Note: This is a preliminary schedule. Times, participants and places are subject to change!
Orson Scott Card, Elisabeth Carey, Geri Sullivan
When did writing the great fantasy trilogy replace writing the great American novel? Why? Is it a publishing industry disposition to create fantasy trilogies over stand-alone novels? In creating the scope and breadth required in a trilogy, how does the writer need to approach the plot and characters to create a sustainable and exciting story over 1000 pages? How is this sort of long story different in structure from an ordinary novel? How does the length change the writing strategy?
George R. R. Martin, Juliet E. McKenna, Wen Spencer (m)
Once upon a time in a world long forgotten there were vampire novels and romance novels and fantasy novels, and they were all quite distinct genres with their own sets of writers and their own sets of publishers and their own sets of readers and none of them were ever, ever funny. It isn't so any more. We'll talk about this phenomenon: How did it happen, why do people (both writers and readers) like it, who are the top practitioners, and What Does It Mean?
Eve Ackerman, Sandra McDonald, Priscilla Olson (m)
If you think Boskone is wild, wait until you come to Glasgow '05 and see Greg Pickersgill, Christopher Priest, Robert Sheckley, Lars-Olov Strandberg, and Jane Yolen in a kilt. (Not the same kilt, ye daft bampot!) And if you think Boskone is all cool and Hollywood OK, maybe you really are a bampot. Whatever. In any case, come to Los Angeles '06 and hang out with Connie Willis, James Gurney, Howard DeVore, and Frankie Thomas. Then, in 2007, it's on to Yokohama for the first Japanese Worldcon. Thousands of pros and fans will flock to these three biggest gatherings of the SF fanworld upcoming after Boston. Find out all about them here today.
Boskone 42's Official Artist, Alan Pollack does a live painting demonstration.
Writing in a universe created by another author poses its own unique set of challenges and constraints. Do limits help or hinder? How do you make the story your own, when the universe is not? What are the benefits to writing a tie-in, and the drawbacks? What expectations do the readers have?
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Geary Gravel, Ann Tonsor Zeddies (m)
We found this thought on the net, credited to someone named Stephen Nottingham: "Negative images of science often provide first-rate fiction, but attempts at presenting positive images of science nearly always produce second-rate fiction." Discuss. (And is The Dispossessed a counter-example?)
Michael A. Burstein (m), Ann Tonsor Zeddies
How long can 14 episodes hold a fandom, anyway? Sure, the world Joss Whedon created in his short-lived series Firefly is a richly embroidered tapestry. And now we've got the feature film Serenity to look forward to in the fall. But just what is it about Mal, Jayne, Zoe, and the rest of the motley gang that holds our intrigue? How little source material is the minimum needed to sustain a fandom over the long haul, anyway?
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Allison Durno, MaryAnn Johanson (m), Jodi Krangle, Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Paul Levinson provides a primer on how to turn your coffeeshop analyses of media and science fiction into public expositions on television, radio, and newspapers. How to call attention to your views, how to be an expert, how to be interviewed, how to offer provocative and quotable comments, how to talk on radio and TV. Levinson has been a guest on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, the O'Reilly Factor, Jesse Ventura's America, Scarborough Country, NPR's Talk of the Nation, has made numerous appearances on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, and has been quoted in the New York Times, USA Today, and dozens of major newspapers around the country and the world.
Thomas A. Easton
Abridged, unabridged, full-cast how are audio books different from simply someone reading from a book onto tape?
Bruce Coville, Timothy E. Liebe, Tamora Pierce
When thinking of alien cultures, start right here at home. The diversity of the cultures, customs and languages that exist and have existed on Earth provides a wealth of information about the human experience. In many ways, a human living 9000 miles away could be as alien as an extraterrestrial. In studying our own cultures, how can we incorporate them into our stories? And what stories, set in or inspired by cultures of today or yesterday, have made a culture alien, yet familiar?
Judith Berman, James Cambias (m), Laura Anne Gilman
Poe was born here, Lovecraft lurked here, Asimov worked here, Hal Clement loved it here. Besides building familiarity with frozen planetscapes, what impact has the region had on our genres?
F. Brett Cox (m), Faye Ringel, Darrell Schweitzer
Some fans have read their disaster novels carefully, and keep a survival pack ready to go. For emergencies from a little wilderness walkabout to an urban blackout to Tunguska Two, what's in your bag? (Why not bring it for show-and- tell?) And what's the dif between preparation and paranoia?
James D. Macdonald
Daniel P. Dern
Do you ever reread a favored SF, fantasy, or horror story? What's worth rereading, and how many times? How long elapses before rereading can be fun again? Do you reread differently than you read? And last of all, what's the point when you already know how it all comes out?
