2016 Worldcon panel on the "State of Short Fiction"
Friday, August 19, 2016
3 PM, Room 3501B
Panelists: Dave Truesdale (M), Neil Clarke, Sheila Williams, Jonathan Strahan, Gordon Van Gelder
I had originally planned to post this unedited audio recording of the panel in conjunction with an article I wanted to have posted at Tangent Online the same day as the panel, and the text transcription of the audio. I now feel it is in the best interests of all parties to post the audio now, with the article and text transcription to follow as soon as I can get to it.
I had made notes for the article I wanted to have posted here, so brought them to the panel in their rough state, crossouts, arrows moving pieces around, written-in thoughts in pen, the usual rough draft of any document. I did not intend to use anywhere near all of them but knew from experience that having too much material is better than having too little. As it turned out, the only item I used directly from these notes was the quote from David Hartwell.
I would like to clear up one area near the very beginning of the panel, where it is difficult to discern what was being said. There are maybe one or two others that will be made clear from the text transcript, but I'll leave them for that (they do not impact in any way what you will hear here). You will hear a fan shouting (to be heard) something at Neil Clarke, accusing him of intolerance (exact wording in the audio). This was prompted by Neil turning his chair around in protest when I was speaking. There was a brief back and forth from Neil and the fan, where Neil shouted into his mic "I call bullshit!". You have to listen closely to catch that, it happens quickly, but it's there. I think it was at this point that I called for the audience to please hold their comments until the Q&A at the end, which they did. Also near the beginning you'll hear me say, after the door at the back opened and a fan walked in, "Oh, that's not Gordon." Gordon was a few minutes late and I was hoping it was him arriving. So now you'll know what that line was about. Other than these two items, I'll let the audio speak for itself.
The photo below was sent to me by someone I did not know and had never met. I was given permission to use it, or not, as I saw fit. I don't know his real name so can't provide photo credit, but I thank him for allowing me to use it. I had no plans for posting it anywhere at first, but thought that now would be as good a time as ever. And I'm not sure, but I think it--or another one like it from some other fan photographer--has been posted somewhere else anyway.
I will let the following audio speak for itself. You decide whether this warranted expulsion from a worldcon. I obviously don't think so, but am biased in this regard. I've heard much worse panels (far worse)--and moderators--in my 42 years of con going, but again I guess all I can say is You be the judge.
Play Time: 54:13