July 13th, 2009

Fairyland

Fairyland Chapter Five

The new Fairyland chapter is up!

Chapter Five: The House Without Warning

As the two of them travel along, I shall take a moment’s pause, as is my right. For it deserves remarking that if one is to obtain a monstrous companion, a Wyvern—or a Wyverary—is really a top-notch choice. Firstly, they rarely tire, and their gait is remarkably even, considering the poultry-like disposition of their feet. Secondly, when they do tire, they snore, and no ravening bandit would dare to come near. Thirdly, being French in origin, they have highly refined tastes and are unlikely to seek out unsavory things to eat, such as knights’ gallbladders or maidens’ bones. They much prefer a vat or two of truffles, a flock of geese, and a lake of wine, and they will certainly share. Lastly, their mating seasons are brief and infrequent, and the chances of experiencing one of them is so small as to be beyond the notice of any native guidebook, or indeed the concern of any small girl with brown hair who might be utterly innocent of such things. Truly, it hardly bears mentioning.

There is also a lovely new necklace from qotcpcf  in the Fairyland Museum.

Please do read--some of you have said you didn't want to read without donating. That's not how it works! It's up for free, for everyone to read, whether they donate or not. Obviously, donations are awesome and without them there would be no Fairyland. But the whole model is that donations from a portion of the readership pays for the story for all. Please read it, even if you never, ever donate. If you can, throw a few dollars in. If you can't, or aren't inclined, just sit back and come to Fairyland with me. We'll have such a time, I promise.

guestage

2010

Readercon was great, if exhausting this year.

Unfortunately, they handed out flyers for next year. Tagline? This IS Your Father's Readercon.

Single-track programming. Likely no readings, definitely no kaffeklastches. Nothing but panels, in a single room, with 400 other people. No Guests of Honor. Memorial GoHs? The cutting-edge, controversial, underappreciated Philip K. Dick and Theodore Sturgeon. (That'll certainly speak to a new generation of geeks who will push fandom into the, well, at least the 20th century.)

Now, I love Readercon. I've gone since I first knew about it. They actually have awesome panels and a great vibe. But this? Sounds about as much fun as a tax audit. With no chance to read and no kaffeklatsches, and Readercon's longstanding dislike of room parties, this is just a series of lectures by the biggest name attendees (because there will be far fewer programming slots, they basically have to go with the biggest draws) leaving the rest of us to sit still and knit for four days.

Not to mention, to someone invested in the next generation of fandom, who feels it is a burning issue to make SFF relevant to young people and pull amazing new minds into our world, not mire in old traditions and hierarchies, I just don't really want to go hang out at my father's con. Thanks. You can't bill something as a throwback and expect it to excite people. I suspect Readercon will find its membership dropping precipitously.

I, with sadness, will not be going. I'll be right back in 2011, bushy-tailed.

The thought among a group of us at Readercon this year was to try something different: IslandCon 2010. Here's the plan:

Y'all come up to my island. There's two hotels, my house, and my huge yard for tents if people want to camp. We'll use the three pubs, cafe, and ice cream shop for informal discussion rooms (somewhere between a barcon and a panel). We'll drink blueberry martinis and eat lobsters and barbecue and have a bonfire. If people can't agree on the academic difference between fantasy and science fiction, we'll give them boxing gloves and haul them down to the soft, sandy beach (as opposed to the sharp, pointy beach). If authors come, they can have fireside readings. Kaffeeklatsch-style tea and cookies in my dining room. Parties on my porch and in what could be an awesome mini Black Rock City tent-town out back. Movie screenings could be arranged.

Yes, this will likely be the same weekend as Readercon. Why? Not to get all up in Readercon's face about it. As I said, I love them. But because I keep that weekend free and the rest of the summer booked, and I want to have my second weekend in July SFF blowout. I just want it to be fun and relevant to my life, and not my father's con. (Not that my father went to cons. I don't want it to be your father's con, either, though.) If it's ten people, I'm thrilled. This is not a big production--it's like NASFIC. When the regular con is for one reason or another untenable, we get together for a different one.

Who's in?

c is for cat

(no subject)

Addendum to say that none of the previous means I did not love Fourth Street, which is single track and awesome. What works for 125 people does not work for 4-500. Not to say that the old fangled Readercon does not appeal to some. It just smacks of the wrong direction to me, and for me as a participant, the new format removes much of the value of the con to my career and makes it a net negative. YMMV.
c is for cat

Well...

The thing is, I'm allergic to controversy, especially internet controversy. I don't like fighting over things. Especially con-things.

So, due to probably-foreseeable anger with my idea from the Readercon folks, we'll likely try to find another weekend for IslandCon.

I still don't think I'll be attending Readercon. I still think it's the wrong direction for the con and an alarming canary in the mine for fandom. It saddens me, and I hope they come back in 2011, because while this may be my father's Readercon, it's not mine.

But I don't want to go down fighting and never be welcome there again. That may well already be the case. I should probably have known better. So I'll have my barbecue some other time. Weekend nominations are open as of now.

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