Friday, September 3, 2010

Hi From Worldcon!

Hi to all the MGC-goers from Aussiecon4. The venue is very spacious, and despite the attendance levels there is plenty of room to move about. I would have to say I found the intense orange-red d├ęcor just a little disorienting to begin with, but that might have been just me trying to deal with the array of potential panels to attend.

Some real luminaries here. I have not seen George RR Martin yet, but Kim Stanley Robinson is busy giving plenary lectures on various topics, and last night Robert Silverberg was chatting in the foyer with a bunch of other writers so casually you would think he appeared there every night.

Yesterday I trundled along – via the Dealer’s Room — to Dave’s signing, then along with Barb Freer, went to listen to Kate’s reading. A very smooth performance for a first timer! Kate read from her “Knights in Tarnished Armour” and a work in progress — “Wetherfakawi Blues” (hope I got the spelling right). The typical dry humour was endemic, with tightly written prose and a good storytelling voice. We were all disappointed when the half-hour slot was up.

The fellow who followed Kate, a SF writer from the UK called Gary Couzens, read a ghost story that had appeared in Fantasy and Science Ficton. I very interesting piece written from the point of view of the ghost, and written in second person. The voice was an unusual choice, yet really worked with this, increasing the tension. It made me feel like it was a sort of cautionary tale, like it could be you trapped in that house watching your loved ones go about their lives.
Below are two photos of Kate, one in mid-sentence and the other eyes down on her little life companion, her Kindle.

Tomorrow I will get to hear Dave read — always a treat — as well as China Mieville. It has been great to be able to sit back and hear these talented writers read their own works.

What are some of the best readings that you have been to?


MataPam said...

Lois McMaster Bujold. ::grin:: I finally learned how to pronounce all those names!She has a very clear voice, gets her dry humor perfectly.

Synova said...

Dorothy Heydt (who would be interested to know that my google search completed the spelling of her last name just like if she was a famous person.) She has a distinctive voice and for a long time after that I read anything of hers, usenet posts or whatever, in her voice.

Steve Stirling is the only other I remember for sure and there have been a couple of others. Of any of the readings I've been to (and could count on one hand) he had the most people in attendance.

This last week at Bubonicon I was invited by David Boop (a local comic writer and novelist I'd talked to) to his reading but my staff duties conflicted. I walked by and saw two people in the room, which made me sad. Programming conflicts are a culprit and even better known and successful writers don't get people in in large numbers.

I always thought that we did the autograph signing in a good way at our con by having one long session where the authors in attendance can sit with fellow authors and chat and not be all isolated and alone if no one has books for them to sign. I was talking to Ben Bova because he was sitting next to a new attendee that I wanted to sign her book. (Come to think of it, I've also gone to a reading of his last year or the year before.) And I'm thinking Ben Bova, wow! But he's got no one lining up to see him.

I remember seeing Marion Zimmer Bradley at Baycon sitting all alone and I was too shy then to say hello. I regret that.

In any case I figure... there's got to be a better way, a more friendly way, to promote readings. Unlike signing, everyone in a big room simultaneously isn't going to work. :-(

Do any of you authors have ideas?

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

I confess I had no interest in buying Lucienne Diver's Vamped until I heard her read it. YA vampires didn't seem like my sort of thing, but Lucienne is my agent, so I went to the reading to show solidarity.
However, in reading it, she made it SO MUCH fun, I had to see how the book went on. So I bought it, and was happilly surprised. Yes, it's a jam packed rolicking ride. But it is also about growing up and looking after others. I loved it and highly recommend it to anyone who has a teen daughter.