Note: This is the schedule that went into the pocket program. Nonetheless, some times and participants will change! Check Helmuth, Speaking for Boskone for updates.
Thanks to Gary McGath, the Program in iSilo for Palm.
Whose program is it, anyway?
We'll discuss, model, and generally dissect the questionable (and sometimes, outrageous) behaviors exhibited and weird information imparted by program participants at diverse conventions. We'll share stories, advice, and solutions for same.
(Note: whilst program participants certainly don't have to come to this, it wouldn't hurt to check it out, anyway!)
Andrew Adams, Jim Mann, Priscilla Olson (m), Edie Stern, Noel Wolfman
Walter H. Hunt
What's been keeping Emma and Will busy out there in the far west? What is it like living and working in LA(la?)-land? Learn about the trials and tribulations faced since we saw them out here years ago....
Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Marv Wolfman (m)
What makes one novel a successful novel and another a block-buster best seller? Is it the buzz the latter generates? What makes one book have buzz and another not? Can you cite examples? What kinds of buzz are there -- and what is most effective at promoting a book? What can a publisher do to generate or enhance the buzz for a particular book? To what extent is fandom important to building buzz?
Ellen Asher, Nancy C. Hanger, Eleanor Lang (m), Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Don Sakers
What roles have women played in war, and how have these been portrayed in fiction? How are these (the actuality and the fiction?) changing (if they are?)? Does a woman have to fight to be a "warrior?" Other strong women in the fictional field will be discussed, as well as the "wars" in which they''ve been engaged.
Barbara Chepaitis, Ernest Lilley (m), E. J. McClure, Tamora Pierce, Katya Reimann
A continuation of the Millennium Philcon program item, about the background and continued growth of separate fandoms that seem to be splitting the fannish community. What's going on, why, what will the outcome be? (And, if the situation is dire, how can it be remedied?....if it should be?)
Mark Mandel, Priscilla Olson (m), Don Sakers, Geri Sullivan
The world has changed since Tolkien's day -- how much of that is
due to J. R. R. Tolkien himself? When the Lord of the Rings came
out it was adopted not just by the counter-culture, but by large
numbers of the sorts of people who drove the computer revolutions
of the last thirty years -- at one time LotR characters' names
were among the most popular computer names on the net.
Why does LotR appeal to geeks? -- it certainly can't be Tolkien's use of hard science in his novel! What have been the consequences of this appeal? How has Tolkien changed the world?
Ginjer Buchanan, Brenda W. Clough, Kathryn Cramer, Mary Kay Kare (m), Tom Whitmore
"Let's put on a show at the con!"
What's involved in doing it? What have been the great successes (or flops) of the past?
Anthony R. Lewis, Gary D. McGath, Frank Parker, A. Joseph Ross
When doing SF, bigger is often better!
(But, is it....?) Doorstop novels. Five-book "trilogies." Spin-off series. When will it end?
But....why are they so appealing - to writers and readers?
Jeffrey A. Carver, Rosemary Kirstein, James D. Macdonald, Steve Miller (m)
(After all....they met at Boskone!)
Friends, fans, and partycrashers -- come help them plight their, well, their plight! There may be a Mummer's Play (like Christmas Revels, but with more sex), and there will be cake.
Ernest Lilley, E. J. McClure
Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Is the future still there? (If not, where has it gone?)
Is the near future always so depressing?
Are most futures just tarted-up copied of the present? Can we actually imaging a new future, or do Vingean singularities get in the way?
(It has been pointed out that many modern British writers are, in fact, writing "new" futures. Could this explain their success?) Did 9/11 change the ways people will look at (or write about) the future?
Andrew Adams, Judith Berman, David G. Hartwell, Jim Mann (m), Allen Steele
It has been suggested that the Japanese have a different style of storytelling, difficult for those unfamiliar with it. So,perhaps it's time to do a panel of this. You'll learn how to view everything from "Akira" to "Sailor Moon" to "Princess Mononoke" to.....well, to whatever the cool new stuff no one over 30 (in this country, anyway?) has seen yet..... And for extra credit, you may even learn why cute anime characters are always drawn with extra big eyes.
