greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
[personal profile] greygirlbeast
So, I suppose this will be my quick and dirty "con report" on ReaderCon 20. There are three photographs afterwards, but only three. I avoided cameras like the plague this year. Last year, I only avoided them like a bad cold. But Spooky took two, anyway. The third, I took on the way home yesterday.

Like last year, I generally enjoyed ReaderCon a great deal. It's that rarest of beasts (in my opinion): a convention that's actually good for writers. I was very heavily booked, but didn't really mind. I prefer not to have a lot of "downtime" at something like this. Anyway, I suppose I should mention what were, for me, the highlights, and do the overview, recap sort of thing. I should say, my great thanks to Geoffrey Goodwin ([livejournal.com profile] readingthedark), who very kindly helped Spooky keep track of me, and was generally good company.

Friday: We got to the con hotel, a Marriott in Burlington (Mass.), sometime between 2:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. And despite what their website promised, there were no PS3s in the rooms, rather like how last year they promised free internet that turned out not to be free. Sooner or later, someone has to call them on this shit. They speak lies that sucker in geeks, and create unrealistic expectations. Anyway, my first panel, at 4 p.m., was the reading for Ellen Datlow's forthcoming Lovecraft Unbound (Oct. '09). I read from "Houses Under the Sea," as was very pleased to meet, and hear, Michael Cisco. It's going to be a fine book, but then Ellen's always are. Next up, I had the solo presentation for A is for Alien, which was very well attended, and that's about the best you can ever ask for. Then I had a panel, "Reality and Dream in Fiction," which wasn't so bad, though I suspect the subject was rather too broad for an hour-long discussion. I spoke about my "dreamsickness" and my pathological inability to know that I'm dreaming while I'm dreaming. After the panel, I had another solo presentation, "You Never Can Tell What Goes on Down Below: Reading Dr. Seuss as Weird Fiction." It came off better than I'd expected, at least the first half hour. Thereafter, though I'd been asked to read the entirety of The Lorax, and had agreed to do so, the whole thing was hijacked by a number of annoying people in the audience who wanted to argue the political correctness and sociological implications of children's books that were neither "weird" nor authored by Dr. Seuss. Before that, though, it went rather well, and I also read from Lewis Carroll and James Reeves. No dinner on Friday night, because there wasn't time. I did have a short break, and then managed to see Greer Gilman's ([livejournal.com profile] nineweaving) wonderful reading from Cloud and Ashes (Small Beer Press), which opened with a genuinely amazing performance by Sonya ([livejournal.com profile] sovay), who exquisitely set the mood for Greer's prose with a ballad. And after the reading, there was the ReaderCon 20 Grand Ceremony, and the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award, and then the annual "Meet the Pros(e)" thingy. I hid in a corner with Peter Straub, whom I'd not seen in ages. Getting to spend time with Peter (and his wife, Susie) was definitely one of the very best aspects of the con. And later still, because I lacked the good sense to go to bed, several of us retired to a vacant meeting room and talked until 2 a.m. or so (me, Spooky, Geoffrey, Michael Cisco, Sonya, Eric Van, and a few others whose names have been lost to me). I got to bed about 2:30 a.m., I think.

Saturday: The day started off with my signing, at noon in the dealers' room. Many books were scarred by my hand, some of which I'd not looked at in years. Then I had an hour free before the first of two rather unfortunate panels, starting with "Is Fiction Inherently Evil." The whole affair was predicated on a highly dubious pronouncement made by French ne'er-do-well Simone Weil, that (deep breath) fiction is inherently evil because it portrays good as dull, glamorizes the wicked, and fails to point out the supposed banality of evil. I sort of disqualified myself from the whole discussion right off, by noting that I don't actually recognize the division between good and evil in any traditional sense, and by asking if we were really supposed to see Grima Wormtongue as being more glamorous than Aragorn or Galadriel. I think Peter had the most cogent comments on the panel, though Michael Bishop and James Morrow added good bits, as well. And after that, I didn't even have to leave my chair, because the equally questionable "Is Darwinism Too Good for SF?" took place in the same salon. The premise was, simply, that it has been suggested that Darwinism has proven such a successful theory that it has left sf writers with very little room to wax fantastic. I started off by pointing out that all of biology is based on a single data point (Earth), and, therefore, no matter how well we might presently understand life on Earth, we may understand very little about life as a cosmic phenomenon. The panelists all had scientific credentials, and we quickly concluded that there was plenty of "wiggle room" in SF for nonDarwinian (not antiDarwinian) stories of evolution. My favorite moment was when Anil Menon was asked (by Stephen Popkes) if India has seen the sort of resistance to Darwinism we see in America, and he said no, there'd been no friction to speak of, no creationism in the school systems, and so forth. After the panel, we were corralled for a truly grand and delicious dinner at a nearby Szechuan restaurant. Too many dishes and tastes and flavours to even try to recount here. But we made it back in time for the "Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Competition Tournament of Champions," which has forever etched the phrase "she cupped him where he was soft" into my brainmeats. Later, those of us who'd gathered late the night before reconvened and talked until sometime after two. Oh, we were interrupted by some very rude harpy of a woman wearing two cameras, who noted that we were, collectively, wearing a lot of black, and so felt compelled to ask, "Isn't goth getting old?" I almost smacked her with my cane. Geoffrey almost asked, "Like you?" But we were all somewhat too stunned and polite to do much of anything. That was Saturday.

