Readercon 08: Day Two and Three

Saturday I went to fewer panels and spent more time hanging out with friends.

The morning started with the Codex breakfast, which featured a completely different group of Codexians than we had at the retreat. It was good to see Elaine Isaak, Doug Cohen, Joy Marchand, ((Did not get enough time with Joy)) Cat Rambo, David Walton, Erin Underwood and Will McIntosh, who brought his lovely wife. We also had the special guests Kris Dikeman and Justine Graykin ((who was in Shimmer’s Pirate issue)) joining us. It’s fun to catch up with writers who I know online but only get to see at cons.

After that, I headed for a panel, walked into the room which was FREEZING and decided to go get a sweater and, um, took a nap instead of returning.

Had lunch with Amy Tibbets, John Joseph Adams, Chris Cevasco, Doug Cohen and then two people whose names I should remember in full because I really liked both of them. Amy Eastment, the mask making engineer, and John the horror writer. ((I should start taking notes, because I am such crap with names.))

I listened to Ekaterina Sedia talk about how she wrote Alchemy of Stone. The book sounded fascinating so I picked up a copy and the first chapter is great. I’m looking forward to continuing the book on the train trip home. The main character is a mechanical girl! Sweet.

I also got to spend a lot of time hanging out with David Anthony Durham, ((Campbell nominee and author of Acacia)) who is one of my new favorite people. On Friday he hosted an interesting discussion about crossing over into SF. The gist of which is that there’s not that much difference between writing a historic novel and a fantasy novel, in that you are still having to let the reader know about customs and lands with which they are unfamiliar. Still have to create compelling characters and dynamic plots. The difference comes in how it’s marketed.

Let’s see… Sunday I went out for coffee with Mary Hobbson and Genevieve Valentine then headed off to the panel on the Aesthetics of Online Magazines. They spent way too much time talking about the market forces of online magazines. Granted, that informs the aesthetic, but I wanted to hear more about the aesthetics of content and form.

My panel on podcasting was similar, I think. We covered some interesting topics, but mostly it devolved into a “please use your microphone responsibly” ((I am guilty of causing one of those tangents)) with some brief flourishes of “this is where podcasting can go.” Liz Gorinsky had some good things to say about how other fields handle podcasting, but we kept tangenting away from those points so I’ll have to find her later and see what she had to say that we skipped.

On the whole it was a grand time. Highlights include: sushi with David Anthony Durham, drinks with Jenn Jackson and Michael Curry, ((not the award-winning puppeteer)) the Codex breakfast, reading with my Tabula Rasa group — who had rocking stories that I’d never heard, and Friday’s steampunk panel.

Tomorrow, I leave all this behind and build that springer spaniel.

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7 Responses

  1. Veejane

    Was nice to run into you on Friday night!

    …but the real question is, where did you find decent breakfast within screaming distance of the con-hotel? (Or was it at the con-hotel?) Because I hate to think that I have to drive my con-friends all the way down to Somerville for a good weekend breakfast, and I can’t find anything worthwhile/open in Burlington.

    1. Mary Robinette Kowal

      Hey! Good to run into you, too. The Codex breakfast was in the hotel restaurant Winter/Summer. They have a very nice breakfast buffet.

      For coffee, it was just the Starbucks down the road.

  2. Ellen Datlow

    I was really unhappy with that aesthetics panel, too (and I was ON it)….it’s hard to move a panel
    into the right direction when others on it hijack it into something entirely different than what it was intended.

    1. Mary Robinette Kowal

      I think a discussion of the market forces of publishing is an interesting and valuable one, but it wasn’t what I came there for.

      I was glad to hear you say that you read the same for stories whether they are in print or online.

  3. Ellen Datlow

    The problem is that market forces is a very common panel (and I’m almost kind of sick of those panels)–if I’d realized the aesthetics panel would have devolved into that –yet again–I would never have said yes to being on it.

  4. Michael Curry

    It was great to see you again, even if I’m still not entirely sure which of us was stalking the other. I’m glad that I got the chance to hang out with you and Jenn for a while in the bar, as that was quite fun.

    As for the Sunday panels, I didn’t get myself in gear quickly enough to make it to the Aesthetics of Online Magazines that morning, but now I don’t think I particularly regret that. I wish the podcasting panel, which I did make it to, had managed to go in directions that didn’t involve quite so much time spent listing out favorite sites, but there were some good bits in there. Thank you for your contributions to those! And yes, I wish the things Liz had wanted to talk about had gotten a larger share of the time.