Program Guide

    Thursday July 14

  1. 8:00 PM    F    Mastering the Puppets. Erik Amundsen, Gwendolyn Clare, John Crowley, Mary Robinette Kowal (leader), Barry N. Malzberg. Catherynne M. Valente uses the phrase "touching the puppets" as critical shorthand for protagonists--and, by extension, stories--interacting with fantastical elements rather than merely coexisting with them. Copious puppet-touching creates an inherently speculative story (e.g. City of Saints and Madmen), but plenty of stories with speculative settings succeed despite leaving the puppets relatively untouched (e.g. Star Wars, in which the droids could be people and the lightsabers could be swords without changing the story at all). What makes those stories work for speculative fiction audiences? What are the advantages and disadvantages to touching the puppets, and what drives an author to go one way or the other?
  2. 8:00 PM    G    We All Produce, We All Consume. Paul Di Filippo, Gemma Files, Robert Killheffer, K.A. Laity (leader), Jamie Todd Rubin. In a 2008 blog post, Leah Bobet connected the dots of increasing media interactivity and increasing independent authorship. Both trends have only escalated in the years since. When every blogger is an author, every commenter is a reviewer, and every work is assumed to be the start of a conversation, how does that change the experience and culture of reading? Was it ever possible to be a passive reader, or are we simply bringing our marginalia and book-flinging out into the light?
  3. 8:00 PM    ME    How to Write for a Living When You Can't Live Off Your Fiction. Elaine Isaak, Alexander Jablokov, Barbara Krasnoff (leader), John Edward Lawson, Terry McGarry. You've just been laid off from your staff job, you can't live on the royalties from your fiction writing, and your significant other has taken a cut in pay. How do you pay the rent? Well, you can find freelance work writing articles, white papers, reviews, blogs, and other non-SFnal stuff. Despite today's lean journalistic market, it's still possible to make a living writing, editing, and/or publishing. Let's talk about where and how you can sell yourself as a professional writer, whether blogging can be done for a living, and how else you can use your talent to keep the wolf from the door. Bring whatever ideas, sources, and contacts you have.
  4. 8:00 PM    RI    Animal or Alien: How Body Structure Shapes Mind. Helen Collins. At Helen Collins's talk "Matter Over Mind" at Readercon 20, she contended that cognition is an effect of the physical structure of the host that embodies it. This talk will expand on that idea, focusing on anatomy and physiology rather than genes. Collins's approach melds hard science and anthropology, specifically the structure of the physical "body" in relation to the particular intelligence/consciousness that it generates. She will also discuss ways that the body/mind connection is treated by SF authors such as Slonczewski, Emshwiller, Miéville, Benford, and Kafka.
  5. 8:00 PM    NH    Reading. Barry B. Longyear. Longyear reads from The Night, the first book in the Confessions of a Confederate Vampire series.
  6. 8:00 PM    VT    Reading. Eileen Gunn. Gunn reads an untitled story about Samuel Clemens.
  7. 8:30 PM    VT    Reading. Peter Dubé. Dubé reads from a work not yet selected.
  8. 9:00 PM    F    The Influence of the Scott Meredith Literary Agency. David G. Hartwell (leader), Barry N. Malzberg, Eric M. Van, Gordon Van Gelder. Scott Meredith (1923-1993) founded a literary agency which is arguably one of the most influential--and controversial--in all of modern SF. Russell Galen, Barry Malzberg, and Richard Curtis among many others worked there, and clients at one time or another included Poul Anderson, J.G. Ballard, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Robert Silverberg, and Timothy Zahn. Can a literary agency really shape the development of a genre? What is the actual effect of the Meredith agency on the last half-century or so of science fiction and fantasy?
  9. 9:00 PM    ME    Bookaholics Anonymous. Michael Dirda, Walter H. Hunt (leader), Jennifer Pelland. The most controversial of all 12-step groups. Despite the appearance of self-approbation, despite the formal public proclamations by members that they find their behavior humiliating and intend to change it, this group, in fact, is alleged to secretly encourage its members to succumb to their addictions. The shame, in other words, is a sham. Within the subtext of the members' pathetic testimony, it is claimed, all the worst vices are covertly endorsed: book-buying, book-hoarding, book-stacking, book-sniffing, even book-reading. Could this be true? Come testify yourself! We especially encourage anyone new to Readercon to attend.
  10. 9:00 PM    RI    Speculative Poetry Workshop. Mike Allen. This is a basic workshop that challenges participants to write and share poems in various forms dealing with SF, fantasy, horror, and related topics.
  11. 9:00 PM    NH    Reading. Scott Edelman. Edelman reads "Things That Never Happened," a short story to be published in Postscripts magazine.
  12. 9:00 PM    VT    Reading. John Kessel. Kessel reads from a new novel tentatively entitled Sunlight or Rock, set in the same universe as the Lunar Quartet stories about the Society of Cousins.
  13. 9:30 PM    NH    Reading. C.S.E. Cooney. Cooney reads from Jack o' the Hills.
  14. 9:30 PM    VT    Reading. Michael Cisco. Cisco reads from a work not yet selected.
  15. Friday July 15

  16. 11:00 AM    F    The Illustrated Novel. Gwendolyn Clare, Ron Drummond, Eric Schaller (leader), JoSelle Vanderhooft, Diane Weinstein. Hollywood notwithstanding, many of us still see Alice as John Tenniel drew her, or Dorothy in Denslow's illustrations. How do illustrations within the text change or enrich the experience of reading a novel? While they remain common today in young adult books--including those of authors with broad adult appeal, like Gaiman, Westerfeld, or Miéville--are we missing something from the days of George Cruikshank or Phiz? Or has the graphic novel entirely supplanted the illustrated books of an earlier era?
  17. 11:00 AM    G    Rudyard Kipling, Fantasist and Modernist. Gardner Dozois, Gregory Feeley, Theodora Goss, Darrell Schweitzer, Sonya Taaffe (leader). When Doris Lessing was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2007, many genre readers celebrated the recognition of a writer who had at least dabbled unapologetically in SF. But in fact the seventh Nobel Prize ever awarded, in 1907, went to Rudyard Kipling, who not only published SF (most notably "With the Night Mail") but also fantasy, ghost, and horror stories, and whose influence remains apparent today in writers as diverse as Mike Resnick and Neil Gaiman. Poul Anderson once wrote, "His influence pervades modern science fiction and fantasy writing," and John W. Campbell was said to have regarded him as the first modern SF writer. Did Kipling really help shape the modern genre, and is his influence still relevant?
  18. 11:00 AM    ME    The Readercon Classic Nonfiction Book Club: The Jewel-Hinged Jaw. Matthew Cheney, Elizabeth Hand (leader), David G. Hartwell, Don Keller, Barry N. Malzberg. Matthew Cheney's introduction to the most recent edition of Samuel R. Delany's The Jewel-Hinged Jaw (Wesleyan University Press, 2009) makes the case for the importance of this critical work: "Since 1977, when The Jewel-Hinged Jaw appeared, it has been impossible for anyone writing seriously about the nature and purpose of science fiction to ignore the ideas of Samuel Delany. Disagree with them, yes. Take a different approach, certainly. But the ideas first expressed in The Jewel-Hinged Jaw and then refined and reiterated and revised in numerous other books [including his novels] are ideas that have so powerfully affected how science fiction has been discussed since 1977 that any analysis that does not at least acknowledge their premises is destined to be both inaccurate and irrelevant."
  19. 11:00 AM    RI    What Writing Workshops Do and Don't Offer. Leah Bobet, Michael J. DeLuca, Eileen Gunn, Barry B. Longyear, Geoff Ryman, Kenneth Schneyer (leader). Clarion, Clarion West, Clarion South, and Odyssey all follow the so-called "Milford Method" of roundtable critique. Many graduates of these programs praise the benefits of this method, but it may not be right for everyone. This panel will discuss not only the things the Milford Method does teach, but the things it really cannot teach, and the sorts of personalities who are likely (or unlikely) to benefit from it.
  20. 11:00 AM    NH    Reading. Caitlín R. Kiernan. Kiernan reads from The Drowning Girl: A Memoir.
  21. 11:00 AM    VT    Reading. Gemma Files. Files reads from a work not yet selected.
  22. 11:00 AM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Ellen Klages, Mary Robinette Kowal.
  23. 11:00 AM    E    Autographs. Peter Dubé, Toni L.P. Kelner.
  24. 11:30 AM    VT    Reading. D. Harlan Wilson. Wilson reads from the new novel Codename Prague (Raw Dog Screaming Press 2011), the second installment in a scikungfi trilogy.
  25. 12:00 PM    F    Plausible Miracles and Eucatastrophe. Chesya Burke, John Crowley, John Kessel (leader), James Morrow, Graham Sleight. Mark Twain instructed other writers that "the personages of a tale shall confine themselves to possibilities and let miracles alone; or, if they venture a miracle, the author must so plausibly set it forth as to make it look possible and reasonable." This rule can be generalized: the more favorable to the characters an unexpected plot turn is, the better it needs to be set up (see the end of James Morrow's Only Begotten Daughter). But what about eucatastrophe, where the power of a happy ending comes from its unexpectedness? Is the eucatastrophe in fact a form of plausible miracle where the plausibility derives not from things the author has put in the text, but from beliefs the reader already had, perhaps without knowing it? Or is there another explanation?
