Readercon 17: July 7-9, 2006

Guests of Honor

China Miéville

China Mieville

China Miéville is a young writer who is taking fantasy in bold, politically engaged new directions. He's best known for his multiple award-winning (two Arthur C. Clarke Awards and a British Fantasy Award) New Crobuzon trilogy: Perdido Street Station, The Scar, and Iron Council. In fast-moving, exciting plots, these novels introduce his imagined world of Bas-Lag, which is as thoroughly thought-out as any in fantasy: peopled with strange species, shadowed by an immense, grim history, full of steam engines and dark magic. We see embodied in these books his determination to write fiction that features subversion over consolation. His recent collection, Looking for Jake, shows him writing about other worlds, some of them our own, including huge, ill-understood disasters, secret histories, and rights-restricted holidays. These four and his first novel, King Rat, comprise his published fiction books to date; he's in the early part of what is already a major career and we can't wait to see what's next.

In person, he's charming, intelligent, articulate, and funny. He's a scholar: PhD, International Relations, London School of Economics, with a book version of his dissertation appearing soon. He's a politician: ran (oops, stood) for Parliament in 2001, for the Socialist Alliance. He's a major writer in the New Weird school. He looks great with his head shaved. He's a perfect Readercon Guest of Honor, and you'll be glad you're here with us to meet him.

James Morrow

James Morrrow

James Morrow is the foremost satirist working in the field of imaginative literature, and (as is often the case here at Readercon) we would not argue if you chose to delete one adjective from that assertion. The world is starting to take note: his new novel, The Last Witchfinder, got not one but two glowing reviews in The New York Times, wherein it was suggested that he deserves an audience in the mainstream.

If Jim can succeed in breaking out of our ghetto, it will be poetic justice. He was largely unknown in our field when he showed up at Readercon 1, since his first two novels (though unquestionably science fiction) had been published and marketed as "regular" fiction. His third, This is the Way the World Ends, was championed by the likes of Arthur C. Clarke and established a reputation within the field that has since grown mightily with World Fantasy Award-winning novels Only Begotten Daughter and Towing Jehovah, the first volume of his Godhead trilogy. He’s even won two Nebula Awards for short fiction, including the hilarious novella City of Truth.

It's a literary rule of thumb that a strong streak of misanthropy fuels every great satirist. One of the things we want to figure out during this year's Readercon is how Jim manages to break that rule. As a frequent past attendee, he's already part of Readercon's family, and he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. That niceness is reflected in something ineffably positive at the heart of even his darkest visions; it may not be possible to write a less bleak novel in which all of humanity is destroyed than This is The Way the World Ends. We cannot think of a body of literary work in which the brightest and darkest views of our nature and our potential cohabit so comfortably and play off each other with such devastating effect. Come join us as we celebrate this unique literary achievement — and the sweetheart of a man responsible.

Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges (1899 – 1986) worked as a writer, essayist, lecturer, translator and teacher. He has influenced a diverse array of writers including Umberto Eco, William Gibson, Jeff VanderMeer, Michael Ende, Kelly Link, and Stanislaw Lem.

Although sometimes his fantastic work is reminiscent of magical realism, his blending of magic and reality is quite different from the styles of writers commonly classified as "magical realists" such as Marquez and Allende. The magic in his stories is mystical more than anything else, leading its characters (and its readers) towards epiphanic experiences which tantalize them with glimpses of the nature of the universe and reality. These experiences either impart the peacefulness of the Aleph (from the story of the same name), an orb which holds all places in the universe inside of it, or a horrifying revelation of circular, inescapable chaos, as in "The Library of Babel." Borges' fantastic work was strongly influenced by the Divine Comedy, as well as by a magical bird from the Arabian nights, the Simurgh, and images which had had special meaning for him since childhood — the tiger, an active force, and the mirror, which correlated with the solipsistic and subjective unreality of the self alone. In his essay "The Art of Narrative and Magic," he argued for a literature not much dictated by realism and reason as by the emotions of its author, writing as an instrument of personal salvation. Learn more about this remarkable, influential man as we honor him at Readercon 17.

