Complete Readercon 26 Program Guide (PDF)
Conference Schedule with item descriptions
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday program grid
If you have a smartphone, you can access our schedule, maps, restaurant guide, and more by bookmarking the Readercon Guide in your browser. It's a web page that works like a mobile app, so your browser should cache all of it and make it work when you're offline as well. The guide should work on most computers, phones, and tablets that have some sort of relatively modern web browser. We suggest that you manually refresh the page once a day so you have the latest changes
There are three things you can do while at Readercon during the day: talk to friends, browse and patronize the Bookshop, or attend the program. This is a significantly shorter list than provided by other science fiction conventions (which typically include an art show, gaming, musical performances, and so on). It's thus not an exaggeration to say that Readercon is all about the program. As we used to say, it's not just the heart of the convention, but also the lungs, brain, liver, and kidneys.
Readercon covers the whole of imaginative literature (or "speculative fiction") from hard science fiction to fantasy, horror, and the unclassifiable, but with a special emphasis on the most literary, ambitious, and cutting-edge work in the field. Our regular Program Participants include writers, editors, publishers, and critics from the Northeast, and those from around the world with a special affinity for our emphasis.
Each year, we further supplement the program with experts on individual program items, such as our panel discussions appreciating the works of our Guests of Honor.
Readercon Program Participants pay no membership fee. Our Program Guide includes brief bio-bibliographies of all participants, and an index of their appearances at the convention.
Much of the credit for Readercon's programming goes to our program participants, and we're always looking for exciting new people to add to their ranks. If you would like to apply (or suggest someone) to be added to our invitation list, please submit an extremely persuasive application using this form. We are especially eager to recruit scientists, historians, artists and musicians, and others who work in fields of interest to genre fiction writers and readers.
Readercon is committed to diversity in its program; we believe a wide range of voices makes for better conversation. We strongly encourage members of minority and underprivileged groups to apply. While no one is required to provide information on race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, religion or lack of religion, sexual or relationship orientation, age, or other personal characteristics, if that information is provided we will take it into consideration when we build our program. If you are suggesting someone other than yourself, please do not provide contact information, minority status, or other personal information without that person's explicit prior permission.
If you would like to suggest a program item, please do so using this form. We welcome anything from interesting links and vague concepts to full-fledged proposals complete with suggested panelists. Be adventuresome and creative; remember that Readercon's program starts where other conventions leave off. The programs for our past conventions, which may be perused using the links in the sidebar, will give you an idea of what we're looking for.
If you are a past Readercon program participant or have received an invitation to the upcoming convention, and you would like to submit a proposal for a solo talk, performance, discussion, workshop, special-interest panel, or group reading, please use this form (which also provides definitions of those terms). If you've never been a Readercon program participant and have not received an invitation, please submit an application first.
The form and content of the Readercon program are shaped by the following principles:
We've found that we can satisfy these principles by featuring the following simultaneously:
The items in any hour are carefully selected to avoid overlaps of genre and topic. If there's a hard sf panel discussion, there will rarely if ever be a hard sf author doing a reading, autograph session, or the like at the same time. (There's another reason for this: we want them in the audience of the panel discussion). If there's a panel we deem useful to aspiring writers (who are legion in our audience), it will not be up against a solo talk about writing. In fact, someone with a fairly narrow set of interests should be able to pick and choose their way through the program: first a panel discussion about fantasy, then a reading by a fantasy author, now a discussion, another panel, a Kaffeeklatsch, and so on. The attendee with broader tastes finds themselves (we hope) at a sumptuous but well-balanced buffet.
Very simply, we pride ourselves on doing panel discussions you haven't seen at previous sf conventions. We develop our ideas at meetings of our Program Subcommittee (there were ten of us this year, which is to say roughly half of the entire convention committee). If we have a driving principle, it's to start the panel at the right point, which is often roughly where the typical panel on the topic ends. In other words, we strive for panels that ask the next question (the driving cognitive philosophy of sf great Theodore Sturgeon, Memorial GoH at Readercon 2).
If this sounds attractive (or like a bold claim we need to back up), we urge you to read through the programs of past Readercons!
The convention begins Thursday at 8:00 PM with programming open to the public. (There's no registration, and we provide a handout with the evening's schedule in lieu of the full Program Guide.) Programming runs until 10:00 PM and consists of a relatively intimate, stripped-down version of what's to follow: a track or two of panels, a track of solo talks/discussions, and two tracks of readings.
Friday we begin at 11:00 AM with a full slate of our multi-track programming (local attendees who take the day off will thus be rewarded with the same wealth of programming that our out-of-towners enjoy). Since many local attendees do arrive after work and hence at dinner time, there's no dinner break. Special events start at 10:00 PM.
Saturday's full schedule runs from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. After 4:00 PM, there are yet more special events sandwiched around a dinner break. This year, due to popular demand, we hope to schedule a half-program (one track each of panels, readings, and solo talks/discussions) during the dinner break from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
Sunday programming once again begins at 10:00 AM and ends at 3:00 PM.
While there are no lunch breaks at Readercon, we do try to populate the lunchtime hours with some of our more specialized programming — and if that fails, there's a concession stand that sells very satisfying sandwiches!
While the bulk of the program items at every Readercon are novel, there are a handful that you can count on:
Readercon records audio and video of many program items, and is in the process of making those recordings accessible to the public as part of our educational mandate. Anyone who would like to individually record a program item and make that recording public is welcome to do so with the prior consent of the program participants. Attendees should be aware that audience contributions are often captured on these recordings.
2. 8:00 PM 5 Living in the Future. John Chu, Barbara Krasnoff (moderator), Andrea Phillips, Tom Purdom, Terence Taylor. Today, if we're going to see another person, we have cellphones to instantly communicate with that person, and maps on the cellphones to help us find our agreed-upon location. Twenty years ago we would have had to phone each other on landlines, pick a restaurant in advance or agree to meet at a landmark known to both of us. Five hundred years ago we wouldn't have had watches on our persons, so even keeping to the correct time of the appointment would have been difficult—how would we even know when the agreed-upon time of our meeting arrived? Our panelists will discuss some of the conveniences, large and small, that we take for granted, and the absence of which would cause difficulties of the sort that are often elided in fiction. The discussion will also discuss science fiction novels and stories that incorporate and project modern technology into their fictions, and which fail to take these things into account.
3. 8:00 PM 6 SF in Classical Tradition. John Crowley, Haris Durrani, Ada Palmer, Catherynne M. Valente, Jo Walton (leader). Whatever your definition of science fiction, there's no disputing that there were centuries of proto-science fiction published before the modern stuff began appearing. More than 1600 years before Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, Lucian of Samosata wrote The True History, featuring perhaps the first fictional trip to the moon, the first fictional trip into outer space, and the first fictional space opera. Cicero, in 51 B.C.E. published "The Dream of Scipio," in which the narrator and his grandfather, Scipio Africanus, take an astral journey through the solar system. Greek mythology, plays, and tragedies have science fictional elements in them as well. Our panelists will discuss the fantastical and science fictional in the classical (Greek and Roman) tradition.
4. 8:00 PM C The Works of Clark Ashton Smith. Michael Cisco, Gemma Files, Lila Garrott, Tim Powers, Darrell Schweitzer. It has been over a century since Clark Ashton Smith's first publications, when his first book of poetry appeared in 1912. He was something of a prodigy in those days, nineteen years old and being heralded by newspapers in California as a newly discovered genius, the Keats of the Sierras. He became acquainted with Lovecraft when Lovecraft wrote Smith a fan letter. We honor (and read) Clark Ashton Smith today precisely because he is unique. He spoke to us in a voice like no other, and he gave us visions of strangeness like no other. He was out of step with his times and proud of it. Join our panelists for a discussion of the works of the most recent winner of the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award.
5. 8:00 PM BH Bees! . Erik Amundsen, Max Gladstone, Natalie Luhrs, Julia Rios (moderator), T.X. Watson. From the serious scientific question of colony collapse disorder, through the also-serious metaphoric House of Evil Bees of Captain Awkward, to Chuck Wendig's ridiculous #facebees, bees seem to proliferate among the interests of our genre community. Why? Are we in it for the honey or the sting, or is it the combination that attracts us?
6. 8:00 PM A Reading: Jess Nevins. Jess Nevins. Jess Nevins reads "Reverse the Charges," a contemplation of "Call of Cthulhu."
7. 8:00 PM B Reading: Greer Gilman. Greer Gilman. Greer Gilman reads from a work in progress: a third Ben Jonson mystery, "A Robe for to Go Invisible."
8. 8:30 PM A Reading: Gregory Wilson. Gregory Wilson. Gregory Wilson reads from a new story published in an Origins convention anthology in June: "The Tower."
9. 8:30 PM B Reading: Scott Edelman. Scott Edelman. Scott Edelman reads “The Man Without the Blue Balloon and the Woman Who Had Smiles Only for Him”
10. 9:00 PM 5 The Life and Times of Mary Sue . Gillian Daniels, Gemma Files, Ben Francisco, Barbara Krasnoff (moderator), Natalie Luhrs. New Republic senior editor Jeet Heer wrote, in a short Twitter essay about Mary Sues, "The popularity of the term 'Mary Sue' really says everything you need to know about sexism in fandom/nerdom." Instead of unpacking the concept of Mary Sue, we'd like to zero in on the troubled history of this term, why it's troubled, and how better to talk about "self-insertion" in fiction without the sexism.