Christine Carpenito, Alice N. S. Lewis
by Dr. Whom, Consulting Linguist, Grammarian, Orthoepist, and Philological Busybody......a.k.a. Mark Mandel
Emma Bull, Pam Fremon, Neil Gaiman, Lorraine Garland, Rusty Hevelin, Stephen Hickman, Robert Sheckley, Will Shetterly, Marv Wolfman
Listening to some writers, you'd think that their editors had committed heinous crimes involving their children. Well, isn't this the truth? Well...what does an editor (have to?) do that bothers authors so much? Panellists will share experiences and discuss authors who demand too much (and tell about the times they really did wish they could just pick up that axe...)
Roger MacBride Allen, John R. Douglas, Laura Anne Gilman (m), Leigh Grossman, Cecilia Tan
Olaf Stapledon won the new "Rediscovery" award this year. Did he
What other great, neglected, classical writers deserve recognition? (Why aren't they getting it?)
What is lost that should be found again?
Gregory Feeley, David G. Hartwell (m), Alex Irvine, Robert I. Katz, Darrell Schweitzer
Thomas Atkinson, Don Sakers
Sing your heart out. (Adds Dover as a second room at 11:00 pm.)
Open to all! Schmooze, party, and enjoy a night with the best art in the field.
Go beyond men in tights (OK, OK, discuss the ones you really love first, but tell us why!), and explore the comic books that you really loved/love. Share ideas about favorites, and explore the amazing world that alternate artists and writers have developed when no one was looking.
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Daniel P. Dern, Pam Fremon, Will Shetterly, Teresa Nielsen Hayden (m)
Barbara Chepaitis, Bruce Coville, Jane Yolen
Mark Mandel, Mark L. Olson, Priscilla Olson
Poul Anderson once noted that it's a very small step from a society which considered it acceptable to manipulate life on any scale it desired to one which saw nothing wrong with destroying life on any scale it found convenient. The bio-tech revolution now underway will soon make it possible for us to manipulate life -- including human life -- to any degree that we wish to. Where will that lead us? What new moral and ethical issues will we face in the next five years? In the next twenty years? How does SF deal with those issues? Does it present the whole range we're likely to face? Does it present both the benefits and the pitfalls fairly? Do you see any areas which have as yet been unexamined?
Robert I. Katz (m), Paul Levinson, Shariann Lewitt, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Who would win a fight between....?
Since 1995, Grudge Match (tm) has been answering that question on its popular website. Now they're bringing their mayhem and warped humor to you, with a science fiction twist (of course). They set the stage, the Expert Panelists back their favorites -- but YOU choose the winners! It's an hour of fun that will leave you wanting more.
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Bob Eggleton, Esther Friesner, Shane Tourtellotte (m)
Wherein the audience throws ideas at our quick-draw experts, and see what they can produce.
Bill Neville, Omar Rayyan
British naval history, with costume, props and story. An event for all ages.
Some kids really love being scared to death. What purposes does
that serve? What books would you recommend to a younger reader
that are scary-but-good reading? Are there inappropriate ways of
frightening your juvenile/YA audience?
What spooky books would you recommend, and why?
Bruce Coville, Kathryn Cramer (m), Christopher Golden, Eleanor Lang, Tamora Pierce
Madeleine E. Robins
Once upon a time (...in a galaxy far far away.....) So, how important is a good opening? What does it need to pull the reader into the story? How can it cast light upon mood, setting, character, tone......and still work as a hook for the reader? Discuss favorite openings (whether you wrote them or not), and tell why they work so well.
Michael F. Flynn (m), Robert I. Katz, James Patrick Kelly, Allen Steele
When does collecting become hoarding? (Is it fair to call unbridled, obssesive collecting hoarding, or should some other term be used?) How does a collecter differ from a hoarder? (How about a 12-step program for hoarders?) Share some good stories about collections gone wild...
Glen Cook, Greg Ketter, Tom Whitmore (m), Noel Wolfman
Hal Clement, Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald, Robert Sheckley
Brenda W. Clough
The definitive item, by those who know. Not mandatory -- but go anyway!
Gay Haldeman, Rusty Hevelin
Space Opera, n., A usually-perjorative term for a story set in
space which could just as well have been set in 17th Century
Germany or Dodge City.
