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Read it! Love it! Download the PDF pocket program and highlight it!

Of particular note:

Every Readercon features a uniquely literary and entertaining Saturday night event (opposite a "mini-program" of panels, talks, and readings). This year we're proud to be inaugurating a variety show, A Most Readerconnish Miscellany, as a benefit for Operation Hammond and the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. C.S.E. Cooney and Mike Allen will emcee this extravagant evening of music, theater, and readings. Bring cash or credit cards to make donations to our very worthy beneficiaries, all while being entertained by exquisite performers including Andrea Hairston and Pan Morigan, Daniel José Older, John Kessel, Sonya Taaffe, Caitlyn Paxson, and the renowned a capella group Sassafrass.

The event takes place on Saturday July 13. A speculative poetry open mic will warm up the crowd starting at 7 p.m.; if you'd like to participate, sign up in advance at the information desk. The variety show runs from 8 to 10 p.m. Don't miss this unforgettable event!
rosefox: The Readercon logo flipped to read R F. (readercon)
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Program sign-up has opened to our invited guests. If you're on the guest list and didn't get an email from us with information on signing up, please email and we'll sort things out for you.

A preliminary list of this year's program items is up on our website. If you spot a typo or other error, please let us know so we can fix it before the program guide is printed! Now is also a great time to start reading our book club and blog club selections, the books that will be discussed in the "How I Wrote" talks, and the works of our guests of honor.

If you find these program items inspiring, feel free to suggest some for next year.
rosefox: The Readercon logo flipped to read R F. (readercon)
[personal profile] rosefox
Inspired by Jim C. Hines's suggestion of a Best Pie Hugo Award, Readercon's Book Clubs will be Bake Clubs this year.

Readercon Classic Bake Club: share your family recipes!
Readercon Recent Bake Club: molecular gastronomy and other innovations!
Readercon Pie Bake Club: bring your Hugo-worthy contenders!
Readercon Gluten-free Soy-free Nut-free Raw Vegan Bake Club: open to everyone!

The Bake Clubs will be one-hour program items taking place consecutively on Friday afternoon, during which time a nearby room will be designated as a unisex vomitorium for those who want to participate in all four.

...just kidding! Here are the actual Readercon Book Club selections:

Readercon Classic Fiction Book Club: Tam Lin
Pamela Dean's Tam Lin, which reimagines the Scottish ballad as an account of young, bright Janet Carter's tumultuous time at college in the 1970s, was lauded upon its publication in 1991 and has endured as a classic since. We'll explore its resonance and relevance to present-day readers and writers in the context of real-world events that recall Janet's experiences—lengthy wars, challenges to reproductive rights, activism and tensions on college campuses—as well as the increasing popularity of folk tale retellings.

Readercon Recent Fiction Book Club: American Elsewhere
Robert Jackson Bennett's American Elsewhere is a complex work that only gradually reveals its speculative nature, blending magic and technology with horror and humor and something like a murder mystery. Along the way it addresses and critiques concepts of normalcy, nostalgia, family (especially interactions between parents and children), home, and the American Dream. We'll examine it in the context of recent works that touch on similar topics—Catherynne M. Valente's "Fade to White," Daryl Gregory's The Devil's Alphabet—and Bennett's other novels of darkness and strangeness in the American heartland.

Readercon Nonfiction Book Club: The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction
Lauded by Paul Kincaid as "one of the best and most significant works of science fiction criticism to have appeared so far this century," Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr.'s 2009 opus, The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction, is an expansive depiction of the genre as "a constellation of diverse intellectual and emotional interests and responses." We'll discuss and argue with the seven beauties themselves as well as the various notions and methods of analysis that they inspire.

Readercon Blog Club: "The Uses and Value of Realism in Speculative Fiction"
In response to the Readercon 23 panel "Why is Realistic Fiction Useful?", Chris Gerwel wrote a blog post exploring the aesthetic uses of realism in spec fic and other literature. He says, "To be effective, fiction must communicate or reveal something true.... That truth is not necessarily factual (such-and-such happened), but is rather more nebulous and insightful (such-and-such could have happened)." Gerwel goes on to argue that "realistic" descriptions of fantastic things can be a way to help the audience to deal with these concepts, giving them better access to the underlying metaphors of a dragon or a spaceship. He closes by saying, "I believe that quotidian speculative fiction has its place in the genre. And that is precisely because it speaks to different truths than most speculative fiction: it speaks to the little heroisms of daily life, and to the practical challenges that arise from our human and social natures"--an idea that echoes discussions of early science fiction stories written by women, and offers an alternative to the conflation of "realistic" and "gritty." We'll discuss the place of the quotidian in speculative fiction and other aspects of Gerwel's complex and intriguing essay, which resides at .

I'm also delighted to announce that this year's "How I Wrote" talks will be given by Margo Lanagan on The Brides of Rollrock Island, Alaya Dawn Johnson on The Summer Prince, and Daniel José Older on Salsa Nocturna.

We are, as always, "the con that assigns homework". Please join us in reading all these works and discussing them at Readercon.

See you in July!
rosefox: The Readercon logo flipped to read R F. (readercon)
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Dear friends of Readercon,

We've got an update for you regarding our continuing efforts to make Readercon a safer convention. Please read it here:
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What would you like to talk about at the next Readercon? We want YOUR program ideas! Send us a link to an interesting blog post that made you think, a one-sentence summary of a cool idea, or a fully formed program item description complete with pithy title--whatever you like. We'd especially love to see suggestions for our book clubs and program items celebrating and investigating the works of our guests of honor: Patricia McKillip, Maureen McHugh, and Roger Zelazny.

