughout the year I've been listening to much / too much - but far from everything - and given each album released in 2016 a score, slowly building up a Best Of list that actually counts 77 albums at the moment (I still have five or six 2016 albums I haven't listened to enough, including the year's absolutely biggest release, Metallica's Hardwired...to Self-destruct). When you see it this way, it is pretty nerdy. Without further ado, here are my top fifteen picks of the year. And with that, I wish you all a nice last week of the year. To prove I'm not narrow-minded when it comes to music, #13 is actually an Italian symphonic prog rock band :-D
14. INSOMNIUM, 'Winter's Gate'
13. NUOVA ERA, 'Return to the Castle'
12. VREDEHAMMER, 'Violator'
11. IHSAHN, 'Arktis'
10. SORCIER DES GLACES, 'North'
09. RIPPER, 'Experiment of Existence'
08. MOONSORROW, 'Jumalten Aika'
07. CIRITH GORGOR, 'Visions of Exalted Lucifer'
06. SULPHUR, 'Omens of Doom'
05. DARK TRANQUILLITY, 'Atoma'
04. DESTROYING THE DEVOID, 'Paramnesia'
03. TESTAMENT, 'Brotherhood of the Snake'
02. RANGER, 'Speed & Violence'
01. ABYSSIC, 'A Winter's Tale'