Readercon is awesome. The conference for speculative literature is always worthwhile, as it offers a deep dive into issues and concerns that are at the forefront of literature.
So I got to hear luminaries like Michael Dirda and Peter Straub talk about their development as readers and writers. (Dirda doesn’t have time to reread books; Straub is rereading Iris Murdoch right now.)
I got to hear Samuel Delaney read for a work in progress that is from the point of view from a young Herman Melvill(e), and includes scenes during his life and times in Albany.
I learned a lot about the difficulties of living in space (the weakening of the body in low gravity; the politics of funding); about how authors try to strike a balance between fulfilling and subverting readers’ expectations (though one panelist argued that very little writing is truly subversive); and that some Readercon attendees bring really killer bourbon and are very generous with it, late into the night.
Most of all, though, I met some great people — writer and readers — but people who share my values for the importance of story.
The highlight, though, was the group reading of seven writers whose works are included in the much-praised anthology “Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History.”
Even better, was being asked to autograph my story. This is something that I have never done before. With the journals and anthologies in which I have been published before, I never had a chance to attend any of the events related to the release of those publications. Mostly because they were far away: in Japan or on the West Coast; or my day job and life made it too hard for me to be there. Continue reading