Don D'Ammassa, Daniel P. Dern, Gregory Feeley, Jim Mann (m)
Barbara Chepaitis, Laura Anne Gilman, Walter H. Hunt, Juliet E. McKenna
Allison Durno, Jodi Krangle, Lois H. Mangan, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Erwin S. Strauss
Most scientists, and most in the SF community, roll their eyes at "ufology," yet even hardened skeptics are often fascinated by both UFOs and the culture that surrounds them. Why does the subject still have a hold on us? Or does it?
Judith Berman, James Cambias, F. Brett Cox (m), Alex Irvine
Mary Kay Kare (m), Parris McBride, Sandra McDonald, Chad Orzel
Timothy E. Liebe
Science fiction writers looking for ways to end the world have often turned to plagues. They have a long and fearful history, and new ones are emerging to join the old standbys. AIDS remains devastating in the less-developed world. West Nile, Ebola, Aids, SARS, Bird Flu and other diseases are becoming familiar to us all. The easy international travel that makes possible events like a Worldcon also breaks down barriers to the spread of disease. Some experts say that it is just a matter of time before the world is hit by another major flu epidemic, one that will sweep across the globe and kill tens of millions, or even more. Others talk about the dreaded super-virus, something like an airborne Ebola that could extinguish human civilization in a matter of weeks. Antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis is spreading. Even bacterial infections are becoming immune to antibiotics and may pose a real threat to humanity as well. Is this a time bomb akin to an Armageddon asteroid? What are the odds looking like? Should I buy that isolated log cabin in the mountains?
Robert I. Katz (m), Shariann Lewitt
Q&A session on writing genre erotica for specific markets, selling genre erotica to non-genre anthologies and maximizing your chances of selling.
Three master storytellers give each other the chance to shine by creating round- robin stories and, just when it gets interesting, passing it along to the next.
Barbara Chepaitis, Bruce Coville, Jane Yolen
Don D'Ammassa, Bob Eggleton
Lois H. Mangan
The year 2005 is the hundredth anniversary of Einstein's Annus Mirabilus when he wrote four papers, each of which had a huge impact on physics and would have capped a career for anyone else. And it's fifty years since he died. Take a look back at the man, what he learned about the universe, and how it changed us.
Mark L. Olson (m), Chad Orzel
Tolkien has never been more important or more influential. But is J. R. R. Tolkien RIP or RPM (spinning in his grave)? Would he approve the movie? What would he think about the books which have been written about him and LotR? About the fiction derived from LotR?
Greer Gilman, Mary Kay Kare, Jim Mann (m)
Can attending a writer's workshop, like Viable Paradise, Odyssey or Clarion, advance your writing level? What makes a writer's group effective? What other benefits should you expect from a writer's group? How do you incorporate ideas from your peers without the story's suffering from workshop-itis? When do you need one and when do you need to go on your own?
Michael A. Burstein, James Cambias, Alex Irvine, Sandra McDonald (m), Wendy Snow-Lang
Walter H. Hunt
You answer the questions, you get the chocolate. That's about it!
Mark L. Olson, Priscilla Olson
How well do we avoid building kids who are just miniature adults? Is the advantage of worldbuilding for the reader as the child learns his own environment balanced by the problem of giving him any movement beyond the parental orbit? Are Paul Atriedes and Thorby Baslim too competent? Does Hermione Granger know too much? Can kids just be kids and still make a good story?
Michael A. Burstein, Orson Scott Card, Bruce Coville (m), Kathryn Cramer
What SF/F/H books should you give an impressionable child?
Mike Glyer (m), Walter H. Hunt, Fred Lerner, Edie Stern
For many people, a local Worldcon is one of their first conventions and it leaves them wanting more. Was Noreascon 4 one of your first conventions? Get together and talk about conventions, fans, fandom and what you'd like to know about them. (Everyone welcome!)
Mary Kay Kare
Many critics and readers of Lovecraft would certainly agree with this quote from Stephen King: "I think it is beyond doubt that H. P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale." His influence extends beyond horror writers and to ... Metallica? What is it about his supernatural fiction that resonates so many years later? Where can his influence be felt today?
Faye Ringel, Darrell Schweitzer
You start with something to cover the wall and end with nothing to cover the mortgage. Our panel will feign advising you on cultivating taste and discrimination, developing a sense for your specialized themes, and creatively building an SF/F/H art collection whilst they cunningly beckon you into the abyss.
Geary Gravel, Joe Siclari (m)
Anime creator Hayao Miyazaki recently discovered that none of his cool young animation artists had ever even owned a dog. Does near-total separation from the natural world mean we have met the pod people, and they are us? What are the likely consequences?
Daniel Hatch (m), Don Sakers, Ian Randal Strock
So, an editor buys your novel? What can you expect will happen next, and after that, and after that? Will it get easier with book 2? What are the adventures in the trade today?
