Note: This is an almost final schedule. Times, participants and places are subject to change!
Sort of like a treasure hunt, sort of like geocaching.....fun and easy!
Our panel of accomplished artists will reveal which masters—in the genre or out of it—they admire and/or emulate. And...why?!
Alan F. Beck, Stephan Martiniere, Margaret Organ-Kean (m), Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Robert K. Wiener
Space is not the ocean, so why is it always a "space navy"? Why is "Starfleet" a fleet? It's basically how to think about the concept of a "ship" and how ships work with each other. However, are we talking more about an aircraft carrier here or a battleship? Find out how these models differ, and which might make more sense when thinking about combat in space.
Bored? We'll teach you some new board and card games!
Walter H. Hunt
Is science on the tube portrayed as being a source of salvation or satanic destruction. Looking at the treatment of science on TV (Eureka, Heroes, Dr. Who, Fringe, Primeval, Stargate.....yeah, you know the drill...) and what it says about the networks' (and public) attitudes towards science in this modern age...
Greg Bear, Yvonne Carts-Powell, John Farrell, Anthony R. Lewis (m), Jim Mann
What works....what doesn't? Besides having mysterious runic poems, intriguing omens, palsied prophets, or other such fantastic expository tricks, how can you pre-set the stage for what is coming next? Is it sometimes better just not to foreshadow? When?
Darlene Marshall, Greer Gilman, Alexander Jablokov (m), Mary A. Turzillo
With more than 100 novels and story collections, Poul William Anderson (1926- 2001) was the most prolific of SF and fantasy grandmasters. (NESFA Press is issuing his short fiction; check out the first volume in the Huckster's Room.) We'll discuss his fondness for themes such as the shrewdness of primitives and the blindness of moderns, the anguish of moral choice and the joy of a good joke. Also how the same guy could write "The Man Who Came Early," The High Crusade, Tau Zero, Midsummer Tempest, The Boat of a Million Years, "Uncleftish Beholding," and half of Hoka!—while inspiring friendly tributes from Douglas R. Hofstadter, Robert A. Heinlein, and Philip K. Dick.
Astrid Anderson Bear, David G. Hartwell, Rick Katze, Mark L. Olson (m)
What's good—what's bad—and how do you tell the difference? With Anticipation's experimenting with a Graphic Novel Hugo category, what should we be reading? Were five or more Hugo-worthy SF, fantasy, or horror graphic novels or comics produced in 2008? In most years? Let's name names. If you're a slobbering comix fandroid, a discerning champion of an innovative mixed-media artform whose time has come, or somebody who thinks they're the same thing, join this sure-to-be-lively discussion. Have graphic novels continued to grow in popularity, even among us old folks?
Christopher Golden, John Langan, Stefan Petrucha, Alisa Kwitney Sheckley (m), Rene Walling
Being a writer is a job like any other. There are revenues and expenses just like any business. Find out more in this conversation about the personal economic realities of this glamorous (!?) career.
S. C. Butler (m), Melinda Snodgrass, Ian Tregillis
It's tunes you know, and words you don't: we'll use well-known tunes, and lyrics from the NESFA Hymnal, to poke fun and sing a few songs. An old filk pro will be on hand to explain some of the lyrics. Then you can annoy your parents with such classics as "Banned From Argo!"
Erwin S. Strauss
Fans are slans. All fans want to become pros. No filkers can sing well. Fans are anti-religion. Fans accept everyone. Etc. What are some more such myths (assuming the aforesaid are myths, that is!)? How did these myths come into being—why does the fannish community create and foster this mythology anyway?
Darlene Marshall (m), Astrid Anderson Bear, Edward James, Margaret Organ-Kean, Joe Siclari
The sanitized versions of fairy tales leave out what matters: the scary parts. The Grimms took out the sex, and the Victorians took out the horror (and the rest of the sex), so what's left? And why do we care? What is it about "fairy tales" that really make people uncomfortable—and how can this be effectively used in the modern genre?
Greer Gilman, Theodora Goss (m), Mary Kay Kare, Josepha Sherman, Sonya Taaffe, Jane Yolen
Cyteen, which was published by C. J. Cherryh in 1988 and won the Hugo Award for best novel the following year, has been termed by our Guest of Honor Jo Walton "the second best book in all the world." Its sequel Regenesis finally came out last month. Was it worth the wait? Taken as a whole, what do these books have to say about ethics, cloning, psychogenesis (mind cloning), psychology, genetic manipulation, slavery, and the true nature of identity?
Chip Hitchcock, Matthew Jarpe, Robert I. Katz (m), Katherine Macdonald, Jo Walton
What sort of stuff do we really wish existed, but probably won't within our lifetimes? (Y'know—like negative calorie food, cat translating machines, cures for sinusitis, etc.) Have some fun, and see if you can actually come up with something wonderful, (potentially) useful, that might even be invent- able!
Tom Easton, Jordin T. Kare, Steve Miller, Mary A. Turzillo (m)
Daniel P. Dern
Hurry: Those Hugo nomination ballots are due in Montreal by March 1, people! Join us to help make up your mind about the best genre movies, TV shows, theatrical productions, and more of 2008.
Bob Devney, Vince Docherty, Daniel Kimmel (m), Jim Mann
David G. Grubbs
Edd Cartier, Chris Cooper, Janet Kagan, E. Gary Gygax, Arthur C. Clarke, Lois Mangan, Algis Budrys, Stan Winston, Thomas Disch, David Foster Wallace, and Forrest J Ackerman are no longer with us. Other writers, artists, fans, and well-recalled members of our community have also died since last we met. Let's remember a little of what they did, and what they meant to us.
