3:00 Ballroom Lobby Registration & Information open.
3:00 Concierge Lounge Con Suite opens.
4:00 E Bookshop opens.
1. 4:00 F It's All One Book, Actually.
Paul Di Filippo (M), Gregory Feeley, James Alan Gardner, Michael Moorcock,
Paul Williams. It's said of some writers (Philip K. Dick, e.g.) that all their fiction is really one big book. A number of writers (Asimov, Cabell, Moorcock) have actually made this explicit, creating a future history, universe or set of universes (multiverse) to contain much of what they've written. A discussion of the implicit and explicit, the whys and hows-even the pros and cons.
2. 4:00 ME Bookaholics Anonymous Annual Meeting. Discussion (60 min)
Allegations continue about this most controversial of all 12-step groups. It has been suggested by some that 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 secretly encourages its members to succumb to their addiction. 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-smelling, book-loving, even book-reading. Could this be true? Come and testify yourself!.
3. 4:00 NH Nalo Hopkinson reads from her second novel, Midnight Robber; from "Greedy Choke Puppy" from Dark Matter; and from "Glass Bottle Trick" from Whispers From the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction. (60 min.).
4. 5:00 F Relative and Absolute Tastes. Ellen Asher, Connie Hirsch, Paul Levinson, Teresa Nielsen Hayden (M), Patrick O'Leary.
It always boggles our mind when someone responds to our query by saying their favorite author / book / movie / music depends on their mood / intent / recent experiences. How could anyone's brain work that way? Of course, when we tell them that The Shaggs are our 22nd-favorite musical act, we realize that our way of thinking about our favorites must seem twice as alien to them. Some people's tastes seem to be context-dependent, while others seem relatively fixed. Some have great difficulty saying whether they like A better than B (or even reject the whole notion of such comparisons) while others make those comparisons for sport. Our relationship with the art we love is rich and complex-and, apparently, varied enough to give rise to these dichotomies. We'll explore that relationship, and hopefully learn to understand each other
5. 5:00 ME SF on the Internet: URL Swap. James Patrick Kelly.
Discussion (60 min.). Asimov's internet columnist Jim Kelly will share some of his fave sites on the net. Audience members should be prepared to volunteer some of their faves as well, thus saving Jim the trouble of researching his next couple of columns. Pencil and paper recommended.
6. 5:00 NH John Kessel reads from his novel-in-progress, Soft Upset. (30 min.).
7. 5:30 NH Madeleine E. Robins reads from "La Vie En Cirque," a contemporary SF story about a woman with a really weird inner landscape; or from a fairy-tale in progress. (30 min.).
8. 6:00 F SF and Fantasy Theater 101: Producing and Directing.
Jeanne Beckwith, Jim Freund, Nancy Hanger, Marjorie B. Kellogg (M), James Patrick Kelly.
We have an enormous wealth of theater talent and experience among our Readercon regulars; a number of our guests (including one of our GoH's) have recently been writing for or adapting their work for the stage, while others have had careers in theater production. This first of two panels asks why sf theater has traditionally been so hard to produce, and why it's hard to get audiences to take it seriously. What are some of the solutions to these problems?
9. 6:00 G The Career of Michael Moorcock. Robert Bee, Paul Di Filippo, Mark Rich (M), Paul Witcover.
10. 6:00 ME French SF and SF in French: What's Brewing. Jean-Louis Trudel. Talk (30 min.).
11. 6:00 RI How I Wrote Oceanspace. Allen Steele. Talk (60 min.).
12. 6:00 NH Candas Jane Dorsey reads from her forthcoming novel A Paradigm of Earth. (60 min.).
13. 6:00 VT Elizabeth Willey reads from The Scholar's Pursuit, a fantasy with no clothes sense whatsoever set in the early 19th century, or from Noble Rot. (60 min.).
14. 6:30 ME Writing a History of Golden Age SF in NYC.
Justine Larbalestier. Talk (30 min.). Answering the puzzling question, how did a relatively young Australian woman come to be engaged in researching and writing a book about the Futurians, the Hydra Club and sf in New York City from the late 1930s to the late 1950s? And a look at a particular set of problems that have already arisen while doing the preliminary research and talking about it.
15. 7:00 F The Arts in Character's Lives. Richard Bowes, James Alan Gardner (M), Glenn Grant, Elizabeth Hand, Joan Slonczewski.
Real life, as we know it, is full of passionate book readers, moviegoers, music listeners, art museum devotees, and the like. Why don't we see more people like this in fiction? (We can think of lots of stories about creative artists, but not nearly as many about their audiences.) A look at books and stories where the characters' love of art is central (or an important part of the background), and an exploration of the challenges involved in writing them.
16. 7:00 G The Ghetto of Genre: U.K. vs. U.S.. John R. Douglas, Barry N. Malzberg, James Minz, Michael Moorcock, Robert J. Sawyer (M).
We've heard it said that less genre pigeonholing happens in the U.K. Is this true? How does this happen, in terms of publishing, marketing, and reviewing? How has it actually impacted the careers of genre-straddling and genre-switching U.K. writers, as opposed to their U.S. counterparts?
