Friday Saturday Sunday
Registration 2pm-9pm 9am-6pm 9am-1pm
Program 3pm-12m 10am-12m 10am-4pm
Bookshop 4pm-7pm 10am-6pm 10am-2pm
Con Suite 3pm-9pm 9am-12m 9am-2pm
Invited Participants: Their Program Item Numbers (see below)
David G. Hartwell: 1, 7, 49, 65, 84, 93, 99, 105, 121, 134, 138
Michael Swanwick: 1, 2, 19, 24, 34, 37, 56, 83, 92, 98, 112, 124, 137
Toni Anzetti: 54, 113, 115, 135
Ellen Asher: 84, 96
Lisa A. Barnett: 68, 84
Mark Bernstein: 86
Ellen Brody: 77
Michael A. Burstein: 2, 8, 111, 119
James L. Cambias: 66, 129, 135
Jeffrey A. Carver: 15, 40, 69, 90, 115, 134
Jeanne M. Cavelos: 37, 57, 67, 89
Suzy McKee Charnas: 4, 15, 49, 65
Michael Cisco: 31, 63, 135
Hal Clement: 6, 14, 30, 56, 134
John Clute: 25, 43, 59, 98, 114, 124
F. Brett Cox: 1, 12
Kathryn Cramer: 1, 38, 74, 121
John Crowley: 18, 24, 52, 63, 81, 83, 111
Don D'Ammassa: 97
Shira Daemon: 114
Samuel R. Delany: 12, 25, 38, 48, 93, 112, 130
Daniel P. Dern: 33, 57, 72, 120
Paul Di Filippo: 7, 60, 106, 124
Thomas M. Disch: 10, 84, 96, 114
John R. Douglas: 27, 38
Debra Doyle: 5, 7, 18, 71, 78
Thomas A. Easton: 44, 115
Scott Edelman: 30, 48, 100, 106
Craig E. Engler: 73
Moshe Feder: 25, 65
Gregory Feeley: 105, 115
Heinz Insu Fenkl: 108
Jim Freund: 73
Craig Shaw Gardner: 32, 94
James Alan Gardner: 2, 18, 88, 130
David Garland: 3
Greer Gilman: 73, 98, 109
Glenn Grant: 94, 107, 114
Geary Gravel: 54, 94, 115
Leigh Grossman: 23, 32
Marty Halpern: 106
Elizabeth Hand: 41, 48, 70, 80, 98
Nancy C. Hanger: 27, 117, 125
Daniel Hatch: 57, 82
Jeff Hecht: 17, 66
Connie Hirsch: 73
Arthur D. Hlavaty: 38
Ken Houghton: 105
Alexander Jablokov: 97
Edward James: 25, 65
Michael Kandel: 29
Aline Boucher Kaplan: 18, 133
Robert I. Katz: 27, 74, 104, 122
James Patrick Kelly: 24, 46, 74, 83
Donald Kingsbury: 35, 43, 49, 107
Rosemary Kirstein: 42, 54
Ellen Klages: 24, 95, 132
John Klima: 32, 125
Ellen Kushner: 2, 28, 50, 83, 108, 124
Lissanne Lake: 105
Fred Lerner: 96
Jonathan Lethem: 12, 105, 114
Paul Levinson: 8, 13, 49, 79, 90, 97, 128
Shariann Lewitt: 94, 126, 134
Kelly Link: 12, 55, 61, 76, 106, 114
Barry B. Longyear: 48, 56, 87, 103, 120, 125
James D. Macdonald: 5, 37, 71, 84
John R. MacLeod: 58
Barry N. Malzberg: 8, 12, 70, 83, 105
Kevin J. Maroney: 59
Wil McCarthy: 17, 26, 54, 97, 134
Jack McDevitt: 5, 18, 74, 85, 103, 131, 136
Terry McGarry: 16, 27
Farah Mendlesohn: 7, 135
Yves Meynard: 79, 124
James Minz: 59
John Morressy: 51, 56, 73, 118
Patrick Nielsen Hayden: 96
Patrick O'Leary: 11, 21, 38, 59, 102
Daniel Pearlman: 101
Charles Platt: 17, 57, 107, 125
Stephen Popkes: 57
Andrew I. Porter: 27, 62, 96
Lois Powers: 27
Faye Ringel: 116, 135
Madeleine E. Robins: 2, 64
Charles C. Ryan: 65
Steven Sawicki: 7, 22, 32, 44, 91
Robert J. Sawyer: 6, 9, 49, 89
Darrell Schweitzer: 32, 53, 92, 96
Melissa Scott: 37, 56, 68, 75
Delia Sherman: 20, 48, 62, 84, 108
David Alexander Smith: 66
Sarah Smith: 27, 37, 66, 86
Wen Spencer: 47, 55, 97
Allen Steele: 17, 24, 45, 106
Ian Randal Strock: 17, 102
Cecilia Tan: 22, 25, 36, 48, 80, 83
Shane Tourtellotte: 119
Jean-Louis Trudel: 66, 107, 127
Eric M. Van: 39, 94
Gordon Van Gelder: 12, 74, 106
Peter Watts: 134
Paul Witcover: 59, 110, 123, 125
Joey Zone: 73
[E] Grand Ballroom Salon E
[F] Grand Ballroom Salon F
[NH] New Hampshire/Massachusetts
[G] Grand Ballroom Salons G, H, I & J
[RI] Rhode Island
 Room 630, this year's suite for kaffeeklatsches
All items are 50 minutes unless otherwise noted.
"(M)" indicates Moderators. Times are noon or later, unless shown
with a minus sign ("negative time is morning").
[slightly modified 2001/07/12 07:07]
- 1. Fr/03:00 [F]
2000: The Year in Short Fiction.