Sunday: I had only a single bit of programming, so it was an easy day. After we checked out of the room, Spooky and I prowled about the dealers' room, where I was very good and bought only a single book. At 2 p.m., after saying my goodbyes to Peter and Susie, I had my reading. All of Chapter Four of The Red Tree was read, and my thanks to everyone who stuck around and missed part (or all?) of the closing ceremonies while I went so far over the one-hour time slot to get it all read. We left the hotel sometime about 4 p.m., and made it back to Providence just before five, I think. Before dinner.

Also, it was good to meet Chris and Meg, as I'd only met them previously in Second Life.

And yes, I will likely be back next year, and no, I will not be at Necon (I never said I would). And yes, I did wear masks almost the entire convention, and will likely do so next year. In fact, I may do so at all future public appearances. Friday's Cthulhu mask (and the Kambriel dress) was the most popular. Alas, there are no photos from Friday of that outfit (to my knowledge); some might turn up online somewhere. Oh, by the way, my masks were crafted by E. L. Downey; they were gifts to Spooky and me in May 2005. Also, my grateful thanks to everyone who took part in the recent eBay auctions that made it possible for me to attend the con.

And now, the photographs (behind the cut):





Saturday. Peter and me on that dreaded panel on whether or not fiction is inherently evil. Peter is the cute one.



More of the same. Left to right: Michael Bishop, Gene Wolfe, James Morrow, Peter Straub, me.



On the way home, a self portrait.



Okay. Yeah. That wasn't quick. Or even particularly dirty.

Date: 2009-07-13 06:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tobyspit.livejournal.com
I very much enjoyed your thoughts on dreams in fiction, and thought chapter 4 of The Red Tree was fantastic, and I look forward to reading it when it comes out!

Also, thanks for taking a moment to sign Alabaster for me, it means a lot when authors take a moment to pander to the masses.

-JD

Date: 2009-07-13 06:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com
Also, thanks for taking a moment to sign Alabaster for me, it means a lot when authors take a moment to pander to the masses.

The pleasure was mine.
Edited Date: 2009-07-13 06:49 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-07-13 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tobyspit.livejournal.com
Absolutely, she will be happy you thought of her.

Date: 2009-07-13 06:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tobyspit.livejournal.com
oh, or maybe not?

I'll tell her anyways. ;)

Date: 2009-07-13 06:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com
Sorry about that edit. I was sure you and Emerson were together, but Spooky said otherwise, so I edited. Sigh.

Date: 2009-07-13 07:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tobyspit.livejournal.com
We are; we've been living together for just over a year now. I'm not sure if Beldon said so explicitly, but he did introduce me as "the heir apparent", although what I am inheriting I am not sure yet.

Date: 2009-07-13 07:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I'm not sure if Beldon said so explicitly, but he did introduce me as "the heir apparent"

That's what I remembered.

Date: 2009-07-13 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] humglum.livejournal.com

I'm just a doofus.

Date: 2009-07-13 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tobyspit.livejournal.com
It's all good as long as I don't forget we are together, I might catch some shit for that.

Date: 2009-07-13 06:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cucumberseed.livejournal.com
It was good to get some chance to chat with you again (I was one of the people in attendance on Friday, black hat, left early).