17. 7:00 ME SF/Rock & Roll: Parallel Evolution?. John Kessel.
Talk / Discussion (60 min.). A lecture / demonstration, with audio aids, of parallels between the development of rock from 1955-1985 and sf 1940-85, plus a discussion.
18. 7:00 RI Confronting the Wannabe Writer. Aline Boucher Kaplan.
Talk (60 min.). People say, "Oh, you're a writer. I've always wanted to write a book." And invariably what comes next is a predictable variation on four themes that wannabe writers use to explain or justify why they haven't written The Great American Novel yet. They're looking for help, wisdom, sympathy, understanding. They won't get it here. This presentation addresses the four issues that often block a new writer, and helps that writer understand what they need to do, and why, before their career can advance. It includes common sense, a little philosophy, humor, biography and several Snickers bars. There may even be some wisdom in there somewhere.
19. 7:00 NH James Morrow reads scenes from his work-in-progress,
The Last Witchfinder, a novel about the birth of the scientific worldview. (60 min.).
20. 7:00 VT Connie Hirsch reads (30 min.).
21. 7:00 Vin Kaffeeklatsch. Warren Lapine.
22. 7:00 E Autographs. Jeffrey A. Carver.
23. 7:30 VT Steven Sawicki reads "Finite Heart," or "Invisible Friends," or something from one of his screenplays. (30 min.).
24. 8:00 F The Pleasures of Pedagogy. Eleanor Arnason, Suzy McKee Charnas, Hal Clement, Samuel R. Delany (M), Patrick Nielsen
Hayden, Allen Steele. The bad reputation of the "expository lump" notwithstanding, covertly teaching / learning about stuff has always been part of the fun of writing / reading fiction. Though it can be found in almost every genre (as fans of James Michener and Tom Clancy can testify), it often plays a special role in sf, and particularly hard sf. An unapologetic look at the fun of facts, from both writers' and readers' perspectives.
25. 8:00 G Reading Alternate and Fantastic History. Toni Anzetti, Paul Di Filippo, Debra Doyle, Leigh Grossman (M), Sean McMullen.
We've had several panels on the relationship of true history to history in fiction, but they've largely been from the writer's point of view (e.g., what distortions or simplifications can you get away with?). Meanwhile, we've learned much by looking at genre fiction from the reader's point of view, in terms of tropes, reading protocols, and the like. As the sub-genres of alternate history and historical fantasy continue to thrive, it struck us that they might be developing their own set of readerly approaches and assumptions.
26. 8:00 ME Welcome Back, Mr. Welles: The Second Coming Of The Sf Audioplay. James Patrick Kelly.
Talk / Discussion (60 min.). A look at radio / audioplays, then and now. Kelly will play some excerpts from the classic era, taken from the Smithsonian Collection of Radio Science Fiction. We'll then take a listen to some of the plays being produced today (including his own, of course!), as this lost genre-thanks to the Internet and the popularity of audiobooks-rises again.
27. 8:00 RI DNA Publications. Warren Lapine. Talk (60 min.).
A presentation on DNA Publications, the busiest magazine company in the field, and what it is they're trying to accomplish.
28. 8:00 NH Shariann Lewitt reads (60 min.).
29. 8:00 VT Greer Gilman reads from her novella, "A Crowd of Bone." (60 min.).
30. 8:00 Vin Kaffeeklatsches. Paul Levinson; James Morrow.
31. 8:00 E Autographs. Elizabeth Hand; Patrick O'Leary.
9:00 Ballroom Lobby Registration & Information close.
9:00 E Bookshop closes.
32. 9:00 ME The Short, Happy Life of Science Fiction Age: A Secret History. Scott Edelman. Talk (60 min.). Now that the magazine has folded, its only editor tells all.
33. 9:00 RI Jean Shepherd. Daniel Dern. Talk / Discussion (60 min.). A discussion of the late radio talk personality and storyteller (and author and screenwriter), with audio examples.
34. 9:00 NH Suzy McKee Charnas reads from her latest book, The Conqueror's Child, in which a naive young warrior follows the heroic parent from whom she is estranged into a dangerous land torn by bitter warfare, where old hatreds, ambitions, and enemies approaching in secret put all hopes for a better future in peril. (60 min.).
35. 9:00 VT Paul Levinson reads the first chapter of his forthcoming Borrowed Tides, a near-future novel about a first interstellar flight with an unusual crew. (60 min.).
10:00 F/G Meet the Pros(e) Party.
All of the above (plus a few late arrivers). Each writer at the party has selected a short, favorite quotation from their own writing. Each has been provided with a sheet full containing 36 labels on which the quote has been printed. As attendees meet each pro, they obtain a label from them, collecting them on the pieces of wax paper provided. Atheists, agnostics, and the lazy can leave them in the order they obtain 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. Some (showing, we think, a lack of respect to living authors (at least)) have been known to take scissors to all the quotes, combining one writer's subject with another's predicate. Another popular sport is the wearing of labels as apparel. The total possibilities (linguistic and sartorial), while not strictly endless, do exceed the number of molecules in the universe.
