Boskone Schedule

I’ll be at Boskone again this year, because there’s nothing finer than Boston in February, or apparently so I’ve been led to believe, and also, the NESFA folks are fine people who have been very kind to me, so I like to return the favor and let them know I appreciate the support. While at Boskone, I will be doing various things, some of which are legal, and some of which are even planned. Here are my currently scheduled panels and appearances:


Not a damn thing. You’ll probably find me wandering the halls or at the bar.


10:00am: New and Old Horizons: Great Worlds in SF and Fantasy
Panel Description: There is none. I guess we’ll make it up as we go along.
Other Panelists: Stephen C. Fisher, Karl Schroeder
Thoughts: I suspect we’ll be geeking out here, talking about the worlds we like in sf/f, discussing world building in a general sense, and perhaps talking a little bit about how we’ve built up our own universes. I’ve not been on a panel with Mr. Fisher, but Karl is tons of fun on a panel, and also of course smart as hell, and he’s just built a really fabulous world in his Virga series. So this should be interesting. I am the moderator of this panel.

1:00pm: Autographing
Other Autographers: Paul Park, Melissa Scott
Thoughts: Uh, I’m autographing. Bring books.

3:00pm: Blogging and Live Journals in SF
Panel Description: Blogging is having an impact not only on the world at large but on the SF community in particular. Blogs tell us more about the people in the field, the way the field works, and who is who — and a pace and with a distribution that few if any fanzines could ever match. Blogs influence the directions of our community, can impact awards by making works or their creators better known, and perhaps even influence the works being created. (Or, perhaps the impact is overstated, as the impact of blogs in general may be.) Can writers use blogs to market themselves? Are blogs a way to engage the community (and maybe even potential voters)? The panel looks at blogs within our community and their impact.
Other Panelists: John Joseph Adams, Kathryn Cramer, James D. MacDonald, Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Thoughts: We’re going to have to work a bit to make this not be exactly like every other “blogging and SF” panel in the last three years, but with this lineup I think we can manage. Also, I’ll be moderating this panel too, so I’ll have some leeway in terms of directing the conversation.

4:00pm: Consciousness, AI, and Downloaded Personalities: Separating the possible from the unlikely
Panel Description: Presumably we might already be capable of counting the brain’s 100 billion neurons. How long till we’re also up to modeling? Storing? Streaming your mind like a 99-cent iTune? Creating it from scratch? What’s the latest science on this? What are some practical difficulties? Would this prove there’s no soul? How big is the leap from Clarke’s HAL 9000 to Banks’s Culture Minds?
Other Panelists: Jeffrey A. Carver, Matthew Jarpe, Marvin Minsky, Karl Schroeder
Thoughts: Cool, Marvin Minsky. I am moderating yet again.


10:00am: The Best New Writers: Recent Campbell Award Winners Talk
Panel Description: Fresh winners of our field’s Newbie Nobel give a tip of their tiaras to other notable up-and-comers. What are their best new stories? What topics or trends obsess them? What magazines, small presses, websites, or other venues should we be watching to catch the greatest of the latest? And is it easy being green?
Other Panelists: Elizabeth Bear, Wen Spencer
Thoughts: Newbie Nobel? I prefer “Precocious Pulitzer,” myself.

1:00pm: Beyond the iPod: Neat New Gadgets Last Year and This
Panel Description: From Blu-ray to Xbox 360 to iPhone, Wii to musical pillows to petcams, the nerdy bling has been piling up lately. What’s actually in it for early adopters? What trends look meaningful? What’s coming up soon? Bring your shiniest new toy to show off. Extra geekoboo for the first self-parking Lexus!
Other Panelists: Tobias Buckell, Mark L. Olson, Edie Stern
Thoughts: No doubt I will have many exciting Windows Vista tales to tell by that time.

2:00pm: Literary Beer
Thoughts: For those who don’t know what this is, this is me hanging out in the bar, talking to people who sign up to chat with me. I think next year I’m going to request that they not schedule my lit beer/kaffeeklatch at the same time as people are trying to get the hell out of the convention because they have flights to catch, because it’s likely that this will end up with me and Toby Buckell (who is having his own literary beer at the same time) sitting by ourselves and muttering bitterly. At least I know where he’ll be so we can catch a cab to the airport together. On the other hand, if you ever wanted to have quality time with me by yourself, this will probably be an excellent time to have it.

When I am not on a panel, I am likely to be found wandering about, so if you see me don’t be hesitant to come up and say hello. I’m not exactly the shy and retiring type.

I’ll also note that I will have at least one item in the Mike Ford Auction & Extravaganza. There be may be more than one if I can motivate my lazy ass; no, I won’t be more specific than that, except to say that if I mange to rouse myself from laziness and do this other thing for the auction, it damn well better get a pretty high bid. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

So, who is going to Boskone this year?

28 Comments on “Boskone Schedule”

  1. I’ll be at Boskone again this year, because there’s nothing finer than Boston in February

    Probably not much different than Detroit in January.

  2. I put the words “expletive deleted” in brackets at the beginning of my post and it actually got deleted.

    Is that because it’s actually an HTML thing? Sorry if it messed anything up.

    Guess I’m going to sign up for HTML at the community college.

  3. What makes you think there will be a Boskone this year?

    Aqua Teen Hunger Force terrorists may blow up the city before you get there!

    Wish I could visit, Boston is my old stomping ground – but it’s too short notice. Maybe one of these days, there will be a reason for you to stop by Charlottesville, VA.

    Have Fun!

