For the third year running I’ll be a program participant at Readercon 26, which this year takes place from July 9 to 12 at the Marriott in Burlington, Massachusetts. We’ve just been given the go-ahead to share our panel schedules, so I can now tell you where you’ll be able to see me shoot my mouth off:
Friday, July 10:
1:00 PM It’s Actually About Ethics: Reviewing the Work of Colleagues and Friends. Jonathan Crowe, Elizabeth Hand, Jason Heller, Kathryn Morrow, Liza Groen Trombi (leader). How do we develop a culture of reviewing and criticizing writing within genre communities where everyone knows everyone else to varying degrees? What are the ethics of engagement when we’ve shared ToCs with the people we’re reviewing, or been published in the venue we’re reviewing? What about when we’re friends with the authors, editors, and publishers whose work we’re reviewing? At what point is it appropriate to disclose relationships, and at what point is it appropriate to recuse oneself from reviewing? Is full disclosure enough of an assurance of good practice? How full is full? What other considerations should we include?
Yesterday I turned in a review of a pair of books by someone I’m on friendly terms with. This is something I have to do all the time in Canadian science fiction, where I know roughly two-thirds of the people I’m reviewing. So this is a topic of great relevance to me.
5:00 PM The Works of Nicola Griffith. Jonathan Crowe, Kelley Eskridge, Alena McNamara. Nicola Griffith was born in Yorkshire, England, but has lived in the U.S. for many years with her wife, Kelley Eskridge. She began publishing SF with “Mirror and Burnstone” in Interzone in 1987. Her novels include Ammonite (1992, Tiptree and Lambda Award winner), Slow River (1994, Nebula and Lambda winner), The Blue Place (1998), Stay (2002), Always (2007), and Hild (2013). She has also co-edited three anthologies with Stephen Pagel: Bending the Landscape: Fantasy (1997), Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction (1998), and Bending the Landscape: Horror (2001). She has published a memoir, And Now We Are Going to Have a Party: Liner Notes to a Writer’s Early Life (2007), another Lambda Award winner. Join us for a discussion of her work.
Pardon me while I (1) reread all the Nicola Griffith books I have in the house, (2) track down the two I don’t and (3) try to get over my nervousness about participating in a panel about Griffith with Griffith’s wife.
6:00 PM From the French Revolution to Future History: Science Fiction and Historical Thinking. Christopher Cevasco, Phenderson Clark, Jonathan Crowe, John Crowley, Victoria Janssen (leader). Arts journalist Jeet Heer wrote, “It’s no accident H.G. Wells wrote both [The] Time Machine and The Outline of History (one of the most popular history books ever), [and] it’s no accident that science fiction writers are also often historical novelists: Kim Stanley Robinson, Nicola Griffith, etc.” For Heer, science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, and horror can all be grouped under the meta-genre of fantastika, and all emerged from the “epistemological rupture” of the French Revolution, which “forced us to think of history in new way, with new emphasis on ruptures and uncontrollable social forces.” Is Heer right to see these commonalities? Is it useful to think of historical fiction in fantastika terms? And how do speculative genres borrow from historical ones?
I proposed this panel. This is based on one of Jeet Heer’s famous numbered Twitter essays, which can be found here.
So that’s where I’ll be, at least officially: three closely spaced panels on Friday afternoon and early evening. Leaving me the rest of the convention to recover (I’ll need a drink or three Friday night for sure) and be sociable. Will I see you there?
(Posts about last year’s Readercon: Readercon Video: Books That Deserve to Remain Unspoiled; Readercon 25; My Readercon 25 Schedule.)