Note: This is a preliminary schedule. Times and participants are subject to change!
What ever happened to the neat gadgets of old-time SF? Weren't we supposed to have personal flying cars by now? Where are the atomic rockets (not to mention the atomic automobiles)? Personal jet packs? Dinner-in-a-pill? Helicopter flivvers? Visi-phones? Blasters? Are we doomed to a dull, mundane future?
Michael A. Burstein Jeffrey A. Carver Hal Clement William Tenn Peter Weston (m)
Mythology shouldn't be the exclusive province of fantasy -- after all, SF, even hard SF, can use mythological themes and achieve the same feelings as great mythology does. How are mythological themes integrated into honest-to-God hard SF? Who has done it particularly well? (And when it is done, does the result feel more like fantasy or SF?)
Barbara Chepaitis Leigh Grossman (m) Rosemary Kirstein Josepha Sherman
Bob Eggleton Mark Keller Priscilla Olson Robert J. Sawyer (m)
The 1800s were the century of Steam and Iron. The 1900s were the century of Electricity and Oil. We tend to think in terms of hardware and power when we think of a defining technology, because historically that's what's changed peoples' lives. What will the 21st century be? The century of the computer? Probably. But is the computer possibly already an old technology with no more tan 10-15 years of Moore's Law left in it? A strong argument can be made that the 21st century will actually be the century of bio-tech, where disease is conquered and we have the ability -- as always, for good or for evil -- to manipulate and control life on any scale desired.
Maggie Flinn (m) Sharon Lee Paul Levinson Shariann Lewitt
What are the first SF stories we read? Why did we love them so? What made us ask for more? Talk about children's SF of today and of when we were growing up: the Winston juveniles, Andre Norton and Avalon's books.
Bruce Coville Amy Goldschlager Jane Yolen Ann Tonsor Zeddies (m)
Are Japanese-inspired film and comix the next wave for SF fans? Or are they killing us and taking our place?
Christine Carpenito Alice N. S. Lewis
Keith R. A. DeCandido
Michael A. Burstein (m) Jack Cohen Juanita Coulson George R R. Martin Charles Vess
In 1982, a 6-pound space rock wrecked a dining room in Weathersfield, Connecticut. Should _you_ order impact-resistant placemats? And which is more likely to come first, another Chicxulub-size species killer or _Last Dangerous Visions_? How real is the asteroid impact threat, or is planetary defense just another scheme by the folks with itchy nuclear trigger fingers to fire a few pot shots?
Jeff Hecht Mark L. Olson
Lois H. Mangan
Lisa A. Barnett Melissa Scott
What's it about words and language and SF? The field has always had a fascination with language and communication: communication with the truly alien, communication with animals, mind-to-mind communication among people, and with the constraints communication places on behavior. And one of the greatest works in the field, The Lord of the Rings, was essentially inspired by linguistics. Why? What's the fascination? What are some of the other great stories based on linguistics? Why would an SF magazine like Astounding champion Korzybski? (And who was he and what did he propose, anyway?)
Judith Berman Debra Doyle Geary Gravel Mark Mandel (m) Lawrence M. Schoen
The year 2000 did not shower Hollywood with glory, and the genre offerings were some of the worst in a long time. An appealingly offbeat year in genre films, or just off? Join our panel in picking through the rubble for what was worth seeing and what might have eluded your attention. (But how could a year which produced Chicken Run and George Lucas in Love be all bad?)
MaryAnn Johanson Daniel Kimmel (m) Mark R. Leeper Steven Sawicki
Join us for open filking. At 11 pm we add Dover as a second room. Sing 'til dawn!
Stanley Kubrick's and Arthur C. Clarke's magical year finally arrived and the movie got it all wrong -- or did it? Why a '60s view of the dawn of the 21st century still has meaning today.
David G. Hartwell Daniel Kimmel Allen Steele (m)
George R R. Martin
Mark Mandel Mark L. Olson (m) Priscilla Olson
Jack Cohen Peter Weston
A look at the once wildly popular writer of _On The Beach_ and other true spec fic hits. Why he shouldn't be just your father's favorite author.
Robert Devney (m) John R. Douglas Janice Gelb
Gestation: From idea source through background development.