  26. 12:00 PM    G    And They Lived Happily Ever After, Until They Died: Retelling Russian Folktales. Patricia McKillip, Gayle Surrette (leader). Ekaterina Sedia's The Secret History of Moscow, Catherynne M. Valente's Deathless, Patricia McKillip's In the Forests of Serre... it appears we're in the middle of a renewed interest in fairy tale retellings--and specifically, postmodern, genre-challenging fairy tale retellings--based in the folklore of Russia. Is there a specific element to Russian stories that makes them particularly fit for contemporary adaptation?
  27. 12:00 PM    ME    The Readercon Classic Fiction Book Club: Howl's Moving Castle. C.S.E. Cooney, Gemma Files, Theodora Goss, Kelly Link (leader), Sonya Taaffe. Diana Wynne Jones's death earlier this year gave rise to a seemingly endless series of blog posts extolling her many books. Howl's Moving Castle, first published in 1986, was one of the most frequently mentioned titles. This powerful story of magic, riddles, and romance is packed with allegory, clever subversions of common fantasy tropes, metafictional humor, and meditations on the nature of change. Such a work is necessarily slippery, but perhaps 25 years of analysis will help us get a grip on it.
  28. 12:00 PM    RI    Writing Within Constraints. Scott Edelman, Elaine Isaak, Michael Aondo-verr Kombol, John Langan, David Malki ! (leader), Madeleine Robins. Whether it's writing on a theme for an anthology, writing on assignment or commission, or simply imposing rules to jump-start your creativity, writing within constraints can be an incredible way to defeat "the tyranny of the blank page." We discuss the rewards and challenges of starting with someone else's idea.
  29. 12:00 PM    NH    Reading. Kit Reed. Reed reads from "Wherein We Enter the Museum."
  30. 12:00 PM    VT    Reading. Darrell Schweitzer. Schweitzer reads from An American Story.
  31. 12:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Ellen Datlow, Peter Straub.
  32. 12:00 PM    E    Autographs. John Joseph Adams, Kathryn Cramer, David G. Hartwell.
  33. 12:30 PM    NH    Reading. Leah Bobet. Bobet reads from Above, a modern YA fantasy forthcoming from Arthur A. Levine Books.
  34. 12:30 PM    VT    Reading. Ellen Klages. Klages reads from a work not yet selected.
  35. 1:00 PM    F    Well, We Know Where We're Going: The Pseudo-Religiosity of Teleological SF. John Crowley, Barry N. Malzberg, James Morrow, Kathryn Morrow, Graham Sleight (leader). The late Charles N. Brown was a great advocate of the idea that science fiction was teleological: even if it didn't predict the future, it told us the kind of direction our species was heading. Books like Stapledon's Last and First Men, Clarke's Childhood's End, and Greg Bear's Blood Music are about that kind of ultimate destiny. But are they also offering a kind of pseudo-religious consolation, a final goal without a God watching over it? When readers seek out science fiction that posits or imagines some kind of final destiny for humanity, are they driven by the same yearning for certainty (even uncomfortable or unhappy certainty) that leads many people to religion?
  36. 1:00 PM    G    Complicating Colonial Encounters. Craig Laurance Gidney, Anil Menon (leader), Robert V.S. Redick, Vandana Singh, JoSelle Vanderhooft. The colonialist narrative of taking over a wealthy new world to fund a decadent old world, while increasingly disparaged, is still prevalent and popular. Scholars Istvan Csicsery-Ronay and John Rieder have both written about science fiction's portrayal of empires; Nalo Hopkinson's anthology So Long Been Dreaming sought to expand the ways SF writers discuss colonial excursions; and there is substantial ongoing discussion of colonialism and anti-colonialism in steampunk. How can we as writers and readers complicate our understanding of narratives surrounding invasion, conflict, and territory before setting out to write another tale of humans conquering "the final frontier"?
  37. 1:00 PM    ME    The Readercon New Fiction Book Club: Among Others. Suzy Charnas, Gwynne Garfinkle, Greer Gilman, Madeleine Robins (leader), Gary K. Wolfe. Jo Walton's stand-alone contemporary novel Among Others scatters several familiar fantasy concepts--the epistolary diary narrative, the British boarding school, countryside faeries, an evil mother, the magic of twins, and even a hint of Arthuriana--over a battered industrial landscape amid passionate paeans to classic science fiction and fannish community. The resulting tale has an almost slipstreamish unease; though set in the 1970s, it could only have been written in the early 21st century. We will discuss the ways Walton combines and contrasts these very disparate elements as well as the concepts of audience implied by the novel's thorough anchoring in a particular time and place.
  38. 1:00 PM    RI    Microbial Madness. Joan Slonczewski. Do bacteria really eat arsenic? Could plutonium-eating bacteria clean up Japan's reactors? Do mutant bacteria help the Japanese eat sushi? How does "fecal transplant" save lives (and do you really want to know)? How do ingested microbes cause schizophrenia? And much more!
  39. 1:00 PM    NH    Reading. Harold Torger Vedeler. Vedeler reads from Gay, Bejeweled Nazi Bikers of Gor.
  40. 1:00 PM    VT    Reading. Ellen Brody. Brody reads from volume 1 of The Autobiography of Mark Twain.
  41. 1:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Eileen Gunn, Geoff Ryman.
  42. 1:00 PM    E    Autographs. Maria Dahvana Headley, Rick Wilber.
  43. 1:30 PM    NH    Reading. Theodora Goss. Goss reads a new or recently published story.
  44. 1:30 PM    VT    Reading. Alexander Jablokov. Jablokov reads from The Comfort of Strangers.
  45. 2:00 PM    F    Surrealism and Strong Emotion. Michael Cisco (leader), Peter Dubé, Eileen Gunn, Caitlín R. Kiernan, John Edward Lawson. Surrealism in speculative fiction has been strongly associated with horror, humor, and slipstream. All these subgenres are defined by the way they make the reader feel (scared, amused, "very strange") rather than by subject matter or narrative structure. What is it about the cognitive dissonance of surrealism that makes it so useful for evoking these very different emotions? How well does it play with another important spec fic–related emotion, the sense of wonder? Is there an emotion more directly related to surrealism--perhaps bemusement, startlement, or confusion--that could itself be considered a defining characteristic of a subgenre, or is surrealism only useful in the service of another concept?
  46. 2:00 PM    G    No Childhood Left Behind. Leah Bobet, Chris Moriarty, Sonya Taaffe (leader), JoSelle Vanderhooft, Rick Wilber. As YA publishing expands and the internet connects readers from tremendously different backgrounds, it's no longer possible to talk about a "classic" set of formative first reading. How does our collaborative discourse on texts change when we have little in common among our formative reading experiences? And how do we engage with the often problematic heritage of our childhood favorites when no one we want to discuss them with has read them?
  47. 2:00 PM    ME    The Readercon New Nonfiction Book Club: Evaporating Genres. John Clute, F. Brett Cox (leader), David G. Hartwell, Graham Sleight, Peter Straub. Evaporating Genres: Essays on Fantastic Literature, Gary K. Wolfe's collection of eleven linked essays, was described by reviewer Jonathan McCalmont as "a quietly revolutionary piece of methodological advocacy that urges its readers to open their minds and their hearts to the chaos at the heart of genre." Wolfe argues that science fiction, fantasy, and horror are by their nature inherently unstable, evolving, merging with each other and with a wide variety of other fictional traditions, until they eventually "evaporate" into new forms, and that such metamorphoses have been especially volatile over the past few decades. But is there really "chaos at the heart of genre"? And is it true, as Wolfe seems to contend, that without this inherent instability genre fiction may be doomed to self-referentiality and eventual ossification?
  48. 2:00 PM    RI    Still Waiting for My Food Pills: Science in the Kitchen. David G. Shaw. Cooking has always been based on science, but the connection was made explicit with the 1984 publication of Harold McGee's revolutionary On Food and Cooking. Chefs like Ferran Adria and Heston Blumenthal consider their research laboratories to be just as important as their kitchens in the development of new dining experiences, and have embraced the use of hydrocolloids, liquid nitrogen, and other agents to create foods that can only be described as science-fictional. With the recent publication of Modernist Cuisine and the ready availability of immersion circulators, gels, and "meat glue," an ambitious home cook can experiment with methods that would have been out of reach even five years ago. How far can science take us in the kitchen? We've clearly moved beyond "astronaut food," but are some of the more outlandish predictions SF has made about food within reach? We'll look at examples--both old and new--of the extremes to which cooking can be pushed.
  49. 2:00 PM    NH    "Until Forgiveness Comes" group reading. K. Tempest Bradford, Jim Freund, Andrea Hairston, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ellen Kushner, Pan Morigan. A live performance of the radio play based on K. Tempest Bradford's story "Until Forgiveness Comes."
  50. 2:00 PM    VT    Reading. John Langan. Langan reads from a work not yet selected.
  51. 2:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Gemma Files, Terry McGarry.
  52. 2:00 PM    E    Autographs. Mike Allen, David Lunde.
  53. 2:30 PM    VT    Lightspeed Magazine group reading. John Joseph Adams. Editor John Joseph Adams and contributors to Lightspeed read selections from the magazine.
