Thursday July 11
8:00 PM Have You Seen Me?: The Absent Children of Urban Fantasy. Toni L. P. Kelner, Shira Lipkin (leader), Natalie Luhrs, Veronica Schanoes, Romie Stott.
Real cities are full of children; urban fantasy cities (Bordertown and Sesame Street excepted) appear to be populated almost entirely by adults. In a series of blog posts on the nature of urban fantasy, Kip Manley, working off of Farah Mendlesohn's Rhetorics of Fantasy, posited that urban fantasy tends toward "immersive fantasies [hinging] on a rhetoric of ironic mimesis, taking for granted the wonders that distance its world from ours," and leading to a cynicism towards magic. Are children absent from urban fantasy because their innate inclination toward wonder and play would detract from that cynicism? What place might there be for children in this genre, and what are the reasons behind their exclusion?
9:00 PM Write What You Know All Too Well. Mike Allen, Gemma Files (leader), Shira Lipkin, Sonya Taaffe.
Gemma Files is currently making the transition from writing a series of novels (the Hexslinger series) to a stand-alone novel (Experimental Film), from historical fantasy to contemporary horror, and from something very separate from her life to something that actively riffs off it in a somewhat intimate, vulnerable-making way. She will discuss this process and invite others to talk about similarly intimate work they might have created or experienced.
Friday July 12
2:00 PM The Chair Became the Suit: Expressions of Disability in Speculative Fiction. Gwendolyn Clare, Lisa Janice (LJ) Cohen (leader), Shira Lipkin.
Disabled characters have gradually become more common in SF/F, including entities as different as Batgirl/Oracle, Nahadoth, Toothless, and Hodor. In genres that offer the possibility of writing out or eliding disability using technology or magic, what do we see when authors choose to feature it prominently instead? How do authors and characters handle questions of access—to physical spaces, to assistive devices, to therapeutic treatment, or to participation in the community?
3:00 PM Reading: Shira Lipkin. Shira Lipkin. Shira Lipkin reads a work to be determined.
4:00 PM Clockwork Phoenix 4 Group Reading. Mike Allen, Alison Campbell-Wise, C.S.E. Cooney, Gemma Files, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Barbara Krasnoff, Shira Lipkin, Yves Meynard, Ken Schneyer.
All of the critically acclaimed Clockwork Phoenix anthologies have officially debuted at Readercon since the series began in 2008. That bond deepened when editor and publisher Mike Allen launched the Kickstarter campaign for Clockwork Phoenix 4 at Readercon 23. The campaign was a smashing success, and the latest lineup of boundary-pushing, unclassifiable stories has been bought and paid for. At this official reading, the new anthology's authors will share samples from their stories with everyone who helped make this book reality.
Saturday July 13
12:00 PM Unraveling the Unexamined Privilege of Safety. Liz Gorinsky, Victoria Janssen, Mikki Kendall, Shira Lipkin, Daniel José Older (leader).
When we talk about power and oppression, we often spend a lot of energy tailoring the tone and language so that privileged people stay "comfortable." This happens in the context of a larger system already built to keep the powerful comfortable, and it comes at the cost of a deeper, truer conversation. Meanwhile, sexual harassment and oppressive behavior run rampant at cons and in online discussions, leading to emotionally and physically unsafe environments for people who are already struggling to feel a sense of belonging in the SF/F community. How do we craft our literature and our larger community in an inclusive, anti-oppressive way that creates more safety for those who lack it while encouraging those with more power and privilege to embrace vulnerability?
3:00 PM Mythic Poetry Group Reading. Mike Allen, Leah Bobet, C.S.E. Cooney, Gemma Files, Gwynne Garfinkle, Andrea Hairston, Samantha Henderson, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Rose Lemberg, Shira Lipkin, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Dominik Parisien, Caitlyn Paxson, Julia Rios, Romie Stott, Sonya Taaffe, JoSelle Vanderhooft.
Over the past decade, speculative poetry has increasingly turned toward the mythic in subject matter, with venues such as Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, Mythic Delirium, Stone Telling, Cabinet des Fées, Jabberwocky, and the now-defunct Journal of the Mythic Arts showcasing a new generation of poets who’ve redefined what this type of writing can do. This reading will feature new and classic works from speculative poetry’s trend-setters.
As usual, if you can only make it to one thing, make that thing my reading! I got something interesting for you.