Readercon is July 10-13 in Burlington, MA. Thursday at Readercon is FREE, so you can come to my reading even if you don't attend the rest of the con. :)
Thursday July 10
8:00 PM The Map and the Story.
Jonathan Crowe (leader), Chris Gerwel, Greer Gilman, Shira Lipkin.
Maps are a familiar sight in our field, but lately a number of stories have placed maps and cartography at the core of the story itself. Maps serve as portals to other worlds, cartographers remake the world in a map's image, and mapmaking itself becomes a means to discuss the distance between perception and reality, between the map and the territory. Panelists will discuss the ways in which maps and cartography have escaped from the endpapers in recent works of fiction.
9:00 PM Reading: Shira Lipkin.
Shira Lipkin reads recent short fiction and poetry.
Friday July 11
3:00 PM Plot Without Conflict.
Liz Duffy Adams, F. Brett Cox (leader), Samuel Delany, Eileen Gunn, Shira Lipkin, Anil Menon.
In Western writing, conflct is considered essential to plot. The classic three- and five-act structures taught in writing courses and workshops revolve around a central conflict. But does plot require conflict? The Japanese kishōtenketsu structure is built on four acts: introduction, development, twist, and reconciliation—best known to Western readers as the structure of four-panel manga. Deep and rich stories are told within this structure, which, by comparison, shows the three-act structure to be fundamentally confrontational. What can writers steeped in Western notions of plot conflict learn from a careful analysis of alternate structures?
Saturday July 12
12:00 PM Writing and the Visual Arts.
Greer Gilman, Shira Lipkin, Eric Schaller, Romie Stott (leader), Diane Weinstein.
Writers who are also photographers and visual artists may find that the two fields influence each other in surprising ways, whether by bringing narrative to image-making or by writing from a camera-influenced viewpoint. Panelists will discuss this experience and the ways they find the written and visual media complimentary or antithetical. Does the camera never lie, or does it create fiction? Is a picture worth a thousand words or is a word worth a thousand pictures?
Sunday July 13
10:00 AM Variations on the Theme of Unreliable Narrators.
Peter Dubé, Theodora Goss (leader), Eileen Gunn, Shira Lipkin, Adrienne J. Odasso.
What can you do with an "Unreliable Narrator?" Following last year's unreliable narrator discussion, the panelists came up with a large catalog of differently unreliable narrators. This year's panel will explore these unreliable narrators and the discuss the many things that authors can do with them.
12:00 PM Horror for Diverse Audiences.
Gemma Files, Nicholas Kaufmann, John Langan (leader), Shira Lipkin, Jennifer Pelland, Shveta Thakrar.
Stereotypes and -isms often come from the id, from a place of deep fear. Horror writers have made use of this for ages, particularly describing monsters and monstrousness in ways that evoke racial anxiety, sexual anxieties, and fears of bodily change. However, that only works if your audience is in the racial majority, sexual majority, and able-bodied. What is the place of horror based on normalized fears for someone who doesn't or can't identify with the norm? How can writers effectively write horror for diverse audiences with diverse fears and anxieties? Can horror be a tool for expanding social empathy and social justice?
1:00 PM Unlikely Cartography.
Carrie Cuinn, Shira Lipkin, Sarah Pinsker.
This summer, Unlikely Story will publish their Unlikely Cartography issue, featuring stories by Shira Lipkin, Kat Howard, Sarah Pinsker, Carrie Cuinn, and others. Together with editor A.C. Wise, these authors will discuss their stories, and other authors (historical and modern) who similarly explored the cartography of the fantastic. Influences and discussion topics may include Calvino's Invisible Cities, Eco's Legendary Lands, Post's Atlas of Fantasy, Mieville's The City and the City, and more.
I hope to see a lot of you there!