My Readercon schedule

Readercon is nearly here! This very literate SF con, which I haven’t missed in many years, is running from Thursday, July 13th, through the following Sunday, July 16. I’m very much looking forward to seeing a lot of new and old friends there. Here’s my schedule:

Friday
6 pm
Higher, Higher, Flight in Fiction
BH
Susan Bigelow, Lorrie Kim, Barbara Krasnoff (moderator), Nnedi Okorafor, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
From Greek myths to superheroes, humans have been captivated by the dream of flight. What about the concept is so appealing? Why has it appeared time and time again in science fiction and fantasy genres? Panelists will discuss how recent fiction has revisited the human obsession with flight, and where it might go next.

Saturday
11 am
Tabula Rasa Group Reading
Room A
Barbara Krasnoff, Randee Dawn, Sally Wiener Grotta, Terence Taylor, Scott Lee Williams, Justin Keyes
A very quick taste of the folks who are part of Tabula Rasa, a NYC-based writers group. We’re a very varied collection of writers, so come and enjoy!

2 pm
The Life Cycle of Political SF

Room 5
Dennis Danvers, Alex Jablokow, Barbara Krasnoff (moderator), Sabrina Vourvoulias, T. X. Watson
SF writers have often written deeply political books and stories; some stand the test of time, while others become dated very quickly. John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar, Octavia Butler’s Kindred, Joanna Russ’s The Female Man, and Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The New Atlantis,” to name just a few, directly addressed major issues of their day and are still relevant now—but differently. What affects how political SF ages and is read decades after its publication? What are today’s explicitly political books, and how do we expect them to resonate decades in the future?

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Getting up to date

Greetings all!

It’s been a while since I actually updated this website, and a lot has happened — and is happening. So I thought I’d do a quick rundown of recent and upcoming activities:

  • The Nebula Awards weekend has just ended, and it was a wonderful and inspiring experience. I got to meet and talk to a lot of friends (and writers whom I greatly admire) and sat next to 2017 SFWA Grand Master Jane Yolen, which was definitely one of the highlights of the weekend — she is not only a wonderful writer, but an incredibly nice person. Once again, I would like to congratulate all the Nebula Award winners, and express my thanks for being one of this year’s finalists.
  • There was a large layoff at IDG last Tuesday, May 16th, and unfortunately I was one of those affected. So I am now an ex-Computerworld reviews editor.  I’m going to be looking for freelance and/or full-time editorial work. This is the first day I’m actually dealing with it — I left for the Nebula Awards weekend the day after the layoff — so I’ve got a long list of people to contact and things to do. Thanks to everyone who has offered info and advice thus far.
  • I’ll be reading this Sunday at the Queens Book Festival with Jennifer Marie Brissett, hosted by Jim Freund. It will be at 4 pm on the Resorts Fall Plaza stage. Come on by if you’re free.

Coming up: Lunacon

Lunacon is a science fiction convention that has been around for a very long time — according to its website, the first one was in 1957 and had 65 attendees. It’s happening again next weekend (April 7-9) with a nice bunch of NY-area writers and fans (including me).

It’s in Tarrytown, NY — a day trip from NYC –so if you want to (and can), drop by the Westchester Marriott and say hi. Here are the panels where you can find me:

Friday

The Politics of Villains and Monsters
Grand Ballroom G
7:30 PM
The villains of speculative fiction (and fiction in general) often reflect the politics of their own times. What are examples of this in the past and how do writers go about avoiding this now? Who are “today’s” villains showing up in SF now and from the past?

Saturday

Writers Groups
101 Hudson
12:00 PM
Why join a Writers Group? What types of Writers Groups exist? How are they organized? What groups are in the tri-state area? Audience questions welcome.

Reading: The Ladder-Back Chair
Dutchess Reading
2:00 PM
I thought I’d read the story that’s appearing in the current issue of Mythic Delirium.

My Character Is Not Me
Hudson
4:00 PM
How do you write a character who is completely different from you? Different cultures, different perspectives, different life experiences… And how do you make that character who is so unlike you someone your readers can accept?

Upcoming conventions

Although I don’t attend a lot of conventions, I actually have two coming up within the next couple of months.

First up is next weekend: I’ll be doing a reading and appearing in a panel on women in SF at Heliosphere con on Saturday, March 11th in Tarrytown, NY. Heliosphere is a brand new con that will be taking place over the entire weekend; unfortunately, I’ll only be able to be there on Saturday, but if you’ve got the time, you should definitely check it out.

And then, on April 7-8, I’ll be attending Lunacon 2017, also in Tarrytown (that must be a really hoppin’ community!). Lunacon has been around for a very long time, and Jim & I used to go every year. We’ve neglected it in recent years, but we will be attending it this year at its new digs — only Friday and Saturday, since it is unfortunately scheduled a bit close to Passover. But if you want to come by and spot me wandering in the halls, stop and say hi!

Oh, and a final thank you to Bill Shunn for inviting me to read yesterday (Saturday, March 4th) at the monthly Line Break reading series, which takes place at Q.E.D. in Queens. It was a huge amount of fun.

Capclave is coming! And here’s my schedule.

Capclave dodoJim and I will be attending Capclave next week — a small but really fun literary-minded convention in Washington D.C. that runs from Friday, October 7th through Sunday, October 9th.

I’ve got a pretty good idea of what my schedule will be (although there may be last minute changes, of course), which will include that perennial favorite “Dealing with Discouragement” — for all those among us who could paper our homes with the printouts of our rejections.

