July 19th, 2011



It was grand.  It was glorious.  It was like running for a train in Grand Central Station at rush hour.  With really good conversations.

Owing to the plane from Roanoke leaving almost an hour late, and traffic delays at LaGuardia stranding us on the runway--once when we landed and once when we took off--I got to Burlington something like 20 minutes before my first event, something less than cool, calm, and collected.  Had I been on my game, I would have checked my phone, seen what room we were in and where Ellen had left my key.  As it was, I showed up to my coffeeklatch dishevelled, discombobulated, and lugging a duffel bag.  It all came right in the end, though, with knitting and Ellen bringing me food and a key and a lovely conversation with two very pleasant aspiring authors with interesting questions.

And then it was time for what?  Oh, yes.  My first panel.  On the blurring of genre boundaries and how that works.  Or something.  I remember precisely nothing about it, except that Kit Reed, Leah Bobet, and Cecelia Tan and the other guy whose name escapes me vinnie_tesla were brilliant, and first I said I couldn't moderate, and then I did (with a little help from my friends), and the audience asked great questions and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves.  And I woke up a little.

Then we had dinner with Geoff Ryman and caught up with our respective lives and I remembered when I met him, at a publisher's party (Tor, I think) at the Worldcon in Der Hague in 1990, dressed in my silk nightshirt (that's me, not Geoff) because the airline had lost the bag with all my actual clothes in it, and kept sending me black bags that weren't mine the whole time I was there.  We both were quite flown on genever and WorldCon-ness, and got along like a house on fire.  We still do, even without the genever.  I'm glad we dined, because that was the last time I saw him, except at a distance--which is pretty much par for the course when someone is GOH.

Saturday was a little lighter on the panel front--only one, and I wasn't moderating.  It was on Paranormal Romance, specifically the trope of the Monster Male and the Human Female.  That one, I do remember.  Sort of.  Vicky Janssen was a wonderful moderator, and Stacy Hague-Hill, K.A. Laity, and Ann Tonsor Zeddies had all sorts of interesting things to say about women getting to find their inner wildness and coming to terms with the Other.  I suspect there will be another panel on a similar topic next year, because nobody was even close to done with the conversation at the end of the hour, audience included.

And everything else (barring autographing, where I sat next to Geoff and knitted.  Some of the time) was conversations.  I met some only-on-LJ friends, like asakiyume and rushthatspeaks (who I have met before, but hadn't connected the face to the name) and pattytempleton (who I've met, but only got to know on LJ because of, you know, geography).  I got to hug csecooney in person instead of by email, fresh from her triumphs at the Rysling Awards.  And I got to have wonderful conversations about writing, reading, writing, writing, business, reading, writing, and life with more old friends and new than I can even remember.

That's really the thing about Readercon--the conversations.  The programming is awesome (and new Program Chair rosefox is so utterly made of awesome I can hardly express it), but it's the hall conversations, the bar talk, the writing, writing, writing talk that makes it--has made it since I first attended Readercon 1 at a former no-tell motel around the corner from my former apartment in Brookline--so magical.  Some Readercons are better than others, just in the general scheme of things.  This one was one of the best.

So I'm back in Roanoke now, up to my ears in stories to read for Thursday, with Ellen at Alpha, flexing her buff lecturing muscles to the workshop participants.  I'll pick her up at the airport tomorrow afternoon, and very glad I will be to see her.  Because you know how good Readercon was?  I hardly saw her for three days because we were off having different absorbing conversations.  That's how good Readercon was.

ETA vinnie_tesla's actual, you know, NAME.