Note: This is the final schedule, however times, participants and places are still subject to change!
People blurt out the most amazing things when tongue-tied. Here's a chance to think about what to say before you meet your favorite author, and to chuckle about what other people have said (and done!) For example, while "here's that check we talked about" rarely comes amiss, other topics should never arise. And are there different rules for the autograph line, the ladies' room, the bathtub of lime jello...?
Jess Hartley, Parris McBride, Mike Resnick, Edie Stern (m), Teresa Nielsen Hayden
People have always been intrigued by the idea of a better existence. But one person's utopia may be another's dystopia -- and even with the best of intentions, things can go horribly wrong. Non-coms and office managers run the world -- and they're not as easily manipulated as the intelligentsia or the lumpen-proletariat.....what would it really take to institute "utopia" (or, totalitarian dystopia....and aren't they really the same?) given that the people you need to establish and maintain it probably won't be toeing the party line - unless you pay them enough, or otherwise distract them. So the inhabitants of utopia simply have to be better humans than we are today?
F. Brett Cox, James Patrick Kelly (m), Ken MacLeod, Peter Weston
Skepticism comes naturally to the fan of hard SF, but the majority of interesting stories requires a suspension of disbelief. How does our attitude towards the ideas in science fiction stories relate to our perception of new ideas? And if SF fans are so open-minded and receptive to speculations, so much more mentally flexible than mundanes, why are so many of us skeptical about the existence of ghosts or UFOs, and not quarks or black holes?
Jeffrey A. Carver, John R. Douglas (m), John Farrell, Ernest Lilley
Is it realism? A particular color? Seriously, many editors return to the same artists again and again. What sets these paragons apart? Style? Originality? A distinctive look or varied approach? Reliable telepathy? (Oh, and must the artist read the story, or what?)
Ginjer Buchanan, Irene Gallo, Thomas Kidd, George H. Scithers (m)
Go, Roarke! (Hmmm....as if much else needs to be said...?)
Deb Geisler, Janice Gelb, Priscilla Olson
Do most genre multivolumes actually _have_ structures, beyond "It's too big, let's cut it in three," or "It' sold big, so let's have sequels"? What can we learn from Burroughs, Robinson, Rowling, Stephenson....or our own panelists? Which styles are most innovative? Which ones haven't we attempted yet?
Debra Doyle, George R. R. Martin, Beth Meacham, Charles Stross
Join these panelists while they play hopscotch on the thin lines between horror, fantasy, and science fiction -- and cross into the mainstream -- in books, films, and other forms.
F. Brett Cox (m), Dan Keohane, Steven Sawicki, Paul Tremblay
The field may be plagued by (unnecessary?) mega-series but that doesn't stop many of us wishing some singularly great works had successors. Aren't you just dying to read "The Right Hand of Darkness"? "Fahrenheit 452?" "An Epithalamium for Leibowitz"? What else? Does the record suggest you'd like them if you actually got them?
John R. Douglas (m), Geary Gravel, Fred Lerner, Ernest Lilley, Mike Resnick
SF already attracts tons of teens via videogames, movies, anime, and comics: how can we get them into reading the stuff as well? Port it to text-messaging cellphones? Add more sex and disrespect for authority? Write hip-hop bildungsromans, or even more media tie-ins? If you're a teen, please bring your two cents...
Ellen Asher, Bruce Coville, Sharon Lee, Clayton L. McNally (m), Mary A. Turzillo
One can argue that space opera is the foundation of SF, but does it still have a place in SF today several generations removed from the foundation? The term "Space Opera" is pejoratively used to describe a story set in space which could just as well have been set on Earth. Are there stories which can only be told when set in space or is the epithet just? What makes great space opera great? Besides Ken MacLeod, who else is writing great space opera today?
David G. Hartwell (m), Walter H. Hunt, James D. Macdonald, Steve Macdonald, Ken MacLeod
Come learn some monster drawing tips and techniques. Paper, pencil, markers all supplied -- just bring your imagination!
DC Comic's "Infinite Crisis" is a sequel to the classic "Crisis on Infinite Earths" from twenty years ago. What do we all think of this new series? How do we think it will all end?
Michael A. Burstein
Dorothy, Lolly, Jirel, Telzey, Podkayne, Lessa, Pyanfar, Rowan, Miri, Kel, Coraline.....where (and why) are they going? How do they get there? Do they make the trip for knowledge, justice, love, or something else? Does their journey resemble any we might make in our own seemingly more ordinary lives?
Esther Friesner, Rosemary Kirstein, Joshua B. Palmatier, Tamora Pierce (m), Cecilia Tan
Does reading (or watching) in the order published give you a better idea of the writer's (or the writer's world's?!) own development? Does going by internal date best show you the story/character arc in the way it was actually intended? Which way do publishers, writers, or readers prefer? In which series does it seem to matter most? Which should come first, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" or "The Magician's Nephew"? Star Wars4 or Star Wars1? Come up with some other good examples.
Ellen Asher, Sharon Lee (m), Steven Sawicki, Joe Siclari, Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Unlike with virtually every other form of realistic art, the astronomical artist must paint a picture depicting a real place that he can never see, or sees only fuzzily at a great distance. How does he do it? And how does he get it right? (And why does it matter?) While our Science Speaker has a Ph.D in astronomy, he is also known as an astronomical artist, and was a recent Artist Guest of Honor at Baycon.
While the traditional ghost story is slow to revive, ghosts in episodic TV are now commonplace. What is behind this phenomenon in series such as "Rescue Me," "Ghost Whisperer" and the like? How do the hauntings (benevolent or malevolent) affect the show and the audience?
Patricia Bray, Don D'Ammassa, MaryAnn Johanson, Faye Ringel (m)
Has there really been a paradigm shift in publishing -- from books to "content"? What's going on beyond the printed page -- from micro-presses, e-books, podcasts, and the like?
Cory Doctorow, James Patrick Kelly, Clayton L. McNally, Steve Miller (m), Shara R. Zoll
Elizabeth Bear, Kathryn Cramer
Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald
What makes the perfect peruser of a genre story? Attention, patience, a willingness to learn, laugh, be moved? A memory for other works? A tuned-up bulldust detector? How much does a reader's own experience inform the story? Must we know science or believe in magic? Do we read differently as the years go by? Can we ever become perfect at it?
