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With a chain of unexpected revolutions across the Arab world and popular faith in the European Union plummeting, future historians may judge the year 2011 to have been an absolute cracker. Closer to home, Alex Salmond weathered the allegations of corruption surrounding the release of the “Lockerbie Bomber,” to end up leading a majority SNP administration. Alas, all that the SNP would have to offer Scotland was some petty Blairite authoritarianism, including trying to ban freedom of speech at football matches and increase the price of alcohol. Edinburgh was virtually bankrupted by the installation of its new tramlines, necessitating humiliating government intervention, whilst Beijing Opera appeared at the Edinburgh Festival, the National Museum of Scotland reopened, and Giant Pandas arrived at the city zoo.

How quickly the year passed on Tychy:

In January, the short story “Intervention” attacked new police powers to fine people for minor offences. In the following months, Tychy‘s literary criticism blew the dust off old volumes by E.F. Benson and A.J. Alan, whilst in February calling for a critical reassessment of William Fryer Harvey’s fiction. In March, Tychy launched “Mysteries of Pablo,” a detective series based around the adventures of a Police Community Support Officer. In April, Tychy visited the Highlands and reviewed the Highland Wildlife Park. In May, Tychy attended a protest by Edinburgh’s Indignados, whilst in June the website cast a republican eye over an exhibition of contemporary art devoted to the Queen.

(“Pee-Pod,” January.)

In July, the short story “The Little Fascist” satirised the ongoing bourgeois fixation with “the fascist threat.” In August, the website reviewed almost fifty shows at the Edinburgh fringe, perhaps being most impressed by Murray Watts’ dramas “Happiness” and “First Light.” By September, the website finally got around to reviewing the new National Museum of Scotland. In October, Tychy made a leftist case for hydraulic fracturing, whilst in November the website submitted some “reasonable alternatives” to the Local Development Plan, the more serious suggestions concerned with easing the present housing shortage. In December, the short stories “Invincible” and “Interview with Tian Tian and Yang Guang” welcomed the pandas to Edinburgh.

Overall, the website was distracted in its mission over 2011, delivering only a handful of decent short stories and getting bogged down in protracted lit crit projects. In the future, there will be more short stories and shorter book reviews. For 2012, Tychy will launch a literary review series devoted exclusively to short stories and submit literary criticism about Shirley Jackson and Mario Puzo. Ongoing if flagging projects such as “The Noctes Ambrosianae” and “A Portrait of Algernon Blackwood” still have some potential, and there is certaintly enough material in the files for two further essays about Blackwood. There is additionally a lot more fun to be had with the MANSIZE series.

Thank you for visiting Tychy in 2011 and all the best for 2012!

(“Supermoon,” April.)

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