I’m doing well enough with my book writing that I’ll drop in here a day early from my self-imposed exile to give all y’all my Readercon schedule for this weekend. It’s a relatively light schedule, just three things, but they’re all fairly interesting:
SF and Continuing Human Evolution
Charles Oberndorf , Jeff Hecht, Ernest Lilley, Beth Meacham, John Scalzi, Karl Schroeder
Most of the sf that deals with potential changes to human nature is about genetic engineering, but there is much scientific evidence that Darwinian selection pressures have been operating over the last few thousand years. The rise in Asperger’s diagnoses among the children of geeks in Silicon Valley even suggests that such pressures may be growing as the environment changes rapidly, rather than rendered moot by the ease of survival. Whether we’re still evolving (and if so, how) has to be one of the biggest questions we can ask about human nature. How is it being addressed by contemporary sf?
Notes: A good group of people on the panel (I’ve paneled with Karl before and can attest to his being fascinating) and an interesting subject, so this could be a lot of fun.
Saturday 10:30 AM
Reading (30 min)
John Scalzi reads “How I Proposed to My Wife: An Alien Sex Story,” a just-sold story. Note: some profanity and adult content.
Notes: “Wife” is my own version of a big honkin’ SF cliche story, in this case (obviously) sex with aliens. It’s not in the actual Subterranean magazine cliche issue, however; it’s a bonus chapbook for the people who buy the special signed, hardcover limited version of the magazine (only $80!). So, at this point, the only way you’re ever going to know about this short story is to buy the limited edition of the magazine, or show up at Readercon to hear me read an edited-for-a-half-hour-reading-slot version of it.
Personally, I think it’s a fun little story, with lines like “I lubricated my undercarapace just in case,” and “The worst part is that for the next two days, I smelled like gravy.” Now, come on. You know you want context for those lines. So swing by, it’ll be fun.
Sunday 12:00 Noon
Talk (30 min.)
How I Wrote The Ghost Brigades
Notes: I wrote it with a computer. There, I’m done. Somehow I’ve got to make that stretch over a half hour.
Actually, I’m very much looking forward to this talk, because there are quite a few things that were interesting in the process of writing TGB, both in the philosophical approach behind writing the book in the way I wrote it, in the actual writing process itself, and in working establishing the personalities of the book’s main characters. I expect this to be a very wide-ranging talk, and I do think it’ll be a glimpse into what the hell goes on in my head when I sit down to write. One caveat: This discussion is going to be super-mega-ultra-spoilery about events in TGB, so be prepared for that coming in.
Aside from that my plans are the usual: Hang about in the bar and lobby and harangue people as they wander by. Please do feel free to swing by and say hello.
I do have one question, for those of you with Readercon experience: Is there no hotel shuttle from the airport? The travel directions on the Readercon site seem to imply that the way you get to the hotel from the airport is to throw yourself at the mercy of the Boston public transportation system, and possibly sacrifice a waterfowl to Chango for good luck. Is there no better way, save for a $60 taxi ride? I’m not opposed to either burning cash on a taxi ride like a swell, or using the bus like a common troll, but both seem inconvenient in their way. I’m open to suggestions.