Gregory Feeley, Greer Gilman, Mary A. Turzillo (m)
Did George Lucas get many of his brilliantly original ideas for the first "Star Wars" from a certain lighthearted 1958 Japanese black-and-white epic? The panel will speculate whether Lucas ever actually said, "Help me Akira Kurosawa; you're my only hope." (Then -- watch the movie later at Boskone and make your own decision!)
MaryAnn Johanson, Jim Mann (m), Timothy P. Szczesuil
How one defines "human" depends (possibly?) on the point of view of the person asking the question. What *is* human from different perspectives -- anthropological, mythological, religious, cultural? How might biological high- tech (designer genomes, modifications, and that wonderful/scary/closer-than-you- might-think) change the definitions?
Judith Berman, Jeffrey A. Carver (m), Thomas A. Easton, Robert I. Katz, Shariann Lewitt, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink?! Many of us are already drowning in a sea of information (and misinformation) when we really just want the good stuff.... Does having more bandwidth help or hinder? How do you keep tabs on the information industry's output? What if you had a direct neural connection? -- Would it help you to manage all those online information streams before your brain explodes?
John McDaid, Naomi Novik, Sheila M. Perry (m), John Scalzi, Shara R. Zoll
Terrified of getting up to sing for an audience? Looking for ways to improve your performance? Get some practical tips here.
What points of details, or off-tones, instantly ejected you from the book or movie? Why?
Geary Gravel, David G. Hartwell, Joe Siclari (m)
Scots have long been leaders in technological innovation -- one book recently made the case that much of our modern world grew out of a few thinkers two centuries ago in Scotland. Scotland today is home to some of the best SF writers in the field,. Is this coincidence, or does Scotland or the Scottish experience influence the writing of SF? Talk about the influence of Scotland on SF. (And are there any up-and-coming Scottish writers we should be watching?)
Vince Docherty, Ken MacLeod, Mark L. Olson (m), Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Charles Stross
James D. Macdonald, Cecilia Tan
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Find out about the work of Georges Lemaitre, and how it laid the groundwork for the Big Bang theory
Good....bad? Silly or serious? Have fun!
Lenny Bailes, Vince Docherty, Parris McBride (m), Mike Resnick, Peter Weston
It is almost trite these days to note the layers of deep history that underlie "Lord of the Rings" and gave it depth and richness missing from fantasy like Conan. OK, a world needs history which never shows up in the stories. How do you go about building that history? Do you need to be a real-world history buff? Do you copy from our history or make it up from whole cloth? Is there such a thing as too much history for the good of the story or the good of the writer? Should an aspiring fantasy writer start out by constructing the history or does the history just grow?
Darlene Marshall, Debra Doyle, Leigh Grossman (m), Naomi Novik
Some of our favorite fairy tales reconsidered in songs comic to torchy. Lyrics by John M. Ford. Performers: John M. Ford, Tom Courtney, Dave Grubbs, Chip Hitchcock, Ellen Kushner, Suford Lewis, Elise Matthesen, Gary McGath, Delia Sherman, Kip Williams
John M. Ford, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman
Open to all. Come by and appreciate art, alcohol, and each other's artful conversation.
Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman
(Not exactly the panel you might think it is....) The automobile.....the movie......the Internet......then? How has modern technology affected sex? What lies ahead -- virtual reality harems? Computer-enhanced marital aids?The Orgasmatron? What can we look forward to? (and is this not all a Good Thing?)
Beth Bernobich, Jess Hartley (m), Cecilia Tan
You answer the questions, you get the chocolate. That's about it!
Mark L. Olson, Priscilla Olson
Cancer.....a scary word. But what used to be seen as a single fatal disease is now recognized as a plethora of different conditions which share the common characteristic of a severely-disrupted cell cycle....But -- this dialog is not meant to be a medical treatise or a catalog of woes, but a frank discussion of how it's affected (so recently it seems!) so many members of our tight-knit community, and what people do to avoid being "victims."
Gregory Feeley, Priscilla Olson
Ken MacLeod, Tamora Pierce
Author and Dad, Walter Hunt, will come start the day off with a great selection of fun and games.
Walter H. Hunt
What genre DVDs should we get for our kids (or grandkids)? Which are really worth their seeing 38 times, and burning into their neural pathways forever? Any we might actually enjoy too? What's the proper mix of realism, fantasy, and lecturing to be the right (kids') stuff? Let's talk about everything from "The Wizard of Oz" to "The Last Unicorn" to "My Neighbor Totoro" to "The Land Before Time" to the newest Narnia, and separate the neat from the pap.
Bob Devney, Bob Eggleton, MaryAnn Johanson, Daniel Kimmel (m), Wen Spencer
What makes them great? Are there more assuredly classic works from outside the U.S. recently? Are today's examples actually better than yesteryear's? Must a great book be great all the way through? Can comedy ever qualify? In the end, who decides -- the critics' voice or the peoples' choice?
David G. Hartwell, Jim Mann, Peter Weston (m), Eleanor Wood
Hugo Gernsback made SF exist to teach science. Is this a foundational idea for of all of SF or a horrible error from which we're still trying to escape? Why do we care if the science is right if the story is good? Much of SF seems to get along quite nicely with no discernable reality in its physics, yet there is also the occasional masterpiece which is a masterpiece *because* of its science content. Is the issue the technical details or is it a general approach to the universe that is important? And what do SF authors typically get right or wrong?
William Hartmann, Geoffrey A. Landis, Chad Orzel (m), George H. Scithers, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
How are online writing groups different from traditional fanzine or workshop communities? Do fanfic covens count? We'll discuss the pros and cons of a wide- open weblog versus LiveJournal versus listserver. Are writers in these groups just preaching to the cyberchoir?
Lenny Bailes, Tobias Buckell, James D. Macdonald, John Scalzi (m), Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Edward Abbey said, "I see more poetry in a chunk of quartzite than in a make-believe wood nymph, more beauty in the revelations of a verifiable intellectual construction than in whole misty empires of obsolete mythology." If this is so, why do so many of us flock to read fantasy? Discuss (without bloodshed, if possible).