Since space opera is so derivative and has no real sfnal elements, why is it still popular? It has been suggested that all many readers are looking for is a good story that has rocket ships and blasters. Is this these reasonable? Does it account for space opera's popularity? Cite examples of space opera which contradict this.
Lately, with bravissimo librettists from Iain M. Banks and David Hamilton to Vernor Vinge and Alistair Reynolds, space opera is racking up renewed raves. Why? What's changed in this juicy little subgenre over the years?
Debra Doyle, David G. Hartwell, Daniel Hatch (m), Sharon Lee
A lot of people seem unduly annoyed at Harry Potter. Many people
were furious that it won the Hugo award this year.
Why are people so pissed?
Is this an issue of high art vs. pop culture? SF fans who are allergic to fantasy? A general distrust of children's literature? What are your feelings about this? Do you think it deserved the award? Were you pleased with the movie, or annoyed by it (after all, wasn't it just too close to the book....)? Examine the phenomenon.
Daniel Kimmel, Ernest Lilley (m), Tamora Pierce, Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Science fiction and mysteries share a lot of characteristics, and
sometimes the boundaries blur. Mysteries are often staged in
skiffy settings, and many sf stories are, in fact, about solving
some mystery. How do you tell what genre is "really" being
represented? (and except for people who shelve books, does it
matter?) What do mysteries share with sf, and where do they
Additionally, science fiction and mysteries share many readers and writers. Why is this?
Paul Levinson, Wen Spencer, Tom Sweeney, Cecilia Tan (m)
What characters can't we get out of our heads? Why? Do these memorable types share any characteristics? From all sf/fantasy/horror fiction, who are the characters that stick? Do writers (consciously or not) model their own most unforgettable characters after them?
Barbara Chepaitis, Esther Friesner, James D. Macdonald (m), Katya Reimann, Jane Yolen
Michael A. Burstein, E. J. McClure, Madeleine E. Robins
Mark R. Leeper
Limited to 10 (please sign up at Information)
A continuation of the program item at the Millennium Philcon.
In recent years, some pros view themselves as separate from the
fannish community, and some fans are happy to have it that way.
It used to be different. What happened? Is it getting worse?
(Yes - but why?)
How can this (damaging...OK, argue it if you want!) trend be reversed?
Gay Haldeman, Eleanor Lang, Steve Miller, Priscilla Olson (m), Teresa Nielsen Hayden
To be safe, we walk a fine line between danger and loss of
choice, between protection and imprisonment, between censorship
and personal liberty.
What has SF taught us about security and freedom? Can it help us deal with any challenges to our rights that we might be facing in the mundane world?
Ellen Asher, Thomas A. Easton (m), Daniel Hatch, Katya Reimann, Allen Steele
Compare and contrast these genres. Which do you prefer (why? when?) How do you deal with shifting styles?
Emma Bull, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Christopher Golden, Steven Sawicki (m), Marv Wolfman
It has been rumored that the C. S. Lewis's grave has been disturbed by subterranean high-speed rotation and that the Estate of C. S. Lewis is considering authorizing sequels in the Narnia universe which downplay or eliminate the Christian aspects of Narnia. Can a non-Christian Narnia story be written which still captures whatever it is that makes those stories so enduring? (And what might that be, anyway?) Would such a story be able to rise above the totally routine? -- after all, arguably the only thing which sets Narnia apart from very puerile YA fantasy is the religious elements. Looking a bit wider, how often are follow-ons to highly successful children's stories themselves successful? Do you think you could write a story set in Narnia?
Jeffrey A. Carver (m), James D. Macdonald, Brian Wightman, Jane Yolen, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Michael F. Flynn, Stephen Hickman, MaryAnn Johanson
An up-close and personal look at an artist's work. Talk, touch, and enjoy....
One of the images of 30s SF is the personal rocket pack and the
futuristic city with lines of people flying from place to place.
Let's ignore, for the moment, that rocket packs are right on the
edge of feasibility at all and that long-range rocket packs are
probably not doable. Let's assume that there is an easy-to-use,
safe, cheap, long-range rocket pack in mass production: How would
that affect society? Is the 30's picture right? If not, what's
wrong with it? Describe how our own lives would change if a
rocket pack were introduced.
Take this common sf trope to extremes, to show that sf is really not a predictive medium....