11. 9:00 PM 6 Books That Spoil Themselves . John Crowley, Jim Freund (leader), Max Gladstone, Yves Meynard, Lauren Roy. "Little did she know that was the last time she would see him alive" and similar lines in books go beyond foreshadowing and into the realm of spoilers. The movie Stranger Than Fiction explores the use of the phrase "little did he know," and Joe Hill's The Fireman (among many other books) includes several examples. Why and how do authors use this often derided literary device, and how does it affect the reader's experience of a story?
12. 9:00 PM C What Libraries Can Do for Readers . Jess Nevins, Tom Purdom (leader), Emily Wagner. Our panel of librarians and readers talk about the surprising hidden resources of libraries, and how your local library can help you find just the right book, connect with other readers, and more.
13. 9:00 PM BH Futurism's Blind Spot. Lisa Cohen, F. Brett Cox (leader), Robert Killheffer, J.M. Sidorova, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry. SF likes to think of itself as a predicitive literature, but it frequently fixates on technological change, fitting it into an existing or familiar social structure. SF tends to miss sociological change like more women in the workplace, queerness becoming public and accepted, or the increase in single parent families. In fact, hints in these directions are often considered dystopian. Why does SF focus on tech and superficial change more than deep sociological change? Is it harder to see how people and societies change than how gadgets do?
14. 9:00 PM A Reading: Livia Llewellyn. Livia Llewellyn. Livia Llewellyn reads a chapter from a novel-in-progress, The Olympiad.
15. 9:00 PM B Reading: Jim Kelly. Jim Kelly. Jim Kelly reads the beginning of a new story
16. 9:30 PM A Reading: Erik Amundsen. Erik Amundsen. Erik Amundsen reads "The Invasion" forthcoming in Lackingtons and/or "Red Round Eye of War" forthcoming in Not One of Us.
17. 9:30 PM B Reading: Lila Garrott. Lila Garrott. Lila Garrott reads portions of a novel in progress.
19. 11:00 AM 5 Background and Believability. Danielle Friedman, Carlos Hernandez, Kathleen Jennings (moderator), Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Sarah Smith. When a reader calls a story "implausible," what they often mean is "I've never experienced that" or "I've never known anyone like that person." Writers creating their own wish-fulfillment stories (e.g., wielding a shotgun to rescue a woman from zombies) may fail to connect with readers who don't share those wishes (e.g., pacifists, women who want to rescue themselves, oppressed minorities who've been threatened by authority figures with guns). How do we bridge the believability gaps within ourselves to connect with stories stemming from experiences we've never had, and to write for readers whose ideas of possible and plausible don't match up with our own?
20. 11:00 AM 6 Cowboys of Space. Scott Andrews, Chris Brown, Phenderson Clark, Molly Gloss (leader), Kameron Hurley. Let's discuss some of the ways in which SF and Fantasy perpetuate a cowboy mythology—a mythology of violent heroes, with a legacy of exploitation, vigilantism and brutality, imbued with fears, biases and insecurities about uppity women, swarthy foreigners, corrupt law enforcement, and government conspiracies. The true histories of cowboys in the American West are far more complex and colorful than many movies and paperback westerns would have us believe. How can we draw on real history to subvert and dismantle cowboy spaceman clichés?
21. 11:00 AM C The Politics of Food. Liz Gorinsky, Geoff Hart, David Shaw (moderator), Vinnie Tesla, Catherynne M. Valente. The recipe for lembas is a closely guarded secret—it's made by the elves, we're told, but which of them, and how? Why are restaurants lauded for meticulously recreating the humblest foods of people who now can't afford it? And what becomes of authenticity when all our food is replicated, from the database of some culinary streaming service? Armies march on their stomachs, and empires are built as often to seek out new appetites as sate them. How does food shape our stories, and what are the stories we can tell about our food?
22. 11:00 AM BH The Works of Diana Wynne Jones. Gili Bar-Hillel (leader), Lena Coakley, Alena McNamara, Bethany Powell, Sonya Taaffe. Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011) is renowned as one of the twentieth century's best writers of children's fantasies, but she wrote a considerable range of work, from fantasies to science fiction to satire. Jones was above all a knowing writer, conscious of the limits of the genres she was working in and always pushing at them, cannily manipulating old cliches and tropes and motifs to create something new and even astonishing. Her appeal was considerable, to both adults and children, and her skill greater. She was the winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 1978, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award in 1996 and 1999, and the Phoenix Award in 2006, as well as the British Fantasy Society's Karl Edward Wagner Award in 1999 and a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2007. As critic John Clute wrote in 1997, "At her best, Diana Wynne Jones has a suppleness, wit and storytelling ability that make her the equal of any living fantasy writer." Join us in a discussion of her work.
23. 11:00 AM A Reading: Kenneth Schneyer. Kenneth Schneyer. Kenneth Schneyer reads "A Lack of Congenial Solutions"
24. 11:00 AM B Reading: Maria Dahvana Headley. Maria Dahvana Headley. Maria Dahvana Headley reads from The Mere Wife, a Beowulf adaptation.
25. 11:00 AM E Autographs. Joe Haldeman, Kit Reed.
26. 11:30 AM A Reading: Tom Purdom. Tom Purdom. Tom Purdom reads from short essays written for a publication on classical music.
27. 11:30 AM B Reading: Michael J. Deluca. Michael J. Deluca. Michael J. Deluca reads "#Anon and the Antlers", a short story that came out in Orthogonal SF Volume 1 this winter.
28. 12:00 PM 5 Using Real Historical People in Fiction. Phenderson Clark, Jeffrey Ford, Tim Powers, Steve Rasnic Tem, Sarah Smith (leader). From Byron to Philby and beyond, Tim Powers's secret histories use real historical characters to do things they never did, and say things they never said. What is the author's responsibility in this situation, to the historical figure, to history, and to the character?
29. 12:00 PM 6 There's a Queer Person at the End of This Book! . Ben Francisco (leader), Alena McNamara, Hillary Monahan, Julia Starkey, Terence Taylor. Often in books that feature queer or trans characters, the narrative centers on their coming-out story. Many keep the character's queerness a secret from the reader until the last third of a book, even if the story is told from their point of view. J.K. Rowling revealed well after the completion of the Harry Potter series that Dumbledore was gay all along, though only very creative interpretations can find any proof of this in the text. Do queer audiences feel represented or further marginalized by this treatment? These days, some LGBTQIA people describe coming out as about as eventful as showing off new clothing: notable, but hardly earth-shattering. How can we tell a coming-out or queer story that moves beyond this?
30. 12:00 PM C The Works of Catherynne M. Valente. Jonathan Crowe, Gillian Daniels, Liz Gorinsky (leader), Kathleen Howard. Catherynne Valente has been a professional fortune teller, telemarketer, private tutor, librarian, waitress, bartender, actress, and statistician, but she is best known as a novelist and poet, having published over two dozen novels and poetry collections. She has been nominated for or won every major award in science fiction and fantasy: the Hugo (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014), the Nebula (2013, 2014), Locus (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014), and the World Fantasy Award (2007, 2009, 2011, 2014). In the Night Garden (2006) won the James Tiptree Jr. Award; The Orphan's Tales (2006-2007) won the Mythopoeic Award; "The Seven Devils of Central California" won the Rhysling Award (2008); Palimpsest won the Lambda Award (2010). In 2010, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making became the first self-published work to win a major literary award, winning the Andre Norton Award. The sequel, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, was listed by Time Magazine and NPR as one of the ten best books of 2012. The New York Times has called her "an incandescent young star." Join our panelists in a discussion of her work.
31. 12:00 PM BH Mark Z. Danielewski's The Familiar. Gregory Feeley. The first two volumes of Mark Z. Danielewski's The Familiar which appeared in 2015, each more than 800 pages long, announced a work of extraordinary scope (twenty-seven volumes are projected, ten already completed) and ambition. With the appearance in June of the third volume, Danielewski's polyphonic, multi-plotted work discloses itself as clearly (if mysteriously) a work of science fiction. Its typographical audacity and graphic inventiveness—"a novel that embraces the textual as much as it kind of resists it, and embraces the graphic as it kind of resists it," as the author put it—serves as the framework for an enormously complex novel that demands (and rewards) discussion.
32. 12:00 PM A Reading: Barbara Krasnoff. Barbara Krasnoff. Barbara Krasnoff reads "Sabbath Wine" from Clockwork Phoenix 5.
33. 12:00 PM B Reading: Nicole Kornher-Stace. Nicole Kornher-Stace. Nicole Kornher-Stace reads from the sequel-in-progress to ARCHIVIST WASP, which was about a post-apocalyptic ghosthunter, the ghost of a supersoldier, and their adventures in the underworld (Small Beer/Big Mouth House, 2015).
34. 12:00 PM E Autographs. Tom Purdom.
35. 12:30 PM A Reading: Vandana Singh. Vandana Singh. Vandana Singh reads an extract from a new work.
36. 12:30 PM B Reading: Carlos Hernandez. Carlos Hernandez. Carlos Hernandez reads from his short story collection The Assimilated Cuban's Guide to Quantum Santeria.
37. 1:00 PM 5 Why Women Become Protagonists . Gwenda Bond, Lisa Cohen, Rosemary Kirstein, Hillary Monahan, Navah Wolfe. In a 2015 essay about portrayals of female protagonists in crime fiction, Sara Paretsky writes, "Detectives like V.I. came to life in a time of bravado, when my peers and I... wrote out of a kind of cockiness: we're doing a job because we want it, we like the work, no one can stop us. Today, the female hero often has been brutally assaulted... or suffered some other form of serious trauma. It's as if the only acceptable reason for a woman to embrace the investigative life is to recover from damage, or get revenge for it—not because she takes pleasure in the work, and comes to it as a free spirit." Let's explore the reasons that female protagonists decide to protag, and discuss the many ways to motivate them other than assault and trauma.
