Note: This is a preliminary schedule. Times, participants and places are subject to change!
"Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out." Oscar Wilde knew that editing begins at home. What problems should you look for? How do you even get yourself in the right frame of mind to look? Our panelists, who personally proffer perfect submissions every time, advise how to buff your manuscript till publishers can't resist the shine.
Judith Berman, Barbara Chepaitis, Terry A. McGarry
Some stories have scenes which are so right they just stick in your mind. (E.g., The paleontologist being handed a cooler containing a freshly frozen dinosaur head in Swanwick's Bones of the Earth, or Hari Seldon appearing in the Time Vault, "I am Hari Seldon.")
Solomon Davidoff (m), Leigh Grossman, Paul Levinson, Edmund R. Meskys
As you know, Bob, a Weblog is a personal diary/opinion journal/gossip grab bag/commonplace book you leave virtually open to be read by mumblety million passerby. How is an SF/F/H blog different from the more mundane kind, or from raseff or LiveJournal? Who's hot, who's not? What timely topics have lately engaged the Blogistani? Why is a blog fun to read? To write? And how do you tell your trackback from your permalink?
Mary Kay Kare, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Leslie J. Turek
James Cambias, Noreen Doyle, Michael F. Flynn
Matthew Jarpe, Robert I. Katz, Amy Thomson
Historical fantasy is a popular subgenre of both fantasy and historical fiction. How does good historical fantasy strike a balance? Is it best to stick mostly to history, limiting the fantasy element? How much fantasy can you work in and in what way?
Esther Friesner, Melissa Scott, Delia Sherman
Beyond "It Rocks" or "It Sucks" the Theory of Reviewing Good reviewing has a basis; it's not just raves and retches. Should you judge the writer's intention or his invention? Review the work of a good friend or a sworn enemy? Be cruel to be kind? What lessons can we take from Blish or Knight, Miller or Budrys, Jonas or Dirda? How should a good reader read a good review?
Thomas A. Easton, David G. Hartwell, Peter J. Heck (m), Daniel Kimmel
David G. Hartwell, Karl Schroeder
Deb Geisler, Priscilla Olson
Storytelling with Silly Mr. Don. Join Silly Mr. Don for fractured fables and twisted tales for children of all ages.
Some good films are lost in the shadows. Sometimes they are overshadowed because great films came out near them, such that they are overlooked. At other times, they are good films that are undervalued because they didn't quite live up to the hype and expectations around them. The panelists each pick a film or two in these categories, discuss why they are better than many people think, and why they may have been overlooked.
MaryAnn Johanson (m), Daniel Kimmel, Timothy E. Liebe, Steven Sawicki
We lost a friend this year. Here is a chance to talk about him.
Michael A. Burstein, Matthew Jarpe, Anthony R. Lewis
Barbara Chepaitis, Josepha Sherman
It's kind of like Charades played by mute mental patients. It's somewhat (but not very) similar to water polo with scratchpads. It's the parlor game Satan makes Picasso play in Hell with Claude Degler. It's the shoulder-shaking epicenter of some of this con's largest laughquakes. Here wait let us DRAW you a description of that last one
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Craig Shaw Gardner, Laura Anne Gilman, Parris McBride
Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series has been labeled by some reviewers as the best historical fiction ever. What are the similarities and differences between what O'Brian is doing and what other, seemingly similar, writers are doing?
Jim Mann, Patrick Nielsen Hayden (m), Delia Sherman, Teresa Nielsen Hayden
The gadgets of today are the miracles of yesterday. Join us to talk about the fantastic things you can buy right now or which are announced and coming shortly. Bring along samples if you can! (Be it noted that 'gadget' is not a dismissive term, but one of due reverence for the essential tools that we all need to live fulfilled lives.)