Gregory Feeley, Jane Jewell (m), Anthony R. Lewis, Joe Siclari
A slide show about how different illustrators and painters over the years have approached painting the same female characters in myths and fairy tales.
Complete with a cake and maybe some spooky poetry, all in honor of birthday....
Performing live, top artists in the book cover field share their techniques, knowledge, and approaches to producing skillfully drafted drawings. The aesthetic and technical decisions made will be laid bare for observation and comments, giving a wonderful insight into the foundations laid for book illustration in the genre today.
Daniel Dos Santos, Donato Giancola, Omar Rayyan
Expanding on a remark by Cory Doctorow, Scott Westerfeld recently said: "The teen years are a time of irrevocable first experiences. Not just your first drink or sexual experience, but the first time you tell a significant lie, stand up to a bully, or betray a friend. The consequences of our actions are huge in those years—or at least feel that way—so it's not surprising that YA lit reflects that intensity. A fantasy where a protagonist has to save the world is fundamentally more believable to a teen. Adults don't think they can save the world anymore, and they rarely feel their setbacks as acutely." Discuss, with feeling.
Ellen Asher, Suzy McKee Charnas, Bruce Coville (m), Ann Downer, Christopher Golden, Sharyn November
It's 300 years since the Enlightmenment, and religion hasn't vanished from the planet. What is the forecast for religions in the future? Will there be more fundamentalist or more atheist types? (Will it matter?) How has SF portrayed future faiths? Will we find gods, demons, nothingness, or ourselves among the stars?
Jeffrey A. Carver, John Farrell (m), Dan Keohane, James D. Macdonald, James Morrow
The European Middle Ages lacked flush toilets; racial, gender, class, or practically any other sort of equality; and the potato. Plus armor was really sweaty, castles were drafty, and life expectancy at birth was about 30. Why are we so drawn to this epoch again and again?
Debra Doyle, Michael F. Flynn, Edward James, Faye Ringel (m)
The Dandelion Conspiracy has won. From its start in stairwells and hotel lobbies, filk has risen to become a respected part of con programming. But have we lost something along the way? Has the rise of filk "stars" damaged the "anyone can sing" principle which is at the heart of filk?
Jordin T. Kare, Priscilla Olson, Paul Shuch (m)
Some of the best fantasy novels on the shelves are singletons, never extended into sequels or series. Some are well-known, some not. What elements do they share? What can you do in one book that you can't do in a nice fat trilogy? Let's all bring lists of our favorite fantasy one-offs.
Don D'Ammassa, Gregory Feeley, Fred Lerner (m), Farah Mendlesohn, Davey Snyder
The New York Times called her "a modern equivalent of Aesop"....though there's no truth to the rumor that this Boskone favorite's career is so long and distinguished (317 books and probably more awards) that she once dated Aesop. However, Jane does have a birthday this week. Let's help her celebrate with treats, games, singing, and maybe even a little dance. And - there will be chocolate too!
Between remakes like The Incredible Hulk and The Day the Earth Stood Still, and sequels such as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Saw V, 2008 was not exactly the most original of cinematic epochs. Nor, despite Iron Man and The Dark Knight, is "Hey, let's make a movie out of a comic book!" the freshest idea in town anymore. Is creativity in Hollywood dead? Why, and what can be done about it? Would enough of us actually show up to see something truly fresh? And while we're at it, what are our exciting new movie ideas?
Bob Devney, Daniel Kimmel (m), James Morrow, Melinda Snodgrass
Do people prefer robots to look either human—or just kind of human? The Uncanny Valley is a supposed dip in the curve of our approval inhabited, for instance, by certain creepy Japanese robots or by the not-quite-right "people" in CGI movies such as The Polar Express or Beowulf. If valid, what does this say about us? Any relationship to racism? Should designers try to make robots more not less humanoid?
Muriel Hykes, Robert I. Katz, James Patrick Kelly, Paul Melko, Allen M. Steele (m), Charles Stross
Cheap romances. Yaoi manga. Archeology journals. Sword and sorcery. Cookbooks. What's your secret pleasure? Why? Does it affect your writing? (How?)
Patricia Bray (m), Mary Kay Kare, Juliet E. McKenna, Lawrence M. Schoen, Paul G. Tremblay, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Joshua B. Palmatier
Sing along with classic songs from the NESFA Hymnals. Loaner hymnals will be provided. Vocal skills are optional.
Erwin S. Strauss
The questions, from insultingly easy to ridiculously recondite, fly thick and fast on topics taken from science fiction, fantasy, and horror books, movies, TV, and comics. So when it comes to ending the evening with the most chocolate prizes, there can be only ONE! (Usually.) [Quick, who said that?]
Jim Mann, Mark L. Olson
It's open to all! Feast your eyes on the wonders of the Boskone Art Show while enjoying refreshments and refreshing conversation.
If you're lucky enough to create a long-running series, how do you stave off staleness? Have your protagonist take a new case, trip, job, or lover with every installment? Preplan a mega-story arc, building in new expansion joints, trapdoors, and maguffins as you go? Or just keep killing off everybody's favorite characters....?
Patricia Bray, Michael F. Flynn, Juliet E. McKenna, Steve Miller (m), Joel Shepherd
OK....it's not because you're crazy (is it?) So, why? How does creating this very darkest of the genres help you (or—one hopes!—your readers) make sense of the "real" world? To create understable connections with the BAD things around them? And, where—and how—does horror fail?
Christopher Golden, Dan Keohane, Sarah Langan (m), Paul G. Tremblay
Songs in memory of, by, loved by, or otherwise appropriate to Greg McMullan, Lois Mangan, and other filkers we've lost in recent years.
