Our local literary SF con is this weekend, at the exciting Burlington Marriott.
Readercon specializes in panels like "Hegelianism in Golden Age Space Opera" and "Adverbs: Threat or Menace?" It requires not just a willingness to bloviate and a couple of writing credits from the 80s, but some serious understanding of the field and its literary tropes, understanding I don't really have.
Maybe that's why I'm on only one panel, at 11 AM on Saturday, June 11: "Is Hard SF Just a Narrative Voice?", inspired by an essay by Paul Park.
But I think the fact that you can rate how badly you want to be on a panel, but can rate an unlimited number of panels as "A+, must be on panel or will die miserably" is the problem. If participants had been given, say, a limit of three A+ chits, I might have gotten another choice or two. I did my best to rate my level of interest honestly. Of course, you might say (my readers tending to inappropriate levels of both perception and expressiveness) that if I didn't really want to be on a panel I shouldn't whine about not getting on it. And you would be right--my readers tend also tend to be annoyingly challenging to the author.
Still, if they don't minimize panel choice inflation, I'll reconsider my tactics next year. But if you're in the Boston area this weekend, come and attend the convention. It's great fun, and an excellent place to spot those writers who say "I don't just write stories about elves and spaceships, I'm also an intellectual heavyweight". I'm lucky it's around here. It's hard to bike to from my house, because of a busy stretch of Route 3, but certainly doable.