When “The Muppet Show” got “Mad” at Readercon …
I recently attended Readercon 28 in Quincy, Mass, and spent 4 days immersed in a sea of speculations on speculative fiction. (Seriously, the panel discussion “Problematizing Taxonomizing” was sub-titled “Maybe the Most Readercon Panel Ever”, for good reasons.)
Mixed in with all the heady and erudite discussions were readings, small-group sit-downs with authors (called “kaffeeklatsches”), autograph signings, award presentations (Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery, Shirley Jackson horror) a well-stocked book dealers’ room, an over-stocked hospitality suite, and plenty of space in which to meet and greet friends, old or new.
While much of the fun is spontaneous, some of it is programmed, particularly on Saturday evenings when the Most Readerconnish Miscellany is presented. This year, the British comedy quiz show, I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue, provided the framework for 2 hours of improv scenes, literary quips, and songs. Ah, the songs, a karaoke collision of geek culture with mainstream heavyweights to produce a sound and a vision all too wonderfully mashed-up to pass up. Crystal Huff, a con organizer (and co-chair of this year’s WorldCon in Helsinki, Finland!) recorded some of the merriment and posted the videos to Twitter.