- F. Brett Cox (+M), Kathryn Cramer, David G. Hartwell, Michael
- 2. Fr/04:00 [F]
Surfing The Ether.
- Michael A. Burstein, James Alan Gardner, Ellen Kushner (+M),
Madeleine E. Robins, Michael Swanwick. Many f&sf writers and
editors talk about the almost spooky phenomenon of story ideas or
themes seeming to be "in the ether," so that (as Gardner
Dozois claims once happened) three talking-tree stories might show up
in the slush pile on the same day. Michael Swanwick has even urged
writers to finish that neat story idea now, before they see it
print by someone else. What's behind this -- synchronicity, stealth
memes, or just a shared culture and zeitgeist? Should writers let their
awareness of the ether modify their approach?
- 3. Fr/04:00 [ME]
- Science Fiction and Music. David Garland. Talk /
Discussion (60 min.). Sf ideas have inspired a wide range of music,
from operas to Easy Listening, pop tunes to Space Rock, filk to film
scores. Here's a chance to listen to some examples and get an overview
of the history of SF and music, which includes a look at musical
references in written SF. Time will be set aside for attendees to speak
of material -- either musical or literary -- that hasn't been covered
in the presentation. Plus a bit of do-it-yourself: a theremin (an
electronic musical instrument invented in the early 20th Century) will
be provided to facilitate other-worldly keening (and/or a sing-along of
"Good Vibrations") by one and all.
- 4. Fr/04:00 [NH]
- Suzy McKee Charnas reads a chapter from a newly published
e-book, Strange Seas, which is (depending on how much real-world
weirdness you can tolerate) either a fantasy or a piece of reportage
about an adventure with a psychic, with insights (?) gained into the
lives and cultures of the cetaceans. (60 min.).
- 5. Fr/04:00 
- Kaffeeklatsches. Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald; Jack McDevitt.
- 6. Fr/04:00 [E]
- Autographs. Hal Clement; Robert J. Sawyer.
- 7. Fr/05:00 [F]
Who's Minding the Store?: Reviewing Commercial F&SF
- Paul Di Filippo, Debra Doyle, David G. Hartwell (+M), Farah
Mendlesohn, Steven Sawicki. None of our leading critical voices is
reviewing much commercial fantasy and sf (from Glen Cook to Robert
Jordan to Lois Bujold to David Drake). By concentrating on writers who
(by and large) bend genre, don't they run the risk of ignoring the
genre heart? Are we missing out on important insights by confining our
in-depth attention to the overtly literary?
- 8. Fr/05:00 [ME]
- Jewish Science Fiction. Michael A. Burstein with Paul
Levinson, Barry N. Malzberg. Discussion (60 min.). Jewish science
fiction seemed to make a major impact on our consciousness with the
Wandering Stars books edited by Jack Dann in the 1970s. But
since then, there has been little codification of Jewish sf despite
many stories with Jewish themes. What is the connection between Judaism
and sf? Why, if there so are many Jewish sf writers, are there so few
Jewish sf stories? Burstein is the only Orthodox Jewish sf writer
currently publishing, and the author of current Hugo-nominated story
"Kaddish for the Last Survivor."
- 9. Fr/05:00 [NH]
- Robert J. Sawyer reads from Infinite Faculties
(forthcoming in Analog January-April 2002 and Tor in June). (60 min.).
- 10. Fr/05:00 
- Kaffeeklatsch. Thomas M. Disch.
- 11. Fr/05:00 [E]
- Autographs. Patrick O'Leary.
- 12. Fr/06:00 [F]
And I Alone Escaped the Ghetto
- F. Brett Cox (+M), Samuel R. Delany, Jonathan Lethem, Kelly
Link, Barry N. Malzberg, Gordon Van Gelder. It's been the dream of
most of our writers of serious literary ambition, going back to
Sturgeon, Bester, Bradbury, Vonnegut, and Dick: you avoid being
pigeonholed (and restrained in the marketplace) as a genre writer, and
get significant attention from the outside world. With reviews in
Newsweek and a National Book Critics Circle Award, Jonathan
Lethem has succeeded where others before him have had mixed success at
best. How has his experience compared to others? Might his success
change the playing field for other genre writers of ambition, present
- 13. Fr/06:00 [ME]
- Octogenarians in Science Fiction. Paul Levinson. Talk
/ Discussion (60 min.). Levinson's novel Borrowed Tides
features a ship captained by two men in their late 70s -- a philosopher
of science and an expert on Native American mythology. It raises such
questions as: Bertrand Russell and George Bernard Shaw both lived and
were sharp as whips into their 90s; is there a correlation between
philosophic and literary kinds of minds, and longevity? What role might
deep space have on longevity and sexuality? What impact would people
living and performing longer have on the rest of society? With a
limited number of people in deep space, would parenting at all ages
make sense? For these and other reasons, might octogenarians be the
cutting edge of deep-space exploration?
- 14. Fr/06:00 [NH]
- Hal Clement reads from a novel in progress, tentatively
called Noise. (30 min.).
- 15. Fr/06:00 
- Kaffeeklatsches. Jeffrey A. Carver; Suzy McKee Charnas.
- 16. Fr/06:30 [NH]
- Terry McGarry reads the prologue to Illumination
(forthcoming from Tor in August), an imaginary-realm fantasy in which
magecraft is practiced in triads using illuminated manuscripts;. and
"Alindra," a fantasy currently appearing online. (30 min.).
- 17. Fr/07:00 [F]
Science Fact, SF-Style
- Allen Steele (M); Jeff Hecht, Wil McCarthy, Charles Platt, Ian
Randal Strock. While the audience for serious sf is in decline,
there is a burgeoning market (in Wired and elsewhere) for highly
speculative, way-out science fact writing. What does this tell us about
public attitudes towards science, and towards what is "real"
versus what isn't? Is there any way for sf writers to exploit this
interest and open-mindedness to expand the market for fiction?