Still many thoughts on the fiction inherently evil panel (that one and the first half of Seuss were the ones that stood out in my mind) that will probably turn into my own reaction post, but one thing that did occur to me was that, and this is assuming you are buying into and writing good and evil, the reader's going to be coming along with you for the trip, riding with the protagonists and, in a way, fighting the antagonist; facing evil. If you buy into earth one also being full of good and evil, one thing I've noticed as a burnt out former polemicist is that the banality of evil makes it a chore to face in life. Why wouldn't you make fictional evil at least a little interesting to read a little dark and dramatic and compelling? If you're buying into this, then why wouldn't you want the reader to go fight that evil with your protagonist?

Ah, probably putting too much thought into what was meant to be the burning of so much straw.

Date: 2009-07-13 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cucumberseed.livejournal.com
I'm really sorry I missed the dreams and Darwin panels, though. They both sounded really interesting.

Date: 2009-07-13 06:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I'm really sorry I missed the dreams and Darwin panels, though. They both sounded really interesting.

I don't know. I fear the former was a dud, and that the latter was more interesting for the panelists than for the audience.

Date: 2009-07-13 09:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tobyspit.livejournal.com
I for one really enjoyed the former, and Emerson said the latter was awesome.

Date: 2009-07-14 04:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I for one really enjoyed the former, and Emerson said the latter was awesome.

Well...there you go.

Date: 2009-07-15 02:21 pm (UTC)
ckd: small blue foam shark (Default)
From: [personal profile] ckd
The Darwin panel is one of the ones I plan to write up a report on.

Date: 2009-07-15 02:23 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-07-13 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gargirl.livejournal.com
I enjoyed reading this post, driving home the idea that I really need to plan to be there next year.

That is really annoying that those people hijacked the Dr. Seuss discussion... they need to STFU. I guess they went to the con to hear themselves talk. sheesh.

The last pic is very cool, I love it.

Add me to the list of folks waiting breathlessly for The Red Tree. *grin* I can't wait! ^_^

Date: 2009-07-13 06:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I guess they went to the con to hear themselves talk. sheesh.

I think a LOT of people come to panels hoping to hear themselves speak, not to listen to the panelists.

Date: 2009-07-13 07:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gargirl.livejournal.com
You're probably right, sadly.

Date: 2009-07-13 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tobyspit.livejournal.com
The people around me were on a hair trigger with their hands, constantly raising them whenever the mods even slightly looked in their direction.

On the other hand though, during a lot of the time when questions were supposed to be answered a lot of the panelists started ranting about other topics, usually their books, really milking the spot light.

Date: 2009-07-13 07:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingthedark.livejournal.com
I stand by my assessment that "The Lonely Doll" by Dare Wright is the most transgressive children's picture book. Here's an article from the NYT on why Kim Gordon won't read it to Coco, why Cindy Sherman wanted to curate an art show about it, etc...

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/fashion/17DARE.html?_r=1

Date: 2009-07-13 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I suppose I'm going to have to track this book down now.

Date: 2009-07-13 08:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tsarina.livejournal.com
I have an excellent weird biography of Dare Wright too, that I could send to you if you want to read it. Her story is quite an interesting one.

Date: 2009-07-14 12:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I have an excellent weird biography of Dare Wright too, that I could send to you if you want to read it. Her story is quite an interesting one.

Maybe after I get around to reading the books in question. Thanks!

Date: 2009-07-13 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] robyn-ma.livejournal.com
Oh, the Lonely Doll books are evil. I read all three of them in a sitting one afternoon and I never want to look at them again.

Date: 2009-07-13 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tsarina.livejournal.com
I think you should hit people with your cane. Definitely. Isn't that a right that comes with canes?

Date: 2009-07-14 12:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Isn't that a right that comes with canes?

You'd think so, wouldn't you?

Date: 2009-07-13 08:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarletboi.livejournal.com
There's a red tree in Colorado right now.

Ladybugs are swarming.

Date: 2009-07-14 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com
Rather cool...

Date: 2009-07-13 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kathryn-aka-kat.livejournal.com
Thank you for being there! I went to the "A for Alien" talk and was very glad I had. (And the masks are wonderful!)

Date: 2009-07-14 12:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Thank you for being there! I went to the "A for Alien" talk and was very glad I had. (And the masks are wonderful!)

Thank you for attending the panel.

