I’m so pleased to return to Readercon again in 2019, just in time for the release of The Fall!
It’s a big weekend for me, with two readings — one solo and one with the very excellent Broads of Broad Universe — and several panels featuring fun, challenging, important topics with great company.
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading
Fri 12:00 PM, Salon C
Am I Allowed?: Representation, Appropriation, and Anxiety
Zig Zag Claybourne, Sunny Moraine, Ian Muneshwar, Miriam Newman, Tracy Townsend(mod)
Fri 3:00 PM, Salon B
When writers learn about concerns around accurate representation and appropriation, they often react with anxiety, fearing that someone will tell them they’re not allowed to write beyond the bounds of their own experiences. Some seek out marginalized people and ask permission to tell particular stories. Others broadcast defiance, or publicly fret in hopes of being comforted. Why is this reaction so common and powerful? What are more constructive ways of dealing with the fear of not being allowed?
Reading: Tracy Townsend
Fri 5:00 PM, Sylvanus Thayer
Heist Stories as Meta-Genre
Josh Jasper, John P. Murphy (mod), Tracy Townsend, John Wiswell, Navah Wolfe
Sat 12:00 PM, Salon 4
On a panel at Readercon 29 about collaboration and community, John Wiswell observed that heist novels have “a synthesis of premise and plot,” while Scott Lynch added that heist stories reinforce that people need one another. This panel will dig more into heist stories, which (like humor and horror) can be layered on top of any genre or setting. What makes them satisfying? How can they make use of speculative elements while retaining their core of human ingenuity and interdependence?
Erik Amundsen (mod), N.S. Dolkart, Max Gladstone, Elaine Isaak, Tracy Townsend
Sat 7:00 PM, Salon A
There’s been much analysis of both the technique and the moral legitimacy of making readers feel alienated, disturbed, or unsafe. But in a 2017 keynote speech at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, Amal El-Mohtar said, “We don’t talk a great deal about being hospitable; about being welcoming in our writing, about creating worlds… that—even if they contain fierce creatures or vicious climates—receive the reader as a guest.” Panelists will discuss how, when, and why to make readers feel welcome in the text.
Middle Book Syndrome
Theodora Goss (mod), Anna Kashina, Kate Nepveu, Tracy Townsend, Gregory A. Wilson
Sun 10:00 AM, Salon 4
The middle book in a trilogy is often thought of as the one in which the fascinating setting and gripping conflict that were set up in the first book… are set up some more. Panelists will discuss recent trilogies and the degrees to which they fit this stereotype; how middle book syndrome has evolved over time; and how they’ve learned to avoid, address, or love the middle book’s problems as authors and as readers.