Rock, blues, jazz, folk - separately and in combinations....a music jam modeled after the "Minnesota Music Parties"....we thik you'll enjoy it here in the east too!
Alan F. Beck, Peter J. Heck, Rosemary Kirstein, Elise Matthesen, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Faye Ringel, Jon Singer, Adam Stemple, Sonya Taaffe
A favorite fun panel from last Boskone comes back from the dead. Again. We'll discuss past, present, and future zombiemania in books, movies, TV, comics, and maybe even real, uh, life. Why not stagger by and let us ea—that is, pick your braaiiins?
John Langan (m), Paul G. Tremblay
Jo Walton, Jane Yolen
Mary A. Turzillo
Yvonne Carts-Powell, Melinda Snodgrass
In 1999 John Cramer wrote a column in Analog describing seven big unsolved problems in physics (including the nature of dark matter, the origin of ultra- high energy cosmic rays, and the origin of the arrow of time). Today, in 2008, three of these problems have been solved. We'll talk about the seven problems, the three which have been solved, our current understanding of the rest, and perhaps add some new problems to the list.
Geoffrey A. Landis, Mark L. Olson (m), Chad Orzel, Karl Schroeder, Ian Tregillis
Original art—watercolors, oils, acrylics, whatever—is a unique physical artifact as well as being art. How do we protect a piece of original art? What damages different media and how best to protect them? And if an original artwork is damaged, what can be done about it? What kinds of damage can be restored and what damage is permanent?
Irene Gallo, Joe Siclari (m), Jerry Weist
Work with an artist to make a dragon out of Crayola Model Magic.
Not focusing on filk, per se, this is about how music interacts with science fiction/fantasy in the widest sense. How can one enhance the other?
Terrorist technology that's recently killed civilians includes chemical explosives, anthrax, box cutters, and bullets. What's next? What new threats arise from ubiquitous computing, truly efficient battery power, routine spaceflight, teleportation, or time travel? What scenario wouldn't you publish? (Or discuss?) Is terrorism a fad, or a feature of rising societal complexity/vulnerability?
Greg Bear, Jeff Hecht, James D. Macdonald, Allen M. Steele, Christopher Weuve (m)
What is it about "strong female protagonists" that appeals to so many male authors? (And what do they think is "stong?") ((And, why don't they ever write about "weak female protagonists", huh?) Does gender (of author or character?) make a difference, anyway?
Chris Howard, Paul Melko (m), Joshua B. Palmatier, Alisa Kwitney Sheckley, Joel Shepherd
From the Grail stories to The Lord of the Rings, Ringworld to Anathem, fantastic literature often tells of an adventurous journey in search of a mysterious goal. What are the quest's advantages, for both writer and reader, over family sagas, revenge dramas, or other forms? What new turns might a 21st century quest take?
Ann Downer, Rosemary Kirstein, Paul Park (m), Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Nina Harper, Adam Stemple
Screaming "this is crap" is somewhat impolite. Sleeping with the instructor (unless really cute) breaks the rules. Our panelists, who have been there and done that (well, maybe....) when it comes to writers' workshops, offer similar and sometimes even more practical tips for workshop selection and survival.
Theodora Goss, Alexander Jablokov, James Patrick Kelly, Juliet E. McKenna, Steven Popkes (m)
Never been to a science fiction convention before? Or a Boskone? Join this tour to find out more about what we do and who we are!
David G. Hartwell, Geoffrey A. Landis, Charles Stross
Bestselling YA author R. L. Stine claims "There's a very close tie between humor and horror." True? Examples? Theories why or why not? Are there more instances of this in young adult than in adult genre fiction? What is "funny" anyway...?
Craig Shaw Gardner, Daniel Kimmel, John Langan, James Morrow (m), Stefan Petrucha
There may be some shortcuts to take—but they also include traps to avoid. Learn from the pros what not to do when creating a masterwork.
Daniel Dos Santos, Bob Eggleton (m), William O'Connor, David R. Seeley
Writers shouldn't neglect their bodies. How do you force physical activity into your otherwise sedentary working and writing life, despite the fact that it will eat up your free time?
And, when is SF a thriller? The fact is, mainstream writers often borrow SF elements for their technothrillers. More recently, however, some SF authors have co-opted mainstream strategies for works such as Greg Bear's Quantico, Nancy Kress's Oaths and Miracles, Kathleen Ann Goonan's The Bones of Time, and Melinda Snodgrass's Reason. Are these kind of stories still satisfactory as SF? Does a thriller or detective structure help writers avoid the usual difficulties of crafting convincing near-future extrapolations?
Greg Bear, Don D'Ammassa (m), Robert I. Katz, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Melinda Snodgrass
So many alternate histories spin off "battles that went the other way?" Or, important kingpins that get killed? Why is that? Why don't more people use non- military turning points? We'll discuss more obscure—and possibly more interesting—branch points that might make for cool alternate history stories. What if Ann Boleyn's son had grown up? If Jesus were a woman? If the Greeks had phonograph records? If Titanic hit a warm spell? If Shakespeare wrote novels? If chocolate stayed inedible?
Beth Bernobich, Michael F. Flynn, Peter J. Heck, Edward James (m), Jo Walton
Isn't YA literature for kids? Why, then, do adults read and enjoy it? Simplicity? Solace? Familiarity? Is it more than just second childhood? What makes YA distinctive and is that distinctivness what attracts adult readers?
Ellen Asher, Bruce Coville, Paul Melko, Sharyn November (m), Adam Stemple
Debra Doyle, Elaine Isaak
Besides cramming ten in a room and living on stale potato chips all weekend, how can you get through a convention as cheaply as possible? Participants share tales from the good old days, and offer some strategies to help you stay a fan in these difficult financial times.