10:00 ME Gormenghast Parts 1 and 2. (120 min.) Parts 1 and 2 of the mini-series adaptation by the BBC (shown by their special permission) and Boston's WGBH essentially covers Titus Groan. Adapted by Malcom McKay, directed by Andy Wilson. With Jonathan Rhys-Myers as Steerpike, Christopher Lee as Flay, Ian Richardson as Lord Groan, Andrew Robertson as Titus, Neve McIntosh as Fuchsia, Celia Imrie as Lady Gertrude, John Sessions as Dr. Prunesquallor, Warren Mitchell as Barquentine, Lynsyey Baxter as Cora Groan, Zoe Wannamaker as Clarice Groan, June Bragg as Nany Slagg, Eric Sykes as Mollocks, Stephen Fry as Professor Bellgrove, and Spike Milligan as Deadyawn. (Repeated Saturday at 8 AM; Parts 3 and 4 shown at 10 PM Saturday and 8 AM Sunday).
11:00 Concierge Lounge Con Suite closes.
8:00a ME Gormenghast Parts 1 and 2 (repeat). (120 min.)
See Friday at 10 PM. Parts 3 and 4 shown at 10 PM Saturday and 8 AM Sunday.
9:00a Ballroom Lobby Registration & Information open.
9:00a Concierge Lounge Con Suite opens.
10:00a E Bookshop opens.
36. 10:00a F The Loss of a Common Culture. Jeffrey A. Carver,
Scott Edelman, Nalo Hopkinson, James Patrick Kelly, Fred Lerner (M). In the past several decades, sf and its readers have gone from being a tightly-connected community with much in common to a (more) diverse community with much less of a shared experience of reading the same books and stories. If authors are now less able to assume knowledge of the sf canon on the part of their readers, how is that changing their books?
37. 10:00a G The Readercon Book Club. Jenna Felice, James Minz (M),
Katya Reimann. Wouldn't you have loved to be a fly on the wall for the first conversation that, say, Asimov and Clarke had about Dune? Well, we asked three of our guests to each suggest a book (new or obscure) for the other two to read--and then to not talk about them at all until they're live and on stage. Katya Reimann suggested The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, Jim Minz suggested Starfish by Readercon program participant Peter Watts, and Jenna Felice suggested Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem. Come and join in!
38. 10:00a ME Internet Text Piracy. Rebecca Ore. Discussion
(60 min.). Internet pirates are "liberating" texts and feel they're morally justified in doing so. Some people want to put them behind bars, while others warn that doing so would just make them martyrs. Meanwhile, many sf writers aren't as informed about these issues as they should be-ironic, in that the whole phenomenon is itself quintessentially sf, something we might have written about as pure speculation just a handful of years ago. And the pirates themselves are often steeped in sf culture.
39. 10:00a RI How I Wrote The Doors of Death and Life. Brenda W. Clough. Talk (30 min.).
40. 10:00a NH Samuel R. Delany reads from Shoat Rumblin: His Sensations and Ideas, a new non-SF novel. (30 min.).
41. 10:00a VT Sean McMullen reads a series of short passages:
The Siege of Meaux in 1358 from The Centurion's Empire, scenes of courtship within the Calculor from Souls In The Great Machine, the death of Glasken at Denver from The Miocene Arrow, and the flintlock duel between the American airlord Samondel and her Australian boyfriend, Martyne, from the forthcoming Eyes Of The Calculor. (60 min.).
42. 10:00a Vin Kaffeeklatsches. Yves Meynard; Robert J. Sawyer.
43. 10:00a E Autographs. Suzy McKee Charnas; Hal Clement.
44. 10:30a RI How I Wrote Brain Plague. Joan Slonczewski. Talk (30 min.).
45. 10:30a NH Ellen Brody reads "Danse Macabre" by Mervyn Peake. (30 min.).
46. 11:00a F The Marriage of True Minds (and Their Book Collections).
Lisa A. Barnett, Brenda W. Clough, Daniel Dern (M), Nancy Hanger, James
Minz. "Partner," "lover," "significant other," "boyfriend / girlfriend," "spouse"--all terms which essentially mean "someone whose taste in books is like yours to a greater or lesser degree." Just like the less important aspects of a relationship, issues here may range from the profound (influencing one another's world views) to the really profound (cracking the spine of paperback books vs. leaving them virginal). A look at how we relate to our better bibliophilic halves, both at the practical level and as a microcosm of our relationships in general.
47. 11:00a G The Career of Mervyn Peake. Bryan Cholfin,
Yves Meynard, Michael Moorcock, Darrell Schweitzer (M), Joey Zone.
48. 11:00a ME Philip K. Dick & Theodore Sturgeon: Their Oeuvres
And Their Readers.. Paul Williams. Discussion (60 min.).
49. 11:00a RI From Words to Book. Leigh Grossman. Talk /
Discussion (60 min.). What is the physical process a book goes through once the manuscript leaves the writer's hands? An overview of the editorial and production process, as well as how technology, corporate mergers, and electronic publishing are changing the ways books are published. A talk with lots of discussion, examples, questions, and answers.