Edie Stern, Charles Stross
Walter H. Hunt
Matthew Jarpe, Robert J. Sawyer
Ginjer Buchanan, Jim Mann, Priscilla Olson
The unique visual style of our Official Artist might be described as Maxfield Parrish Goes to Mars. He's produced vivid, imaginative artwork for interactive computer games, trading cards, movies, of course science fiction and fantasy book covers. But while grilling Richard about all this, we hope art/media critic Randy Dannenfelser also finds time to ask what it was like to design an entire museum exhibit dedicated to a light bulb.
Randy M. Dannenfelser, Bob Eggleton, Richard M. Hescox
The panelists will attempt to hold definitions down to the first half-hour. Then confess whether any of them have committed the practice in question. Then tell on any of their friends or colleagues whom they suspect of having done so. But look, if we don't pay attention to post-modernist approaches now, will we recognize our own field in a decade?
F. Brett Cox, Gregory Feeley, David G. Hartwell (m), James Patrick Kelly
Some say Buzz Lightyear is a prophet: "To infinity and beyond!" Some say looks like Mars may be on the menu again. Some say at best, big tin-plate whoop, some robots get to go. Some say not only will none of that happen, they're blinding Hubble early. Some say we may soon ban manned airplane flight for security/religious reasons ... What say you?
Michael F. Flynn, Jeff Hecht, Jordin T. Kare (m), Ian Randal Strock
Hear about three months spent as a member of an archaeological team excavating an 18th century vessel buried along the banks of the Savannah River, where they were in constant peril from poisonous snakes, feral pigs and alligators.
Read through and practice, critique and improve!
Gary D. McGath
Come join in with your favorite songs about Hobbits, Orcs, and Nazgul.
You answer the question, you get the chocolate. That's about it.
Mark L. Olson, Priscilla Olson
Where the con's cultural elite (you can come too) meet to mix art and alcohol appreciation.
Walter Huston, Tim Curry, Robert De Niro, Viggo Mortensen, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, and Elizabeth Hurley have all reveled in portraying the Prince of Darkness or reasonable facsimiles on film. How'd they each do? As in PARADISE LOST (the poem, we mean), does the Devil always get the best lines? What's the fundamental attraction here? Is it ever possible to overplay the role? Will simply attending this panel send you straight to Hell?
Bob Devney, Esther Friesner, Alex Irvine, MaryAnn Johanson
Who was Noah Arkwight? In the 50s through the 70s the Bay Area was a hot bed of fannish and professional SF. Hear about the people and events. (Noah Arkwright was a character dreamed up by Poul Anderson, Jack Vance and Frank Herbert when they built a houseboat together.)
Karen Anderson, Edmund R. Meskys, Joe Siclari (m)
"FANTASY MASKS" from a surprise material. Create your own version of Voldemort or any other fantasy creature.
Charlene Taylor D'Alessio
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?
Jordin T. Kare
For this career retrospective, Boskone's Official Artist screens his brightest, most beautiful visions of landscapes and laboratories, damsels and dragons, mages and missile men, sailors and swordsmen, bards and barflies.
Richard M. Hescox
Many people think of military SF as simply war porn lots of guns and violence with little real examination of issues or plot beyond who destroys whom. They're wrong, and the panel cites examples as to why.
Walter H. Hunt, Shariann Lewitt, James D. Macdonald, Betsy Mitchell (m)
It's trite to note that fantasy's fascination with royalty flies in the face of our experience that kings are obsolete and just romantic flapdoodle. But what is the place of kings in fantasy and SF? Does an aristocratic society serve a legitimate role in fiction, making possible stories which otherwise couldn't be told, or is it mere scenery? (Could LotR be told in a modern setting? Could it be as good?) If you conclude that kings do have a proper role, how well does modern SF & fantasy use kings, nobles, and aristocrats? Are they historically accurate? Is historical realism a legitimate goal of SF and fantasy?
Mary Kay Kare (m), George R. R. Martin, Tamora Pierce
The panel looks at writers from Christopher Anvil, Rick Raphael, and Jack Wodhams to Avram Davidson, R. A. Lafferty, Keith Laumer, C. C. McApp, and Jack Vance. Some were brilliant, some were just fun reads, none are famous.
