Readercon 21: Thursday

I arrived at the Readercon hotel in Burlington, MA around 3 pm, after flying into Boston from Baltimore.  Hertz gave me a Chrystler Sebring convertible but–of course–it was too hot to take the top down.

The first person I ran into at the hotel was Mary Robinette Kowal, the new Vice President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).  Mary was previously the Secretary of SFWA and I had worked with her online in my capacity as a volunteer for the organization, but I’d never met her in person.  That situation has now been remedied.

Next, I ran into Barry N. Malzberg.  Now for those who don’t know, Barry is my absolute favorite living writer.  His writing is to science fiction what Shakespeare was to the dramatic form.  I got to meet Barry for the first time at Readercon 19 and have kept in touch with him since then.  He goes for occasional walks around the hotel grounds to stretch his legs and was on his way to do just that when I ran into him.  So off we went together, talking about the history of the science fiction genre, about writing, and as usual, I was in awe and just trying to soak it all up.  Barry offered some excellent advice, and I was so captivated by what he had to say that I didn’t even notice it was well into the 90s out.

I ran into Mike Allen at the hotel desk, whose face I recognized in my capacity at the maintainer of the “Featured Author” section of the SFWA website.  And I saw Scott Edelman in the lobby as well.

Thursday evening at Readercon is open to the public.  There are only a couple of panels and I attended a fascinating one entitled “I Know These People Personally”.  The panel included John Langan, John Kessel, Kit Reed, Barry Malzberg.  Elizabeth Hand moderated.  The discussion centered around the morals of writing characters based on actual people, famous or otherwise.  Just before the panel Scott introduced me to Paul Di Filippo, who’d I’d met two years ago, and who I referred to as the “crazy envelope guy.”  (He also had a memorable story in the premier issue of Science Fiction Age, “Anne”.)

"I Know These People Personally" panel at Readercon 21. From left to right: John Langan, John Kessel, Elizabeth Hand, Kit Reed, Barry N. Malzberg

In between these happenings, I managed to grab some dinner and hit the gym.  I turned in early in anticipation of the very full day that I have today (Friday).