50. 11:00a NH Alison Sinclair reads from published work and work in progress. (60 min.).
51. 11:00a VT Marjorie B. Kellogg reads from the just-published third book of The Dragon Quartet, The Book Of Fire. (60 min.).
52. 11:00a Vin Kaffeeklatsches. Toni Anzetti, Geary Gravel and Rosemary Kirstein; John Cramer.
53. 11:00a E Autographs. Paul Levinson; Cecilia Tan.
54. 12:00 F SF and Fantasy Theater 102: Writing. Suzy McKee
Charnas, F. Brett Cox (M), Andrea Hairston, John Kessel, James Morrow.
This second of two panels addresses the special challenges of f&sf theater from the writer's point of view.
55. 12:00 G We're All Slans Now: The Legacy of A. E. Van Vogt.
Robert Bee (M), Hal Clement, Donald Kingsbury, Lissanne Lake, Rebecca Ore.
"Much of what appears, in my fiction, to be the influence of hallucinogenic drugs, is actually the result of taking Van Vogt too seriously"-Philip K. Dick. That just scratches the surface of the influence of this late master of the "dreaming pole" of sf.
56. 12:00 ME Is Jonathan Lethem Right?. Eleanor Arnason.
Discussion (60 min.). In 1998 Jonathan Lethem argued (in The Village Voice and The New York Review of Science Fiction) that the SF field missed a golden opportunity in 1973 by not awarding a Nebula to Gravity's Rainbow (it was on the final ballot)-that by embracing published-as-mainstream quasi-sf as ours, we could have warded off what he sees as the enervating and homogenizing influence of Lucas, Spielberg, and Tolkien and the resulting commodification of sf. Is he right-is today's sf boring? If so, did it happen when and why he thinks it did? Could things really have happened differently, as he suggests? And what could we do about it now?
57. 12:00 RI How I Wrote Hunted. James Alan Gardner. Talk (30 min.).
58. 12:00 NH Debra Doyle reads from her novel-in-progress, A Working of Stars . (30 min.).
59. 12:00 VT Jeffrey Thomas reads "The Library of Sorrows," from his short story collection Punktown. (60 min.).
60. 12:00 Vin Kaffeeklatsches. Samuel R. Delany; Joan Slonczewski.
61. 12:00 E Autographs. Michael Cisco; Allen Steele.
62. 12:30 RI How I Wrote Calculating God. Robert J. Sawyer. Talk (30 min.).
63. 12:30 VT Aline Boucher Kaplan reads from The Fires of Change, Volume 2 of The Demons of Godsworld. "When you go out to hunt demons, take care that you do not become one. And when you look into the abyss, remember that the abyss is also looking into you."-Nietzsche. In this second volume, the characters of Crossing the Line go out to hunt monsters and find themselves in the abyss. (30 min.).
64. 1:00 F Welcome to the Future. John Clute, Ellen Datlow,
Marcel Gagne, Sean McMullen, Robert J. Sawyer (M). Even before the Walter Cronkite-narrated TV series, "The 21st Century" was synonymous with the future-and hence a key trope in sf. This Big Arbitrary Divide implied a certain gulf between Now and Things to Come, imbuing the future with romance and contributing to the "sense of wonder" of Golden Age sf. Now we've arrived there (or almost). How does that make us feel? (Mixed, we bet.) Has it even sunk in yet? How might this affect the literature? (Isn't this a "real year" panel in drag?)
65. 1:00 G The House as Character. Greer Gilman, Geary Gravel,
Elizabeth Hand, Kelly Link, David Alexander Smith (M). In a year when we honor the creator of Gormenghast, the obvious next entry in this successful series of panels.
66. 1:00 ME Theater at Readercon: Establishing a Tradition.
Jeanne Beckwith, Ellen Brody, Suzy McKee Charnas, F. Brett Cox, Andrea
Hairston, Marjorie B. Kellogg, James Patrick Kelly (M), John Kessel, James
Morrow. Discussion (60 min.). Jim Kelly responded to this year's program sign-up with the exhortation. "Let's not just talk about sf theater. Let's do some!" Participants from our two theater panels join with our attendees to discuss how we can establish an ongoing theater tradition at Readercon.
67. 1:00 RI Our Science Fictional Childhoods: Baby Boomer
Toys. Richard Bowes, Mark Rich (M). Chautauqua (30 min.). An exploration of the explosion of toys in the postwar years-what they were, what innovations came along, what they meant. A lot of the toys were influenced by sf. They returned the favor and influenced quite a bit of later speculative fiction, too.
68. 1:00 NH Lisa A. Barnett and Melissa Scott reads from their fantasy novel Point of Dreams (sequel to Point of Hopes); Scott reads from The Jazz (60 min.).
69. 1:00 VT Paul Witcover reads (30 min.).
70. 1:00 Vin Kaffeeklatsches. Patrick O'Leary; Cecilia Tan.
71. 1:00 E Autographs. John Cramer; Joan Slonczewski.
72. 1:30 RI The Etiology of Schizophrenia. Eric M. Van.
