Readercon 26 Report

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Readercon 26 came and went this weekend, speeding by too quickly as it always does. My panel “Mystery and Speculative Crossovers” on Friday morning went well. It was a packed house, and as usual I felt my fellow panelists — Meriah Crawford, Chris Gerwel, and Greer Gilman, not to mention our panel leader Adam Lipkin — all had far more intelligent and interesting things to say than I did.

My reading on Friday afternoon was quite well attended, which is always a relief. I read from a brand new and as yet unpublished story that had the audience laughing out loud in all the right places, and then crying a little. Both are reactions I find immensely gratifying. Keep an eye out for the story, titled “These Things Always Come in Threes,” in the near future.

My kaffeeklatsch Friday evening came right on the heels of Jack Haringa’s, so the same group pretty much just stayed through both. We covered a variety of topics, most of which were not about me, since I’m never all that comfortable talking about myself. Elizabeth Bear shared the hour with me, and I was pleased (and surprised) to see her kaffeeklatsch and mine were of roughly equal size.

The Chizine Publications group reading on Saturday afternoon was also a lot of fun. That photo up top, courtesy of Alexa, is of me reading a snippet from Chasing the Dragon. (There were a lot of CZP authors there and a snippet was all each of us had time to read.) I don’t like to read sitting down, I find it harder to project, so that’s why I’m standing up in the picture. Also, I paced a bit. I probably looked like I was on coke or something, which I suppose is apt for the book.

Sunday morning I had the pleasure of watching the 2014 Shirley Jackson Awards ceremony. You can find the list of winners here. It’s always nice to see good work get the recognition it’s due. And speaking of books, I managed to come away from Readercon’s astonishing “bookshop” with only three books: What We Salvage by David Baillie, The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper, and Aickman’s Heirs edited by Simon Strantzas, a copy of which he and his editor Michael Kelly generously gifted me.

But for me, Readercon isn’t just about the programming events, it’s also about seeing friends I don’t get to see as often as I like. Many thanks to Jack Haringa and his infinitely patient family for putting me and Alexa up for the weekend. They run the finest unofficial bed-and-breakfast in Worcester, Mass. And of course it was great to see Paul Tremblay, John Langan, Simon Strantzas, F. Brett Cox, Sarah Langan (even though she lives right down the street from me!), Michael Cisco, Stephen Graham Jones, Michael and Carolyn Kelly, Brett Savory and Sandra Kasturi, Bob Boyczuk, Chandler Klang Smith, Daniel Braum, Karen Heuler, and so many others, old friends and new. I’m always a little sad to leave these things, and that’s always about the people.

Until next year! Alas, there’s no rest for the wicked, because next weekend it’s Necon!

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