Welcome to Smugglivus 2016! Throughout this month, we will have guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2016, looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2017, and more.
The decision that 2016 was an awful year, never to be spoken of again, is more or less unanimous.
I thought: instead of lingering on this horror show, let’s look forward. So here’s
Corinne Duyvis’s Very Scientific List of Cool Things Revealed in 2016 But Not Yet Released That She Is Looking Forward To, In No Particular Order:
This cartoon ran from 2011-2013. It was so much fun, with fantastic characters and surprising plots – but amid disappointing toy sales and an erratic airing schedule, it was canceled after two seasons. Then! Surprise! It’s un-canceled! A third season is coming!
After several years of rumors, we’re finally getting concrete information. We have a name, a date (May 2017), an approach (an overarching story set over 13 episodes), confirmation of a gay crew member, and several cast members, including Michelle Yeoh, Anthony Rapp, and Doug Jones. Despite disappointment over Bryan Fuller no longer being involved with the show, I am so on board.
3. Salaam Reads
Announced in February of this year, Salaam Reads is a new children’s lit imprint from Simon & Schuster that focuses on Muslim characters and stories. This is so necessary, and so cool. I’m especially excited about one of their first releases, The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand by Karuna Riazi, described as a MG Jumanji. I plan to keep an eye on anything this imprint puts out, and I’m really glad it exists.
I’m a big X-Men nerd, and it’s exciting that Marvel is shining a spotlight on them come spring 2017. Gritty books can be great, but X-Men has so much potential for fun; I’m glad the books seem to be headed back in that direction. And one of the titles involved is Generation X – be still my heart. I am immensely curious to seeing what happens with these books.
Frances Hardinge’s books are fabulous and mind-blowingly original. She’s gotten a lot of recognition for her work lately, which is fantastic, and I’m particularly excited about a (potential?) four-part TV series being in development. This could be beautiful, weird, and delightfully creepy. I’m all for it.
More TV series adaptations! This time, it’s Runaways – this awesome Marvel team of teens who find out their parents are supervillains. I love these kids, but they haven’t featured as a team in years. (A few of the characters have shown up elsewhere, though.) There was talk of a movie adaptation, which fizzled out. To suddenly hear a series is coming to Hulu is a total surprise, and I can’t wait to see what they do with it.
Amandla Stenberg is taking over YA movie adaptations, and it’s great. They’ve recently wrapped up filming on Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything and have been cast for Angie Thomas’s upcoming The Hate U Give as well as Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds. I, for one, welcome our new overlord.
8. Comics goes YA
I’m into comics. I’m into YA. Obviously, I love when these meet. YA novels featuring Lois Lane and Black Widow are already on shelves, and we’ve seen announcements for a range of other books this year. On the Marvel front, there’s Shannon & Dean Hale tackling Captain Marvel and Jason Reynolds doing Spider-Man (the Miles version), plus several MG novels. On the DC front, several YAs were announced at once last March—we can expect to see Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman, Sarah J. Maas’s Catwoman, Marie Lu’s Batman, and Matt de la Peña’s Superman hitting shelves over the next few years. I’m particularly excited about Reynolds’s Spider-Man, Lu’s Batman, and de la Peña’s Superman, but all of these should prove to be great.
9. YA goes Comics
A range of adult SF novelists have already successfully entered superhero comics in recent years – Marjorie Liu, G. Willow Wilson, Genevieve Valentine, and others, with Saladin Ahmed recently announced to write the upcoming Black Bolt solo series. Several YA authors are also taking the reins on comics titles soon. Margaret Stohl was announced to take over the Captain Marvel comic, while more recently, Gabby Rivera was announced as the writer for a new AmericaChavez solo title. I found America to be a super entertaining and intriguing character in Young Avengers and Ultimates, and from the sounds of it, Rivera is a great pick. Looking forward to it!
10. Autistic #ownvoices
This hashtag is used to describe books featuring marginalized protagonists written by an author from that same marginalized group. As of right now, there are only three children’s novels from major publishers which feature #ownvoices autistic protagonists: Lyn Miller-Lachmann’s Rogue, Zack Stentz’s Colin Fischer, and my own On the Edge of Gone. That’s not very many. But do you know what I found out this year? In the first half of 2017 alone, that number will be doubled. Sally Pla’s The Someday Birds, Jen Wilde’s Queens of Geek, and Rachael Lucas’s The State of Grace are joining the club. I am really excited to have more autistic voices telling autistic stories, and I hope it bodes well for the future.