Bruce Coville, Debra Doyle, Sarah Monette, Mary A. Turzillo (m)
It's difficult to think of any science fiction writer working today who packs more interesting ideas into every single sentence than our Special Guest....as you're about to hear.....
Clayton L. McNally
Robert I. Katz, Ken MacLeod, George R. R. Martin
How does writing for games differ from writing short fiction or novels? How is the process of writing similar? Can an author of a game effectively use the format to communicate information as well as provide entertainment? On the flip- side, how can an author re-create the experience of a game in a novel format?
James Cambias (m), Leigh Grossman, Jess Hartley, Naomi Novik
Michael A. Burstein, Daniel Hatch
Fountain pen show-and-tell. There will be a selection of pens and ink for people to (gently) try out. Bring your own and show off!
Sheila M. Perry
Black paper, oil pastels and your imagination take you out into the universe!
Charlene Taylor D'Alessio
How could you connect to interplanetary probes? Block spam from the asteroid belt? (And does Mars really want our women?)
Linda Fuhrman, Peter Olson, Larry Pfeffer (m)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that any beloved (and why?) classic will inevitably form the foundation for works of art which reflect the age and the media in which they appear at least as much as they reflect their source. Is it not therefore to be wondered at that the matter and manner of the distinguished Authoress of "Emma" and "Pride and Prejudice" should be adopted by a class of writers generally more concerned with the head than the heart, the spirit ofadventure than the spirit of domestic intrigue? Additionally, it can little be wondered that the volumes of a certain Lady have engaged the general good opinion of a later and more celestially inclined generation. We may, indeed, readily list estimable Authors who have attempted to catch something of her style. Yet might not any attempt to draw a portrait of a mannered society impart a sympathetic coincidence of feeling? Is this preference but the fashion of a moment, or a phenomenon of more respectable permanence? White gloves optional. Tea will not be served. La!
James D. Macdonald (m), Beth Meacham, Sarah Monette, Delia Sherman, Teresa Nielsen Hayden
How can ordinary people face the numinous? What changes when you come face to face with divinity? Can it hurt?
Judith Berman, Dan Keohane, Paul Levinson (m), Paul Park, Tamora Pierce
There are plans afoot to publish dozens of novels dramatizing mythological themes by celebrated mainstream writers. But....but....haven't SF/F writers been doing this all along? Why is mythological fantasy (or near-fantasy) now respectably literary? Can we get in on the action too?
Elizabeth Bear, F. Brett Cox, Gregory Feeley (m), Greer Gilman
Haven't we won? Aren't science-fictional ideas, vocabulary, themes and predictions now deeply embedded in the popular culture? Aren't a disproportionate percentage of popular movies from our genres? Don't mainstream authors at all levels of seriousness dip into the slipstream every day? So, what's our mission now? What worlds are left to conquer -- and why?
Tobias Buckell, Rosemary Kirstein, Chad Orzel (m), Karl Schroeder, Charles Stross
Dr. Hartmann, an internationally known planetary scientist, served on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor Mission. He reviews the goals of that program and the latest findings from Mars -- including the status of the quest for life. His books include nonfiction ("Traveler's Guide to Mars") and fiction ("Mars Underground"). Find out why he was chosen as NESFA's "Hal Clement Science Speaker" at Boskone 43.
Michael F. Flynn
Ever want to get into the mind of an artist? Aside from a brain transplant, this might be the closest thing. Witness the rare event of live painting in oils as Donato shares his technique, palette, and craft while creating a portrait. From sketch to finish, the aesthetic and technical decisions the artist makes will be laid bare for observation and comments.
William Hartmann, Walter H. Hunt, Elaine Isaak, Melissa Scott
Are you enjoying yourself? What flick did the writer and director want to make? Is this it? What would this bit be without the music? What colors did the moviemakers select to manipulate the mood? Is the dialog smarter than the characters who deliver it? (Or worse, dumber?) If you don't want to sleep with one of the leads, why the miscasting? Afterwards, are you a better person?
Bob Devney, MaryAnn Johanson (m), Daniel Kimmel, Jim Mann
John R. Douglas, George H. Scithers
"As I was a-walking the high halls of Boskone / As I walked out into Boskone one dee / A leather-clad lady (?) she practically jumped me / Ah, 'twas the best Boskone I ever may see...." Well...what can the well-done fantasy ballad teach us about elegance and economy, compression and character, worldbuilding and wish fulfillment?
Greer Gilman, Rosemary Kirstein, Faye Ringel (m), Delia Sherman
Can you trust the next blog better than the next barstool? Is the net quickly (surely?!) self-correcting? Or, does a lie that's interesting (or in somebody's interest) get to screens around the world before truth gets its modem on? Which stories has the net broken wide (and which were true)? How do you evaluate the material?
Kathryn Cramer, Daniel P. Dern, Daniel Hatch (m), John McDaid, Sheila M. Perry
The Nigerian writer Ben Okri says "A novel is a river, but a short story is a glass of water." Can a short story grow from a novel? How many good ideas should one short story have? Is the net the most promising short fiction market since the pulps? Do shorter works make the best movies? What good short SF/F/H has been written lately? Who's hot, and what's new?
James Patrick Kelly (m), Geoffrey A. Landis, Steven Popkes, Allen Steele
Why fly an airplane where there's almost no air? For science, on Mars! A Mars airplane can gather vital data that rovers and orbiters can't. But -- flying the Martian skies isn't easy. Thin atmosphere and no oxygen point toward a unique folding airplane, propelled by rockets. Come learn about the goals, challenges, and plans for ARES' flight above Mars.
Linda Fuhrman, Larry Pfeffer
You're the editorial board for a new "Rough Guide" book. What gets included? (Audience help greatly appreciated!)
Janice Gelb, Laurie Mann, Geri Sullivan (m), Peter Weston
Let's serve up a tasty discussion of everything from Tolkien's waybread, Bujold's bug butter, and fandom's crottled creeps to White's braided ropes of spaghetti inhaled by a giant intelligent butterfly. Have our genres done enough with such a biological basic? What ET eats have been most imaginative? Which actually whet your appetite? Which wouldn't you eat on a bet?
