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17 July 2011 @ 09:33 am
My Readercon Saturday  

Barrry Malzberg wanted me to get up for a 7:30 a.m. breakfast, but considering the fact I didn’t get to bed until 2:30 the same morning, how likely was that to happen? But I did wake at 8:15, which pleased me, because I very much wanted to watch Chip Delany interview Katherine MacLean, the winner of this year’s Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award.

When I’d seen her in the halls the previous day, and told her how much I was looking forward to her anecdotes of the old days, she said, smiling, something like (which I say only because this isn’t a word-for-word quote), “That’s why I stopped going to conventions! All you fans wanted to know about was who we had sex with. Sex, sex, sex! We did more than sleep with each other, you know! We were also interested in ideas!”

I told her, oh, yes, I wanted to hear about ideas, too, trying to make sure she knew I wasn’t one of those fans. (Though, of course, I did want to know about who slept with whom!)

Here’s that wonderful interview, which is one of the best hours I’ve ever spent at a Readercon. (And as you know, I’ve been to them all.)

After wandering the dealers room and doing general schmoozing, I realized I’d hit the wall, and so returned to my room to put my head down for a moment. After all, I didn’t want to snore during the panel on Joanna Russ! Sadly, I fell asleep, and did not wake until it was over. And so, no video … (Sniff!) But I did capture this entertaining interview of Gardner Dozois by Michael Swanwick.

Immediately after the Dozois interview I headed off to dinner with Resa Nelson. I was in a workshop with her back when Irene and I lived in Framingham, and I published her in the first issue of Science Fiction Age. We went off to a Thai restaurant (one which turned out to be packed with other Readercon attendees) early since I needed to be back in time for the Wold Newton reading extravaganza, during which I read Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer” in front of a three-piece band. Eric Rosenfield should have video of that up later, and I’ll tell you more about it then.

After that, I would normally have attended the Kirk Poland bad prose competition, but Barry was scheduled opposite it (which made him feel odd, since he invented Kirk Poland!), so I went to hear him speak about a previous Cordwainer Smith winner, Mark Clifton. And you can, too.

Once that was done, rather than going into the ballroom to catch the rest of the Polands, I kibitzed in the hall with Barry and others, telling tales of Horace Gold and various old timey editors. When Barry thought he should make an appearance at the event he instigated and wandered off, I chatted with Mike Walsh, Ellen Brody, Howard Waldrop and whoever else happened to be by the door about how next year I would come to Readercon wearing a costume in some kind of ironic way. We started out thinking it would be a Star Trek officer’s costume, moved on to a Klingon outfit with full head ridges, stayed for a bit with me as Slave Leia, and ended up settling on Han Solo in carbonite. So next year, watch out!

Then, once the ballroom cleared from the Kirk Polands, it was time to her Howard. My favorite part was the long rant in the middle about how the second of the two stories was written.

Unfortunately, the battery on my Flip camera gave out 30 seconds before Howard was done. Luckily, once I saw battery indicator go into the red, I began recording with my iPhone, so there was overlap. I made the break about a minute and a half before the end at a place which seemed appropriate.

Once Howard was done, it was getting near midnight, and since Barry made me swear an oath that I’d wake for breakfast with him at 7:30 a.m Sunday morning (how can one friend ask that of another?), I went to bed instead of partying on …

Originally published at Scott Edelman. You can comment here or there.