Ellen Asher, Irene Gallo, Laura Anne Gilman (m), Eleanor Wood
Starting in the dungeon (TSR's Dungeon magazine, 1991), he's crafted vital visuals for major gaming houses, and is now taking his place among the stars of the SF/F cover art firmament. He brings freshness and excitement to demons and dragons, birds and bondage, butterflies and women's eyes. Our Official Artist will share with veteran artist Bob Eggleton his views on art, craft, light, and life.
Bob Eggleton, Alan Pollack
James Cambias, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Susan Shwartz
An entire generation of youngesters were lured into becoming life-long fans of SF by Heinlein, Andre Norton and others. What turned you on to SF? What's turning on today's youngsters to written SF?
Ellen Asher, Jeffrey A. Carver (m), Kat Macdonald, Allen Steele
Esther Friesner, Victoria McManus
What comes next in the series: 2-1/2, 5, 6, 10,.... Would you believe 30? Or maybe 100? Big telescopes broke the 10-meter barrier with the Keck telescope on Mauna Kea, but astronomers have their sights set on much bigger telescopes. They want them better and cheaper, too, and with snazzy accessories like lasers and p/o/w/e/r/ s/e/a/t/s/ active mirrors. They want them in pairs and in matched sets ... there's just no satisfying some people. But telescope builders are trying. An ex-astrophysicist and occasional optics expert talks about some of the possibilities.
Jordin T. Kare
As a set, teen writers are different from new writers. By designing and refining the Alpha SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers, we've reinvented the Clarion Model in creative ways certain to be of interest to workshop coordinators, new writers, teens, parents and teachers.
Reimagining space opera, with particular emphasis on the Fermi paradox, and other areas of modern science: A talk by Alastair Reynolds
Far future, near future, no future? Fantasies with rivets, or hard skiffy with fairy fasteners? Slash fanfic so perverted, it's about heterosexual couples? Utopias, dystopias, kakitopias? Stories of AIs, by AIs, for AIs? All tie-ins all the time? Does anybody have any new ideas?
Charles N. Brown, Don D'Ammassa, David G. Hartwell, Fred Lerner (m)
It is one of the hallmarks of a poorly written alternate history that implausible things happen without adequate explanation and events occur which are not organic to the story just happen because the author needs them. Consider the evidence that we're in a badly written alternate history. (Extra points for witty observations which don't involve politics!)
Stephen C. Fisher, Leigh Grossman, Walter H. Hunt (m)
In the LOTR flicks, the main villain's a big eyeball. In the Harry Potter movies, he's offstage (so far). In the Matrix films, he's an ad hoc, giant floating face made of little robots. Don't good movies need good, interesting, well-rounded villains? Aren't our actors bad enough anymore?
Bob Devney (m), Daniel Kimmel, Michael Marano
What's going on on that island? Deadly rumbles in the jungle, survivors from another party, possibly paranormal powers, freakin' polar bears this stuff would scare the pith out of Professor Challenger's helmet! Panelists exchange wild-eyed surmises and reasons for the popularity of this new ABC-TV series among genre fans.
Claire Anderson, MaryAnn Johanson, Michael Marano (m), Priscilla Olson
Debra Doyle, Tamora Pierce
What's wrong with most of the so-called "YA science fiction" published in the past twenty years? Consider the thesis that modern YA sf is mostly not science fiction. It isn't interested in kids going out, exploring the galaxy, and staying out there to change the universe. Instead, it wants children to go out into the galaxy, discover it's a really scary place, learn some lessons and come home to apply those lessons to home and family. Instead of socializing children to move outwards, these stories are socialising children to come home.
Orson Scott Card, Kathryn Cramer, Farah Mendlesohn (m), Jane Yolen
When writing fiction set in the past, how do you avoid the impression of inevitability? How can you generate surprise? Is historical worldbuilding any different from the SF kind? What are the particular pleasures and pitfalls?
Gregory Feeley, Alex Irvine, George R. R. Martin, Juliet E. McKenna, Faye Ringel (m)
The twelve months since Boskone 41 have been memorable for planetary exploration: Continued exploration of Mars, and the Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn. Hear all about it!
Ctein, Jeff Hecht, Ian Randal Strock (m)
Daniel P. Dern, Geary Gravel, Don Sakers (m), Steven Sawicki
There' are many fantasy and SF stories that just go through the motions. Or they're comfortable and suburban. Or they're generic. Or they're "edgy," self- consciously so. Or they wallow. But sometimes, the writer is absolutely clobbered by an idea and manages simply to write it flat out, the way an actor can nail a demanding scene in one take. Then the writer tends to collapse. Pilots refer to it as balls-to-the-wall. Writers know when they've done it and what it feels like, and have tricks to try to psych themselves into it; but it doesn't always happen.