- 18. Fr/07:00 [G]
Luck and Coincidence in Speculative Fiction
- John Crowley, Debra Doyle, James Alan Gardner (+M), Aline
Boucher Kaplan, Jack McDevitt. By sheer chance, a panel for
Readercon13! Writers of fiction usually downplay or avoid luck and
coincidence, as a hallmark of weak plotting; occasionally it is instead
foregrounded, for irony or as farce; less often, the nature of luck (or
fate or synchronicity) is posed as a teleological question. How have
writers of f&sf used these approaches? What are the secrets of
making luck and coincidence work for you?
- 19. Fr/07:00 [ME]
- How I Wrote Stations of the Tide. Michael
Swanwick. Talk (30 min.).
- 20. Fr/07:00 [NH]
- Delia Sherman reads "La Fée Verte," a
historical slipstream novella set in mid-19th-century Paris. (60 min.).
- 21. Fr/07:00 [VT]
- Patrick O'Leary reads from The Impossible Bird
(forthcoming from Tor next January) and a taste of something altogether
different from his collection Other Voices, Other Doors. And
one scandalous story about David Hartwell. (60 min.).
- 22. Fr/07:00 
- Kaffeeklatsches. Steven Sawicki; Cecilia Tan.
- 23. Fr/07:30 [ME]
- The New England Museum Guide. Leigh Grossman.
Chautauqua (30 min.). Grossman has edited and published this guide to
1,500 local museums, from the well-known to the obscure and bizarre
(e.g., the natural history museum in Maine that uses roadkill for its
- 24. Fr/08:00 [F]
Stumbling on Butterflies: The Enduring Appeal of the Time Travel Story
- John Crowley, James Patrick Kelly, Ellen Klages, Allen Steele,
Michael Swanwick (+M). Continuing in a recent Readercon tradition.
A topic we've been passing over as a bit too familiar suddenly is
irresistible -- because a GoH excels at it.
- 25. Fr/08:00 [G]
Stop Defining SF!?
- John Clute, Samuel R. Delany (+M), Moshe Feder, Edward James,
Cecilia Tan. According to Samuel R. Delany (SFRA Review #247
and NYRSF, September 2000), what we call definitions of sf are
actually "functional descriptions that apply more or less richly
to a greater or a lesser amount of science fiction in more or less
interesting ways." Furthermore, whenever we adopt a definition of
sf, we exclude its parameters from subsequent argument, because we mean
them to be axiomatic -- we deny ourselves the chance to use the terms
of the definition for "interrogation and exploration." Delany
therefore exhorts sf scholars to forgo the "definitional
stance" and accept that sf (like all other genres) should be
regarded as undefinable.
- 26. Fr/08:00 [ME]
- Programmable Matter. Wil McCarthy. Chautauqua
(60 min.). Can electrons trapped in quantum wells be
manipulated into forming artificial atoms?
- 27. Fr/08:00 [RI]
Bookaholics Anonymous Annual Meeting
- Lois Powers (M); John R. Douglas, Nancy C. Hanger, Robert
I. Katz, Terry McGarry, Andrew I. Porter, Sarah Smith. Discussion
(60 min.). 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, secretly encourages its
members to succumb to their addictions. The shame, in other words, is a
sham. Learn about your illness. Explore the worst manifestations of
this insidious vice. How bad are you? Take the test; face the truth.
This year's meeting may prove to the most dangerous in recent Readercon
history. Come find out why!
- 28. Fr/08:00 [NH]
- Ellen Kushner reads from her and Delia Sherman's
just-completed The Fall of the Kings. (60 min.).
- 29. Fr/08:00 [VT]
- Michael Kandel reads "Foosh," a story about a man
who through meditation exercises learns to love failure. (30 min.).
- 30. Fr/08:00 
- Kaffeeklatsches. Hal Clement; Scott Edelman.
- 31. Fr/08:30 [VT]
- Michael Cisco reads "Dr. Bondi's Methods"
from his forthcoming collection, Secret Hours. (30 min.).
- 32. Fr/09:00 [ME]
The Curse of the Unavoidable Friday the 13th Horror Panel
- Craig Shaw Gardner, Leigh Grossman (+M), John Klima, Steven
Sawicki, Darrell Schweitzer. Much horror fiction can be
conceptualized as featuring an inimical or malign force, plus a set of
circumstances which put ordinary people in its path. Very different
flavors can be achieved, depending on whether the characters see the
badness coming, or are blindsided. A discussion of the role of bad luck
and superstitious dread in horror fiction.
- 33. Fr/09:00 [RI]
- Procuring Favorite Authors By Happenstance, Proximity, and
Flavor. Daniel P. Dern. Talk / Discussion (60 min.).
Three semi-related observations by a bookaholic launch a discussion of
favorite-author-collecting and -consuming strategies. Dern has
discovered a number of favorite authors by sheer happenstance (e.g.,
seeing their book(s) in the library to-be-filed cart or New Books
shelves, or in the "free books" shack at the recycling
center) or by proximity in the library stack to another author whose
books he was already grabbing. Many of these writers (especially non-sf
ones) have become favorites because of the strong taste or flavor of
their writing (in Dern's case, e.g. Steven Becker, James Lee Burke, Pat
Conroy, Ross Thomas.) And the next step after finding a new author is
often to find and consume the entire remainder of their catalog
(interlibrary loans can prove helpful here.)
- 34. Fr/09:00 [NH]
- Michael Swanwick reads either "The Dog Said
Bow-Wow" or (if it's finished) "The Little Cat Laughed to See
Such Fun." Both are light dramas about two con-men, Darger and
Surplus, in the post-utopian future. And, Swanwick adds, "they
have happy endings. Really. No, I mean it." (60 min.).