Steve Miller, Margaret Organ-Kean, Edie Stern (m), Rene Walling
Have you ever wondered how a knight got into his armor? It wasn't easy! Come watch as the demonstrators of the Higgins Armory Sword Guild harness a knight for cambat and explain how his armor works.
Juliet E. McKenna
John Langan, Sarah Langan, Stefan Petrucha
Paul Melko, Josepha Sherman
Ebooks. Print-on-demand. Podcasts. What else? A discussion of what kinds of new technological break-throughs are available to authors today, their advantages and disadvantages—and why bother with them?!
Darlene Marshall (m), Chris Howard, James Patrick Kelly, Dani Kollin, Eytan Kollin, Shane Tourtellotte
Once upon a time there were n/i/n/e/ eight planets, but now there are over three hundred scattered through hundreds of solar systems. What do they tell us about planets that we didn't know before? What do they tell us about our own Solar Syetem? Is it typical or is it a freak? How common are planets, anyway? The Solar System has one habitable planet, one margially habitable (Mars) and several more (Europa, Titan, possibly Enceladus) than might bear life—does it seem likely that habitable planets are common in the universe? Talk about the interesting oddities—what are we finding out there? What are the prospects for the future?
Jordin T. Kare, Geoffrey A. Landis, Paul Shuch
Astrid Anderson Bear, Priscilla Olson, Edie Stern
Alan F. Beck
Join two major art collectors as they case the art show—find out what criteria they use when buying art, and which artists are hot prospects.
Robert K. Wiener, Jerry Weist
Allen M. Steele
Military SF has a bit of a bad reputation since at its worst, it's war porn. But some of it is more than that. Discuss the best of contemporary and classic military SF. Why do people enjoy it and why is it an enduring theme in SF? Does it ever rise above being purely entertainment?
Ellen Asher, Walter H. Hunt (m), James D. Macdonald, Christopher Weuve
From Circe to the beautiful wicked stepmother in Snow White, and from Grendel's (movie) mom to the Baroness Ceaucescu, she fixes us in her fascinating gaze. She is a (ahem...."wicked") powerful image! Why does she resonate through the ages? Is the evil temptress fun to write? Does she represent female villainy or female power? Can there be such a thing as a good temptress? Give some further examples of this archetype in the modern sf/f genre.
Mary Kay Kare, Rosemary Kirstein, Elise Matthesen (m), Paul Park, Jane Yolen
If you enjoyed our similar panel last year, you'll love this one! We'll talk again about how favorite stories or authors lead us to others, alike in interesting or unexpected ways. Like Stephen King? Try Richard Laymon. Hornblower? Temeraire. Iain M. Banks? Alistair Reynolds. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress? Growing Up Weightless. Bruce Sterling? Paolo Bacigalupi.
Daniel P. Dern, Alexander Jablokov, Nina Harper, Steve Miller, Faye Ringel (m)
Craig Shaw Gardner
Katherine Macdonald, Sharyn November
Sassafrass; Paul Estin
Tom Easton, Allen M. Steele
Many of the lightsaber techniques we see in the Star Wars movies are based on Japanese katana and European longsword traditions. Watch as the HASG presents a lightsaber demonstation based on historically accurate longsword techniques used by knights during the Middle Ages. May the Force be with you!
Suzy McKee Charnas, Craig Shaw Gardner, Karl Schroeder
Jeffrey A. Carver, Jeff Hecht
All the King's horses and all the King's men, couldn't put SF together again! Once upon a time, SF was simple—it was about spaceships and the occasional odd fantasy didn't count. Now there is quest fantasy and war porn and paranormal romance and novelizations of games and magical realism and fantasy hardboiled detectives and who knows what else. Is SF fragmenting? Is this likely to be a good or bad thing for the genre? Will it bring in new readers? Provide new markets for the writers? Or will it sap our precious bodily fluids?
Peter J. Heck, Fred Lerner (m), Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Jon Singer, Eleanor Wood
There was a time when radio shows were one of the chief ways many got their fixes of entertainment. And then there was television. And cheaper books. However, more and more people are (re-)discovering the advantages and enjoyment of hearing the written word. How is this playing out? What enhances the fans' audio enjoyment? What directions is audio entertainment taking?
Bruce Coville, Michael McAfee, Jennifer Pelland, Joe Siclari (m), Adam Stemple
Be amazed! Be amused! And maybe learn some magic feats yourself!
Daniel P. Dern
Mark L. Olson
See the clash of fully-armored knights as they would have fought in the Middle Ages! Hollywoods images of armored combat rely on made-up moves and special effects. Watch as the HASG presents the actual techniques, as described in medieval manuals, that knights used in battle.
Our Guest of Honor is interviewed by Rene Walling, co-chair of the upcoming Anticipation Worldcon and Jo's Montreal neighbor. Topics may include writing her alternate-history Small Change series (about a fascist Britain) with applicability but not allegory; why being from Wales and living in Montreal make you a better writer; whether her LiveJournal and the new Tor Web site are distractions or key to a public writing life; her novel-in-progress about an alternate ancient Mediterranean; her favorite great works of British literature and cool SF/F stories; her dislike of fascism, television, and Microsoft Windows; and her love of reading aloud, dragons, poetry, cooking, cracking good war yarns, tea, and trains.
Rene Walling, Jo Walton
Stephanie Meyer's bestselling YA vampire romance books have been described as handing teenage girls the following life lesson: "Love means staying with your guy forever, even though he may injure or kill you at any minute." Any other genre works possibly sending undesirable signals? If so, so what?