Judith Berman (m), James Cambias, Esther Friesner, Craig Shaw Gardner, Naomi Novik
The singularity is possibly the most interesting single idea to come out of SF and yet it also may pose a challenge that SF is incapable of overcoming -- for if there is a singularity in our future, then how can we hope to write about it? How can we ever hope to set a story in a world which is, by definition, incomprehensible? Assume for the duration of this panel that a singularity does lurk within a hundred years after the invention of the computer: does this mean that hard SF is a contradiction in terms once it gets outside the near future? How can SF stories cope with it? Or should they just ignore it and move on? (And what is this title about, anyway?)
Mark L. Olson (m), Karl Schroeder, Edie Stern, Charles Stross
Dan Keohane, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Jeffrey A. Carver, Jess Hartley, Tamora Pierce, Mike Resnick
When SF fans admit (with a certain embarrassment, to be sure) "I have piles," they may not mean what outsiders think. Let's talk about the challenges of living with way too many books, confess (OK, boast) about how many we have, and discuss possible solutions. Tesseract-shaped bookcases? Beating fuel prices in inventive new ways (hmm, what *is* the insulating value of paper?)? Or even <shudder> getting rid of some....?
Patricia Bray (m), Don D'Ammassa, Geary Gravel, Parris McBride, Joe Siclari
Ginjer Buchanan, Thomas Kidd
Have at you! Witness the subtle skills of attack, parry, and grapple, as the combat arts of the sword and buckler , dagger, longsword, and smallsword are brought to life from forgotten manuals in this presentation by the Higgins Armory Sword Guild.
A.k.a -- Weird Medical Devices. When electricity was new, it was peddled as THE thing for muscle aches, baldness, and even cancer. At first, this meant patients had to undergo dramatic shocks. By the early 20th century, the panacea was based on Tesla coils and it involved enough weird glows and sparks to convince anyone that *something* marvelous was happening. Find out more when Tom Easton, our own Professor of Weird Science, brings his violet ray machines to Boskone. Volunteer "patients" will be recruited from the audience.
Thomas A. Easton
How do the vast arc of the Ringworld, the snug hills of the Shire, the treeless plazas of Trantor shape their stories' characters and events? Does local color bewitch or bore the reader? (Does it even matter? -- and how?) Are real places easier to evoke than imaginary ones? What SF/F/H settings can't you forget?
Elizabeth Bear, Elaine Isaak (m), Ellen Kushner, Sarah Monette, Joshua B. Palmatier
Do we really know any more about the island than we did last year? Like -- how many groups really are running around out there anyway? Are there any moles among the Lostaways? What's up with Walt? What about the numbers? The Monster? Turniphead?
Claire Anderson, MaryAnn Johanson, Paul Levinson, Priscilla Olson (m)
C. S. Lewis said that he wanted no live-action film of Narnia ever to be made because he couldn't imagine Aslan as a pantomime lion. Yet "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" was made and made very successfully. What does it take to realize a complex world like Narnia? What technology? And since technology obviously isn't enough, what else is needed? Is this different than a traditional film? (And would Lewis have approved of the Aslan we saw?). How do advances in CGI affect the way stories can be told on film -- and is this good or bad (overall)?
Susan Hanniford Crowley (m), Bob Eggleton, Chip Hitchcock, Omar Rayyan
Our guest minstrel specializes in the shortest distance between lamentation and laughter (as well as the longest possible hair). Come hear his tales of crying for lost love and computing by gaslight; his songs of cold killers and hot photons, rich relationships and inexpensive valentines; his tributes to flightless dragons and flying Dutchmen, the brothers Montgolfier and the emperor Ming.
Real world and utopian politics have informed the writings of some of the best in the genre. Who, how, and why? And does SF require new politics, or can it work with familiar politics in a new setting? (Please check all flamethrowers at the door - this is not a panel that debates contemporary political philosophies, except as they apply to contemporary works of SF).
Daniel Hatch, Ken MacLeod, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, John Scalzi (m)
Tobias Buckell, Michael F. Flynn
Walter H. Hunt
Many of the lightsaber techniques we see in the Star Wars movies are based on the Japanese katana and European longsword traditions. Come and watch a lightsaber demonstration based on historically accurate techniques for the longsword used by knights during the Middle Ages., May the Force be with you!
The future of health care will contain numerous marvels, most of which writers of speculative fiction have prepared us for for years: cloning, robot surgery, cybernetics, etc. In addition to the technological, however, our health care system will be undergoing profound changes. These include the downsizing of most hospitals, a nationwide decrease in hospital beds, and the outsourcing of health care to the clinic and the home. This talk will focus on those and other expected changes to the American system of health care in the near future.
Robert I. Katz
Margaret Organ-Kean, Omar Rayyan
Rosemary Kirstein, Clayton L. McNally, Mary A. Turzillo
What are the practicalities and pitfalls of publicity, production, pricing, and marketing? How do you build relationships with writers? Is cover art important? Will you sell better in the stores or on the net? What genre presses have succeeded, and how? How can yours stand out? And, as the joke goes, how do you make $1 million running a small press? (Start with $2 million...?)
Ernest Lilley, Steve Miller
Naomi Novik, Mike Resnick
Help the Down Under Fan Fund bring one lucky fan from Australia to the upcoming Los Angeles Worldcon -- while you win great stuff! Will you get Jennifer Garner's red bustier from "Elektra," a date with China Mieville, the ape bone from "2001," or the Holy Grail's bheer coaster? Maybe (OK, certainly) not, but you still have a chance for signed first editions, fine old fanzines, plus other magnificent memorabilia. And remember, every little bit fosters (Aussie joke there) international fan fellowship.
Janice Gelb, Joe Siclari
Listen to one of our favorite YA authors (and principal of Full Cast Audio) tell his stories......Adults welcome, but please let the kids sit in front.
Since the publication of "On Basilisk Station" in 1993, David Weber's "Honorverse" has expanded far beyond the saga of its title character, Honor Harrington. Come discuss why this series has become such a popular starting point for a variety of authors, and hypothesize about the directions you see it heading in the future.
In the broad universe we call "science fiction," where are the sharp (?) edges that push the boundaries of technology and science? What classifies the story (or indeed, the science) as "hard"? Have the science and technology used in some of the genre become so advanced that an average reader has difficulty accessing the story? If so, is there a solution?
