Note: This is a preliminary schedule. Times, participants and places are subject to change!
Charles N. Brown
New to the Hub of the Universe? Or haven't been downtown since the great Boskonian Exile began? Our bean-fed guides explain it all for you: eats, sights, shopping, strange native customs, and why you'll get a ticket no matter where you paahck yer caaah.
Gregory Frost, Charles Stross
In which other ways of putting together convention programs are discussed, and the difficulties encountered therein examined....
Priscilla Olson, Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Discuss real world film reviewing with a professional film critic. Learn how "Frankenstein" isn't science fiction, how "sci-fi" was "added" to "Minority Report." and about the other hilarious misconceptions of mundane film critics. After an initial rant, discussion will follow.
Much of the best humorous fantasy also has its serious side. The works of Terry Pratchett, for example, are both very funny and (at their core) deadly serious. There is a deep understanding of life and its workings underlying Pratchett and other major humorous fantasists. Are these dark underpinnings what makes some comic fantasy so good, what distinguishes it from the far less serious (and far more superficial) works of some others in the field?
Hal Clement, Leigh Grossman (m), Peter J. Heck
Boskone has done pretty well, considering it's an intangible institution named for an evil empire dreamed up by a doughnut doctor. There have actually been more Boskones than there have been Super Bowls (but our commercials aren't as funny). Even so, why do some purists claim that this Boskone should be #45? How has Boskone changed over the years? Come hear (and contribute your own stories) about 40 years of imagination and insanity, friendships and feuds, books and blizzards, guests and glory.
Hal Clement, Anthony R. Lewis
Although first published in 1955, Carol Emshwiller has never lost her capacity to surprise. Her quirky playful works have gained her critical praise outside or and within the SF/Fantasy genre. Her fiction is feminist and fantastic, sometimes highly realistic and sometimes magically so. Emshwiller's fiction, in fact, resists all attempts to relegate it, even to relegate it to a commodious "borderline" category. Surprising and inventive, even in its author's ninth decade, it amply rewards a lively discussion.
Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Why does some fantasy feel "real" while other fantasy (even sometimes fantasy we really enjoy) doesn't feel real? Is it the world? The characters? The events? The cosmology? The panel looks at what makes fantasy real, citing examples, from both readers' and writers' perspectives.
George R. R. Martin, Steve Miller (m), Tamora Pierce, Delia Sherman
Who do readers (and writers) prefer -- memorable heroes or memorable villains -- and why? Who are popular heroes or villains, and what makes them so popular? Do heroes and villains have certain characteristics in common? Can heroes be villainous, and villains be heroic? Why is it sometimes important to have a hero (or villain) in a story?
Keith R. A. DeCandido (m), Marina Fitch, Walter H. Hunt, Rosemary Kirstein, Sharon Lee
Suppose Star Trek and Star Wars had never existed. Would Westerns still rule the tube? Ralph Bakshi be credited with the definitive Lord of the Rings flick? William Shatner's literary career be tragically nonexistent? And would beanies be mandatory at this trufen-only con, if it were held at all?
Michael A. Burstein, MaryAnn Johanson (m), Mark R. Leeper, Timothy E. Liebe, Shane Tourtellotte
Fans, writers, artists, and other members of our close-knit community are remembered.....
Lois H. Mangan
Learn more about Godzilla that you ever thought there was to know - while sharing the excitement of the big scaly guy from one of Godzilla's most ardent fans.....
>From The Joyce of Cooking to Lobscouse and Spotted Dog (based on the works of Patrick O'Brian) literary cookbooks form an interesting subgenre of their own. Come share your favorite literary cookbooks, hear about others, and discuss yet others that SHOULD exist.
You didn't drive your flying car to Boskone 40 -- don't you feel cheated? Now we're going to tell you why you're not going to get your meatloaf and mashed potatoes in one convenient capsule (and the apple pie's right out too.) The panel talks about the skiffy archetype of instant food in a pill, and what all those writers of yesteryear DIDN'T explore. After all, if we are already a society of low-fat energy bars, why can't we produce the ultimate (but nutritional) "diet pill"?
Bob Devney, Matthew Jarpe, Mark L. Olson (m), Joe Siclari
British SF and fantasy don't make it to the US, or only do so after some delay. US readers on the whole were several years behind in discovering such major writers as Ken MacLeod and Alastair Reynolds, and even today the works of Iain Banks often come to the US a year after they are available in the UK. The panel looks at a number of UK writers who many of us may be missing (allowing us to rush to the Hucksters Room or to amazon.uk to find their works.
