UPDATE: This schedule is now CONFIRMED.
I’m going to be giving four readings at Readercon 23, to be held July 12-15 at the Burlington Marriott, Burlington, MA. I’m also serving on two panels. New England folks, if there’s anyone out there who ever wanted to hear me read, here’s your chance.
For those unfamiliar with Readercon, it is the most unabashedly literary of all the SFF conventions, focusing entirely on the written word. This year’s Guests of Honor are Peter Straub and Caitlin R. Kiernan. Regular participants include Elizabeth Hand, Paul Park, Samuel R. Delany, Elizabeth Bear, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, Michael Swanwick, Kelly Link, Paul Di Filippo, and many others. I have so many friends attending that can’t possibly name them all, but check out the Guests List to get a good idea. Among other things, it features the not-to-be-missed Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Competition.
Anyway, here’s my own schedule for Readercon:
Friday July 13
Group Reading: Codex Writers’ Group.
Gwendolyn Clare, D.T. Friedman, Damien Walters Grintalis, Leonid Korogodski, John P. Murphy, Jennifer Pelland, Julia Rios, Kenneth Schneyer, Amy Sundberg, Gerald Warfield, Gregory Wilson.
Codex is a very active, 8-year-old, online writers’ group that focuses mainly on newer pro SF and Fantasy writers.
(At this one I think I’m reading from my 1,300-word story “Financial Strategies for Innovative Researchers”, but that might be too long for the time allotted)
Group Reading: Cambridge Science Fiction Workshop.
Heather Albano, James L. Cambias, F. Brett Cox, Alexander Jablokov, James Patrick Kelly, Steven Popkes, Kenneth Schneyer, Sarah Smith.
The members of the oldest extant professional writers group in New England give brief readings from their works.
(Don’t know yet what I’m reading here, but I’ll have time for about 1,000 words. Possibly I’ll read one of the funny parts from my new story, “Life of the Author Plus Seventy”. This group reading has been often well-attended and reliably delightful at every conference we’ve done it. Highly recommended.)
Saturday July 14
Reading. Kenneth Schneyer.
Kenneth Schneyer reads his new short story, “Hear the Enemy, My Daughter.”
(Well, hm. “Hear the Enemy” is 5,500 words, and a 25-minute reading gives me time for about 4,100. Does anyone mind a cliffhanger?)
Unexamined Assumptions in SF.
James L. Cambias (leader), Mikki Kendall, Anil Menon, Kenneth Schneyer, Darrell Schweitzer.
In a 2011 blog post, James Cambias complained of “[convention] attendees and panelists dusting off old, unexamined assumptions” in SF. For much of its history, SF developed a set of unexamined assumptions that became default conventions of the genre—that space exploration will move systematically outward from the moon to the planets, that the explorers will be cisgender heterosexual American or European males, that aliens will fight us in (peculiarly two-dimensional) space battles, and so on. 21st-century SF has made some notable efforts to roast these chestnuts, but it has its own set of assumptions, which this panel will mercilessly dissect and offer alternatives to.
The Future of Copyright.
Ken Liu, B. Diane Martin, Eugene Mirabelli, Kenneth Schneyer (leader), Jacob Weisman.
SFF authors have two reasons to care about the future of copyright: both as a novum for fiction, as in Spider Robinson’s Melancholy Elephants, Charles Sheffield’s “Out of Copyright,” and Randy Henderson’s “Surviving the eBookalypse,” and as a basis for long-term career strategy (see the blogs of Cory Doctorow and Kristine Kathryn Rusch). All we know for sure about copyright is that it’s going to change, but how? Will it become ever more stringent and draconian, with publishers charging separately each time a reader opens a book? Will it vanish altogether in favor of a fee-for-service or “revenue rights” model? Will authors have to start beating the bushes for rich patrons? Join in the wild speculations and crackpot theories.
(Should be fun. Diane hand-picked this group, which includes writers, lawyers, writer/lawyers, editors, etc. We all have strong opinions.)
Group Reading: Ideomancer Speculative Fiction.
Mike Allen, Leah Bobet, C.S.E. Cooney, Amanda Downum, George Galuschak, Claire Humphrey, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Kenneth Schneyer, Sonya Taaffe.
Authors and poets read work from Ideomancer Speculative Fiction, one of the longest-running speculative fiction webzines still publishing.
(Leah and I have talked about doing some kind of performance-art version of my hypertext story “Neural Net.” I was skeptical, but now that I see that the group contains some of the most game performers I know (Mike, Claire, Nicole, etc.) I think it’s entirely possible.
I’ll be around for the whole con. Hope to see you there!