Readercon is THIS WEEK, and I hope you’re excited, ’cause I sure am! I’ll be moderating two panels this year, including “The Works of Stephen Graham Jones,” who is one of the guests of honor and a fantastic writer. I know Readercon isn’t big on costumes, but I’ll be cosplaying as a character from Stephen’s fiction this Saturday. It’s my sworn duty as a moderator. Five points* to anyone who guesses my identity.
Anyway, here’s my schedule! Can’t wait to see you there!
*Sorry, you can’t exchange points for cash.
Being Vague to Make Space for Horror
Stephen Graham Jones, Darcie Little Badger (mod), Sonya Taaffe, teri.zin, Paul Tremblay
Thu 8:00 PM, Salon B
In a 2016 blog post, Peter MacDonald argued that many creepypasta stories—unsettling urban legends that have been copied and pasted around the Internet—undermine their effectiveness as works of horror by providing overly concrete answers in the final stretch. Panelists will discuss whether this can be generalized to other horror stories—ones that less obviously blur the line between fiction and reality—and consider the importance to horror of ambiguity around the fantastic and supernatural.
Recent Nonfiction Essay Club: “Decolonizing the Imagination” by Zetta Elliott
John Chu, Darcie Little Badger, Kate Nepveu (mod), Vandana Singh, Cadwell Turnbull
Fri 12:00 PM, Salon A
In her essay “Decolonizing the Imagination,” published in Horn Book Magazine and on their website, Zetta Elliott wrote of the challenge in crafting portal fantasies and time travel stories that partook as much of her heritage as of the colonial literature she grew up reading as a mixed-race girl in Canada. This discussion will consider the questions raised by her essay, including, “Can time and space be shaped by an author to satisfy needs left unfulfilled by an unjust reality?”
Writing While Chronically Ill or Disabled
Lisa Bradley (mod), Jack Haringa, Vylar Kaftan, Darcie Little Badger, Sheila Williams
Sat 1:00 PM, Salon 3
There are myriad ways in which disabilities and chronic illnesses can make a writer’s life harder: chronic pain makes it hard to focus on writing, inaccessible venues diminish opportunities for networking, and speech difficulties can interfere with readings, to name just a few. What adaptation strategies can help a disabled or ill writer function? How can a writer who becomes disabled mid-career learn to adjust to the new status quo?
The Works of Stephen Graham Jones
Jack Haringa, John Langan, Darcie Little Badger (mod), teri.zin, Paul Tremblay
Sat 3:00 PM, Salon 3
Stephen Graham Jones is a Piikáni (Blackfeet) author of cutting-edge fiction, ranging from the crime, horror, and science fiction genres to the purely experimental. His work has been multiply nominated for the Shirley Jackson, Stoker, and World Fantasy Awards, with Mapping the Interior (2017) winning the Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction. He has also won the Texas Institute of Letters Award and been the recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship in fiction. Playful, inventive, sincere, imaginative, touching, and horrifying, Jones’s work spans genres and defies the cynicism and alienation of postmodern literature. Please join us in welcoming him to Readercon and exploring his fiction.