- Great Readercon panel on education in speculative fiction.
- The Victorian school story ends with graduation; the contemporary school story ends with the dissolution of the school. Examples: Harry Potter, Wonder Boys (Chabon), Testimony (Shreve), Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Spark), Intuition (Goodman), The Magicians (Grossman).
- I’m looking forward to reading The Magician’s Land (Lev Grossman) just to see how things turn out. Grossman’s first two volumes have already built three marvelous worlds – a college, a girl, and a kingdom – and has destroyed all of them.
- I enjoyed hearing Claire Cooney and cohorts – the crinoline troubadours – performing SF poetry for set as ballads.
A girl with nothing to lose.
which morphs by the last verse to
A girl with so much to lose.
- Asking librarians to recommend some books is not a substitute for the old, traditional panel on The Year In Books. Too many readercon panelists don’t speak up, but this was ridiculous: clearly, years of whispering at the reference desk has taken its toll. If you’re all coming with lists of good books, print them out or post them.
- I think I’ve got to stop going to readercon panels on hyperfiction. The panel on “Emotion, Archives, Interactive Fiction, and Linked Data” was good in its way, but the panel description is all about Manovich’s “Database as Symbolic Form” and nobody seemed to have heard of it. I’m not a huge fan of this Manovich essay myself, but we’ve been having this discussion for for two decades now and it would save us all time if we’d all share some common background.
- I’m not getting much help, alas, on the craft issues that have got me embrangled in the fiction project. But it’s only been one day and the “Books Bought” section at right has just about completely turned over. Lots to read.
- Day two added a panel on exposition, which I now realize is another fundamental problem for interactive fiction and its kin, and prescribed a variety of solutions. Comments after an (excellent) reading by E. C. Ambrose also helped clarify problems I’ve been having.
- I’d never gone to a kaffeklatch at Readercon, but highlights this year were sessions with Peter Straub, Michael Dirda, and the estimable Jon Clute who did a wonderful one-hour monologue without pause or stumble.