Posts Tagged ‘Readercon’

Readercon 08 schedule

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Friday 12:00 Noon
Vinyard: Kaffeeklatsch
Mary Robinette Kowal and Barry B. Longyear
This is my first kaffeeklatsch. Here’s your chance to ask me questions about writing, puppets, SFWA, Iceland… Come chat with me!

Friday 1:00 PM
VT: Tabula Rasa Group Reading
Readings by members of the New York-based Tabula Rasa writer’s group, including Saladin Ahmed, Christopher M. Cevasco, Barbara Krasnoff, and me. I’ll be reading “The Deacon of Dark River” a retelling of an Icelandic ghost story.

Friday 5:00 PM
ME/ CT: Steampunk and Beyond: What Would a “Gibson Chair” Look Like?
Holly Black, Paul Di Filippo, Liz Gorinsky, Mary Robinette Kowal (L) , Sarah Micklem

Steampunk, originally just an sf subgenre, is now also a burgeoning underground design movement. There’s precedent for this: modernism was not only a literary movement, but had artistic, musical, architectural, and design wings as well. Is the steampunk design movement an essentially fluky outgrowth of our fascination with all things retro? Or could other f&sf subgenres sprout their own design branches as well? Could the creation of actual, useful, physical objects lead to better-imagined literary art? How close is the relationship between the visually striking artifacts of steampunk and the literature that spawned them, anyway?


Sunday 12:00 Noon

RI: Podcasts of Mars.
Jim Freund (L), Liz Gorinsky, James Patrick Kelly, Mary Robinette Kowal, Cat Rambo

Podcasts like Escape Pod and Free Reads from James Patrick Kelly are presenting audio discussions, short stories, and even entire books in a free portable format. We’ll take a critical survey of what’s out there and discuss the future of this new medium. Is it possible to model the podcast on the science fiction convention, which also includes discussions and readings? Could new technological approaches allow the podcast to go places that earthbound discussions can’t?

Fifteen Days in July

I’m only home for fifteen days this month. Yesterday was the only full day that Rob and I will have together until August 11th. He’s leaving to go to Canaan for a film shoot today and returns the 17th, the day that I leave for Readercon. We might overlap that day, but likely not.

I return from Readercon on the 20th, which is the day Rob leaves to go to the IPNC. We won’t overlap that day.

He returns from IPNC on the 30th, which is the day I leave for Launchpad. We might be able to see each other at the airport. I’m not kidding.

Launchpad and Worldcon are back to back and I return on August 11th.

All of which is leading me to think that I should go up to Canaan with Rob today and spend the night. BUT, I have twelve days left this month in which to build a realistic wounded dog puppet ((This is a side effect of having a dead dog in one’s portfolio)) On the other hand, I haven’t received the petty cash to purchase supplies yet and if I don’t do that today, then it will be Monday before I can work. Ten days to build a dog. Doable, but only just.

Typewriter question

Since I have all of these new folks stopping by to look at the typewriter mod, maybe one of you will have an idea of how to do the other nifty thing I want. I want a USB carriage return. You know? I mean, how perfect would that be to be able to plug that in for those occasions when I need a hard return.

On the whole, I must say that having this at Readercon is very strange. I had it out today because I needed to print out the story for my reading, and people stopped with a double-take, pointing, because they had seen it on BoingBoing. (For my regular readers, be patient, the surge in traffic will die down shortly.)

Off to Readercon

I’m heading up to Readercon for the weekend and will be taking the Kowal Portable Typewriter and Adding Machine with me. I’m already getting double-takes from passersby as I sit at the coffee shop, so I think it is a success. That, plus the sudden surge in website traffic…

No internet?!?

That’s right, we don’t yet have internet at the apartment. We get it next Friday, you know, while I’m away at Readercon. Until then, postings will be somewhat sporadic I’m afraid.

We spent yesterday cleaning and unpacking. The bedroom is assembled and has no boxes. Yay! Rob has disassembled the stove and is deep cleaning it. It’s a nice old Welbilt, which has thirty plus years of grease buildup on it. We shudder.

The living room is starting to emerge from the chaos of boxes, but it will take awhile.