Beth Bernobich, Ann Downer, Josepha Sherman, Wen Spencer, Ann Tonsor Zeddies (m)
No question about it—there are some terrific tales in the Bible. What are some that are particularly interesting to you, as a storyteller? How can you extract and use this material, while still showing some respect for its source (if that matters)?
Dan Keohane, James Morrow (m), Sonya Taaffe, Jane Yolen
Juliet E. McKenna, Joshua B. Palmatier
What will the drugs of the future be? Where will they come from? How will they be produced? Tested? Will we have a cure (or, treatment) for everything—OK, why not?
Tom Easton, Muriel Hykes, Matthew Jarpe, Robert I. Katz (m)
Fighting in the Middle Ages could be brutal, and never more so than when combatants faced each other armed only with daggers. See the skills needed to survive a medieval knife fight, as taught in contemporary combat manuals and presented by the HASG.
Greg Bear, Steve Miller, Alisa Kwitney Sheckley
Matthew Jarpe, Dani Kollin, Eytan Kollin
Does great art always make a great cover? Must it always both tell and sell? What (if any) do the best covers share? How do you make a decision, as an artist, editor, art director (etc.) what really belongs on a cover? Talk about truly outstanding (and/or horrific) covers that have adorned science fiction, fantasy, and horror books. Can a once-great cover go out of fashion?
Irene Gallo, Stephan Martiniere, Sharyn November, Joel Shepherd, Jerry Weist (m)
A look at how on-going changes in the European Economic Community affect politics, economics, and even book publishing in the present and near-future.
S. C. Butler, Vince Docherty (m), Glenn Grant, Edward James
Find out more about what makes Boskone different from other science fiction conventions, with one of NESFA's founders.
Anthony R. Lewis
Learn to be a soldier in a medieval army! Members of the Higgins Armory Sword Guild will demonstrate the use of the halberd, a late-medieval polearm, and then teach participants battlefield drill with the weapon.
Michael F. Flynn
If an artificial intelligence is powerful enough, might it just as well be an angel? A god? (Can we worship something we ourselves create—or is that all we've ever done?) What light do Banks's Minds, Vinge's Transcended Powers, Clarke's Third Law, or our panelists' work shed on the boundary area between machine and deus ex machina? And in story terms, don't advanced AIs suffer from Superman Syndrome? (The more superduperness, the less suspense.) At a certain level, is there a (firm?) border between the technological and the numinous?
Jeffrey A. Carver (m), Walter H. Hunt, Karl Schroeder, Charles Stross, Shane Tourtellotte
Its inventor, our Guest of Honor Jo Walton, defines "incluing" as "the process of scattering information seamlessly through the text, as opposed to stopping the story to impart the information." What other tactics do good writers get up to? We'll discuss fresh ways of looking at how working writers do what they do
Greer Gilman, James D. Macdonald, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Mary A. Turzillo, Jo Walton (m)
Not necessarily the best, or your favorites. But which works of science fiction, fantasy, or horror changed the paradigm? For better or worse, which actually took the genre—or the world—in a new direction? How? Why? How have they influenced your own work?
Theodora Goss, David G. Hartwell, James Patrick Kelly, Sarah Langan (m), Farah Mendlesohn
Lawrence M. Schoen, Allen M. Steele
Do you think a strong arm is all you need to use a sword? Well, it just isn't so. Experience the subtleties of the medieval German tradition of longsword combat, in this demonstration by the HASG of techniques from a 1452 fight manual.
S. C. Butler, Paul Melko, Adam Stemple
Gregory Feeley, Paul Park
Board and role-playing games seem to be more popular than ever. Sales of videogames recently surpassed those of both movie tickets and DVDs. Shared worlds flourish on the web. Why are they so popular? Additionally, many of these games have SF, fantasy, or horror themes. What are the most common and/or effective? What similar itches do reading, writing, and gaming scratch? How do writers use their gaming experiences in their work?
Muriel Hykes, Eytan Kollin, Juliet E. McKenna, Christopher Weuve (m)
Enjoy an entertaining and comprehensive look on the processes and techniques used by some modern masters. A roller coaster ride of images will trace their work from abstract sketch to final drawing to finish in oil paint/photoshop/acrylics. This presentation bares the working secrets or these artists, and reveals just how similarly they all work, regardless of media.
Daniel Dos Santos (m), Donato Giancola, Stephan Martiniere, David R. Seeley
A celebration of two of NESFA Press' most recent publications. And there will be cake!
Astrid Anderson Bear, Greg Bear, David G. Grubbs, Rick Katze, Christopher Kovacs
Watch the most romantic of swords in action! The rapier is the best-known of swords, appearing in everything from Shakespeare to swashbuckler movies. In this presentation, the HASG revives the lost art of its use as described in one of the earliest systematic manuals of the rapier.
James Patrick Kelly
In a discussion of Lord Dunsany's grave, Denny Lein posted: "He is not dead, but only sleeps. Prophecy of the once and future stylist says that when Fantasy hath need of him in the drear days when the Dark Lord, Terry Brooks, shows up regularly on the bestseller lists, he shall wake, return, and sic the gnoles on him." Fair or unfair or hope for the future?
Debra Doyle (m), Theodora Goss, David G. Hartwell, Darrell Schweitzer, Teresa Nielsen Hayden
So what happened in astronony and physics in 2008? Old mysteries solved? New mysteries found? Join us for the annual panel on the wonders of our universe!
Jeff Hecht, Geoffrey A. Landis, Mark L. Olson
What do gay characters say to gay readers? To nongays? How do gay characters/gayness speak to everyone, and elucidate themes hard to express in other ways. For example, do stories wherein gay characters are metaphors for "the alien"/"the other" (hmmm, or vice versa?) work for you? What are some of the most interesting and important examples of the GBLT world in the modern genre?