Vince Docherty, Charles Stross, Peter Weston (m)
There is substantial overlap between lovers (and writers) of SF/Fantasy and mysteries. Are the rules (well, what are they, anyway?) just too different for a hybrid to work? Upon what works might lovers of whodunnit and howdunnit agree -- and why? The panel looks at the links between SF/Fantasy and mystery fiction.
Robert I. Katz, Paul Levinson (m), James D. Macdonald, Wen Spencer
Heinlein's juveniles are still being read and reread by SF fans nearly a half-century after they were first published. They have rarely (if ever) gone out of print. Why are these "kiddie books" so popular? Join in, and discuss your favorite Heinlein juveniles, why you love them, and why they've stood the test of time far better than a lot of the other SF from their era.
Timothy E. Liebe
How will it be different from the hospital of the day?
Robert I. Katz
Several cast members say LOTR: TROTK is their favorite of the three Lord of the Rings movies. Since we can't all hold our breath until December 17, let's speculate. What scenes will be cut? Added? Changed from the book? Will Sauron start wearing a contact? Faramir find his groove? Is Aragorn really Elvis? And how could the Scouring of the Shire possibly be left out without destroying everything Tolkien believed in?
Bob Devney, Greer Gilman, MaryAnn Johanson (m), Teresa Nielsen Hayden
The small presses have become a vital part of the SF publishing field. Some reprint classic authors. Some are releasing collections of the short fiction of some of the stars of the current field. Others are printing cutting-edge new fiction. The panel looks at what small presses are now doing in SF and where they are heading. Will new technologies such as print-on-demand and ebooks have a major impact on them?
Don Sakers (m), Steven Sawicki, Robert J. Sawyer, Cecilia Tan
Michael A. Burstein
Read through and practice, critique and improve!
Gary D. McGath
A. E. van Vogt was one of the first writers to be discovered by John W. Campbell. What was it about his writing which made it so important to Astounding's Golden Age? Which stories best stand the test of time? What were the themes that he came back to time and again?
What are the rewards.....and the pitfalls?
How (and why) did it get started? What was it like way back then....?
Charles N. Brown, Anthony R. Lewis, Edmund R. Meskys
You answer the question, you get the chocolate. That's about it.
Mark L. Olson, Priscilla Olson
OPEN TO ALL!
Southern science fiction? Midwestern fantasy? New England horror? How can works of even the most fantastic fiction still bear the marks of the real places from which they come?
F. Brett Cox
Who would win a fight between....? Grudge Match (tm) returns to Boskone with another hour of wacky warped humor, based on the long-running website. They stage the fights you never thought you would see, with a science fiction spin they know you'll appreciate. They make their cases, the Expert Panelists back their favorites -- but YOU choose the winner! (If you can stop laughing long enough to vote.)
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Josepha Sherman, Ian Randal Strock, Shane Tourtellotte
Many fans are really seriously into the whole concept of "scientific" (or maybe not) experimentation -- sometimes with interesting (OK, disastrous?) results. In the Midwest, General Technics members are particularly renowned for these activities, but they are not (alas?) alone. Join in, and discuss the questionable activities you've engaged in, involving explosives, hamsters, mass breakage, and (someone else's?) microwaves.....
Come see a fannish slideshow -- and help us identify some of the people in the pictures.
What's special about his work -- and why does it continue to enchant?
WHY????? Have you really thought about this?
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
What it is -- and why you're not alone....
SF and fandom online isn't limited to rasff. In fact, there is a lot of SF on the web, ranging from professional sites, to reference sites, to more fannish sites. The panel looks at the Web and SF, and discusses where this trend will take us in the future.
Barry Gold, James Patrick Kelly (m), Timothy E. Liebe, Laurie Mann
There are more and more books where the author, such as Tim Powers, re-examines the past and reveals the "real" secrets hidden there. Supernatural conspiracies may explain what we might have always thought of as dull historical trivia, and underlying connections between the most disparate events are elucidated with great verve. What the hell is going on here? Are secret histories gaining on alternate ones? Why are they so addictively enjoyable? How might the fantastic reinterpretation of history practiced by such authors relate to current events? And, in a world where Mae West slept with Ho Chi Minh, what even stranger connections might make intriguing reading?
Debra Doyle, Daniel Hatch, Alex Irvine, Beth Meacham (m)
Beyond helping to create fight scenes, what are the advantages of studying the martial arts? Can it clear the mind, or give the writer another way of looking at life, or the work at hand? Practitioners of the arts discuss these issues.
Judith Berman, Juliet E. McKenna, Cecilia Tan (m), Ann Tonsor Zeddies
How did the Columbia catastrophe affect the science fiction community? How might it change the future of space exploration -- or what people think of these programs? Does getting "out there" still matter to us as much as it used to? Will the problems we've had and will (inevitably?) have make us more cautious or more daring?