  54. 3:00 PM    F    Whatever Remains, No Matter How Improbable: Horror and the Scientific Method. Gemma Files, Jack M. Haringa, Caitlín R. Kiernan (leader), John Langan, Sarah Langan. What makes The Exorcist (book only) especially terrifying to a science fiction fan is the slow, laborious exhaustion of all rational explanations for the observed phenomenon, leaving demonic possession as the only alternative. The irrationality of horror becomes much more effective when its natural opponent, the scientific worldview and method, is neither dismissed a priori nor treated as a strawman. Beginning with the presumption that science is wrong and that there is inexplicable evil in the world might well provoke these readers' unconscious skepticism; playing by science's rules and reaching that conclusion is thrillingly convincing. What other works have exploited this dynamic? Are there advantages lost when the demonic worldview is not taken for granted but is instead painstakingly established? How do works that do this read to the naturally horror-minded?
  55. 3:00 PM    G    Still in Kansas: SF in Developing Countries. Suzy Charnas, Andrea Hairston, Michael Aondo-verr Kombol (leader), Anil Menon, Geoff Ryman. In her essay "Is Africa Ready for Science Fiction?", Nnedi Okorafor quotes Nigerian filmmaker Tchidi Chikere on what he sees as a rejection of escapism: "Science fiction will come here when it is relevant to the people of Africa. Right now, Africans are bothered about issues of bad leadership, the food crisis in East Africa, refugees in the Congo, militants here in Nigeria... not spacecrafts.... Only stories that explore these everyday realities are considered relevant to us for now." Our panelists discuss the tensions and interactions between apparent escapism and gritty reality in the specific context of SF set and/or written in developing countries.
  56. 3:00 PM    ME    Improv for Writers and Readers. Ellen Klages. If you're out of ideas, or if your inner editor or critic keeps shutting down your muse, get out of your head and into this class. We're going to improvise, play with our imaginations, and rediscover our creativity. We'll explore characters, settings, plot twists, and dialogue, all using simple theater games. Wear comfortable clothing, and come prepared to laugh.
  57. 3:00 PM    RI    Global Climatology for Worldbuilders. Gwendolyn Clare. The major patterns of global climate here on Earth--including atmospheric and ocean currents--can be directly derived from basic physics principles. These patterns, along with the location and shape of continents, let us predict the types of ecosystems found anywhere on the globe. After the talk, we'll brainstorm different ways to alter the global climate system to suit our fictional needs.
  58. 3:00 PM    NH    Reading. Gardner Dozois. Dozois reads from a work not yet selected.
  59. 3:00 PM    VT    Reading. Paul Witcover. Witcover reads from his novel in progress, The Emperor of All Things.
  60. 3:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Jeffrey A. Carver, Robert V.S. Redick.
  61. 3:00 PM    E    Autographs. Ellen Datlow, Samuel R. Delany.
  62. 3:30 PM    VT    Reading. David Boop. Boop reads from Crossed Genre Tales.
  63. 4:00 PM    F    SF as Tragedy. John Clute, Samuel R. Delany, Gardner Dozois, Barry N. Malzberg, Graham Sleight (leader). Gardner Dozois's collection Geodesic Dreams has an epigraph from James Tiptree, Jr.: "Man is an animal whose dreams come true and kill him." In Dozois and Tiptree, protagonists fail--and often die--because of something inherent in their biological or social makeup (cf. "Love is the Plan, the Plan is Death," "The Peacemaker," or "A Kingdom by the Sea"). Where classical ideas of tragedy involve unwise choices, the characters in Tiptree-esque tragic SF ultimately have no choices at all. What other works of speculative fiction do this? How does the science fiction setting accommodate the expansion of the tragic argument? And what makes these bleak stories so appealing?
  64. 4:00 PM    G    Myth, Midrash, and Misappropriation. K. Tempest Bradford (leader), Marilyn "Mattie" Brahen, Jack M. Haringa, Claude Lalumière, Kaaron Warren. From Walter M. Miller and James Blish to Neil Gaiman, S.J. Day, and Greg Van Eekhout, writers have created fiction that draws inspiration from the characters, images, and stories of well-known religions. Of Victor Pelevin's Sacred Book of the Werewolf, Janet Chui wrote, "Now I know what a Buddhist modern fantasy novel looks like," and Kaaron Warren has said her debut horror novel, Slights, was inspired by pictures in a Hare Krishna text. What are the appeals and challenges of creating fiction from a religious source? Are there dangers of appropriation? Can adaptation start to look like fanfic? How do authors incorporate their own ideas and modernize ancient texts without offending readers of the faith?
  65. 4:00 PM    ME    Vocal Performance for Writers. Jim Freund, Andrea Hairston, Mary Robinette Kowal, Pan Morigan. This two-hour workshop will cover a wide variety of tips and techniques for writers who read aloud, speak on panels, record podcasts, and otherwise use their voices. Full-body warm-ups will help free your voice for vocal exercises. We'll also share suggestions for choosing a text, coping with different kinds of amplification and recording equipment, and preparing for interviews and Q&As.
  66. 4:00 PM    RI    African Graphic Novels. Geoff Ryman. The francophone tradition of graphic novels has been picked up in by Africans living in Africa, Europe, and elsewhere. Some very fine work has come out of Sénégal, Gabon, and Côte d'Ivoire, some of it phenomenally popular in France. Geoff Ryman reviews some of the more notable works in this now established tradition.
  67. 4:00 PM    NH    Mythic Delirium/Goblin Fruit group reading. Mike Allen, C.S.E. Cooney, Theodora Goss, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Shira Lipkin, Sonya Taaffe. Contributors to the Mythic Delirium and Goblin Fruit speculative poetry magazines read selections from their work.
  68. 4:00 PM    VT    Reading. Jedediah Berry, Robert V.S. Redick. Berry reads from The Something Tree, a work in progress. Redick reads from The Night of the Swarm, the final book in the Chathrand Voyage epic fantasy series.
  69. 4:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Leigh Grossman, Tom Purdom.
  70. 4:00 PM    E    Autographs. John Crowley, Howard Waldrop.
  71. 4:30 PM    VT    Reading. F. Brett Cox. Cox reads a new short story.
  72. 5:00 PM    F    Feeling Very Post-Slipstream. Leah Bobet, Chris N. Brown (leader), F. Brett Cox, Paul Di Filippo, Elizabeth Hand. Bruce Sterling's definition of "slipstream" was based in the experience of living in the (late) 20th century. Now we're in the (early) 21st, and present/near-future-set works like Mira Grant's Feed and William Gibson's Pattern Recognition are starting to evoke a distinctly 21st-century sensibility with frank discussions of fear, anger, religion, security, and ever-present cameras. The only term we have for these books right now is "post-9/11." We can do better. What do we call books that leave you feeling angry, scared, and angry about being scared?
  73. 5:00 PM    G    De Gustibus Est Disputandum When Editing Anthologies. John Joseph Adams, Ellen Datlow, Gardner Dozois (leader), John Kessel, Howard Waldrop. While any anthology has its no-brainer must-include great stories, the anthologist usually needs to flesh it out with selections from a broader pool of merely good stories. When should an editor choose their personal favorites from that pool, giving the anthology more of a coherent flavor but possibly limiting its audience, and when should they make a conscious effort to choose stories that will appeal to a wide variety of readers, so that there is "something for everyone"? How do the rules change when one is editing a themed anthology or a Year's Best, or pitching to a larger or smaller publisher?
  74. 5:00 PM    RI    Housing the Fable. John Clute. Unlike animal fantasies or talking animal stories, beast fables need to be housed in some sort of polder, some secure land immunized from full exposure to the world. John Clute will discuss the interfaces between that land and the world, using illustrations from Thornton W. Burgess's Bowser the Hound, with reference to Carl Barks's dogface characters in the Donald Duck comics and elsewhere, and Bryan Talbot's Grandville.
  75. 5:00 PM    NH    Steam-powered I & II group reading. Mike Allen, C.S.E. Cooney, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Matthew Kressel, Shira Lipkin, Sonya Taaffe, JoSelle Vanderhooft. Contributors to Steam-powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories and Steam-powered II: More Lesbian Steampunk Stories read selections from their work.
  76. 5:00 PM    VT    Reading. Greer Gilman. Gilman reads from a work in progress.
  77. 5:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. David Malki !, Delia Sherman.
  78. 5:00 PM    E    Autographs. Patricia McKillip, Gary K. Wolfe.
  79. 5:30 PM    VT    Reading. Ben Loory. Loory reads a few short fables and tales from Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day, forthcoming from Penguin.
  80. 6:00 PM    F    The Dissonant Power of Alternative Voicing. Glenn Grant, Paul Levinson, Kate Nepveu, Kenneth Schneyer (leader), Howard Waldrop. At Readercon 21, there was a panel discussion on the use of documentary text in fiction to lend "authority" to the voice. It can be argued, however, that alternative voicing strategies, particularly the use of documents, framing narratives, etc., are powerful precisely because they are not authoritative. Readers know that they are reading an incomplete version of the document, and consequently are led to imagine what is not being said. What lurks in the interstices between texts? What is this particular document-writer failing to say, or deliberately omitting? This panel will explore the use of dissonance occasioned by indirect voicing to make the reader a fuller, more active participant in the process of creating the fiction.
  81. 6:00 PM    G    There's a Robot in My Bestiary!. Erik Amundsen, John Benson, David Boop, Jeffrey A. Carver (leader), Michael Swanwick. Elves and dwarves are out; golems and garuda are in. The inhabitants of early 21st-century fantasy are distinctly different from their 20th- and 19th-century predecessors. Conscious automatons, cyborgs and chimerae, and interstellar travelers in fantasy settings suggest a quiet wave of emigration from SFlandia. What makes these characters so resonant for today's readers? What are their unique contributions to fantasy narratives, and what struggles do they face in their new homes?
