Readercon 2010: Saturday

Today was much more low-key. I spent the morning in the lobby trying to get caught up on some writing and business.  As usual, I intended to go to panels and instead wound up spending most of my time in the hall talking to people.

The keen hall conversation moment was when Stephanie Kwandrans gave me a Jane Austen journal. It’s a pretty little thing and totally unexpected.

I headed from there up to participate in the Theodore Sturgeon readings. It’s a pretty cool thing. The Sturgeon estate and Readercon coordinated to have various SF authors reading Sturgeon stories throughout the weekend.  I read The Professor’s Teddy Bear, which is a seriously creepy story.

From there I went to the launch party for Amelia Beamer’s new novel, The Loving Dead. It’s been getting a lot of good buzz and I’m looking forward to reading it.

And then the highlight of my Readercon weekend. I was a challenger in the Kirk Poland Bad Prose contest.  Five passages of published SF, which are truly dreadful, are read stopping mid-sentence and then the contestants finish them. (We get them ahead of time.) Every time you fool the audience, you get a point. Every time the audience guesses which is the correct passage, they get a point.

Yves Meynard is a five-time champion at this and I had no illusions about my ability to unseat him. To my surprise, I was actually in the lead for two rounds. Of course, the master triumphed in the end.

The interesting thing about this contest is that the goal, as a writer, isn’t merely to write badly but to write in someone else’s style. It’s an interesting exercise.

And then, of course, parties.

Oh! Oh! I also got an ARC of the book the Rose Fox put together The Wonderful Future That Never Was: Flying Cars, Mail Delivery by Parachute, and Other Predictions from the Past (Popular Mechanics Magazine). It is so full of win that I can’t wait to have time to sit down with it.

Let’s see… I haven’t mentioned talking to, among others, Nancy Brauer, Nightwing Whitehead, Mishell Baker, Nalo Hopkinson, Sandra Kasturi, Cheysa Burke, Brett Savory, Bernard Goodman, Ted Chiang, Jeremy Lassen, Paolo Bacigalupi, Ben Rosenbaum, Jon Armstrong, James Cambias or Diane Kelly.  Diane, by the way, is working on truly fascinating research involving ducks.


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