Stone of Remembrance

July 14, 2011

Readercon 22

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 07:34

Here is my schedule for Readercon:

Thursday July 14

9:00 PM, ME Bookaholics Anonymous.
Michael Dirda, Walter H. Hunt (leader), Jennifer Pelland.

The most controversial of all 12-step groups. Despite the appearance of self-approbation, despite the formal public proclamations by members that they find their behavior humiliating and intend to change it, this group, in fact, is alleged to secretly encourage its members to succumb to their addictions. The shame, in other words, is a sham. Within the subtext of the members’ pathetic testimony, it is claimed, all the worst vices are covertly endorsed: book-buying, book-hoarding, book-stacking, book-sniffing, even book-reading. Could this be true? Come testify yourself! We especially encourage anyone new to Readercon to attend.

Saturday July 16

10:00 AM F Book Inflation.
Tom Easton, Leigh Grossman (leader), Walter H. Hunt, Rosemary Kirstein, Howard Waldrop.

For decades, SF novels had an average length of about 200 pages, and to write an SF novel of 450 pages was exceptional and A Statement. Now, 450 pages seems average. What are the forces that caused this change? Why, in an era when attention spans are supposedly shorter than ever, are big books the norm? What are the effects of longer books (and longer sequences of books) on our experience as readers? Have writers lost the art of economy? Is there more immersive pleasure in long books than short?

Sunday July 17

10:00 AM G Great War Geeks Unite, Part 2.
Walter H. Hunt, Victoria Janssen (leader), Barbara Krasnoff, Alison Sinclair, Howard Waldrop.

Last year, the Great War geeks filled a room; there were so many that we barely had time to introduce ourselves before the time ran out. This year, let’s try to focus on a single topic: What makes the period of World War I so fascinating to speculative fiction writers and readers? Is it because The World Changed or is there some other reason? Let’s chat and maybe get some future panel topics out of our discussion.

11:00 AM E Autographs.
Walter H. Hunt, Alexander Jablokov, Rosemary Kirstein.

1:30 PM VT Reading.

2:00 PM Vin. Kaffeeklatsch.
Walter H. Hunt, Rosemary Kirstein.

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