Date: 2009-07-14 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alumiere.livejournal.com
damn i wish getting to the east coast wasn't so expensive; i've been reading everyone's write ups of the con and i'm really unhappy that i missed this

on a side note, i agree with the comment that if you need a cane you should definitely be able to hit people with it (especially when the TSA idiots break it during inspection - this has happened to me twice)

finally, i love the mask, and the goth comment? not only rude as hell, but wrong as well

Date: 2009-07-14 04:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] humglum.livejournal.com

I think, for some people, simply wearing black means "goth". I spent a moment or two trying to figure out how braids, greying brown hair, no makeup, and blue jeans could possibly mean I'm a "fashion goth" who never got over it, which is what the comment implied.
Oh, wait... I was wearing a black shirt and a small silver pentagram...

Date: 2009-07-14 04:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

finally, i love the mask, and the goth comment? not only rude as hell, but wrong as well

Well, I can't say that as a subculture, goth isn't aging. Going on...at least 23 years, most likely. Still....that's not so old.

Date: 2009-07-14 04:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alumiere.livejournal.com
i agree with you as a subculture goth is aging in that it's been around a long time, but that was not what i read into her comment - more of a "over and done with, so yesterday thing"

being older (i was a punk first, and i'm still not very goth in many ways) i get tired of hearing the goth is dated/dead - so maybe i'm misreading her intent, but somehow i doubt it

Date: 2009-07-14 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

i agree with you as a subculture goth is aging in that it's been around a long time, but that was not what i read into her comment - more of a "over and done with, so yesterday thing"

No, I think you're right. I suspect that is exactly how she meant it. I am often pedantic. It's one of my vices.

Date: 2009-07-14 06:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ardiril.livejournal.com
"Going on...at least 23 years" -- I began wearing mourning black after Alice Cooper released "Lace & Whiskey". I never stopped.

Date: 2009-07-14 02:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mcurry.livejournal.com
I was only able to stay for the first half of your Dr. Seuss as Weird Fiction talk, but I'm still sorry that the second half got hijacked by the sort of con attendees who so often make me regret attending a panel in the first place.

Thank you for staying past the end of the official time slot for your reading to finish sharing Chapter 4 of The Red Tree. I'm now looking forward even more to getting a copy of the whole book in a few weeks.


Date: 2009-07-14 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com


Thank you for staying past the end of the official time slot for your reading to finish sharing Chapter 4 of The Red Tree.


You are very welcome.

Date: 2009-07-14 04:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevenravens.livejournal.com
It was really lovely to say hello to you in person, after having read your journal (and your books!) for a number of years. I was rather shy and so only said hello briefly after a panel, but I appreciated the opportunity to do so.

Date: 2009-07-14 04:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

It was really lovely to say hello to you in person, after having read your journal (and your books!) for a number of years. I was rather shy and so only said hello briefly after a panel, but I appreciated the opportunity to do so.

Don't be shy around me. It only gets my attention...

Date: 2009-07-14 04:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevenravens.livejournal.com
One must beware of ladies in elegant masks...

Date: 2009-07-14 06:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

One must beware of ladies in elegant masks...

Yep.

Date: 2009-07-14 06:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] possumqueen.livejournal.com
My companion dragged me into the Lovecraft Unbound panel on Friday, specifically to see you. He neglected to mention it was a reading -- so I'm the asshat who walked in, caught sight of you in the serpent mask and black taffeta gown and loudly exclaimed, "Cool!" while Laird Barron was reading his story. *head/desk* (He and I share friends, s'okay. HurrDurr.)

Me: the aging metal chick with long black hair and 8 tons of eyeliner. Horns up.

My male Companion: the tall, handsome dude with dark eyes. He works at Brown University bookstore, admires your poetic prose, and is now thoroughly dazzled by your splendor. ;) (Seriously, he couldn't stop talking about you at dinner after that panel.)

I've seen your comments in [livejournal.com profile] docbrite's LJ forever but didn't know who you were. It was a pleasure to see you at Readercon 20, I'll definitely be reading your work from now on.

Date: 2009-07-21 10:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imago1.livejournal.com
It's all good. Caitlin's mask WAS cool as hell.

Date: 2009-07-22 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] possumqueen.livejournal.com
Aw, thank you, Laird! It was a pleasure to finally meet you, albeit briefly.

(And thanks for adding me as well.)

Date: 2009-07-16 04:14 am (UTC)
ext_4772: (Scorpio)
From: [identity profile] chris-walsh.livejournal.com
Heh: When you said you wore a mask to the con, I assumed it was a medical mask. Hey, I've done that, so I approve.

And you could probably make the look work. Maybe adter drawing something with curlicues onto the mask or something...

Profile

greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

S M T W T F S
    1 234
56 7 891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
26272829   

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 19th, 2017 08:58 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios