ReaderCon was fantastic. I couldn’t have picked a better venue for my fortieth birthday. I got to visit with wonderful people and had a blast all weekend long. If you’re wanting panel highlights and such, though, this post won’t be for you. I barely attended anything, electing to socialize instead. :-)

Here’s a group shot of Neil Clarke, Robert Legault, Eli Torres, China Miéville, me, John Klima, and John Scalzi.

With Matt Cheney:

With China:

With David Barr Kirtley:

With David Louis Edelman: . (There’s a better one of the two of us here, though it’s mislabeled.)

With David Hartwell. He and I share a birthday!

With JJA:

Peter Watts being silly.

I found David Louis Edelman (I’d been lucky enough to copyedit his novel Infoquake, which was great), JJA, and Douglas Cohen (, of Realms of Fantasy) right away, and I spent a lot of the con hanging out with them. Ernest Lilley, of SFRevu, took tons of pictures of me that I can’t wait to see, and I had fun visiting with him and Ian Randal Strock (whose name I’ve been mispronouncing for the last several years, I found out, much to my chagrin). Allen Steele’s an old bud of mine from the WorldCon Early Risers’ Club (he and I are the only two in it), and it was great to catch up with him, too.

Jeff Ford and Paul Di Filippo invited me to breakfast one morning, and I got to hear all kinds of wonderful writing conversation from them. Later that morning I met up with a friend of mine from high school who’s now a cardiologist at Boston Children’s, and it was great to see her.

John Scalzi pumped me up with enough compliments all by himself (and walked me around the dealers’ room counting the looks he said I got and dropped conversations I caused, of which I was utterly unaware :-)) to last me to whatever my next con is; he’s wonderfully gregarious and outgoing. (I was so impressed with him that I went and bought Old Man’s War and devoured it in five hours on the way home–it’s incredibly rare for me to read purely for pleasure any more, so it’s a big compliment. :-))

What else…? Oh, yeah. Matt Cheney wished me happy birthday every time I saw him. I discovered that I share a birthday with David Hartwell of Tor! (He led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to me at my celebration, which was wonderful.)

I found that Beth Meacham has a delightfully droll sense of humor. I saw Liz Gorinsky there, looking as gorgeous as always, and she was kind enough to praise my copyediting to other editors.

Elizabeth Bear propped another writer’s mouth closed when he was gaping at me in my birthday outfit (which I have to admit I felt pretty sexy in). :-D It was very funny.

I had a fantastic copyediting conversation with James Morrow and his wife; they both seem born copyeditors. We discussed linguistics and hypercorrection and the difficulties of writing when you want something to be just right. They invited me to the final dinner of the con, but I hesitated to crash the party.

Another great copyediting conversation ensued outside the bar later that day, this one with Michael Burstein and his wife.

I got to visit some with Robert Legault , a copyeditor whose comments here always seem right on target, and I spoke ever so briefly to fellow copyeditor Eli Torres (about how nice it is to cuddle with muscled-up men ;-)).

Paul Witcover bought me a beer and gave me a signed copy of his Dracula: Asylum for my birthday. Kelly Link gave me a yummy chocolate bar and a copy of Naomi Mitchison’s Travel Light. China came to my birthday celebration, which I thought was awesome considering his schedule there. I shared a beer with Ann Zeddies (another author of mine) and talked about all kinds of things. I listened to Tom Disch go on (and on and on ;-)) about how utterly gorgeous Rose Fox is, and how much she favors her father.

I talked to R. Scott Bakker and Karl Schroeder and Patrick O’Leary and Andrew Morse and John Bowker and Tempest Bradford and Alan DeNiro (who was kind enough to offer to buy me a shot for my birthday, though I turned it down) and probably a ton of other people whose names I’m shamefully forgetting.

I was complimented all con on how great I look, which was a wonderful salve for turning forty. :-)

Teresa Nielsen Hayden gave me perhaps my favorite compliment I had all con, though, saying how she had watched me keep my online cool under “intense provocation” and likening it to her favorite saying related to arguing: “Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I shall fear no evil, for I am the meanest son of a bitch in the Valley.” :-)

So you see, I just didn’t have time for panels. Maybe next ReaderCon will be different. :-)

45 Responses to “What I did at ReaderCon”  

  1. 1 dave_bara
  2. 2 loupnoir

    You look completely wonderful and so happy. What a great birthday party. Oh, and welcome to this side of forty. It’s all good!

  3. 3 penpusher

    Wow! You’re FORTY? You look incredible. Who would guess? You have some good jeans! ;o)

  4. 4 mrissa

    Why did no one tell me Peter Watts is cute? What do I keep you people around for?

  5. 5 deannahoak

    Thanks! I really did have a great time. I’ve loved my thirties, but hopefully my forties won’t be bad. :-)

  6. 6 deannahoak

    LOL! Thanks. :-)

  7. 7 deannahoak

    Don’t blame me! I didn’t know either! First time I’d met the guy…:-)

  8. 8 pnew8

    You look beautiful. That is only outdone by your personality and talent. *loves*

  9. 9 deannahoak

    Aww. *hugs* Thank you, Pam!!

  10. 10 bobcolby

    I’m pleased to hear how much you enjoyed yourself. We were very glad to have you!

    I do hope you can catch some of our programming next time. One of the benefits of bringing together such a great group of people is that you get some pretty neat conversations going, and not just in the bar! If nothing else, allow me to recommend the Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Competition (you’ve got to see this at least once).