Michael F. Flynn, Susan Shwartz
Panelists discuss the literary and commercial merits of Lovecraft, Poe, King, Koontz, and everything in between. Where do you draw the line between commercial and literary horror? Does the line exist at all?
F. Brett Cox (m), Craig Shaw Gardner, Darrell Schweitzer
OK, we've done LOTR; Dune; I, Robot; and even (however badly) Starship Troopers and The Wizard of Earthsea. What other classics (or sleepers) of our genre would make great movies? And how should they be made?
Don D'Ammassa, MaryAnn Johanson, Daniel Kimmel, Steven Sawicki (m)
Michael F. Flynn, Paul Levinson
Our Featured Filkers weave their award-winning web. Catch Allison, Jodi and Debbie on flute, recorder, guitar, and just about everything else, including "an assortment of obnoxious bangy things." Since 1993, this Toronto-based trio has built an impressively serious, humorous, and always tunerous setlist of filk and folk songs. Come hear about love and loss; friendship, food, fannishness, food, and Frodo; plus perhaps the world's first girl-group tribute to a warrior princess.
Allison Durno, Jodi Krangle, Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Kelly Link, Wen Spencer
We'll address both the general and the specific. In general, what makes for great cover art? Is it great illustration (and thus must it be realistic) or is it great creativity? (And why have abstracts like those of Richard Powers and Paul Lehr gone out of fashion?) The specific: Genre artists may receive recognition for a year's or a lifetime's achievement, but rarely for specific works. Let's remedy that right here. Each rave may include what made a favorite not only great art, but also a great cover for that book. Visual aids greatly encouraged.
Kathryn Cramer, Bob Eggleton, Irene Gallo, Joe Siclari (m)
Horror has become almost mainstream. Has pop horror diminished the field?
F. Brett Cox, Craig Shaw Gardner (m), Charles Lang
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.
Stephen C. Fisher, Robert I. Katz (m), Shariann Lewitt
Getting into space is expensive and very noisy... or is it? New rockets are popping up all over, and not all of them will be coming down again. Space elevators get lots of press, but will they stop at your floor? Is there a hypersonic dirigible in your future? An overview of possible ways, conventional and exotic, to get off this rock, and where they currently stand (or fly).
Jordin T. Kare
Elves have their roots deep in European folklore, and have also burrowed deeply into modern fantasy literature. Why is this? What makes elves so interesting? What about them appeals to our psyches? Are there different kinds of elves? Are Tolkien's elves, beings who are almost preternatural humans, different in kind from the cute Victorian elves or from the grimmer elven folk of Anderson's Broken Sword? And what about the modern elves that appear in the night in many urban fantasies...why are they there? What is the significance of a separate, magical or supernatural race of human-like beings?
Esther Friesner, Elaine Isaak (m), Jane Yolen
"Everyone says" we have to bring in new blood to fandom or it will die. OK, preventing the disappearance of fandom is the goal, but what are the dangers of recruitment? How do we tie these newbies into the existing fannish community, and keep its identity and stability and is that something that should make us think again about the new blood?
Mike Glyer, Parris McBride, Priscilla Olson (m), Edie Stern
The Romans conquered the known world two thousand years ago. The knight was the most powerful force on the battlefield five hundred years ago. Each wore plate armor and carried a sword, a spear, and a dagger, but they were very different. Come hear a Legionary and Knight explain their equipment and how they fought, and try to guess what would happen if they were to face each other in battle.
David G. Hartwell, Frederik Pohl
In the works since 1996, a movie version of perennial SF classic Ender's Game is tentatively scheduled to start filming soon for release in 2006. Interviewers Dan Kimmel and Bob Devney chat with writer Orson Scott Card about Hollywood, development hell, screenwriting, casting, and his hopes for the finished film.
Orson Scott Card, Bob Devney, Daniel Kimmel
Jeffrey A. Carver, Bruce Coville
Dental implants. Pacemakers. Myoelectric prostheses. Hearing implants perhaps soon vision implants. How close are we to realizing the SF conception of the cyborg? How will the reality differ from SF portrayals?
Daniel P. Dern (m), Robert I. Katz, Joseph Lazzaro
Juliet E. McKenna
Debra Doyle, Laura Anne Gilman
The ethics of terraforming...Do rocks have rights? Should we terraform Mars? Give it an atmosphere, give it life, make it a home for people. Is this something we ought to do? What would the impact of terraforming be on Martian extremophiles, if they exist? Should we change it to the detriment of the native life? (And, if it's lifeless, does a rocky Moon-like Mars have a claim that we can't brush aside?) What would a terraformed Mars provide to the human race, in general? Should the demands of a few determine the destiny of many?