- 35. Fr/09:00 [VT]
- Donald Kingsbury reads from Psychohistorical Crisis
(forthcoming from Tor in November). (30 min.).
- 36. Fr/09:30 [VT]
- Cecilia Tan reads from her just-published s/m science
fiction adventure novel, The Velderet. Cyberspace, governmental
oppression and taboo sexual desires take the forefront in the story, in
which our protagonists start out exploring their erotic fantasies and
end up fighting to save their planet from destruction. Can the perverts
save their society, even as they subvert it from within? (30 min.).
- ** Fr/10:00 [F/G]
- All of the above and then some. Each writer at
the party has selected a short, pithy quotation from their own work,
and is armed with a sheet of 30 printed labels with that 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 still-functional synapses in George W. Bush's brain.
- 37. Sa/-10:00 [F]
Fantasy And Stage Magic
- Jeanne M. Cavelos, James D. Macdonald (+M), Melissa Scott,
Sarah Smith, Michael Swanwick. "If we wish to create an
illusion, it is not enough to conceal the particular device used; we
must conceal the fact that any device exists." --Magic and
Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurors, Henning Nelms. Writing
fiction -- and especially fantasy fiction, with its seamless
subcreation of entire worlds -- seems to have some intriguing parallels
to performing illusions on stage. "The art of illusion is at least
95 per cent applied psychology ... a play does not take place on
the stage but in the minds of the spectators."
- 38. Sa/-10:00 [G]
The Career of David G. Hartwell
- Kathryn Cramer, Samuel R. Delany, John R. Douglas (+M),
Arthur D. Hlavaty, Patrick O'Leary.
- 39. Sa/-10:00 [ME]
- The Nature of Memory, the Purpose of Sleep, and the Meaning of
Dreams. Eric M. Van. Chautauqua (60 min.). Why do we
remember some things and forget others? When does our brain decide
which is which? An expansion and integration of existing theories of
memory mechanisms and dream function.
- 40. Sa/-10:00 [RI]
- Exploring Strange Worlds on Earth -- and Transforming the
Experience into Fiction. Jeffrey A. Carver. Talk (30 min.).
- 41. Sa/-10:00 [NH]
- Elizabeth Hand reads from her novella "Chip Crockett's
Christmas Carol," in honor of Joey Ramone. (30 min.).
- 42. Sa/-10:00 [VT]
- Rosemary Kirstein reads from either The Lost
Steersman (forthcoming from Del Rey), or from the in-progress,
untitled fourth book of the same series. (30 min.).
- 43. Sa/-10:00 
- Kaffeeklatsches. John Clute; Donald Kingsbury.
- 44. Sa/-10:00 [E]
- Autographs. Thomas A. Easton; Steven Sawicki.
- 45. Sa/-10:30 [RI]
- How I'm Writing Coyote (a Work in Progress). Allen
Steele. Talk (30 min.). This long novel is being written as
novellas, novelettes, and short stories for Asimov's.
- 46. Sa/-10:30 [NH]
- James Patrick Kelly reads two just-completed short-shorts,
"You and I" and "The Meaning." (30 min.).
- 47. Sa/-10:30 [VT]
- Wen Spencer reads the first chapter of Alien Taste,
out just days ago from Roc. (30 min.).
- 48. Sa/-11:00 [F]
Your Own Asterisks: The Erotic, the Explicit and the Personal
- Samuel R. Delany (+M), Scott Edelman, Elizabeth Hand, Barry B.
Longyear, Delia Sherman, Cecilia Tan. In a review (NYRSF,
October 2000) of Cecilia Tan's collection Black Feathers,
Candas Jane Dorsey admits a preference for the line of asterisks that,
in conventional fiction, stands in for the explicit scenes in erotica.
To her, erotica is most effective when it invokes the reader's
imagination and own sexual vocabulary. Others find that well-written
explicit erotica can arouse, by the sheer force of the author's passion
-- even when they can take or leave the author's kinks. For what
psychological or social reasons is the erotic personal for some of us,
and more universal for others, so that two readers of the same text can
react so differently?
- 49. Sa/-11:00 [G]
An Editor and His Novelists
- Suzy McKee Charnas, David G. Hartwell, Donald Kingsbury, Paul
Levinson, Robert J. Sawyer (+M). Our editor Guest of Honor in
conversation with several novelists he has worked with. We'll begin
with each writer sharing a telling anecdote from their working
relationship, and see if that leads us towards a better understanding
of the editing process, and how the editor-writer relationship can
- 50. Sa/-11:00 [ME]
- Sound and Spirit, the Novelist's Public Radio Show.
Ellen Kushner. Talk (60 min.). Since 1996 Kushner has been
writer and host of a unique public radio show that is now on 120
stations nationwide; Bill Moyers has called it "the best show on
public radio, bar none!" Kushner's being a writer of fiction has
given the show a unique slant, and she's used the "tricks" of
fiction to create effects on radio.
- 51. Sa/-11:00 [RI]
- Stealth SF: SF-Like Themes in Non-SF Books. John
Morressy. Talk / Discussion (60 min.). The qualities that sf
readers look for can sometimes be found outside the genre. Novels like
Conrad Richter's The Light In The Forest and Chinua Achebe's
Things Fall Apart deal with contact between unfamiliar human
cultures, and are thus alien contact stories of a sort. Histories like
Garrett Mattingly's The Armada and Stephen E. Ambrose's
Nothing Like It In The World (about the transcontinental
railroad) deal with human situations that have never before occurred,
analogous to our era's leap into space.
- 52. Sa/-11:00 [NH]
- John Crowley reads, for the first time anywhere, from
The Translator (forthcoming March, 2002.) (60 min.).
