My Readercon schedule, let me show you it! I can’t freakin’ believe I booked an autograph session. I’ll look forward to nattering at Gemma if no one turns up!
Thursday July 10
8:00 PM G Power Differentials in Reviewing. Kevin Clark, John Clute, Amal El-Mohtar (leader), Lila Garrott, Alex Jablokow, Gregory Wilson. The Twitter sage @FILMCRITHULK wrote in a blog post, “REVIEWS ARE FUCKING WEIRD. NO ONE REALLY TALKS ABOUT IT, BUT THERE IS SOMETHING SO INHERENTLY WRONG WITH THEM. IT’S NOT JUST THE OBVIOUS THINGS, LIKE THE FACT THEY ARE SO OFTEN FILLED WITH THE WRONG KINDS OF INFORMATION TO GIVE BEFOREHAND AND MISSING THE INSIGHTS THAT WOULD TOTALLY BE MOST HELPFUL. THE REAL PROBLEM IS THAT THEY ARE A CONVERSATION OF EVALUATION WHEN THE READER IS AT A DISTINCT DISADVANTAGE. I.E. THEY HAVEN’T SEEN THE DAMN MOVIE. THIS REQUIRES THAT THE AUTHOR HAS TO DANCE AROUND THE SUBJECT ITSELF AND THUS TURNS THE WHOLE THING INTO NOTHING MORE THAN A HOLLOW GAME OF INNUENDO.” (Capitals in the original, obviously.) So is there an unavoidable asymmetry in reviews? Do we agree with HULK that it’s a bad thing? And, if so, what should be done about it?
9:00 PM ENL Readercon Classic Fiction Bookclub: Memoirs of a Space Woman. Amal El-Mohtar, Lila Garrott (leader), Sonya Taaffe. Naomi Mitchison’s 1962 exploration of a life lived nearly entirely in space has deep humanist themes. Mary’s specialty in alien communication leads to a life and profession of embracing the Other, literally realized in her accidental pregnancy via a Martian. We’ll discuss criticisms of the book’s heteronormativity and biological determinism as well as the themes of Mary’s immersion in alien cultures.
Friday July 11
4:00 PM IN The Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours. C.S.E. Cooney, Amal El-Mohtar, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Caitlyn Paxson. The Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours are friends, writers, performers, and musicians who’ve banded together to share their work with the world. Scattered across the globe, they do not so much travel together as spontaneously occur. Whenever two or more are gathered, you can be sure of a well-dressed apocalypse. BACT performances include music, poetry, storytelling, and theatrical readings: all original work and accompanied by the harp and banjo. Hear tell of witches, ghost-hunters, and ballads from a distant star! Marvel at sea kings, ancient cities, and much, much more!
8:00 PM IN Speculative Poetry Open Mic. Saira Ali (leader), Amal El-Mohtar. Speculative poetry covers a broad range of forms and topics. Creators and fans of speculative poetry are invited to come to this open mic and perform their favorite works. Sign up at the info desk.
Saturday July 12
10:00 AM E Autographs. Amal El-Mohtar, Gemma Files.
3:00 PM G The Booty Don’t Lie: A Cheeky Discussion of Butts in Literature. Amal El-Mohtar (leader), Mikki Kendall, Julia Starkey, Vinnie Tesla, Emily Wagner. This panel is about butts. Fundamentally divisive, throughout history the humble buttocks has often found itself at the intersection of concerns about gender, sexuality, race, and truly terrible puns. This gameshow-style discussion of butts in literature and popular culture promises to be deep, probing, and entertaining in equal measure; join us in reasoning a posteriori.
Sunday July 13
10:00 AM IN From Page to Stage: Adapting Your Work for an Audience. C.S.E. Cooney, Amal El-Mohtar, Caitlyn Paxson. Caitlyn Paxson, C.S.E. Cooney, and Amal El-Mohtar will discuss how to take your work from the page to the stage. Each will perform short examples of the art, talking about eye contact, decibel level, and body language. They’ll also provide vocal warm-ups and exercises, and tips on articulation, memorization, and breath control. Participants are encouraged to bring 1-3 paragraphs of their own writing to share aloud.