  82. 6:00 PM    ME    Walking Through Mayhem. Madeleine Robins. Ever try to write a fight scene only to become hopelessly tangled in who-did-what-to-whom and wait-where-did-his-foot-go? Using techniques from stage combat choreography, Madeleine Robins will show you how to create a fight scene without accidentally dismembering the good guys or leaving body parts unaccounted for.
  83. 6:00 PM    RI    My Father, Murray Leinster. Billee J. Stallings. Under the pen name Murray Leinster, Will F. Jenkins was the original "Dean of Science Fiction." He was also as one of the most versatile and prolific writers of the twentieth century, writing more than 1500 short stories and 100 books. Billee Stallings, his daughter and biographer, will discuss his astonishing 66-year career and share anecdotes such as the time her father buried a pipe bomb in the garden and how a conversation with his family pharmacist resulted in his story "Doomsday Deferred."
  84. 6:00 PM    NH    Teeth group reading. Steve Berman, Suzy Charnas, Ellen Datlow, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, Kaaron Warren. Contributors to Teeth, a YA vampire anthology, read selections from their work.
  85. 6:00 PM    VT    Reading. Matthew Cheney. Cheney reads from a new short story.
  86. 6:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Steven Popkes, Cecilia Tan.
  87. 6:00 PM    E    Autographs. Gardner Dozois, Andrea Hairston.
  88. 6:30 PM    VT    Reading. James Morrow. Morrow reads from Galapagos Regained, a novel in progress.
  89. 7:00 PM    F    "I'm (No Longer) Shocked, Shocked!". Gemma Files, Jim Freund (leader), Charles Platt, Joan Slonczewski, Paul Tremblay. There are many good reasons for writers to try to shock readers: to make them reconsider ideas, to evoke or heighten strong emotions, to add to the atmosphere of a horror novel or dystopia. The drawback is that the daring and transgressive can almost overnight turn into the boring or bewildering. When writers actively try to shock contemporary readers, are they also putting an expiration date on their work? Or are there shocks that can transcend the trends of the moment?
  90. 7:00 PM    G    Is "The Death of the Author" Dying?. K. Tempest Bradford, Jack M. Haringa, John Kessel, Eugene Mirabelli, Graham Sleight (leader). It's long been accepted wisdom in literary criticism that the meaning intended by an author is not of prime relevance to the job of reading or interpretation; to think otherwise is to commit the "intentional fallacy." But today's authors have bold new technological avenues to tell us what their story is supposed to mean (e.g. Anne Rice's famous "You're reading it wrong" pronouncement). Will texts and critical reading necessarily suffer as authors and readers conduct meta-conversations in blogs and on Facebook? Is an author's blog post telling us how to read their book really different from an introduction or afterword? And what can we learn about the intentional fallacy by observing the authors who say it's not a fallacy at all?
  91. 7:00 PM    ME    The Quest and the Rest. Greer Gilman, M.C.A. Hogarth, Kelly Link, Kathryn Morrow, Robert V.S. Redick, Madeleine Robins (leader). In a 1951 letter, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote that Samwise and Rosie's romance, though understated, "is absolutely essential to... the relation of ordinary life (breathing, eating, working, begetting) and quests, sacrifice, causes." Works as varied as Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan series, Stephen King's Lisey's Story, and Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate novels overtly interweave speculative elements with themes such as love, marriage, parenthood, and holding down a steady job. Does the mundanity of responsible adulthood interfere with escapism, or are readers thrilled to have protagonists they can identify with? How do different authors and narratives handle the tension between the intimate and ordinary and the vast and mysterious?
  92. 7:00 PM    RI    True Stuff from Old Books. David Malki !. David Malki ! of Wondermark presents a slide show of fascinating, forgotten articles unearthed from Victorian-era newspapers and magazines. A man breathes fire! A steam-powered flying machine attempts its first flight! Inventors and adventurers dream big, and often die! And human nature remains unchanged through the ages.
  93. 7:00 PM    NH    Reading. Ellen Kushner. Kushner reads a short story.
  94. 7:00 PM    VT    Reading. Vinnie Tesla. Tesla reads from The Erotofluidic Age.
  95. 7:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Alison Sinclair, JoSelle Vanderhooft.
  96. 7:00 PM    E    Autographs. David Boop, Chesya Burke.
  97. 7:30 PM    NH    Reading. Michael Swanwick. Swanwick reads from The Pearls of Byzantium.
  98. 7:30 PM    VT    Reading. Matthew Kressel. Kressel reads a new short story.
  99. 8:00 PM    F    Tom Disch: SF Writer in Spite of Himself. John Clute, John Crowley (leader), Samuel R. Delany, Gregory Feeley, Charles Platt, Henry Wessells. We examine the career of Tom Disch, who wrote some of the classics of SF (Camp Concentration, On Wings of Song, 334) before famously disavowing the entire field in 1998. In the Boston Review, John Crowley wrote, "The science-fiction label was one that Disch neither accepted entirely nor tried to leave behind... The tension evident within Tom Disch between delight in destruction (including self-destruction) and a weird tenderness toward the weak and the foolish (including himself), gave great power and poignance to his best work in fiction." In addition to Disch's powerful SF, we will discuss his forays into suspense (The M.D., The Businessman), children's literature (The Brave Little Toaster), philosophical romances (The Word of God), and of course his poetry.
  100. 8:00 PM    G    Traditional Categories Are Melting. Leah Bobet, Kit Reed, Delia Sherman (leader), Cecilia Tan, Vinnie Tesla. Henry Jenkins has published a book called Convergence Culture, Gary Wolfe's most recent essay collection is titled Evaporating Genres, and Jim Woodring recently wrote that "we are living in a transitional period where traditional categories are melting, blending together. Boundaries everywhere are being dissolved.... The blurring of the line between the drawn image, the written word, the video and the game is disturbing, but nothing can stop it." Is the melting of categories a new phenomenon? What are the perils and pleasures of blurred lines? Who is threatened, and who benefits?
  101. 8:00 PM    ME    Dybbuks, Golems, Demons, Oy Vey!: Jewish Mythology and Folklore in Speculative Fiction. Steve Berman, Barbara Krasnoff, Matthew Kressel (leader), Shira Lipkin, Chris Moriarty, Faye Ringel. From Rabbi Loew's golem of Prague to Peter Beagle's dybbuk of Brooklyn, the literature of Jewish supernatural and fantastic has been a long and rich one. In Jane Yolen's The Devil's Arithmetic and Lisa Goldstein's The Red Magician, the authors use magic and myth to comment on the horrors of the Holocaust and the meaning of tradition. In Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union, in alternate-history Alaska, a heroin junkie might be the long-awaited Messiah. We'll discuss the stories of Rachel Pollack, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Lavie Tidhar, Neil Gaiman, Sonya Taaffe and other writers of Jewish-themed fiction. What is it about Jewish stories of demons, golems, dybbuks and angels, many of them non-canonical, that appeals to writers of speculative fiction? What obscure Jewish myths, like the gargantuan bird Ziz or the minuscule stone-cutting worm Shamir, have yet to be mined (pun intended)?
  102. 8:00 PM    RI    Lost Myths. Claude Lalumière. Claude Lalumière performs a version of his Lost Myths show.
  103. 8:00 PM    NH    Reading. Geoff Ryman. Ryman reads from his collection Paradise Tales.
  104. 8:00 PM    VT    Reading. Elizabeth Hand. Hand reads from the forthcoming Rimbaud novel Radiant Days.
  105. 8:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Billee J. Stallings, Michael Swanwick.
  106. 8:00 PM    E    Autographs. Caitlín R. Kiernan, John Langan.
  107. 8:30 PM    VT    Reading. Alaya Dawn Johnson. Johnson reads "Their Changing Bodies," a short story published in Subterranean.
  108. 9:00 PM    ME    Capturing the Hidden History of Science Fiction. Eileen Gunn, David G. Hartwell, Fred Lerner, Barry N. Malzberg, Jamie Todd Rubin (leader), Darrell Schweitzer. Science fiction has a rich history. Some of this history has been explored in books like Alva Rogers's A Requiem for Astounding. Some of it has been uncovered in recent biographies like Mark Rich's C.M. Kornbluth and William H. Patterson's Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century. And of course, many of the dialogues by Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg that appear in the SFWA Bulletin contribute to this history. This hidden history teaches us a lot about our genre. What is the best approach to getting those who were there to tell their stories? Who are the right people to talk to? What does such a history contribute to the field? And how much is best left hidden?
  109. 9:00 PM    RI    A Child's Garden of True Norwegian Black Metal. Elizabeth Hand. Hand presents True Norwegian Black Metal 101, touching on how this murderously violent music scene drew its original influences from both J.R.R. Tolkien and the Icelandic sagas.
  110. 9:00 PM    NH    BroadUniverse group reading. Suzy Charnas, Gwendolyn Clare, Helen Collins, M.C.A. Hogarth, Elaine Isaak, K.A. Laity, Jennifer Pelland. Members of BroadUniverse read selections from their work.
  111. 9:00 PM    VT    Reading. Kathryn Cramer. Cramer reads from a work not yet selected.
  112. 9:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Joan Slonczewski, Diane Weinstein.
  113. 9:00 PM    E    Autographs. John Kessel, James Morrow.
