Readercon Report - Part Two

Saturday morning presented something of a dilemma. The Year in Short Fiction, Other Points of View, How (and Why) I Wrote Generation Loss and the Paul Park reading panels were all scheduled against each other! George opted for The Year in Short Fiction panel where the Solaris Book of New Science Fiction received a torrent of praise, while I opted for How (and Why) I Wrote Generation Loss and the second half of the Other Points of View panel, where the Solaris Book of New Science Fiction: Volume Two got a plug from contributor David Louis Edelman.

Nothing else on the program interested us until later that afternoon so we headed out to the local Mall to grab a bite to eat before returning to the convention and setting up camp in the hotel bar. This is when the convention started feeling like the British conventions that I’m more accustomed to as a steady stream of faces, both familiar and not, passed through for drinks and conversation. It was great meeting Mary Robinette Kowal and her ├╝ber-sexy Steampunk laptop, and David Louis Edelman was the veritable life and soul, even if his declaration of what he’d like to do with Mary’s laptop bordered on fetish ;-> If you’re ever lucky enough to be at the same con as Mary buy her dinner and she may tell you about her beaver (there really is no way of writing that without it sounding filthy!). Jeffrey Thomas introduced us to Michael Cisco and Robert Freeman Wexler, two fine upstanding gentlemen of the parish and worthy drinking companions. Literary agent Jenny Rappaport dropped by and we were able to conclude the deal for Natasha Rhodes’ second Kayla Steele novel, The Last Angel (you read it here first, folks!) and wasn’t at all freaked out when George and I wheeled out our idea for clockwork monkey highwaymen. I was also able to speak briefly with the charming Kay Kenyon – another Solaris Book of New Science Fiction: Volume Two alumni – and instantly regretted not attending her How I Wrote Bright of the Sky panel or reading.

Whether it was jet lag, a bug I’d picked up, or simple vitamin D deficiency due to spending the last couple of days almost exclusively indoors, tiredness got the better of me quite early on so I forewent the Guiness cocktails on this occasion and headed for bed.

My plan for the Sunday was to have breakfast and then hang out in the dealer room or hotel lobby until David Louis Edelman’s reading early in the afternoon. The reality was that my body rebelled against me and after struggling to even start breakfast, let alone finish it, I headed back to my room feeling like I’d been hit by a very big truck. I wish I could tell you that it was as a result of over-indulging the night before and I only had myself to blame but whatever had caused me to head to bed early was now determined to wipe out all of Sunday too.

Some semblance of normal service was resumed by about 3:30 in the afternoon and I was able to head back to the lobby to say goodbye to a few folks. As it was George’s birthday he wanted to hit the cinema in the evening to watch the Transformers movie as a special treat (of course, he’ll tell you it was my idea…). My review? Possibly the worst summer blockbuster, if not the worst movie, ever made. The plot has holes the size of Kansas right through it and it’s nothing more than a vehicle to sell toys and merchandise. The soundtrack album I purchased the following day, however, is quite good.

The flight back was infinitely better than the flight out and, typically, my appetite returned just as the yummy airline food was being served.

Thanks to everybody who stopped by to chat to us and a big hello to all the new friends we made there. If you want to go to a convention where the genre itself takes centre stage and all the big issues get discussed on panels, then Readercon is the convention for you. Hopefully I’ll see you there next year.


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