Monday, October 27, 2008

Readings to go to at OryCon

Sometimes I worry that attending readings will fall so far out of fashion that people will stop going.  And that's a real shame, because some of the times I've felt the most entertained, and intrigued, and involved have been when I've been listening to an author read his or her work or a musician performing an original piece.  I don't need a bunch of people with me to get that experience--small is okay.  But if I'm alone in the room with the author, although I get the treat of discussing the passage with that author afterward (and sometimes sharing a drink at the bar later on) it's unlikely that the author will feel motivated to set up a reading the following year, facing a single person or zero turnout.  And if this happens across the board, programming will stop programming readings (though this is less likely--famous authors always will draw audiences to their readings, and cons are usually willing to grant even total unknowns their half hour and a room to read in.)  
I'm not big on promoting something that simply doesn't interest people anymore.  If it's no longer of value, then alas, it must fade.  But I do think that maybe people just don't know what they're missing.
And so, even though it's self-serving because I'm part of this group, I invite everyone to come to the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading at OryCon.  I also want to encourage folks who come to the convention to make time for readings, and not only the big, well-known authors or authors personally known to them.  Try picking an author you don't know.  Look through the bios and see who piques your interest.  Maybe it's their pic, or the titles of things they've written, their day job, or the voice in the short bio that catches your interest.  Maybe it's just that there's a bit of rare free time and a half hour in a room with someone reading to you sounds just barely better than taking a nap after an exhausting morning, or hanging out until the bar opens, or perusing the dealer's room for the third time.  I should warn you, though.  Live performances can become addicting, as anyone who gets drawn into theatrical performances or live musical events can tell you.  At least most readings, including those at OryCon, are free.  If you can't make it to OryCon, check out your local library or bookstores.  You'd be amazed at how many readings happen out there every day.  It's worth it.  Just step out of routine for a bit, and listen.


Kai Jones said...

I love going to readings! I just wish authors would have their books available to purchase, or know which dealer had them. And would read from published books. Or at least had a bookmark or postcard to promote the work they're reading from, especially if it's not yet published. I've gone to wonderful readings but because the book didn't come out for 6 months or more, forgot to buy the book.

Things that puzzle this other goddess.... said...

I must be unusual in that I really don't care for readings.

Normally, if I find a voice doesn't fit a book, or the author uses the wrong tones it just irritates me. I went to a reading by MZB once and it was okay, and a few other authors that were not memorable, but I remember most the reading by Jennifer Roberson.

I had been following her work since her first book and had already read the work she was reading from...big mistake. Her light, feminine voice just did not work for the story, at all and made it irritating.