38. 1:00 PM 6 Nonfiction for Fiction Writers . Matthew Cheney, Jonathan Crowe (leader), Keffy Kehrli, Tom Purdom, Rick Wilber. Sometimes we need to do specific research on science, historical events, or perspectives on lives and eras far removed from our own for the stories we want to tell. What are some of the best nonfiction works the panelists have read? Biographies, histories, essays, blog posts, studies or even the backs of cereal boxes: what inspires and informs you? Where do you turn when you need accurate, obscure information?
39. 1:00 PM C Why Don't Animals Use Magic? . Erik Amundsen, Suzy McKee Charnas, Lila Garrott, Theodora Goss, Ann Tonsor Zeddies. Rules-based magical systems draw on an alternate set of natural laws to develop a kind of technology: Dumbledore waving a wand and saying "Apparate" is no different in principle or practice from Scotty beaming you up. Animals also develop tools and take advantage of natural laws; why don't they use magic? David Eddings simplified more abstract magic as "the will and the word": the desire to do something, and a word to focus that desire. Animals have willpower and can make consistent sounds; why don't they use magic? We'll deconstruct the assumptions underlying this animal/human divide in Western fantasy fiction, and explore ways of weaving magic so deeply into the fabric of the universe that animals can use it as easily as they use physics.
40. 1:00 PM BH Seriously, Enough: Tropes in YA We'd Love to See the Last Of. Lena Coakley, Maria Dahvana Headley, Nicole Kornher-Stace (leader), Julia Rios. YA tropes (obligatory romance! love triangle! high school drama!) are pervasive and limiting. We seem to feel that books marketed to all other age groups such as preschool picture books, early chapter books, MG, and adult can be about anything, but that YA readers' imaginations are assumed to be so narrow that if those tropes aren't hit upon in the text, teens will find nothing in the book to relate to. How did this came about and why does it persist? It is an insult to the imaginative capabilities of teens. We can do better.
41. 1:00 PM A Reading: J.M. Sidorova. J.M. Sidorova. J.M. Sidorova reads From a soon to be published short story The Gatherer of Sorrows
42. 1:00 PM B Reading: Gwynne Garfinkle. Gwynne Garfinkle. Gwynne Garfinkle reads poems inspired by classic horror films.
43. 1:00 PM E Autographs. Suzy McKee Charnas, Tim Powers.
44. 1:30 PM A Reading: F. Brett Cox. F. Brett Cox. F. Brett Cox reads a short story.
45. 1:30 PM B Reading: Fran Wilde. Fran Wilde. Fran Wilde reads an excerpt from Cloudbound, coming out in September.
46. 2:00 PM 5 Reading Works from Long Ago. Phenderson Clark, Michael Dirda, Delia Sherman (moderator), Catherynne M. Valente, Jacob Weisman. "The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there." So L.P. Hartley wrote. But they don't just do things differently there, they believe and feel things differently as well. Human motivations may remain the same, but how those motivations are expressed and felt vary widely. Is it possible for modern readers to understand the motivations and actions of people of different times and places? How effectively can we understand the inhabitants of 16th century Japan, 1810s England, or pre-historic Europe? What tools can writers use to make that understanding easier for readers?
47. 2:00 PM 6 Challenging the Coercive Muse. Scott Edelman, Maria Dahvana Headley (leader), Marissa Lingen, Kate Maruyama, Gregory Wilson. All writers have seen, and many have said, variations on the theme of "I write because I can't not write." Something mercilessly drives us to put words on the page even when we find the act of writing difficult, unpleasant, or onerous. If the muse were a real person who existed outside of the writer's mind, we would call this behavior coercion and find it deeply troubling (as Stephen King so aptly depicted in Misery). In this open discussion, we will challenge the idea that our muses must necessarily be bullies, and explore other ways of experiencing and responding to creative urges and getting through the hardest parts of writing while valuing and prioritizing our own consent and happiness.
48. 2:00 PM C Cozy Dystopia. Gili Bar-Hillel, Bart Leib, Shariann Lewitt, Kenneth Schneyer (leader), Sabrina Vourvoulias. When we think of the world of Harry Potter, what comes to mind first—the magic and childish delights of Hogwarts, with its cozy dormitories and feasts and flying lessons, or its numerous, creeping dystopian elements (even discounting Voldemort!), from the enslaved house elves to Umbridge to the Dementors, which are, frankly, the tools of a fascist state? Can we make an argument that HP is actually more like a dystopia than a fantasy? Even if we're half joking, there's still an interesting discussion here: how do these two sides of the wizarding world play off each other, and how do they compare with other dystopian YA? Maybe we need a new subgenre: Cozy Dystopia.
49. 2:00 PM BH Welcome to Readercon. Jonathan Crowe, Rose Fox, Emily Wagner. New to Readercon? Not new, but curious about what might be different this year? Our program chair and other Readercon regulars will give you some peeks behind the scenes and suggestions about all the cool not-to-miss stuff. We're nice. Come hang out.
50. 2:00 PM A ChiZine Group Reading. David Baillie, Karen Heuler, Sandra Kasturi, Steve Rasnic Tem.
51. 2:00 PM B Reading: Molly Gloss. Molly Gloss. Molly Gloss reads Complete, a short story.
52. 2:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Ada Palmer, Tim Powers.
53. 2:00 PM E Autographs. Alex Jablokow, Alex Shvartsman.
54. 2:30 PM B Reading: Keffy Kehrli. Keffy Kehrli. Keffy Kehrli reads excerpts from an unpublished work.
55. 3:00 PM 5 Robots as Proxies in Science Fiction . Ted Chiang, Josh Jasper (leader), Jim Kelly, Terence Taylor, Jo Walton. In much of science fiction, robots are thinking beings designed and programmed to be servitors. The tension in that relationship has an unavoidable parallel to slavery, so when we talk about robot uprisings, we're talking about slave revolts. From the throw-away line about the Butlerrian Jihad in the original Dune books to Asimov's laws of robotics and the story of the Centennial Man, to the Terminator, we have views of slaves who decide not to be slaves. What are some of the narratives we create for these slave analogs, and what does it mean for us to be reading them both critically and uncritically?
56. 3:00 PM 6 Steven Universe. Susan Jane Bigelow, Max Gladstone, Bart Leib, Kate Nepveu, Julia Rios (leader). How has a cartoon show meant for children so thoroughly captivated some of the most interesting adult SFF writers we know? Our panelists will dig deep into what makes Steven Universe work so well for the different ages of its audience and try to glean some tips from how it packs such huge amounts of story into very short episodes. Warning: There may be singing.
57. 3:00 PM C Fantastical Dystopia. Victoria Janssen, Ada Palmer, Andrea Phillips, Sabrina Vourvoulias, T.X. Watson. Dystopia is popular in YA fiction for a variety of reasons, but why do authors frequently base their future dystopian society on some flimsy ideas, rather than using history to draw parallels between past atrocities and current human rights violations? Is it easier to work from one extreme idea, such as "love is now considered a disease" rather than looking at the complexities of, for example, the corruption of the U.S.S.R or the imperialism of the US? If science fiction uses the future to look at the present, is it more or less effective when using real examples from the past to look at our present through a lens of the future?
58. 3:00 PM BH Reading Aloud for Writers. Jim Freund. There are more venues available for writers to read their work aloud than ever before. Not only Readercon and similar-minded get-togethers, but most every major city offers events for reading, and there are always bookstores and libraries looking for writers read from new works. In addition, some podcasts and audiobooks are beginning to allow writers to give their own voice in lieu of professional actors, and some writers are turning to the Audiobook Creation Exchange for distribution. Join this talk/open workshop run by Jim Freund to learn how to find an appropriate venue (be it live or broad/podcast,) select and time your material, hone your technique, use microphones properly, and deal with all the practical issues in performance. You need not worry about being shy -- we'll help you cope.
59. 3:00 PM A Reading: Elizabeth Hand. Elizabeth Hand. Elizabeth Hand reads from the fourth Cass Neary novel.
60. 3:00 PM B Reading: Rick Wilber. Rick Wilber. Rick Wilber reads selections from his novel, "Alien Morning," due out in November from Tor.
61. 3:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Ben Francisco, Catherynne M. Valente.
62. 3:00 PM E Autographs. C.S.E. Cooney, Gemma Files.
63. 3:30 PM B Reading: Haris Durrani. . Haris Durrani reads from either a short story "42 Reasons Your Girlfriend Works for the FBI, CIA, NSA, ICE, SHIELD, Fringe Division, Men in Black, or Cylon Overlords" or from his debut book, Technologies of the Self.
64. 4:00 PM 5 End of the World and After: from Mary Shelley to J.G. Ballard, Russell Hoban, and Beyond. Chris Brown (leader), Jack Haringa, Faye Ringel, Henry Wessells, Gary K. Wolfe. Modern sf stories of the end of the world often mask romantic fantasies of abundance and dominion, usually to the benefit of one or a few privileged protagonists who survive the disaster—Brian Aldiss's "cozy catastrophe." Sometimes the vision is grounded in nihilistic misanthropy—like the scientist in Cixin Liu's The Three-Body Problem, who initiates extraterrestrial first contact in an effort to lure aliens to exterminate what she considers an irredeemable human race. Other apocalypses, from early examples like Mary Shelley's The Last Man to more recent work like Cormac McCarthy's The Road and even Mad Max Fury Road, explore even bleaker scenarios. Could a study of comparative apocalypses yield ideas for better utopias?