Michael A. Burstein, Moshe Feder, Jeff Hecht (m), Pat Molloy, Allen Steele
Bruce Coville, Fruma Klass, William Tenn
John W. Campbell Jr. is widely regarded as the father of modern SF. As the editor of Astounding, he transformed the field, raising it above its pulp origins. But -- he was also an important author, first as a writer of super-science stories, and then as a writer of moodier, more subdued pieces like "Twilight" and "Who Goes There?" that also helped transform the field.
Barbara Chepaitis, Hal Clement, Walter H. Hunt
Wherein our Guest of Honor will improvise a story based on a series of slides by our Official Artist. Enjoy the fun!
David Brin, Jim Burns
Learn the ins and outs of getting the most out of a science fiction convention -- and (specifically) Boskone. Highly recommended to new convention attendees, those who have never attended a Boskone (or haven't attended one recently), and just about anyone else who needs to remember what they're doing here..!
Priscilla Olson (m), Sharon Sbarsky, Geri Sullivan
Keith R. A. DeCandido
Barry Gold, Lee Gold
DNA evidence proves the guy on Death Row didn't do it. On CSI, they finger a killer by the heat trace he left behind. But -- can this evidence be tampered with? How do real everyday science advances change the way the criminal justice system works, and what's the outlook for the future? How far can forensics go before we have the Precrime cops from Minority Report stopping homicides before they happen? What comes in between -- and is it all good?
Michael Benveniste (m), Matthew Jarpe, Robert I. Katz, Paul Levinson
More adults seem to be reading children's literature (and indeed, more "adult" writers are breaking into the field). What could there be in it that appeals to adults? Is the popularity of this subgenre, coupled with the immense influx of adult readers, changing how writers of fiction for younger fans are approaching their material?
Jeffrey A. Carver, Bruce Coville (m), Laura Anne Gilman, Tamora Pierce
The "Golden Age of Science Fiction" may be "12," but the golden age of fantasy movies is NOW! Starting with The Princess Bride and continuing with such great cinema as Crouching Tiger, the Lord of the Rings films, the Harry Potter films, and so on, this has been a great time for fantasy film. While science fiction movies seem to be languishing, fantasy flicks are vibrant. The panel looks at this trend.
Bob Devney, MaryAnn Johanson, Mark R. Leeper, Laurie Mann (m)
Historical fiction is quite popular with readers of SF and is experiencing a resurgence in general. Patrick O'Brian, Dorothy Dunnett, Bernard Cornwell, Stever Saylor, and others are among the best of recent writers. The panelsts discuss their favorite writers, what they particularly like about their works, and why these works appeal to the SF audience.
Peter J. Heck, Fred Lerner, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Delia Sherman (m)
In David Brin's Uplift series, intelligent species are uplifted -- raised to consciousness -- by other species. Other authors -- such as Ken MacLeod in his Engines of Light series -- have used similar concepts. Is it possible? Should it be done (if it is)? The panel looks at the possibilities, and the biology behind it all.
Judith Berman, Thomas A. Easton, Jeff Hecht (m), Shariann Lewitt, Robert J. Sawyer
Laurie J. Marks
David G. Hartwell, Karen Michalson, Wen Spencer
An instrumentalist's-eye view of how to approach working with a vocal group, with bass guitar or other instruments.
John Huff, Cliff Laufer
Fandom is a truly wonderful thing -- but is this always the case? How can fandom hurt? Can it be physically damaging? Financially? Psychologically? Socially? What can one learn from being hurt (or being the hurter) to avoid the same results in the future?
Priscilla Olson, Geri Sullivan
George H. Scithers
Music hath charms.....and may often have really good stories. What ballads (or other music) have inspired written works? The panelists also share their own ideas of what (neglected?) ballads should still be mined and how music helps them be more creative.
Ellen Kushner, Michael McAfee (m), Josepha Sherman, Kathy Sobansky
Why do some writers choose pseudonyms? Why do some choose more than one? How does one go about choosing and using aliases, and why have some writers chosen the ones they did?
Hal Clement, Solomon Davidoff (m), Craig Shaw Gardner, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Enterprise is the latest series from the Star Trek franchise. How does it stand up? Is it worth comparing to TNG and DS9, or is it a lesser effort? The panel looks at the strengths and weaknesses of Enterprise.
Michael A. Burstein (m), Jim Mann, Shane Tourtellotte
What are the rewards (and specific challenges) of working in the long form? The short form? Do these types of works encourage different creative styles? Why do some authors write and some fans read short stories, and some refuse to? Are there two different types of writers or fans -- or is there something else going on?
