Saturday, July 13, 2013

ReaderCon and the River of Stars Invitation

This is a hub post for the weekend. I'm abroad right now, at ReaderCon in Massachussetts, the first of my many business trips this summer. It's my first time at ReaderCon. I'm pretty excited, if only for the amazing roster of authors who lecture and schmooze there. Kelly Link, Peter Straub and Scott Lynch have written some of my favorite works.

I may livetweet some of the more interesting panels, or blog up the highlights here. It all depends how my Kindle Fire holds up and how strong the convention wifi goes. If you see something on the schedule that looks highly appealing, hit me up on Twitter. You can find me @wiswell - unless my Kindle implodes.

This is also my first chance to meet my fellow Viable Paradise students and possibly meet some of the instructors. If things go according to plan I'll be having tea with Elizabeth Bear while you're reading this. Tonight the students are gathering for a big dinner in town. I've chatted with a few by Twitter (all have been friendly), but it'll be good to have faces to go with screen names.

I also want to give a shout out to a little reading program starting next week. Beginning July 17th, Sonia Lal and I will be reading Guy Gavriel Kay's River of Stars. It's Fantasy inspired by the Song Dynasty of China, set centuries after the previous novel so that it can stand alone, being about the conflict between rival factions as its world moves forward.Kay has repeatedly impressed me with his words about anthropological fiction, and particularly his unpopular stance that characters from other cultures shouldn't be "relatable" or "likeable." There is a tendency to make The Other just like us, which can be welcoming, but also often ignores significant external and internal life.

Sonia and I will be chatting about River of Stars as we make our way through. Anyone is more than welcome to pick up a copy and join us.


  1. Sounds like a full and productive day! Enjoy and hope your Kindle doesn't explode.

  2. Awesome! Peter Straub is a fav. of mine! xox jean

  3. Okay, this is the second time I've thought I should recommend the film Passchendaele to you, so this time I'm going to. It's all about self vs. Other -- that theme rinds all through the film. It's a Canadian film, which is a shorthand way of saying it got next to no distribution, but the production values and acting are top-notch, and it plays it pretty close to the actual Battle of Passchendaele in WWI.


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