65. 4:00 PM 6 Speculative Retellings. C.S.E. Cooney, Ben Francisco, Gwynne Garfinkle, Kathleen Howard, Catherynne M. Valente. Speculative elements in fiction are not limited to robots and ghosts and dragons. For ages, the stories that get told have almost always been by told straight white able rich men, and there may be no way of separating those stories from the culture of writing today. In stories like Travels With the Snow Queen by Kelly Link, or Shift by Nalo Hopkinson, retelling old stories written by white men becomes an inherent challenge to those narratives, and that challenge itself becomes a speculative element. What other elements can we bring to these stories, and will we ever get to a point where challenging the status quo is not seen as speculative?
66. 4:00 PM C Harry Potter Goes to Grad School and Gets a Job. Jim Freund (leader), Max Gladstone, Josh Jasper, Ellen Kushner, E.J. Stevens. Charlie Jane Anders's All the Birds in the Sky and Lev Grossman's The Magicians give us an unsentimental treatment of life after attending a magical school. As adults, many of us read and enjoyed Harry Potter, but its relevance to our day-to-day lives was not as great as for its target audience of school-age children. All the Birds in the Sky and The Magicians seem to fill that void, but with some interesting topical shifts. What further futures for magical students might we see?
67. 4:00 PM BH Integrating the Id: What Fanfic can Tell Us About Writing Sex, Sexuality, and Intimacy. Victoria Janssen, Natalie Luhrs, Kate Nepveu (leader), Kenneth Schneyer, Ann Tonsor Zeddies. Sex scenes can be difficult to do well, but when they succeed, they can be highly efficient ways to reveal aspects of character. What are some pitfalls of writing sex scenes, and can fanfic teach us how to do it well? Does a sex scene need to be explicit, and does it even need to have "sex" at all, or is the key the intensity and intimacy that we associate with sex?
68. 4:00 PM A Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers Group Reading. Marcy Arlin, Tyus Barnwell, Evan Berkow, S. Chakraborty, Elliotte Harold, Brad Parks, Ted Rabinowitz, Cameron Roberson. The Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers just celebrated 6 years of existence in July of 2016. We are a critique group first and foremost, but have expanded to include book discussions, social events, brainstorming workshops and expert meetups where professionals share their knowledge with the group. This reading includes writers from the group who have been published in the past year. More information about the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction writers and their related projects can be found at bsfwriters.com.
69. 4:00 PM B Reading: Matt Kressel. Matt Kressel. Matt Kressel reads a new short story, soon to be published in the Cyber World anthology, edited by Jason Heller and Josh Viola.
70. 4:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Barry Longyear, Peter Straub.
71. 4:00 PM E Autographs. Daryl Gregory, Barry Longyear.
72. 4:30 PM B Reading: Yves Meynard. Yves Meynard. Yves Meynard reads a short story.
73. 5:00 PM 5 Bad Influences II: Badder and Influencier. Suzy McKee Charnas, Ellen Datlow (leader), Lara Donnelly, Maria Dahvana Headley, Mikki Kendall, Kelly Link, Livia Llewellyn, Vandana Singh. Back by popular demand! This female writer and editor roundtable discussion will focus on the non-genre, possibly "inappropriate" readings of our formative years that contributed to our current careers in the feminist fantastical universe. Teenage obsessions with Charles Bukowski, Henry Miller, Herman Hesse, Salvador Dalí, and Vladimir Nabokov often led us to people like Angela Carter and Claude Cahun. What do we keep of those first artistic obsessions, and what do we critique? Which of our early influencers helped make us into the artists we are today—and which ones make us shake our heads in bewilderment?
74. 5:00 PM 6 Non-Explanation in Fiction. John Chu, Scott Edelman, Kameron Hurley, Kenneth Schneyer (leader), Ann Tonsor Zeddies. "Never complain, never explain," said the Lady Mendl, and "Fuck the exposition," said David Simon, "just be," but as Junot Díaz said, "Motherfuckers will read a book that's one third Elvish, but put two sentences in Spanish and they think we're taking over." What are the pleasures of writing for an audience that already gets it—and the dangers of assuming they'll understand? What can you get from reading works that don't cater specifically to you? And how can refusing to spell it out bring depth to the fantastic?
75. 5:00 PM C The Works of Tim Powers. John Clute, Stacie Hanes, Gary K. Wolfe. Tim Powers has been writing science fiction and fantasy for forty years. He has been multiply nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, Locus Fantasy, BSFA, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Mythopoeic Fantasy awards. He won the Philip K. Dick Award for The Anubis Gates (1983) and Dinner at Deviant's Palace (1985); he won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for The Stress of Her Regard (1989), the Locus Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards for Last Call (1992), the Locus Fantasy Award for Earthquake Weather (1997), and the World Fantasy Award for Declare (2001). Powers is a master of secret histories, and is the co-creator of William Ashbless, poet and cook. Powers has also contributed to the field as a writing instructor, especially at the Clarion workshop. Join our panelists in a discussion of his work.
76. 5:00 PM BH WTF is Transmedia?. Andrea Phillips. Quick answer: transmedia storytelling is the art of using multiple platforms to tell a unified story. Sometimes it looks like the MCU, and sometimes it's stories that infiltrate the real world. Transmedia veteran Andrea Phillips will talk about her years as a pioneer in the transmedia mines, and how it made her a better writer—and a worse one!
77. 5:00 PM A Clockwork Phoenix 5 Group Reading. Mike Allen, C.S.E. Cooney, Carlos Hernandez, Keffy Kehrli, Barbara Krasnoff, Cameron Roberson, Sonya Taaffe, A.C. Wise. Contributors to the bestselling fifth installment in the critically-acclaimed, boundary-expanding Clockwork Phoenix anthology series read excerpts from their stories.
78. 5:00 PM B Reading: Daryl Gregory. Daryl Gregory. Daryl Gregory reads an excerpt from his new novel Spoonbenders.
79. 5:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Kate Maruyama, Kit Reed, Delia Sherman.
80. 5:00 PM E Autographs. Catherynne M. Valente, Fran Wilde.
81. 5:30 PM B Reading: Marissa Lingen. Marissa Lingen. Marissa Lingen reads a selection of short stories.
82. 6:00 PM 5 Author Trademark or Personal Cliché? . F. Brett Cox, Gillian Daniels, Karen Heuler (leader), Alex Jablokow, Bud Sparhawk. Most writers occasionally suspect that they are writing the same type of story over and over again. Some writers set out to do so. Is this a good thing or bad? Our panelists will examine which writers persistently revisit the same images, themes, characters, or situations, and discuss when and for whom this revisiting works and when and for whom it does not. The panelists will discuss how they handle this situation, when they realize the story they're writing seems too familiar. Should the story be discarded because it's already been written, or should a writer continue and try to discover the source of the weird power it holds for them? Panelists will discuss which writers they admire, and what distinctive features make them exceptional and unique. Panelists will also come up with a few strategies to help audience members (and perhaps each other) see their work in a new light, using everything from literary influences to music and movies to dreams and the unconscious.
83. 6:00 PM 6 Who Gets to Tell My Story?. Keffy Kehrli, Mikki Kendall (leader), Robert V. S. Redick, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Sabrina Vourvoulias. Some calls for diverse submissions focus on the identity of the author, while others focus on the identity of the characters. What are the differences between the stories that result? Is there something problematic in a cis/het writer taking on a queer character's story, or a white author with a protagonist who is a person of color? Does it depend on the story they are telling? Their skill telling it? Their awareness/avoidance of tropes? What responsibility do they have toward their protagonist's community?
84. 6:00 PM C Crossing Textual Boundaries in the Work of Diana Wynne Jones. Gili Bar-Hillel.
85. 6:00 PM BH Does Language Influence Thought?. John O'Neil. The idea that language influences or even determines thought is very popular among the educated public. Among linguists, it is mostly uncontroversial and mostly—but not entirely—rejected. John O'Neil will take a tour of linguistic relativity, from Sapir and Whorf to Hopi verbs and Eskimo snow, taking a long detour through science fiction novels of the past and present. We'll look at some scientific experimental evidence, and finally view a live demo showing whether (and how) cutting-edge deep neural networks are influenced by language.
86. 6:00 PM A Reading: Catherynne M. Valente. Catherynne M. Valente. Catherynne M. Valente reads From The Refrigerator Monologues, a novella out next year from Simon & Schuster.
87. 6:00 PM B Reading: Paul Park. Paul Park. Paul Park reads from a new novel.
88. 6:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Gary K. Wolfe.
89. 6:00 PM E Autographs. Haris Durrani, E.J. Stevens.
90. 6:30 PM B Reading: Terri Bruce. Terri Bruce. Terri Bruce reads excerpts from her "Afterlife" series (Hereafter, Thereafter, and/or Whereafter) and/or some of recently released short stories.
91. 7:00 PM 5 Single Wise Advisor Seeks Same. Kameron Hurley, Victoria Janssen, Shariann Lewitt, Robert V. S. Redick, Lauren Roy. Epic fantasy abounds with wise advice-givers who help steer heroes in the right direction. These figures are often depicted as elderly, unmarried or widowed, and childless. (Exemplars are Gandalf, Dallben, and Granny Weatherwax. The rare exceptions include Belgarath, Nanny Ogg, and Miracle Max.) Why do we find it so difficult to imagine these grandparental figures having emotional lives of their own? How might the shape of epic stories shift if advisors have more to do with their time than sitting around advising?
92. 7:00 PM 6 Sensuality and Exploitation. Gillian Daniels (moderator), Ben Francisco, Elaine Isaak, Nick Kaufmann, Vinnie Tesla. Sex in fiction, as in real life, is often fraught with questions. Our panelists will discuss sex in science fiction and fantasy and what they consider representative or exploitative. Where and when do you draw the line? Is someone's trashy beach read someone else's master's thesis in 20th- and 21st-century courtship?