Chautauqua (30 min.). Over the last 15 years, researchers at the University of Colorado have succeeded in identifying the genetic mutation which is the apparent key risk factor in a plurality (or even a majority) of cases of schizophrenia. Learn what causes this most crippling of mental disorders-and why you haven't read about this remarkable research in the daily paper.
73. 1:30 VT Helen Collins reads "The Ultimate Stalker." (30 min.).
74. 2:00 F What the New Wave Was. F. Brett Cox (M), Samuel R.
Delany, Barry N. Malzberg, Michael Moorcock, Darrell Schweitzer. Our overview of the movement begins with a historical look back. Who were the key players? What was their agenda?
75. 2:00 G The Unbeatable Bareness of Lighting: The Enduring Appeal of the Vampire. Suzy McKee Charnas, Ellen Datlow, Steven Sawicki, David Alexander Smith (M), Joey Zone. What draws us to vampires, as readers and as writers? (This is the year Readercon finally gets off its high horse.)
76. 2:00 ME Red Analog Writers: Mack Reynolds, John Barnes, and Me. Daniel Hatch. Talk / Discussion (60 min.). Analog is usually thought of a bastion of conservatism, aimed at politically uptight engineers, with a fairly right-wing slant to its philosophy. But the truth is somewhat different. How many people know that Mack Reynolds, a stalwart of John Campbell's stable in the '60s, was also the secretary of the Socialist Workers party? John Barnes is another Analog writer who is an avowed leftist-he has called himself a "socialist Tory," which means that he sees no social problems that can't be solved with solutions first offered more than a hundred years ago. And Hatch's first sale to Analog revolved around a piece of Marxist econometrics-"black magic" that traditional economists would like to see go away. What's it like trying to spread subversive messages through a reactionary vehicle? What succeeds, what doesn't?
77. 2:00 RI The Odyssey Writing Workshop. Jeanne Cavelos. Talk (60 min.). A presentation about the 6-week annual summer workshop for writers of sf, fantasy, and horror, held at New Hampshire College in Manchester, NH. Previous guests have included Dan Simmons, Harlan Ellison, Ben Bova, Jane Yolen, and Melissa Scott. Workshop director Cavelos will also discuss the pros and cons of writing workshops, and in what ways they can help-or hurt-developing writers.
78. 2:00 NH James Patrick Kelly reads his Hugo-nominated novelette, "1016 to 1." (60 min.).
79. 2:00 VT Katya Reimann reads from her novel-in-progress Prince of Fire and Ashes. (60 min.).
80. 2:00 Vin Kaffeeklatsches. Hal Clement; John Clute.
81. 2:00 E Autographs. Rebecca Ore; Madeleine E. Robins.
82. 3:00 F How the New Wave Changed SF Forever (Didn't It?). Gregory Feeley (M), John Kessel, Warren Lapine, Gordon Van Gelder, Paul Witcover. How well did the New Wave succeed in terms of its professed agenda? Did it change sf in ways that were unexpected or secondary to what it thought it was all about?
83. 3:00 G The Primacy of Story. Eleanor Arnason, Jeffrey A. Carver (M), Candas Jane Dorsey, Daniel Hatch, Patrick O'Leary, Melissa Scott. "Telling stories precedes language, since it is, in fact, a condition for language"-Antonio Damasio, The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness. Neuroscientists increasingly regard story, narrative, as something hard-wired into the brain (and not just the human brain) at a very low level. Story may be the structure that underlies all learning and, indeed, all behavior more complex than the instinctual. But we could have told them that, couldn't we?
84. 3:00 ME Pseudonymously Yours. Craig Shaw Gardner. Talk (60 min.). Co-presented by Peter Garrison, whose resemblance to Gardner is, to say the least, remarkable. So here's 60 minutes of those remarks. How do name changes affect writing style and public perception? And how the heck can you follow authors if their names keep changing?
85. 3:00 RI The Real Human Genome Project-Or, Why there's a Chimp in your Future Family. Joan Slonczewski. Chautauqua (60 min.). What the "human genome" is all about, and how it relates to genomes of other animals, plants, even bacteria. Chimpanzee DNA is so close to ours that chimp hybrids may be in our future-since they didn't go through the "Eve" bottleneck of inbreeding that we humans did, chimp DNA is healthier than ours. But chimps are just the beginning. Could we beat aging by sticking telomeres from Sequoia trees onto the ends of our chromosomes? How can we use the AIDS virus to do this?
86. 3:00 NH Thomas Easton reads the opening of his brand new novel, The Great Flying Saucer Conspiracy, which deals with the questions: What do humans and space aliens have in common? And: Why does the fate of galactic civilization depend upon the answer? (30 min.).
87. 3:00 VT Toni Anzetti reads from her novel-in-progress Steel Helix , set in the same universe as Typhon's Children and its upcoming sequel, Riders Of Leviathan. (30 min.).
88. 3:00 Vin Kaffeeklatsches. Elizabeth Hand; Donald Kingsbury.
89. 3:00 E Autographs. Jeanne Cavelos; Samuel R. Delany.
90. 3:30 NH Michael Burstein reads "Kaddish for the Last Survivor." (30 min.).