Bob Devney, Joe Haldeman, James Patrick Kelly, Jim Mann, Mark L. Olson (m)
What are some of the really strange places in America, and what ideas can they generate. How do the peculiar places dotting the U.S. landscape compare with others around the world (who has odder roadside attractions?), and why are they so appealing?
Neil Gaiman, Alex Irvine, Ernest Lilley (m), Will Shetterly, Michael Swanwick
Hal Clement, David G. Hartwell, Walter H. Hunt, Robert Sheckley
Let's ignore production values and stars and special effects and concentrate on the story. Where do the stories told in SF on TV fit into the genre's history? Arguably, the written stories which most resemble modern TV are the pulp stories of the 30s through the 50s. Why is this? (Do you agree at all?) Is it because it is much harder to capture complicated and subtle ideas on film than in writing? Are series like Twilight Zone counter-examples?
Andrew Adams, Patricia Bray, Michael A. Burstein, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Noel Wolfman (m)
More and more, communicating electronically is what is binding
many of us into a community. Is this a bad thing?
What are the changes in technology that are behind this revolution? What new technologies might change the way (and frequency) we communicate with each other? Will we ever have to leave the house again?
What are some of the things that we should do to keep it a friendly community?
And what about web-logs? Why are people suddenly feeling impelled to let everyone read their diaries/ (And what do you get out of doing this?)
Daniel P. Dern, Nancy C. Hanger, Jeff Hecht, Kurt Lancaster, Evelyn C. Leeper, Erik Olson (m)
Barbara Chepaitis, Brenda W. Clough, Robert I. Katz
Continued from last year.....more about the advantages (and
disadvantages?) of "unfinished" ways of working.
After all, many people think if it's "just a drawing" it isn't as legitimate as a painting. So, is a pencil drawing any less powerful than a painting? Because a pencil or ink drawing is often black and white, why do some see it as of less value than a "painting"? Do watercolors also suffer from not being considered a "real painting"? Talk about the sheer joy of drawing with charcoal, etc...
Bob Eggleton, Omar Rayyan, Charles Vess
This workshop is for singers, actors, writers, dancers, anyone who has to get up in front of a group of people and perform. The workshop will touch on the three main types of stage fright and will cover specific techniques to combat the symptons, as well as exercises to understand the roots of your own stage fright. If possible, wear comfy clothes. Due to space constraints, this workshop is limited to 20 participants (sign up at Information).
Mary Ellen Wessels
Brenda W. Clough, Daniel P. Dern, Priscilla Olson, Don Sakers
The LotR has prompted massive re-reading (of that, and other much-beloved works). What can one get (or lose?) from re-reading at a later stage in life? (Why?) What items should be re-read....and which shouldn't be looked over again?
Patricia Bray, John R. Douglas (m), Laura Anne Gilman, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Michael Rennie
How are the expectations set up by movie trailers actually met by the movie itself? What do (these) trailers get right -- and what do they get wrong (relative to the movie)? Besides building buzz for the flick, what do those Hollywood types expect to accomplish with trailers?
Bob Devney (m), MaryAnn Johanson, Daniel Kimmel, Mark R. Leeper, Steven Sawicki
Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Cecilia Tan, Jane Yolen
Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald
A panel on today's gadgets and toys. We'll talk about all the things you can buy at the store down the street which proves that we're living in a skiffy world. Bring along examples!
Jeff Hecht, Geoffrey A. Landis, Erik Olson, Mark L. Olson (m), Edie Stern
What's to enjoy? To love?? (Conversely, is there anything to
Where would we be without fandom? How did it make us who we are today?
Now -- try to answer this question: what's good about fandom?
Thomas Atkinson, Rusty Hevelin, Mary Kay Kare, Evelyn C. Leeper (m), Geri Sullivan
Nancy C. Hanger, John Morressy, Wen Spencer
Robert I. Katz
Besides the usual (books and magazines, that is), where can artists actually sell their art? What are the options and possibilities: stores-show-galleys-and? How can the artist make a living through creative marketing?
Charles Lang, Margaret Organ-Kean, Wendy Snow-Lang, Frank Wu
Kipling: Fantasist and/or Modernist?
