1:30 PM Reading: Shira Lipkin. Shira Lipkin reads a forthcoming short story.
4:00 PM Dhalgren at 40. Jim Freund, Max Gladstone, Elizabeth Hand (leader), Shira Lipkin, John Stevens.
Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren was first published in 1975. It is now widely considered a classic, yet there is also the perception that it is a "difficult" book. How much has it influenced other authors and works? Does its dream-city serve as a predecessor for more recent fantastical places such as Ambergris or New Crobuzon? How have its experiments with the form of the narrative inspired more recent works? And how might a reader approach it for the first time from the vantage point of 2015?
7:00 PM Kaffeeklatsch. Yoon Lee, Shira Lipkin.
10:00 AM Successfully Writing About Horrible Things. Mike Allen, Catt Kingsgrave, Shira Lipkin, Kate Nepveu (leader), Patty Templeton.
If you're not writing horror but your plot calls for something horrific to happen to a character, how do you handle it? You might go overboard and be detailed to the point of undermining or derailing the narrative, or might be so vague that the horrific event has little effect on the reader or the story. A reader who's been through a similar experience might be offended or distressed by a description of awfulness that's lurid, gratuitous, clichéd, or bland. What strategies can writers use to help readers empathize with the characters' suffering and build stories that respectfully handle the consequences of terrible events, without falling into these traps?
1:00 PM In Memoriam YA Fiction Book Club: Hat Full of Sky. Stacie Hanes, Victoria Janssen, Shira Lipkin, Rachel Steiger-Meister, Emily Wagner. The second book in the Tiffany Aching series sees Pratchett's young heroine ready to begin her magical apprenticeship, which goes nothing like she expects and leads to trouble, especially with other young witches-in-training. What she doesn't know is that something insidious is coming after her, and none of the other witches can help. We wanted to do something to mark the death of genre giant Pratchett, and while any of his books would be worth talking about, the Tiffany Aching series is some of his most thoughtful work. The adventures of a young girl learning what it means to be a witch speak deeply to readers, as she demystifies some aspects of witchery and finds deeper mysteries of life and magic in others, all while learning to be clever, kind, and brave. Readers of all ages are welcome to join the conversation.
Yay for a light schedule, and yay for this being the last con I have to do this year. (Didn't do Boskone or Vericon, and won't be doing PiCon; consciously cutting back.) As usual, if you do nothing else, please come to the reading and/or kaffeeklatsch!