Continuing my ridiculously overdue recap of my Readercon memories, we dial the WABAC Machine to Day Three, which I didn’t think could possibly be as awesome as Day Two.
I was wrong.
After a bit of editing, I was tempted to shell out for another day’s WiFi access for twelve ninety-fucking-five. Luckily, I was in for a second morning of coffee and free WiFi at Panera with Jaym and Eric. And by this time, there was no denying that when the three of us get together, inappropriate comments on race, sex, and drug use will be made, up to and including discussions of three-way ’round-the-worlds with literary idols.
I couldn’t resist the dealer’s room any longer. I wanted so many things, but I was able to “restrain” myself to two purchases. Jeff Vandermeer’s Booklife and the first of a two-volume set of stories by William Tenn, Immodest Proposals which was reprinted–and sold to me by the staff of–NESFA Press. And believe me, if it would’ve fit in my bag and not been too heavy for the flight back to New York, I’d have bought volume 2 as well. 🙁
I didn’t hit my first panel that day until 1:00, “Folklore and Its Discontents” with Nicole Kornher-Stace, Faye Ringel, Judith Berman, Michael Swanwick, and Darrell Schweitzer.
It was a heady discussion about the meaning folklore, how something becomes folklore (vs. fake-lore), and how it all relates to authenticity.
If I forget everything else about this panel, including some yahoo heckling a panelist because of a comment made about self-publishing, I will not forget Schweiter’s reference to something that could one day become folklore, Whitley Streiber’s “xeno-proctology mythos.”
Next was “The Fiction of the Unpleasant” with Kit Reed, Mike Allen, Adam Golaski, Barry N. Malzberg, Kathryn Cramer, and Peter Straub.
I confess, I spent a lot of the panel staring at how close Reed’s chair was to the edge of the platform. Still, this panel was, ironically, a joy for me. I’ve always had a reaction against folks, writers and non-writers alike, who don’t like certain books or stories because they’re “too real” or who read just to escape. The counterargument? Well, thanks to Scott Edelman, you can just watch for yourself.
I just had to head for “True Tales of Great Editing” with Brian Francis Slattery, legends Barry N. Malzberg & Samuel R. Delany, and Patrick O’Leary.
Gordon Van Gelder was to moderate, but he was running late and Malzberg didn’t want to keep us waiting. So he had Delany moderate until Van Gelder arrived.
I had the pleasure of Calista Taylor’s company for those last three panels. We then ran into Nancy and her B at the hotel bar where, thanks to Nancy, I got introduced to Blue Rose and a few others whose names escape me (cool people, too–I’m duly ashamed). I also had some pretty good wings, food I wished I would’ve had on Thursday night.
Afterward, Cali and I were going to make another trip to H Mart. But before we left, I had the chance of a lifetime. I watched as Chip Delany and Junot Diaz part ways temporarily, so I pounced on the Pulitzer Prize-winner. How could I not when (a) Diaz was all of three feet away from me and (b) I work at the institution from which he earned his M.F.A. Instant in! I spoke with him for a few minutes and quickly found out that he’s every bit the cool cat that people say he is. I even gave him directions to the next panel he wanted to attend and introduced him to Cali, whom he gave a kiss on the cheek! All I got was a lousy handshake ;).
That was the upside of that hour. The downside was that Cali wouldn’t be at the con the next day, so after hanging out at the H Mart for a bit, we said our goodbyes and parted company at a nearby Starbucks…
…where I met Jaym and Eric for caffeine and WiFi, where the inappropriate lulz continued!
I let Eric talk me into a showing of Jason Scott’s Get Lamp: The Text Adventure Documentary. I asked Eric, “Is this about MUDs (i.e. multi-user dungeons)? I know all about those!” Oh, little did I know. Although you know, I did know a little bit–I had vague recollections of the names of some of the more classic text adventures and remembered old logos and stuff. If I wasn’t so busy, I’d download all of those games right now.
I ended the night with Howard Waldrop reading from his soon-to-be-published novel The Moone World after having worked on it for nigh on two decades.
Needless to say, he had my rapt attention. Waldrop was reading from mostly handwritten pages. A few were typed. But all of pages I saw were a shade of brown. Yes, he was been writing the book for that long.
It was about 11:00 PM by the time the reading was over, and when he finished and saw the audience still enraptured, his final words were, “Y’all can go now.” And, I did.
Next time: A very full day, only half of which was spent at Readercon.