His importance in the sf/fantasy field is enormous, but its true
extent is often overlooked. He remains a touchstone of the
political right - but his early imperialist work of the 1890s
forms only a part of his achievement. His late, increasingly
dense abd experimental stories of the 1920s are increasingly
recognized as his finest work.
As Kipling's political beliefs become less important in the modern world, new aspects of his work are better appreciated. A look at the issues noted.
Brenda W. Clough, Gregory Feeley (m), Michael F. Flynn, Daniel Hatch, Fred Lerner
Why can't some people read comics?
How can open-minded readers learn to accept (and even love!) the combination of a written story with art, which they sometimes find annoying....distracting.....unreadable!? What special skills (or ways of internalizing narrative, if you will...) are needed to allow one to enjoy comics?
Basically, can you learn to read (and love) comix, even if you think you hate them? How?
Greg Ketter (m), Madeleine E. Robins, Charles Vess, Marv Wolfman
Jeffrey A. Carver, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Christopher Golden, Robert I. Katz
Cartoons, films, TV shows, etc. lodged in our subconscious when we were young. What may have emerged later as influences on writers? How are these elements of pop culture reinterpreted? Why did these had such strong affects?
Craig Shaw Gardner, John Morressy (m), Robert Sheckley, Michael Swanwick, Cecilia Tan
Everything you need to know to be a writer. (The short version....not of the writer, you understand?)
Emma Bull, Will Shetterly
Alex Irvine, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller, Allen Steele
James Patrick Kelly
Artists sketch visual clues to SF-related words and terms, while you try to guess what they're getting at. Join the fun!
Bob Eggleton, Esther Friesner, Craig Shaw Gardner, Bill Neville
Alas, our Featured Filker couldn't make it to Boskone. So -- we're sending a piece of Boskone to him! Come and add your signature to B39 memorabilia we're sending to Tom Holt!
Who first used the word "hyperdrive"? Where did the term
"fanzine" come from? How about "robotics" and "psionic" and
"humanoid" and "sophont" and "SMOF" and "relaxacon"?
Croggle...nanotech....spindizzy.....trekker....trufan? The OED -- the Oxford English Dictionary -- is two months into its first project of asking knowledgeable aficionadoes to help document a genre's vocabulary. And the genre they chose is the one we love best: science fiction! Join our panel as we talk about our own fannish and sf-ish brand of the English language! Find out how the project is going, and how you can play along.
Gay Haldeman, Rusty Hevelin, Fred Lerner (m), Geri Sullivan
The world changed after 9/11. Did the way people (sf writers?) view war and terrorism change as well? Can effective sf/war stories still be written in a world reeling from terrorism? How do the new (and future) trends and faces of war differ from what went before?
Joe Haldeman, Walter H. Hunt, Paul Levinson (m), James D. Macdonald, E. J. McClure
Jennifer Dunne, Don Sakers, Allen Steele, Michael Swanwick
Who owns an idea or character? Is it worth being creative, if
you can't claim credit? Are the laws fair?
How can you stay productive (and true to yourself) in a work-for-hire environment?
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Deb Geisler (m), Leigh Grossman, Nancy C. Hanger, Marv Wolfman
What are the nature and challenges of being a critic? What yardsticks do critics use? How can personal preferences (when you know something you like is trash!) be separated from the reality of the material being critiqued? Are there times one would rather "review" than "criticize"? (If there's really a difference there, and if so, what?.)
Thomas A. Easton, Gregory Feeley, MaryAnn Johanson (m), Daniel Kimmel, Steven Sawicki
Geoffrey A. Landis, Tamora Pierce, Jane Yolen
Michael A. Burstein
How are different media (and styles) of painting used? Ar some more appropriate for different uses than others? How does working with oil differ (in terms of product and in terms of how it is approached, and how the artist actually feels about the work?!) from acrylics, watercolors, etc....?
Stephen Hickman, Margaret Organ-Kean, Omar Rayyan, Frank Wu
Quarks to quasars, monopoles, strings, and other wonderfully weird realities of the universe.....
Hal Clement, Geoffrey A. Landis, Mark L. Olson (m)
A dialog about an amazing book, and some of the Mysteries it might have illuminated.
Neil Gaiman, Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Barbara Chepaitis, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller, Steven Sawicki
We all want to know how the world really works. Tell us.