- 53. Sa/-11:00 [VT]
- Darrell Schweitzer reads "Envy, The Gardens of Ynath,
and the Sin of Cain." Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a
tentacled eldritch horror from Beyond? Schweitzer waited almost 30
years before seriously essaying a "Cthulhu Mythos" story. The
result is anything but pastiche, incorporating some of Lovecraft's
mythology in sneaky ways into an impressionistic, decidedly post-New
Wave sort of story that doesn't mention the Necronomicon even
once. Set in Vermont, Yuggoth, and a black hole at the end of the
universe. (60 min.).
- 54. Sa/-11:00 
- Kaffeeklatsches. Toni Anzetti, Geary Gravel, and Rosemary Kirstein;
- 55. Sa/-11:00 [E]
- Autographs. Kelly Link; Wen Spencer.
- 56. Sa/12:00 [F]
Your Own Private Schenectady
- Hal Clement, Barry B. Longyear, John Morressy, Melissa Scott,
Michael Swanwick (+M). Notebooks, index cards, simple or
elaborate filing systems, perfect recall -- writers have many different
ways of organizing their ideas and works in progress. We wonder whether
different systems of organization produce different flavors in the
fiction -- perhaps without the writer's awareness.
- 57. Sa/12:00 [G]
HAL 9000, AI Prophets 0
- Jeanne M. Cavelos, Daniel P. Dern (+M),
Daniel Hatch, Charles Platt, Stephen Popkes. It's
2001: Where's HAL? (Or Shalmaneser, for that matter.) The actual pace
of progress in AI has been downright glacial compared to that predicted
by scientists and sf visionaries alike. What went wrong? What does the
future hold, realistically?
- 58. Sa/12:00 [ME]
- Flight Snack Wrappers from the No-Fly Zone. John R.
MacLeod. Talk / Discussion (60 min.). Impressions from a
January 13 trip to Iraq with Conscience International, and some notes
on international politics viewed through the prism of sf (Disch, Banks,
et al). Images, sound clips, and the experience of being monitored by
security spooks from both sides. Photos of Baghdad and Basra street
scenes, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the Ishtar Gate, and the
ziggurat at Aqar Quf. Schools, families, agriculture and development.
What we brought back from our trip. A limited number of 250 dinar
notes, with Arabic numerals on one side and standard decimal on the
other, will be distributed.
- 59. Sa/12:00 [RI]
The Readercon Book Club
- John Clute, Kevin J. Maroney, James Minz, Patrick O'Leary, Paul
Witcover. Gene Wolfe's The Book of the Long Sun and its
sequel, The Book of the Short Sun (which John Clute calls
"a white hole which drinks you and gives you forth
transformed"). Two consecutive 50-minute sessions.
- 60. Sa/12:00 [NH]
- Paul Di Filippo reads "Neutrino Drag," a
just-finished story. (60 min.).
- 61. Sa/12:00 [VT]
- Kelly Link reads. (30 min.).
- 62. Sa/12:00 
- Kaffeeklatsches. Andrew I. Porter; Delia Sherman.
- 63. Sa/12:00 [E]
- Autographs. Michael Cisco; John Crowley.
- 64. Sa/12:30 [VT]
- Madeleine E. Robins reads from Petty Treason, the
in-progress sequel to Point of Honour (30 min.).
- 65. Sa/01:00 [F]
- Suzy McKee Charnas, Moshe Feder, David G. Hartwell (+M),
Edward James, Charles C. Ryan. What are the qualities that voters
for various f&sf awards (Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, etc.) look
for? How do they compare to the qualities the broader contemporary
readership looks for, and to those that actually make a book a classic
to readers years later? If we are rewarding a somewhat different set of
qualities, how does this affect individual writers, and the field as a
- 66. Sa/01:00 [G]
Explanatory Power in Science, Society and Fiction
- James L. Cambias, Jeff Hecht, David Alexander Smith (+M), Sarah
Smith, Jean-Louis Trudel. The best scientific theories are those
which explain and unite a wide variety of phenomena in terms of a
single overriding principle. This, of course, is also the M.O. of
conspiracy theorists, and a favorite sf story structure. Hmm ...
don't you see a pattern here? A discussion of this story structure both
as it relates to others (e.g., conceptual breakthrough) and its
- 67. Sa/01:00 [ME]
- The Odyssey Writing Workshop. Jeanne M. Cavelos.
Talk (60 min.). An explanation of the workings of this intense
six-week workshop for writers of sf, fantasy, and horror, held each
summer at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, NH. Previous
guest lecturers 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.
- 59bis. Sa/01:00 [RI]
The Readercon Book Club (continued)
- John Clute, Kevin J. Maroney, James Minz, Patrick O'Leary, Paul
- 68. Sa/01:00 [NH]
- Lisa A. Barnett and Melissa Scott read the last section cut
(with great reluctance and fondness by all involved) from Point of
Dreams -- a description of a performance of "The Drowned
Island," a play that is much mentioned in the book. (60 min.).
- 69. Sa/01:00 [VT]
- Jeffrey A. Carver reads from Eternity's End. (30 min.).
- 70. Sa/01:00 
- Kaffeeklatsches. Elizabeth Hand; Barry N. Malzberg.
- 71. Sa/01:00 [E]
- Autographs. Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald.
- 72. Sa/01:30 [VT]
- Daniel P. Dern reads either a finished-but-not-yet-submitted
story story, from one of at least two longer works-in-progress, or a
children's story. (30 min.).
- 73. Sa/02:00 [F]
- Craig E. Engler, Jim Freund (+M), Greer Gilman, Connie Hirsch,
John Morressy, Joey Zone. Most or all of us experience some kind of
"movie in our head" when we read. How is it alike or
different from a real movie? Has it been affected by watching them?