Katherine Macdonald (m), Elise Matthesen, Joshua B. Palmatier
Farah Mendlesohn, James Morrow
....so that you don't have to.... Listen and discuss....
When the first English colonists came to America, they expected to have to fight. Muskets and pikes dominated the battlefields of Europe, and would soon decide Britain's fate in the English Civil Wars. See the HASG demonstrate how the colonists brought this military techniques to the New World.
Bruce Coville, Ann Downer, Jo Walton
Daniel P. Dern, Robert I. Katz
It's 200 years since Darwin's birth, and 150 years years after he published Origin of Species. Why are people still having problems with the concept? How much did Darwin get right—and wrong? Where do we apes go from here? (in fact, what strange species could evolve in the future? On other worlds?)
John Farrell, Jeff Hecht (m), James Morrow, Priscilla Olson, Steven Popkes
H. Paul Shuch ("Dr. SETI")'s multimedia presentation, with sing-along songs, on the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, and how you can participate in it.
There is a theory that zombies were the characteristic monster of the Bush years, while vampires are the favorites of the Democrats....should it be the opposite? Does this explain the most recent upsurge of interest in vampires?
An invitation longsword tournament, with steel swords and period rules. Demonstrations of dagger vs. longsword, and sword and buckler combat will be included.
Is your place too tightly packed with discs, tapes, and tomes? Art, action figures, fabric, and fanzines? There's no time like today for a little downsizing and decluttering. Come share tips and sympathy with other over- stuffed fans....(but, can you stop yourself from collecting again?)
Anthony R. Lewis, Joe Siclari, Jon Singer (m), Davey Snyder, Robert K. Wiener
Is the near future mined out? (Is it even possible, anymore, to write exciting SF about a trip to the moon?) Have all the exciting things in the universe already been overused? How can fresh and exciting backdrops for fresh and exciting fiction be created? Give examples!
Michael F. Flynn, Glenn Grant (m), Geoffrey A. Landis, Karl Schroeder, Allen M. Steele
From boxers to bikinis, girdles to corsets, what does our underwear—or lack thereof—say about our culture? Is it wrong for senior citizens to sport G- strings under their pantsuits? For pre-teens to invest in push-up bras? A (somewhat) light-hearted look at what out unmentionables (and why, we ask you?) mention about us.
Beth Bernobich, Katherine Macdonald (m), Elise Matthesen, Josepha Sherman, Edie Stern
What if Frankenstein hadn't been published? If Star Wars came out the day the Challenger exploded? If Heinlein had been a woman? What other interesting branchpoints can we imagine in the history of our genres themselves, and what would the alternative SF, fantasy, or horror scenes look like today?
Don D'Ammassa, Jane Jewell, Fred Lerner, Farah Mendlesohn, Lawrence M. Schoen, Darrell Schweitzer (m)
Theodora Goss, Melinda Snodgrass
Today is Valentine's Day. Would you rather get chocolate, flowers, or (hint hint) the latest NESFA Press book? (If Loverlips doesn't "get" your favorite, is the relationship over?) More generally, what genre works should one bestow, with hope and trembling, on a new or prospective sweetheart? Must the content or themes of these stories be explicitly romantic? In fact, is there a future for romantic love.....and, if so, what is it?
Darlene Marshall (m), Nina Harper, Paul Park, Jennifer Pelland, Wen Spencer
James D. Macdonald
Walter H. Hunt, Paul Park, Allen M. Steele
Patricia Bray, Yvonne Carts-Powell
A look back at material produced in the field over the last year. What was good.....what was great! Recommendations??? Where is horror heading?
Craig Shaw Gardner, John Langan, Sarah Langan (m), Paul G. Tremblay
What exactly were the charges? And what was going on behind the curtain? Why did Huxley later say that the Church has the better case? What was the role of the Aristotelians? The Jesuits?
Michael F. Flynn
No, it's not over. It can't be over! Help!!
A close-up hands-on look at some fascinating antique tech!
Exercsies and hands-on lessons for students of all ages. This workshop/demo will explore some of the finer points of the art of concept art for games, films, etc.
When Pandora let the ills out of the box, hope was left. If you destroy hope
there will be nothing....true/false? So, how/why if you take away everything
from a character would anyone care about the character? What can be salvaged (or
learned) from the wreakage of an individual or society when nothing remains? Why
bother writing about such
Suzy McKee Charnas, James Morrow, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Mary A. Turzillo (m), Jo Walton
S. C. Butler
Bruce Coville, Rosemary Kirstein
A performance circle in which each of the participants, armed with binders or laptops full of songs, must follow the previous song in some way—tune, subject, or whatever excuse they can think of.
Gary Ehrlich, Paul Estin, Gary D. McGath (m), Benjamin Newman
Improvisational performances (and you can try out too!) by characters in search of roles in an epic fantasy.....a hilarious introduction to Saturday Night (live!) at Boskone this year.
Bruce Coville, Dan Keohane, Michael McAfee, Jennifer Pelland, Josepha Sherman, Jane Yolen
Astrid Anderson Bear, Greg Bear, Bob Eggleton, Irene Gallo, David G. Grubbs, Geoffrey A. Landis, Stephan Martiniere, Paul Shuch, Charles Stross, Jo Walton, Jane Yolen
Presenting a dramatic presentation, written by Guest of Honor, Jo Walton.
David G. Grubbs, Chip Hitchcock, Alexander Kay, Anthony R. Lewis, Julia Liberman, Michael McAfee, Faye Ringel, Davey Snyder, Jane Yolen
What were the best science fiction or fantasy novels, novellas, novelettes, short stories, and related books of 2008? Bring your favorites and your strong opinions to this stellar discussion. Heck, bring your Hugo nomination ballots too—they're due in only a couple of weeks!
