Readercon Schedule: Carlos Hernandez and C. S. E. Cooney


2:00 PM Salon 4
Latinx Authors Tear Down the Wall

Panelists: Lisa Bradley (mod), Carlos Hernandez, José Pablo Iriarte, Julia Rios, Sabrina Vourvoulias

Isolationist governments portray immigrants (and citizens perceived as foreigners) as vectors for disease, crime, and terrorism. Currently, the U.S. administration is demonizing Latinx immigrants in this fashion, and oppressing asylum-seekers from Central America. How can authors dismantle anti-immigrant myths while portraying immigrants in all their human complexity? Led by Lisa M. Bradley, Latinx writers will discuss their work regarding borders and immigration, providing historical context and exploring possibilities for future stories.

3:00 PM Salon A
In Memoriam: Gene Wolfe

Panelists: John Clute, C.S.E. Cooney, Chris Gerwel, Elizabeth Hand (mod), Howard Waldrop

Gene Wolfe (1931-2019) was Readercon’s first guest of honor, and for good reason. His Book of the New Sun series was not so much groundbreaking as earth-shattering; his short fiction equally displayed his virtuoso talent for unsettling and disorienting the reader. He dipped into numerous genres and refused to be bound by the conventions of any. Join us to remember our friend and colleague and to explore his extraordinary body of work.

6:00 PM Sylvanus Thayer

Readers: Carlos Hernandez, C.S.E. Cooney


10:00 AM Salon 4
Compassionate AI

Panelists: Amal El-Mohtar (mod), Carlos Hernandez, Matthew Kressel, Natalie Luhrs, Kestrell Verlager

In a 2018 tweet, Amal El-Mohtar described the artificial intelligences in Martha Wells’s Murderbot series and in Jeph Jacques’s Questionable Content webcomic as “gorgeously compassionate.” This is a reversal of the long-running trope in SF of characterizing AI as cold, scheming, and murderous. Where else can readers find compassionate AI, and what makes these depictions so vital and appealing?

12:00 PM–2:00 PM Sylvanus Thayer
Workshop: From Page to Stage: Techniques, Tricks, and Improv Games to Help Writers with Public Speaking

Teachers: Martin Cahill, C.S.E. Cooney

Performers C.S.E. Cooney and Martin Cahill will help writers improve their public speaking through improv comedy exercises and theater games, showing how public speaking is rooted in confidence, trust, and drama. The workshop will include some warm-ups and techniques, as well as an opportunity to practice in front of others. Bring a sample of your work to read aloud.

3:00 PM Sylvanus Thayer
Dramatic Readings from the Ig Nobel Prizes

Panelists: Marc Abrahams (mod), C.S.E. Cooney, Rose Fox, Heath Miller, Sonya Taaffe

Highlights from Ig Nobel prize-winning studies and patents are presented in dramatic mini-readings by luminaries and experts (in some field). The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions about the research presented. Answers will be based on the expertise of the presenters, who may have a different expertise than the researchers.


11:00 AM Salon 3
Lloyd Alexander, Existentialist

Panelists: C.S.E. Cooney, Andrea Martinez Corbin, Chris Gerwel, Marissa Lingen (mod), Sonya Taaffe

Lloyd Alexander, translator of Jean-Paul Sartre, wrote an existentialist epic fantasy series. As Jesse Schotter writes on Full Stop, “The end of The High King, and Taran’s choice to remain in Prydain… salvage[s] the idea of free will within the deterministic framework of the genre.” How did existentialism influence Alexander’s other work (Time Cat, the Westmark trilogy)? What are other examples of existentialist speculative fiction epics? With the present deconstruction of prophecy-driven epics, how can writers learn from Alexander’s work?

2:00 PM Abigail Adams
Brimstone Rhine in Concert

Performers: C.S.E. Cooney, Carlos Hernandez, Faye Ringel

Mythic music by singer-songwriter C.S.E. Cooney, with Faye Ringel on piano and Carlos Hernandez on ukulele and cajon.

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