Vince Docherty (m), John R. Douglas, Shariann Lewitt, Allen Steele, Charles Stross
When SF imagined the exploration of Mars, it was done by military spacecraft or grizzled prospectors or eccentric scientists in secret, and no one back on Earth really could participate. The reality is quite different. What is it like exploring Mars for real? What are the years of preparation like? How do you develop an idea and build a team? When (if!) funding comes, how can the individual still participate and make a difference? Is it still fun? Is it still exciting? Would you trade it for something else? Hear the inside story from people who are exploring Mars!
Linda Fuhrman, William Hartmann, Jeff Hecht (m), Geoffrey A. Landis
Like old DNA, the forensics fad is proving peculiarly fade-resistant. It's even the most popular new major at some colleges. But isn't the tech on TV's "CSI" as much science fiction as fact? Do real forensics geeks boss detectives around, conduct interrogations, and draw their guns daily? What's Dr. Grissom got that Dr. D'Amato doesn't? And when can we look forward to "CSI: Marsport"?
Thomas A. Easton, Robert I. Katz, Paul Levinson (m), Wen Spencer
Discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of material (past/present/future) presented in this medium. How hard is it to adapt material from different media to it? What works, what doesn't?
Lenny Bailes, Geary Gravel, Teresa Nielsen Hayden (m)
Good people die. Bad things happen. But -- we all soldier on.... Sometimes we're stronger for it. And so is the story.How can a writer harvest the power of the sadder side(s) of life to make a tale uplifting, without being maudlin? (And is it true that a song of love is a sad song....?)
Ginjer Buchanan (m), Esther Friesner, George R. R. Martin, Paul Park, Melissa Scott
Patricia Bray, David G. Hartwell
F. Brett Cox
Prior to the publication of her immense novel "Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell," Susanna Clarke published seven novelettes in the United States, as well as a very short story that appeared in the New York Times just after the novel's publication in 2004. Although reprinted in year's best anthologies and nominated for awards, these stories are not generally known to her new and larger audience. Let's talk about them.
Tobias Buckell, Sarah Monette, Joshua B. Palmatier
Filk is now found in several countries. How can filkers keep in touch and learn about songs and activities outside their areas?
Robin F. Holly, Steve Macdonald, Gary D. McGath (m)
Daniel P. Dern
Leigh Grossman, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Discuss the advances (both artistic and from a business viewpoint) of computer- created artwork. Why now?
Bob Eggleton, Irene Gallo, Thomas Kidd, Margaret Organ-Kean (m)
Talk about the realities of living in outer space, or on another planet. Then, imagine your own space habitat! Make one to take home, using our supply of paper tubes, craft sticks, shiny sticky papers, and home-made playdough.
Shakespeare's language is alien and yet familiar; it overwhelms us with its sheer intensity and yet we're carried by the music of it, swept along. Examine how it is used in fantasy.
So they say that Pluto isn't a planet any more? Then was it ever a planet? Or are there eight, nine, ten, or a dozen planets in the Solar System? Just what is a planet? Are they defined by their orbital characteristics? Their physical properties? Or is a planet defined by what it is not? Are these sorts of questions even useful? Is the ambiguity limited to the plutinos? (And what are they, anyway?) Does it make sense to talk about free-floating planets not orbiting stars? Talk about the evolution of the concept of planet, especially in the context of the theories of the formation of planets, the variety of planetary bodies which have been discovered to date, and perhaps speculate on what might still be out there waiting to be found.
Michael A. Burstein (m), William Hartmann, Jeff Hecht, Geoffrey A. Landis, Mark L. Olson
George R. R. Martin
Peter Jackson remade "King Kong" 72 years after the original -- what took him so long? In our speeded-up age, isn't it already time to start thinking about remaking Jackson's own "Lord of the Rings" trilogy? Who do we cast, who directs, and what do we do differently? (OK, Faramir is obvious, but....) And what other SF/F/H movies might also be ready for a do-over? How does what we saw before affect what we do in the future?
Susan Hanniford Crowley, MaryAnn Johanson, Timothy Liebe, Laurie Mann (m), Faye Ringel
Oh, what a tangled web the author weaves....when he/she brings together previously linear series. How do you blend books, converge, diverge, spin off, or spin together? Why do it?
Ginjer Buchanan, Steve Miller (m), Tamora Pierce, Melissa Scott, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
(1) Armored Combat: See the clash of fully-armored knights as they would have fought in the Middle Ages. Hollywood's images of armored combat rely on made-up moves and special effects. Now, find out about the actual techniques the knights used in battle. (2) German Longsword: Do you think a strong arm is all you need to use a sword? It isn't so. Experience the subtleties of the medieval German tradition of longsword combat, in a demonstration of techniques from a 1570 fight manual. (3) Medieval Master of Arms: Witness the subtle skills of attack, parry, and grapple, as the combat arts of falchion, dagger, halberd, sword and buckler are brought to life from forgotten manuals. (4) Swordplay through the Ages: The sword was the weapon par excellence for hundreds of years, and a symbol of both nobility and might. During that time, its techniques changed dramatically. From the subtleties of the knightly longsword, to the simplicity of the military saber, watch authentic swordplay styles recovered from surviving manuals.
We talk about alternate histories, but there are also alternate futures. Talk about some of the futures which might plausibly grow from today. Are some of the traditional SF futures no longer possible? (We're not talking about details here -- obviously commercial space flights to the Moon by 2001 didn't happen, but what about tropes like the Mars colony rebelling against the oppressive Earth government?) Is history really at an end? How do you build a future anyway? How about futures based on alternate pasts -- do they count?
Ken MacLeod, Beth Meacham (m), Steven Popkes, Mike Resnick, Karl Schroeder
Jeffrey A. Carver, Steven Sawicki
Paul Levinson, Karl Schroeder
Henry James is supposed to have said, "Tell a dream, lose a reader." Has there ever been a dream sequence in genre literature that was really convincing? How about really interesting? And how about nightmares? Do they work better? Discuss, compare, contrast, and turn in your paper....
Craig Shaw Gardner, Greer Gilman, Shariann Lewitt, Paul Park (m)
Joshua B. Palmatier
Daniel P. Dern, Allen Steele
Come hear members of Broad Universe, an organization devoted to the promotion of women writers in speculative fiction, read from their recent works.
Make music and sing along with our Filk Guest of Honor and friends!