Claire Anderson, Vince Docherty, Jim Mann (m), Mark L. Olson
A celebration in honor of Forry Ackerman, one of the true BNFs in the history of science fiction. Party as you explore your inner monster! Join the Midnight Voice of Horror Contest - let us hear your werewolf howl, robotic drone, alien ultimatum, ghoulish gloat, or other eldrich utterance.
Lawrence M. Schoen
Juliet E. McKenna, James Morrow
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was born 200 years ago last month (in a rooming house a few blocks south of the Boston Public Gardens). Eventually he invented the detective story and wrote some early SF, but he's recalled worldwide as a giant of fantastic literature because of his mastery of the macabre. Are works such as "The Raven," "The Fall of the House of Usher," and "The Pit and the Pendulum" still worth reading? Why? Does he have anything to teach 21st century horrormongers? And, although his influence on horror is indisputable; he also touched on the fields of mystery and perhaps even science fiction. We'll discuss how Poe has resonated with, and reshaped, his literary followers.
Edward James, John Langan, Fred Lerner (m), Darrell Schweitzer
Can you be an artist and not care about clothes? Which artists shine at depicting fabrics, textures, and modeling? How have TV and movies influenced genre costume depiction? How much research goes into medieval couture for a high-fantasy piece? What's the well-dressed man, woman, or alien of the future wearing these days?
Alan F. Beck, Chris Howard, Elaine Isaak (m), Margaret Organ-Kean, Ruth Sanderson
Robert I. Katz
Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman says becoming an economist was the closest he could get to becoming Asimov's Hari Seldon. Plus the dismal economy has the dismal science on everyone's mind lately. Has SF paid sufficient attention to the subject? (Forget the less-than-convincing economic model presented in, say, "The Trouble with Tribbles.") What SF works have offered convincing descriptions of how a real business might be conducted in space? More broadly, what might a futuristic economy look like? Can you describe one without putting the reader (or the audience) to sleep?
S. C. Butler, Dani Kollin, Mark L. Olson (m), Karl Schroeder, Charles Stross
Pitfalls. What? Why? How to avoid them.....
Michael A. Burstein, David G. Hartwell, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Josepha Sherman (m), Eleanor Wood
Dr. Who. Primeval. Torchwood. Etc. Just what is it about (modern?) British SF on TV?
Patricia Bray, Yvonne Carts-Powell (m), Vince Docherty, Jim Mann, Jennifer Pelland
Melinda Snodgrass, Ian Tregillis
Greg Bear, Michael F. Flynn
Readings and discussion by our selected group of personable poets....
Geoffrey A. Landis, Sonya Taaffe, Mary A. Turzillo (m), Jo Walton, Jane Yolen
Michael F. Flynn, Josepha Sherman, Jane Yolen
Tolkien modeled the Shire on it, of course, but what other "ideal" representations of the English countryside are there? Panellists will dissect examples of same. Why is it a particularly appealing setting for such a variety of works? ((Why not downtown Leeds instead?))
Ellen Asher, Greer Gilman, Jo Walton
Roger Joseph Zelazny (1937-1995) won six Hugos and three Nebulas with highly literate work such as his early masterpieces Call Me Conrad/This Immortal (1965/6) and Lord of Light (1967). (NESFA Press is issuing the Collected Stories; check out the first two volumes in the Huckster's Room.) With his later wildly popular 10-novel Chronicles of Amber, was he cashing a paycheck or broadening his audience? What were his innovations, themes, obsessions, and influences? Whom has he influenced? What stuff still stands up? What's unjustly overlooked?
Jeffrey A. Carver, David G. Grubbs (m), Christopher Kovacs, Melinda Snodgrass, Charles Stross
What are the plusses and minuses of writing in the first person? Sure, you may gain a sense of immediacy, but what might you lose? How is it done well? Badly?
Darlene Marshall, Debra Doyle, Joshua B. Palmatier (m), Paul G. Tremblay, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Are there any superpowers left that we haven't seen? That we'd rather not see? Participants will explore these themes, and more.
Michael A. Burstein, Yvonne Carts-Powell, Daniel P. Dern (m), Matthew Jarpe, Alisa Kwitney Sheckley
Fellow professionals will engage in a raw (or heated) discussion with Irene Gallo,the most popular and respected art director in the field today. What does she have to say about the state of the industry? How has she advanced the appreciation of the arts in the illustration field—from book publishing to conventions to board memberships to gallery exhibits? Find out how she serves up the best—in art.
Irene Gallo, Donato Giancola (m), Stephan Martiniere, David R. Seeley
Well, is it? If so, why? And when is "random" not so??
Greg Bear (m), Jeff Hecht, Geoffrey A. Landis, Chad Orzel
James D. Macdonald, Stefan Petrucha
Why is it important for professionals to make connections within the science fiction community? How can having an "in" with fandom help one's career? How do you develop such rapport? (And can you damage your career by doing it all wrong?)
Jane Jewell, Dani Kollin, Eytan Kollin, Priscilla Olson (m), Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Eleanor Wood
Michael A. Burstein, Joshua B. Palmatier, Darrell Schweitzer
Geoffrey A. Landis, Steve Miller
Do writers ever get typecast? Is this exclusively because of what they've done in the past, but are there other (gender, whatever?) biases? What are some of the ways professionals can get out of the mold into which they're cast, and build a new identity?
Nina Harper, Juliet E. McKenna, Lawrence M. Schoen, Melinda Snodgrass (m), Wen Spencer, Mary A. Turzillo
In brief, two main questions: (1) Is it really art? (2) How is it done?
