Worldcon Glasgow 2005 Part #5

August 8,

Had breakfast again with my three musketeers.  They had diverse schedules and planned to head over to the SECC later than I wanted.  So I walked again.

Had trouble finding my panel location.  They had divided the vendor’s room with curtains.  Behind the maze of cloth I found children’s activities and the YA paneling.  After the con I heard complaints about the children’s programming and day care options.  To my cursory glance as I passed through, the area seemed well occupied, busy, and happy.

“Are we patronizing our youth” should have been in mainstream programming, not just targeted to the parents and readers of YA.  We had a fine discussion and agreed that some publishers do “dumb down” the literature.  Since Harry Potter others are re-assessing the vocabulary and complexity of plot toward a slightly more mature level.  I have never agreed that the protagonists should be 2years older than the target audience but the reading level 2 years younger – keep it simple to keep them reading rather than puzzling.  If readers aren’t challenged occasionally they will never progress.  But then I taught myself to read before kindergarten and always read at least 3 grades above my age group.  If I wanted to read it, my parents let me work my way through it and only grudgingly admitted that when I asked too many questions or found the book boring, maybe I wasn’t old enough to understand the story and should try again in a year or two.  My perspective on YA is skewed.

T and L and I went to lunch together.  They rescued me from 2 wannabee writers who kept following me and plucking at my sleeve even though I’d said goodbye.

Since I haven’t seen or heard from EK since the first days of the con, T & L invited me to crash in their room in Edinburgh after the Tattoo on Wednesday.  I like that idea.  Driving after dark on unfamiliar roads, on the wrong side in a rental car to find EK’s house in Preston Pans seemed like too much of a challenge.  I’m less tired than I was at the beginning of this adventure, but the surgery aftermath still hits me at odd times and demands I rest.

Discovered that T and I have the same B day.  I knew we were soul mates on the plane.

After lunch I sat with MR and EF and EW and someone else I don’t think I got the name of.  We gossiped about bad boy writers of cons.  I was going to the scotch store with MR but my back said no.  Sat in the SFWA suite for a while with Tylenol.

Then I tried the vendor’s room but wimped out.  Sat a few minutes with DPF and family to regain my strength.  Eventually took a taxi back to the hotel for a 1½ hour nap.  Then dinner in the hotel.  Curled up with page proofs.  I delivered the 1st ¾ to MJ earlier today.  Wished I could get this last bit to her before we all go our separate ways tomorrow.  This last bit is not clean at all!

Stayed up too late thanks to the nap and finished the page proofs.

Finally talked to LS.  We’ll catch up at home.  I’m functioning in the morning.  She doesn’t get up until afternoon.  Funny to come all this distance and not meet up.  But then it’s a big con covering a lot of hotels and space in the SEC

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About Phyllis Irene Radford

Irene Radford has been writing stories ever since she figured out what a pencil was for. A member of an endangered species—a native Oregonian who lives in Oregon—she and her husband make their home in Welches, Oregon where deer, bears, coyotes, hawks, owls, and woodpeckers feed regularly on their back deck. A museum trained historian, Irene has spent many hours prowling pioneer cemeteries deepening her connections to the past. Raised in a military family she grew up all over the US and learned early on that books are friends that don’t get left behind with a move. Her interests and reading range from ancient history, to spiritual meditations, to space stations, and a whole lot in between. Mostly Irene writes fantasy and historical fantasy including the best-selling Dragon Nimbus Series and the masterwork Merlin’s Descendants series. In other lifetimes she writes urban fantasy as P.R. Frost or Phyllis Ames, and space opera as C.F. Bentley. Later this year she ventures into Steampunk as someone else. If you wish information on the latest releases from Ms Radford, under any of her pen names, you can subscribe to her newsletter: Promises of no spam, merely occasional updates and news of personal appearances.


Worldcon Glasgow 2005 Part #5 — 2 Comments

  1. When you really think about it, much of SF/F is really YA in terms of the complexity of characters and situations depicted. I suspect that this is one reason why non-genre authors who write speculative fiction are not/don’t want to be classified as SF/F practitioners.

  2. I never though of myself as a YA author until 90% of my fanmail comes from 12-15 year olds., including some non-readers who became readers because of something quirky in my books. I thought I was writing for adults, with adult characters (young but considered adults in their culture) and adult relationships and problems, and didn’t hold back on vocabulary, complexity of character, plot or subplot. Compared to the big fat epic fantasies, my dragon books are light and fluffy. I consider them serious, though not as dark as the current fad.

    Middle School and up are looking in the adult genre sections for something to read because to them the YA sections are boring.

    As for authors seeking to move their work to mainstream, anyone who can does. Genre fiction in general, SF/F in particular have reputations for being inferior. Some readers refuse to cross the border into genre fiction, even for a best seller. Mainstream has a lot more readers looking for something to read.