Daniel P. Dern MaryAnn Johanson Sharon Lee Steve Miller
Ann Tonsor Zeddies
There is a pretty strong case to be made that over the past 20 or so years there has been a long-term trend towards fantasy and away from SF. Why is this? Is this a general phenomenon or is it limited to some segments of the market? Does it reflect changing demographics of the SF readership? Is it a permanent change in the balance? What caused it, anyway? Has this fed back on more traditional SF to influence it in any way? Is the trend over or will fantasy continue to increase its share of the overall genre? Has all this new fantasy attracted new readers?
Ellen Asher Kathryn Cramer (m) Rosemary Kirstein Melissa Scott Susan Shwartz
"The future is not only stranger than you think, it's stranger than you *can* think." The quote may not be exactly what Haldane said, but it's accurate enough. Arguably, future shock -- the social and personal disruption caused by a world in which change always seems to accelerate, will be the great social problem of the 21st century. Does SF provide an inoculation against future shock? Can the ideas of SF -- wrong in every detail, but somehow right in a larger, more important, sense -- help us to cope and adjust? Is this the social role of new-future SF?
Michael A. Burstein Priscilla Olson (m) Tamora Pierce Robert J. Sawyer
Sfnal anthropologists report on the strange customs and behavior of Mundanes.
Mark R. Leeper
Charles Lang Wendy Snow-Lang
Good historical fiction can combine the twin joys of a good story and interesting more-or-less real history. Who has done it well? What do you look for in good historical fiction? How does historical fantasy stack up against historical non-SF fiction?
Juanita Coulson Debra Doyle (m) Madeleine E. Robins Jane Yolen
Charles Vess takes an in-depth look at 5-10 fantasy/mythic artists, both contemporary and historical, that he thinks are important to know about and explains why.
Kathryn Cramer David G. Hartwell
Bruce Coville William Keith Susan Shwartz
James Patrick Kelly
One of the political ramifications of fantasy: why would a writer unconsciously (or consciously!) create a world with unpleasant class politics, a world with a caste structure where position is based on genetic heritage only and social mobility is highly restricted? Why would someone living in a democratic republic write so glowingly of kings?
James D. Macdonald (m) George R R. Martin Tamora Pierce Katya Reimann Melissa Scott
We take a look at the developments in Astronomy and Physics in the Year 2000.
Jeff Hecht Mark L. Olson
Everyone has heard about the Thor Power Tools decision and how it made the SF midlist a wilderness filled with wolves and windswept, bare ground and little else. But did it? What's the reality? SF is in a long-term decline and the publishers can no longer make money on anything but best-sellers. True? The panel talks about their industry and the stories we tell about it. They debunk *some* of them. Come and find out which!
Ellen Asher Ginjer Buchanan Patrick Nielsen Hayden (m) Charles Ryan
SF art has become more and more a part of our culture, but SF art prices still aren't high compared with other kinds. Is fantasy and SF art collectable now? Has it the potential to be collectable in the future? Is there any market for out outside genre collectors? What existing SF art is the most collectable right now? Can SF remain as a genre with genre art and become collectable? Where might we be in a century? (Is there a future Van Gogh in the Boskone art show?)
Let's construct a living planet which is not Earth. Start with the planet and take it through to interesting living creatures. How does the planet's physical evolution feed back into biological evolution? Is there any feedback from biology to geology?
Hal Clement Jack Cohen William Keith (m)
Jeffrey A. Carver Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Glen Cook David G. Hartwell Don Sakers
A candid discussion of ideas used and overused in fantasy and SF. What are some of the worst ideas which are still being used? (The panel *may* get into a discussion of the really old chestnuts that went out-of-date forty years ago!) What are some of the hot new ideas? Are some of the classic ideas still fresh?
Michael A. Burstein Keith R. A. DeCandido (m) Leigh Grossman Lawrence M. Schoen
A look at the stories and writers that influenced (and continued to influence) a diverse group of writers.
Rosemary Kirstein Sharon Lee Steven Sawicki William Tenn (m) Shane Tourtellotte
Thesis: Alternate history has grown over the past twenty years from one of the genre's exotic variants to a major category (as ubiquitous in science fiction as cats are in fantasy) its morally objectionable nature has become unmistakable. Alternate history takes the history of violent conflict -- that inexpungeable mural of human misery -- and plays games with it. It's hardly accidental that "alternate history" is concerned almost exclusively with replaying the outcomes of wars, usually the coffee-table book favorites. Devotees claim they are engaging in "thought experiments," but really, alternate-history novels about the victory of the Third Reich are no more serious-- and no less offensive in their appeal -- than thrillers about secret plans for the Fourth Reich.