Gregory Feeley, Anthony R. Lewis, Timothy E. Liebe
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Bruce Coville, Jane Yolen
Robert I. Katz
Music is an important part of many writers' and readers' lives, yet it's not nearly as integral to most fiction. There are exceptions, and the panel looks at these, and at why they are exceptions, exploring the how and why (and why not) of portraying music in fiction.
Barry Gold, Rosemary Kirstein, Parris McBride, Terry A. McGarry
Shiver me titanium timbers if this wet navy/space navy transposition hasn't been around since Doc Smith played ship's surgeon at its birth. Today this subgenre may be more popular than ever. Who are its leading practitioners? We may have several C. S. Foresters; have we got a Patrick O'Brian yet? So far NASA doesn't feel much like the Admiralty. Can this metaphor survive actual space travel?
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Melissa Scott, Shane Tourtellotte
Thomas A. Easton
Ginjer Buchanan (m), David G. Hartwell, Betsy Mitchell, Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Where are we going? What will we be like when we get there? Wells and Stapledon provided some early answers what later speculations are equally interesting, if any? Electron plasma brains? Sentient Dyson spheres? Shall we come to a good end, a bad end, any end at all? Like a lungfish dreaming of becoming Neil Gaiman, our panel will attempt some really long-range thinking.
Stephen Baxter, Jeffrey A. Carver, Karl Schroeder
The Story of Fiber Optics including an epilogue on the boom, the bubble, and the bust, for those of you wondering why you are unemployed
Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald, Amy Thomson
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
A look at Jack Vance's 1952 planetary romance, recently reissued in Britain and possibly the granddaddy of Very Large Object science fiction such as Ringworld and Orbitsville and lots of stuff by Iain M. Banks.
Walter H. Hunt
Stargate was a mediocre movie that spawned a TV show that's much better than it's source, a show that's now run longer than any Star Trek series ever ran. What's the secret of its success?
MaryAnn Johanson, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Learn more about Godzilla that you ever thought there was to know while sharing the excitement of the big scaly guy with some of Godzilla's most ardent fans.....
Bob Eggleton, Daniel Kimmel, Jim Mann (m)
The South wins at Gettysburg and thus wins the Civil War. Hitler overruns Britain, and Germany wins World War II. There are a lot of common turning points in alternate history. But there are also a lot of key moments in history that are overlooked. (As an example: on a dark night in the Mediterranean, Nelson's fleet out looking for the French who they knew were abroad passed within a couple of miles of Napoleon and his troop ships headed for Egypt. Had Nelson spotted Napoleon then merely a rising military star there would never have been an Emperor Napoleon. But nobody seems to have written an alternate history based on this.) The panel discusses some of the great turning points that haven't been explored.
Ellen Asher, James Cambias, Peter J. Heck, Shane Tourtellotte
SF in the age of computers is as myth-ridden as any medieval romance. Discuss some of the tropes which everyone uses but no one understands and which may not be right at all. AI arising by accident? Direct mind-machine interfaces anytime soon? What else?
Daniel P. Dern, Timothy E. Liebe, Edie Stern, Charles Stross
Stephen Baxter, Rosemary Kirstein, Colleen Lindsay, Betsy Mitchell
In a curious coincidence, NESFA Press just published a deluxe 512-page edition (with extras!) of this 1949 classic by John Myers Myers (1906-1988). Is it true this literature-drunk satire/fantasy was adored by hard SF writers from Heinlein and Anderson to Niven and Pournelle? (And why?) Is it true its songs singlehandedly kept filking alive? (For ghod's sake why?) Is it true it makes allusions to every book ever written? (Like what?)
Karen Anderson, David G. Grubbs, Fred Lerner
Ctein, Jeff Hecht, Mark L. Olson (m)
Bill Sutton, Brenda Sutton
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....
