Hello people! Like every July for the last few years, I will be at Readercon. I am arriving this afternoon and leaving Sunday around lunchtime. If I’m in the lobby or bar or other place that is not super-awkward for a conversation and you would like to say hello, please do! I like meeting new people but am often shy about introducing myself.
Here be my panels:
Friday 2:00 PM In the Heartland. Chris Gerwel, Marissa Lingen, Natalie Luhrs, Peter Straub, Catherynne M. Valente. What about the middle of the U.S. makes heartland stories such as Stephen King’s The Stand and Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven so powerful? Recognizing that the U.S. is far from perfect, does the baked-in concept of American exceptionalism negatively affect these stories? What do they teach readers who aren’t American about Americans and their values?
Friday 6:00 PM Terrible… but Great. Lila Garrott (leader), Bart Leib, Natalie Luhrs, Sonya Taaffe, Vinnie Tesla. Our panelists muse on books that are really bad but in an amazing way! Genevieve Valentine’s term “shitmazing” may be appropriate here. What makes something both terrible and great? Are these works worth analyzing and perhaps even emulating, or do they exist simply to be enjoyed (if that’s the word) on their own merits (if that’s the word)?
Saturday 3:00 PM Mainstreaming Fandom. Randee Dawn, The joey Zone, Natalie Luhrs, Sarah Lynn Weintraub. Entertainment Weekly now casually mentions shipping—in the Kirk/Spock sense, not the international transportation sense. Fanfic and fandom concepts and terms are becoming mainstream, and the people on this panel have a lot of feels about it. These longtime fans will discuss their excitement that what used to be a secret, for so many different reasons, is now so easily accepted; their annoyance that their subculture is being commodified; and their favorite unexpected mainstream appearances of terms from fandom.