Steve Macdonald, Mary Ellen Wessels
A short discussion with an editor of 47 years' experience on how much work his job really is -- and how easy it is to learn how to do each part of it. While it helps to start out as, say, a second assistant deputy aide to an experienced editor, it's also possible to start out on one's own, picking up Helpful Hints from colleagues and (dare we say it?) lectures like this one....along with a certain mix of humility and self-confidence.
George H. Scithers
Why are so many SF/F books about war and not peace? And who is good (believable, anyway) at writing about war and who needs to go back to boot camp? Panelists will discuss realistic and unrealistic depictions of war in fantasy and science fiction....and may even do the same for peace....
Walter H. Hunt (m), Clayton L. McNally, Tamora Pierce, John Scalzi, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
What ultracool new gadgets do we gotta get? Which latest technotrend gets us closest to realizing some long-desired SF toy? Any chance it will truly make us healthy, happy, or wise? (Well, how about just cleaner or greener?) What unintended consequences have cropped up lately duel to modern tech (besides cell phones on planes, to say the least?) Finally, is the curve of technological progress finally flattening, or is arcing up higher?
Tobias Buckell, Cory Doctorow, Ernest Lilley (m), Edie Stern, Alicia Kestrel Verlager
Chicken soup for the fannish soul? How did science fiction, fantasy and horror help you make great decisions in your life? (Or not.)
John M. Ford, Esther Friesner, David G. Hartwell, Mike Resnick (m), Eleanor Wood
With groundbreaking characters -- strong women like Emma Peel and Cathy Gale; sympathetic Soviets like Illya Kuryakin; black men like Alexander Scott and Barney Collier, whose significant trait was their brains rather than ethnicity -- and in the context of fantasy and fun, these programs helped shatter stereotypes in ways that can still be seen as groundbreaking today. (And wehaven't even gotten to those glorious gadgets either.....)
Elizabeth Bear (m), Michael A. Burstein, Daniel Kimmel, Timothy Liebe
Join Guest Artist Donato Giancola in a comprehensive slide presentation on the classical and modern influences in his art; from the great figuration of Rubens to the portraiture of Rembrandt, see how this contemporary artist blends these traditional influences with the fascinating worlds of science fiction and fantasy today.
Charles Stross, Mary A. Turzillo
Geoffrey A. Landis, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller, Allen Steele
Where have all the barbarians gone? (Long time passing?) How and why did High Fantasy supplant Sword and Sorcery? Can there ever be the likes of deCamp and Conan, the Grey Mouser and Howard, etc., etc., again?
Ellen Asher, Mark L. Olson (m), Darrell Schweitzer, George H. Scithers
Paul Park, Melissa Scott
As physicians' power to actually affect outcomes grows, ethical challenges multiply. Does "First, Do No Harm" still apply to docs assisting coercive government interrogation? How about abortions? Body sculpting....and other (more futuristic) human alterations? How have ethics changed over the years, and how do (must?!) they keep changing? What would be our eventual ethical responses to treatment rationing? Cloning? Gene therapy? Cognitive enhancement? Immortality? Remember -- if we don't deal with this now, it might be too late.....
James Cambias, Elaine Isaak, Robert I. Katz, Paul Levinson (m)
Clarion is alive and well! For those interested in attending this year's session at Michigan State, we are currently reading manuscripts. Stop in for a preview of what to expect. Additionally, alumni and friends will want to catch up on the latest developments, and explore the new online benefits in becoming a member of the Clarion Circle.
James Patrick Kelly
Our panelists include several leading lights of the SF techno/weblog world. Let's find out about how blogs - those ethereal columns/commonplace books/clearinghouses/journals/digests/linkapoloozas - have evolved since they first began. What have been their greatest lessons? Failures? Successes? Surprises? What do they replace? Who (and how) do they influence? Where are they going? (Will they get there?)
Kathryn Cramer (m), Daniel P. Dern, Cory Doctorow, MaryAnn Johanson, Teresa Nielsen Hayden
If you and Bill Gates attend and enjoy 100 percent of this funny, informative, perennially popular talk, how much over $51 billion will the average net worth of the audience be?
Michael F. Flynn
Lois H. Mangan
Karl Schroeder, Wen Spencer
Now entering its tenth year and currently open for applications, Viable Paradise is a one-week intensive science fiction and fantasy writers workshop that takes place every autumn on Martha's Vineyard. Get a brief overview of the workshop, and get all your questions about it answered.
James D. Macdonald
Fabrics, Pins, Imagination! Come make your own costume.
Create paper animals, rockets, balls, or your own creation using the ancient art of Japanese paper folding.
Presentations to our honored guests -- and announcement of the winners of the NESFA Short Story Contest, the Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist, and the ever popular ("Put it where the sun doesn't shine") Skylark Award!
Science fiction, fantasy, and horror produced some damned fine stories, books, movies, art, and other ornaments to the universe during 2005. Which are worth a rocket? Why? Any sleepers?
Claire Anderson, Bob Devney, Vince Docherty, Jim Mann (m)
Not all good poems make good songs; not all good songs read well as poems. When author Laurie J. Marks included lyrics for a ballad in the manuscript for a book, fellow writers' group member and singer/songwriter Rosemary Kirstein offered to write the music. But -- changes (some small, some large) were necessary. Kirstein will read the original lyrics as she first encountered them, and recreate the process of turning them into a song. She'll explain her analysis, pinpoint reasons for changes in word-choice and narrative structure; explain the interplay between melody and lyrics and the method she used to find the melody; and finally sing the completed song.
Michael A. Burstein
James Cambias, Cory Doctorow
Home-made frosting, sugar cookies....what more could you ask for on a Sunday morning? Learn some decorating techniques and take your creations home.
The 2005 North Atlantic hurricane season was the most active on record, with a record 27 tropical storms, 15 hurricanes, four Category 5 hurricanes, and the worst property damage on record. We'll talk about why it was such a disastrous year.
Both Pullman's "His Dark Materials" series and Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia appeal to the young adult and adult audience. How do these series explore the nature of religion? How do they differ in concepts of good and evil, authority and responsibility? Pullman has criticized Lewis's work as religious propaganda, "blatantly racist," and "monumentally disparaging of women." How would Lewis reply? Is Pullman calling the kettle black? Can we still appreciate both?
