ReaderCon 2003

review by Maricia Verma

Readercon is the convention for readers, and to a lessor extent, the writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. This year's convention, number 15, brought together notables like Barry Malzberg, Gene Wolfe, Barry Longyear and guests of honor; Hal Clement, Rudy Rucker and Howard Waldrop.

The hospitality suite was cozy, there was an unimpressive selection of chips, dips, and some distressed looking grapes. In contrast, a book release party on Saturday featured Salmon, smoked Gouda and fresh strawberries; far out doing the con suite. Speaking of food, the best way to survive the hectic pacing of the panels was to grab something at the at the Tiptree bake sale. Tiptree sold a wonderful array of goodies, including an enticing Raspberry chocolate cake that sold out quickly.

The panel themselves were widely desperate; ranging from "Does Your Baby Make You Smarter?" to "September 11th In Fiction" to "Catholicism And Imaginative Literature" to "Why We Love Buffy". Without a doubt the liveliest and most controversial panel of the weekend was "SF: For Aficionados Only?" with Thomas A Easton, Scott Edelman, Rosemary Kirstein, Fred Lerner, Barry N Malzberg, and Allen Steele. This was discussion was prompted by Mr. Malzberg's recent assertion that no one without a good reading background in science fiction could enjoy an average issue of the Asimov's, and by extension other major SF magazines. The debate was intense among the panelists, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats watching the participants volley back and forth. The only disappointment, for that and many other panels, was that there was little time left for questions.

There will be no Readercon 16 next year, it is making way for Noreascon Four, but it will be back in 2005 with guests of honor, Joe Haldeman and Kate Wilhelm.

Hal Clement -------------------------Rudy Rucker --------------------- Howard Waldrop --------- R.A. Rafferty (Memorial GoH)

Click on guests of honor images for their biographies. ;-)

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