Readercon 24: My Schedule

Readercon 24 is only a few weeks away! I’m psyched because Readercon is one of my favorite literary sf/f/h conventions. (For completists, my other favorites are NECon, World Fantasy, and World Horror. There, now you can win your next game of Trivial Pursuit!) Even more exciting — for me, anyway — is Readercon’s Memorial Guest of Honor this year is Roger Zelazny, one of my all-time favorite authors. Zelazny had a lasting influence on me as a writer. Look for a personal essay I wrote about it in this year’s souvenir book.

Readercon 24’s programming schedule has been announced. Here’s where you’ll find me:

Friday July 12

5:00 PM    ME    Writing (Hot and Heavy) Action. Elizabeth Bear, Nicholas Kaufmann (leader), Margo Lanagan, John Shirley, Cecilia Tan. Good action scenes and good sex scenes have a surprising amount in common. This panel will discuss the best ways of approaching both. Expect the discussion to get raunchy and specific.
Proposed by Wesley Chu.

[I’m a little nervous about leading a discussion with such powerhouse authors, but I think this is going to be a really fun and informative panel. If nothing else, come to hear us talk dirty.]

7:30 PM    VT    Reading: Nicholas Kaufmann. Nicholas Kaufmann. Nicholas Kaufmann reads an excerpt from the forthcoming novel Dying Is My Business.

[This is prime dinner time, so my reading will probably be a ghost town. Come anyway if you’re around! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it’s better than Cats, better than E.T….]

Saturday July 13

9:00 PM    RI    Writing in Shared Worlds. Jim Freund (moderator), Nicholas Kaufmann, Barry B. Longyear, John Shirley. Writing in shared worlds presents a unique set of pitfalls and opportunities. Each writer added to the mix brings additional nuances and complications, and keeping the expanding canon straight can be hard for both writers and readers. But when done well, it has produced some brilliant series (e.g. Bordertown, the Cecelia and Kate books). Our panelists discuss the challenges, solutions, and examples of the best shared-world works.

[9 p.m. is late for me! I’m going to show up in my pajamas. Also, what does “when done well” mean? Isn’t that subjective?]

Sunday July 14

10:00 AM    F    Workshopping as a Lifestyle. Jedediah Berry, Richard Butner, Craig Shaw Gardner, Theodora Goss (leader), Nicholas Kaufmann, Gregory A. Wilson. Writing is often a lonely process, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that workshops and critique groups are as popular as they are. But Junot Díaz has suggested that due to “workshopping as a lifestyle,” many writers have shifted their focus “away from the organic orientation of readers and towards a really mutated, very narrow idea of writing for other writers.” How can writers overcome this drawback of frequent workshopping while still enjoying its advantages? And when the assumption is that all your readers are writers, where does that leave readers who aren’t?

[I founded one of the most successful workshops in New York City, if we can judge success by how well its members’ writing careers have taken off, so expect me to be on the “workshops are great” side of the argument. Provided I’m not just joking around with my good friend Craig Shaw Gardner the whole time. That’s a serious possibility.]

There’s lots of other great programming happening throughout the convention (programming is Readercon’s strong suit), so look for me at any number of events. Or just chilling in the lobby with friends. Yes, I said chilling. I guess it’s the ’90s again or something. But if we don’t know each other and you’re going to be at Readercon, please feel free to say hello. I’m really quite friendly and outgoing. Unless I’m saying things like “chilling in the lobby,” which, understandably, only drives people away.

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