Priscilla Olson, Don Sakers
Jordin T. Kare, Steve Miller, Allen Steele, Ian Randal Strock
James Patrick Kelly
For decades, Hal Clement/Harry Stubbs was best-known for a novel issued in 1953. But Mission of Gravity was succeeded by at least 10 more the last, Noise, published the month before his death last October. Each demonstrated his skill with the "science problem" story. Let's discuss what other qualities his work displays. How about rigor, vigor, humanity, optimism, and a touching faith that we know more science than is actually the case?
Michael A. Burstein, Jeffrey A. Carver, Daniel P. Dern, David G. Hartwell
Brainstorming a story idea from topic to story.
Walter H. Hunt
If you have ever inadvertently misused statistics to deceive people, this is for you. Learn the many pitfalls of statistical usage, so that you will never do so inadvertently again.
Michael F. Flynn
Bruce Coville, Tamora Pierce, Josepha Sherman, Jane Yolen
Many readers are convinced that they'd never want to read a media tie-in, that they are all trivial. But writers such as John Ford, Terry Bisson, and Greg Bear have shown that this isn't always the case. What media tie-ins would you recommend to fans who don't usually read media tie-ins?
Ginjer Buchanan, Solomon Davidoff (m), Keith R. A. DeCandido, Craig Shaw Gardner
Does the science fiction/fantasy/horror field precisely mirror the mainstream's poles of accessibility and marketability? Do our authors have to sit down first and decide which way to go? Must a genre book be swill to sell? Are there genre books that everybody buys but nobody reads? Who are our analogs of Updike, Proulx, Clancy, Steele, Palahniuk, Lethem? (OK, that last one's a gimme.)
Greer Gilman, Alex Irvine, Craig Miller (m)
Talent isn't everything. The Suttons will work with participants to make the most of their abilities and help them relate to an audience.
Bill Sutton, Brenda Sutton
George R. R. Martin, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald
Ctein, Jeff Hecht, Mark L. Olson
Robert J. Sawyer
Barry Gold, Lee Gold
Richard M. Hescox
For so long the Dean of Science Fiction, is RAH now vanishing from the curriculum, as well as the shelves in Barnes & Borders? What's still relevant: his libertarianism? Militarism? Mathematicism? How about his feminism, anti- or proto-? Can today's gameboys and girls still identify with a spacesuit-tinkering Eagle Scout, or with that book where Gidget goes to Venus? Or perhaps you believe that damn good stories never go out of style ...
Charles N. Brown (m), Fred Lerner, Allen Steele, Edie Stern
Amidst all the generic fantasy, there is some very good stuff indeed, including works by such writers as George R. R. Martin and Gene Wolfe.
Alex Irvine, Ellen Kushner, George R. R. Martin (m)
Laura Anne Gilman (m), Peter J. Heck, Paul Levinson, Wen Spencer
We all know that genetic engineering will produce monsters and supermen in due course, but what can we do in the next five years? Talk about changing sex ratios and what else?
Thomas A. Easton, Matthew Jarpe, Robert I. Katz, Amy Thomson (m)
Bob Eggleton, Margaret Organ-Kean
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: LITERATURE'S GREATEST FRAUD? Belief that somebody other than a glover's son from Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the world's greatest plays has never been more widespread. Shakespeare doubters have received recent encouragement from Supreme Court Justices and The New York Times. Who are the rival candidates? What are their proponents' arguments? Is the case for "the Stratford man" open to genuine doubt? The latest developments in a strange and fascinating controversy.
Sharon Lee, Terry A. McGarry, Steve Miller, Tamora Pierce
Kelly Link, Jane Yolen
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. Any case, come to Los Angeles '06 and hang with Connie Willis, James Gurney, Howard DeVore, and Frankie Thomas. Thousands of pros and fans will flock to these two biggest gatherings of the SF fanworld upcoming after Boston. Find out all about them here today.
Vince Docherty, Christian McGuire
F. Brett Cox
Social scientists lately are coming up with many cool new observations about mass behavior. From six degrees of separation to the tipping point to the idea that the maximum effective size of any social unit is 150 people (i.e., everything takes a village), we'll discuss the invisible principles that guide us once we join the crowd. Note: maximum audience size for this event? Why 150, of course.
