Readercon 22, Day 4 (Sunday): Saying goodbye (plus Neil Gaiman!)

Sunday seems to be mostly about saying goodbye to all of the wonderful people I was priveledged to hang out with. It’s kind of a sad day at a convention, watching everyone check out of the hotel and not quite knowing if you’ll have to wait a full year before you see them again. For some, yes. For others, hopefully not.

I was up before 8am once again and headed down to the restaurant. While sitting there waiting for my food to be delivered, I ran into Mary Rodgers, another writer and Codex member and we ended up having a very nice breakfast together, chatting about writing habits and other things that you can really only discuss with another writer in the context of a writer’s convention.

From that breakfast I dashed off to meet Barry Malzberg and company for the morning walk around the parking lot. This time Scott Edelman and Paul Di Filippo didn’t make it, but instead Liz Hand went with us. We did the usual three or four loops around the parking lot, listening to Barry expound his wisdom, and listening to Liz ask him interesting questions. It was, as always, absolutely delightful.

I attended only one panel today, a panel on managing literary legacies. Barry Malzberg and David Hartwell were on the panel, as well as others, and it was a fascinating discussion of how to go about protecting literary legacies when you (the writer) on no longer part of the living world.

After that panel I was wandering back to the lobby when I saw an unual (for Readercon) crowd of people. Walking toward it, I thought for a moment that I saw Neil Gaiman, but of course, he couldn’t possibly be at Readercon.

He was, and I managed to snap this photo of him talking with Chip Delany:


Just to the left of Neil is his wife, Amanda Palmer.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I picked up a couple of books this morning. One was Being Gardner Dozois and the other was a little book by Elizabeth Hand called, Illyria. Liz signed her book for me.

I spent the rest of the late morning saying goodbye to people and trying to get some pictures. Here are a few of them:


Above can see Barry Malzberg, myself, Paul Di Filippo, and Eric M. Van. Also this one:


That’s Scott Edelman and me.

I’d hoped to get pictures with Liz Hand and Mary Robinette Kowal as well, but that will have to wait until next year.

As always, Readercon did not disappoint. A big THANK YOU must go out to Rose Fox who organized the whole thing and who I finally got to meet only this morning. I can’t imagine the amount of work that must go into something like this and from what I can tell, it came off flawlessly. I am looking forward to attending next year and seeing all my friends there. That I can call them friends–well, that is more important to me than anythign else I’ve done in science fiction and I look forward to seeing all of them again.


  1. This is great, Jamie — I was halfway home when I thought, Damn, I forgot to take any pictures! I’m so glad you did, also that you wrote about the Annual Walk With Barry, one of summer’s great traditions.

  2. Libby I’ll see your Neil Gaiman and raise you a Chip Delney. Between the professorships, Dhalgren, the National Book Award judging and the gay porn, Chip’s career has gone in such directions that doesn’t need to associate with us SF fans anymore. That’s why I am so delighted to see him chatting outside the Readercon ballrooms like any other 3 penny a word author.

    1. Mark, I must admit, Chip has been there the last two years I’ve gone and I’m still nervous to approach him, despite knowing people that can certainly introduce me to him. I remember reading his Motion of Light in Water sometime in the early-mid-1990s and being impressed with his career. It was only the first or second SF writer bio that I’d ever read. (Piers Anthony’s Bio of an Ogre proceeded it, I think.) Later I read the Einstein Intersection and Babel-13. Impressed with the former, confused by the latter. He seems genuinely giddy these days. If you check out the video Scott Edelman posted on the panel on the Jewel-Hinged Jaw, you’ll see that Barry Malzberg engaged him in some of the discussion, despite the fact that Chip was in the audience. And you’ll discover that opinions can change over the course of 40 years.

  3. The most devistating critisism Delany ever made about SF is tucked away in the middle of Dhalgren.

    The Three Conventions of Science Fiction

    First: A single man can change the course of a whole world

    Second: The only measure of intelligence or genius is its linear and practical application

    Three: The Universe is an essentially hospitable place, full of earth-type planets where you can crash-land your spaceship and survive long enough to have an adventure

    1. I can think of examples for all three of these: Asimov’s “Strikebreaker” in the first case; nearly anything by Clarke in the second; and almost any pre-1941 Golden Age story in the third. (I think of how many stories took place on the “jungles” of Venus in those stories and I can’t help cringe a little. They had to be to 1940 what the zombie story is today.

  4. Getting to hang out with Barry Malzberg. . . I am SO jealous! I’ve been wanting to make Readercon for years now. Maybe in 2012. I hope you’ve been doing well, Jamie. I enjoyed having lunch with you during the Nebula Awards Weekend. Please visit my new website/blog, , and let me know what you think!

    1. Hi, Andrew! Yes, it is always so cool to be able to hang out with Barry. It would be great to see you at Readercon 23 next year! I’ll check out the website when I have a few spare moments.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.