Readercon24 (July 11-15, 2013) can be summed up like this: Glittery Brain Fun. The panels and readings I went to were amazing. Standouts are listed below. So here’s as much dish as I can muster on my first day back…
Traincon: First we had to get to Readercon. That meant Traincon. Ten of us boarded in Philadelphia: D.T. Friedman, Shveta Thakrar, E.C. Myers, Bernie Mojzes, A.T. Greenblatt, A.C. Wise, James and Lilly, Natalie Luhrs, and me. By the time Chris Gerwel joined us in New York (bearing more coffee, thank goodness), we’d taken over a cafe car and had begun shenanigans, interspersed with writing challenges and grand debates on all matter of topics. This was certainly the most pleasing six hours on a train I’ve had in a long time, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
GvsE: We arrived and began to put GvsE plans into play. Arch-nemesis Carrie Cuinn and her Team Good minions (namely Wes Chu and Don Pizarro) had already arrived, WITH Nutella brownies. But I had a secret weapon: GvsE badge holders. Being not very good at the evil, I shared them with everyone, including my arch nemesis. It was fun to see them percolate through the con. I tried to document a few, though I didn’t get any of the pennyfarthings in the wild – so if you have pics, please share.
At various points, there was room yoga, a one-time production of Brin of Mars, MarcoCon (thank you Marko Kloos, you are amazing), and Strange Horizons shenanigans. The Codex brunch and the GvsE brunch were both great opportunities to talk to people I didn’t get to talk to elsewhere at the con, including Oliver Buckram, Sara Pinsker, and many more.
VP Dinner: Over thirty people, encompassing 17 years of Viable Paradise. In one room at the Lemon Tree. That rocked. Loved meeting Katrina Archer and Chang Terhune, hanging out with John Chu, and visiting with my VPXV classmates.
Panels I am most sad that I missed: Honestly, there were so many. I would have needed two clones, a time machine, and six gallons of coffee to get to all the panels and readings I wanted to see. But without question, I really wanted to go to Readercon Blog Club: “The Uses and Value of Realism in Speculative Fiction” with Elizabeth Bear, John Crowley, Rose Lemberg, and Scott Lynch. And I couldn’t make it. I am eagerly looking forward to hearing the recording. Ditto for “Avram Davidson, 1923–1993” with Eileen Gunn, Darrell Schweitzer, Michael Swanwick, Howard Waldrop, and Henry Wessells.
Amazing Panels & Readings: Missing Children in Urban Fantasy and ALL the YA panels were excellent. The Shame panel was fantastic, even when it turned a little too much yay books, boo games towards the end… but we maybe fixed that a little. I have so much respect for the skillful moderation of Veronica Schanoes I can barely speak. Natalie Luhrs did an excellent job moderating as well. Yoon Ha Lee’s reading was wonderful, as were E.C. Myers’ and James D. Macdonald’s – each of them did the amazing thing of reading new, unpublished work, and I was so glad to be present. I missed many other readings I wanted to go to. See above need for time-machine and clones.
All the time in hallways: always my favorite part of Readercon. Even when it means that a three-minute walk takes nearly an hour, and one of your roommates says “I am NEVER taking you on a quest!” The hallcons on various floors and in various other spaces make Readercon what it is, even without a viable lounge and lobby. And yes, that was tough – but we got through it. And next year, there will be a new and better pub and lobby, we hope. For me, meeting several new friends and catching up with friends I only see once or twice a year made up for the lack of public space.
New Books Acquired: Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters and Nathan Ballingrud’s North American Lake Monsters (Title synchronicity completely accidental.)
And…. spotted in the wild for the first time: ARCs for the Impossible Futures Anthology. I am ridiculously excited about this book (pre-orders were available at the con, and I’ll post a pre-order link when it’s up online), and about the fact that there might be some swag coming with the very shiny cover upon it. Keep your eyes peeled! Loved meeting several of my co-authors for this anthology – including Jeff Hecht, Sara Smith, Paul Di Fillipo, the wonderful editors Tom Easton and Judith Dial, and publisher Rose Mambert.
Post-con: Pacific Rim. Oh so very fun. Flawed, yes, but I’m totally ok with that. Because MECHA.
That’s the basics – I’m sure I’ll have more to say as I process everything. To everyone I saw this weekend, thank you for making it such a great con.
And to Rose Fox especially, thank you. So very much.