93. 7:00 PM C Profanity in Fiction: How and How Not to Do It. Barry Longyear. A writing talk on the uses, risks, benefits, and possible consequences of using profanity in fiction dialog and/or narrative. Do's and don'ts, invented, period consistency, and PC third-railers. Using examples from his own work to illustrate the various points, Barry Longyear will include some profanity-in-fiction-related anecdotes that border on the surreal.
94. 7:00 PM BH A Conversation Larger than the Universe. Henry Wessells. A Conversation Larger than the Universe is a history of science fiction in sixty-eight objects and a highly personal tour through the collection of Henry Wessells: books (many signed or inscribed by their authors), magazines, manuscripts, letters, and artwork from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. Wessells looks at the ideas and people that have defined the literatures of the fantastic, from Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells to Joanna Russ, James Tiptree, Jr., and William Gibson, as well as many authors whose works are not so widely known. Beginning with the origins of science fiction in the Gothic, the ''Conversation'' explores ideas such as the End of the World (and After), Interplanetary science fiction, Dystopia, Literary Innovation, Humor, Cyberpunk and Steampunk, and charts a broad definition of the field that encompasses Fantasy and Horror, as well as scholarship. A Conversation Larger than the Universe is an exhibition that will be held at the Grolier Club in New York City from January to March 2018.
95. 7:00 PM A Reading: Chris Brown. Chris Brown. Chris Brown reads from Tropic of Kansas, a novel forthcoming in 2017 from Harper Voyager.
96. 7:00 PM B Reading: Sarah Smith. Sarah Smith. Sarah Smith reads either from Whitehall or from the Titanic book.
97. 7:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Jack Haringa, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry.
98. 7:00 PM E Autographs. Jim Kelly, Hillary Monahan.
99. 7:30 PM A Reading: Sonya Taaffe. Sonya Taaffe. Sonya Taaffe reads a Lovecraftian novella, "All Our Salt-Bottled Hearts."
100. 7:30 PM B Reading: Darrell Schweitzer. Darrell Schweitzer. Darrell Schweitzer reads "Hanged Man and Ghost." Described as Zenna Henderson meets H.P. Lovecraft.
101. 8:00 PM 5 Revelations of Pluto . Jeff Hecht, Tom Purdom (leader). We now have the first clear images of Pluto and a year of interpretation of the data. What does this tell us of the ex-planet and our solar system? How does this inform our growing knowledge of our solar systems and others?
102. 8:00 PM 6 The Future of Government . Chris Brown, Kameron Hurley, Alex Jablokow, Paul Park (leader), Steven Popkes. We like to think that US democracy is the ultimate and best form of government, but it has its weaknesses as have all the types of government that came before and exist today. What forms of government are coming? What new technologies, economic ideas, or environmental changes might play important roles in these new types of governance? Was Marx ultimately right and we just haven't gotten very far along his timeline yet? What forms of government have been proposed that haven't existed in the real world?
103. 8:00 PM C The Horror Novels of Terry Pratchett . Don D'Ammassa, Jim Freund (leader), Lila Garrott, Chris Gerwel, T.X. Watson. Laughter is surprisingly proximate to terror. Lurking beneath the humor of Discworld is some extremely effective horror, including the consumerist nightmares of Reaper Man, the eldritch creepiness in Moving Pictures, and the unnerving elves in Lords and Ladies. Whistling is always better when you're walking past a graveyard—isn't it?
104. 8:00 PM BH Stupendous Machines or Rat's Nests: The Wonders of Cells and Why They Are Not Perfect but Just Good Enough. J.M. Sidorova. Science fiction of human biology? The flashy stuff: zombies, vampires, superheroes, genetic chimeras. Let's consider, for a moment, a more subtle science fiction of the real-life, normal living matter -- whatever the ""normal"" is. Let us not forget -- we are walking wonders, and pausing for a moment to think about our own living matter should be just like staring into the night sky and pondering the Universe. J.M. Sidorova will give the audience a taste of the intricacy, ingenuity, mind-boggling complexity and yes, also clutter and flaw inherent in the way human cells function. "
105. 8:00 PM A Reading: Gemma Files. Gemma Files. Gemma Files reads from an upcoming novella "Coffle."
106. 8:00 PM B Reading: Lisa Cohen. Lisa Cohen. Lisa Cohen reads an excerpt from Dreadnought and Shuttle, Halcyone Space book 3.
107. 8:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Gay Haldeman, Ian Randal Strock.
108. 8:00 PM E Autographs. Sarah Pinsker, Jo Walton.
109. 8:30 PM A Reading: Ellen Kushner. Ellen Kushner. Ellen Kushner reads from the forthcoming Season 2 of TREMONTAINE, a new Swordspoint prequel from @serialboxpub.
110. 8:30 PM B Reading: Alex Shvartsman. Alex Shvartsman. Alex Shvartsman reads a selection of urban fantasy humor short stories.
111. 8:30 PM E Autographs. Kameron Hurley, Robert V. S. Redick.
112. 9:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Elizabeth Hand, Ellen Kushner.
114. 10:00 AM 5 Instant Communication in Genre Fiction. Nick Kaufmann, Thomas Olde Heuvelt (leader), Kit Reed, E.J. Stevens, Paul Tremblay. In a 2015 interview on Atlas Obscura, R.L. Stine said, "Cell phones are the worst thing for writing horror. Cell phones ruin almost every plot." There are certainly a number of plots that rely on people being isolated and out of communication range, which is difficult to achieve these days. Other genres are influenced by pervasive interconnectedness: for example, fantasy novels often feature some sort of magical long-distance communication, perhaps because readers get impatient when characters have to wait a long time for news, and science fiction has tricorders and ansibles. How are genre writers working both with and against 21st-century reader assumptions around communication speed, expense, and accuracy?
115. 10:00 AM 6 Strung Out In Heaven's High: David Bowie and Science Fiction. Daryl Gregory, Elizabeth Hand (leader), Sarah Pinsker, David Shaw, Allen Steele. From "Space Oddity" all the way through to "Blackstar," David Bowie has worn his SF cred like a badge of honor. Our panelists will dissect selected songs from his massive body of work, pointing out the obvious and not-so-obvious influences, as well as the SF scenarios he invented himself.
116. 10:00 AM C 200 Years of Frankenstein. Don D'Ammassa, Theodora Goss (leader), Jack Haringa, Kathryn Morrow, Faye Ringel. 2016 is the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, considered by many critics and scholars to be the first science fiction novel. It is also in many ways the first modern horror novel, being a radical break from the traditional Gothic horror novels so popular at the time. What are the descendants of Frankenstein? How much of an effect has Shelley's novel had on the genres of horror and science fiction? Does the novel still have any relevance or usefulness today besides its historical interest? Will the readers of 2016 still enjoy it?
117. 10:00 AM BH Odyssey Writing Workshop. Jeanne Cavelos. Director Jeanne Cavelos describes the Odyssey Writing Workshop, an intensive six-week program for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror held each summer in Manchester, N.H. Guest lecturers have included George R.R. Martin, Elizabeth Hand, Ellen Kushner, Jane Yolen, and Dan Simmons, and 59% of graduates have gone on to be professionally published. Cavelos explains the structure of the program, the work required, and the pros and cons of workshops. Graduates discuss their personal experiences. The many free resources offered by Odyssey will also be described.
118. 10:00 AM A Reading: James Morrow. James Morrow. James Morrow reads a selection from forthcoming novella, "The Asylum of Dr. Caligari".
119. 10:00 AM B Reading: Mikki Kendall. Mikki Kendall. Mikki Kendall reads Chicago urban fantasy & a twisted fairy tale
120. 10:00 AM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Gemma Files, Fran Wilde.
121. 10:00 AM E Autographs. John Crowley, Jeffrey Ford.
122. 10:30 AM B Reading: Barry Longyear. Barry Longyear. Barry Longyear reads a chapter from an in progress work, The War Whisperer.
123. 11:00 AM 5 Beyond Strong Female Characters. Terri Bruce, Kathleen Howard, Ellen Kushner (leader), Natalie Luhrs, Delia Sherman. In a 2015 post on Tor.com, Liz Bourke puts forth that "volition and equal significance are better ways to think about, and to talk about, women's narratives and storylines and presences in fiction," rather than agency or strength. Bourke goes on to discuss the possibility of different types of heroism, and the possibility of a character being able to make choices in one form or another. The essay ends with the questions "Is the female character represented as having a will of her own? Does the narrative respect her volition? Does it represent her as possessing an equal significance with everyone around her, even if people around her don't see her as equally significant? Does it, in short, represent her as fully human? Fully human, and not a caricature or a type?" Panelists will discuss ways to give women equal significance beyond physical strength.
124. 11:00 AM 6 Sorting Taxonomies. John Benson, Greer Gilman, Kate Nepveu (leader), Peter Straub, Jacob Weisman. Why do we group our fictions by genre first instead of other possible taxonomies? For instance:--By relationship: what kind of relationship appears in this fiction, and how much is it foregrounded?--By level of violence: violent, nonviolent or anti-violent?--By prose: ornate, simple, vivid, inventive?--By paradigm: is this fiction centred on people, ideas, or action? Those are a few possible ways a reader might choose between works, depending on what they want to read--all of which might include any combination of genres. Our panelists will discuss ways they choose what to read, and give some comparisons of like works from disparate genres.
125. 11:00 AM C Colonization and Beyond: The Fiction and Science of Exoplanets . Gregory Feeley, Jeff Hecht (leader), Diane Martin, Vandana Singh, Ian Randal Strock. In the last few years NASA's Kepler space telescope has discovered over 2,000 real planets around other stars (exoplanets). But can we ever reach them? This panel will explore the differences between science fiction's portrayal of interstellar travel with the reality of such a journey. Speculative concepts for humanity's eventual settlement of distant planets have been the stuff of science fiction for well over a century. How has science fiction addressed exoplanets, and what technology—now in place or still fictional—will get us to those worlds some day?