Michael F. Flynn, Daniel Hatch, Edie Stern, Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Space opera has come a long way since the days of the galaxy-blasting adventures of E.E. Smith and John W. Campbell. Iain Banks, Alistair Reynolds, and others have helped revitalize the genre, moving it in new and different directions. The panel discusses the new space opera.
Kathryn Cramer (m), Walter H. Hunt, Karl Schroeder, Peter Weston
Micro-budget Film Hits the Bigtime! Meet three of the creative talents from "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra," the new Sony Pictures SF comedy premiering this very weekend at the Kendall Square Theatre in Cambridge. See the trailer and take a peek behind the scenes. Ask questions of Bob Deveau (The Doomed Farmer), Susan McConnell (Lattis the alien), and Boskone regular Cortney Skinner (Mutant Designer). The movie is an affectionate, re-creation of those beloved low-budget SF movies, shot in glorious black-and-white, and scored entirely with ancient library music. As writer/director/star Larry Blamire wryly puts it, "It's not just a spoof of B-movies it IS a B-movie."
Roger Zelazny had a healthy attitude about Hollywood's filming his stuff: "They didn't ruin my book. My book is right here." But would Philip K. Dick agree? Isn't the spirit usually the first thing to go? Do actors often disappoint but settings usually improve onscreen? And inevitably, at least one Lord of the Rings question: Is it possible to be too faithful to a book?
Bob Devney, MaryAnn Johanson, Jim Mann (m), Craig Miller
Which is worse: the drunk guest of honor or the dead guest of honor? Fire or flood? Busted budget or bomb scare? Committee battles or burnout? Biowarfare attack or British-cuisine banquet? Panelists will share tales of catastrophes past and brood on dark imaginings of things yet to come.
Genny Dazzo, Parris McBride, Geri Sullivan, Bill Sutton
Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman
Daniel P. Dern
Esther Friesner, George R. R. Martin, Robert J. Sawyer
Comic sales today are much lower than they were 25 years ago. On the other hand, as the recent spate of successful superhero movies (and well done superhero animated series, such as Justice League) have shown, the superhero story is still alive. What's the current state of the comic world? What's worth reading? Can new readers come to comics easily, or is the entry bar too high?
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Daniel P. Dern, Alice N. S. Lewis, Don Sakers
Mary Kay Kare, Laurie Mann, Edmund R. Meskys
From Earth's closest neighbor to the edge of infinity. What is there to see and how are we going to get there?
Are SF series different from those in other genres such as mystery or historical fiction? Are series in those genres more identifiable by the character(s) around which they are focused (Holmes and Watson, Horatio Hornblower) while SF series or more often identified by the setting or plot? The panel compares SF series to series in other genres.
Barbara Chepaitis, Don D'Ammassa (m), Dara Joy, Sharon Lee
The influence of Lovecraft's Cthulu mythos stories extends beyond the stories written by Derleth, Lumley, and others. Elements of the mythos even when not named directly are present not only in horror fiction but in popular culture, ranging from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the animated Justice League of America show (which features an "elder gods who used to control us but sank beneath the waves trying to break through into our dimension" story). The panel discusses Lovecraft's influence on horror and on our culture.
F. Brett Cox, Craig Shaw Gardner, Darrell Schweitzer, Charles Stross
It share of the total SF audience may have declined a bit from the Campbellian Age, but this subgenre still draws devotion from writers, readers, and con attendees. Our titular titans aside, who are its best modern adherents, and why? Do astronomy and physics still rule this roost? How unfair is the stereotype of hard SF books as overoptimistic, undercharacterized, and more interested in metrics than metaphors?
John G. Cramer, Daniel Hatch, Shariann Lewitt
Three of the cast & crew from "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra" Bob Deveau (The Doomed Farmer), Susan McConnell (Lattis the alien), and Cortney Skinner (Mutant Designer), will present a overview of the low budget effects used in the movie. Both digital and mechanical effects were used to make a meteorite fall, a rocketship land, a skeleton walk, a mutant stalk, and a raygun create a lovely animal-woman....all in the style of a 1950's low budget movie....possibly undercutting even the budget of Ed Wood.
