David Louis Edelman David Louis Edelman

Readercon 18 Report

I’ll admit that I’m fairly new to the science fiction con circuit, but having been to Readercon twice now, I have no hesitation crowning it my favorite. The panels are generally high-minded and intellectually stimulating; the guest list is always first-rate; and best of all, there isn’t a single dork with a Klingon outfit or a lightsaber to be found.

Of course, the flip side is that once the bar closes at 12:30 pm, there’s pretty much nothing to do but go back to your room and sleep. Peter Watts, Jenny Rappaport, and I tried to find a party after last call on Saturday, only to get accosted by a very angry woman asking “us people” to keep the noise down. When we did find the one open party in the hotel, security arrived two minutes later to shut it down.

Highlights of my weekend include:

  • Getting to ogle Mary Robinette Kowal‘s steampunk laptop (as recently featured on Boing Boing) and listening to plenty of stories about her beaver. And how did I thank her for being one of the coolest people on Earth? By going into an unstoppable coughing fit during her panel on techniques for reading aloud and having to duck out of the room.
  • David Louis Edelman and Scott Edelman at Readercon 18Sharing many a beer, many a story, and many a laugh with George Mann and Christian Dunn of Solaris Books. The fact that George and Christian accepted my SF short story “Mathralon” for publication in their forthcoming second Solaris Anthology of Science Fiction helped my mood quite a bit too. I introduced George and Christian to Mary Robinette Kowal, which may have been a mistake, because the rest of the con they kept making obscure comments about clockwork monkeys.
  • Continuing to confound the world by appearing at the same con with Scott Edelman (see photo to the right) and insisting that we’re not related.
  • Sharing a panel on alternative points-of-view in fiction with (among others) Peter Watts (of Blindsight fame) and gossiping about the biz with him and Jenny Rappaport over beers until closing time. Turns out Peter is just a fabulously nice guy with a very wry sense of humor and a big ol’ Canadian accent.
  • Gabbing over meals and beers with Matthew Jarpe, author of the David Hartwell-edited debut novel Radio Freefall, and listening to his humorous reading from same.
  • Breakfasting with the divine Elizabeth Bear not once, but twice. I will even forgive her for accidentally calling me “Scott” during one conversation.
  • Discussing J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin, among other things, with Realms of Fantasy slushmaster and all-around nice guy Doug Cohen.
  • Watching fellow Pyr author Kay Kenyon promote the hell out of her new novel, Bright of the Sky, through readings, panels, talks, fliers, signings, ads, and who knows what else. I also got a chance to share drinks and a ride back to Logan Airport with Kay and fellow Seattle-area author Louise Marley.
  • Meeting Infoquake fan Skott Klebe, discussing the life of an SF writer over drinks at the “Meet the Pros(e)” party.
  • Getting pleasantly hammered at the “Meet the Pros(e)” party on pricey Scotch provided by Elaine Brennan.
  • Chatting innumerable times with Slush God John Joseph Adams, who must have committed some kind of venal sin, considering he was wandering around the con with the Mark of Cain on his forehead.
  • Actually getting a few words in edgewise on a panel about politics and SF that also included James Morrow, Paolo Bacigalupi, John Kessel, and guests of honor Lucius Shepherd and Karen Joy Fowler.
  • Enjoying several beers, meals, and chats with Andrew Wheeler, SF reader/editor/blogger extraordinaire and late of the Science Fiction Book Club.
  • Discussing the fine points of “You, Me, and Dupree” over drinks and dinner with RenĂ© Walling, Matt Jarpe, and a very charming woman named Kristin, who despite the fact that I’ve met her two or three separate times now, I still keep forgetting her last name and made an ass of myself by confusing her with someone else. (Update: Her full name is Kristin Janz.)
  • Publicizing Matthew Kressel‘s Sybil’s Garage magazine by wearing a sticker on my badge that said “Sybil’s Garage” in Hebrew. This turned out to be such an effective promotional tool for Matthew that I think I talked about Sybil’s Garage more than I actually talked about my own books.
  • Debuting two passages from my forthcoming novel MultiReal to a small but enthusiastic audience of people who were still around at 2 pm Sunday for the last slot of the con.
  • Catching up with various other folks here and there in the hallways, including Craig Gidney, Eugene Myers, Ernest Lilley, Jim Freund, Hildy Silverman, Diane Weinstein, Lee Weinstein, Robert Legault, Ellen Datlow, Joy Marchand, Yves Meynard, and Tom Purdom.

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  1. Senses Five Press on July 9, 2007 at 10:23 pm  Chain link

    […] translated into about ten languages that people placed on their badges. It went over very well, according to David Louis Edelman. I had some very nice conversations with many, many people, and rumors started of a forming mafia […]

  2. Josh on July 10, 2007 at 8:05 am  Chain link

    Sounds like a rolickin’ time. By the by, what does the Mark of Cain look like, just in case I happen to come across it?

  3. David Louis Edelman on July 10, 2007 at 8:37 am  Chain link

    It looks like this.

  4. A Progressive on the Prairie » Readercon wrap up on July 12, 2007 at 1:17 pm  Chain link

    […] David Louis Edelman and Kay Kenyon had favorable things to say about their experience at the con. Editor/writer Ian […]

  5. The Readercon Mess (David Louis Edelman) on August 7, 2012 at 1:07 am  Chain link

    […] to stand up for him and obfuscate the issue. Really, I don’t know the guy. Someone discovered a blog post of mine where I mentioned having dinner with Walling and others back at the 2008 Readercon. I’ve hung […]

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