My schedule for ReaderCon 2017  

I’ve just gotten back from teaching Clarion West. Three days at work then I go to ReaderCon. (Yes, I planned poorly.)

As usual, ReaderCon has put me on a bunch of really interesting panels that I’m looking forward to. My reading this year is Saturday at 2:30pm. Come hear me read a story that’s actually finished, copy-edited and published. It’s also I think one of the best things I’ve written. (Last year, what I read was literally what I’d written several days before. I think it’s become one of the best things I’ve written but it wasn’t at that form then.)

Friday July 14 #

1:00 PM    6    A Golden Age of Asian Speculative Literature in English. John Chu, Neil Clarke, Liz Gorinsky, Caroline M. Yoachim. There’s a growing body of English-language speculative works by writers from Asian and South Asian cultures—works in translation from writers working in Asian languages, and works written in English by writers in both Asian countries and the Asian diaspora. This panel will discuss trends in translation and publication, examine different Western expectations of translated and non-translated fiction (for example, the notion that Asian diaspora writers will necessarily write on Asian themes or diasporic experiences), highlight recent works of interest, and explore how Asian and Western speculative fiction influence one another.

Saturday July 15 #

11:00 AM    5    Engineering in SFF, the Sequel: A Bridge Too Far. Scott H. Andrews, John Chu, Jeff Hecht, Marissa Lingen, Fran Wilde (leader). At Readercon 27, our panel of SFF writers with engineering backgrounds discussed bridges, flight, castle fortifications, and why engineering often gets short shrift compared to other technical sciences. They pointed out that readers never see a school at Hogwarts for magical engineering, or classes for building magical tools. This year a new panel will go deeper with some of these topics, getting into the different types of engineering such as bio, hydro, civil, and mechanical, and how these can inform your worldbuilding.

1:00 PM_    C    **A Technology Not Traveled.* Inanna Arthen, John Chu, Chris Gerwel, Jeff Hecht, Sioban Krzywicki (leader). Alternate history and historical fantasy often engage with technologies that once seemed like the way of the future: airships, clockwork, mechanical computing. There’s a certain dreamy wonder around many modern depictions of early industrial inventions. Why are we fascinated with what became technological dead ends? There are many magical fantasies where wizards can’t use computers; is this a different expression of the same anxieties about modern gadgets? Is there really a possible timeline where clockwork became ascendant while electronics never took off, or is it all just an excuse for some gorgeous cosplay?

2:30 PM    B    Reading: John Chu. John Chu. John Chu reads “Making the Magic Lightning Strike Me” published in issue 16 (May/June 2017) of Uncanny Magazine.

Sunday July 16 #

1:00 PM    5    Clothes Make the Story. S.A. Chakraborty, John Chu, Lila Garrott, Kathleen Jennings, Shariann Lewitt. Costuming says a great deal about era, wealth, status, and taboo in both the setting of a work and the time and place where that work was created. It’s frequently discussed in the context of visual media, but costuming can be just as important in literature, and it’s a vital part of worldbuilding for speculative works. This panel will dig into the implications of clothing choices in speculative fiction, how they age as the work ages, how they interact with diverse readers’ expectations around concepts such as modesty and gender, and their use as signposts to help the reader understand how to approach the created world.


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