Reckoning Press is at virtual Readercon 31 this weekend! We’ll be in the dealer’s room all weekend, plus you can find Reckoning editors and contributors all over the programming, as follows:
Friday – 8:00 PM
Main Track 2 • Against “Discovery” • Michael J. DeLuca [publisher, editor, Reckoning 1 and 2], Allan Dyen-Shapiro, Jeff Hecht, Darcie Little Badger, Terence Taylor
Many works of SF/F about “discovery” would be recognizable to the creators and consumers of late Victorian adventure novels: a heroic (usually white and male) protagonist enters a strange place and either subjugates it or is transformed by it. But this centuries-old narrative rooted in colonialism erases both the marginalized members of expeditions and the native inhabitants to whom the place isn’t strange at all. How can the “discovery” story be expanded, exploded, or replaced with other takes on novelty and liminality?
Saturday – 11:00 AM
Main Track 1 • Reading Fantasy Through a Motif Index Lens • Katherine Crighton, Stephanie Feldman, Jeffrey Ford, Karen Heuler [contributor, Reckoning 5], L. Penelope
Folklorists use motif indexes to catalog and analyze folk tales from around the world. The existence of TV Tropes suggests the need for new motif indexes that fit new forms of literature, but we can also apply folklore motif indexes to 21st-century fantastical fiction. Which motifs have had staying power for hundreds of years, and what other expected or unexpected patterns do we find? What does treating fiction as folklore bring to the reading experience?
Saturday – 2:00 PM
Main Track 1 • I’m In: Infiltration Techniques for Writers • Toni “Leigh Perry” Kelner, Catherynne M. Valente, Kestrell Verlager, Elizabeth Wein, Fran Wilde [contributor, Reckoning 4]
How can characters get into spaces they aren’t supposed to be, whether physical or virtual? What makes these scenes feel plausible? Panelists will analyze the literary possibilities in various infiltration techniques—including those that rely on technical skills (such as lockpicking or hacking) and those that rely on social engineering—and suggest useful reference works and successful fictional depictions.
Sunday – 11:00 AM
Main Track 2 • Gothic Fiction’s Love Affair with Toxic Relationships • Julie C. Day [editor, Weird Dream Society], M. Dressler, Kit Mayquist, Vivian Shaw, Farah Rose Smith
Gothic fiction has a long history of dramatically tortured relationships. These can emphasize the emotional isolation that’s common in horror or play up the tension of threats coming from loved ones. What else do terrible and terrifying relationships bring to a story, and why do we love to read about them? This panel will discuss the appeal of the mad, bad, and dangerous-to-know in monstrous and mimetic gothic fiction, whether they’re locked in the attic or lurking outside a window on a rainswept moor.
Sunday – 6:00 PM
Main Track 2 • Darmok and Jalad and Merriam and Webster • Leah Bobet [contributor, Reckoning 4 / poetry editor, Reckoning 5], John Chu, Francesca Forrest, Greer Gilman, Sarah Smith
At the “Decolonizing the Imagination” panel at Readercon 30, Cadwell Turnbull observed that linguistics as an academic field is restricted and distorted by underrepresentation of marginalized groups. How does that affect the ways languages, including constructed ones, are used in speculative fiction? What can authors do to overcome biased notions of what makes a language sound “magical” or “alien”?
Did I miss anyone?