I’ll be attending Readercon this July 11-14! Here’s my schedule in case you’d like to come to my reading or panels:

Reading: Matthew Kressel
Fri 4:00 PM, Sylvanus Thayer

Compassionate AI
Amal El-Mohtar (mod), Carlos Hernandez, Matthew Kressel, Natalie Luhrs, Kestrell Verlager
Sat 10:00 AM, Salon 4
In a 2018 tweet, Amal El-Mohtar described the artificial intelligences in Martha Wells’s Murderbot series and in Jeph Jacques’s Questionable Content webcomic as “gorgeously compassionate.” This is a reversal of the long-running trope in SF of characterizing AI as cold, scheming, and murderous. Where else can readers find compassionate AI, and what makes these depictions so vital and appealing?

Whatever Happened with That Singularity Thing?
Ruthanna Emrys, Matthew Kressel, Jess Nevins, John O’Neil, Romie Stott (mod)
Sat 11:00 AM, Salon 3
The development of artificial superintelligence doesn’t seem to have brought about the sudden and unfathomable changes to human civilization that so many people hypothesized. Is the singularity yet to come? What other possibilities are being imagined for futures in which humans and AIs mingle and merge?

Making First Contact with Your Local Speculative Fiction Community
Rob Cameron, Crystal M. Huff, Matthew Kressel (mod), Jim LeMay, Lauren Roy
Sun 12:00 PM, Salon A
Readercon and other national conventions are great, but what’s happening in your backyard? Local cons, reading events, workshops, classes, and critique groups are just a few examples of places where you might find other speculative fiction fans. If those things don’t exist near you, it might be time to create them! Panelists will share their experiences with joining and building in-person fannish communities, including joys, perils, and practical advice.