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July 2011

My 2011 ReaderCon Schedule

Here's my ReaderCon Schedule. I am especially looking forward to my Friday evening reading, for which I've done a lot of preparation. I will be reading from Our State of Play: Notes Toward the Liberation of Our Utopia, which is in essence stand-up tragedy.

Our State of Play 3

Friday 12 noon Salon E    Autographing: Kathryn Cramer, John Jospeph Adams, & David G. Hartwell.

Friday 9 PM  VT    Kathryn Cramer reads from Our State of Play: Notes Toward the Liberation of Our Utopia

Saturday 12 Noon RI    The Year in Short Fiction with Kathryn Cramer, Gardner Dozois, Ellen Datlow, and Paula Guran.

Saturday 1 PM    Remembering Joanna Russ Kathryn Cramer, Samuel R. Delany, David G. Hartwell, (and, I hear, also Michael Dirda): In the wake of the recent death of Joanna Russ, there will be a lot of discussion of the influence of her works and her ideas. Here is a chance to hear a discussion of the woman who had those ideas and did that work, by people who knew her in person. Joanna Russ valued her friends and her friendships, and we on the panel valued her as a friend. We’ll tell stories and maybe even read some of her letters. 

Sunday 1 PM    Social Darwinism in SFnal Thought: In a 1978 essay, Philip E. Smith II analyzed a central ideology of Robert Heinlein’s fiction: social Darwinism, a belief in “survival of the fittest” within struggles between racial and social groups. Ideas of biological determinism and eugenics informed SF stories throughout the pulp era, from Tarzan to “The Marching Morons,” and gained complexity as genetic science revealed new wonders and mysteries. Is social Darwinism still an idea that burrows within SF subtexts? How does contemporary SF explore and exploit ideas of nature and nurture?