Gregory Feeley (m) Daniel Hatch Evelyn C. Leeper Timothy E. Liebe
We are currently preparing "Dies Ille, Dies Lunae" (as arranged by Ed Stauff), "The Green Hills of Earth" (as arranged by Mark Bernstein and Ed Stauff), "The Cat Boys Song" (words by Jacob Sommer, ttto "The Wren Boys Song," arrangement by chorus), and "The Star Wars Round" (words by Joe Kesselman, ttto "Alleluia Round").
Absent Friends: A. E. van Vogt, L. Sprague De Camp, and Gordon R. Dickson The field has lost some major figures since last we met. Join the panelists in celebrating the works and lives of three who helped to shape our dreams.
Ellen Asher Ginjer Buchanan (m) Glen Cook Anthony R. Lewis
L. Frank Baum's sanitized, all-too-American world is infinitely less compelling than C.S. Lewis' dangerous imaginings. Just because the readers are little doesn't mean the stories have to be small.
Tamora Pierce Josepha Sherman David A. Smith (m) Jane Yolen
Lisa A. Barnett Darrell Schweitzer Melissa Scott
Barbara Chepaitis Steven Sawicki Allen Steele
Debra Doyle James D. Macdonald
In the last twenty years most of the new hard SF writers have come from the UK and Australia: Stephen Baxter, Greg Egan, Ken MacLeod and a half-dozen others. Why have those two islands with only 25% of the SF readers produce more than a majority of the new hard SF writers? Is it something in the water? Local taste? Their markets?
Jack Cohen Paul Kincaid Jim Mann (m) Patrick Nielsen Hayden
"The last science fiction writer in the world sat in a room. The door was locked." Is the SF short short a trifling joke, an overstyled excess of scarcity, or the purest apotheosis of our literature of ideas?
James Patrick Kelly (m) Paul Levinson Ian Randal Strock Shane Tourtellotte
Does it have to be painted? SF and Fantasy art has always had a stigma against it, when it is not painted. When it's "just a drawing" it seems as if to some, it isn't "legitimate". Is a pencil drawing any less powerful than a painting? Because a pencil or ink drawing is often black and white, why is some don't see it as the same value as a "painting"? Do watercolors also suffer from not being considered a "real painting"? Talk about the joy of sheer drawing with charcoal, etc...
Bob Eggleton (m) Charles Vess
Bob Eggleton Craig Shaw Gardner Charles Lang Katya Reimann
Daniel P. Dern
Some of the greatest fantasy and SF is involved in some way -- inspiration, basic plot element, or incidental decoration -- with music.
Juanita Coulson Shariann Lewitt Karen Michalson (m) Charles Vess
A 2-hour presentation on a George R. R. Martin TV series that got as far as the pilot, but never made it to TV.
George R R. Martin
Keith R. A. DeCandido Thomas A. Easton Paul Levinson
Geary Gravel Rosemary Kirstein Ann Tonsor Zeddies
The relationship between science and present-day American society is close but like any close relationship sometimes has its rocky parts. How does science fiction -- the only part of our popular culture which ties science to the arts -- fit into this? Has SF contributed to a stronger and more realistic public understanding of science, has it hurt, or is it essentially irrelevant? How does SF treat the relationship between science and faith? Fundamentalism has been a deep current in American society for much longer than SF has been around. Does SF contribute to mutual understanding? Or does SF simply dismiss fundamentalism as kookery unworthy of serious consideration?
Judith Berman Jeffrey A. Carver (m) Esther Friesner James D. Macdonald
Let's stop talking about the details of how e-books will evolve over the next few years or how electronic rights will be apportioned under existing contracts. Instead, let's focus on a dozen years from now when e-book technology has matured. Imagine the e-book of 2013: more compact than a paperback, rugged, light, capable of holding 1000 novels as well as communicating wirelessly at high speed with the Internet. Text (in full color) is as clear in full sunlight as high-quality laser printing is today. It's easy to use with a simple, intuitive interface. *Then what?* Given that e-book technology is that good, what happens? What happens to publishing? Do publishers still have a role? Does anyone still produce printed books? What happens to writing? Is it easier or harder to make a living as a writer? To magazines? Does this help or hurt readers? (Note: at Boskone 51 this discussion will be reviewed and graded!)
