I can't even make jokes about 2016 being awful any more, it's just taken too much and given back nothing but misery, sadness and fear (unless you're a Leicester City/Chicago Cubs fan).
Seriously, fuck this year.
Since the results of the American elections came in, in between bouts of incoherent screaming, I've come up with several pieces of searing, scorching rhetoric, all of which I've deleted because what the hell's the point? I have no real insights to offer, nor any solutions, and many better writers than I am have already laid out everything I wanted to say.
I'm an utterly obscure sci-fi writer and mediocre artist who lives in the arse end of nowhere in northern England, as middle-aged, middle-class and white as they come. All I can offer is support and sympathy and maybe a distraction from the awfulness that is the world.
For what little it's worth, I've made The Salvager free on Amazon from now until the end of the weekend. It's a fun, lightweight sci-fi story about mechs, friendship and a boisterous, bisexual Irish woman in a wheelchair who pilots a mech. It's not going to change the world at all but it might help you forget about it, at least for a couple of hours.
It does feature, as one reviewer noted, a lot of sand. Lots of sand. It's set on a planet that is largely desert, sand is inevitable. If sand is not appealing then this may not be the book for you.
It's normally priced at 3 bucks (or, the way the British currency's been going, about £100 by the time you read this). If you read it and it think it doesn't completely suck, consider donating the money you didn't pay to one of the many American charities set up to help the people who will likely suffer the most under the rule of the racist orange fuckwit with a ferret nailed to his head.
Here's a non exhaustive list of possibilities, there are many others you could choose from:
The Human Rights Campaign
The Trevor Project
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
And even if you don't have the cash to spare, just give someone who looks like they need it some support, even if it's only a smile or a hug (if they want a hug - I'm not suggesting just leaping on people).
On the day after the election, I saw on twitter that it was also the anniversary of the death of Dylan Thomas, the great Welsh writer. These words from one of his most famous poems seem apposite for these dark times:
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Right, I'm going back to my NaNoWriMo novel, I've fallen behind on my word count.
Stay strong, be good to one another,