  114. 9:30 PM    VT    Reading. Glenn Grant. Grant reads "Flowers of Avalon," a new SF/horror story from the collection Burning Days.
  115. 10:00 PM    F    The Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award. Barry N. Malzberg. The Smith Award, honoring a writer worthy of being rediscovered by today's readers, is selected annually by a panel of judges that includes longtime Readercon stalwart Malzberg. Past winners include Olaf Stapledon, R.A. Lafferty, Edgar Pangborn, Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore, Leigh Brackett, William Hope Hodgson, Daniel F. Galouye, and A. Merritt.
  116. 10:30 PM    F    Meet the Pros(e) Party. . Each writer at the party has selected a short, pithy quotation from his or her own work and is armed with a sheet of 30 printed labels, the quote replicated on each. As attendees mingle and meet each pro, they obtain one of his or her labels, collecting them on the wax paper provided. Atheists, agnostics, and the lazy can leave them in the order they acquire them, resulting in one of at least nine billion Random Prose Poems. Those who believe in the reversal of entropy can rearrange them to make a Statement. Wearing labels as apparel is also popular. The total number of possibilities (linguistic and sartorial) is thought to exceed the number of theobromine molecules in a large Trader Joe's dark chocolate bar multiplied by the number of picoseconds cumulatively spent by the Readercon committee on this convention since its inception.
  117. Saturday July 16

  118. 9:00 AM    F    2011 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award Winner Interviewed. Samuel R. Delany. Samuel R. Delany interviews the winner of this year's Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award.
  119. 10:00 AM    F    Book Inflation. Tom Easton, Leigh Grossman (leader), Walter H. Hunt, Rosemary Kirstein, Howard Waldrop. For decades, SF novels had an average length of about 200 pages, and to write an SF novel of 450 pages was exceptional and A Statement. Now, 450 pages seems average. What are the forces that caused this change? Why, in an era when attention spans are supposedly shorter than ever, are big books the norm? What are the effects of longer books (and longer sequences of books) on our experience as readers? Have writers lost the art of economy? Is there more immersive pleasure in long books than short?
  120. 10:00 AM    G    Paranormal Romance and Otherness. Victoria Janssen (leader), Alaya Dawn Johnson, Toni L.P. Kelner, Kate Nepveu, JoSelle Vanderhooft. In science fiction, aliens are often used to explore aspects of otherness in our own society, such as gender and race. How are the mythical creatures of paranormal romance and urban fantasy being used to explore these same issues? What are the advantages and the pitfalls for writers?
  121. 10:00 AM    ME    The (Speculative) Fiction of Mark Twain. Daniel P. Dern, Gardner Dozois, Eileen Gunn, John Kessel (leader), Geoff Ryman. We will discuss the speculative writings of Memorial Guest of Honor Mark Twain.
  122. 10:00 AM    RI    The Year in Novels. Graham Sleight, Liza Groen Trombi (leader), Paul Witcover, Gary K. Wolfe. We will discuss the speculative novels published since last Readercon.
  123. 10:00 AM    NH    Reading. Peter Straub. Straub reads from "The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine."
  124. 10:00 AM    VT    Reading. Paul Levinson. Levinson reads from Ian's Ions and Eons.
  125. 10:00 AM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. David G. Hartwell, Alexander Jablokov.
  126. 10:00 AM    E    Autographs. Kit Reed, Michael Swanwick.
  127. 10:30 AM    VT    Reading. Margaret Ronald. Ronald reads from a work not yet selected.
  128. 11:00 AM    F    Book Design and Typography in the Digital Era. Neil Clarke, Erin Kissane, Ken Liu, David G. Shaw (leader), Alicia Verlager. Design and typography can heighten the experience of reading a written work; in the case of poetry, typesetting can be crucial to comprehension and interpretation. E-readers can change font sizes with the press of a button, making books far more accessible to people who have visual limitations or just their own ideas about how a book should look. What happens when these worthy goals are at odds? Will the future bring us more flexible book design, much as website design with CSS has become more flexible as browser customization becomes more common? Or will we see the book equivalent of Flash websites where the designer's vision is strictly enforced?
  129. 11:00 AM    G    Are We Not Men?: Human Women and Beast-Men in Paranormal Romance. Stacy Hague-Hill, Victoria Janssen (leader), K.A. Laity, Delia Sherman, Ann Tonsor Zeddies. In a 2009 blog post, Victoria Janssen wrote: "Paranormal romance almost always features the hero as a paranormal being and the heroine as an ordinary human. How does this resonate with gender relations and power relationships in our society? And is it emblematic of women seeing men as Other?" In addition, many of these stories feature women who metaphorically or literally tame men who have non-human aspects, turning them from bestial creatures driven by base urges into civilized, socially acceptable mates. We examine the social context of this narrative and its appeal to paranormal romance readers of various genders.
  130. 11:00 AM    ME    The Fiction of Geoff Ryman. Gardner Dozois, Craig Laurance Gidney (leader), Don Keller, Jacob Weisman. We will discuss the fiction of Guest of Honor Geoff Ryman.
  131. 11:00 AM    RI    The Year in Nonfiction. Jim Freund, Michael Swanwick, Gary K. Wolfe (leader). We will discuss the genre-related nonfiction published since last Readercon.
  132. 11:00 AM    NH    Clarion Class of 2009 group reading. Kenneth Schneyer. Members of the Clarion Class of 2009 read selections from their work.
  133. 11:00 AM    VT    Reading. Marilyn "Mattie" Brahen. Brahen reads from Baby Boy Blue, a mystery.
  134. 11:00 AM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Samuel R. Delany, John Kessel.
  135. 11:00 AM    E    Autographs. Barry B. Longyear, David Malki !.
  136. 11:30 AM    VT    Reading. Scott H. Andrews. Andrews reads from a work not yet selected.
  137. 12:00 PM    F    Mark Twain "Interviewed". Geoff Ryman. Geoff Ryman reads from the works of Memorial Guest of Honor Mark Twain.
  138. 12:00 PM    G    Daughters of the Female Man. Matthew Cheney, Gwendolyn Clare, Elizabeth Hand (leader), Barbara Krasnoff, Chris Moriarty. After the 2008 Tiptree Award was given to The Carhullan Army/Daughters of the North, Cheryl Morgan said, "We've been here before," and noted that she thought many of the books on the honor list expressed "a 1970s view of gender." In the U.S., at least, third-wave feminism is generally said to have begun in the 1990s. Now there's talk of a fourth wave, womanism, and numerous other variations and expansions on the theme. How has speculative fiction kept up with the progress and diversity of feminisms in the world? (Let alone the degree to which related fields like queer theory have grown.) Did the classic texts of the 1970s push the boundaries as far as we've yet been able to take them, or have the last 30 years contributed new and varied approaches to feminist speculative fiction?
  139. 12:00 PM    ME    The Career of Gardner Dozois. Gregory Feeley, Don Keller, Tom Purdom (leader), Gordon Van Gelder. We will discuss the career of Guest of Honor Gardner Dozois.
  140. 12:00 PM    RI    The Year in Short Fiction. Kathryn Cramer, Ellen Datlow, Gardner Dozois (leader). We will discuss the short fiction published since last Readercon.
  141. 12:00 PM    NH    Reading. Andrea Hairston, Pan Morigan. Hairston performs sections of her novel Redwood and Wildfire, and Morigan sings songs based on the book.
  142. 12:00 PM    VT    Reading. Madeleine Robins. Robins reads from The Sleeping Partner, a new Sarah Tolerance novel.
  143. 12:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Paul Levinson, Barry B. Longyear.
  144. 12:00 PM    E    Autographs. Claude Lalumière, Kaaron Warren.
  145. 12:30 PM    VT    Reading. Alison Sinclair. Sinclair reads from Shadowborn.
  146. 1:00 PM    F    Urban (Fantasy) Renewal. Leah Bobet (leader), John Clute, Ellen Datlow, Craig Laurance Gidney, Toni L.P. Kelner. The term "urban fantasy" has encompassed the work of Charles Williams, a contemporary of Tolkien who sometimes situated his fantasy in London or suburban settings as opposed to a pastoral secondary world; the novels and short stories of Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, or Robin Hobb (as Megan Lindholm); the phantasmagoric cities of China Miéville or Jeff VanderMeer; and most recently, the magical noir of Jim Butcher and Charlaine Harris. Is it possible to reclaim "urban fantasy" as useful critical term? Rather than wring our hands at how it no longer means what it did, can we use it to examine what these very different writers have in common, and to what degree they reflect different eras' anxieties around and interests in the urban?
  147. 1:00 PM    G    Remembering Joanna Russ. Kathryn Cramer, Samuel R. Delany, David G. Hartwell (leader). In the wake of the recent death of Joanna Russ, there will be a lot of discussion of the influence of her works and her ideas. Here is a chance to hear a discussion of the woman who had those ideas and did that work, by people who knew her in person. Joanna Russ valued her friends and her friendships, and we on the panel valued her as a friend. We'll tell stories and maybe even read some of her letters.
  148. 1:00 PM    ME    Mind the Gap. Graham Sleight. What links the Doctor Who story "Frontios," Schrödinger's cat, Shirley Jackson's "The Intoxicated," and C.P. Snow's idea of the "Two Cultures"? How is fanfiction like damp-proofing? And what does stage magic owe to Keats? Graham Sleight will attempt to answer these questions while putting forward some ideas about where the fantastic has come from and where it's going.