This is not about politics, but about engineering! Did the destruction of the World Trade Center demonstrate a fatal flaw in all macroengineering projects? Given that any really big project will be an obvious target, and given that the destruction of a really big project will necessarily be an exceptional disaster, does macroengineering have a future? Consider the collapse of a beanstalk (as in Green Mars). Consider the dangers of having atomic-powered spaceships in everyday use (not just the dangers of teenagers flying around with nuclear reactors in their space-going jalopies, but the destructive possibilities of a 10,000 ton spacecraft hitting the atmosphere at 100 or 1000 kps as in Garrett & Silverberg's "Sound Decision"). Is there any room for optimism? Are technical fixes possible?
Stephen Baxter, Thomas A. Easton, James D. Macdonald (m), Allen Steele
Some writings of Australian hard SF wunderkind Greg Egan, such as the story "Oracle" and the novel Schild's Ladder, appear to be direct replies to (and criticisms of) some religious ideas set forth by classic British fantasy author C. S. Lewis. What are the terms of debate? Who wins? Are they even talking the same language? Is Egan saying anything more today that Arthur C. Clarke did fifty years ago in his debates with Lewis? And just what is it about Lewis that inspires such passion (both intellectual and emotional) in his detractors.
Mark L. Olson, Tom Veal
Solomon Davidoff, Laura Anne Gilman
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.
Lisa A. Barnett, Melissa Scott, Wen Spencer
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Esther Friesner
If nobody has much time to read, why haven't shorter stories been the most popular forms in SF for these first few years of the Oh-Ohs? Some would argue they're not the best sellers, just the best written. Are we seeing the stirrings of a renaissance here? If so, why? What are the cool new themes and memes? What's the really good stuff, and where can we find it?
Judith Berman, James Cambias, James Patrick Kelly
Karen Anderson, Joe Siclari
Michael F. Flynn, Steve Miller, Robert J. Sawyer, Allen Steele (m)
From Sharon Lee and Steve Miller to Catherine Asaro to Lois McMaster Bujold, established SF authors are definitely crossing over that sweet savage line. Will Mike Resnick's next anthology be Alternate Bodices? We've got serious questions also. Do fanboys read romances too? Are they likely to prove more successful than the ever-struggling SF/mystery subgenre? When will we see that first great interspecies couple? Do Kirk/Spock count?
Ginjer Buchanan (m), Laura Anne Gilman, Dara Joy, Timothy E. Liebe
Richard M. Hescox
Never mind that several British polls place Mr. T atop his century, a 1999 Amazon.com poll named LOTR the book of the millennium. Why? What has it got in its pocketses? Did Tolkien accomplish something quite new, or very old? Sum up the spirit of his age, or resist it? Did he have it easier because he caught so many readers so young? Can his rep last another 100 years? (And what does the literary establishment's reaction to this tell us?)
Debra Doyle, Gregory Feeley, Paul Levinson, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman
Michael A. Burstein, Matthew Jarpe
Do you love good graphic design, lovely fonts and great layout? Join two graphics artists to talk about their craft.
Alice N. S. Lewis, Geri Sullivan
Editor David G. Hartwell tries to shatter Stephen Baxter's shell of shaggy wild- man loudmouthed excess, exposing the quiet skiffy scribe within. Topics may include what it's like to work with Sir Arthur C. Clarke, whether NASA has turned into a Dickensian if not Kafkaesque bureaucracy, how many people so far have had sex in space, and why King Arthur shows up naked with a punk haircut in Baxter's new novel Coalescent.
Stephen Baxter, David G. Hartwell
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!
Gay Ellen Dennett
The great horror scare may be over. Apparently it's not going to surpass SF or fantasy as a popular publishing genre anytime soon. But the panel considers whether talents such as Graham Joyce, Poppy Z. Brite, Caitlin R. Kiernan, and Chico Kidd may help breathe new life into horrible old bottles.