Thomas A. Easton (m), Shariann Lewitt, Michael Rennie, Darrell Schweitzer, Cecilia Tan
Elements of music are important in the written language as well. Look at the uses and power of different meters, the importance of repetition in song and story, the lyrics of poetry and prophecy. Discuss -- and perform, if so inspired....
Emma Bull (m), Lorraine Garland, Greer Gilman, Rosemary Kirstein, Jane Yolen
Bruce Coville, Paul Levinson, Marv Wolfman
Keith R. A. DeCandido
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Esther Friesner, Craig Shaw Gardner
Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen
People read fantasy and sf by choice, and those who read it read
a lot of it. What motivates their choices: the author's track
record, the cover illustration, the blurbs, work of mouth,
curiosity, or forces beyond human ken? Do readers try new names
of stick to the familir ones?. Why? What do readers seek in
fantasy/sf theat they don't find in reading other things, or
engaging in other such activities that people freely choose for
their leisure time?
For readers - explore what you like and dislike (and how it varies from person to person), and for writers - get a better understanding of your audience...
Jim Mann, John Morressy
More opportunities for filkers to destroy their throats (and minds!?) and filk into the wee hours.... (Adds Dover as a second room at 11:00 pm.)
Ellen Asher, Pam Fremon, Neil Gaiman, Stephen Hickman, Priscilla Olson, Marv Wolfman, Jane Yolen
It's time to nominate for the Hugos! What was good in 2001? (And what from 2000 is still eligible because of overseas publication?) Look at fiction, non-ficiton, art, editing, and fannish categories.
John R. Douglas, Greg Ketter, Jim Mann, Mark L. Olson
Emma Bull, Lorraine Garland, Joe Haldeman, Ellen Kushner (m), Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Daniel P. Dern
Do these activities really use different muscles?
What are the advantages of the printed word over the medium of
film? The disadvantages?
If you read the book before you see the movie, does that help or hurt? (Um, the book and/or the movie?) Can you ever really enjoy the book again after seeing the movie....or enjoy the movie after reading the book?
Can a movie be too much like a book? (And, does it really matter?) Has there ever been a movie better than the book? What great original flicks would make really lousy books? And what two recent movies do you think we'll end up talking about the most?
Bob Devney, Craig Shaw Gardner, MaryAnn Johanson, Daniel Kimmel
David A. Smith
Explore the relationships and strains existing between the artist/writer/editor/publisher. Can marketing and art coexist? Discuss the evolution of a book cover from story to printed book, sharing experiences along the way.
Laura Anne Gilman (m), Stephen Hickman, Charles Lang, Margaret Organ-Kean
Patricia Bray, Glen Cook, David G. Hartwell
Want to add a little madness to your story? Whether you write about adolescent angst or delusions or dissociations, come get the nuts and bolts of metal illness and the mental health care system. Avoid anachronisms (psychiatrists who do suicide intervention in person), avert glaring errors (schizophrenia as split-personality), get your character diagnosed (sorry, no prescriptions will be written). Bring questions from your pet project or just soak up story ideas.
After Frodo has returned, still not entirely healed, to the Shire he tells Sam "It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: someone has to give them up. lose them, so that others may keep them." Much of the power of The Lord of the Rings comes fromt he deep sense of loss that fills it: The Elves' loss of Middle Earth, Men's loss of life, the Ents' loss of forest and the Entwives, Frodo's loss of the Shire, Arwen's loss of immortality, Elrond's loss of Arwen -- and there are many others, even Gollum's loss of the Ring. Bittersweet images all. Are these essential to the enduring strength of Tolkien's universe? Would we love it as much without the final image of the magic leaving Middle Earth, as the elves (and ringbearers) take the straight path across the sea to the West.....?
Debra Doyle, Mary Kay Kare, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Michael Swanwick, Tom Whitmore (m)
Bruce Coville, John Morressy, Katya Reimann, Marv Wolfman
Can a new writer really get discovered in the "slush pile?" Or, in this moderrn era of declining print runs, is the "blockbuster" mentality having a major impact on the ability of a new (or even an older midlist writer) to get published in the field?