Alan F. Beck, Chris Howard, Stephan Martiniere, David R. Seeley (m)
Walter H. Hunt
Stephanie Meyer has created a teen phenomenon, cute fuzzy vampires that hunt wild animals instead of humans. Why is her vampire romance so appealing to teenagers? How come adults don't get it (we liked Harry Potter. ) How has the "Twilight" phenomenon changed the way the culture looks at vampires? Or—how publishers look at the YA audience?
Suzy McKee Charnas, John Langan, Sarah Langan (m), Sharyn November, Faye Ringel
It's list-making time, as we decide what books really don't deserve their reputations. Hate Heinlein? Couldn't stand the Silmarillion? Got bored with Jack Vance? Dhalgren? Argue for—and against—your list.
Don D'Ammassa, Tom Easton (m), Gregory Feeley, Glenn Grant
Backstabbers we love to hate range from Herbert's Dr. Yueh to Vinge's Skroderiders, Rosemary's husband to assorted Cylon skin jobs. Any other noted examples in the genre? The friend who subsequently betrays our hero or heroine is often among the nastiest villains on any writer's enemies list. Why? How do you write this kind of character effectively? Why would you want to?
S. C. Butler, Elaine Isaak, Rosemary Kirstein, Steven Popkes (m), Karl Schroeder
Dani Kollin, Eytan Kollin
Greer Gilman, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Last year the sea ice grew, reversing a trend. Global warming is proven, but how bad can it be, really? And would it be so terrible to someday have no snow for Boskone?
Vince Docherty, James Morrow, Mark L. Olson, Chad Orzel (m)
Alisa Kwitney Sheckley
Jeffrey A. Carver, Rosemary Kirstein, Jo Walton
Walter H. Hunt, Charles Stross
Someone once described a small press as an organization devoted to turning cash into garages full of unsold books. NESFA Press has been relatively successful, having published over a hundred books without going broke, and is now one of the leading publishers reprinting short SF. How does it work? What makes it successful? Are there lessons to be leared for other small presses? Why do we do this? (For the sake of the trust?)
David G. Grubbs (m), Anthony R. Lewis, Jim Mann, Mark L. Olson
It's been 50 years since the military first tried to build a laser. So, where are all the laser guns and laser cannons? A discussion and brainstorming about the history of laser technology, and where it might go from here.
Daniel P. Dern
What should you actually do in a disaster?
James D. Macdonald
Most people are familiar with Thomas Malthus' depressing theories: as population increases, food and other resources decrease, and the likelihood of disease increases, resulting in a population crash. How true are his theories today? Is population increase inevitable? What about disease, in this age of medicine?
Debra Doyle, Matthew Jarpe (m), Robert I. Katz, Jon Singer, Teresa Nielsen Hayden
From business cards to blogging, advertising to authors' tours....what works? What is dismally disappointing (or even definitively damaging)? The panel discusses interesting ways to become famous (OK, well known?......make a living?) that won't turn people off!
Michael A. Burstein, Elaine Isaak, Dani Kollin, William O'Connor, Shane Tourtellotte (m)
Crazy writers. Weird artists. Demands from above and below. What do you really want to say about all this?
Peter J. Heck, Sharyn November (m), Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Sarah Langan, Mary A. Turzillo
Gary Ehrlich, Benjamin Newman
Suzy McKee Charnas
Geoffrey A. Landis
Chris Howard, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Karl Schroeder, Jo Walton
The audience will be led through a flashfiction writing exercise. Based on the program leader's prompts, individuals will write a short short story, and discuss the experience.
Find out about an amazing week-long immersion course in art held this past year. What is it like to work 15 hours a day for a full week—and still want more? Images of what transpired, as well as how to get in on the next experience, will be shared.
Irene Gallo, Donato Giancola
Watch an Isshin-Ryu yellow belt in action - and maybe he'll teach you a few moves, too.
Astrid Anderson Bear, Priscilla Olson, Edie Stern
So nu? What makes you think you've written a yiddische yarn? Or are you kvetching because the thing is vormischt? What make a tale uniquely Jewish? Do you have to be a Jew to write it? Can you have a Jewish story without a single Jew or drop of Yiddish? (And yes, Superman is Jewish.)
Fred Lerner, Anthony R. Lewis
How can you use folklore to fill in plots and create easily familiar (but not necessarily recognizable) structure in a story? How to do it right - and how to recognize when it's done wrong? What works, and why? When you try to filch a little folk magic, how do you know which detail the devil is in? Is there any remaining obligation to be wise and tell a truth? Do today's kids know any folklore anyway?
Greer Gilman, Theodora Goss (m), Katherine Macdonald, Farah Mendlesohn, Adam Stemple
Ghost stories have a long history. Do the novels and short works being written about ghosts today differ from those of the past—explain how and/or why (and give examples: you may be graded on this...) And why write about ghosts—aren't the living interesting enough?
Gregory Feeley, Elise Matthesen, Stefan Petrucha, Faye Ringel (m), Darrell Schweitzer
See just how many ways there are to leave the planet....and find out which ones are feasible and/or under development. (And why the other ones aren't....yet?)
Jordin T. Kare, Geoffrey A. Landis
Jeffrey A. Carver
Beth Bernobich, Ann Downer
How far can you get while reading this unbelievable awful manuscript?
The Boskone Gripe Session is your chance to help us make next year's Boskone better. If you see something we can improve, c'mon by and tell us about it. (n.b., we already know about the weather and are promising 70 degrees and sunny next year...)
Jim Mann, Priscilla Olson
Michael A. Burstein