It's been a long summer! I will be filling in my con reports in reverse blogological order.
First was Readercon, which as always was fantastic.
Got to attend a coffeeklatsch with Samuel R. Delaney, where he talked a lot about his academic work. The one of the main things I took away from speaking with him was hearing him say that teaching and writing both "Draw from the same well." I spent a lot of time thinking about this in the days following it, considering what other things were also drawing from that well, and how important they were to me. Every year he seems to say something that I have to spend weeks pondering afterward.
He also spoke about his recent novella, Phallos which sounded structurally interesting. I haven't read it yet, but the premise of people working to edit all the explicit sex out of a gay porn novel seems like it might make for a good read.
We also attended a talk with Ken Liu. After hearing him speak I picked up The Grace of Kings which I'm halfway through and really enjoying. Hearing about his process for writing it was fascinating, he basically wrote the whole thing on his 45 minute train ride in to work, while raising a family and working as a lawyer. What incredible drive to finish a sizable novel that way.
I attended a few neat panels as well, Our Panel of Experts lead by Scott H. Andrews was the standout. It was entirely questions from the audience about how to justify or fix some of the more technical aspects of their stories, asked to a panel of people with strong science credentials. Questions included how to deal with the problem of debris in asteroid mining, resolving time travel paradoxes, and my own questions about the biology of 100+ year gestation periods for a future project I'm working on, Elipse.
We also ran into the creator of Slash who was kind enough to give us a copy. We wound up playing it in a huge group of people, who had a blast. Basically a fanfic version of apples to apples\cards against humanity.
All in all a great readercon, looking forward to next year.