Roger MacBride Allen, Ginjer Buchanan, Don Sakers (m), Darrell Schweitzer, Allen Steele
Identify some turning points in history where something
unexpected happened -- and take it from there (building an
alternate history if the "expected" happened.)
But first, examine why the turning point was "unexpected"....it's not like there are actually cycles in history.....um, are there?
Michael F. Flynn, Esther Friesner, Leigh Grossman, Evelyn C. Leeper (m)
Geoffrey A. Landis
Wherein two sets of collaborative teams will discuss/compare/contrast the process, advantages, and pitfalls of working together....
Michael A. Burstein (m), Barbara Chepaitis, Steven Sawicki, Shane Tourtellotte
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Laura Anne Gilman, Shariann Lewitt
There is a monster. It's lurking in the shadows, waiting.
There is always a monster.
It might be the Minotaur in the Labyrinth of Crete or a beast living under London, but it is always there.
What is the monster, if it's more than the dark shadow of the self?
Explore the monsters that haunt our sleeping and waking hours, and how we may (with luck and wisdom) find and defeat them. Discuss some works that did this (and examine if they did this successfully).
Emma Bull, John R. Douglas (m), Neil Gaiman, Robert Sheckley, Jane Yolen
Brenda W. Clough, Joe Haldeman, Margaret Organ-Kean, Wen Spencer
How has the revolution in (and evolution of) digital technology affected the sf publishing field. What is the effect of the popularity/promise of e-publishing/books on demand/the whole nine yards....? What are the complications of these new media, that are still in their infancy? What do writers (and readers and publishers, for that matter) need to know to avoid getting into trouble in these exciting (but dangerous) digital waters?
Roger MacBride Allen, Eleanor Lang (m), Ernest Lilley, Steve Miller, Don Sakers
Now that they've done Potter and LotR, what's next? (Besides the
sequels, we mean.)
At the very least, what do you want to be next (and why)? (Go ahead - review and cast your dream production, if you're so inclined....)
Bob Devney, MaryAnn Johanson (m), Mark R. Leeper, Marv Wolfman
Michael F. Flynn
New York City. The ultimate urban landscape. The real hub of the
If it weren't there, someone would have to invent it, right?
What is the enchantment of New York, and how did 9/11 display (or destroy) this magic?
How does one use The City to evoke a fantasy setting, amid the gritty reality of it all?
Michael A. Burstein, Greer Gilman, David G. Hartwell, Madeleine E. Robins (m), Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Emma Bull, Gay Haldeman, Joe Haldeman, Will Shetterly
Are fans really slans? How did you ever get sucked in....and why couldn't you get away? Explore (and explode) the myths of fandom.
Deb Geisler, Rusty Hevelin, Fred Lerner, Geri Sullivan (m), Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Well...this panel turned out to be so
silly interesting last
year, we just had to do it again.
A look at the historic bad ideas used in the field (and often amazingly overused) ((and even more-amazingly, still being used!)) , and a look at the awful new ideas that are sometimes (astonishlingly) taking the place of the horrible old ones. Have fun!
Michael A. Burstein, Keith R. A. DeCandido (m), Craig Shaw Gardner, Leigh Grossman, Michael Rennie
Geoffrey A. Landis, Paul Levinson, Tamora Pierce, Darrell Schweitzer
Robert I. Katz
There's fantasy and there's SF, right? One's about elfs and
one's about space ships and ne'er the twain shall meet, right?
Or is it? It has even been noted that an "enchanted forest"
exists in "Against the Fall of Night"....but....but....that 's
sf....not fantasy! So, what happens when SF uses fantasy motifs?
Is it no longer SF or, at least, something less than real SF?
Is Yoda Merlin? Is AKKA the One Ring? How does a writer take a
classic fantasy motif and make it SF -- is it more than just
dressing it in hardware? Are there any fantasy motifs which have
not been used? Can not be used?
Why do hard sf writers bother to play with folkloric images: what do they get out of this miscagenation (and why)?
Judith Berman, Debra Doyle (m), Esther Friesner, Rosemary Kirstein, Michael Swanwick
Thomas Atkinson, Don Sakers
It's a long road from arrant Neo to Big Name Pro.....What are the stages of a writer's career, from starting out to resting on laurels (and royalites?) Part-time to full-time (and if so, when?) Discuss changes in the writer's life (and style, and publishability, and whatever else!) as one progresses from rejection slips to royalty checks.
