I am very excited to at long last be attending READERCON this year! Here is my schedule! Please come and say hello if you are there!
Friday July 11
11:00 AM ENV Reading: Cecil Castellucci. Cecil Castellucci. Cecil Castellucci reads from her new novel Tin Star.
4:00 PM G Being a Good Literary Citizen . Cecil Castellucci, Ben Loory, Kate Maruyama, Paul Park, Kit Reed (leader), Rick Wilber. The SF community is strong, vibrant, and varied. At this panel, we’ll talk about ways that writers can give something back to the community that supports them. How can younger writers benefit from the experience and knowledge of older writers, and vice versa? How does the connection between teachers and students enliven the field? How can we “pay it forward”?
6:00 PM F Can Heroes Be Happy?. E.C. Ambrose, K. Tempest Bradford (leader), Cecil Castellucci, Adam Lipkin, Sarah Pinsker. In defense of DC Comics’s policy that superheroes can’t get married, Dan DiDio says, “Heroes shouldn’t have happy personal lives. They are committed to being that person and committed to defending others at the sacrifice of their own personal interests…. It’s wonderful that they try to establish personal lives, but it’s equally important that they set them aside.” In response, at The Mary Sue, Susana Polo wrote, “[Gay] kids need heroes who do the things that their environment tells them are impossible. They need gay heroes who grow up to be loved by the men and women that they love, in stable, healthy, and, yes, legally sanctioned relationships. They need heroes, as well as real people, to show them that it gets better. That. Is what heroes. Are for.” Let’s use this as a jumping-off point for discussing different concepts of heroes and heroism.
Saturday July 12
11:00 AM F Life in Space: Fact and Fiction. Saira Ali, Cecil Castellucci, Tom Purdom, Allen Steele (leader), Gayle Surrette. Life in space has been a backbone of science fiction from the beginning. More recently, works about space have focused less on the glory/excitement of the experience and have instead focused on the practicalites: politics (Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars series), neglect (J.G. Ballard’s Memories of the Space Age), or outright disaster (Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity). What has caused this shift from fiction to fact? Has the passing of the Golden Ages of both science fiction and space exploration played a role in how writers approach their subject matter?
Sunday July 13
10:00 AM ENL Readercon Classic Children’s Bookclub: Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang. Cecil Castellucci, Ken Houghton (leader). Written by Ian Fleming of James Bond fame and published in 1964, Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang has been beloved by children and adults, and continues to delight new generations partly thanks to the musical movie version starring Dick Van Dyke, with a screenplay co-written by Roald Dahl. This year is the 50th anniversary of Chitty’s initial publication, so let’s talk about Fleming’s obsession with cars and gadgetry and thrilling cliffhangers, and ask the children and teens among us to discuss if they agree with a critic from the year of publication who said “we have the adult writer at play rather than the children’s writer at work. The style is avuncular, the writing down too evident.”
12:00 PM F Extrapolating SF from Science . Robert Jackson Bennett, Cecil Castellucci, Danielle Friedman, Jeff Hecht (leader), Ken Liu, Allen Steele. “Trying to predict the future is a discouraging and hazardous occupation,” Arthur C. Clarke declared. How far can authors see into the future and extrapolate about new technologies? Isaac Asimov said that science is how we see farther, and science fiction is where we write down what we see. Join us as our panelists discuss how they use science and technology in their work and how they try to predict future trends.