John Farrell, Gregory Feeley (m), James D. Macdonald, Faye Ringel, Mary A. Turzillo
G.B. Shaw said of the English encyclopedist Samuel Johnson, "I have not wasted my time trifling with literary fools in taverns as Johnson did when he should have been shaking England with the thunder of his spirit." Done any tavern-trifling yourself lately? How abut TV watching? Web surfing? Cat vacuuming? How else do you distract yourself from getting any work done....and how do you get back to the writing?
Darlene Marshall (m), Beth Bernobich, Sarah Monette, Steven Popkes, Wen Spencer
This genre is wide and deep and wonderful. Discuss briefly. But....Miyazaki is 65 and threatening retirement. What new players are on the horizon from the Rising Sun -- and elsewhere? And outside anime, Sylvain Chomet of the sublime "Triplets of Belleville" has two new flicks announced. What else is coming up soon? With computer-generated imagery (CGI), is the future of animation to be merged into live action, with most movies becoming a mixture of both?
Lenny Bailes, Bob Devney (m), Esther Friesner, Timothy Liebe, Timothy P. Szczesuil
Join a few of the top artists today in a discussion ranging from the sources of their inspiration, through climactic revelations, to humbling moments. Travel with them on that twisted path in the search for content and the means toaccurately express their greatest motivations.
Donato Giancola (m), Thomas Kidd, Margaret Organ-Kean, Omar Rayyan
Recalling the immortal line from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" -- in a medieval landscape, how can you tell who's king? "He hasn't got shit all over him." Discuss re peasants, relative degree of delight probably possessed.
Judith Berman, Patricia Bray, Susan Hanniford Crowley, Joshua B. Palmatier, Tamora Pierce (m)
John M. Ford
How does a writer research ancient history for a science fiction novel? The Web's a good place to start -- but make sure you find at least three separate sources for facts and details in any dispute, as the Internet is rife with fiction (and not in the helpful sense). Encyclopedias -- the older the better -- can be treasure troves: most of the recent ones leave out lots of great old details. Museums are good places too -- and in a pinch, you can even put them into your novel as great places for characters to prowl. Find out how to marshal these and other great techniques to get the facts right.
Kathryn Cramer, Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross
From "Firefly" to "Futurama" to "Lost", those boxed season sets are proving popular with fans. What are the hits? Misses? Are you reliving reruns or playing catch-up? Do you experience story arcs differently? Is it worth the extras alone? How do you find the time?
Claire Anderson, MaryAnn Johanson (m), Laurie Mann, Shara R. Zoll
George R. R. Martin, Joshua B. Palmatier
Ann Tonsor Zeddies
We'll build balloon-powered hovercraft that float across a tabletop. Ths project combines easy craft skills with simple science, to make a fun toy to play with. Take yours home; amaze your friends; intrigue your teachers!
From small screen to paperback, this dialog explores the process of writing a "Battlestar Galactica" novelization. The authors discuss their varying approaches, and discuss the show in general.
Jeffrey A. Carver, Craig Shaw Gardner
A "trope" now signifies an accepted SF/F/H theme: hyperdrives, cyborging, immortality, time travel, wizards, ghosts.....what do they say about our field? Ourselves? What are the important tropes of the field? The new ones? (Hey -- when's the last time we added a new one?) The ones with the most juice left?
Don D'Ammassa, John R. Douglas (m), Walter H. Hunt, John McDaid, Allen Steele
How should a book sound? Should it be abridged? Dialog (and even descriptive narrative) are fairly easy (are they?), but what can you do about footnotes? Pictures? Weird punctuation? Charts? Discuss the present world of audio books, from straightforward narrations, full cast, dramatizations, text books for the blind....Where is it all going? Has the market changed significantly to encourage the production of more of these products? If so, what's driving itall?
Bruce Coville, Timothy Liebe, Alicia Kestrel Verlager, Eleanor Wood (m)
Geoffrey A. Landis
Where are they? What are they like? How are they different from each other? How do you select the one(s) for you?
Janice Gelb (m), Fred Lerner, Parris McBride, Peter Weston
De revolutione scientia in tempestas media......(could there have been a scientific revolution in the Middle Ages?) What elements were present, which absent? What scientific advances did take place? How did religion and natural philosophy interrelate -- and how might this have affected Science? And, if technology was present (and progressing) in the medieval world, why is it so often absent (or replaced by magic) in many of the fantasy worlds that seek to emulate Europe's middle ages? Could Tolkien's mindset (that industry was somewhat evil) have soured the prospects for technology in fantasy today?
Debra Doyle, Michael F. Flynn (m), Elaine Isaak, Faye Ringel
Ken MacLeod is having a conversation with classic SF -- he clearly has a deep affection for the genre, and incorporates classic phrases that allude to other stories in the canon. Who else does this, well or badly? What makes it fun? When is it more like stealing?
John M. Ford, Ken MacLeod, Mark L. Olson (m), John Scalzi, Karl Schroeder
Robert I. Katz
They can step on you, and have big scary teeth, and have to get brushed, and mucked out, and all sorts of other yucky things..... Well, OK -- that was from the person writing this.....but listen to our two editors discussing horses, and you might come away with a completely different view of the topic critters!
Ellen Asher, Beth Meacham
David G. Hartwell, George R. R. Martin, John Scalzi
What are our expert reviewers' usual tricks of wording? Omission? Misdirection? Prestidigitation? Are some readers onto them already? What if there's a surprise on page 1? In series, how do you handle later installments without spoiling earlier books? With classic reprints, can you assume widespread foreknowledge? Should you hint at the very existence of a major surprise?
Don D'Ammassa, Thomas A. Easton, Ernest Lilley (m), Steven Sawicki
Greer Gilman, Robert I. Katz
Illusion! Appearances and Disappearances of small objects! Are you sure that quarter wasn't in your ear?
Daniel P. Dern
Come help the Chick Flick Philosopher figure out the enduring appeal of this fractured fairy tale.
Robert Sheckley (1928-2005) was the field's first great satirist. His work -- 15 novels and around 400 short stories -- draws comparisons to Voltaire, Kafka, and the Marx Brothers. But mightn't Sheckley himself be the first to say his greatest contributions to human culture (besides two NESFA Press books....available in the Hucksters' Room.....) were the idea of intelligent refrigerators and an Ursula Andress movie?