  149. 1:00 PM    RI    How I Wrote Two Worlds and In Between. Caitlín R. Kiernan. Caitlín R. Kiernan discusses the compilation and editing of her two-part short fiction collection.
  150. 1:00 PM    NH    Reading. Kaaron Warren. Warren reads the short story "All You Can Do Is Breathe," published in Blood and Other Cravings.
  151. 1:00 PM    VT    Reading. Maria Dahvana Headley. Headley reads from Queen Of Kings.
  152. 1:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Victoria Janssen, John Langan.
  153. 1:00 PM    E    Autographs. Cecilia Tan, JoSelle Vanderhooft.
  154. 1:30 PM    NH    Reading. Mary Robinette Kowal. Kowal reads from a work not yet selected.
  155. 1:30 PM    VT    Reading. Gwynne Garfinkle. Garfinkle reads "In Lieu of a Thank You."
  156. 2:00 PM    F    Location as Character. Greer Gilman, Glenn Grant, Elizabeth Hand (leader), Michael Aondo-verr Kombol, Yves Meynard, Madeleine Robins. We can read certain authors whose mere invocation of a previously described location adds a level of depth to the story, such as Lovecraft's Innsmouth or Elizabeth Hand's Kamensic. The idea of fictional locations as characters in their own right is one that has been explored many times before, so let's talk about the techniques and reasons for doing so. The reasons for an author to reuse a locale seem fairly obvious, but are there reasons not to do so? What are some of the challenges in describing a reality-based location powerfully enough to transport a reader? Panelists will discuss their favorite scene-setting techniques, as well as locations in other writers' works that have felt real and solid for them.
  157. 2:00 PM    G    Gender and Sexual Identities in Speculative Fiction. Steve Berman (moderator), Ellen Kushner. With her groundbreaking novel Swordspoint, Ellen Kushner unabashedly offers readers a story of daring men who happen to be anything but heterosexual. Over the years, Kushner has never been shy to explore gender and sexual identity roles in her fiction (both novel-length work and short stories). For her efforts, she has been recognized by the LGBT community, been named a Gaylaxicon Guest of Honor (with her wife, Delia Sherman), and inspired countless readers and a younger generation of authors. Steve Berman conducts an interview and discussion with Kushner about queer characters in speculative fiction, including such topics as the role of author as activist and the change of perception of queer fiction among contemporary readers.
  158. 2:00 PM    ME    Tin Foil Hat Open Mike. Rose Fox (moderator), K.A. Laity, Shira Lipkin, David Malki !, Charles Platt, Eric M. Van, Harold Torger Vedeler. Bring your wildest and wackiest ideas to this open mike session. Each speaker gets five minutes, ruthlessly enforced, to try to convince the audience of an unprovable (and ideally undisprovable) theory related to speculative fiction. The viewers are free to applaud or heckle as they see fit. No handouts, no visual aids, no multimedia, no Q&As, no spitballs, and please, no politics or religion.
  159. 2:00 PM    RI    How We Wrote "The King of Cats, the Queen of Wolves". Mike Allen, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Sonya Taaffe. Mike Allen, Nicole Kornher-Stace, and Sonya Taaffe discuss the collaborative writing of their epic speculative poem.
  160. 2:00 PM    NH    Three Messages and a Warning group reading. Chris N. Brown, Michael J. DeLuca, Gavin J. Grant. Gavin Grant (publisher), Chris N. Brown (editor) and Michael J. DeLuca (translator) read from the anthology Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic, forthcoming from Small Beer Press.
  161. 2:00 PM    VT    Reading. Rick Wilber. Wilber reads "Something Real."
  162. 2:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. John Joseph Adams, M.C.A. Hogarth.
  163. 2:00 PM    E    Autographs. Geoff Ryman, Delia Sherman.
  164. 2:30 PM    NH    Beneath Ceaseless Skies group reading. Scott H. Andrews, Michael J. DeLuca, Matthew Kressel, Margaret Ronald. Contributors to Beneath Ceaseless Skies read selections from their work.
  165. 2:30 PM    VT    Reading. Erik Amundsen. Amundsen reads the short story "Mote," which appeared in Not One of Us #45.
  166. 3:00 PM    F    Cities, Real and Imaginary. Jedediah Berry, Leah Bobet (leader), Lila Garrott, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Anil Menon. Great stories have been set in cities both real and imagined. Does a real city require different writing techniques from an imagined one? How well do you need to know (and research) an actual city? If you're making one up, how do you apply your knowledge of real cities? When can you "cheat"? When do you have to?
  167. 3:00 PM    G    Matrilineal Heritage. Gemma Files, Eileen Gunn, Victoria Janssen, Ellen Kushner (leader), Chris Moriarty. Diana Wynne Jones and Joanna Russ were two of the women who greatly inspired other women to write speculative fiction. Who are their heirs? And who are their heirs inspiring?
  168. 3:00 PM    ME    The Rhysling Award Poetry Slan. Mike Allen (leader), David Lunde (moderator). A "poetry slan," to be confused with "poetry slam," is a poetry reading by SF folks, of course. The slan will be concluded by the presentation of this year's Rhysling Awards.
  169. 3:00 PM    RI    How I Wrote The Door to Lost Pages. Claude Lalumière. Claude Lalumière discusses the writing of his novel about strange goings-on in a magical bookstore.
  170. 3:00 PM    NH    Reading. Eric M. Van. Van reads the first chapter of his novel in progress, Imaginary.
  171. 3:00 PM    VT    Reading. Theodore Krulik. Krulik reads from Roger Zelazny: In His Own Words, a work in progress.
  172. 3:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Gavin J. Grant, Kelly Link.
  173. 3:00 PM    E    Autographs. Paul Levinson, Rick Wilber, D. Harlan Wilson.
  174. 3:30 PM    NH    Reading. Michael J. DeLuca. DeLuca reads from The Eater.
  175. 3:30 PM    VT    Reading. Barbara Krasnoff. Krasnoff reads a short story.
  176. 4:00 PM    F    Gardner Dozois Interviewed. Gardner Dozois, Michael Swanwick (moderator). Michael Swanwick interviews Guest of Honor Gardner Dozois.
  177. 5:00 PM    F    Geoff Ryman Interviewed. Geoff Ryman, Graham Sleight (moderator). Graham Sleight interviews Guest of Honor Geoff Ryman.
  178. 6:00 PM    ME    Science Fiction for Today's Undergraduate. Michael Cisco, Leigh Grossman (leader), Joan Slonczewski, D. Harlan Wilson, Gregory A. Wilson. Works of science fiction show up on college reading lists both for courses focused on SF and those that brush by science fictional ideas on their way to someplace else. Many students are familiar with SF in media, but far fewer have read much written SF. But how much does that matter? How does the experience of teaching SF texts differ from that of teaching other works, if it does at all? Do today's hyper-technologized students experience different challenges--or affinities--than previous generations of students? What SF texts particularly engage them? Our panelists, all of whom have taught SF texts in their classes, will talk about the peculiarities of teaching SF in the undergraduate classroom and relate their experiences, good, bad, and alien.
  179. 6:00 PM    RI    Standing in the Shadows of Lud. Henry Wessells. Henry Wessells will discuss underappreciated speculative novels of the interwar years, including Stella Benson's Living Alone (1919), William M. Timlin's The Ship That Sailed to Mars (1923), Elinor Wylie's The Venetian Glass Nephew (1925), Sylvia Townsend Warner's Lolly Willowes or the Loving Huntsman (1926), and Lord Dunsany's The Curse of the Wise Woman (1933).
  180. 6:00 PM    NH    Reading. M.C.A. Hogarth. Hogarth reads from a work not yet selected.
  181. 6:30 PM    NH    Reading. Paul Tremblay. Tremblay reads from a novel in progress.
  182. 7:00 PM    F    Wold Newton Reading Extravaganza: Special Readercon Edition. Matthew Cheney, Scott Edelman, Theodora Goss, John Kessel, Eric Rosenfield (moderator), Delia Sherman. Eric Rosenfield and Brian Francis Slattery of the Wold Newton Reading Extravaganza Series will be orchestrating an INCREDIBLY FANCY SONIC ART EXPERIMENT consisting of ESTEEMED LITERARY PERSONAGES reading prose, poetry, criticism, and other TEXTUAL OBJECTS in short bursts one after another accompanied by LIVE, IMPROVISED MUSIC. The intent is to create a kind of unbroken MOSAIC of what Readercon FEELS LIKE. Come witness our spectacular SUCCESS and/or FAILURE.
  183. 7:00 PM    ME    The One Right Form of a Story. Judith Berman, Marilyn "Mattie" Brahen, John Langan, Meghan McCarron, Gayle Surrette (leader). Quoth Mark Twain: "There are some books that refuse to be written.... It isn't because the book is not there and worth being written--it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself." Anyone who has adapted a fairy tale for a poem or developed a short story into a novel might disagree, yet many authors have also spent years chasing stories that evade capture until they're approached in just the right way. What makes some stories easygoing and others stubborn? Is the insistence on a story "telling itself" a red herring? And what does "form" really mean here?
  184. 7:00 PM    RI    The Novels of David Stacton, and Why You Can't Find Them, All but One. John Crowley. David Stacton (1925–1968) wrote several narrowly acclaimed books. You have likely not heard of them or him. Why? John Crowley ponders.
  185. 7:00 PM    NH    Reading. Terry McGarry. McGarry reads from Triad.