  4. Friends of mine and I are looking forward to catching up with each other at Boskone. We’ve planned to converge on the Mike Ford Auction and Extravaganza as soon as we figure out when it is. (“Friday night” is not very specific. Debra Doyle is on a “Religion in Fantasy” panel Friday night at 8pm. Some of us, including me, will be in a quandry if it overlaps with the Auction.)

    I’m also looking forward to your panels. They all sound interesting.

    (Now let us all pray that nothing so embarrassing as the pointless panic over LED signs happens again.)

  5. Sounds like it’s going to be a great time. Unfortunately I’m saving up for other conventions and actual household expenses.

    “Karl is tons of fun on a panel, and also of course smart as hell,”

    Yes he is. Although I still say that second part is due to the glasses. :)

    “Literary Beer… talking to people who sign up to chat with me”

    I have to sign up? Damn, that’s what I did wrong at Confusion. I forgot to sign the list. And Tobias is great fun to talk to over drinks (I have a feeling he’s going to forgo the beer for a glass of a different spirit).

    And for anybody going, John is very cool to meet in person. Of course, you may have to forge your way through the furries to get to him, but it’s worth all the secondary kissing to say hi. And don’t forget, it’s easy to spot John (until he uses his Californian Ninja Powers) by the back lighting and celestial chorus.

    And, what, no dance?

  6. I’ll be at Boskone. It’s my first con of any sort, so feel free to rehash all the old “blogging and SF” stuff in that panel and I’ll still find it new and interesting. Or at least new.

    I’ll definitely be at your signing session with my brand-new copy of TAD in hand!

  7. I’ll be there, and most likely I’ll see you a few times during the con.

    – yet another UChicago alum

  8. At your blogging panel, watch out for a guy with a “Mudville Gazette” T-shirt on. (Ask Tobias – he’ll remember. Just buy him a drink first.)

    I do note that for a guy who doesn’t drink, you seem to spend a lot of time at the bar.

  9. Sunday at 2 p.m.? I was going to sign up for this, but it’s close to the time that some of us need to drive home. Maybe you’ll move up the food chain next year and get a better spot.

  10. Sorry for the timing of the literary beer doesn’t work for y ou.

    Yeah, some people leave early. But some stay and hang out. One of the best Boskone literary beers ever was a Sunday afternoon talk with Jo Walton a few years ago.

    Anyway, there’s also the chance we may have to cancel the lit beers all together. We just realized the bar is closed until 4pm (we’re in a new hotel this year). We’re going to try to work something out with the restaurant, but if we can’t, we can’t.

    And if you want to moderate less, it’s possible, though a surprising number of people are asking NOT to moderate, which makes assigning to moderators a little tough.

  11. Laurie Mann:

    I don’t want my Lit Beer canceled, of course; if people want to see me, I’ll be happy to make time for them. But for me doing something at 2pm on Sunday is cutting it close as well; I had to double check my flight itinerary to make sure I could go to my own literary beer.

    It’d be fine to change my literary beer to a Kaffeeklatch anyway, seeing as I don’t drink.

    Moderating: Actually, I like to moderate, so this isn’t a problem for me.

  12. Woot, I am coming with books in hand to sign!

    I’ll have the red Mickey Mouse scarf and the stupid star-struck grin.

    It should be lots of fun and I can’t wait!

  13. John, “I enjoy playing with the heads of people who do drink.”

    I seem to remember a comment that mine sounded like a ripe cantalope when he played with it. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, having the drumming session and what we’ll loosely call “belly-dancing,” going on behind us, it could have meant almost anything.

  14. I enjoy playing with the heads of people who do drink.

    He’s telling the truth. He and Scott Westerfeld tried to get me to punch Tom Doherty for Tor splitting Scott’s Succession into two books…

    You gotta watch out for sober guys and semi-Australians.

  15. I’m looking forward to it. The AI panel is going to be wicked awesome. But seriously, Marvin Minsky? Now I know how Aquaman feels in Justice League. “Oh, Superman can go underwater, too? Great, I’ll make coffee then.”

    I’ve gotten to like moderating, too. I didn’t get any this year at Boskone, but I’m on some great panels. See you there.

  16. re: the blog panel: “I’ll be moderating this panel too, so I’ll have some leeway in terms of directing the conversation.”

    You did see who you’re co-panelists are, right? He. Hehe. Hehehehehehe. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

    ahem. Sorry. I’m sure you’ll do a fine job directing these shy people.

  17. John, I’ll be at Boskone, and even wrote some of the panel descriptions. Including the line christening the Campbell the “Newbie Nobel.” So you’d rather get a Precocious Pulitzer? Think this through, man. A Pulitzer: nothing but empty glory you must share with your editors. A Nobel: the equivalent of $1.4 million in your own pocket … Perhaps you’d better consult Krissy before your final decision.

  18. Also, thanks for pointing out that one of your Boskone panels was still descriptionless. Oops. So we just wrote one up. Will add it to the printed Pocket Program … Sorry about that. Hope this helps lure more victims into your tra– attract more attendees to your panel.

    Saturday 10:00am
    New and Old Horizons: Great Worlds in SF and Fantasy
    Panel Description: Flatland, Bas-Log, Mesklin, or Deathworld are fun to visit, but would you really want to _live_ there? How important is setting to most science fiction and fantasy? How do you build your average mail-order multiverse? Does envisaging a delightfully unlikely alien world take 6 months on a supercomputer or 1 night in Woonsocket, Rhode Island? What writers give particularly good planet?

  19. Bob Devney:

    “A Nobel: the equivalent of $1.4 million in your own pocket”

    Yeah? I sure didn’t get $1.4 million with my Campbell, more’s the pity.

    Thanks for adding the description.

  20. This lurker will be there, probably wandering around looking lost. Not that I’ll *be* lost, just that I often look lost.