John R. Douglas Nancy C. Hanger (m) Patrick Nielsen Hayden Charles Ryan Robert J. Sawyer
Illustration is important to all of SF, but for children's fantasy and SF it may arguably be the heart of the genre. Writers and artists of children's SF talk about their craft and their interactions.
Bruce Coville Katherine Coville Ruth Sanderson (m) Jane Yolen
Like SF, horror has been partially absorbed into the popular culture. (But unlike SF, horror has its own holiday!) Let's talk about horror's penetration outside the genre. Is it essentially a consequence of Stephen King's vast popularity? Is pop horror at all like hard-core horror, but watered down, or is it a different beast entirely?
Barbara Chepaitis Don D'Ammassa Craig Shaw Gardner Charles Lang Jeff Paris (m)
Hal Clement Josepha Sherman Susan Shwartz
Lisa A. Barnett Shariann Lewitt Melissa Scott Jerry Weist
Madeleine E. Robins
H. G. Wells says, "I write as straight as I can, just as I walk as straight as I can, because that is the best way to get there." Marshall McLuhan says, "Clear prose indicates the absence of thought." Robert Frost says, "All the fun's in how you say a thing." With at least occasional reference to living science fiction, fantasy, or horror writers, discuss.
Debra Doyle Greer Gilman Nancy C. Hanger (m) Alex Irvine Teresa Nielsen Hayden
"Begin at the beginning, and go on til you come to the end: then stop," advises the King of Wonderland. Easy for _him_ to say. But our panelists must spell out the alpha and omega here. Do you begin with Character? Scenery? Maxim? Action? Should you essay the Ending Enigmatic? Tragic? Cosmic? Comic? On which of these do writers work harder? And which do readers remember?
Geary Gravel David G. Hartwell (m) Daniel Hatch Ann Tonsor Zeddies
The Klingon Hamlet is a marvelous book, giving the text -- in Klingon -- of the original Hamlet along with an excellent scholarly afterword explaining how the peoples of the Federation came to believe the myth that Hamlet was originally written by an ancient English playwright. This is a tour-de-force! The Klingon language Institute is a non-profit organization devoted to language and focused on creating a true Klingon language -- and rounding out the Klingon culture that must go with it.
Mark Mandel Lawrence M. Schoen
James D. Macdonald
It's true for James Bond. But is a really rancid rotter a needful thing for a terrific SF story? Our panelists list some foes they love to hate, but also debate the very need for such scourges of the spaceways. If a story is about good vs. evil, can it survive without a great villain? Must the villain be on-stage or shrouded in mystery? (Which is easier to write?)
Lisa A. Barnett Greer Gilman Alex Irvine James Patrick Kelly George R R. Martin
Barbara Chepaitis Esther Friesner Jane Yolen
Keith R. A. DeCandido Jeff Hecht Robert J. Sawyer
Paul Kincaid Teresa Nielsen Hayden (m) Erik Olson Peter Weston
Our companion panel to the best of the media year ("Unbreakable Chicken") is this review of the worst. Why so much _bad_ media SF gets made. Is there any hope for the future? Are there any guilty pleasures to be discovered?
Michael A. Burstein Robert Devney (m) Daniel Kimmel
Kathryn Cramer Maggie Flinn (m) Alice N. S. Lewis
Jim Mann Geri Sullivan Mary Tabasko William Tenn (m)
SF critics exist to better the field, primarily by helping readers decide what to buy but also by helping writers learn to do their job better. But it's always tough to be on the receiving end of criticism, and sometimes -- perhaps most of the time -- a writer whose work has received a negative review will feel hurt or attacked. As a reviewer, how do you deal with the necessity of writing an honest review while avoiding inflicting unnecessary pain? And what sort of pain *is* unnecessary? Is it ever justified to write a killer review? How do you deal with an overly-sensitive writer, or a writer who is convinced that all criticism is meant personally? (Anthony Burgess said, "A bad review by a man I admire hurts terribly.")
