Helmuth, Speaking for Boskone #1

Friday Afternoon Edition, 2/14/97

Welcome to Boskone 34!

Hi. This is Helmuth, your Boskone newsletter. We should be out five or six times during the convention (depending on the amount of news). Copies should be available at Information, in the Con Suite, in the Dealers' Room, and at other gathering places. We'll have program changes, party listings, award winners, and any other important information that turns up.

We welcome your news (especially those party listings) or commentary. There will be boxes set up to receive Helmuth contributions at Information (on the Promenade) and at Services (in the Executive Boardroom, down the corridor past the elevators). Contribute early and often!

The next issue should be out around mid-evening, with a list of the Friday night parties. Try to get your announcements in by 6:00 if possible.

Great Stuff Tonight!

Your attention is called to the major program items in the Grand Ballroom tonight.

At 7:30 is the Meet the VIPs Party, in which most of our program participants will be sitting at tables and signing autographs. (It's set up like a World Fantasy Con autographing session, if you're familiar with that.)

At 8:30 our Guest of Honor conducts "Ask Dr. Mike -- Boskone 101," which is indescribable (or at least Dr. Mike declined to describe it when I asked him). Come and find out!

And at 9:30 is "Whose Line Is It, Anyway," which Jerry Kaufman describes for us:

In the fine tradition of stealing ideas from mainstream comedy, Orycon has presented "Whose Line Is It, Anyway" for several years. Four people improvise skits, sight gags, or blackout humor in response to audience suggestions, props, or the moderator's directions. The moderator then scores the contestants' success on some scale I've never been able to divine. When the contestants are spry and quick-witted, the results are hilarious. (By the way, the original was a British TV show, carried by Comedy Central in the U.S.)

Program Changes

Daniel Dern's Discussion (7:30 p.m. Friday) and Reading (10 p.m. Friday) are both cancelled.

Joe and Gay Haldeman and Rusty Hevelin are reportedly stuck in Atlanta, and will be in late. So Joe will definitely miss "My Ideal Reader" at 5 p.m. tonight, but we still hope they'll all arrive in time for their 7 and 8 o'clock panels.

Jane Yolen's Reading has been moved from 8:30 to 10 P.M. Friday.

Obligatory Boring Numbers

Here are some preregistration figures (as of the last minute, we think):

Paid members                         455
  - payments by life members and
     program participants             -6
Net paid members                     449

Unpaid members

Honest-to-God life members           134
Former GoH life members               52
Total life members                   186

Total program participants            97
 - life members on program           -15
Total unpaid members                 268

Total members                        717

For comparison, here are some figures from the past two years:

              Prereg.        Total  Attend-
Year    Paid    Total         Reg.   ance
1995    432     667          1037    902
1996    476     710           983    829

(Note that attendance was held down last year by the heavy snow. And it's already snowing this year . . . Anyone want to move Boskone to Florida?)

Bulletin: The hotel is full for Friday and Saturday nights.

Help the NESFA Space Program!

In the last few days, the floors of the NESFA Clubhouse have been groaning under the arrival of several hundred cubic feet of new books. We have the Boskone Book, John M. Ford's From the End of the Twentieth Century; the monumental His Share of Glory: The Complete Short Science Fiction of C. M. Kornbluth (the latest NESFA's Choice book); and the first paperback edition of Lois McMaster Bujold's Dreamweaver's Dilemma (included in the new Locus Recommended List). They'll all be available at the NESFA table in the Dealer's Room, and at other fine dealers.

Here's where you come in: We need you to buy these books, so we can get our space in the Clubhouse back. (And besides, they're all really Good Stuff.)

What You Already Missed

Lots of people were already here Thursday night, including all the Guests of Honor and attendees from three continents. They gathered in the Grand Ballroom and helped to unload Stuff from the truck, erect the Art Show, devour the scrumptious Secret Buffet of Fandom, and generally schmooze. If you weren't there, you might consider trying it next year.

(Things broke up around midnight, when your reporter observed the con chair departing with her husband and a large blunt instrument.)

Notes on Hotel Restaurants

This evening there's a St. Valentine's Dinner Buffet in J Witherspoons, costing $12.95 (plus tax and tip). The menu includes:

Soup du Jour; Tossed Greens; Rolls and Butter; Grilled Marinated Chicken Breast with Champagne Cream Sauce; Baked Native Schrod with Cracker Crumb Topping; Penne Pasta with Roasted Garden Vegetables; Baby Carrots with Brown Sugar and Fresh Dill Glaze; Baked Roma Tomatoes with Parmesan; Oven-Roasted Rosemary and Thyme Red Bliss Potatoes; Strawberry Shortcake;

Chef's Selection of Assorted Valentine's Desserts

(No, we don't know what Valentine's Desserts are either.)

In addition, the Windsor Grille has a four-course Valentine's menu at $28.95 per person, in addition to the regular menu; open 5-10 p.m., reservations recommended. And Molly Malone's has hot and cold food until midnight.

Our Heritage

"[Boskone] was a tyranny, an absolute monarchy, a despotism not even remotely approximated by the dictatorships of earlier ages. It had only one creed--'The end justifies the means.' Anything--literally anything at all--that produced the desired result was commendable; to fail was the only crime. . . . And of all its cold, hard, ruthless crew far and away the coldest, hardest, and most ruthless was Helmuth, the 'speaker for Boskone.' "

--E. E. Smith, Galactic Patrol

Meanwhile, in the Outside World . . .

Honest, the snow is supposed to change to rain. And it should all blow over by Sunday, so you can go home (whether you like it or not).

But if you're going home by plane, better check your reservations: The last we heard, American was still likely to go on strike.


Kaffeeklatsches with authors begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. Seating is limited, so sign up at Information.

Important: There is NO SMOKING in convention areas, including the promenade in front of the Grand Ballroom. Please observe this rule: Some people literally can't go through the area if there's smoke around.

There will be a party in the Con Suite for the Odyssey writing workshop from 9 to 11 tonight. Details in Helmuth #2.

Remember, the hotel staff depend on tips for part of their income. Don't forget to tip waiters (even for a buffet) and to leave tips for the room maids.