For anyone who's in the Boston area next weekend, here's my schedule for Readercon:
Thursday, July 13:
8:00 PM Salon 5 How to Moderate a Panel. Alex Jablokow, Victoria Janssen (leader), Kathleen Jennings, Tom Purdom, Kenneth Schneyer. The moderator plays a crucial role in making panels run smoothly and enjoyably for participants and attendees. This panel will cover how to get questions rather than comments from audience members, how to deal with a panelist who goes off the rails, and how to make sure everyone gets equal time, among many other topics.
9:00 PM Salon 6/7/8 A Hero by Any Other Name. Randee Dawn, Greer Gilman, Elaine Isaak, Kenneth Schneyer (leader), Tamara Vardomskaya. Would Maleficent be less terrifying if her name were Suzy? Would Arthur Dent and Zaphod Beeblebrox have been able to have each other's adventures? In literature, names can serve as shorthand to imply a character's age, ethnicity, time or place of origin, and emotional and psychological makeup. This panel will explore the art and psychology of character names.
Friday, July 14:
1:30 PM Salon A Reading: Kenneth Schneyer. Kenneth Schneyer. Kenneth Schneyer reads a work in progress. (I'm thinking it'll be either "Paradigm Shift" or "Transitional States.")
Saturday, July 15:
3:00 PM Salon C The Season Away from Omelas: The Fifth Season in Conversation with "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas". Martin Cahill (leader), Kiini Ibura Salaam, Alena McNamara, Lauren Roy, Kenneth Schneyer. In Ursula K. Le Guin's classic short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," readers are left with the uncomfortable question of how they would handle knowing that a good life came at the expense of one hidden, abused child. Would they stay and accept it, or would they leave? N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season and its sequels offer a third way: smash the entire structure to pieces. Jemisin explores the decisions characters are forced to make in an Omelas-like world, and subtly brings in parallels to current political situations. Panelists will discuss both works and the conversation the authors seem to be having across the years.
Sunday, July 16:
1:00 PM Blue Hills Room Filing Off the Serial Numbers. Gillian Daniels, Randee Dawn (leader), Catt Kingsgrave, Naomi Novik, Kenneth Schneyer. Many traditionally published works started life as fan fiction. Sometimes tales grow in the telling and veer away from fanfic; sometimes an author is deliberately modifying a completed fic to render it suitable for publication; and sometimes it's more complicated. What are the benefits and pitfalls of filing off the serial numbers, with regard to creativity, logistics, and reader reaction?
Happily I'm on panels with some of my favorite people! And for those of you who've never been to Readercon, remember that the Thursday night panels are free and open to the public!