What's new in physics and astronomy since last Boskone? (Answer: A lot!)
John Farrell, Jeff Hecht, Mark L. Olson
"It was a dark and stormy night" is probably not the best way to start a short story that will grab an editor (in the right way, anyway...). Editors peruse hundreds of stories a week, and most have the same openings or the same mistakes -- on the first page! Find out how to avoid these common mistakes, and make your story shine brightly enough that it will leap out of the slushpile (mixed metaphors probably don't work well in stories either, alas...). What are other ideas to help new writers get started?
Ginjer Buchanan (m), Jeffrey A. Carver, Elaine Isaak, George H. Scithers, Paul Tremblay
Is it ever? What makes it so? Does intent matter? Who decides? Why do we care?
Lenny Bailes, F. Brett Cox, William Hartmann, James Patrick Kelly (m), Chad Orzel
Watch our Official Artist paint a verbal self-portrait. How did he come to create his analytical engines, fallen knights, fossil dragons, fracture-vectored cityscapes, cute cartographers, and reflective robots, as well as the most sumptuous crowd scenes since the Renaissance?
Irene Gallo, Donato Giancola
Pity we couldn't find really sharp, informed, opinionated people for this panel. But, if you coax them, folks, these guys may discuss why U.S. copyright laws are Mickey Mouse; theme park rights to short stories; what the heirs of H.G Wells did to Stephen Baxter; what Google, Hollywood, Microsoft, and Harlan Ellison are up to; and other IP items of interest....
Cory Doctorow, Deb Geisler (m), Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Bruce Coville, Geoffrey A. Landis
Mary A. Turzillo
Hear about the joys and sorrows of starting an independent game company devoted to science and nature games. Do you really want to do this too?
Patricia Bray, Michael F. Flynn, Esther Friesner, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
How does being nominated for or winning the Campbell affect you as a writer? Does it help your career in publishing?
Elizabeth Bear, Michael A. Burstein (m), Wen Spencer
Debra Doyle, John Scalzi
How canonical must it be? Did it work? Was Darcy believable?
James Patrick Kelly
Sea stories of the age of fighting sail.....pirates.....shrimp boats? Why do so many fans like this stuff? (Hmm, well, maybe not the shrimp boats.) Perhaps a cruise is like a convention: we all embark together into a small but stimulating environment with its own rich customs (sodomy and the lash?), language, hierarchy, jokes, smells.....
Darlene Marshall (m), Beth Bernobich, James D. Macdonald, Jim Mann, Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Genre fiction is often noted as providing an experience to the author -- a "sense of wonder." The wonder could be from first contact with an alien, the discovery of a hidden land, an encounter with unexpected magic....it could be from hundreds of experiences. Can this group of experts more closely define and provide examples of, where the wonder was or is? And what inspired(s)(d) it most?
Kathryn Cramer, Fred Lerner (m), Mike Resnick, Karl Schroeder, Allen Steele
Mary Ellen Wessels
Even though our bookshelves may be crammed with horror novels, it's often said that horror works best in shorter forms. Hear several experienced writers debate, compare, contrast, and recommend dark fiction in its many forms.
Craig Shaw Gardner, Steven Popkes, Steven Sawicki, Darrell Schweitzer (m), Paul Tremblay
He once did an alternate history set in a world where the Roswell saucer didn't crash. He suspects the Devil invented the Internet. His novel "Newton's Wake" starts with a Glasgow crime family's having gotten its greedy hands on a wormhole network, while his most recent opus "Learning the World" features bats from outer space. He's been called the greatest living Trotskyite libertarian cyberpunk science-fiction humorist. Once, bored, he gave up reading (SF) for 10 years. We suspect he can find something interesting to say today.
Walter H. Hunt, Paul Levinson
Geoffrey A. Landis
You bid, you win, you pay.
Elizabeth Bear, William Hartmann
This is for kids up to 18 years old: Join Tamora Pierce for an hour of discussion.
From "God does not play dice" to "spooky action at a distance," from wave- particle duality to wavefunction collapse.... Quantum Mechanics is one of the strangest and most powerful theories in the history of science. What's all that weird stuff about, and what is it good for?
"Psssst! Did you hear the one about the giant albino alligators in the sewer system which bite the fingers off sleeping toddlers and put them in the Chicken Biscuits at the local Happy King?" What DO you know (which ain't necessarily true)? Panelists must put together believable urban legends on the spot, from elements of pre-existing urban legends, or submitted for consideration by audience members! (Who will also vote on their.....believability?....or, maybe not....) It ain't over till the Doberman chokes on the Vanishing Hitchhiker!
Michael A. Burstein, Esther Friesner, Craig Shaw Gardner, Leigh Grossman (m)
The classic case is the generation ship where something goes wrong and the culture which sent the ship out is overcome by a strongman or superstition. Join this discussion of "cultural drift." Why are small systems fragile, and what can be done with planning your mission to the nearest star (or wherever) to guard against this problem?
Tobias Buckell, F. Brett Cox, Michael F. Flynn, Sharon Lee (m), Ken MacLeod
This recent sequel to the short-lived but beloved TV series "Firefly" was in every way a better SF adventure movie than "Revenge of the Sith"....featuring, for instance, actually understandable plot and characterization. And we won't even talk about better belly laughs and battles, heroics and heartbreak, duels, death, and dialog. OK, actually we will....
Bob Devney (m), MaryAnn Johanson, Laurie Mann
Which writers are best at imagining the consequences as we move from tattoos, pacemakers, and dental implants to piping the Web directly into our heads? What's life like when we can reboot our gender? Breathe vacuum? Eat sunlight? What are the economics, esthetics, politics, poetics, and other possibilities of the human-technological translation from humanism to transhumanism to transmatterism? Where are the firelines we draw as these tropes of SF become facts of life?
Cory Doctorow, Robert I. Katz (m), Karl Schroeder, Charles Stross, Alicia Kestrel Verlager
Wherein you tell us what we did right, and what went wrong. While we can't fix any of this year's problems, we can use your ideas to make Boskone 44 even better!
Suford Lewis, Tony Lewis, Pam Fremon (m), Sheila M. Perry