Ctein, Thomas A. Easton, Mark L. Olson (m), Alastair Reynolds
Gavin Grant, Michael Marano, Susan Shwartz (m), Geri Sullivan
They're heavier to hold than to read about. They cause more accidental damage than you'd think. They go dull if you so much as look at them. What else haven't we been told about Excalibur and its edgy ilk?
Higgins Armory, James D. Macdonald, Tamora Pierce
Eve Ackerman, Timothy E. Liebe, Priscilla Olson (m)
Michael F. Flynn
Bruce Coville, F. Brett Cox, Jane Yolen
His debut story starts with his eight-year-old hero kicking another boy to death. He transposed medieval fantasy to a magical Midwestern frontier. He's written five books set 40 million years in the future. He once said, "The most terrible event in human history is obviously the European discovery of America." Our Boskone Guest of Honor will probably find something interesting to say this afternoon.
Orson Scott Card
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Walter H. Hunt, Michael Marano
When people behave ridiculously, write comedy; when society behaves ridiculously, write satire. Glorious examples stretch from De Bergerac and Swift to Kuttner, Kornbluth, and a guy named Pohl. Who's writing the stuff lately? Has it moved to the screen in fare like, say, Shaun of the Dead? Do these times parody themselves, putting honest satirists out of work?
Michael F. Flynn (m), Daniel Hatch, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Frederik Pohl
Paul Levinson, Juliet E. McKenna
Knitters of the world, unite! (You have nothing to lose but your needles?) Come and share your plans and patterns, successes and failures. Enjoy a relaxing yarn-filled craft time in the comfort of the ConSuite.
We all know about global warming (or was that the return of the Ice Ages?) and the Big Falling Rock. But the recent Big Wave was a bit surprising, really. What else might that mother, Nature, have headed our way anytime soon?
Chad Orzel (m), Alastair Reynolds, Don Sakers
Daniel P. Dern
Why write? For yourself? To make a living? To get published? To the order of a publisher?
James Cambias, Rosemary Kirstein, Susan Shwartz, Eleanor Wood, Ann Tonsor Zeddies (m)
Let's give advice to Hollywood's New Line Cinema about what to do with their movie rights to Susanna Clarke's monumental new fantasy novel JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR. NORRELL. Who should direct? Whom do you cast in the lead roles? What scenes are must-shows? What should you leave out?
Bob Devney (m), Gregory Feeley, Jim Mann
He created a crew patch for Skylab I, album covers for the rock group Queen, Alfred E. Newman for Mad Magazine, and portraits of five hundred saints for the Franciscans. But most of us will recall instead his thousands of illustrations gracing SF/F novels and magazines from 1950 onwards. He won the Hugo eleven times, and awoke our sense of wonder countless more. Let's remember at least a few of those times.
Bob Eggleton, Joe Siclari (m)
George R. R. Martin
Have at you! Witness the subtle skills of attack, parry, and grapple, as the knightly arts of the falchion, halberd, dagger, and sword and buckler are brought to life from forgotten medieval manuscripts in this presentation by the HASG.
Laura Anne Gilman
The sword was the weapon par excellence for hundreds of years, and the symbol of 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 the HASG demonstrate authentic swordplay styles, taken from surviving manuals.
The original fairy tales were for adults who believed in fairies. Later, they included moral lessons, and happy endings. Many popular fairy tales now are being re-interpreted and usurped in mainstream fiction. What about the fairy tale continues to inspire readers and writers? What makes a fair tale memorable?
Judith Berman, Greer Gilman, Kat Macdonald (m), Jane Yolen
Eve Ackerman (m), Mike Glyer, Fred Lerner, Don Sakers
Leigh Grossman, Steven Sawicki
For some people food is fuel, but the rest of us feel sorry for them food may be fuel, but it is also an art form, a way to explore the exotic, a science, and a prime venue for social interaction. The panel will discuss food, restaurants, chefs, and their own love of good food...and may even find a way to connect the discussion to SF!
James Cambias, Barbara Chepaitis, Laura Anne Gilman (m), Robert I. Katz, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Many writers continue to research an historical era past any point of usefulness to their readers. When you start down the path of history, how do you pull yourself back to the story? How do you show enough history to make the story believable, without crossing the line into "infodumps" and a litany of facts? And, when has your love of history interfered with your "present"? (But when you get right down to it, what's wrong with a love of history for its own sake?) Talk about the joy you find in history, and the particular eras that fascinate you.
Barbara Campbell, Stephen C. Fisher, Michael F. Flynn (m), Esther Friesner, Paul Park
The X-Prizes are a series of large (up to $10,000,000) prizes for private accomplishments in space flight. What progress has been made towards winning one of them? What's going to happen soon? Is it possible that the greatest consequence of the dot com bubble will be in space travel? (And look how many of the people funding the prizes and doing the work are SF fans. Will an old dream come true and fans really get us to the stars?)
