I am excited to attend Readercon, which will take place on July 11-14, 2019 at Quincy Marriott in Quincy, Massachusetts. Here is my full schedule:
Autographs: Anna Kashina, Barbara Krasnoff
Fri 6:00 PM, Autograph Table
Anatoly Belilovsky (mod), Anna Kashina, Tamara Vardomskaya
Fri 9:00 PM, Salon B
Led by Anatoly Belilovsky, several translators will take a paragraph in Russian and produce their own translations into English. A canonical version may also be available. The versions will be read and their similarities and differences discussed.
The Future of Gene Editing: Universal Cures, Perfect Species, or a Global Disaster?
Sat 10:00 AM, Salon A
Recent advances in biomedical research have enabled us not only to introduce new genes and create genetically modified organisms, but to edit genomes and eliminate inborn causes of such diseases as cancer and heart failure. New technologies make such editing easier and easier, reminiscent of the way computers once revolutionized our ability to edit written texts. Biomedical sciences professor Anna Kashina discusses what is currently possible with gene editing and where these technologies are leading.
The Real Middle Ages, Part 2: Anywhere but Europe
Charles Allison, Carolyn Ives Gilman, Anna Kashina (mod), Chelsea R. Miller, Walt Williams
Sat 11:00 AM, Salon 4
Writers looking for alternatives to cod-medieval European settings don’t need to look far. The years 500 to 1500 C.E. were times of tremendous cultural and technological change around the world. Novelties of that period included Islam, paper money, and fast-ripening rice; the Incan Empire, Great Zimbabwe, and the Tang Dynasty flourished. Which non-European settings of the 6th to 16th centuries have been successfully used as the basis for fantasy lands, and which might writers find particularly inspiring?
Reading: Anna Kashina
Sat 7:30 PM, Sylvanus Thayer
How Much Science Is Enough Science?
Marc Abrahams, David DeGraff, Anna Kashina, Kathy Kitts (mod), Vivian Shaw
Sat 8:00 PM, Salon B
Some topics require more scientific know-how than others. How much do writers need to know for particular topics—and how do they know how much they need to know? What are some techniques for acquiring necessary knowledge without getting a PhD? This panel of scientist-writers offers helpful guidance.
Middle Book Syndrome
Theodora Goss (mod), Anna Kashina, Kate Nepveu, Tracy Townsend, Gregory A. Wilson
Sun 10:00 AM, Salon 4
The middle book in a trilogy is often thought of as the one in which the fascinating setting and gripping conflict that were set up in the first book… are set up some more. Panelists will discuss recent trilogies and the degrees to which they fit this stereotype; how middle book syndrome has evolved over time; and how they’ve learned to avoid, address, or love the middle book’s problems as authors and as readers.
Graybeards Beyond Gandalf
John Clute, Elizabeth Hand (mod), Anna Kashina, Barbara Krasnoff, Robert V. S. Redick
Sun 11:00 AM, Salon A
Relatively few stories have protagonists much older than the target audience, and the traits commonly associated with heroism aren’t often associated with age. Yet in speculative fiction there are all manner of ways to break the link between age and infirmity, or to defy or redefine the concept of aging. Panelists will explore the potential of elderly protagonists and unpack a hero’s journey that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.