Some of us, while reading, occasionally think of the actual movie that
might be made from the book. After all, we are never going to actually
see Gandalf and the Balrog fight on the Bridge of Khazad-Dum, and yet
this December ... So there is a sense in which the film of the
scene is imaginable in a way that the scene itself is not. Part of this
tendency, too, may derive from the understanding that film has become
far more popular than our own besieged and benighted medium; imagining
the text as film may be a way of universalizing its message, by
imagining its appeal to people we know will never read it. Does this
add to the reading experience, or is it to be avoided?
- 74. Sa/02:00 [G]
The Fiction of Michael Swanwick
- Kathryn Cramer, Robert I. Katz, James Patrick Kelly, Jack
McDevitt (+M), Gordon Van Gelder.
- 75. Sa/02:00 [ME]
- How I Wrote The Jazz. Melissa Scott. Talk (30 min.).
- 76. Sa/02:00 [RI]
- Working in the Small Press Wilderness. Kelly Link.
Talk / Discussion (60 min.). Why go with the small presses?
- 77. Sa/02:00 [NH]
- Ellen Brody reads "The Sitters"
by Clifford D. Simak. (60 min.).
- 78. Sa/02:00 [VT]
- Debra Doyle reads from a work in progress, most likely
either A Working of Stars or The Apocalypse Door. (30 min.).
- 79. Sa/02:00 
- Kaffeeklatsches. Paul Levinson; Yves Meynard.
- 80. Sa/02:00 [E]
- Autographs. Elizabeth Hand; Cecilia Tan.
- 81. Sa/02:30 [ME]
- On Writing (and Almost Finishing) A Very Long Book: Marcel,
J.R.R., and I. John Crowley. Talk (30 min.). In Crowley's
case, it's the three volumes (so far, of an eventual four) of
- 82. Sa/02:30 [VT]
- Daniel Hatch reads. (30 min.).
- 83. Sa/03:00 [F]
Egocentricism and Creativity
- John Crowley, James Patrick Kelly (+M), Ellen Kushner, Barry N.
Malzberg, Michael Swanwick, Cecilia Tan. "I'm Michael
Swanwick, and with the possible exception of Gene Wolfe, I'm the best
writer present today." This introduction at Readercon 1 (at the
Wolfe appreciation panel!) drew big laughs for its nerve (and apparent
self-delusion), but in retrospect it seems to be merely precognitive
(Nabokov observes that "there is no more pure love in the world
than the love a young writer has for the old writer he will someday
become"). Swanwick now maintains that "modesty and a
reasonable awareness of [one's] limitations have no place in a writing
- 84. Sa/03:00 [G]
The Clothes Make the Man-Plus
- Ellen Asher, Lisa A. Barnett, Thomas M. Disch, David G.
Hartwell, James D. Macdonald, Delia Sherman (+M). Fashion and
clothes play an important role in real-world social interactions and
have changed in fascinating ways over time. How have writers of
imaginative literature (ad)dressed this issue?
- 85. Sa/03:00 [ME]
- Why Everyone Should Be Reading Science Fiction. Jack
McDevitt. Discussion (60 min.). "I don't read the stuff
myself." It's a comment sf writers hear quite often. McDevitt
feels sorry for these people. Aside from the sheer joy, and its
contributions toward developing scientists and engineers, and its use
as a tool for English teachers working with reluctant students, what
other benefits does sf bequeath on its readers? Wouldn't the world be a
better place if we all could read it?
- 86. Sa/03:00 [RI]
- Hypertext Tools for Writers.. Mark Bernstein with Sarah
Smith. Talk (60 min.). One possible private Schenectady. Eastgate
Systems publishes not only literary hypertext, but software tools which
are ideal for writers who need to organize information.
- 87. Sa/03:00 [NH]
- Barry B. Longyear reads "Bifrost Crossing," to
appear in an upcoming Future War anthology. (60 min.).
- 88. Sa/03:00 [VT]
- James Alan Gardner reads from Ascending (forthcoming
from HarperCollins/Eos in November). (30 min.).
- 89. Sa/03:00 
- Kaffeeklatsches. Jeanne M. Cavelos; Robert J. Sawyer.
- 90. Sa/03:00 [E]
- Autographs. Jeffrey A. Carver; Paul Levinson.
- 91. Sa/03:30 [VT]
- Steven Sawicki reads his novella "Invisible Friends
(from Absolute Magnitude, Spring 2001), or from "Invisible
Friends Too," its in-progress sequel. (30 min.).
- 92. Sa/04:00 [F]
Michael Swanwick Interviewed by Darrell Schweitzer.
- 93. Sa/05:00 [F]
David G. Hartwell Interviewed by Samuel R. Delany.
- 94. Sa/08:00 [F/G]
The 16th Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Competition.
- Craig Shaw Gardner (+M), Glenn Grant, Geary Gravel, Shariann
Lewitt, Eric M. Van (+M). (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. 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, new champion Shariann Lewitt, former thirteen-time
champion Geary Gravel, and new challenger Glenn Grant -- 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 "Bambi
pranced." 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
- 95. Sa/09:30 [F/G]
The James Tiptree, Jr. Memorial Award Benefit Auction.
- Ellen Klages.
- ** Su/-08:30 [Nan]
Closed Writers' Workshop.
- 96. Su/-10:00 [F]
Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Personal and Cultural Rediscovery.
- Ellen Asher, Thomas M. Disch, Fred Lerner (+M), Patrick Nielsen
Hayden, Andrew I. Porter, Darrell Schweitzer. We've talked about
how our tastes change as we mature, so that a book we loved as a child
and scorned as a young adult may eventually find renewed favor. And
we've talked about how writers' reputations (e.g., James Branch
Cabell's) ebb and flow as decades pass. It just occurred to us that the
two are cognate phenomena which might be fruitfully compared. Is their
a natural embrace --> reject --> reassess cycle, and, if so,
where does it come from?
- 97. Su/-10:00 [G]
SF Mysteries: Balancing the Tropes.
