From Fan History Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Readercon is a literary science fiction convention. It is held annually in the greater Boston area in late July.

Convention logo
Status active
Genre literary science fiction
Location Massachusetts, United States
Sponsor Readercon, Inc.
First held 1988



Readercon was founded by Bob Colby and Eric Van in the 1980s. Their goal was to create a convention focusing exclusively on written science fiction. Past guests of honor have included authors such as Karen Joy Fowler, Kim Stanley Robinson, Kate Wilhelm, Hal Clement, Ellen Datlow, Joe Haldeman and China Miéville.

Impact on fandom

2009 "This IS Your Father's Readercon" kerfluffle

After the 2009 convention, a number of attendees (some first time, some regulars, but many who had been heavily involved in RaceFail 2009 such as coffeeandink and kate_nepveu) complained after the fact about attitudes at the convention--specifically on issues of gender bias, lack of racial diversity at the con, and lack of access for those with disabilities.[1] The convention was seen by these critics as being stuck in the past and encouraging only older, white male fans and authors to attend, particularly when a flyer appeared advertising the 2010 convention stating "This IS Your Father's Readercon."[2] There were also complaints because the 2010 convention would only feature single-track programming, no GOH, and likely no readings nor kaffeklastches. Eric Van, who has exclusively handled programming at the convention since the beginning, stated these changes were because he was becoming "burned out" and needed to take a rest, and that no one was qualified to take his place and that the work could not be spread out over a committee.[3],[4] Catherynne M. Valente proposed hosting an alternative gathering event, IslandCon 2010, to likely be held the same weekend as Readercon,[5] although later she revised her plans.[6] A post was eventually made on the front page of the Readercon website backtracking from the wording of the flyer, stating instead:

There has been a lot of confusion about Readercon's plans for next year, caused in part by a flier that we distributed on Sunday and in part by conflicting statements made in public and in private by people involved with the con and by various attendees. We apologize for putting out unclear, incomplete information, and would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight.

Attendees, professional guests, and book dealers can expect a Readercon next year every bit as exciting as our previous twenty. Readercon 21 will be held July 8 – 11, 2010 in Burlington, Massachusetts at the Boston Marriott Burlington.
Readercon 21 will have at least one guest of honor, two tracks of panels, readings, discussions, kaffeeklatches, the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award, the Rhysling Award Poetry Slan, the Shirley Jackson Award, Meet the Pro(se), and as always the Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Competition.
Our committee is finishing up the business of this year's convention as well as working on Readercon 21. Full details will be available soon.
Diane Martin & David Shaw
Con & Program Chairs for Readercon 21[7]


According to the Readercon website[8], the convention's programming schedule generally follows the structure, with these events occurring simultaneously:

* Two panel discussions featuring five (or occasionally six or four) participants, usually including a "leader" who both directs and takes part in the discussion (sometimes with the more traditional "moderator" who directs but doesn't opine). The participants sit in arm chairs in front of coffee tables, rather than behind the usual table. Usually, the last ten minutes or so are devoted to questions from the audience, but the leader is free to solicit audience input at any stage. Although some of the panels are based on ideas given us by the participants, they are all ultimately the brainchildren of Readercon's Program Subcommittee (see below).
* Two tracks of author readings. Usually, each consists of a pair of compatible 30-minute readings, but there are 60-minute readings as well. Unlike nearly every other convention, we give you the title (and sometimes a descriptive blurb) in the Program Guide.
* Two tracks of solo talks and/or discussion groups (the "mini-tracks"), usually 60 minutes long, sometimes 30. Unlike the panel discussions, these are the brainchildren of the individual presenters or discussion group leaders.
* Two author Kaffeeklatsches — an intimate get-together between an author and up to 15 readers (who sign up in advance).
* Two autograph sessions in the Bookshop.


This section needs more information.

Fans attending

This section needs more information.

External links

Convention reports



See also


Below is a partial list of articles and academic sources to help you continue to learn about this community. This section needs more information.

Conventions on FanHistory.Com
This Convention-related article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.
Personal tools
Support FH