As promised, here is my recording of the panel I moderated at Eastercon. The quality isn’t great, but you can actual hear almost all the comments, including most of the audience contributions, too. It’s well over an hour long, so settle down with popcorn and try to ignore the fact that I have one of the dullest voices in history.
We covered a lot of ground, and I think the lack of hard and fast conclusions is an important thing to note – reviewing is interpreted in a variety of different ways by both its readers and writers, and that (to me) says there is room for everyone to do it their way. The internet promises to connect readers to the material they want – and if that promise is kept, the genre as a whole (and maybe all literature) can only benefit.
Moderating a panel was a pretty nerve-racking experience, but I’ve had enough people tell me I did a decent job that I almost believe it myself. I also appeared as a panelist later in the weekend, but I’m not sure how well I acquitted myself that time. It was an interesting discussion, though – on the sf-nal dialectic between biotech and nanotech, using Peter Hamilton’s Adamist and Edenist characters as a jump-off point – and I really enjoyed doing it. I’ve got more than enough ego to be flattered by people thinking I have something to bring to a debate that I’m utterly unqualified to take part in! 🙂