Debra Doyle, Michael F. Flynn, James Patrick Kelly (m), Steven Sawicki, Ian Randal Strock
J.R.R. Tolkien is the major figure of 20th-century fantasy, and The Lord of the Rings is one of the world's greatest fantasy works. But, did Tolkien (and the success of The Lord of the Rings) harm fantasy -- spawning hordes of imitators and forcing subsequent fantasy into a particular mold, while suppressing other types?
David Brin, Greer Gilman (m), Darrell Schweitzer, Jo Walton
Walter H. Hunt
Robert J. Sawyer, Allen Steele, Cecilia Tan
How can SF (the literature, or the way of thinking?) be used to enhance teaching? Besides joining the science and humanities, does SF help encourage creativity? Learning? The panel will share their experiences and give examples.
Jeffrey A. Carver (m), Barbara Chepaitis, Leigh Grossman
Robert I. Katz
....About books and publishing, that is. Do these erroneous pieces of wisdom match any that you've received in the past?
Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden
It's fun to fool with languages and maps, but how about supplying your castle in the clouds with credible sanitation? Economics? Ecology? Geology? Religion? Technology? Political science beyond fantafeudalism? Fabulous creatures with believable biologies? The panel will discuss how to make it all REAL (or at least, close enough that it reads that way...)
Gregory Frost, Laurie J. Marks, George R. R. Martin (m), Juliet E. McKenna
How can a writer make the story particularly vivid? Omit needless words? Show, don't tell? (And never say "very"?) Does the use of specific place names or particular word choices help? How else do writers bring those marks on the pages to life? Perfectly prepared panelists may even bring favorite passages that make us wake up and totally grok the synthocoffee.
Bruce Coville, Michael F. Flynn (m), Sharon Lee
There are many film reference books, some general, some aimed specifically at genre films. The panel examines film reference books and tries to decide which are the truly essential ones for a fan of SF and horror films. After all, you can't get ALL your info off the Internet or in the gutter....
F. Brett Cox, MaryAnn Johanson, Daniel Kimmel (m), Mark R. Leeper, Michael Marano
Wake up, bonk nearest model, try new drug, cut off own ear, paint GUERNICA ON GANYMEDE, accept check for six times writer's annual income. Does this sum it up, or is there more to the day of a modern SF/F/H artist?
Jim Burns, Bob Eggleton (m), Omar Rayyan, Ruth Sanderson
The middle of the 20th century -- the decades of the 1940s, the 1950s, and the 1960s -- saw an amazing transformation in science fiction. It went from being a pulp genre, dominated by often clumsily written (albeit entertaining) stories with wooden characters, to a genre of polished prose, believable characters, insight, and often literary inventiveness. This panel looks at the SF of this period.
Alan F. Beck, Hal Clement, Nancy C. Hanger (m), William Tenn, Ben Yalow
Jeff Hecht, Beth Meacham
Yet another meeting ot 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
James Patrick Kelly
Mark R. Leeper
Debra Doyle, Rosemary Kirstein, Josepha Sherman
Leigh Grossman, Walter H. Hunt
We're in a different place than we were last year, and there may be some settling-in problems. Tell us what we're doing wrong, and we'll fix it if we can. (Of course, feel free to stop by and tell us if we're doing a great job too!)
The members of Clam Chowder explain how to arrange songs for multi-part harmony.
Bob Esty, John Huff, Cliff Laufer, Gary D. McGath, Kathy Sobansky
Last year, we looked at the same topic and ended with the question "what happens next?" So -- we return to the future, in the future. Things have changed in many ways over the last year. How is the current political situation affecting the news media, and where will this take us in the future....?
Deb Geisler (m), Daniel Hatch, Allen Steele, Charles Stross
The American Civil War has spawned more alternate histories than any other period in history (except, maybe, World War II). The panel talks about alternate histories based on Civil War turning points. Are these turning-point takeoffs realistic? And are there other big turning points in the Civil War that haven't yet been used, that could be the subject of great alternate history stories in the future?
Peter J. Heck, Evelyn C. Leeper, Joe Siclari (m), Peter Weston
Different TV series use different storytelling techniques. There's the series arc ("Babylon 5"), the episodic approach with occasional recurring themes (most of the "Star Treks"), the seasonal arc ("Buffy" and "Angel"), and the series arc which has no real conclusion in mind ("X Files"). The panel compares and discusses the various techniques used in telling stories on TV.