We also welcome suggestions for people who would be great additions to the program, especially working scientists, professionals in non-publishing fields, and members of minority groups. And if you saw someone on a panel in 2012 and thought they weren't quite up to our standards, let us know that too. All comments are seen only by the program chair and assistant chair, and will be kept entirely confidential.

The address for program ideas--open all year round--is Bring it on.
rosefox: The Readercon logo flipped to read R F. (readercon)
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The brand new Readercon website has been launched, with the same familiar URL but a great new design:

Our webmaster, David Shaw, redesigned the site to use adaptive design, which means it will look great on any device: desktop, laptop, tablet, even your phone. No separate mobile site needed. Check it out on every device you have!

The site has also been updated with all the information about Readercon 24. We're delighted to announce that GOHs Maureen F. McHugh and Patricia A. McKillip will be "joined" by memorial GOH Roger Zelazny. Our registration rate structure now has three simple tiers: now through mid-February (until Boskone, for those of you in the Boston area), mid-February to mid-June, and at the door. You can also find this year's hotel rates, a fully updated list of board and committee members, and everything else you need to know about the upcoming Readercon.

We'd love to know more about who's coming to Readercon in 2013. Are you a regular coming back, a first-timer, or a long-ago attendee wondering how it's changed? Are you interested in being on the program or running a table in the Bookshop? Will you be on your own, having a romantic book-filled long weekend with your literary-minded SO, or dragging all your friends along? Why are you interested in attending Readercon? Leave a comment and let us know!
rosefox: The Readercon logo flipped to read R F. (readercon)
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Interested in being on Readercon's program? Know someone we should invite? Tell us! We're accepting applications and suggestions for Readercon 24, now through December 1.

Your email should include:

* Why the person you're suggesting would be a good program participant for Readercon (which includes good panel behavior as well as relevant knowledge).
* Why the person is uniquely interesting and awesome.
* What sorts of program items they'd be good on. (Feel free to use specific examples: "When I was at the discussion of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, I found myself really missing my friend the Shelley scholar...")

Your email might also include:

* A brief (brief!) paragraph of relevant background information.
* Links to things the person has written.
* A pitch for a talk, discussion, event, or other program item.

Really don't bother with:

* A full CV, resume, or biography.
* Anything that looks like a form letter. (Yes, this happens.)
* Offers to bribe us, even in jest.

We explicitly encourage applications from and recommendations of women, QUILT*BAG folks, people of color, people with disabilities, and other members of minority groups. Diverse voices make for better conversations.

Send your applications and recommendations to Thanks for helping us to make Readercon even better!
rosefox: The Readercon logo flipped to read R F. (readercon)
[personal profile] rosefox
You can see the full program here:

And download the handy two-page grid here:

It's going to be an amazing convention. See you all there!
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (books)
[personal profile] rosefox
On behalf of Readercon's program committee, I'm delighted to announce the book club selections for Readercon 23. This year we went with a theme of speculative explorations of sex, gender, and sexuality. Of course there are a great many excellent and fascinating works to choose from, but I think we've narrowed it down to a compelling foursome (as it were) that will bear up well under the close scrutiny of Readercon's book club discussions. Our selections:

Recent fiction: Ghost by John Ringo

Classic fiction: Magic's Pawn by Mercedes Lackey

Recent nonfiction: A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World's Largest Experiment Reveals About Human Desire by Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam

Classic nonfiction: Imaginative Sex by John Norman

More details )

Please join us in reading and discussing these justly celebrated works at Readercon 23!
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)
[personal profile] rosefox

Complete Readercon 22 Program Guide (PDF version, Word version)

Conference Schedule with item descriptions (HTML version)

Thursday Schedule (PDF version, Word version)

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday program grid (PDF version, Excel version)

See you in four days!
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)
[personal profile] rosefox
I'm delighted to announce that Gardner Dozois and Geoff Ryman have accepted our invitations to be the guests of honor for Readercon 22, taking place in Burlington, MA from July 14 to 17, 2011.

Gardner Dozois's twenty-year stint as the editor of Asimov's is one of the great editorial projects in our field. Year after year, he published some truly fine short fiction, including numerous award winners. Thanks to these achievements and his superlative annual anthologies, he has received a record-holding 15 Hugo Awards for Best Professional Editor. Though his writing career is sometimes overshadowed by his editorial work, his fiction has won two Nebula Awards and a Sidewise Award. He has also served as a judge for the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award, a project dear to many Readercon attendees.

Geoff Ryman is a teacher and actor, and the author of seven novels, including the groundbreaking Was... and Air: Or, Have not Have. His work is often cited as embodying "Readercon-ness", as it explores and extends the dialogue between experience and imagination, between history and fantasy, between identity and society. His novels and short stories have won the World Fantasy Award, British Science Fiction Award, Arthur C. Clarke Award, the James Tiptree Jr. Award, induction into the Gaylactic Spectrum Hall of Fame, and so many other honors and nominations that they have their own Wikipedia entry. He last attended Readercon in 2008, where he spoke on panels such as "Rival Revolutionary Movements in the Arts" and "Reading Aloud for Writers."

We're working with Gardner and Geoff to select a memorial guest of honor and will have that announcement for you shortly.

In the meantime, I'm issuing a call for program item ideas. Please submit your suggestions one of three ways:

1) In the comments to this entry or its companion entry on LiveJournal.

2) On the Readercon Forums.

3) In an email to

Lively discussion is encouraged. This "brainstorm" period will close November 14th, so please send us your ideas soon!
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