126. 11:00 AM BH Fictionmags. John Clute, Michael Dirda, Jess Nevins, Darrell Schweitzer, Gordon Van Gelder. The listserv Fictionmags has been in existence since 1999. Formed by David Pringle, ex-editor of Interzone, its formal remit is the study of all fiction-bearing magazines throughout history. Featuring approximately 175 members at any one time, it boasts such luminaries as Ellen Datlow, Gordon Van Gelder, Barry Malzberg, John Clute, Paul DiFilippo, and Scott Edelman. This panel will discuss Fictionmags and the resources it provides.
127. 11:00 AM A New Hampshire Weird. Matthew Cheney, Eric Schaller. Eric Schaller and Matthew Cheney will read from their new collections, Meet Me in the Middle of the Air, and Blood, respectively. Expect audience participation.
128. 11:00 AM B Reading: Bud Sparhawk. Bud Sparhawk. Bud Sparhawk reads excerpts from last year's Distant Seas.
129. 11:00 AM CL Kaffeeklatsch. James Morrow, Jacob Weisman.
130. 11:00 AM E Autographs. Ellen Datlow, Peter Straub.
131. 11:30 AM B Reading: Jo Walton. Jo Walton. Jo Walton reads from a work-in-progress science fiction novel, Poor Relations.
132. 12:00 PM 5 Red Planet Rover, Red Planet Rover, Will Humans Come Over? . Lisa Cohen, Jeff Hecht, Jim Kelly, Sioban Krzywicki (leader), Ian Randal Strock. With talk of private space flight and one-way trips to Mars, is any of it really likely? Is it achievable in the near future? Is there any real demand and is it possible to ensure it isn't only for the fantastically wealthy? What would it take to make Mars a round trip, even if it is a very, very long layover? We're discovering that the void of space is far more hostile to humans than we'd thought; can problems like radiation, weghtlessness, and boredom be solved for the near future?
133. 12:00 PM 6 The Apocalypse Is Already Here; It's Just Not Evenly Distributed. Michael J. Deluca, Haris Durrani, Paul Park, Vandana Singh, John Stevens. Countless cultures and peoples have experienced, or are presently experiencing, apocalypses: invasions, genocides, civil wars, natural disasters. Why do so few apocalyptic science fiction novels acknowledge that worlds have already ended? How does the experience of reading those stories change depending on one's personal or familial connection to recent apocalypses? If science fiction moved away from the idea of a globe-spanning apocalypse to explore smaller, localized, but equally devastating apocalypses, what might those stories look like?
134. 12:00 PM C Engineering in Fantasy. Scott Andrews, Richard Butner, John Chu, Ken Liu, Fran Wilde (leader). From wings and kites to bridges and plumbing, engineering is a necessary underpinning of fantasy and science fiction both. Panelists will discuss why engineering makes for great crossover science in fiction.
135. 12:00 PM BH Impostor Syndrome Workshop. Crystal Huff. Impostor Syndrome is the feeling that you aren't really qualified for the work you are doing and will be discovered as a fraud. Many women, People of Color, QUILTBAG persons, and others from marginalized groups experience Impostor Syndrome, especially when they've (we've) been socialized to value others' opinions of work above their (our) own. People developing new skills (something we must do constantly as geeks!) are also prime sufferers. Want help overcoming your Impostor Syndrome and decreasing its incidence in your community? This workshop is for you. Workshop facilitated by Crystal Huff.
136. 12:00 PM A Reading: Peter Straub. Peter Straub. Peter Straub reads from a work-eternally-in-progress, Hello Jack.
137. 12:00 PM B Reading: Susan Jane Bigelow. Susan Jane Bigelow. Susan Jane Bigelow reads exceprts from Sky Ranger, re-released in June, and The Demon Girl's Song, to be released in September.
138. 12:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Keffy Kehrli, John Stevens.
139. 12:00 PM E Autographs. James Morrow, Rick Wilber.
140. 12:30 PM B Reading: Thomas Olde Heuvelt. Thomas Olde Heuvelt. Thomas Olde Heuvelt reads a fragment from his worldwide debut novel HEX, which has just been released with Tor/MacMillan and now sold to 14 countries. Stephen King called it "totally, brilliantly original" and The Guardian called it "Spielbergian, unforgettable".
141. 1:00 PM 5 If Thor Can Hang Out with Iron Man, Why Can't Harry Dresden Use a Computer? . Gillian Daniels, Elaine Isaak, Andrea Phillips, Alex Shvartsman, E.J. Stevens. In a series of tweets in 2015, Jared Axelrod pondered "the inherent weirdness of a superhero universe... where magic and science hold hands, where monsters stride over cities." This is only weird from the perspective of fantasy stories that set up magic and technology as incompatible, an opposition that parallels Western cultural splits between religion and science and between nature and industry. Harry Dresden's inability to touch a computer without damaging it is a direct descendant of the Ents destroying the "pits and forges" of Isengard, and a far cry from Thor, Iron Man, and the Scarlet Witch keeping company. What are the story benefits of setting up magic/nature/religion and technology/industry/science as either conflicting or complementary? What cultural anxieties are addressed by each choice? How are these elements handled in stories from various cultures and eras?
142. 1:00 PM 6 I Pass the Test: The Depictions, Meanings, and Consequences of Magical Tests and Trials . Erik Amundsen, Chris Gerwel, Shariann Lewitt, Gregory Wilson, Ann Tonsor Zeddies. Magic-users frequently undergo tests of ability, courage, and moral fiber in fantastical literature. The mage is often young, uncertain, and untrained (Galadriel being a notable exception); most magical tests examine innate skill and moral compass, not learned abilities. Testing sets up conflict between student and teacher while turning peers into competitors, and definitions of success shine light on the values of the local culture. We'll explore gender and culture in magical trials, contrasts between trials of magic and trials of arms, definitions and consequences of success and failure, and much more.
143. 1:00 PM C My Character Ate What?. John Chu, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ada Palmer, Lauren Roy, Catherynne M. Valente, Fran Wilde (leader). "My Character Ate What?," based loosely on Hollywood Squares, that uses food in SF as the subject matter for questions. You are signing up to be a contestant in Fran Wilde's game.
144. 1:00 PM A Reading: Mike Allen. Mike Allen. Mike Allen reads stories and excerpts from his newest collection, THE SPIDER TAPESTRIES. In the words of PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, expect "weird and transgressive" tales that "defy genre and moral expectations."
145. 1:00 PM B Reading: Sabrina Vourvoulias. Sabrina Vourvoulias. Sabrina Vourvoulias reads either "El Cantar de Rising Sun" scheduled for the July/August issue of Uncanny Magazine, or "Sin Embargo" which is included in Latino/a Rising (early 2017).
146. 1:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Jim Freund, Jeff Hecht.
147. 1:00 PM E Autographs. Maria Dahvana Headley, Kathleen Howard.
148. 1:30 PM A Reading: Theodora Goss. Theodora Goss. Theodora Goss reads from a new short story.
149. 1:30 PM B Reading: Allen Steele. Allen Steele. Allen Steele reads Avengers of the Moon, a new Captain Future novel
150. 2:00 PM 5 David Hartwell Memorial Panel. Robert Killheffer, Ellen Kushner, James Morrow, Sarah Smith, Gordon Van Gelder. Readercon owes its continued existence to David G. Hartwell. In our early days we strip-mined The New York Review of Science Fiction for panel ideas (we still do). We could rely on David to have something to say about almost any topic, a trait that made him our go-to moderator and fill-in panelist. He took whatever we threw at him without complaining. When we made him Editor Guest of Honor for Readercon 13 (by unanimous vote, the shortest such discussion we've ever had), we realized that he would be on fewer panels than his usual load. David was always coming to us to say "I think [new writer name here] is going to have a great career. You should invite them to Readercon." Or "Have you considered [insert name of literary genius here] for GoH?" And he was never wrong. He was always our greatest and and loudest cheerleader. When we were beginning to get worn down by the stresses of running the con with a skeleton crew, he gave us pep talks, telling us we were doing "important work." He believed that so much that he nominated us for a World Fantasy Award. Some years his birthday fell on Readercon weekend. We'd have a cake at the Meet the Pros(e) party, hand him a mic, and ask him to say a few words. Without fail, he'd wait for the room to get quiet and then lead us in a singalong of "Teen Angel." We'll still have Readercons, but they'll never be the same. Our panelists will discuss David Hartwell's work in the field and his outstanding character.
151. 2:00 PM 6 It Gets Better: The Value of Utopian and Dystopian Futures for the Currently and Historically Marginalized . John Clute, Haris Durrani, Josh Jasper, Ada Palmer, Walter Williams. The core message of any utopian depiction of the future is "it gets better"--a phrase familiar from the campaign aimed at despondent queer and trans youth. For those who are currently struggling against bigotry, optimistic visions of the future can provide a crucial, motivating note of hope. But many have also argued that such depictions ring false and that true representation lies in more dystopian futures that reflect the readers' own current experiences of being oppressed and validate their anger and pain. What happens when we consider the recent dystopian trend in SF (particularly in YA) in the context of stories with meaning for the marginalized? And how can authors write utopias that ring true to those who most long to believe that the future will welcome them?
