I’ll be at Readercon this weekend, July 11 – 14.

You can find me on the following program items:

Saturday July 13, 9:00 AM, RHODE ISLAND
“The Works of Patricia A. McKillip.”
Brian Attebery, Shira Daemon (moderator), Victoria Janssen, Faye Ringel.

In a long and lauded career Patricia A. McKillip has questioned the shapes of genre stories, taking an egalitarian and polyphonic approach to point of view. In harmony with this questioning has been her thoughtful examination of identity, land, and time, from the classic Riddlemaster trilogy to The Bards of Bone Plain. Through all her works, lyrical storytelling has invoked the ties between language and magic: the way that magical transformations find their mirror in language rich with metaphor, the way that riddles in the text mirror the riddle of the text. These elements working in concert provide a consistently high level of reader interaction. An hour isn’t long enough to even summarize the McKillip oeuvre, but we’ll do our best to tour its many highlights as well as some choice gems that are often overlooked.

Saturday July 13, 10:00 AM, MAINE
“Making Love Less Strange: Romance for SF/F Writers.”
E.C. Ambrose, Paula Guran, Victoria Janssen (leader), Natalie Luhrs, JoSelle Vanderhooft.

When authors who aren’t familiar with romance-genre tropes incorporate romantic elements into speculative fiction, the resulting hybrids can look quite peculiar to romance readers. (Bruce Sterling’s Love Is Strange is a particularly striking recent example.) There can also be an aspect of reinventing the wheel; why struggle with the pacing of relationship development when romance authors have it all figured out? Our panel of envoys from Romanceland will explain the central themes and expectations of the romance genre, from “happily ever after” to physical and literary climaxes, to help SF/F authors looking for a wider audience hit all the notes that romance readers expect while avoiding the genre’s pitfalls.

Saturday July 13, 12:00 PM, MAINE
“Unraveling the Unexamined Privilege of Safety.”
Liz Gorinsky, Victoria Janssen, Mikki Kendall, Shira Lipkin, Daniel José Older (leader).

When we talk about power and oppression, we often spend a lot of energy tailoring the tone and language so that privileged people stay “comfortable.” This happens in the context of a larger system already built to keep the powerful comfortable, and it comes at the cost of a deeper, truer conversation. Meanwhile, sexual harassment and oppressive behavior run rampant at cons and in online discussions, leading to emotionally and physically unsafe environments for people who are already struggling to feel a sense of belonging in the SF/F community. How do we craft our literature and our larger community in an inclusive, anti-oppressive way that creates more safety for those who lack it while encouraging those with more power and privilege to embrace vulnerability?

Saturday July 13, 4:00 PM, Concierge Lounge
Kaffeeklatsch, Cecilia Tan, Victoria Janssen