- Don D'Ammassa, Alexander Jablokov (+M), Paul Levinson, Wil
McCarthy, Wen Spencer. There are actually two diametrically
opposite types of sf / mystery hybrid: you can have an sf crime and
conventional detective techniques, or a conventional crime and sf
detection. How do the flavors of (and possibly, audiences for) the two
types of hybrid differ? Do you risk losing (at least) the mystery
reader if you make both the crime and detection sfnal?
- 98. Su/-10:00 [ME]
- John Clute, Greer Gilman, Elizabeth Hand, Michael
Swanwick (+M). Michael Swanwick has been researching the
fascinating life of the author of the fantasy classic
- 99. Su/-10:00 [RI]
- Telesentience: How to Review Science Fiction, and Why..
David G. Hartwell. Talk (30 min.).
- 100. Su/-10:00 [NH]
- Scott Edelman reads "My Life is Good," an
alternate history Randy Newman story, forthcoming in early 2002 in Andy
Duncan's and F. Brett Cox's anthology Crossroads: Southern Stories
of the Fantastic. (60 min.).
- 101. Su/-10:00 [VT]
- Daniel Pearlman reads "Spellchecked," from his new
collection The Best-Known Man in the World & Other Misfits.
- 102. Su/-10:00 
- Kaffeeklatsches. Patrick O'Leary; Ian Randal Strock.
- 103. Su/-10:00 [E]
- Autographs. Barry B. Longyear; Jack McDevitt.
- 104. Su/-10:30 [VT]
- Robert I. Katz reads from Edward Maret: A Novel of the
Future, a story of a young man who is rich, carefree and engaged to
be married, but who has enemies; leading to betrayal, revenge and
long-sought redemption. (30 min.).
- 105. Su/-11:00 [F]
The Fiction of Clifford D. Simak.
- Gregory Feeley, David G. Hartwell (+M), Ken Houghton, Lissanne
Lake, Jonathan Lethem, Barry N. Malzberg.
- 106. Su/-11:00 [G]
The Single-Author Collection.
- Paul Di Filippo (M); Scott Edelman, Marty Halpern, Kelly Link,
Allen Steele, Gordon Van Gelder. Always a specialty of the small
press, they are now rare from major publishers. How do you choose the
stories to make a collection more than the sum of its parts? What's it
like for a writer to review and reflect on such a large body of their
work? We agree on the importance of such collections as a career
signpost or landmark -- why did they lose favor with the average
book-buyer, and are there ways to restore it?
- 107. Su/-11:00 [ME]
The Vingean Singularity.
- Glenn Grant, Donald Kingsbury, Charles Platt (+M), Jean-Louis
Trudel. Vernor Vinge has proposed that the inevitable creation of
super-human machine intelligences, sometime this century, will create
change so profound that what lies beyond may literally be unimaginable.
- 108. Su/-11:00 [RI]
- The Interstitial Arts Movement. Heinz Insu Fenkl with
Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman. Talk / Discussion (60 min.).
Interstitial Arts (http://www.endicott-studio.com/ia.html) are
literary, visual, and performance arts that blur or abolish the
boundaries drawn between genres and art disciplines. This presentation
will include the announcement of the creation of ISIS -- The
Interstitial Studies Institute -- at SUNY New Paltz, which will begin
next summer with a 2-week intensive writers' workshop geared toward
those whose works fall between current genre categories. Audience
members are invited to contribute ideas about the meaning and function
of such an institute.
- 109. Su/-11:00 [NH]
- Greer Gilman reads from three linked stories: "Jack
Daw's Pack," "A Crowd of Bone," and/or
"Unleaving." (60 min.).
- 110. Su/-11:00 [VT]
- Paul Witcover reads a chapter from work-in-progress
Tumbling After. (30 min.).
- 111. Su/-11:00 
- Kaffeeklatsches. Michael A. Burstein; John Crowley.
- 112. Su/-11:00 [E]
- Autographs. Michael Swanwick; Samuel R. Delany.
- 113. Su/-11:30 [VT]
- Toni Anzetti reads from the just-completed Steel
Helix, set in the same universe as Typhon's Children and
Riders of Leviathan, but in a different place and time. (30 min.).
- 114. Su/12:00 [F]
Forget This Blurb: Amnesia Fiction.
- John Clute, Shira Daemon, Thomas M. Disch, Glenn Grant, Jonathan Lethem (+M),
Kelly Link. "Fiction that, more than just presenting a
character who has suffered memory loss, enters into an amnesiac
state at some level of the narrative itself -- and invites the
reader to do the same. Fiction that makes something of the white spaces
that are fiction's native habitat." --Jonathan Lethem, in the
introduction to his terrific new anthology The Vintage Book of
Amnesia (whose table of contents and introduction will give a much
better idea of what this panel is about than any blurb we could write).
- 115. Su/12:00 [G]
Thank God I'm a Country 'Droid: Pastoral SF.
- Toni Anzetti, Jeffrey A. Carver, Thomas A. Easton, Gregory
Feeley (+M), Geary Gravel. There's an unspoken rough pair of
equations which goes sf = future = technical / urban; fantasy = past =
pastoral (in the broad sense of positively portraying the rural). But
much interesting sf (starting with much of Simak) has broken this
pattern, either by imagining virginal other planets, or unexpected
futures here on Earth. As real life countryside becomes rarer and
therefore more psychologically potent, might we see more such tales?
- 116. Su/12:00 [ME]
- Medievalist Millionaires and their Dream Castles.. Faye
Ringel. Chautauqua (30 min.). From the 1890s through the 1930s,
America's industrialist nouveau-riche created their own fantastic
vision of the European Middle Ages on American soil. By doing so, they
inspired succeeding generations of medievalists and fantasy readers to
dream about knights, castles, and tournaments. But the industrialists
-- it's no coincidence that we refer to them "Robber Barons"
-- didn't just build castles: within their private worlds, they
succeeded in living out their fantasies of feudalism. J.P. Morgan, the
Vanderbilts, John D. Rockefeller and others saw themselves as the new
American aristocracy. Ringel will explain this aspect of America's
Gothic vision, focusing on two castles within a short drive of
Readercon: the John Woodman Higgins Armory in Worcester, and the John
Hays Hammond Castle in Gloucester.
