Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Finishing off the con report...

Did two more panels at Readercon this morning, before going to the event:

The first was the reason I got up this morning: a panel on Content Management for Narrative. This is what Kathryn Cramer mentioned yesterday, a software package called Tinderbox, which Sarah Smith described as the tool she uses to write novels, and Kathryn is using as a way to understand the narrative threads that underlie reality.

Tinderbox turns out to be remarkably like my wiki work -- the basic concepts in it map almost 1-to-1 to stuff in ProWiki, although the UI is vastly more polished. On the one hand, that's a really neat validation of my ideas. OTOH, it's slightly depressing to see that there's already a commercial package that does so much of what I intend to do with Quirki. Frankly, if Tinderbox was an online system that ran on websites, I might just throw in the towel. But I think there's still a fair amount of value in the Quirki design over and above what's in Tinderbox, so I'll probably continue to move forward with it and see where it takes me.

While I was there, I dropped in on the Interstitial Arts panel. The Interstitial Arts Foundation turns out to be a group run by folks like Delia Sherman and Ellen Kushner, who are trying to encourage artforms that blur genre and medium lines -- stuff that doesn't fall into neat categories. By the nature of the project, it's pretty freewheeling, and while the panel discussion mostly focused on print literature (since that is the main art of most of the panelists), the audience discussion opened way up.

I talked up LARP in general and IL in specific a bit, since it occured to me that Intercon takes entirely for granted a degree of interstitiality that is really pretty unusual. It's very normal for our games to mix genres around, and it's not terribly rare to see games like See Jane Run or Spin Cycle that are completely outside the normal conceptions of genre. That's almost an assumption at Intercon -- bog-standard genre games tend to not get folks nearly as excited there -- but the discussion drove home that this is not normal in pretty much any literary medium. So I gave them some contact information; we'll see if some useful interaction arises from that.

And that's it for Readercon for me this year. Now to grab some lunch, and on to the Flying Things Championships...
Tags: con

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