Literary Life Archives

Living literarily, even when not reading

  1. Wiscon 36 – Day 3

    Space Babe
    Day 3 started off not particularly well, though no fault of Wiscon. I headed out to catch the bus earlier than Saturday, but I still missed the bus I needed. Consequently, I ended up arriving 15 minutes into the first panel. That first panel was Geek Girls and the Problem of Self-Objectification. The panel was meant to start with the article with the same title at geekfeminism.org. Specifically, the author was careful to point out that geek cosplayers who go for the sexy aren’t the problem. The geek (and wider) culture is what rewards skin-showing. To be clear as to my background, I’m a straight dude. I pick that word…
  2. Wiscon 36 – Day 2

    I stayed out at the edge of Madison for WisCon. Before coming into town, I had checked that there was bus service between the Super 8 and the Concourse Hotel. Unfortunately, I failed to note that bus service clustered around the top of the hour on weekends. That meant I needed to head over to the bus stop at 8:45 a.m. in order to make the 10 a.m. set of panels. I caught the next arrival for the bus and arrived around 10:20, but first got coffee at Michelangelos, as coffee is a necessity. I rolled into the last half of the Designing a Magic System panel around 10:30, found…
  3. Wiscon 36 – Day 1

    I am attending Wiscon for the 4th year. I attempted to tweet about the events, but my Twitter client crashes on me. I arrived too late last night for the unofficial kick off reading at A Room Of One’s Own. This morning, I bussed in to the hotel, registered, and then hung out in the hotel lobby while reading the program guide and chatting with people. The Gathering wasn’t particularly interesting this year. I did pick up an ARC of New Jersey Noir, one of The Dragon Griaule, and one of Wild Cards II, all for $1 each. I didn’t attend any panels. More interesting today were a couple of…
  4. I Win Con Or Bust – 2012

    One of my favorite charity efforts is Con Or Bust, which, in association with the Carl Brandon Society, sends fans of color to science fiction conventions. I love it for its single-minded-ness as well as the fact that I think it’s a worthy goal to diversify science fiction. The effort is funded through donations and t-shirt sales, but most of the money comes through an annual auction held on their LiveJournal community. People donate all sorts of things for the auction, but there are usually quite a number of books. This year’s auction ended on Sunday. I bid on a number of items and ended up winning a bunch of…
  5. John Christopher 1922-2012

    I’ve been on a cross-country road trip for over a month, and traveling even before that. I had planned on remaining silent on this blog until I returned home. I have books to tell you about, but not while I have things to see and places to go. But I have to take a break from my hiatus to remark on the passing of John Christopher a couple of days ago. John Christopher was my introduction to science fiction. I read every book of his that the local library would carry. On re-reading the Sword of the Spirits series a couple of years ago, I was amazed by how brutal…
  6. Semi-Social Reading

    Reading, unlike sports, is not an inherently social activity. The words exist in the book. The brain consumes them. Much of the social activity surrounding reading happens before and after the fact: discussions about reading among people who read. Author readings are somewhat social but are usually just a different mode of delivering the words. A few days ago I copied an idea I’ve seen promoted in The Stranger. I invited my Facebook friends (all people I know in real life, it’s just that some of my actual friends don’t use Facebook) to join me for an evening of reading together. We take over a coffee shop and read and…
  7. Attending the Jeffrey Ford reading at University Book Store

    In Seattle, there’s one book store that gets speculative fiction, the University Book Store. Duane manages the science fiction section and is an out and out fan. Best S.F. selection in town. He also consistently brings in more science fiction authors for readings than any other local book store. Most months, Northwest Media Arts in conjunction with U.B.S. sponsors a reading and a writing workshop with a highly regarded science fiction author. I can’t speak to the quality of the writing workshops because I am not a writer and have not attended one. The readings are great because these authors generally come not as part of a promotional book tour.…
  8. 2011 FOGcon

    Welcome to the first posting in my Reading Life category here on Read Irresponsibly. I’m not quite sure what the schedule will be for posting in this category, but I aim to get something out regularly. These will mainly about personal experience with reading. Attending conventions, checking out book stores, what I’m trying to accomplish by reading, and I don’t know what all else. Generally, discussion of the meta-reading experience. There might be a bit of opinion interwoven within these posts, but that won’t be the focus. This last weekend I drove from Seattle to San Francisco for FOGcon. It’s really only the third science fiction convention I’ve attended, the…