  186. 7:30 PM    NH    Reading. Jennifer Pelland. Pelland reads from her forthcoming debut novel, Machine.
  187. 8:00 PM    F    The 25th Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Competition. Mike Allen, Craig Shaw Gardner (leader), Mary Robinette Kowal, Yves Meynard, Eric M. Van (moderator). Our traditional evening entertainment, named in memory of the pseudonym and alter ego of Jonathan Herovit of Barry N. Malzberg's Herovit's World. Here's how it works: Ringleader Craig Shaw Gardner reads a passage of unidentified but genuine, published, bad sf, fantasy, or horror prose, which has been truncated in mid-sentence. Each of our panelists then reads an ending for the passage. One ending is the real one; the others are impostors. None of the players knows who wrote any passage other than their own, except for co-ringleader Eric M. Van, who gets to play God as a reward for the truly onerous duty of unearthing these gems. Craig then asks for the audience vote on the authenticity of each passage (recapping each in turn by quoting a pithy phrase or three from them), and the Ace Readercon Joint Census Team counts up each show of hands faster than you can say "Twinkies of Terror." Eric then reveals the truth. Each contestant receives a point for each audience member they fooled, while the audience collectively scores a point for everyone who spots the real answer. As a rule, the audience finishes third or fourth. Warning: the Sturgeon General has determined that this trash is hazardous to your health; i.e., if it hurts to laugh, you're in big trouble.
  188. 8:00 PM    ME    I've Fallen (Behind) and I Can't Get (Caught) Up. Don D'Ammassa, Michael Dirda, Craig Laurance Gidney (leader), Jennifer Pelland, Rick Wilber. In a recent blog post for NPR, Linda Holmes wrote, "Statistically speaking, you will die having missed almost everything.... There are really only two responses if you want to feel like you're well-read, or well-versed in music, or whatever the case may be: culling and surrender." How do you choose among the millions of books that you could be reading? Do you organize your "to read" books or are all your books "to read" books? How useful are book reviews, Amazon recommendations, Goodreads, LibraryThing, etc.? How do you budget your limited reading time? And how do you cope with the knowledge that you will never read everything you want to?
  189. 8:00 PM    RI    The Fiction of Mark Clifton. Barry N. Malzberg. We will discuss the fiction of Mark Clifton, winner of last year's Cordwainer Smith Award.
  190. 8:00 PM    NH    Circlet Press group reading. Cecilia Tan, Vinnie Tesla. Circlet Press authors read selections from their work.
  191. 9:00 PM    ME    There's No Homelike Place. Debra Doyle, Theodora Goss, Victoria Janssen (leader), Tom Purdom, Kaaron Warren. Many portal quest fantasies function by exploiting anxieties surrounding the location of home: either home is to be found beyond the portal, where the nerd/outcast finds their true tribe, or home is to be returned to, enriched by the fantasy land left behind in its favor. However, given that our world is increasingly mobile and rootless, why do we seem to produce so few sympathetic narratives of adventurers who never find home--for whom home is less a destination than a journey? Among all the stories of nomads who extol the traveling life but then either settle down (Sharon Shinn's Samaria books) or are forced to stay in one place (Daniel Abraham's Long Price Quartet), why are there so few where wandering is the happy ending?
  192. 9:00 PM    RI    Podcasts, Professions and Shameless Promotion: Combining Different Worlds to Advance a Career. Gregory A. Wilson. Gregory A. Wilson will discuss how to use various other elements of one's professional life to advance a writing career. His first book was published due to a combination of contacts from various fields; his podcasts, in the meantime, his podcasting got a director interested in his work and eventually led to one of his novels being optioned for a film; and his debate and writing connections led to freelance writing work. Following the talk, we will discuss how carefully combining and deploying different professional connections can be beneficial for long-term writing success.
  193. 9:00 PM    NH    Supernatural Noir group reading. Ellen Datlow, Caitlín R. Kiernan, John Langan, Barry N. Malzberg, Paul Tremblay. Contributors to Supernatural Noir read selections from their work.
  194. 10:00 PM    F    Howard Waldrop Reads. Howard Waldrop. Waldrop reads from a work not yet selected.
  195. Sunday July 17

  196. 10:00 AM    F    Do I Want to Grow Up?. Francesca Forrest, Ellen Klages, Anil Menon, Steven Popkes, Delia Sherman (leader). Early adolescence is, by definition, an in-between state. Kids in their tweens and early teens often want the rights and privileges of adulthood while shying away from responsibility as long as possible. The attraction of growing up and the way it conflicts with the fear of leaving the safety of childhood is frequently addressed in YA literature. What makes some of these stories intensely powerful and others clichéd and soppy? How can the storminess of adolescence be made both realistic and appealing to kids going through a similar transformation?
  197. 10:00 AM    G    Great War Geeks Unite, Part 2. Walter H. Hunt, Victoria Janssen (leader), Barbara Krasnoff, Alison Sinclair, Howard Waldrop. Last year, the Great War geeks filled a room; there were so many that we barely had time to introduce ourselves before the time ran out. This year, let's try to focus on a single topic: What makes the period of World War I so fascinating to speculative fiction writers and readers? Is it because The World Changed or is there some other reason? Let's chat and maybe get some future panel topics out of our discussion.
  198. 10:00 AM    ME    Protecting Literary Legacies. David G. Hartwell, Jeff Hecht, Barry N. Malzberg, B. Diane Martin (leader), Kenneth Schneyer. Intellectual property is a nebulous idea, and the more so as duplication technology advances and digital rights change the definitions of terms like "in print." How can you protect your rights not only for yourself but for your descendants? Our panelists explain the ins and outs of wills, literary executors, copyright statutes, and everything you need to know to make sure your works live on after you're gone.
  199. 10:00 AM    RI    Interstitial Arts Foundation Town Meeting. Mike Allen, K. Tempest Bradford, Ellen Kushner (leader), Shira Lipkin, JoSelle Vanderhooft. The IAF is a group of "Artists Without Borders" who celebrate art that is made in the interstices between genres and categories. It is art that flourishes in the borderlands between different disciplines, mediums, and cultures. The IAF provides border-crossing artists and art scholars a forum and a focus for their efforts. Rather than creating a new genre with new borders, they support the free movement of artists across the borders of their choice. They support the development of a new vocabulary with which to view and critique border-crossing works, and they celebrate the large community of interstitial artists working in North America and around the world. The annual Interstitial Arts Foundation Town Meeting at Readercon is an exciting opportunity to catch up with the IAF and its many supporters, hear about what they're doing to support the interstitial art community in 2011, offer ideas for future projects, and contribute your voice to the development of interstitial art.
  200. 10:00 AM    NH    Reading. Samuel R. Delany. Delany reads from his novel Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders, forthcoming from Magnus Books.
  201. 10:00 AM    VT    Reading. Geary Gravel. Gravel reads from The Mansions of Merlune, set in Jack Vance's Dying Earth.
  202. 10:00 AM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Jacob Weisman, Henry Wessells.
  203. 10:00 AM    E    Autographs. Debra Doyle, Gemma Files, James D. Macdonald.
  204. 10:30 AM    VT    Reading. Beth Bernobich. Bernobich reads from her forthcoming YA fantasy, Fox & Phoenix.
  205. 11:00 AM    F    Borders (If Any) Between Fan Fiction and "Original Fiction". Gwynne Garfinkle, Eileen Gunn, Kate Nepveu, Madeleine Robins, Kenneth Schneyer (leader). Maguire's Wicked books. Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Chabon's The Final Solution. Kessel's "Pride and Prometheus." Resnick's "The Bride of Frankenstein." Reed's "A Woman's Best Friend." Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Heinlein's The Number of the Beast. All of these stories employ characters, settings, and pre-existing plots from other authors, yet these authors (with the possible exception of Chabon) would probably deny that what they have written is "fan fiction." Lee Goldberg has spent thousands of words explaining why his dozens of authorized television tie-in novels are not "fan fiction." Is there an actual, definable difference between fan fiction and original fiction, or this just another instance, like Margaret Atwood's, of authors rejecting a label or genre in order to remain "respectable" or "marketable"?
  206. 11:00 AM    G    The Shirley Jackson Awards. F. Brett Cox, Ellen Datlow, Peter Dubé, Scott Edelman, Gemma Files, Caitlín R. Kiernan, John Langan, Sarah Langan, Victor LaValle (moderator). In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson's writing, and with permission of the author's estate, the Shirley Jackson Awards have been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. Jackson (1916-1965) wrote such classic novels as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, "The Lottery." Her work continues to be a major influence on writers of every kind of fiction, from the most traditional genre offerings to the most innovative literary work. The awards given in her name have been voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors, for the best work published in the calendar year of 2010 in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.
  207. 11:00 AM    ME    Reconsidering Anthologies. Mike Allen, Leah Bobet, David Boop, Robert Killheffer, David Malki ! (leader). Anthologies are incredibly popular for writers to submit to and proudly display their work in--but who reads them? Why don't they sell well? Is there some reason they occupy the same cultural mind-space as foreign films: culturally relevant, but rarely bothered with? David Malki !, editor of last year's bestselling anthology Machine of Death, leads a discussion group about this outcast art form.
  208. 11:00 AM    RI    Absent Friends: Remembering the People We've Lost This Year. Lila Garrott, Geoff Ryman, Sonya Taaffe (leader). In the past year, the field lost authors Diana Wynne Jones, Joanna Russ, James P. Hogan, E.C. Tubb, and Brian Jacques; artists Jim Roslof and Doug Chaffee; publishers April Derleth and Margaret K. McElderry; critics Melissa Mia Hall and Neil Barron; and others. Come join us as we celebrate their lives and work.
