Readercon Wrap Up

There’s nothing quite like the exhaustion following a weekend convention. My queendom for a pill that can erase three days of too little sleep and too much caffeine, booze, and unhealthy food. In lieu of that being available, blogging from the couch will have to do.

For anyone unfamiliar, Readercon is a Boston-area convention focused on science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other genres of speculative fiction. This was my second year attending (though it shares so many common guests, vendors, and themes with another local con, Boskone, that it doesn’t really feel like that) and, as usual, the line-up was great. This year’s guest were Nnedi Okorafor and Naomi Novik. I was able to attend a number of excellently executed panels, including It’s Complicated: Improving Intersectionality and Representation in Speculative Fiction, #Ownvoices Without Limiting Diverse Creators, and Recommending Outside the Box: Countering Unconscious Bias in Book Recommendations for Teens. And the events…well, if you poke around the hashtag on Twitter you may find some very entertaining videos from the Miscellany show on Saturday evening.

Cons feel a little different these days, though. Last year at this time, I hadn’t yet sold GUNSLINGER GIRL, so when people asked me what I write (or read, those two questions being pretty common icebreakers), I’d say mostly YA and that was the end of it. Now, with GG well along in the publishing process, I can say “YA, and my debut novel is coming out next year.”

Which feels…weird. Especially at a con with such extensive roots in the SFF/spec fic world (a world that I have far less exposure to than most of the attendees), where you’re pretty much within twenty feet of a critically acclaimed and/or major award-winning author at all times. Long story short, I felt very aware of my n00b author status.

But putting that aside (because I’m pretty sure the insecurities never really go away, *nervous chuckle*) it was a pretty great con. My writing group did their first “official” reading. (Which I very lamely came late to, because that’s how good of an organizer I am.) I got to hear some really interesting writers speak, including a kaffeeklatche (round table discussion) with Maria Dahvana Headley. That was a particularly interesting hour, as she touched upon something that’s been on my mind a lot lately: Narratives, both in real life and in writing, the effects they have, and how to better control/break free of them. (But that’s a blog topic for another day.) Also, she had these amazing antique Italian gold earrings she let me paw at.

Today, I’m enjoying a day off from work, recovering and gearing up for the beginning of Pitch Wars as a first-time mentor. (Eek.) And as tired as I am, I’m already looking forward to next year’s Readercon. Someone asked me this weekend what my next con was going to be, and I realized that now begins the dry season, and I’ve got nothing solid in mind (toying with a day at Boston Comic Con) until Arisia next January. *sad emoji face*

So, if anyone has recommendations for great cons between now and January, especially in the Northeast, feel free to share!

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