Still one day to go, but the best stuff I’ve seen so far has been as follows:
- A coffee klatsch with Paolo Bacigalupi in which he discussed at great length the technical details of his writing process from idea kernel to draft. I’ve been thinking about my own version of that process a lot lately. Bacigalupi was very frank about the difficulty he still has. The iterative and organic meticulousness with which he expands a concept into prose, as well as the importance and function of theme in shaping the end result, rang very true for me. Knowing the complexity and depth of the characters, worldbuilding and themes that result from that in his work gives me hope for some of the recent chaos into which my own ambitions have led me.
- Vandana Singh reading from a new novella, “Of Love and Other Monsters”, forthcoming in October from Aqueduct Press. The voice of her narrator is just so startlingly direct and perceptive about the nature of human relationships and interactions, it throws me right out of all my expectations for a genre story and allows me to experience it in a different way, as something much more immediate and real–without using any of those magic realist tropes I’ve been trying to wield to that same effect. I asked her about how she does this, and it seems to have to do with her approach to the speculative from a cultural context in which genres and styles of writing, not to mention languages, are just so multiplicitous and fragmented that she never encountered those elements of standardized genre (the tropes I percieve as so cramping and tired in the American marketplace) until she had already arrived at her unique voice and outlook.
- Sitting behind the Small Beer Press table in the book shop and watching every last copy of Interfictions disappear off the shelves. I signed a few copies. Made me feel ashamed at the general crappiness of my handwriting, but otherwise generally warm and fuzzy.