F. Brett Cox, MaryAnn Johanson, Daniel Kimmel (m), Jim Mann
Who thought of these first? Space travel, time travel, robots.... these (and others) are the seminal ideas of SF. The panel looks at such seminal ideas, tracing them back to their starting points, and to key moments in their (continuing!) development.
Ctein, Fruma Klass, Anthony R. Lewis (m), Steve Miller, Don Sakers
Bests....and worsts, trends, problems, comers.....and goers. Not much more to say!
Charles N. Brown, David G. Hartwell (m), Beth Meacham
Wen Spencer, Shane Tourtellotte
Robert J. Sawyer
Jeffrey A. Carver, Bruce Coville, Darrell Schweitzer
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Cecilia Tan
Thomas A. Easton
The first of four short programs looking at how people collaborate. Compare and contrast the problems encountered and strategies developed, as the pairs explore the advantages and disadvantages faced in collaborating when producing stories, novels, and even this Boskone's program. This is part 1.
Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman
How are (and have been) libraries so important to the SF community? What can a good library (and librarian) do to encourage reading, writing, and creativity? A dialog, comparing experiences in and of libraries.
Fred Lerner, Don Sakers
Lois H. Mangan
Gollum is unique; there's nobody quite like him in fantasy. (Or, is there?) And in many ways, he's the true tragic figure of The Lord of the Rings, evoking at times anger, contempt, and pity from the readers. The panel looks at the character of Gollum (whether Stinker or Slinker) and how he fits into Tolkien's world and Tolkien's story.
Debra Doyle (m), Greer Gilman, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Jo Walton, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
What can science tell us for sure; what can it say little or nothing about; and how far do today's best theories go? Are there any ultimate limits beyond which science cannot go even in principle?
Guy Consolmagno, Jeff Hecht, Matthew Jarpe, Mark L. Olson (m)
What kinds of things get the creative juices flowing? How can a writer break out of a slump, or a genuine writing block? Does it help to read? Write? Take a vacation? The panel will share tips and experiences relating to "jumpstarting."
Michael A. Burstein, Barbara Chepaitis, James Patrick Kelly (m), Rosemary Kirstein
Ready, aim, DRAW.
Bob Eggleton, Thomas Kidd, Ruth Sanderson
In the recent anthology, hard science fiction is described as "not only the genre's core, but also its future." Today, we seem to be going through a true renaissance of hard SF. Not only is there more good hard SF being published now than ever before, but the overall quality is better than ever. Is this true? Is the hard stuff truly central again? Was it always? Can it last? The panel looks at the state of hard SF today, and what distinguishes the new hard SF from "classic" hard SF.
Ellen Asher, David G. Hartwell, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Peter Weston (m)
Jim Burns, Juliet E. McKenna
Part 2 of four linked programs on collaboration.
Jim Mann, Priscilla Olson
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Margaret Organ-Kean, Omar Rayyan
James Patrick Kelly, Laurie J. Marks, Don Sakers
Jeffrey A. Carver, Laura Anne Gilman
Separate fact from fiction, and learn the reality of what it was like being a knight in the court of King Henry VIII. Interpreters with an array of arms and armor discuss the history, role, and evolution of armor from ancient times to the court of King Henry VIII, offering hands-on opportunity for the audience to handle and wear armor.
Part 3 of 4 linked programs on collaboration.
Michael A. Burstein, Shane Tourtellotte
When it started, the modern skeptical movement was a bastion of rigorous inquiry into unusal phenomena. But in recent years, it has become increasingly dogmatic and (in the view of some) treating skepticism like a religion, with supposed apostates being shouted down and actual scientific inquiry set aside. Join in an informal chat about skepticism and science fiction.
Robert J. Sawyer
What lurks on the borders between mainstream and genre fiction? What makes works cross over from one to another?
Ellen Asher, F. Brett Cox, Moshe Feder (m), Gregory Feeley, Alex Irvine
This master of anime created My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa of the Cave of the Winds, Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, and now the sublime Spirited Away. Neil Gaiman adapts his screenplays, top Hollywood animators deem him "an inspiration" or "a god." No one, except (perhaps) the entire Disney organization put together, has made more excellent animated fantasies. So, is there a more important visual fantasist working on the planet today? The panel will try not to rave as they discuss the man, his work and themes, and why too many of us still haven't heard of him.
Claire Anderson, Bob Devney (m), Daniel Kimmel, Timothy E. Liebe
A science fiction reader closes her book with wonder; a fantasy reader with longing; a horror reader...with relief?! Is horror merely a cathartic rehearsal of our own final transformation? Its appeal, that we find ourselves still (temporarily) alive? Or is it that science fiction is written by builders, fantasy by dreamers, horror by realists?