    Anyway, it was very nice meeting you, see you next year!

  11. 11 ratmmjess

    Sounds like a fabulous time, Deanna–I’m sorry I missed it.

    And, of course, you look fetching in the photos. (No surprise there)

  12. 12 deannahoak

    Thank you, Bob! Maybe I will take in some panels next time.

    If you’ll send me your e-mail, I’ll send you a picture I have with you in it. :-)

  13. 13 deannahoak

    Yeah, it was a trek for me, but I’m glad I went.

    And thanks. :-)

  14. 14 safewrite

    You looked MAH-velous! and that sounded like the best birthday celebration ever.

  15. 15 dave_bara

    Wow! I never knew lurking on someone’s blog could be so rewarding! Great pics!

    Would you copy edit me? Please?

  16. 16 markbourne

    One of these cons, all of us with July 10 birthdays (this includes and several others) need to be in the same bar at the same time to clink glasses (the drinkin’ kind, not the wearin’ kind).

  17. 17 deannahoak

    That would be fun. :-) Happy birthday to you, too!

  18. 18 deannahoak

    Thanks. :-) It was great!

  19. 19 deannahoak

    Thanks. :-)

  20. 20 digitalred93

    Happy Birthday!

  21. 21 starbucking

    Happy Birthday! You looked great in thoe pics. I just turned 40 myself. I feel old though.

  22. 22 the_red_shoes

    ((checks out pictures)) Wow, va-VOOM. You do NOT look forty. Happy birthday! I hope when I turn 40, I look like that!

  23. 23 neutronjockey

    It’s about time someone started bringin’ the rock ‘n roll to these cons ;).

  24. 24 rosefox

    I listened to Tom Disch go on (and on and on ;-)) about how utterly gorgeous is, and how much she favors her father.

    Oh goodness, did he really? *blush*

    It was lovely to meet you. I hope you do at least make it to the bad prose competition next year; I haven’t laughed that hard in a long, long time.

  25. 25 readwrite

    Thanks, Deanna. It was great to finally meet you.

    And believe me, folks, she’s even more babealicious than these photos…

  26. 26 ckd

    Sounds like a plan to me[*]!

    [*] Not ‘s 4th birthday present

  27. 27 ckd

    As someone, probably , said: “you should have five guys with mops following you around to wipe up the drool”. (My response was “and who’s going to mop up their drool?”, though esprit d’escalier later gave me “where are we going to get five blind gay eunuchs on such short notice?”)

  28. 28 deannahoak

    LOL! I remember that comment!

    Are you one of the ones whose name I forgot? I’ll be terribly embarrassed….

  29. 29 deannahoak

    Thanks, Robert. It was great to meet you, too. :-)

  30. 30 deannahoak

    Oh, he most certainly did. Everyone in the room agreed, too. :-)

    I should have tried for the prose competition, I suppose. Maybe next year. :-)

  31. 31 deannahoak

    Thank you!

  32. 32 deannahoak

    Heh. Oh, I think plenty of folks do. :-)

  33. 33 deannahoak

    Thank you. :-) I am glad to have made it here with my figure intact.

  34. 34 deannahoak

    Thank you!

    I really don’t know how I’ll like my forties. I felt like my thirties were awesome; I’d love to feel better than that about my fourth decade, but I’m skeptical at this point. :-)

  35. 35 msevilwoman

    Sooooo nice to see that big smile on your face!!!! See, I told ya turning forty this year wasn’t a bad thing!

    Happy Birthday, and I hope to see you before I leave.

  36. 36 the_red_shoes

    You and make midlife look goooooood.

  37. 37 ckd

    Well, since I just caught you in passing while I was hanging out in the bar with and company, I wouldn’t have expected you to remember my name. So no problem.

    But I think we need to have a Super Duper Combined Birthday Extravaganza (you, me, Hartwell, etc) at next year’s Readercon, especially if we can get there to join us.

  38. 38 deannahoak

    But now I’m dying to know who you are! :-) You’ll have to e-mail me and tell…

  39. 39 deannahoak

    I hope to see you, too! We’ll try!

  40. 40 ianrandalstrock

    It was great to have a chance to hang out with you! Thanks for inviting me to your birthday party.

    Now I have to go find Ernest’s picture of us (I was feeling a bit left out up there, but then remembered I was late to the party ).

  41. 41 deannahoak

    It was nice to hang out with you, too!

    Yeah, Ern has pics of me in every outfit I wore, I think. :-) I’m anxious to see how they turned out.

  42. 42 bosstweed

    Hi there — Do you mind if I friend you? I wandered over via ‘s compliments and enjoyed reading your Copyediting Thoughts. I’m a f/sf/h reader and aspiring writer, and I’d never read anything from a copyeditor’s perspective before. V. interesting stuff.

  43. 43 deannahoak

    I never mind folks friending me. Welcome!

  44. 44 anonymous

    and many more :-)

  1. 1 Hotties and feminism at Deanna Hoak


Deanna I'm a freelance copyeditor specializing in fantasy and science fiction. SF/F novels I have copyedited have been finalists for (and have sometimes won) the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke, Endeavour, Golden Spur, John W. Campbell Memorial, Quill, Locus, Philip K. Dick, British Science Fiction, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy awards. I am the only copyeditor ever short-listed for a World Fantasy Award.

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