Let's start with this year's guests of honour, Charles Stross and Nalo Hopkinson. Fantastic choices, especially considering the early panic regarding the rumours of possibly not having any guests of honour at all.
Coming home with a backpack stuffed full of books and a head stuffed full of ideas. This is maybe my very favourite part of Readercon. Which brings us to...
The dealer's room. I live for my annual Readercon book binge. This is the best dealer's room in all of fandom.
The clearly-spelled out harassment policy. I really hope that there isn't a particular incident that prompted this, but I am really heartened to see it in print, especially when it's combined with...
The Open Source Women Back Each Other Up Project
. Women should feel totally safe at cons, and while I personally have never had any problems at Readercon, it's nice to know that there's a safety net. I was horrified and outraged by the events that sparked the OSWBEOUP (and would have taken them exceedingly poorly, had I been subjected to them personally), and was/am an enthusiastic supporter of women backing each other up. So, yay Readercon!
The immense breadth and scope of the panels. From readings of A Midsummer Night's Dream
to discussions of fanfiction, global warming, the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and carnivorous plants. The range of choices is dizzying, and very frequently one is left trying to decide between two or more interesting subjects. (Those rare hours where nothing appeals are mostly useful for lunch breaks and visits to the dealers' room.)
Cthulhu cupcakes at the Tiptree bake sale. Ia! Ia!The Meh
The Tiptree Bake Sale blurb in the program guide could use a good updating. I'd bring it to someone's attention, but I'd probably wind up volunteering to rework it all myself, which is not something I'm willing to take on in a year when I'm studying organic chemistry.
The cell phones. Last year, pretty much every panel I attended had at least one attendee who failed to either turn their phone off or set it to vibrate; a couple of these people even started to take the call while the panel was in session before the death glares of their neighbours sent them scurrying. This year, it was only really every other panel that was interrupted this way, and no one was rude enough to start talking while still in the room, which is a slight improvement. Still, it shouldn't have to be an issue at all.
The schizophrenic air conditioning. Salons F and G were freezing - for once, I wasn't the only person wearing a bulky sweater to the Kirk Poland - while Rhode Island sweltered. Only New Hampshire/Maine were comfortable. (And they're the reason that this is in the "meh" category, instead of "not-so-good"). I'm not sure how much control over the air conditioning that Readercon actually has, but I do know I would have enjoyed the guest of honour interviews a little more if I wasn't preoccupied by the fact that I couldn't feel my feet.
Finally, why, why, why is Friday's programming generally more compelling than Saturday's? Don't get me wrong - I love compelling programming, and I love showing up on Friday; I always feel so bad for those who can't just take the day off and wind up missing out on stuff like a kaffeeklatsch with either of the guests of honour.The Not-So-Good
Not enough of Nalo Hopkinson's works in the dealer's room. And where the heck was Inanna Arthen's latest novel? All you have to do is make them available to me, dealers, and I will cheerfully exchange cash for text.
The pack of children whose minder saw fit to allow them to play loudly
in the hallway outside several of the conference rooms Saturday afternoon while panels were in session. At one point, several of these children burst into the room where a panel was taking place, only to be ushered out by their apologetic attending adult. On the one hand, they left quickly and were pretty much silent after that, but on the other hand, it shouldn't have happened in the first place
. Hopefully this won't be an issue next year.