Kathryn Cramer Don D'Ammassa Thomas A. Easton (m) Gregory Feeley Darrell Schweitzer
Jack Cohen Tamora Pierce Allen Steele
Nancy C. Hanger Madeleine E. Robins Jane Yolen
Sharon Lee Steve Miller
A 15-20 minute slide show followed by Rick Berry asking Charles about his work.
Rick Berry Charles Vess
Military SF doesn't have to be just for the militarists anymore! Military SF has old and honorable roots in the field, but it's often characterized as nothing more than adolescent wish- fulfillment -- or worse. Can SF which is centered on a military life or an essentially military plot be worthwhile for the average SF fan?
William Keith Shariann Lewitt Timothy E. Liebe (m) Susan Shwartz
What is the fascination with animation? Why do more adults hunger for well done Anime, and how many will admit to watching the ever dwindling entries into Saturday morning. Who is the Cartoon Network really for? What are the advantages and disadvantages to live action? Where do you draw the line between animation and special effects. Is it time to bring cartoons out of the closet?
Christine Carpenito (m) Alice N. S. Lewis
Robert J. Sawyer
Mark Mandel Frank Parker Edward L. Stauff Mary Ellen Wessels (m)
Lois H. Mangan
Keith R. A. DeCandido Esther Friesner Amy Goldschlager Lisa Leutheuser James D. Macdonald Teresa Nielsen Hayden Madeleine E. Robins Joseph Saul Josepha Sherman Walter Stutzman
Join us for open filking. At 10 pm we add Dover as a second room. Keep on singing!
Alex Irvine David A. Smith
A tour of the art show conducted by non-artist professionals. Jerry Weist is SF expert at Sotheby's, Susan Shwartz and Bruce Coville are well-known writers and Leigh Grossman is a editor. Get a different perspective on SF art.
Bruce Coville Susan Shwartz Jerry Weist (m)
Maggie Flinn Laurie Mann Tamora Pierce Madeleine E. Robins (m)
So we go to Mars and decide we want to plant a colony there and that Mars should be made more Earth-like. Give it an atmosphere, give it life, make it a home for people. We can probably do this if we decide we want to. But is this something we ought to do? If Mars (or some other planet) has primitive life, ought we to change it to the detriment of the native life? Even if it's lifeless, does a rocky, almost Moon-like Mars have a claim on us that we can't brush aside?
Thomas A. Easton Jim Mann Steve Miller Mark L. Olson (m) Allen Steele
Hal Clement Debra Doyle Paul Levinson James D. Macdonald
It's a martial arts showcase, a gorgeous romance, an Eastern _and_ a Western -- find out why some are calling _Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon_ the _Star Wars_ of fantasy films.
Claire Anderson Robert Devney (m) MaryAnn Johanson Mark R. Leeper
Keith R. A. DeCandido (m) Daniel P. Dern Alice N. S. Lewis Charles Vess
Paul Ciszek (m) Edward L. Stauff
How has Juanita Coulson's life as a fan -- Yandro, writing, filking -- left *any* time for "real life"?
Juanita Coulson Paul Kincaid Leah Zeldes Smith Edie Stern (m)
Master storytellers do a round robin story -- leaving "interesting" situations as they pass the story on.
Barbara Chepaitis Bruce Coville Josepha Sherman Jane Yolen
William Keith Steven Sawicki Robert J. Sawyer
George R R. Martin Tamora Pierce
Fantasy doesn't have to be sweetness and light, it can be dark without turning into gore-ridden horror. Who is writing dark fantasy today? Are there several traditions or does it all derive from Lovecraft? Are their motifs in dark fantasy as pervasive as the Quest is in high fantasy? Has dark fantasy gotten cliched? (Is a *Tough Guide to Dark Fantasy* needed?)
Kathryn Cramer Karen Michalson (m) Darrell Schweitzer
H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds is a great story, but it didn't come out of nothing -- there was a popular tradition of invasion stories at the time. Hear all about it from one of the most interesting and knowledgeable speaker's you're likely to meet.
Take the multiple layers of code in any mature program and multiply by the rapid pace of computer obsolescence. You'll see why Vernor Vinge hints the focus for future infogeeks will be primarily archaeological. (Got 5 +-inch "floppies" anywhere in your house? Uh huh. Will they play in your new PC? QED.) Let's look ahead only, say, 99 years and try to imagine the chaos ...