Program Participants

120 confirmed guests as of June 30, 2006.

Click on the book icon to see the guest's bio-bibliography.

Bio-bibliography November, Sharyn
Bio-bibliography Oberndorf, Charles
Bio-bibliography O'Leary, Patrick
Bio-bibliography Park, Paul
Bio-bibliography Pelland, Jennifer
Bio-bibliography Pollack, Rachel
Bio-bibliography Popkes, Steven
Bio-bibliography Reed, Kit
Bio-bibliography Ringel, Faye
Bio-bibliography Ruggiero, Tony
Bio-bibliography Scalzi, John
Bio-bibliography Schroeder, Karl
Bio-bibliography Schweitzer, Darrell
Bio-bibliography Sherman, Delia
Bio-bibliography Shunn, William
Bio-bibliography Singh, Vandana
Bio-bibliography Sleight, Graham
Bio-bibliography Smith, Sarah
Bio-bibliography Spencer, Wen
Bio-bibliography Steele, Allen
Bio-bibliography Strock, Ian Randal
Bio-bibliography Taaffe, Sonya
Bio-bibliography Tan, Cecilia
Bio-bibliography Thomas, Sheree Renee
Bio-bibliography Tremblay, Paul
Bio-bibliography Trudel, Jean-Louis
Bio-bibliography Turzillo, Mary A.
Bio-bibliography Valente, Catherynne M.
Bio-bibliography Van, Eric M.
Bio-bibliography Van Gelder, Gordon
Bio-bibliography Waugh, Robert
Bio-bibliography Wallace, Sean
Bio-bibliography Watts, Peter
Bio-bibliography Weinstein, Diane
Bio-bibliography Wilber, Rick
Bio-bibliography Witcover, Paul
Bio-bibliography Wolfe, Gary K.
Bio-bibliography Youmans, Brian
Bio-bibliography Zeddies, Ann Tonsor
Bio-bibliography Zoline, Pamela

Bio-bibliography Grant, Glenn
Bio-bibliography Gravel, Geary
Bio-bibliography Grossman, Leigh
Bio-bibliography Hairston, Andrea
Bio-bibliography Hand, Elizabeth
Bio-bibliography Hanger, Nancy
Bio-bibliography Hartwell, David G.
Bio-bibliography Hatch, Daniel
Bio-bibliography Hecht, Jeff
Bio-bibliography Houghton, Ken
Bio-bibliography Hunt, Walter H.
Bio-bibliography Isaak, Elaine
Bio-bibliography Jablokov, Alex
Bio-bibliography Kind, Lancer
Bio-bibliography Kingsbury, Donald
Bio-bibliography Kirstein, Rosemary
Bio-bibliography Kressel, Matthew
Bio-bibliography Kushner, Ellen
Bio-bibliography Lake, Lissanne
Bio-bibliography Landis, Geoffrey A.
Bio-bibliography Langan, John
Bio-bibliography Leeper, Evelyn C.
Bio-bibliography Lerner, Fred
Bio-bibliography Levinson, Paul
Bio-bibliography Lewitt, Shariann
Bio-bibliography Lilley, Ernest
Bio-bibliography Link, Kelly
Bio-bibliography Longyear, Barry M.
Bio-bibliography Macdonald, James D.
Bio-bibliography Malzberg, Barry N.
Bio-bibliography Mamatas, Nick
Bio-bibliography McDonald, Sandra
Bio-bibliography McManus, Victoria
Bio-bibliography Meacham, Beth
Bio-bibliography Meynard, Yves
Bio-bibliography Morigan, Pan
Bio-bibliography Munroe, Jim
Bio-bibliography Nelson, Resa
Bio-bibliography Nielsen Hayden, Patrick
Bio-bibliography Nielsen Hayden, Teresa