It's February, the azaleas and magnolias are bursting into bloom outside my window, and the frozen North continues to be hammered by snow and freezing rain. You'd have to be highly motivated to leave sunny Florida for Boston, right?*
It must be time for Boskone!
This will be Boskone 54, New England's longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. It's a weekend for book lovers, gamers, discussion of science fiction film, art, music and more. There's even going to be a special production of The Empire Striketh Back (aka, Shakespeare does SF). You can register at the Boskone website and get more information by visiting their social media sites.
*It makes it easier to go to Boston in February if you have a return ticket that says "Florida".
I'm a program participant, so here's my schedule. The (M) next to my name means I'm moderating:
My Toughest Book
Friday 15:00 - 16:00
What makes a book difficult to write, or difficult to write well? Is ignorance of the subject matter a barrier? Is knowing too much? We're always told to "write what you know," but can this be a trap? How about troubles with plot, character, dialog, or pacing? Our panel of authors recall which of their works had the most arduous gestation.
Brandon Sanderson , Charles Stross , Walter Jon Williams , Darlene Marshall (M), Allen M. Steele
Love, Romance, and the Digital Divide
Saturday 10:00 - 11:00, Harbor III (Westin)
As technology evolves, how might human empathy and love also evolve? Whether meeting in a cyber space or finding that special someone in the form of an artificial intelligence, how might human (at least on one side) relationships change over time? How do these types of relationships play out in fiction and film? Is it realistic to see or expect similar patterns in real life? What might the future, as written by science fiction authors or experienced by us, hold for star-crossed lovers, true love, and romance?
Darlene Marshall (M), Timothy Liebe, Jeff Hecht, Sarah Smith
Digital Rights and Other Small Press Traps and Issues
Saturday 14:00 - 15:00
How has the revolution in (and evolution of) digital technology affected the SF publishing field? What has the popularity/promise of e-books and of e-publishing in general done to demand, and to the whole publishing process? What are the complications of these media, barely out of their infancy? What do writers, readers, and publishers need to know to avoid running into trouble in these exciting (but dangerous) digital waters?
Darlene Marshall (M), Walter Jon Williams, Neil Clarke
The Play's The Thing!
Saturday 21:00 - 22:30
Boskone's theatrical extravaganza features a live reading of a faux-Shakespearean play that is based upon an Empire far, far away that has striketh back against an intrepid group of friends who are "forced" to confront the dark side. There will be capes and a lighted saber (or two) and shenanigans to entertain audiences of all ages!
Laurie Mann (M), Lojo Russo, Lorraine Garland, David G. Grubbs, Erin Underwood (M), Jane Yolen, Bruce Coville, David Anthony Durham, Darlene Marshall
The Sense8 Sensation
Sunday 13:00 - 14:00
It's shot on locations worldwide and produced by the creators of The Matrix and Babylon 5, yet this Netflix TV original has largely flown under the radar. (Still, season 2 starts in March.) Panelists examine the intricate storytelling and dizzyingly diverse connections of this sens8tionally groundbreaking SF show. From gender, race, and religion to the struggle of coming to terms with one’s identity, Sense8 treats its subjects in ways network television would never touch. SPOILERS ABOUND for nonviewers, but why not sneak a peek anyway?
Darlene Marshall (M), Lauren Roy, Gillian Daniels, Rob Greene, Jeremy Flagg
The Defenders Series and the Netflix Craze
Sunday 14:00 - 15:00
Netflix is delivering a powerhouse selection of superhero shows under the umbrella of The Defenders. From Daredevil to Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, Netflix has put the "human" back into superhuman ... or has it? Are these superheroes any different from their Marvelous brethren, who have been tearing up our cities in order to defend the Earth? The Defenders seems to be challenging the status quo on what it means to be a hero, and what the consequences and costs are of fighting crime. Panelists discuss their favorite shows and characters within the series, and what they think Netflix is getting right — and wrong — along the way.
Erin Underwood (M), Errick Nunnally, Julie Holderman, Michael Sharrow, Darlene Marshall