Posted tagged ‘con’

Con Report: Boskone 46

February 16, 2009

I’m recovering from a long fun weekend at the moment, the cornerstone of which was a day at Boskone 46.  I only went for Saturday this year due to some other commitments, but had a great time while I was there.  

The con seemed a little smaller this year than in the past, probably as a side effect of the economy like everything else, but the guest list sure didn’t show it.  I had the chance to indulge my inner autograph hound and accost Karl Schroeder, Charles Stross and guests of honor Greg Bear and Jo Walton (whose novel Farthing I picked up at the con and started reading on the T to great satisfaction).

The art show was great as always, particularly the special exhibit that Tor’s legendary art director, Irene Gallo put together.  There were also some very nice works from Stephan Martiniere, Donato Giancola, and Bob Eggleton on display.

The panels weren’t on the greatest assortment of topics this time around, but with the right people on a panel anything can become fascinating.  I went to some great physics panels based around Geoffrey Landis, and the one on writing about despair (on Valentine’s Day no less) with Jo Walton, James Morrow, Suzy Charnas and Therese Nielsen Hayden pretty much made the entire con worthwhile for me.

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Conreport: Readercon 19

July 21, 2008

I’m back from this year’s Readercon, and fighting off the effects of sleep deprivation so we’ll see how this goes.  The con was was always the most interesting and rewarding of the year, and yes that includes the library conferences I attend.  In fact nothing else even comes close.

It certainly didn’t hurt that Jonathan Lethem (my favorite author this week) was one of the guests of honor.  Although a disapointingly large portion of the conference seemed to be dedicated to making him defend the path of his career (from a genre author to a literary one according to quite a few critics).  There was even an entire hour dedicated to an interview on the subject (apart from the typical guest of honor interview).  However, the session was very revealing, both of Lethems views and of the regard that fandom holds him in.

Another interesting trend this year was a focus on modern horror, largely due to the inclusion at the convention of the first Shirley Jackson awards.  Hosting the awards ceremony at Readercon was great in that it attracted a number of newer writers to the con, and allowed for one of the highlights for me, namely getting to see Caitlin R. Kiernan recall the words to Come Sail Away (one of the odder panels).

As for other highlights for me.  The large focus on Stanislaw Lem, another of my favorite writers, particularly in regards to both his reoccuring theme of language barriers and the effects translators have on literature, with a lot of input from the great Michael Kandel.  There was a particularly good reading by Michael Swanwick and his wife Sunday morning.  And of course the Saturday night entertainment (two one act plays by guest of honor James Patrick Kelly followed by the annual Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Competition) were a great cap to the entire thing.  I think I’m going to have nightmare of enduring Yves Meynard’s alphabetic onslaught on Robert E. Howard for quite some time (I think it took a good 10 minutes to fully recover my breathe from laughter after that).

Con Season

April 25, 2008

In two weeks time I will be in attendance at the Mass Library Association’s annual conference.  I’m looking forward to it, mostly for the chance to hear David Weinberger (author of the brilliant Everything is Miscellaneous) but looking at the program I think last year’s will prove to be better.  However, the conference I really wish I could have attended started today, ROFLCon.

ROFLCon is a conference on internet culture (memes in particular) with an impressive list of guests.  Panelists include nearly every major lolcat contributor (both the lolcat bible and lolcode are represented), tons of webcomics creators, and a decent assortment of academics.  All together it forms a great snapshot of the state on the internet.