My tentative schedule for Readercon is included below. I’m really looking forward to this event; if you’ve never been you are seriously missing out! You can investigate Readercon at http://www.readercon.org/index.htm. This will also be my first poetry reading in two years, and while the material is old to me it is certainly my most intense, and still new to the public. The book, SuiPsalms, launches at the Morgantown Poets event this August. More details about that soon!
Thursday July 12
8:00 PM RI No Longer Lonely in the Cloud: Digital Collaboration for Readers. Kathryn Cramer, Jim Freund, Erin Kissane (leader), John Edward Lawson, Graham Sleight. MORE Magazine has created a multi-city book club via group video call. Writers who used to hang out in cafes are now using Google+ hangouts as virtual coworking space. In2Books matches up kids with distant adult pen pals specifically for the purpose of discussing books. Kindles and Readmill let you share your marginalia with your friends. How are new concepts of socializing and togetherness affecting the ways we read, write, and talk about literature?
Saturday July 14
7:00 PM ME Kurzweil and Chopra, Ghosts in the Same Shell. Athena Andreadis (leader), John Edward Lawson, Anil Menon, Luc Reid, Alison Sinclair. Transhumanism (TH) has been a prominent strain in contemporary SF; cyberpunk is in many ways the fiction arm of the movement. Athena Andreadis and discussants will explore core concepts of TH (longevity, uploading, reproductive alternatives, optimization projects from genome to organism), investigate which are strictly in science fiction versus science territory, and examine the larger outcomes of these tropes within the genre as well as in First Life, aka the real world.
9:00 PM NH Reading. John Edward Lawson. John Edward Lawson reads from the poetry collection SuiPsalms, the long awaited follow-up to the multi-award nominated collection The Troublesome Amputee.
Sunday July 15
2:00 PM ME Queer/Were: Born This Way?. Samuel R. Delany, Gemma Files, Greer Gilman, Liz Gorinsky, Andrea Hairston, John Edward Lawson, Ruth Sternglantz (leader). In Marie de France’s 12th century Anglo-Norman tale “Bisclavret,” werewolf transformation can be read as a metaphor for homosexuality. In contemporary urban fantasy/paranormal fiction, the slippage between queerness and were-ness persists on several levels, even when the characters are nominally heterosexual. But what happens when a were isn’t heterosexual? Ruth E. Sternglantz will look at how several authors of queer urban fantasy/paranormal construct the convergence of queer and were, and subsequent discussion will explore how authors of urban fantasy generally appropriate metaphors of queerness in the construction of their were characters.