Gregory Frost, Michael Marano (m), George H. Scithers, Charles Stross
A pathologist can usually tell a man's brain from a woman's at a glance, side by side on a slab. A criminal's serotonin level can be up to nine times higher than those of other fans. In "nature vs. nurture," it looks like nature is on top. Or -- is that the whole story? How does the way the brain is put together affect how an organism acts? What it might think about? How its society is organized? Or, in general, how much of behavior is caused by "nature" vs. "nurture"?
David Brin, Walter H. Hunt (m), Shariann Lewitt, Wen Spencer
Charles N. Brown, Jennifer Hall
George R. R. Martin, Tamora Pierce
Part 4 (final) of four linked programs on collaboration.
Barbara Chepaitis, Steven Sawicki
Michael F. Flynn
William Tenn, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Barbara Chepaitis, Steven Sawicki
Find out what you need to know about the 2003 (Toronto), 2004 (Boston) and 2005 (Glasgow) World Science Fiction Conventions.(Especially!) if you're new to the game, feel free to ask questions and learn more about how many fans spend their summer vacations.....
Vince Docherty, Deb Geisler, Peter Robert Jarvis
Is it, or isn't it? Find out why, and discuss the issue.
There is a distinctly different feeling to the language of prophecy and legend. How do words and rhythms convey this sense of the magical and mythical? How can the author use language to give a "legendary" feel to a fantasy -- without seeming pretentious, stilted, or just downright silly?
Karen Michalson, Delia Sherman, Teresa Nielsen Hayden (m), Jo Walton
What's new in the study of the very large and the very small? Are we really on the edge of transporter technology? Find any habitable planets lately? What's new with the early universe? Panelists tell about advances and discoveries in physics and astronomy in the last year.
Ctein, Jeff Hecht, Mark L. Olson (m)
Gary D. McGath, Patricia Rubin, Virginia Taylor
Charades with art.....or what might pass for art, considering most of our contestants! (Though we did throw in one ringer.)
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Craig Shaw Gardner, Laura Anne Gilman, Margaret Organ-Kean
Whose morality is it, anyway? And how does it relate to what kind of future might be in the works? The panel will examine the interplay of morality and the future, consider why so many SF futures are negative, and why a strong moral underpinning (but -- beware the first question!) might change the way the future unfolds in SF (and in reality?) .
Judith Berman, David Brin, Hal Clement, Daniel Hatch, Paul Levinson (m)
Guy Consolmagno, Rosemary Kirstein, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Barry Gold, Lee Gold
Jack Carroll, Robin F. Holly, Jonathan Turner
This workshop will provide tips and techniques to help new poets write adequate poetry.
How will we keep the tradition going into a hopeful future? Why is education so important?
To be specific, somatic cell nuclear transfer to produce a human embryo with the intention of bringing it to term. Or, making a baby like they made Dolly the sheep. How is it done? What are the technical challenges? Is it ethical to attempt this now?
F. Brett Cox
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!
James D. Macdonald
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 2002? 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, Paul Barnett, Vince Docherty, Jim Mann, Mark L. Olson (m)
Bob Esty, John Huff, Cliff Laufer, Kathy Sobansky
(And that's a time, NOT an age.) Panelists do oral interpretations (don't look at me like that!) of bodice rippers, or of their own works! Note: bodices are optional (for both sexes). Have fun.
Craig Shaw Gardner, Shariann Lewitt, Timothy E. Liebe (m), Don Sakers, Cecilia Tan
Gregory Frost, Paul Levinson, Shane Tourtellotte
As part of the Worldcon in Boston in 2004, Noreascon 4 plans a major exhibit of SF art of the greatest artists of the period from 1950 to 1975. We will talk about the project and the art we would like to locate to display. Do you have something to loan? Are there pieces you'd like us to try to locate? Join us and talk about it!
Mark L. Olson
Audio books -- on tape and on CD -- are becoming more prevalent (and more popular). Why? Are there some types of books that make better audio books than others? Are there particular ones to look for? What's coming up in the future for this SF/F medium?
Bruce Coville, Tamora Pierce
A discussion of the experience of brainstorming for an "environmental TV show," as shared by the participants.
David Brin, Thomas A. Easton
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?"
Nancy C. Hanger, James D. Macdonald, Terry A. McGarry, Teresa Nielsen Hayden (m)
"Fans are slans" is an old fannish truism. But is it still true? In fact, was it EVER true? Whatever -- are present day fans different from the jiants (or even the non-jiants) of the past? If so, how -- and what might this indicate for the future?