Jordin T. Kare, Charles Lurio, Allen Steele (m), Ian Randal Strock
Elisabeth Carey, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Frederik Pohl
Charles Lang, Alan Pollack
A dominant force in Europe for centuries, the Vikings still fascinate our contemporary world. Their close cousins the Anglo-Saxons, who inspired Tolkien's Rohirrim, were strongly influenced by their clashes with the Norse and Danish Vikings. Explore the culture, daily life, and military equipment of these legendary and fearsome societies.
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. Watch as the HASG presents the actual techniques, described in medieval manuals, that knights used in battle.
Having sold a few short stories or a first novel, a writer often enters that awkward age between being and nothingness. What are the best ways to approach a nascent career, and learn the ropes about promotion, copyrights, the IRS, etc.? How do you move onward into the realm of name recognition? And how do you capitalize on that shiny-new SFWA membership, anyhow?
Eve Ackerman (m), Elaine Isaak, Terry Kepner
Halloween, haunted houses, vampires: three classic tropes in horror fiction. But the list could include any number of supernatural creatures and things that go bump in the night. What tropes have been done to death and should stay dead? And, if you really have to write that vampire novel, how can you avoid following in the footprints other authors have left?
F. Brett Cox (m), Craig Shaw Gardner, Paul Tremblay
Why do people on quests in fantasy literature never sweat? How do you handle all the inconveniences like potty breaks, rain, bugs, rocks under your blanket, carrying enough food and water, etc.? Does it matter?
Rosemary Kirstein, George R. R. Martin, Paul Park, Tamora Pierce (m)
What's been happening in astronomy and astrophysics this past year? A lot! Come and hear about some of it.
Jeff Hecht, Mark L. Olson
Keith R. A. DeCandido
Thomas A. Easton
Wow does your vote ever count! What's hot and what's not, among all the books, stories, movies, and art our genres produced in 2004? Take in the pitch, pitch your own favorites, and catch some others. You're about to make some really good writers, artists, editors, and fans ecstatic!
Don D'Ammassa, Kelly Link, Jim Mann (m)
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!
Orson Scott Card
James D. Macdonald, Allen Steele
So many SF films are about boys and their toys. What are the SF films with heart and soul? Are there any great SF "romances" that would really work onscreen?
Claire Anderson, Bob Devney (m), MaryAnn Johanson
Why review and why reviewers? It's easy to say that a reviewer is there to tell you which books are bad and which good, but you can figure out for yourself when a book is bad: you're reading it in bed and you fall asleep in the first few chapters and the book slides down behind the headboard and you don't miss it or find it until the next time you move. What a good reviewer does is find and write about the good books that you wouldn't necessarily find for yourself, and tell you about them so you decide to find them and read them. A reviewer is a yenta who makes a match between a reader and a book.
Charles N. Brown, Orson Scott Card, Thomas A. Easton (m)
If he's so conservative, why do his villains include prudes, political soldiers, rich people, security police, and religious charlatans? If he's so hard-boiled, why are many of his favored characters poets, philosophers, actors, and other romantics? If he's so dated, how come his heroes extend to a playful AI, a sitcom writer, and a videogame designer? What other surprises may Robert A. Heinlein still hold in store?
Stephen C. Fisher, Fred Lerner, Edie Stern (m)
Alastair Reynolds, Jane Yolen
What makes good characters interesting and dynamic? What techniques can you incorporate into your own writing to make your characters memorable?
Jeffrey A. Carver (m), Walter H. Hunt, Paul Tremblay
Allison Durno, Jodi Krangle, Debbie Ridpath Ohi
No professional can go through an entire 40-year career writing the same kinds of stories or painting the same kinds of picture or editing the same kinds of books, if for no other reason than that styles change. How do SF professionals cope?
Bruce Coville, Craig Shaw Gardner, Ann Tonsor Zeddies (m)
What is it like to share your creative life? If you are husband and wife, and you have the same interests, what is this like compared with people who are completely different? When is creative input from the other party enough and how to tactfully say when it's too much? Strategies to keep both parties from picking up implements of mass destruction, aka cooking utensils. The best way to deal with a creative person's need to obsess over Tibetan chant which will bring in income someday is to connect with a partner whose obsessions lend to acquiring someone else's odd obsessions. How it isn't really true that we reject all of our partner's ideas; that an unused suggestion may still result in good work. Conducting a conversation when one half is in grunts and scratching writing implements. The scheduling of personal crises between deadlines. Developing your own interests out of sheer self-preservation. We are not martyrs to our cruel, fanatic, uncaring partners' drive for fame. The final work is far more the product of both minds than people realize. How to tactfully tell someone they have gone completely awry. Running interference with family.