So without any further ado, here’s my current schedule. If you’re in the area, stop by and say hi.

Friday

4:30 pm:
Reading (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Bethesda
I haven’t decided what I’m going to read yet; I may actually go for something short and funny from several years ago.

5:00 pm:
Well Worn Classics (Ends at: 5:55 pm) Frederick
Panelists: Scott Edelman, Barbara Krasnoff (M), Karen Wester Newton, Lee Strong
Some science fiction classics are so steeped in the time they were written, they are painful to read now. In some ways, getting the technology wrong is secondary to getting the sociology wrong, as when sexism and racism rear their now-ugly heads. What classic novels show their age but are still a pleasure to read, and which make us wince?

6:00 pm:
What Ever Happened to the Standalone Novel? (Ends at: 6:55 pm) Bethesda
Panelists: Anthony Dobranski, William Freedman, Barbara Krasnoff (M), Darcy Wold
These days it seems like every book is part of a series. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the standalone novel and why has it become so rare? What are good recent standalone novels?

Saturday

10:00 am:
Tap That Muse: Where Ideas Come From (Ends at: 10:55 am) Salon A
Panelists: Sarah Beth Durst, Barbara Krasnoff (M), J. J. Smith, Joan Wendland
Non-writers often ask authors about this, as if writers have access to some secret, and limited, stash which they are unwilling to share. The panel will divulge their methods for coming up with story ideas.

2:00 pm:
Writing Gadgets Well (Ends at: 2:55 pm) Rockville/ Potomac
Panelists: Barbara Krasnoff, Edward M. Lerner (M), Lawrence M. Schoen, Darcy Wold
How do you work technology into your story without boring the reader? You want to make your “inventions” believable, but how much is too much?

Sunday

12:00 pm:
Dealing with Discouragement (Ends at: 12:55 pm) Bethesda
Panelists: Marilyn “Mattie” Brahen, William Galaini, Rahul Kanakia, Barbara Krasnoff (M), James Maxey
The story you’re sure is good is rejected. Your carefully crafted novel is shrugged off by several different agents. This discussion will cover personal strategies to deal with disappointments, rejection, and other setbacks.

My Readercon Schedule

Readercon has posted its “preliminary” schedule; since there are only a few more days to go, I’ve decided to go ahead and post the panels/readings that I’m going to participate in. There are loads of great-sounding panels coming up; I’m really looking forward to it!

Here are mine:

Thursday July 7

8:00 PM    Room 5    Living in the Future. John Chu, Barbara Krasnoff (moderator), Andrea Phillips, Tom Purdom, Terence Taylor. Today, if we’re going to see another person, we have cellphones to instantly communicate with that person, and maps on the cellphones to help us find our agreed-upon location. Twenty years ago we would have had to phone each other on landlines, pick a restaurant in advance or agree to meet at a landmark known to both of us. Five hundred years ago we wouldn’t have had watches on our persons, so even keeping to the correct time of the appointment would have been difficult—how would we even know when the agreed-upon time of our meeting arrived? Our panelists will discuss some of the conveniences, large and small, that we take for granted, and the absence of which would cause difficulties of the sort that are often elided in fiction. The discussion will also discuss science fiction novels and stories that incorporate and project modern technology into their fictions, and which fail to take these things into account.

9:00 PM    Room 5    The Life and Times of Mary Sue . Gillian Daniels, Gemma Files, Ben Francisco, Barbara Krasnoff (moderator), Natalie Luhrs. New Republic senior editor Jeet Heer wrote, in a short Twitter essay about Mary Sues, “The popularity of the term ‘Mary Sue’ really says everything you need to know about sexism in fandom/nerdom.” Instead of unpacking the concept of Mary Sue, we’d like to zero in on the troubled history of this term, why it’s troubled, and how better to talk about “self-insertion” in fiction without the sexism.

Friday July 8

12:00 PM    Room A    Reading: Barbara Krasnoff. (It says I’m reading “Sabbath Wine” but I’ll probably read an unpublished story instead.)

5:00 PM    Room A    Clockwork Phoenix 5 Group Reading. Mike Allen, C.S.E. Cooney, Carlos Hernandez, Keffy Kehrli, Barbara Krasnoff, Cameron Roberson, Sonya Taaffe, A.C. Wise. Contributors to the bestselling fifth installment in the critically-acclaimed, boundary-expanding Clockwork Phoenix anthology series read excerpts from their stories.

Readercon & Videos

Is Readercon really next week? It feels as if it’s crept up on me; I keep thinking it’s sometime in the nebulous future. I’ve gotten my initial schedule, which right now is made up of two panels, an individual reading and a group reading, but the schedule is apparently still tentative. So I’ll hold off posting it until everything is set in — well, if not stone, then at least in reasonable secure rubber.

Meanwhile, as usual, I’m indecisive about what to read. I was originally going to read “Sabbath Wine” from Clockwork Phoenix 5, but I realized that not only might I be repeating it for any of my friends who show up (since I read it at the NYRSF Readings back in April), but that it’s way too long for a 25-minute slot. So I’ve asked them to change the description in the program to “Barbara reads a new unpublished story,” and that way, I can make the decision at the last moment.

Meanwhile, if you want to hear me read “Sabbath Wine,” you can! I’ve created a “Videos” page on my website (here: https://krasnoff.wordpress.com/videos/), where you can catch the NYRSF reading. There’s also a video of me reading a short story called “The Seder Guest” that I did at a Crossed Genres party at a previous Readercon.

More on Readercon soon — and I hope to see you there!