Ctein, Moshe Feder (m), Joe Siclari, Geri Sullivan
Does the use of computer technology affect the creative process of producing art? How? What are the pros and cons of using electronic aids, as opposed to more traditional methods?
Alan F. Beck, Jim Burns, Thomas Kidd, Margaret Organ-Kean (m)
Michael F. Flynn, Alex Irvine
Cops in the future and really good sex. Bite me.
Deb Geisler, Priscilla Olson
Alex Irvine, George R. R. Martin, Tamora Pierce
Director M. Night Shyamalan of Signs won't do one because "it shouldn't be a gynecological exam." But for The Fellowship of the Ring, Peter Jackson provides 14 hours of commentaries alone. And on Spider-Man, you even hear from the arachnid wrangler. Which of today's tracks are tedious, which tasty....and which good enough to select for the Best Dramatic Presentation (short or long form) Hugo award?
Claire Anderson, Bob Devney, Evelyn C. Leeper, Laurie Mann (m)
"The Chronology Protection Case" radio play has been nominated for the Edgar award. Enjoy, and discuss how it was made (and how it bounced from written to audio work) with the author.
A look at why we need a more "Transparent Society."
Many fantasy writers also read a lot of SF. Beyond the simple pleasure of reading, what do they (as writers) get out of this? And -- if they don't read SF (and why not?), why might they wish to start?
Marina Fitch, Rosemary Kirstein, Laurie J. Marks, Juliet E. McKenna, Don Sakers (m)
Burned at the stake in 1600, renegade priest Giordano Bruno may have been the first writer to envision an infinite universe filled with habitable worlds -- but not the last to speculate from a Catholic perspective. Among SF works the panel may catechize are "The Star", A Case of Conscience, A Canticle for Leibowitz, Past Master, The Book of the New Sun, Only Begotten Daughter, and The Sparrow. There are many more sharing this source of inspiration, and the panel will explore the what's and why's.
Guy Consolmagno, Michael F. Flynn (m), James D. Macdonald, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
So much fantasy gets its warfare wrong. Fantasy writers sometimes ignore simple things that a bit of knowledge of ancient or medieval warfare would reveal. The panel looks at how some writers get it wrong, and what war in the early historical (and fantasy!) setting was (and should be) really like.
Jeffrey Forgeng, Terry A. McGarry, George H. Scithers (m), Josepha Sherman, Jo Walton
Karen Michalson, Robert J. Sawyer
Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Ann Tonsor Zeddies
The Cosmic Circle? Coventry? Slan shacks? What are some of the WORST ideas (besides Worldcon, Inc.?) with which fandom has dabbled? Should the Tucker Hotel actually include a beer can tower to the moon? Panelists reveal the secrets behind the best of the worst (after all, we're all fen here.....)
Fred Lerner, Joe Siclari, Geri Sullivan (m), Ben Yalow
L. Sprague de Camp and his long-time collaborator Fletcher Pratt were masters of fantasy and of SF, but since their deaths are sadly out of print. NESFA Press hopes to publish a series of books of de Camp's writing, alone and with Pratt. Come and talk about two great writers and tell us what you would like to see us print!
Mark L. Olson
Should it inspire, teach, intimidate, educate? How about divert, relax, amuse, or awaken? The panelists will choose their own verbs -- and in the process, explain how good fantasy differs from not-so-good fantasy.
Ellen Asher, Ellen Kushner, George R. R. Martin, Beth Meacham (m)
A candid discussion of what, other than merit, makes a book famous or widely published. (Or critically accepted.)
Charles N. Brown, F. Brett Cox, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Steven Sawicki (m), Darrell Schweitzer
Learn more about this subgenre (characterized by, among other things, "an awareness of the history and evolution of SF that often reveals itself as allusion" and "a hell of a lot of anger"). Two exemplars of Savage Humanism discuss the necessary and sufficient characteristics of it, and share examples of central texts.
Gregory Frost, James Patrick Kelly
Peter J. Heck
Witness the subtle skills of attack, parry, and grapple as the Higgins Armory Sword Guild brings to life medieval combat techniques for a wide variety of weapons. Science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts will have the opportunity to witness actual combat techniques that have not been employed in over 400 years.
Michael A. Burstein, Shariann Lewitt
Open sign-up concert on the subject of "The Return of..." Interpret the subject as freely as you like. (Please contact Gary McGath in advance to sign up to perform a song.)
The Artemis Project's plan is to build a commercial lunar colony, but most of its Reference Mission was baselined using the Shuttle as the launch vehicle of choice. Has the loss of Columbia and her crew adversely affected the project? Has the loss, indeed, affected the entire future of a manned space program? Come and discuss.
Ian Randal Strock
Ve vant your ideasss.....