- 117. Su/12:00 [RI]
- Writing About Technology for the Technophobic.. Nancy C.
Hanger. Discussion (30 min.).
- 118. Su/12:00 [NH]
- John Morressy reads a brand new story, as yet untitled. (60 min.).
- 119. Su/12:00 [VT]
- Michael A. Burstein and Shane Tourtellotte read their
just-published novella, "Bug Out!" (Analog,
July/August 2001). (60 min.).
- 120. Su/12:00 
- Kaffeeklatsches. Daniel P. Dern; Barry B. Longyear.
- 121. Su/12:00 [E]
- Autographs. David G. Hartwell; Kathryn Cramer.
- 122. Su/12:30 [ME]
- The Hospital of the Future.. Robert I. Katz.
Chautauqua (30 min.).
- 123. Su/12:30 [RI]
- iPublish.com. Paul Witcover. Talk (30 min.). A
presentation on Time Warner's eBook publishing company and online
writing community, by its sf editor.
- 124. Su/01:00 [F]
The Fantasy Archipelago Revisited.
- John Clute, Paul Di Filippo (+M), Ellen Kushner, Yves Meynard,
Michael Swanwick. In his 1994 essay "In the
Tradition ...", Michael Swanwick argued that works which are
(at least initially) sui generis hold a central and key place
within fantasy. Tolkien, Howard, Eddison, and Peake begin the list of
classic examples; contemporary ones begin with John Crowley's
Little, Big and include Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint and
Greer Gilman's Moonwise. Was Swanwick right? How practical and
useful is his distinction between works which are fundamentally
original, and those which gravitate towards an established genre or
otherwise plainly show their influences? What works can we add to his
- 125. Su/01:00 [G]
Print-on-Demand: The Backlist Revolution.
- Nancy C. Hanger, John Klima, Barry B. Longyear (+M), Charles
Platt, Paul Witcover. For years we've complained about the
unavailability of classic genre works that have gone out of print. But
if (even so obscure a title as) Next Door to the Sun by Stanton
A. Coblentz is now available through print-on-demand, can there soon be
many titles left unavailable? The new technology of POD is starting to
change things -- in what could be a dramatic way.
- 126. Su/01:00 [ME]
- How I Wrote Rebel Sutra.. Shariann Lewitt.
Talk (30 min.).
- 127. Su/01:00 [RI]
- French SF and SF in French. Jean-Louis Trudel. Talk
(30 min.). Yes, it's back! The yearly review of what's up and who's
down in French-language sf over the past year, by one of the leading
francophone sf authors.
- 128. Su/01:00 [NH]
- Paul Levinson reads the first chapter of his just-completed
The Consciousness Plague, featuring NYPD forensic detective Dr.
Phil D'Amato. Memory loss -- in slivers of time deducted from growing
numbers of individual lives -- subtly undermines and plays havoc with
everything from candlelight dinners to the investigation of serial
stranglings. (30 min.).
- 129. Su/01:00 [VT]
- James L. Cambias reads either "A Diagram of
Rapture," "The Alien Abduction" or the forthcoming
"See My King All Dressed In Red" (audience's choice). (30 min.).
- 130. Su/01:00 
- Kaffeeklatsches. Samuel R. Delany; James Alan Gardner.
- 131. Su/01:30 [ME]
- How I Wrote Deepsix. Jack McDevitt.
- 132. Su/01:30 [NH]
- Ellen Klages reads. (30 min.).
- 133. Su/01:30 [VT]
- Aline Boucher Kaplan reads from The Fires of Change,
the in-progress second volume of The Demons of Godsworld. Having
crossed the line from lands settled by fundamentalist believers into a
demon-haunted wilderness, Channik and Dorrevin must confront a reality
in which accepted truth is a lie, not every demon has fangs, and they
must change everything they've ever known. (30 min.).
- 134. Su/02:00 [F]
Hard SF as a Fight Against Entropy.
- David G. Hartwell (M); Jeffrey A. Carver, Hal Clement,
Shariann Lewitt, Wil McCarthy, Peter Watts. "The
universe ... falls inevitably into a vortex of entropy, but within
this irreversible process there may be areas of order ... A work
of literature is one of those minimal portions" --Italo Calvino,
Six Memos for the Next Millennium. This seems to us especially
true of sf, and quintessentially so of hard sf. In both form and
content, much hard sf seems to be about waging the war against entropy,
where the production of order in a universe often hell-bent on chaos
provides an island of catharsis and relief for both the characters and
the reader. But we just read the stuff -- what do the folks who write
- 135. Su/02:00 [G]
If You Liked Harry Potter ...
- Toni Anzetti, James L. Cambias, Michael Cisco, Farah Mendlesohn,
Faye Ringel (+M). We promised a certain twelve-year-old we'd do
this recommended reading panel. Digressions onto the art of matching
the kid (or adult) to the book are welcome.
- 136. Su/02:00 [NH]
- Jack McDevitt reads "Nothing Ever Happens in Rock
City," a short-short about the liquor store owner in a town where
the E.T. signal is finally heard, and from Deepsix. (60 min.).
- 137. Su/02:00 
- Kaffeeklatsch. Michael Swanwick.
- 138. Su/03:00 
- Kaffeeklatsch. David G. Hartwell.
- *** Su/03:00 [F]
Readercon13 Debriefing / Critique.
- Members of the Readercon13 Committee.
back to The Readercon Page