Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Readercon!

I've been remiss in mentioning this, but part of why I've been remiss is that I've actually been on the road already for a while. My posts may seem normal, but in truth they've been slipped in at brief moments in motels and hotels, trying to look normal. I'm writing you from a motel in MA right now, taking a little breather between a teaching gig and Readercon (that's what I've been remiss in mentioning.) Yes, I'm going to Readercon, and it all starts tomorrow!

I've been looking forward to this for a while. I've heard time and again that the focus of this con is very much writers and readers, stripped of all the many other components that are so much a part of other cons. I enjoy other cons, but this set-up sounds good to me. I'm thrilled that my friend James Patrick Kelly is one of the guests of honor, along with fellow Doubleday author Jonathon Lethem.

The program looks great, featuring tons of interesting panels and authors I look forward to meeting or reconnecting with. And my little bit of the show is pretty good too. Here's what I'll be up to:

Readercon 19 Participant Schedule: David Anthony Durham

Friday 3:00 PM, RI: Talk / Discussion (60 min.) Breaking Into the Ghetto. David Anthony Durham with discussion by Carolyn Ives Gilman, Liz Gorinsky, Louise Marley, Sandra McDonald, Michaela Roessner, _et al_ (By the way, part of what's cool about this is that Sandra and Micahaela were both students of mine at the Stonecoast MFA program, which means they were first hand witnesses as I made the transformation to the Dark Side.)

Durham's decision to move into fantasy after three successful historical novels shocked his editor, who saw a whole host of problems, concerns, hurtles, and uncertainty in the decision. But why is such a career move considered so risky? Is fantasy still somehow disreputable despite the huge commercial and reasonable critical success of Tolkien, Rowling, and others? And aren't readers smart enough to accept different things from writers? Durham takes a personal look at the topic and discusses the issues with other authors that have tried to (or would like to) cross genres.

Friday 4:00 PM, VT: Reading (30 min.), Reads from Acacia: The Other Lands (That's right, folks, looks like I'll be reading from the new book - which remains a work in progress, by the way.)

Friday 7:00 PM, Salon F: Panel, Waking Up Sober Next to a Story Idea. Paolo Bacigalupi, Jeffrey A. Carver (L), David Anthony Durham, Kay Kenyon, Barry B. Longyear, Jennifer Pelland

Really, it seemed absolutely beautiful once upon a time. Now that you've had intimate knowledge of it (say, midway through the novel), you can see all the less-than-flattering sides. You may even wonder, _What the hell was I thinking?_ How do you recover enthusiasm for the work? Now that you see the flaws, how do you begin the process of fixing them?

Saturday 12:00 Noon, Vinyard: Kaffeeklatsch

Jeffrey A. Carver; David Anthony Durham

Saturday 2:00 PM, Salon E: Autographing

David Anthony Durham; Gregory Frost.

I'm thinking this will be a good time.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous inklings said...

Hey, Jonathan Lethem! One of my very favourite writers. His Fortress of Solitude is one of the best books I've ever read. I'd recommend that to anybody.

And the Con looks great. Wish I was close enough to sit in on some of that. I noticed you're doing something with Gregory Frost, and I was wondering if you knew him or his work at all? I have his Shadowbridge on my "to read" list - it looks like some interesting fantasy he does (and I know he won lots of prizes for his fantastical Bluebeard reinterpretation - at least I think it was Bluebeard... hmmm)

Anyway, have a blast.

My best,
Bryan Russell

12:04 PM  
Blogger Meghan said...

Wow. You've got quite a schedule! I hope you are having a great time!

2:59 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Hi,

Yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing Jonathan. I met him once at an event prior to my first novel coming out. He was just about to explode with Motherless Brooklyn. Judging by the cut of his suit and tint of his shades that evening - he knew it, too. I've only recently read some of his earlier stuff, though, and I'm happy to see that his geek credentials are solid. Really. Solid.

I haven't met Gregory Frost or read his work. Shadowbridge was recommended to me by someone I trust, though, so it's on my to read list also.

Meghan, I've just driven in a few moments ago, exploded my suitcase in the hotel room, and quickly got online... So I'm not having a great time just yet, but I expect I will be in a few hours, when things get started!

-David.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Erika Hamerquist said...

I second Inklings' opinion of Fortress of Solitude. Lethem has never written anything I didn't love, but that's definitely my fave so far. I also really liked the hardboiled sf with all the punctuation jokes ... can't remember the title. Liked Motherless Brooklyn too. Sounds like you'll be in good company. But then, so will Lethem!

6:14 PM  
Anonymous inklings said...

Erika, how could you forget that title? ;) One of my favourite book titles ever: Gun, with Occasional Music.

Ah, good ol' Lethem. His newest novel is on my "to buy or steal" list. We'll see how desperate I get.

My best,
Bryan

10:34 AM  

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