Bob Eggleton, Timothy E. Liebe, Tamora Pierce, Marianne Plumridge-Eggleton
Is it more than just simple-minded fun featuring soaring emotions, exotic worldbuilding, hardy heroes, vile villains, Very Large Objects and the even larger explosions that obliterate them? Why is it more enjoyable than satire, or horror, or mythology, or dystopia? Is there a fantasy equivalent? Who's writing space opera right today, and how?
David G. Hartwell (m), Chad Orzel, Frederik Pohl, Allen Steele
How can you produce your own fine art books? Today's printing technology makes it possible for an individual artist to produce bound portfolios and monograph books for an investment of hundreds of dollars instead of tens of thousands. In the past year Ctein has begun issuing a series of large-format, high-quality, hand-printed-and-bound art books. In this hour he will discuss his experiences with this novel publishing experiment and explain how others can do this for themselves.
Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald, Sandra McDonald
Two writers read from their first books.
Barbara Campbell, Elaine Isaak
Do you love good graphic design, lovely fonts and great layout? Join two graphics artists to talk about their craft.
Irene Gallo, Geri Sullivan
Our Hal Clement Science Speaker, Alastair Reynolds talks about "Catching Starlight" the detection and characterisation of light from astronomical objects, ranging from the capabilities of the human eye, through photography and the latest cutting-edge detector technology.
Daniel P. Dern
Charlotte MacLeod, who died a few weeks ago, was a favorite mystery writer for many SF fans. She holds a special resonance for us here in Boston, since two of her most well-loved series took place in the area: Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn detected among the eccentric old wealthy of Boston, while Professor Peter Shandy, a botany professor at Balaclava Agricultural College in Western Mass., dealt with rural and academic nuttiness. She even wrote one fantasy in the Peter Shandy series, The Curse of the Giant Hogweed.
Claire Anderson, Paul Levinson (m)
Geary Gravel, Rosemary Kirstein, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Exposition can be quick or subtle, or straight, or with a twist. It can stop the story cold, or provide plot (and stylistic) impact. It can be smooth or lumpy, necessary or gratuitous. The panel will discuss expository theory and practice, and answer the eternal question: "What does Bob really know?"
Greer Gilman, Daniel Hatch, Kelly Link (m)
Walter H. Hunt
What's changed in our portrayals of scientists, from Shelley's Frankenstein to Asimov's Seldon to Stephenson's Newton? Must they be mad? Can they be bad? How real do they feel?
Gregory Feeley, Stephen C. Fisher
Writing sex scenes is easy, but conveying the ebbs and flows of a meaningful romantic relationship is harder to do. How do authors do this successfully?
Eve Ackerman, Timothy E. Liebe (m), Kat Macdonald, Victoria McManus
Allison Durno, Mary Kay Kare
George R. R. Martin
Thomas A. Easton
Esther Friesner, Kat Macdonald, Parris McBride (m)
Jeffrey A. Carver, Rosemary Kirstein
Themed concert by many performers, including Urban Tapestry.
Allison Durno, Jodi Krangle, Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Where to find ideas in areas that don't always seem related to what you're writing about.
Barbara Chepaitis (m), Laura Anne Gilman, Tamora Pierce
SF is on the edge of what? Reality? Mundanity? Literature?
F. Brett Cox, Gregory Feeley (m), Alex Irvine, Kelly Link
If the TV series, movie franchise, or fantasy trilogy you're interested in has already started, how do you cope? Ask friends to act out the backstory? Hold out for that first-season DVD? Is there a religious war here, Startfreshians versus Plungemeisters? If you're the series writer, how do you accommodate newbies? Are story arcs anti-consumer? Note: try not to come late for this panel.
Keith R. A. DeCandido, MaryAnn Johanson (m), Daniel Kimmel
J. R. R. Tolkein deliberately modeled the Rohirrim on the Anglo-Saxons who were the original English and whose kingdom was overthrown in 1066 by William the Conqueror. In the books Rohan fascinates, but in Peter Jackson's movie a strong case can be made that Rohan was the most well-realized of the peoples of Middle- Earth. What did he do right and what wrong? Why does the culture of Rohan and of the Anglo-Saxons intrigue us today? Wes =u, Rohan, hal!
Debra Doyle, Merle S. Insinga, Mary Kay Kare (m)
Analog/Astounding celebrates its 75th anniversary this year as the oldest science fiction magazine still publishing. Learn about the history of Analog, its place in the field, and where it is going, along with special tips on how to sell stories to this venerable magazine.
Michael A. Burstein, Anthony R. Lewis
How is the modern screamflick different from the scary/gorey screen classics of old? Have Japanese films like Ringu and their Hollyweird knockoffs brought the genre back to unspeakable life? What's left that could truly terrify us in the future?