I have to give a huuuuuuge thank you to Emily, Jodi and my brother, Steve, for their help moving us in.

Here are some photos from moving day.

Arrival in NYC

Getting dark

Sometime in the last week it started getting dark at night again. Last night I slept without an eye cozy for the first time (excluding my trip to Boston) for months. I still haven’t started seeing stars again, but seeing dark outside our windows keeps surprising me.

Readercon, Day 2

David Barr Kirtley and John Joseph AdamsI started the day by dropping off copies of Shimmer in the Book room with Small Beer Press. Gavin Grant very kindly agreed to stock them for us. So far we’ve sold five copies of the magazine here. Which is great.

I also tracked down the box of Twenty Epics anthologies. They had gone missing and no one seemed to know where they were. David Moles, one of the editors, said that they had been delivered on the sixth and that “Warren” and signed for them. When I asked at the front desk, they actually knew what I was talking about, and happily took me to find the books. I suspect that Warren actually referred to the network of rooms below the hotel rather than a person. You know the movies, where the action hero runs through a warren of rooms and tunnels, passing through the kitchen of the hotel? Evidently, you have to pass through the kitchen to get anywhere.

After dropping off the books at, again, Small Beer Press, I went to breakfast with the gang from Codex. I’m happy to report that Doug Cohen, Elaine Isaak, Danielle T. Friedman, Will McIntosh and Joy Marchand are all delightful people. Much witty banter was had by all.

I headed off to a panel on Small Press run by Matthew Kressel and the other folks of Sybil’s Garage. It was a very interesting talk and gave me plenty of ideas for new ways to market Shimmer.

From there I went to lunch with John Joseph Adams, David Barr Kirtley and–and I suck with names. Thank heavens everyone wears nametags.

More panels, and more hanging out. I’ve purchased lots of small press magazines and a couple of books to take back to Iceland with me. Ah, and then I napped as well.

Twenty Epics
Paul Berger had arranged for a reading from the Twenty Epics anthology, since six of the contributors were here. It was fun and, much to my surprise, I was very nervous. I don’t get nervous in front of audiences much anymore, so sort of enjoy the sense of butterflies. I think it was because this was the first time I’ve read my own words in public. I’ve performed in plays with my words, but there’s lots and lots of rehearsal and cast mates to support the experience. I’ve read my words in recording studios, and I used to compete in interpretive reading, but this was different. Even my knees were shaking. I don’t think anyone noticed, but part of my brain was cataloguing the symptoms of nerves the whole time I was reading.

Then I hung out at the bar with Joy, Doug and Will. Joy and I declared that we were exhausted and headed up for bed where we proceeded to stay up till four a.m. talking through problems with pieces we are working on.

It was a great day.

Readercon, Day 1

Walden Pond swimmersTo start with, Joy and I drove past Walden pond to get here. It’s someplace that I knew was real, but never really thought of as real, know what I mean? People were swimming and playing; for most of them, I’m sure it was just the local pond, not some literary shrine. I was most taken with the trees. Walden pond sits in a bowl, surrounded by trees. The trees are probably not that remarkable, except that I’ve been living with limited access to them for months now. And no really big trees. But here, I couldn’t see the sky.

Walden PondWe drove on to Readercon. At first, it was a little bewildering to wander around knowing that there were people here who I knew online. I just didn’t know what they looked like.

So Joy and I decided to dive into the panels. We started with A Nomenclature of the Fantastic, then moved on to a reading of China Mieville’s new unpublished novel. He has a beautiful reading voice.

Afterwards, we ran into Doug Cohen, John Joseph Adams, which were the only two I’d met before. Then I met Paul Berger, who is in Twenty Epics with me. Joy introduced me to Will McIntosh, who I knew from Codex but had never met. We did not get to see Jenny Rae Rappaport, who was supposed to be our roommate, because she is at home with a nasty stomach flu. Everyone send her get well wishes.

I also met David Louis Edelman, whose first novel just came out; Lancer Kind, a fellow West Coaster and many other people whose business cards I didn’t take. I’m terrible at names.

Oh! And I sold a copy of Shimmer.