While Iain Banks is widely known to most American SF readers as the writer of the Culture series, he has written much more. He has produced a number of other works of SF, and is also the writer of a number of critically acclaimed mainstream works, such as The Wasp Factory and The Crow Road. This panel discusses the non-Culture works of Iain Banks.
Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Peter Weston
Some of the most stunning, memorable, sense-of-wonder SF is SF set in the far future. Whether it is Arthur C. Clarke's classic The City and the Stars, the future histories of Olaf Stapledon, the complex universe of Cordwainer Smith, or more recent works by the likes of Stephen Baxter, this work can leave an impression on the reader unlike any other. The panel looks at the great works set in the far future, compares them to the realities of deep time, and discusses how they achieve their amazing effects.
Judith Berman, Jeffrey A. Carver (m), Mark L. Olson, Robert J. Sawyer
What exactly is copyediting? It's not rocket science, but there are numerous canny practices, tips, and tricks. Is the copyeditor a friend or foe of the writer? How does copyediting affect the final product, when it's good -- and what happens when it's bad? (After all, how could someone OK the edition of de Camp's Rogue Queen where the spine says Rouge Queen...?)
Leigh Grossman (m), Nancy C. Hanger, Terry A. McGarry, Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Hal Clement, Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald
A chance for fans between 11 and 18 to meet with a much-admired author. (Please sign up at Information ahead of time!) For sheroes and heroes who just love to have fun with lethal weapons!
Did birds evolve flight from the ground up, or the trees down? Did flightless dinosaurs have feathers? Explore some of the neat new discoveries (and controversies) relating to the evolutionary history of birds.
Juliet E. McKenna
Marina Fitch, Michael Marano, Juliet E. McKenna
Open M.A.S.S. F.I.L.C. business meeting. All are welcome to attend.
How bad can bad be? The panel will try to SHOW you, using examples from far too many awful convention incidents. Have fun, add to the chaos (if you dare), and learn something about what convention programmers (and sometimes even program participants) have to deal with during a convention.....
Steve Miller, Priscilla Olson (m), Margaret Organ-Kean, Ben Yalow
What's the difference between writing in your own world and writing in someone else's? Is it easier (or harder) to create your own characters --- or to try to find the voices of existing ones? And what's it like dealing with all those crazy licensing people?
Keith R. A. DeCandido
First-contact stories, in which humans encounter alien intelligences for the first time, are one of the archetypes of SF. What are the key elements of a good first-contact story? What are some examples? Which stories do you think give realistic pictures of what first contact might be like? Does a story have to be "realistic" to be good? Why or why not?
David Brin, Jeffrey A. Carver, Hal Clement (m), Allen Steele
The most popular writer in English of his time, Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) wrote fantasies (such as The Jungle Book), and outright worldbuilding SF such as "With the Night Mail: A Story of 2000 A.D." SF writers from Robert Heinlein to Gene Wolfe have been crazy about Kipling. Why?
Solomon Davidoff (m), Gregory Feeley, William Tenn, Fred Lerner
Conan and heroes like him used to be a staple of fantasy fiction. Fritz Leiber, L. Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter, and many others wrote stories of this type, often called "sword and sorcery." But this subgenre seems to have vanished (outside of role-playing games, anyway). What happened to it? Why isn't it as popular now as it was in the past?
Darrell Schweitzer, George H. Scithers
David G. Hartwell, Terry A. McGarry
Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Jo Walton
Brainstorm ideas for exhibits at the 2004 World Science Fiction Convention (right here! And YOU can help!!)
George R. R. Martin
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 41 even better!
Rick Katze, Priscilla Olson, Sharon Sbarsky
Hidden powers, quirky sidekicks, true names..... Bookish teens, rebel cops, sexy robots, haircut aliens.... Devils' bargains (quashed by lemon laws), and Dark Lords without impulse control.... Splitting up to look for the monster!.... Dueling till the death (or, the sequel?) Take a look at the really GOOD (well, maybe in the eye of the beholder!) cliches of the field, and explore why (how?) they work. Hey, let's build a genre using this stuff -- it's so crazy, it just might work!
Michael A. Burstein (m), Keith R. A. DeCandido, Leigh Grossman, Don Sakers
Late Herbert, Heinlein, and the later production of other writers (not including any of our current guests, of course) sucks (or, to put it perhaps a bit more politely, isn't really up to the standards they established early in their careers.) When did these icons of SF "jump the shark"? Who else? How (or perhaps, why)? What are the characteristics of this and other bad writing? Are all bad writers alike?
Laura Anne Gilman, David G. Hartwell (m), Fred Lerner, Allen Steele