This was my first time at Readercon, and once I got over the geography-of-nowhere location, I enjoyed it.  I got to hang out with friends Jeff Ford, John Clute, Patrick O’Leary, and Elizabeth Hand (though since Liz was a guest of honor, her time was much in demand).  I heard some terrific readings—Patrick and Jeff’s, as well as Catherynne M. Valente and Theodora Goss, both excellent.  The real treat was finally getting to hear the brilliant Gene Wolfe read.  And what a nice fellow!  One small criticism of the proceedings—There are several venerable figures in the field in attendance, and occasionally they have a tendency to hold forth with opinions heard many times over.  This is usually not a problem except when younger, fresher voices are drowned out.  On the panel I was on, I think you could fairly clock the number of words spoken in direct proportion to the age of the participants.  The discussion rarely limped into the 21st century.  The smart young woman on the panel was cut off by the moderator mid sentence of her first response and was rarely heard from again.

One other little pet peeve of mine surfaced again, and at the risk of revealing I’m a cranky old fart, I’ll voice it:  The Door Bangers—they’re at every con.  Why, upon leaving or entering a session do people allow the clanky, heavy doors to bang behind them?  Are they so much in their own little worlds that they don’t figure out it might interrupt the reading or discussion going on?  It takes a second to tend to the door’s closing.  And convention facility designers:  Do the doors have to be so heavy and clanking?  Perhaps I’m only channeling my mother who was driven to distraction by the smack of the screen door during the long Texas summers as my brother and I ran in and out.  But then, we were only kids.

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