F. Brett Cox, Kathryn Cramer (m), Don D'Ammassa, Steven Sawicki, Darrell Schweitzer
The Retro Hugos are awards for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy. The twist: they're bestowed for a year in which a Worldcon was held but no Hugo awards were given. So since there were no Hugos or equivalent awards in 1954, this summer here in Boston, our own Noreascon Four will hand out Retro Hugos for works first published or released in 1953. Got all that? Good. Now let's talk about which works are worthy.
Karen Anderson, Daniel Kimmel, Mark L. Olson, Joe Siclari
Lois H. Mangan
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 2003? Take in the pitch, pitch your own favorites, and catch some others. You're about to make some really good writers, artists, and fans ecstatic!
Claire Anderson, Don D'Ammassa, Bob Devney, Jim Mann
An auction to benefit Hal Clement's charity, the Joslin Diabetes Center.
David G. Hartwell
When did the Church teach that women did not have souls? Were serfs no better than slaves? Was art a lost art? Was scientific investigation suppressed? Were people chained by superstition? Come hear what Theodoric of Fribourg said about rainbows or Jean Buridan about objects at rest. Learn what the Neudorfen and Flemish rights have to do with the Wild West. Why do we still pay heriot? And what do Licet juris and the Summa Theologica have to say about civil rights? What did Blanche of Castile tell Louis of France when he wanted to go on Crusade? How did what went down at Garde-Frainet affect the modern Middle East? Learn how to mind your manors and serf the net and why we say the Middle Ages and not the Middle Age.
Michael F. Flynn
Ginjer Buchanan, Jane Jewell, George R. R. Martin, Priscilla Olson (m), Charles Stross
MaryAnn Johanson, Jim Mann, Laurie Mann, Steven Sawicki
Leigh Grossman, Terry Kepner, Betsy Mitchell, Wen Spencer
Is SARS a taste of our future? Will Ebola establish itself in Massachusetts? Will the combination of biotechnology, terrorists, and rapid movement of people usher in a new Dark Age of plagues? Or will our expertise in medicine, public health, and rational drug design mean that plagues get one chance to kill before they are thwarted? We'll consider plagues both natural and man-made.
Genny Dazzo, Robert I. Katz, Robert J. Sawyer, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Charles N. Brown
Any Thomson has visited environments as alien as you can find on this planet: the Sechelles, the Antarctic, Zanzibar, the Galapagos, the Falklands, and the Aleutians. She'll tell us all about them.
Michael A. Burstein, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Why do we ignore audiobooks? Is it just that they're such a small part of the market, or because they're not different in any interesting way from printed books? Does a well-read audiobook add anything to the story that a reader won't get? What is the role of abridgement? (Is it an abomination?)
Daniel P. Dern
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Peter J. Heck, Darrell Schweitzer, Amy Thomson
Is space travel no longer important in society's imagination? Has children's literature abandoned space for dragons?
Michael A. Burstein, Jordin T. Kare, Ian Randal Strock
The Science Fiction Book Club has been directly marketing inexpensive hardcover editions of current and classic SF and fantasy to an eager (and grateful) audience for half a century. What were the most notable releases? Which ones got away? How do collectors feel about club editions? What are the club's prospect in the T-Rex-eat-puppy world of modern publishing?
Ellen Asher, Fred Lerner
Gary D. McGath
What's our genre's relation to the other books on the American shelf? Well, would you call the Riverworld series a response to Huckleberry Finn, exactly? How helpful is the academy in this, given a history of sneers relieved by a few cases of sneaky fondness? Beyond whether Gene Wolfe should get the Pulitzer (or the Nobel), where do we stand? South of the Southern Renaissance? Just north of nurses' stories?
F. Brett Cox (m), Gregory Feeley, Jane Jewell
Science fiction and fantasy are embedded in our historical past, and frequently use historical settings and events (how many times has the Roman Empire fallen in SF?) But not all of the seams being mined are historical, and many are based more on historical legends and popular cultural stories than on what really happened. For example, consider the misunderstood scientist-inventor; the Inquisition (& the Gallileo myth); etc. To what extent do SF & Fantasy really base their worlds on the real one?