152. 2:00 PM C The Return of Writing While Parenting. Rose Fox, Nicole Kornher-Stace (leader), Ken Liu, Kate Maruyama, Kit Reed. This panel will discuss the difficulties of parenting while writing (as opposed to working a job while writing, which is for the most part a very different challenge) and how the panelists have managed to reconcile their parenting duties with their writing needs and responsibilities. Panelists may include parents of small children and older children, writers who parent full-time, parents who write full-time, and children and spouses of writers.
153. 2:00 PM BH Belm-Martin-Wilde Food Science Extravaganza!. Diane Martin, David Shaw, Fran Wilde. Deconstructed eggs Benedict, meat glue, turbocharged blowtorches, immersion circulators, an overtaxed waffle iron, and liters of liquid nitrogen: all of these things were used in the Belm Utility Research Kitchen in pursuit of delicious, interesting food. Our panel of experts will discuss the latest in edible science.
154. 2:00 PM A Reading: John Crowley. John Crowley. John Crowley reads from "The Chemical Wedding, by Christian Rosenkreutz" adapted by me from the original by Johann Valrntin Andreae (1616).
155. 2:00 PM B Reading: Delia Sherman. Delia Sherman. Delia Sherman reads from her forthcoming middle-grade fantasy, The Evil Wizard Smallbone.
156. 2:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Ellen Datlow, Jim Kelly.
157. 2:00 PM E Autographs. Lisa Cohen, Matt Kressel.
158. 2:30 PM B Reading: C.S.E. Cooney. C.S.E. Cooney. C.S.E. Cooney reads from her novel: Miscellaneous Stones: Necromancer or from one of the Dark Breakers novellas.
159. 3:00 PM 5 Blue Collar SF. Daryl Gregory, Marissa Lingen, Bud Sparhawk, Allen Steele, Fran Wilde. Class is the great dirty word of American political discourse, the abject unseen Americans don't like to talk about. If, as John Steinbeck is reported to have once said, in America the poor don't look upon themselves as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires, it should come as no surprise that even futurists, visionaries, and science fiction writers have a difficult time imagining the laborers and workers of the future in any positive way. Too often blue-collar workers are missing from science fiction; they are either non-existent (in post-scarcity universes) or kept out of the picture (in works concerned with the doings of the upper classes). Alien, with its workers explicitly concerned with their shares and bonuses, is a rarity. Why is it so hard to imagine and write blue-collar science fiction? How might blue-collar science fiction look different from what we usually read? What concerns of blue-collar science fiction are missing from the sf we usually get?
160. 3:00 PM 6 Ladybromances. C.S.E. Cooney, Gwynne Garfinkle, Theodora Goss (leader), Victoria Janssen, Navah Wolfe. Our friendships are hugely important relationships in our lives, but fiction focuses primarily on romance. Friendships between women receive especially short shrift. We tend to have many more friendships than romantic partners and they can be just as strong and passionate as romances, so why does romance take precedence? What fiction has displayed strong friendships or romances between women? What kinds of stories would we like to see about this kind of relationship?
161. 3:00 PM C What Good Is a Utopia? . Michael J. Deluca, Chris Gerwel, Barry Longyear, Kathryn Morrow (leader), Andrea Phillips. If an author sets out to write a utopia, several questions arise. Character and interpersonal conflict can drive the story, but how do you keep the utopian setting from becoming backdrop in that case? Were the Talking Heads right in saying that "Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens"? And how do you showcase how much better things would be "if only"?
162. 3:00 PM BH Story Hospital. Jeanne Cavelos, Michael Cisco, John Crowley, Rose Fox (leader), Lila Garrott, Maria Dahvana Headley, Elaine Isaak, Keffy Kehrli, Robert Killheffer, Kate Nepveu, Terence Taylor. Story Hospital pairs up writers with editors and reviewers for 10-minute discussions of what's broken in their WIPs and how to start fixing it. Think of it like a pitch session where the editor's already on your side, or speed dating where you actually want the other person to tell you what you're doing wrong. Writers: come prepared to quickly and succinctly explain what you're working on and the problems you're facing. Our handpicked team of editors, reviewers, writing teachers, and enthusiastic readers will bring thinking caps and kind hearts. Leave your manuscripts and red pens at home--this is a 10-minute spoken conversation only--but bring cards with your contact info in case you both want to continue the conversation later. The discussions will be facilitated (and stopwatch will be wielded) by longtime editor and critic Rose Fox. No sign-up is needed; first come, first served. We have room for 30 writers and their brilliant ideas.
163. 3:00 PM A Reading: Kit Reed. Kit Reed. Kit Reed reads either from a new short story or her 2017 novel Mormama.
164. 3:00 PM B Reading: Joe Haldeman. Joe Haldeman. Joe Haldeman reads an excerpt from his current novel, Phobos Means Fear
165. 3:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Liz Gorinsky, Jo Walton.
166. 3:00 PM E Autographs. Susan Jane Bigelow, Ken Liu.
167. 3:30 PM A Reading: Jeffrey Ford. Jeffrey Ford. Jeffrey Ford reads from a new collection, A Natural History of Hell, out from Small Beer on July 11th.
168. 3:30 PM B Reading: Max Gladstone. Max Gladstone. Max Gladstone reads either a selection from The Highway Kind, forthcoming in 2017, or from a Craft work in progress.
169. 4:00 PM 5 Catherynne M. Valente Interviewed by John Clute and Elizabeth Hand. John Clute, Elizabeth Hand, Catherynne M. Valente.
170. 5:00 PM 5 Tim Powers Interviewed by Gary K. Wolfe. Tim Powers, Gary K. Wolfe.
171. 8:00 PM 5 A Most Readerconnish Miscellany. Heath Miller. Join us for an evening of song, games, laughter, and mystique as we celebrate the varied talents of Readercon guests. This year, come ready to suggest outlandish possibilities which our Guests of Honor will try to turn into a plausible story world! We will also be playing a science fictional version of the popular British game show "Sorry I Haven't a Clue." The evening will be emcee'd by Heath Miller, voice actor extraordinaire. We will be raising money for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, so consider bringing money if you'd like to help, but no donation is necessary to enjoy the fantastic show!
173. 10:00 AM 5 Magic! In! Spaaace!. Chris Gerwel, Mikki Kendall, Matt Kressel, Sioban Krzywicki (leader), Bethany Powell. Magical fantasy is frequently set in the past or in worlds that look like our past. With the rise of urban fantasy, we're seeing more and more stories with magic in the present day. What about magic in the future, or stories of space exploration using magic? Is this too many clashing elements at once, or could the right author reconcile what we love about futuristic SF with our favourite fantasy tropes?
174. 10:00 AM 6 Which Book Would You Save?. Lisa Cohen, James Morrow, Kate Nepveu (leader), Tom Purdom, Eric Schaller. In Ray Bradbury's introduction to the authorized adaptation graphic novel of Fahrenheit 451 he says, "Finally, may I suggest that anyone reading this introduction should take the time to name the one book that he or she would most want to memorize and protect from any censors or 'firemen.' And not only name the book, but give the reasons why they would wish to memorize it and why it would be a valuable asset to be recited and remembered in the future. I think this would make for a lively session when my readers meet and tell the books they named and memorized, and why." Our panelists will respond to this prompt and tell us what texts have been so influential/inspiring (inside and outside genre) that they would go to extensive lengths to subvert a world of censorship.
175. 10:00 AM C Words Alone or Words and Pictures?. Kathleen Jennings (moderator), Jess Nevins, Sarah Pinsker, Vinnie Tesla, Gregory Wilson. Words alone can leave a lot to the reader's imagination, and this can be wonderful, but it can sometimes be confusing to keep track of everything while reading, especially with large casts or complicated narratives. Comics, graphic novels, and other types of sequential art can make things clearer, obfuscate further, or suggest the narrator is really unreliable, but it can also leave a lot less to the reader's imagination. What are some pros and cons of each form when telling a given story? What are good examples of what each does really well?
176. 10:00 AM BH New Worlds for Old . Susan Jane Bigelow, Greer Gilman, Theodora Goss, Lauren Roy, Ann Tonsor Zeddies. Our GoHs have created their own worlds and retold stories. What's the difference in approach between creating from "scratch" and "reimagining"? Is one harder than the other? Do we ever really create worlds wholly our own or are we always cannibalizing bits of other worlds? Would we be able to tell meaningful stories in worlds utterly different from our own? How much of a world is physical and how much is societal behaviors and norms?
177. 10:00 AM A Reading: John Langan. John Langan. John Langan reads an excerpt from a newly published novel, The Fisherman, about a fishing trip two widowers take to a haunted river.
178. 10:00 AM B Reading: Ken Liu. Ken Liu. Ken Liu reads a new story, "An Advanced Reader's Picture Book of Comparative Cognition" and excerpts from his translation of DEATH'S END, by Liu Cixin.
179. 10:00 AM CL Kaffeeklatsch. John Clute, John Crowley.
180. 10:00 AM E Autographs. Mike Allen, Joe Haldeman.
181. 10:30 AM A Reading: Ada Palmer. Ada Palmer. Ada Palmer reads Too Like the Lightning
182. 10:30 AM B Reading: Nick Kaufmann. Nick Kaufmann. Nick Kaufmann reads an excerpt from a novel in progress titled The Scarred Man.
183. 11:00 AM 5 Kaffeeklatsch. Joe Haldeman, Ken Liu.
184. 11:00 AM 6 Shirley Jackson Awards. John Langan, Tim Powers, Catherynne M. Valente. 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 classic novels such 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 2014 in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.
185. 11:00 AM E Autographs. Neil Clarke, Paul Tremblay.