Don D'Ammassa, Craig Shaw Gardner, Steven Sawicki (m)
Orson Scott Card, Alastair Reynolds, Darrell Schweitzer
Thomas A. Easton
Filk isn't just voice and guitar; many other instruments can be and have been used. Panelists talk about the instruments they use, how they fit into a filk performance, what it takes to learn them, and show off their use.
Allison Durno, Joseph Kesselman, Jodi Krangle, Gary D. McGath (m), Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Hillary Sherwood
Daniel P. Dern
David G. Hartwell, Daniel Hatch
Yet another meeting of the diminishing (and why? we ask) group of fans dedicated to keeping the Legion of Super Heroes alive for another year....
Science has told us much, and promises more. But is it a force without end? Does human knowledge have any conceivable limits? If so, what? What will we never really know? What has SF said about these queries? Brief ventures into philosophy or religion allowed; drug-induced rants not encouraged.
Jeffrey A. Carver, James D. Macdonald (m), Farah Mendlesohn
"Hauru no ugoku shiro" or HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE is the latest by Hayao Miyazaki, master of animation classics from MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO to SPIRITED AWAY. This latest film is based on the 1986 fantasy novel by Diana Wynne Jones; it opens in the U.S. June 10. If you like Jones or Miyazaki, or just want to speculate excitedly what wonderful synergy two of our favorite geniuses might generate, come on by.
Bob Devney, Esther Friesner, Michael Marano, Timothy P. Szczesuil (m)
A perennial favorite returns!
Michael F. Flynn
A story needs to balance both the plot and the pace of the revelation to keep the reader interested. Come learn how to do this critical balancing act in your own work.
Geary Gravel, Walter H. Hunt (m), Rosemary Kirstein
How do writers come up with character names? Besides Hiro Protagonist, what are some great names from our genre? Some not-so-great? If good names should help tell characters apart, why name your villains Sauron and Saruman? If a good name should be easy to pronounce, how about Miles Vorkosigan?
Alex Irvine, Robert I. Katz (m), Shariann Lewitt
Was ancient America settled from Asia or Europe? If the first Australians were boat people, where's all their ocean-going technology? Did ancient Israelites park their tents in what are now Zimbabwe and Britain? Was the newly discovered homo floresiensis really a hobbit? Let's discuss the latest DNA findings, archaeological info, and other fun speculation about worldbuilding, ancient world style.
Judith Berman, Elaine Isaak, Paul Levinson (m), Victoria McManus
F. Brett Cox
We all know about sharecropped universes, where one writer sets up a universe for others to write in, but that's so limiting. And crossover fiction where people write SF mysteries or vampire romances are old hat. How much more interesting would it be if we could take characters and situations from two different universes and bring them together? Combine Neuromancer and Discworld, or have Dominic Flandry in Narnia, or pair up R. Daneel Olivaw and Bruce Wayne. Consider the possibilities for stories no one has yet dreamed of! Our panelists wreak havoc across the worlds of SF, fantasy, mysteries and nearly everythinge lse....
Michael A. Burstein (m), Keith R. A. DeCandido, Bob Devney, Leigh Grossman
Eve Ackerman, Allen Steele
This is for kids up to 18 years old: Join Tamora Pierce for an hour of discussion.
Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Jeff Hecht, George R. R. Martin
No, we're not talking about Boskone committee members, but about gods as characters in SF/F/H. Polytheistic examples only, please. How are pluralistic gods easier to write about than singletons? Is being all-powerful a problem?
Juliet E. McKenna, Darrell Schweitzer
Genre-bending and genre-blending. What elements make a good crossover SF- mystery? What are some good, and bad, examples?
Don D'Ammassa (m), Paul Levinson, Wen Spencer
Tired of fantasy larded with cardboard cut-outs from Celtic mythology? Explore some of the planet's great mythologies that fantasy has yet to fully explore. A survey of great ideas from countries and peoples around the world.
Judith Berman (m), Greer Gilman, Elaine Isaak
Is short science fiction becoming more literary? What styles and trends dominate today's magazines? Whose short fiction should be sought out? What makes a successful short science fiction story vs. fantasy story vs. horror story? And is anyone reading short fiction anymore?
Kathryn Cramer (m), Gavin Grant, David G. Hartwell, Kelly Link
The art director has a significant creative impact on the success or failure of a book people do judge books by their covers, after all and yet the art director is hardly known and few consider what he or she does. Our panel will talk about the process of putting a cover on a book, including selecting the art, designing the cover, building up a house style, using the cover art to signal the contents of the book and more.
Irene Gallo, Parris McBride, Margaret Organ-Kean, Marianne Plumridge-Eggleton
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 43 even better!
Pam Fremon, Priscilla Olson