Kate (kate_nepveu) wrote,

Readercon report

I treated Readercon as a vacation, meaning I came out Thursday, went to only the panels I really wanted to, and generally was not in the mood to deal with annoying things because hey, vacation.

As other people have said, the programming seemed to assume that everyone was treating it like a vacation, scheduling a ton of stuff on Friday (including no dinner break) and much more lightly on the actual weekend days. Since this was not a long weekend, this seemed peculiarly suboptimal. The programming content also seemed to have some peculiarities (well-qualified people who asked to be on relevant panels not put on panels in favor of people who seemed much less well qualified; highly gendered assignments on two of the panels I attended, and possibly more I didn't).

As for the venue, the panel rooms were indeed freezing cold, and I seem to have been the only person who had no trouble with the hotel wireless.

I went to six program items: three panels, two talks, and one reading. Notes on the first two sets forthcoming or already posted. The reading was David Anthony Durham's; he read the Prologue from The Other Lands, the sequel to Acacia (which I am almost done reviewing, honest!), which was from the point-of-view of one of the children taken in the Quota. Also an unofficial item, readings from recent issues of Sybil's Garage, which prompted me to buy issue no. 6; though, looking at the tables of contents, I should also have bought issue no. 5 since I was very impressed with Veronica Schanoes's ferocious reading of her story "Lost in the Supermarket" (which quite dissuaded me from the idea of mentioning that my favorite version of that is the Afghan Whigs' cover, or that I think someone should vid Harry Potter to it (probably the original version, there)).

I had lovely conversations with lots of people I'd met before (including one blast from my early Internet past) and some I hadn't; I'm not going to do the namecheck thing because I find that awkward, but if we talked and I might not know how to find you now, feel free to leave your LJ name or blog address in comments. I also was patronized by a white man old enough to be my father and had a younger white man hit two race-discussion bingo squares in two sentences; but since that last came after I'd brought up racism in fandom at a talk and the other people who spoke to me about it were positive, well, it could be worse. (More on that later. And sexism too, whee!)

Alas, the flyer for next year's Readercon is deeply unpromising: no guests of honor, single-track programming, and a tagline: "This IS your father's Readercon." Apparently Readercon has no qualms about the graying of fandom or excluding women for the sake of a punchline! And I am very dubious about the idea of single-track programming a con of several hundred people, full of people who desparately want to be on programming: to paraphrase someone else, it seems likely that the loudest and most institutional people will end up on panels. I'd be tempted to just take advantage of the con rate for the hotel and camp out in the lobby to see people, but you know, the hotel is not actually that nice or convenient. Stop me before I volunteer to run a counter-con (Arisia for the vanilla!), because I so do not have time.

ETA: ericmvan has now called the tagline a mistake; further information may be found scattered through those comments, though a clear statement of intentions for next year has been strongly urged.

Link roundups will be over at readercon as usual; also I'm taking suggestions on what I should do about all the Twitter posts about the con.

Tags: con reports, cons, readercon, readercon 2009
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