To quote myself:

A favorite cover from July 2017.
A favorite cover from July 2017.
There was a lot to lament in 2017. In the thick of it, amid the flood of terrible news and terrible new "truths" shit out by our current president in stinking, diarrhetic Twitter chunks, the year felt long and treacherous, but also seemed to speed by so overwhelmingly fast that we hardly had a chance to catch our breaths and appreciate the things we love and the things that give us hope.
The good news is that shitstorms tend to be the source of fruitful creativity, and as the Stranger was reporting on all the stank (and shaking our heads at all the other fucked up splatters that happened that we didn't have time to report on), we were also putting out some truly fantastic writing. Lots of it. So much, in fact, that you might (probably) have missed some great stories.

Because we read each other as voraciously as we consume news delivered outside these offices, and we are each others' biggest cheerleaders and fans, this Best of List looks back at some of the Stranger staff's favorite stories to come out of 2017, which range in mood and tone but are consistent in the high standard of quality our readers have come to expect. It's both a way of remembering the year that passed via its stories and news, and a way of reminding ourselves that it wasn't all bad.

You can read Part I (January-April of 2017) here. Our selections from May through August of 2017 are below. Part III will come along soon. Stay tuned...

Mayor Murray’s Tactic of Attacking His Accusers Is Common, But Experts Say It Keeps Survivors of Sexual Abuse Quiet
By Heidi Groover.

From Black Sun to KEXP, Seattle Mourns Soundgarden Frontman Chris Cornell
Steven Hsieh and Sydney Brownstone teamed up to write this story about the waves of grief that washed over the city following Chris Cornell's death.

Light Rail, I Love You But Your Signage Fucking Blows
Rich Smith's clever rant against the terribly placed signs at Seattle's light rail stations.

Inquest Hearing Begins on Police-Involved Shooting of 23-Year-Old Pregnant Muckleshoot Woman
Sydney Brownstone's ongoing coverage of the inquest hearing for Renee Davis started with this first piece.

With Digable Planets and Shabazz Palaces, Ishmael Butler Has One Foot in the Past, and One in the Future
Dave Segal delivers a thoughtful, rather compelling profile of the so cool local.

Cliff Mass and Charles Mudede Debate Climate Change! The Fate of Humanity Hangs in the Balance!
It was a long, drawn-out battle for the ages.

The Wine Shop Alternative: Gas Stations
A Charles Mudede classic, about the best gas stations to find wine (and also some Jesus turning water to wine stuff, too).

Memoirist Claire Dederer Tells All About Telling All
In this rather intriguing and revealing interview, the author of Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning talks to Sean Nelson about sadness, humor, and the question "How Could You Write This?"

Hello, Maggot: Questions for My
Father About the Vietnam War

A Father's Day-fueled piece by Rich Smith, who gets his dad to open up about his life as a helicopter medic during Vietnam.

Baking with Dad
Another Father's Day work, this one a comic by Callan Berry (Police Reports Illustrated) recounting a sweetly amusing memory of his dad.

My First Time Flying Across the Country to Date a Stranger
A Queer Issue piece by Chase Burns about meeting his boyfriend for the first time that's so touching it got a few of us a bit choked up.

Charleena Lyles, Victim of SPD Shooting, Remembered as “Life of the Party”
After police shot pregnant mother Charleena Lyles, Steven Hsieh spoke to her family and friends. “Even if my sister had a knife in her hand, she weighs like nothing, even if she’s soaking wet,” said Lyles’ older sister Monika Williams.

The Dark Colonial History Trapped in Amazon's Spheres
Charles Mudede offers some history on Amazon’s balls, in only the way Mudede can.

Dissent: The Case For Nikkita Oliver
Even though the Stranger officially endorsed Cary Moon, there were some notes of dissent from news staffers Sydney Brownstone, Heidi Groover, Steven Hsieh and (former) Ana Sofia Knauf.

The Incest Diary Afflicted Me with as Much Trauma as the Written Word Can Transfer from One Body to Another
This review by Rich Smith is the reason you read reviews by Rich Smith, no matter what he's reviewing.

Please Applaud Me for Celebrating This Sandwich on the Internet
In which Sydney Brownstone waxes poetic on a fantastic sandwich, as stylistically inspired by a viral Instagram post.

Everything That's Wrong About The Atlantic's Prog-Rock Diss
An immortal takedown of an Atlantic "music critic" by Dave Segal. Here's how it opens:
"In a recent piece in The Atlantic titled “The Whitest Music Ever,” James Parker trashes prog-rock in what is ostensibly a review of David Weigel’s book, The Show That Never Ends: The Rise and Fall of Prog Rock. (Spoiler alert: Weigel likes prog-rock.) From that atrocious and erroneous headline onward, Parker coughs up an array of misguided assertions to dismiss a genre that is responsible for some of the greatest rock ever. Taste is subjective, obviously, but flawed arguments cannot go unchallenged. Not on my watch."

Are the Socialists Here to Ruin Everything?
From Steven: "Heidi Groover covered the Democratic Socialists of America convention in Chicago like only she could, with observational humor and astute political analysis."

The Problem with Pitchfork’s 200 Best Albums of the—Oh, Jesus Christ. Shut the Fuck Up and Read It Already.
By Sean Nelson

Meet John Smelcer, Native American Literature’s “Living Con Job”
Rich Smith digs into the shady background of a novelist nominated for a 2017 PEN Literary Award, who has built his career on dubious claims.

The Wall Street CEO Who Funds Trump, Bannon, and Breitbart Has Parked His Boat in Seattle's Lake Union
Eli Sanders does some sniffing around the SLU to find out whether or not The Sea Owl, Mercer's $75 million super-yacht, was docked near Gas Works Park.