91. 3:30 VT Michael Cisco reads from The Divinity Student. (30 min.).
92. 4:00 F We Won, We Lost. John Clute, Barry N. Malzberg, James Morrow (M), Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Madeleine E. Robins, Peter Watts. It's an sf world. Our once-visionary iconography is now commonplace. The present turns into the future even before we wear it comfortably, let alone wear it out, and this sense of constant change is now the common currency of our culture rather than our precious private truth. And yet the sf readership shrinks, or at least gets older, every year; as sf media ascends (and merges with real life), the written sf word seems ever more irrelevant-and certainly wins no greater prestige for its creators than in the past. Maybe this has nothing to do with sf, but just reflects the death of reading (a development we perhaps ironically foresaw). But maybe somehow the contents of sf, the accidents, have conquered mass culture, but some crucial part of the form, the essence, has been left behind. Is it an sf world after all? Or just a holographic simulation of one?
93. 4:00 G Sucked In. Jeanne Cavelos, Suzy McKee Charnas, James Alan Gardner, Leigh Grossman (M), Elizabeth Willey. Someone we know recently decided to read less fantasy because they got "sucked in" too much. Gee, we asked, isn't that the whole point? Is getting "sucked in" the same as "escape"? Is either one central to (at least one kind of) fantasy, the way "sense of wonder" is central to one kind of sf?
94. 4:00 ME How I Edited Thirty Anthologies of Erotic SF
and Kept My Sanity (I Think . . .). Cecilia Tan. Talk (60 min.). How has the editorial process at Circlet Press matured and evolved over the years? The subtle difference between a story with great sex in it and a great story with sex in it (both have their place, depending on the book) will be explicated in considerable detail.
95. 4:00 RI New Writers Beware!. Brenda W. Clough. Talk (60 min.). A quick tour of the scams and other pitfalls that the innocent young writer can fall prey to, by the co-author of a series of articles on the topic for the SFWA bulletin. There are sharks out there!
96. 4:00 NH Robert J. Sawyer reads "The Shoulders of Giants," the lead story in the just-published Star Colonies (Ed Gorman, Martin H. Greenberg, and John Helfers, eds.). (60 min.).
97. 4:00 VT Sarah Smith reads from A Citizen of the Country, a mystery with elements of witchcraft, to be published August 1. (60 min.).
98. 4:00 Vin Kaffeeklatsches. Ellen Datlow; John Kessel.
99. 4:00 E Autographs. Michael Moorcock; Melissa Scott & Lisa Barnett.
5:00 Ballroom Lobby Registration and Information close.
100. 5:00 ME When It Changed: The History of Feminism and SF. Justine Larbalestier (M); TBA. There is more than one history of the world-and more than one history of feminist sf. For instance, as some tell the story, it began in the 60's; others say earlier, still others the 70's. Each participant will present the history of feminism and sf as they see it, and then we'll discuss these differing tales. Why these multiple histories? Are there different kinds of feminist sf ? How about the difference between "women in sf" and "feminist sf"? Does the story depend on whether the teller was a reader, fan, writer, critic, or scholar? How do histories of a field get created anyway-what determines what's remembered and what's forgotten?
6:00 E Bookshop closes.
101. 7:00 F/G Michael Moorcock Interviewed. John R. Douglas.
102. 8:00 F/G Suzy McKee Charnas Interviewed. Eleanor Arnason.
103. 9:00 F/G The 15th Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Competition. Craig Shaw Gardner (M), Geary Gravel, John Kessel, Shariann Lewitt, Eric M. Van (M.C.). (75 min.) Our traditional evening entertainment-named in memory of the pseudonym and alter ego of Jonathan Herovit of Barry Malzberg's Herovit's World-just might be the best-attended (proportionally speaking) regular event at any sf con. 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-Craig and his co-moderator Eric M. Van, thirteen-time and current champion Geary Gravel, and returning challengers John Kessel and Shariann Lewitt-then reads an ending for the passage. One ending is the real one; the others are imposters concocted by our contestants (including Craig) ahead of time. None of the players knows who wrote any passage other than their own, except for Eric, 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 "by the weird science magic of his helm." 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, should you be recovering from fractured ribs, pulled stomach muscles, or the like (i.e., if it hurts to laugh, you're in big trouble).
10:00 ME Gormenghast Parts 3 and 4. (120 min.) Parts 3 and 4 of the mini-series adaptation by the BBC and Boston's WGBH essentially covers Gormenghast. See Friday at 10 PM for cast and credits. (Repeats 8 AM Sunday.)
11:00 Concierge Lounge Con Suite closes.
8:00a ME Gormenghast Parts 3 and 4 (repeat). (120 min.) See Saturday at 10 PM.
8:30a Nan Closed Workshop. Kelly Link, David Alexander Smith (M).
9:00a Ballroom Lobby Registration & Information open.
9:00a Concierge Lounge Con Suite opens.
104. 9:00a Vin Kaffeeklatsches. Glen Cook; Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald.
10:00a E Bookshop opens.