Walter H. Hunt, John Morressy, Katya Reimann (m), Robert Sheckley, Shane Tourtellotte
Rosemary Kirstein, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
The road goes ever on, they say, but space is apparently finite.
Time, however appears to stretch on indefinitely.
Look into the very very far future, and tell what you see there. How does the very universe evolve? When do the stars die? And what is humanity's future amidst all of this?
Hal Clement, Joe Haldeman, Mark L. Olson (m), Allen Steele
Should we always fear them?
What do they have to tell us? (Must we listen?) (Do they lie?) Do they return to harm or advise us? Do they come to warn or blame, comfort or prophecize? Do they offer us forgiveness or courage, or, perhaps, death itself?
Discuss the use of the returning dead, and explain why they are such fascinating subjects.
Greer Gilman, Will Shetterly (m), Michael Swanwick, Marv Wolfman
Debra Doyle, Esther Friesner, James D. Macdonald
Look at the overlap between SF and romances - and why more SF
books can be considered romances, and why so many romances have
SF elements. Discuss and give some examples.
Is this a true sub-genre or a marketing niche? (Was this cross-marketing deliberate?) Will it change the sf-reading population significantly? Will it continue to permeate each genre -- and, is this good or bad, either way?
Patricia Bray, Jennifer Dunne, Sharon Lee (m), Madeleine E. Robins, Wen Spencer
Deb Geisler, Tom Whitmore
We enhance our lives and abilities with drugs....eyeglasses....pacemakers....palm pilots!? Where does it all end? Resistance is futile.
Daniel P. Dern, Robert I. Katz (m), Erik Olson, Edie Stern
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Bob Devney, Bill Neville
The Van Rijn's Polesnotech League! Flandry's Terran Empire! Poul Anderson may not have invented the idea of a future history, but arguably his main future history was simultaneously the most fully-realized and the most interesting of them all. Explore Anderson's main future history and the stories he set in it and discuss how it is rooted in our own real history. Also consider some of his minor future histories (The Maurai and the Psychotechnic League histories.)
Mark L. Olson
Would Achilles have been as interesting if he'd been truely invulnerable, or, instead of dying a tragic hero, would he still have been acting like a psychopathic adolescent thirty years after the Trojan War ended? Can power without vulnerabilities make an interesting story? (Has anyone succeeded?) What sorts of vulnerabilities are needed? How do you avoid the search for the armor's chink turning a story into a puzzle?
Brenda W. Clough (m), Bruce Coville, Paul Levinson, John Morressy, Marv Wolfman
Neil Gaiman, Robert Sheckley
Dreams? Research? Exotic locales? Messages from outer space? (Hmm, not sure if we wanna know that....) What are some strategies? Where do ideas come from, and how can budding authors generate their own?
Jeffrey A. Carver (m), Jennifer Dunne, Geoffrey A. Landis, Tamora Pierce, Tom Sweeney
There seems to be a back-to-basics movement developing in the science fiction (never "sci-fi," after all...) field that 's characterized by a number of different (but frequently recurring) views: that fantasy and pop culture are bad, that "art" is good (especially if it's hard to do or understand), and that one must be professional in all aspects of ones work and behavior. And, perhaps, that simply having fun with the material should be of little importance (if not entirely suspect...) Let's look at these issues, and why some people are (really?) concerned about what is and isn't proper in science fiction.
Bob Eggleton, Nancy C. Hanger, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Tom Whitmore (m), Noel Wolfman
This panel will show you how to find films on the Internet, how to watch them, and explain how you can build your own home movie studio so you can start shooting and getting your own short films on the Web.
Happily ever after.....well, perhaps not always. But -- what
makes a satisfying ending? (And, in fact, does a story really
need to have an ending anyway?)
Discuss favorite endings (whether you wrote them or not), and why they work so well.
Walter H. Hunt, Shariann Lewitt, Tamora Pierce, David A. Smith (m), Ann Tonsor Zeddies
What went wrong? What went right? What should we do next year
in Boston? How can we improve in the future? Whither Boskone?
Join up for a going-away party as we leave Framingham.
Pam Fremon, Priscilla Olson, Sharon Sbarsky