Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I'll be attending Readercon this weekend in Burlington, Mass., along with numerous other Aqueductistas, including one of this year's Guests of Honor, Andrea Hairston. It's a safe bet that with so many Aqueductistas present, there'll be a plenitude of stimulation and challenge on tap. My own programming is:

Friday July 11 11:00 AM    F    Empathy, Identification, and Stories . L. Timmel Duchamp (moderator), Andrea Hairston, Matthew Kressel, Julia Rios, Walt Williams. At a panel at Arisia 2013, Andrea Hairston said, "I can only tell you a story if you're a human who can hear a story and imagine what it's like to be someone who isn't you." Tannanarive Due added that access to stories matters: some children, for instance, can easily find books about characters like themselves, while others have to read books from outside a position of identification. Culture creates structures of identification and empathy; or, to put it another way, ways of feeling from within and ways of feeling from without. How do stories create structures of feeling, and how can writers and readers both benefit from awareness of these structures?

Friday July 11 12:30 PM    ENV    L. Timmel Duchamp reads from a novel in progress

Saturday, July 12 1:00 PM    G    Audience-centric Narratives . Judith Berman, L. Timmel Duchamp (leader), Chris Gerwel, Ken Houghton, James Patrick Kelly. Several subgenres of speculative fiction, such as horror, satire, and slipstream, focus on creating a particular feeling or experience within the reader, rather than on the more typical plot-driver of a protagonist's inner or outer conflicts. The failure mode of this sort of writing is manipulation and didacticism. What makes an audience-centric story successful, from the author's point of view and the reader's?

Aqueduct won't be in the Dealers Room, and I haven't scheduled an autograph session, but I'll be available for conversation and book-signing throughout. See you there!

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