Monday, January 29, 2018

Boskone 55, or "In what universe does traveling from Florida to Boston in February make sense???"

Yes, it's that time again. Time to dig out the snowboots, retrieve the down coat and keep a weather eye open for blizzards. Boskone 55 (February 16-18, 2018) in Boston, MA is New England's longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. I've been attending since 2003 when I sent a son up north to school and thought it would be nice to pop in on him and have a fun weekend filled with discussions of books, film, art, music, games, and more. 

Naturally, there was a blizzard that weekend and we were snowed in at our hotel. That particular Boskone is remembered as "Snokone", but we still gather each President's Day weekend and I have to admit, it's a lot of fun.

Kudos to the Program Committee for putting together a great range of activities and panels.  Here's my schedule, and I'm humbled to be surrounded by such talented panelists.

Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

Format: Panel
16 Feb 2018, Friday 17:00 - 18:00, Marina 4 (Westin)
Fifty years ago, Anne McCaffrey released Dragonflight, the first novel in her Dragon Riders of Pern series. This epic fantasy series captured the hearts and minds of generations of readers. What is it about this book and this series that is so compelling?
Rob Greene, Jen Gunnels, Mary Kay Kare, Darlene Marshall, Bob Kuhn (M)

It's Not Always About Sex

Format: Panel
17 Feb 2018, Saturday 12:00 - 13:00, Harbor III (Westin)
Speculative fiction is filled with friendships that turn into romantic entanglements. Is that all there is? Can’t our characters just have friends, of whatever gender, without hookups and/or heartbreaks? How about we rescue the world from the odd apocalypse or alien invasion, and forget about the sex for a change?
Juliana Spink Mills, Darlene Marshall (M), E.J. Stevens, Tamora Pierce, Steven Popkes

Reading by Darlene Marshall

Format: Reading
17 Feb 2018, Saturday 13:30 - 14:00, Independence (Westin)
Darlene Marshall

The Magic of Historical Fantasies

Format: Panel
17 Feb 2018, Saturday 15:00 - 16:00, Harbor III (Westin)
Fantasies set in the past are growing ever more popular. Why do we love stepping back in time and sprinkling a little magic into the past? Could these same stories be told in modern times, or would some of that magic be lost? And when changing the workings of the known world by adding magic, is it still important to keep historical details correct?
Darlene Marshall (M), Mary Robinette Kowal, Scott Lynch, Beth Meacham, Walter Jon Williams

Religious Characters in Fiction

Format: Panel
17 Feb 2018, Saturday 16:00 - 17:00, Harbor III (Westin)
What challenges are involved in authentically depicting characters — perhaps like Russell's Emilio Sandoz, Pratchett's Brutha, Addison's Maia, or Wilson’s Alif — for whom religious belief is important? Are SF/F/H audiences accepting of these figures, or resistant? Is it easier to write characters who share your own beliefs, or more difficult (at least to do it well)?

Stephen P. Kelner Jr. (M), Max Gladstone, Darlene Marshall, James D. Macdonald
For more information about Boskone, visit The Boskone Blog, Twitter, and Facebook as well as by going to the Boskone website to register at http://www.boskone.org/register/

See you in Boston!

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