For the group reading, I'd been puzzling over what to read, and decided to bring several things, one of them "Detox." "Detox" is short, funny, and reads well, and for those reasons, I've read it a lot (all hail mroctober, for without him, I would never have written this story!). So after I decided "Place, Park, Scene, Dark" was too depressing, and remembered that "Mo'o and the Woman" was available online, I decided it would have to be "Detox" again. Except someone showed up who said she'd come this year because she'd enjoyed my reading last year. Guess what I'd read? So I ended up reading from the draft of "The Magnificent Threesome." I don't like reading from drafts, but I explained that it was a draft, and the opening part isn't too awfully rough, anyway. It went over pretty well, despite the lack of speculative elements. Beyond me speculating freely on the Old West.
I had four people for my solo reading, one of them the previous reader (many blessings be upon Mindy Klasky!), but one of them had been there the previous night and had already heard the story's opening. So I decided just to read the smutty part, which again was in pretty good shape despite being a draft. And lo, the funny parts elicited laughs, so I am pleased. (I was running out of time, and had to skip a little--I just said, "and there's a page of blowjob, and then--")
Later, one of the listeners said he'd been impressed by the pacing and the bits of characterization in there with the smut--"they didn't just go to it." Shocking, I know. He'd been nervous while listening about the pregnancy issue, which is a tricky one in historical erotica; some people are driven crazy if the issue isn't mentioned, and others feel thoughts of danger "spoil the fantasy." In this case, I'd avoided mentioning the subject, since it was a fairly goofy story anyway, and I told myself the woman was infertile and none of them had diseases. My listener had told himself she was probably infertile as well. I figure, if the story is bought, I will defer to the editor's wishes. It would not be at all out of character for one of them to have 19th century prophylactics on his person. [ahem] Since they're in the 19th century, they would still be reasonably effective.
The SFWA reception on Saturday night was nice--natlyn had a great outfit, and I wore at least my fancy shirt and jewelry, though kept my jeans. At one point, they lined up all the men in tuxes (and one in a kilt) against a wall and took their picture, then did the same for women in fancy dresses. I made robgates tell the Buckle Boy story again. Not everyone in the world has heard it yet!
Had some good food over the course of the con; despite the hotel problems, it's in a good location with lots of places to go, including a good Morrocan place (with a bellydancer who balanced a scimitar on her head!) and a Texican (Austin Grill) place we ended up visiting twice.
Terry Pratchett, Thud
Naomi Kritzer, Freedom's Sisters
John Scalzi, Old Man's War
Scott Lynch, The Lies of Loch Lamora