Michael Benveniste Dick Smith
Juanita Coulson (m) J. Spencer Love Crystal Paul Mary Ellen Wessels
See why Jack Cohen is one of the two speakers at British Eastercons whose speeches will empty out the bar.
George R R. Martin
Mark Keller Evelyn C. Leeper Darrell Schweitzer Joe Siclari (m)
"Is Retro In?" The idea is that is what was old, now the cool "in" thing. Are some of us so disillusioned by the fact SF seems to be part of everyday life-mainstream-that we long for the 40's and the way things once were when it was a geek's paradise? A good reason why Bonestell's work seems to have an indelible quality: it's as good now as it was then. Is this the case with writing, art, etc?
Ginjer Buchanan Keith R. A. DeCandido Bob Eggleton Paul Levinson Steve Miller (m)
Back, deep into the mists of history, there has always been a sneaking suspicion that evil is more exciting, more *fun* than good. But is it? The (fortunately) few times most of us get near a truly bad person, they *don't* seems to be very joyful or happy -- they seem terribly unhappy and frequently pretty dull. C. S. Lewis called this the banality of evil. In reality, evil is uncreative, repetitious, and boring. Hell is not fiery-red, it's gray and dismal. So why do writers (from Milton on down!) make evil seem interesting? Why do we respond to that image so much more readily than to a more realistic depiction of evil? Is it just that it's easier to write an exciting story if the hero's opposition is interesting? Who has done a good job in fantasy or SF of showing realistic heroes combating realistic evil?
James D. Macdonald Teresa Nielsen Hayden (m)
Silverlock by John Myers Myers is one of those fantasy classics that happen only once and are never repeated and never copied. Fred Lerner and Bruce Pelz talk about the book, the man and about the hundreds of references to other stories that Myers used.
Frederick Andrew Lerner Bruce E. Pelz
David G. Hartwell (m) George R R. Martin Katya Reimann
Bruce Coville Debra Doyle James D. Macdonald
Anthony R. Lewis
Flying cars are all well and good, but what's available right now or in the next year or so? The panel talks about the really neat stuff that you can go off and buy for yourself.
Michael Benveniste Jeff del Papa Dick Smith Edie Stern (m)
We'll talk about these and other genre stories that have made the jump. But it's more than bickering who's the better Baron, Kenneth McMillan or Ian McNeice. It's the mixed feelings of hope and dread we bring to the whole prospect when a cherished read gets lensed. Can even the most clued-in flickmeister presume to match the movies in our mind?
MaryAnn Johanson Jim Mann (m) Steven Sawicki
Don D'Ammassa John R. Douglas Patrick Nielsen Hayden Don Sakers (m)
They say you can't take it with you. Assuming that's true what *should* fans do with all their stuff? How do you pass your collection along to your heirs? How to make sure it isn't just tossed out? If there are no fans in the family, what can you do? Who will take a fannish collection and preserve it? (The traditional horror stories about collections destroyed by thoughtless heirs will be told!)
Rick Katze Frederick Andrew Lerner Bruce E. Pelz Don Sakers Joe Siclari (m)
Junkyard Wars is a British TV program in which two teams a let loose in a junkyard armed with tools and told to construct *something* -- a racing boat, a dirigible, a steam car -- in ten hours and then compete it against the other team. Last season, the first American team, made up of Boston-areas fans, competed and made it to the finals. Here's a two-hour presentation of their experiences including one episode.
Jeff del Papa Bill Yerazunis
Sharon Lee Steve Miller
The SF field has thousands of non-fiction books written about SF, its history, the writers, the art, the science behind it. This panel explores -- with examples -- the treasure trove of non- fiction books by, about, and for the SF reader. From _The Encyclopedia of Fantasy_ to _The Physics of Star Trek_, from _Spectrum 7_ and _The World Beyond the Hill_ and _Mars_, _All Our Yesterdays_ and _I Asimov_, our panelists give you ... just the facts, ma'am.
David G. Hartwell Mark L. Olson (m) Darrell Schweitzer
Esther Friesner Katya Reimann (m) Jane Yolen
Sign up for slots!
Suford Lewis Crystal Paul
Pam Fremon Priscilla Olson