105. 10:00a F Arrested Development. Toni Anzetti, John Kessel (M),
Sarah Smith, Allen Steele, Gene Wolfe. "A predilection for genre fiction is symptomatic of a kind of arrested development"-Thomas M. Disch. We're not sure we disagree, because we're not sure this is an insult. After all, there are a number of ordinary correlates to getting older that are undesirable; we'd be proud to add "outgrowing sf" to losing your hair and dying. So, now that we realize this isn't necessarily a put-down, just how true is it? What aspects of "maturity" might be inimical to an appreciation of sf (or genre fiction in general)? Which are good, and which can we live (and hopefully die) without?
106. 10:00a G The Fiction of Suzy McKee Charnas. Justine Larbalestier (M), James Minz, Alison Sinclair.
107. 10:00a ME The Sense of Place in SF. Candas Jane Dorsey.
Discussion (60 min.) With Timothy J. Anderson. How does the sense of place extend into language, gender, and genre in shaping our speculative fictions? What about the writer's relationship with the place the reader lives? What's it like for readers to inhabit places that writers make seemingly out of thin air? What about the real ground on which writers base their castles-in-the-air.?
108. 10:00a RI The Small Press. Steven Sawicki. Talk /
Discussion (60 min.). Writing trap, proving ground, or fertile field for the future?
109. 10:00a NH Michael Moorcock reads from two novels forthcoming
(in the U.S.) next year: The King of the City, a London saga, and The Dreamthief's Daughter, a new Elric novel. (60 min.).
110. 10:00a VT Darrell Schweitzer reads "The Emperor of the Ancient Word," about two brothers who, while on a tour of Europe with their eccentric uncle, discover a nasty secret realm to which they may be heir. (60 min.).
111. 10:00a Vin Kaffeeklatsches. Eleanor Arnason and Suzy McKee Charnas; Melissa Scott.
112. 10:00a E Autographs. Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald; Robert J. Sawyer.
113. 11:00a F Neuroscience and Character. Glenn Grant, Shariann Lewitt, James Morrow (M), Alison Sinclair, Peter Watts. All fiction is informed, to a degree, by contemporary notions of the nature of the mind and the shaping of personality. Such notions are currently in flux and quite possibly headed for an upheaval. How much psychology or cognitive neuroscience should a writer know? Will the answer to that question change as the brain yields up its secrets? Might sf writers be uniquely positioned to take advantage of our new understanding, creating (as David Swanger proposed in last December's New York Review of Science Fiction) "hard character sf"?
114. 11:00a G The Gothic Novel. Suzy McKee Charnas, Michael Cisco, John Clute, Debra Doyle (M), Faye Ringel. "Dr. Talos whispered, 'Look about you-don't you recognize this? . . . The castle? The monster? The man of learning? . . . now, when the sun is drawing toward the dark, our own shadows race into the past to trouble mankind's dreams.'"-Gene Wolfe. Many of our most potent motifs had their origin in this ancestral genre. A look at some old classics-both as books still worth reading, and as influences on modern literature.
115. 11:00a ME Aliens Speaking English: Australian F&SF.
Sean McMullen. Talk (60 min.). During the 1990s Australian SF & fantasy publishing records were being broken nearly every year, and in some cases previous records were doubled. Although Australian SF goes back 150 years, it is only recently that Australian authors have gained large readerships and international recognition. Although Australians speak English, they have a background and perspective that is different to authors from North America or the U.K.
116. 11:00a RI How We Collaborated on Point of Dreams (and
others). Lisa A. Barnett, Melissa Scott. Talk (60 min.). The authors, who have now written three novels together, were recently interviewed for a book on collaborative fiction writing (Marriage of Minds, by Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick), and will present their insights into the process.
117. 11:00a NH Elizabeth Hand reads "Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol," a novella (forthcoming as Scfi.com's special Christmas fiction offering) that explores the enduring power of Christmas, vintage TV, and the Ramones. (60 min.).
118. 11:00a VT Robert Bee reads (30 min.).
119. 11:00a Vin Kaffeeklatsches. Scott Edelman; Rebecca Ore.
120. 11:00a E Autographs. Sheree R. Thomas and contributors to Dark Matter: Ama Patterson, Kalamu ya Salaam, and Paul D. Miller (DJ Spooky).
121. 11:30a VT James D. Macdonald reads from "The Land of Mist and Snow" (working title), concerning the mystical secret history of the American Civil War. (30 min.).
122. 12:00 F The "Funny" Obscure Books I Like. Bryan Cholfin, Don D'Ammassa, Daniel Dern, John R. Douglas (M), Lissanne Lake, Stephen Popkes. On the x-axis, plot obscurity. On the y-axis, plot oddness (hey, aren't they strongly correlated?). What are your favorite books that are. . . out there?
123. 12:00 G The Structure of Aesthetic Revolutions: Three New Waves. Paul Di Filippo (M), John Kessel, Shariann Lewitt, Jean-Louis Trudel, Eric M. Van. SF's "New Wave" was neither the first (film's) nor the most famous (rock 'n' roll's). We'll take these three at least nominally related artistic movements and hold them up as mutual mirrors. What do they share? How were they different (e.g., to what extent were they mass movements, as opposed to insider hell-raising)? Can we profitably treat cyberpunk as a fourth example? What revolutions might be in our future?
