Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A con report to check out

WisCon 37 was Lesley Wheeler's first experience of a science fiction con of any kind. (You remember Lesley, right? She's the Aqueduct Press author of The Receptionist and Other Tales, which has been honor-listed by last year's Tiptree Award jury?) I had the pleasure of meeting her in person there for the first time, ever. On Friday night at WisCon, she moderated a panel on feminist speculative poetry that was brilliant; Lesley's co-panelists were Amal El-Mohtar, Shira Lipkin, and Sofia Sanatar. (I wish, wish, wish I'd taken detailed notes. I'm hoping, though, to write a little about this in another post.) Everyone I know who attended thought so, too. And then on   Monday morning, at Michelangelo's, she read from The Receptionist and Other Tales. She was clever in her selection, such that she left us all gasping from the final rapier-light-but-but-deadly strike of her wit.

Anyway, I wanted to point you to her post, In which the modernism scholar attends her first con. (And then writes her first con report!) It has a link, by the way, to the delightful "Rhymes with poetess" inspired by her experience attending academic conferences, as well as this lovely sentence: "I have never attended such a FEMINIST feminist conference: safe spaces for every identity plus constant access to chocolate conceived as a basic human right."

And while I'm on the subject of Lesley Wheeler and her delightful work, I might as well share with you a newspaper reviewby Moira Richards  that came out the day I arrived in Madison, from the Cape Times, May 24, 2013:
A feminist spec-fic fantasy in which a dastardly college dean, who will quash the budget of any campus colleague rash enough to attempt a thwarting of his sexual predations, is served his just desserts. So too, after nudging from Yoda and the (re)discovery of her own powers, is the reluctant hero of the novella.

Lesley Wheeler narrates her tale in 33 10-standza vantos, every one crafted in the plaited terza rim form that is as seductive of the senses as ouma's koeksusters. And, albeit in a different sort of way, just as sweet.

You have to read The Receptionist once through to root the hero on, as you boo the villain; a second time just to savour the metaphors; and a third to marvel at the craft with which the poet finesses the form in the service of her content.

That sounds about right to me. And if I don't know what the words"ouma's koeksusters" denotes (OR connotes), well, I'm ready to take a chance and assume they're (that is a plural, right?) genuinely "seductive of the senses."

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