186. 12:00 PM 5 A Dark and Golden Age . Sioban Krzywicki (leader), Darrell Schweitzer, J.M. Sidorova, Catherynne M. Valente, Walter Williams. We frequently refer to the Dark Ages, Middle Ages, or Medieval Period to describe the time between the fall of Rome and the beginning of the Renaissance. However, these terms primarily refer to the conditions in Western Europe. The Eastern Roman Empire didn't fall until 1453. The Muslim world considered this a golden age with many innovations and scientific advances. China, India, Africa, Eastern Europe, and many other regions have their own eras, empires, "rises," and "declines" that have nothing to do with this demarcation. How can we better use this history in fantasy and historical fiction? How has our obsession with the tiny, western part of Europe colored our writing to this day?
187. 12:00 PM 6 What Libraries Can Do for Writers . Susan Jane Bigelow, Matthew Cheney, Nick Kaufmann, Jess Nevins, Emily Wagner (leader). Our panel of librarians and writers talk about the surprising hidden resources of libraries, and how your local library can help you with research, writing space, applying for grants, and much more.
188. 12:00 PM C Yesterday: Time Travel in The Anubis Gates. Jim Freund, Robert Killheffer (leader), John Langan, Sarah Pinsker, Jo Walton. Time travel is a fascinating but slippery and difficult narrative device. When characters can move back and forth through time, causality can become confusing, irrelevant, or malleable. Pacing becomes troublesome and readers can find it difficult to follow. Many writers skirt this issue, but Powers engages directly with it head on in The Anubis Gates. What does he do and how, technically, does he achieve it? What problems are encountered? Is it satisfying or does it result in the same difficulties in a different way?
189. 12:00 PM BH Short Stories Explained (For the Novelist). Mary Robinette Kowal. Many writers can't keep their short stories short. In this workshop, Hugo award-winning author Mary Robinette Kowal will walk you through how short stories are structured using a combination of lecture and in class exercises. The session will cover economical prose, effective use of point-of-view and how plot works in short form.
190. 12:00 PM A Reading: Lauren Roy. Lauren Roy. Lauren Roy reads a few selections, including an angry woman-superhero obituary "In Memoriam: Lady Fantastic," and a piece of her work-in-progress Cantankerous, which is a YA SF novel in the vein of Leverage and Firefly.
191. 12:00 PM B Reading: Ellen Brody. Ellen Brody. Ellen Brody reads "The Girl Jones" by Memorial Guest of Honor Diana Wynne Jones
192. 12:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Max Gladstone, Maria Dahvana Headley.
193. 12:00 PM E Autographs. Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Tim Powers.
194. 12:30 PM A Reading: Terence Taylor. Terence Taylor. Terence Taylor reads a short story.
195. 12:30 PM B Reading: Jeff Hecht. Jeff Hecht. Jeff Hecht reads "When Last I Saw the Stars," from Nature Futures, and another flash story to be determined.
196. 1:00 PM 5 Tanith Lee - A Retrospective. Mike Allen, Gemma Files, Lila Garrott, Theodora Goss (leader), Sonya Taaffe. Tanith Lee authored over 90 novels and 300 short stories, a children's picture book, poems, and television episodes. In 1980, she became the first woman to win the British Fantasy Award best novel award, for her book Death's Master. Yet in 2010, Tanith Lee mentioned she was still writing novels, and consistently publishing short stories, but publishers were not interested in her longer works. Lee's impact on the genres that make up slipstream fiction was significant. What leads a publisher to look at works from an influential, established writer and decide they are not worth the shelf space? How can we keep Lee in print, and in people's minds?
197. 1:00 PM 6 Interstellar Empire in a Post-Scarcity World. Neil Clarke, John Clute, Robert Killheffer (leader), John O'Neil, Alex Shvartsman. If we had all the resources we needed and weren't damaging our environment, would we still expand to space given technology that made that easy as well? Would there still be conflict with other interstellar empires? Would we have a responsibility to give this technology to all those we encounter?
198. 1:00 PM C Keytars in Science Fiction! . John Chu, Yves Meynard, Sarah Pinsker (leader), David Shaw, Catherynne M. Valente. Alien or futuristic music can play a large role in SF, but how is it best conveyed? Music has evolved to encompass a vast array of styles, instrumentation, and sound. How can we make something seem alien or futuristic instead of just "experimental"? Is it unusual instruments, ranges of sound, different scales, some combination of these or something else altogether? On TV and movies new isntruments can be shown, like Spock's lute, but how do we make sure the sound isn't just ours? How would alien instruments be different? Would we be able to make sense of it? The soundtrack to Forbidden Planet was created with entirely original, electronic instruments to make a seemingly alien sound, but how often can something like this be done before it becomes generic? Are we stuck with making sure the lyrics convey the alienness or futuristicness?
199. 1:00 PM BH Power, Wealth, and Economics in Writing and Plotting Romance. Max Gladstone, Ada Palmer, Tom Purdom, Julia Rios, Terence Taylor. There are many modern romances with a wealthy man and a woman who isn't, and many with both male and female partners with money, but few with a wealthy woman and a man who isn't. Does the wealth disparity create a power dynamic similar to the one that was inherent between men and women in pre-modern society? Modern romances frequently imitate and reuse formulas and tropes from romances written in pre-modern society when an inherent power tension between empowered men and comparatively politically/economically dis-empowered women existed. Do these power differentials still exist or do modern romances artificially recreate the same kinds of tensions and stresses by writing about the very wealthy? Why wouldn't reversed roles be as compelling in a modern romance? What happens when other genders are included or polyamorous lifestyles are considered? Is the wealth disparity the be-all and end-all of romantic settings? How do wealth and other types of modern power work in modern romance, and how does it relates to pre-modern ideas of romance?
200. 1:00 PM A Reading: Gillian Daniels. Gillian Daniels. Gillian Daniels reads a short story.
201. 1:00 PM B Reading: Kathleen Jennings. Kathleen Jennings. Kathleen Jennings reads an extract of "Flyaway", an illustrated Australian Gothic novella-in-progress.
202. 1:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Nick Kaufmann, Mikki Kendall.
203. 1:00 PM E Autographs. Steve Rasnic Tem.
204. 1:30 PM A Reading: Michael Cisco. Michael Cisco. Michael Cisco reads selections from his new novel, Animal Money.
205. 1:30 PM B Reading: Elsa Sjunneson-Henry. Elsa Sjunneson-Henry. Elsa Sjunneson-Henry reads a piece that will be coming out from Fireside Fiction Company in July, titled "Out of Time", and a section from her current novel out on query.
206. 2:00 PM 5 SFFF: Science Fiction and Fantasy Fashion . Lila Garrott, Liz Gorinsky (leader), Kathleen Jennings, Julia Starkey, T.X. Watson. Let's talk about future fashion. According to Carrie Fisher in her memoir Wishful Drinking, George Lucas told her that there were no bras in space, so she wasn't allowed to wear a bra in the first Star Wars movie. He explained to her in 2012 that in space, skin expands, but a bra doesn't, so a person would be strangled by their bra. Setting aside all of the other questions this raises, what scientific and future technological oddities could end up affecting the way we dress? Many designers and writers over the years have tackled this question with clothing to protect from increased UV rays and Star Trek uniforms that include personal climate control. Do we think that future clothing will be purely functional jumpsuits, or will new technologies provide new sartorial delights and abominations? Do our aliens dress like humans or eschew clothing entirely? In fantasy, does historical accuracy matter, and does boob armor really ruin a story?
207. 2:00 PM 6 Ace, Aro, and Age . F. Brett Cox, Keffy Kehrli, Sonya Taaffe, Jo Walton. Readers looking for asexual and aromantic characters in speculative fiction have to look hard. The only human characters who aren't likely to wind up married off are either children or the elderly, thanks to mistaken cultural notions about youthful innocents and withered crones. How can we expand speculative fiction to include explicitly asexual and aromantic identities, and how does that inclusion force us to also address our ideas about sexual and romantic orientations and age?
208. 2:00 PM C The No-Good, Very Bad Antagonist . John Benson, Elaine Isaak (leader), John Langan, Yves Meynard, Eric Schaller. Whenever any scene of an antagonist's cruelty is questioned an all too common response is "We have to see how bad the antagonist is!" But there is an ugly tautology squirming just beneath that logic. The antagonist, who must be defeated because they are bad, must be seen to be bad so we might enjoy their defeat. And what of the notion that everyone is the protagonist of their own story? Isn't it enough to show that our antagonist is opposed to our protagonist? Must the deck be stacked with Eeeeeevil to get the audience on board? How much of this is simple, titillating enjoyment of evil acts?
209. 2:00 PM BH Hands On with Rare Books. Ada Palmer. Archivist and writer Ada Palmer will bring her collection of antique books and manuscripts, the oldest dating to the 1490s, including handwritten manuscripts on Vellum and early printed books from the 1500s, 1600s and 1700s. Her talk will focus on examples of different types of early book production, different bindings, typefaces, printing from different countries, pamphlets and broadsides, with hands-on opportunities. Palmer will also talk about the history of books and writing, the transition from papyrus to vellum, from manuscript to print, and how changes in medium affected the history of reading.
210. 2:00 PM A Reading: Walter Williams. Walter Williams. Walter Williams read from a work in progress, Blue, a surreal detective story.
211. 2:00 PM B Reading: Elaine Isaak. Elaine Isaak. Elaine Isaak reads reading from "Sixteen Concubines" an unpublished historical story set in China
212. 2:00 PM E Autographs. Mike Allen, Max Gladstone.
213. 2:30 PM A Reading: Shariann Lewitt. Shariann Lewitt. Shariann Lewitt reads from a work to be announced.
214. 2:30 PM B Reading: John Chu. John Chu. John Chu reads from either "The Sentry Branch Predictor Spec: A Fairy Tale" or an unpublished work.