124. 12:00 ME Electronic Publishing, Print-On-Demand, And The Death Of The Book. Robert J. Sawyer. Discussion (60 min.). Will there be any readers to attend a Readercon ten years from now? Right now, sf is a profession for many of its practitioners; it's what they do for a living. But if e-books end up being priced very cheaply, and if readership doesn't expand as we switch from print to digital, sf may end up being solely a hobbyist activity. Will the genre survive the transition to new forms of publishing? How will readers be able to distinguish quality work from the mountains of crap that will flood the net in the post-publisher economy?
125. 12:00 RI How I Wrote The Miocene Arrow. Sean McMullen. Talk (30 min.).
126. 12:00 NH Patrick O'Leary reads "Before and After": hardcore sex and softcore fantasy. Ellen Datlow says this story is not erotic! You be the judge! Due to the graphic nature of the material there will be no flash photography allowed during the performance. (60 min.).
127. 12:00 VT Rebecca Ore reads "Collected Ogoense" (first published in Asimov's)-inspired by James Tiptree, Jr., the Virginia Museum of Natural History, and euthing fish by stepping on them. (60 min.).
128. 12:00 Vin Kaffeeklatsches. Nancy Hanger; Madeleine E. Robins.
129. 12:00 E Autographs. Thomas Easton; Marjorie B. Kellogg.
130. 12:30 RI The Astronomical Basis of Measure. Donald Kingsbury. Chautauqua (30 min.). The circumference of the earth is exactly 365*360*1000 feet. Why is this no accident, and who was it that was so clever? Why did the Romans use 3 1/8 for p when they knew 3 1/7 was more accurate? How are the Persian foot and Arabic cubit related, and how do they both derive from the one sidereal second pendulum? Kingsbury learned all this and more while researching his novel Pyschohistorical Crisis.
1:00 Ballroom Lobby Registration and Information close.
1:00 Concierge Lounge ConSuite closes.
131. 1:00 F Off Color. Suzy McKee Charnas, Samuel R. Delany, Andrea Hairston, Nalo Hopkinson, Uppinder Mehan, Betsy Mitchell, Sheree R. Thomas. At various sf conventions, we've been to more than one panel during which the panelists try to figure out why there seem to be so few writers of color in the field. As an alternative, we have invited several panelists to discuss what an sf field more enticing to writers of color might look like.
132. 1:00 G Writing as Therapy. Richard Bowes, Scott Edelman, Aline Boucher Kaplan (M), Cecilia Tan, Gene Wolfe. Writing can serve as a relatively inexpensive form of psychotherapy, inasmuch as it involves a process of self-exploration and discovery. But what's the relationship between therapeutic and artistic success?
133. 1:00 ME Science Fiction and Mystery: Uncomfortable Bedmates?. Paul Levinson. Discussion (60 min.). Whereas sf readers seem very tolerant of mystery elements in sf stories, mystery readers (according to at least one librarian) generally stay away from anything smacking of sf. And yet sf could be defined as a kind of mystery-a what-done-it. Many of the great sf writers also wrote mystery (Asimov), and vice versa (Conan Doyle). What are the protocols of science fiction and mystery? How can they profitably intersect? When do they risk strangling each other to the point that the story is no fun for anyone? Levinson's examples will include his own sf-mystery protagonist, Dr. Phil D'Amato.
134. 1:00 NH Hal Clement reads (60 min.).
135. 1:00 VT Brenda W. Clough reads "Grow Your Own" and other unpublished works. (60 min.).
136. 1:00 E Autographs. Ellen Datlow; James Morrow.
2:00 E Bookshop Closes
137. 2:00 F Kicking the Hobbit: Alternatives to Tolkien. Greer Gilman, Marjorie B. Kellogg, Yves Meynard, Michael Moorcock, Faye Ringel (M). The influence of Tolkien on modern fantasy is often called "pervasive," but there's a sizable body of work that either ignores or rejects him (in whole or in part) as a model. The authors of these books range from those who love Tolkien but have chosen not to follow his path, to those who just don't "get" it, to those who have specific problems with him.
138. 2:00 G From Scientific Breakthrough to Societal Change.
John Cramer, Glenn Grant, Jeff Hecht, Paul Levinson (M), Sheila Williams.
A standard sf theme is the new theory, discovery, or invention that changes society almost overnight. While fictionally convenient, isn't this quite unrealistic? In the real world (it seems to us), there are numerous steps in this process, any of which can slow it down: radical new theories are often resisted, translation of theory into technology is often difficult, society and government are short-sighted or actively resist change. Are
there sf novels that have portrayed this complexity?
139. 2:00 NH Kelly Link reads from "Louise's Ghost.," an unpublished story. (30 min.).
140. 2:00 VT James Alan Gardner reads from Hunted, his just-published novel. (60 min.).
141. 2:30 NH F. Brett Cox reads either "What They Did to My Father," forthcoming in Black Gate, or something else. (30 min.).
3:00 F Readercon 12 Debriefing. Members of the Readercon 12 Committee.