  209. 11:00 AM    NH    Reading. Debra Doyle. Doyle reads from The Gates of Time, the next Peter Crossman novel.
  210. 11:00 AM    VT    Reading. JoSelle Vanderhooft. Vanderhooft reads selections from upcoming novels and poetry collections.
  211. 11:00 AM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. John Crowley, Margaret Ronald.
  212. 11:00 AM    E    Autographs. Walter H. Hunt, Alexander Jablokov, Rosemary Kirstein.
  213. 11:30 AM    NH    Reading. James D. Macdonald. Macdonald reads from "Arkham Ambulance," a work in progress.
  214. 11:30 AM    VT    Reading. Shira Lipkin. Lipkin reads from a work not yet selected.
  215. 12:00 PM    F    A Fate Worse than Death: Narrative Treatment of Permanent Physical Harm. John Crowley, Glenn Grant, Mary Robinette Kowal, JoSelle Vanderhooft, Alicia Verlager (leader). Cinderella's sisters cut off parts of their feet. Rapunzel's prince loses his eyes to a thorn bush. But in present-day fantasy, it seems less shocking to kill a character than to significantly and permanently damage their physical form; witness the thousands of deaths in George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series that don't get nearly as much airtime as one character losing a hand. What changed--for storytellers, and for audiences? How does this fit in with our culture's mainstream acceptance of violence alongside an obsession with youth and physical perfection? As medical advances help people survive and thrive after drastic injuries, will there be more stories that explore these topics?
  216. 12:00 PM    G    The (Re)turn of the Screw. Michael Cisco, Caitlín R. Kiernan, John Langan (leader), Geoff Ryman, Henry Wessells. Stories in which it's unclear whether the fantastic element is real or imagined by the characters have been regarded as central to the genre by scholars such as Tsvetan Todorov (who called this mode simply "the fantastic") and Farah Mendlesohn (one of her types of "liminal fantasy"). With novels such as China Miéville's The City and the City, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, and Sarah Waters's The Little Stranger, we seem to be experiencing a resurgence of this classic subgenre. Why now?
  217. 12:00 PM    ME    Attention! How the Brain Decides What to Think About. Eric M. Van. Why do some people have no problem attending to the task at hand until it's done, while others have file drawers full of uncompleted projects? What's going on in the brain when you remember (or forget) to stop and get milk on the way home from work? Which brain chemicals are responsible for which symptoms of AD(H)D? And how is it that neuroscience has missed an entire fundamental memory system? Van presents his model of the brain's attention-selection and switching mechanism (and explains why it appears to be the only such model in existence). As usual, his theory is informed by his own experiences with wild fluctuations in the traits involved, as side effects of his sleep disorder. This time, they lead to some provocative questions about "designer psychopharmacology": which expensive new pharmaceutical, had it been available fifty years ago, might have enabled Tolkien to finish The Silmarillion?
  218. 12:00 PM    RI    How I Wrote Walking the Tree. Kaaron Warren. Kaaron Warren discusses the writing of her novel about communities surrounding an enormous tree inhabited by ghosts.
  219. 12:00 PM    NH    Cambridge Science Fiction Workshop group reading. F. Brett Cox, Elaine Isaak, Alexander Jablokov, Steven Popkes, Kenneth Schneyer. Members of the Cambridge Science Fiction Workshop read selections from their work.
  220. 12:00 PM    VT    Reading. Sonya Taaffe. Taaffe reads "A Wolf in Iceland Is the Child of a Lie."
  221. 12:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Scott Edelman, James Morrow.
  222. 12:00 PM    E    Autographs. Ellen Klages, Alison Sinclair.
  223. 12:30 PM    VT    Reading. Lila Garrott. Garrott reads from 365 Reviews, No Waiting, a one-book-a-day-for-a-year blogging project.
  224. 1:00 PM    F    I Know What I Like: The Artistic Tastes of Characters. Greer Gilman, Geary Gravel, Resa Nelson, Margaret Ronald, Sonya Taaffe (leader). Exploring the artistic tastes of characters can lead to interesting and subtle exposition of personality--or be a ham-fisted shortcut that reinforces stereotypes. Talking about art also expands the setting of a story, as all art is an expression of culture. What are some of the pitfalls of approaching a character from this angle and how do you avoid them?
  225. 1:00 PM    G    Social Darwinism in Science Fictional Thought. Gwendolyn Clare, Kathryn Cramer, Chris Moriarty (leader), James Morrow, Eric Schaller. In a 1978 essay, Philip E. Smith II analyzed a central ideology of Robert Heinlein's fiction: social Darwinism, a belief in "survival of the fittest" within struggles between racial and social groups. Ideas of biological determinism and eugenics informed SF stories throughout the pulp era, from Tarzan to "The Marching Morons," and gained complexity as genetic science revealed new wonders and mysteries. Is social Darwinism still an idea that burrows within SF subtexts? How does contemporary SF explore and exploit ideas of nature and nurture?
  226. 1:00 PM    ME    A Balanced Diet: Science and Fiction. Athena Andreadis. Athena Andreadis will discuss why some knowledge of science beyond just titles from Internet venues is important in SF, and will also visit domains that have not been visited extensively in SF (evolution, speciation, gene essentialism).
  227. 1:00 PM    RI    How I Wrote the Hexslinger Series. Gemma Files. Gemma Files discusses the researching and writing of her queer western apocalyptic trilogy.
  228. 1:00 PM    NH    Reading. Vandana Singh. Singh reads from a work not yet selected.
  229. 1:00 PM    VT    Reading. Ron Drummond. Drummond reads from A Tale or Three.
  230. 1:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald.
  231. 1:00 PM    E    Autographs. Marilyn "Mattie" Brahen, Jeffrey A. Carver.
  232. 1:30 PM    NH    Reading. Henry Wessells. Wessells reads a new story, "The Purple Brilliant."
  233. 1:30 PM    VT    Reading. Walter H. Hunt. Hunt reads from a work not yet selected.
  234. 2:00 PM    F    Why We Love Bad Writing. James D. Macdonald, Anil Menon, Resa Nelson, Eric M. Van, Harold Torger Vedeler (leader). In the Guardian, writer Edward Docx bemoaned the popularity of such writers as Stieg Larsson and insisted on a qualitative difference between "literary" and "genre" fiction. Critic Laura Miller, writing in Salon, disagreed with most of Docx's assumptions, but wondered what it is that makes the books of Larsson or Dan Brown popular when few people would argue that either is a particularly good writer. Miller suggests that clichéd writing allows faster reading than unique language does, and the very ordinariness of the prose in The Da Vinci Code allows an average reader to devour its 400 pages in a few hours. Is this true, and if so, is it the only appeal of "bad writing"? Or are "entertaining writing" and "good writing" two entirely distinct ways of evaluating a book?
  235. 2:00 PM    G    Effing the Ineffable: Writers Who Think Cinematically. John Crowley (leader), Glenn Grant, Andrea Hairston, Maria Dahvana Headley, Ben Loory. Some writers, by their own account, tend to think more visually or cinematically than others. Think of John Steinbeck's Californian landscapes or, in the SF field, George R. Stewart's Earth Abides or William Gibson's Neuromancer. Is it reasonable to think of such writers as not working primarily (or initially) in words? If so, how do they get their particular version of the ineffable down on paper? And how do we experience it as readers?
  236. 2:00 PM    ME    The Languages of the Fantastic. Greer Gilman. Works of fantasy can make unusual narrative demands. Their writers may need to call forth spirits from the vasty deep; or convincingly record a dialogue of dragons; or invent the tongues of angels and of orcs. Greer Gilman looks at the many strategies of style by which illusion is created and upheld: the grammar of the elsewhere and the otherwise. Her essay on "The Languages of the Fantastic" will appear in The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature (edited by Farah Mendlesohn and Edward James).
  237. 2:00 PM    RI    Welcome Back to Bordertown. Alaya Dawn Johnson, Ellen Kushner (leader), Patricia McKillip, Delia Sherman. In 1986, Terri Windling created Bordertown, a shared-world anthology that would change the world of fantasy forever. Instead of the forests and mountains of Tolkien's Middle-Earth, elves and humans met on the seedy streets of a modern city that had sprung up on the border of our world and the newly returned Elfland. She invited emerging young authors like Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, and Ellen Kushner to come play on those streets. Teenage kids like Cory Doctorow and Holly Black devoured those books, and claim them as influences. Many people say the roots of urban fantasy are there. Kushner and Black have just published Welcome to Bordertown, a new collection of stories from a mix of the original authors and the "kids" who once dreamed of going there. Everyone on this panel is in the new anthology. Come hear their stories and share your own!
  238. 2:00 PM    NH    Reading. Jeff Hecht. Hecht reads a selection of short-short stories.
  239. 2:00 PM    VT    Reading. Kenneth Schneyer. Schneyer reads from a work not yet selected.
  240. 2:00 PM    Vin.    Kaffeeklatsch. Walter H. Hunt, Rosemary Kirstein.
  241. 2:30 PM    NH    Reading. David Malki !. Malki ! reads from the parody Victorian novel series Dispatches from Wondermark Manor.
  242. 2:30 PM    VT    Reading. Daniel P. Dern. Dern reads from a work not yet selected.