So recently there was a most excellent convention in which a lot of people had interesting talks about the speculative fiction industry!
“YEAH!” you are saying, “SDCC, right!?”
Nope because it happened last weekend and I was actually able to go.
Yeah, sorry to everyone who was expecting MAD SDCC COVERAGE here, I shall not be attending this year (though I have several friends going and will be glued to their twitter feeds). Instead I’m going to talk a little about a lesser known con, Readercon.
Readercon is a smallish SF Con — only 850 attendees — that takes place in Burlington, Mass every year around July. Even moreso than Boskone, Readercon is focused on SF and fantasy literature. Boskone at least usually has some TV, film, and videogame based programming; Readercon has only panels about writing and reading SF. The upshot of the tiny size and narrow focus is that if you’re interested in meeting authors in the field, you can get quite up close and personal with them, and even get invited along for all sorts of hangouts and events.
Highlights of the con were two of David Malki!’s panels: “True Stuff from Old Books,” concerning weird stuff he finds in old books (mostly, the Victorians were very fond of absolutely terrible puns) and “Tin Foil Hat Open Mic,” a wider panel about bizarre conspiracy theories (highlight: the pyramids were built by intergalactic doughnuts), and Meet The Pros(e) Party, a big party in which the authors attending the con handed out stickers with their favorite sentence from a recent work of theirs, and the guests got to talk with them and re-arrange the sentences as they liked (I got a few really funny flash fiction pieces out of this; I’d share, but the page is somewhere on the floor of my room). I also greatly enjoyed the after party on Saturday night that I got invited to, wherein I was instructed on the proper way to drink scotch.
What I noticed most about Readercon was the intellectual nature of the discussions and panels. Most of what was said wouldn’t be out of place in a college lecture hall, giving the whole con a delightfully intellectual air. Definitely a great con, I’ll be happy to go back next year.
So now ABOUT SDCC…
Like I said, I won’t be able to make it this year, but for those of you who ARE going, if you guys would be so kind as to tell me about your experiences I’d greatly appreciate it! I’m especially interested in things like how the surrounding city prepares for the deluge of nerddom (SanDiego natives, I’m even MORE interested in what YOU have to say). Those of you at the con itself — I’ve heard rumors that the multimedia presence at SDCC is going to be downplayed this year as major film studios move on to more profitable venues? Tell me your stories! Link me your favorite SDCC related blogs!