Lisa A. Barnett, Solomon Davidoff, Esther Friesner, Ellen Kushner, Peter Weston
James Patrick Kelly, James D. Macdonald
Bob Eggleton, Richard M. Hescox, Margaret Organ-Kean
Stephen Baxter, Judith Berman, Robert J. Sawyer
Rosemary Kirstein, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Michael F. Flynn
James Patrick Kelly, Ellen Kushner, Paul Levinson, Delia Sherman, Shane Tourtellotte
From terabyte hard drives to memory sticks, we're remembering more and more on less and less. What are the latest trends in information storage, and what's coming up soon? Are we about to enter a Storage Revolution, or are we in one already? How would cheap tiny megastorage change our lives? Any 5 year, 10 year, 25 year forecasts? And in the longer term, are we condemning future generations to complex, frustrating infostorage archaeology?
George R. R. Martin
Classics that even a well-read fan may not have read. (By "classic" we mean good stuff, not obsolescent oldies.)
Ellen Asher, Kathryn Cramer, Daniel Hatch
Daniel P. Dern
Judith Berman, Esther Friesner, Fred Lerner (m), Darrell Schweitzer
Let's talk about the relatively new and really welcome development of Young Adult Fantasy characters that kick ass, take names, and wear scrunchies. Yeah! You go, girls.
Barbara Chepaitis (m), Bruce Coville, Debra Doyle, Tamora Pierce, Jane Yolen
James D. Macdonald
John G. Cramer
H.G. Wells, at the end of "The Time Machine," gave us a brief vision of the very far future. Stapledon, Clarke, Cordwainer Smith, and others have followed in his tracks, offering us provocative visions of the far future. The panel looks at this subgenre its history, its present, and its techniques.
Jeffrey A. Carver, Rosemary Kirstein, Robert J. Sawyer, Karl Schroeder (m)
How about All Terry Pratchett All the Time? Or a "There Can Be Only One" Singularity Panel? Hugo Baked Beans Banquet? Combo Filksing/Lime Jello Gargle? "The Blacking of Fandom" Hair Dye Demo? Gaiman/Hartwell Fashion Strutdown? George R. R. Martin Kill-A-Character Contest? Bring all these and more of your best ideas for this summer's Worldcon, right here in Boston!
Terry A. McGarry, Wen Spencer
Jeffrey A. Carver, Michael F. Flynn, Karl Schroeder, Allen Steele
Work with an artist to develop characters and create illustrations using a workbook layout of The Three Bears.
Could it be the most useful literary concept of our Me Millennium? We'll discuss myriad examples, from fanfic, flicks, and major SF works that should be ashamed of themselves. You see, in the classic Mary Sue story, a character happens to be amazingly like the author, except said MS is incredibly more attractive, accomplished, and most of all accepted nay beloved than anybody outside of a blatant wish fulfillment fant oh.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Many writing panels discuss writing your first novel and getting it published. In some ways, the second book can be harder. It certainly has challenges of its own. The panel looks at writing and publishing that all-important second book.
Laura Anne Gilman (m), Sharon Lee, Shariann Lewitt, Amy Thomson
Stephen Baxter, John G. Cramer, Mark L. Olson
Ve vant your ideasss.....
Gary D. McGath
Debra Doyle, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Jane Yolen
A chance for fans between 11 and 18 to meet with a much-admired author. (Please sign up at Information ahead of time!) For heroines and heroes who just love to have fun with lethal weapons!
Using patented ThoughtSquasher compression technology, the seasoned "Sunday Funny Sunday" crew whips through 20 complete panel topics (not including this one) in 50 minutes or less, just because they can. Warning: do not apply directly to brain.
Michael A. Burstein, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Bob Devney (m), Leigh Grossman
Gary D. McGath
Deb Geisler (m), Rick Katze, Priscilla Olson