Looking Back at Boskone 53 and Forward to Boskone 54

It’s May and we are starting to pull together the planning and logistics for next year’s Boskone. However, before we get too far along in the process, let’s take a moment to look back at Boskone 53 and some of the people who made the convention possible as well as some of the highlights from the convention.

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Our volunteers arrived on Thursday afternoon and began the unpacking process.

Here is a picture of our volunteers unloading the truck that was packed full of Boskone 53 gear. This is one of those essential, yet thankless jobs that makes Boskone possible. So, THANK YOU!!!!

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David Hartwell Memorial Panel

David Hartwell, we will miss you! The love and caring that filled the room was overwhelming and incredibly touching.

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NESFA Press released The Grimm Future and Conspiracy! at Boskone53, and we celebrated both releases at the annual Boskone Book Party in the Galleria, which features authors and publishers who have new books coming out within a few months of the convention. It was a great event and the cakes were not only beautiful, but incredibly tasty!

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David Gerrold and Bruce Coville discuss the Skylark Award and announce this year’s recipient: Gardner Dozois.

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David Grubbs interviews the very talented and engaging Wesley Chu.

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Artist Tommy Arnold wins the Gaughan Award!


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Brenda Noiseux and Lauren Roy at the Superhero Open Mic.

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Erin Underwood and Jackie Kamlot at the Superhero Open Mic.

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Guest of Honor Garth Nix tells a tall tale at the Superhero Open Mic

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E.C. Myers cozies up to the Man of Steel after reading a fantastic superhero tale.

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Ken Schneyer and Walter Hunt: The Superhero Open Mic hosts made this incredibly fun and entertaining event come together. Thank you both for everything!

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Carlos Hernandez and Claire Cooney enjoy the Superhero Open Mic after Claire’s amazing performance.

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Final image of the night: the Superhero Open Mic group photo!

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Comics and Cookies! What can be better than this delightful new discussion group?!?

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Gaming is getting serious! Very serious.

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The Art Show is a wonderful thing filled with wonderful works and even more wonderful people such as Joan Turner and Gary Lippincott.

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Featured Filkers Tony & Vixy enjoying a song circle.

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A little steampunk fun!

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Rounding out the Boskone 53 photos is a little cowboy gaming fun

Boskone 53 was a fantastic convention thanks to all of our members, program participants, and volunteers. Great fun was had by all and even more is coming next year. We look forward to seeing you at Boskone 54 in February 2017 for another great convention.

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Posted in Boskone 53, Fun Stuff, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Boskone Blog & Your Chance to Win The Last Days of Magic

Boskone is over, and we miss you! So, we’re trying something new with the Boskone Blog. We are hosting our first ever contest so that one of our lucky friends receives a shiny new book from Penguin Random House. In order to properly kickoff this giveaway, we’re also giving you a sneak peek at the first chapter of the book and a short introduction to the author. You can find the rules on how to enter the contest at the bottom of this post. It’s easy to enter, so why not give it a try?

Now, without further ado, the Boskone Blog is pleased to introduce our inaugural book contest, which features The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins. We hope you enjoy the first chapter, and while there can only be one winner, we wish you all the best of luck in the contest to win a free copy of The Last Days of Magic.

LastDayofMagicBook Description

What became of magic in the world? Who needed to do away with it, and for what reasons? Drawing on myth, legend, fairy tales, and Biblical mysteries, The Last Days of Magic brilliantly imagines answers to these questions, sweeping us back to a world where humans and magical beings co-exist as they had for centuries.

Aisling, a goddess in human form, was born to rule both domains and—with her twin, Anya—unite the Celts with the powerful faeries of the Middle Kingdom. But within medieval Ireland interests are divided, and far from its shores greater forces are mustering. Both England and Rome have a stake in driving magic from the Emerald Isle. Jordan, the Vatican commander tasked with vanquishing the remnants of otherworldly creatures from a disenchanted Europe, has built a career on such plots. But increasingly he finds himself torn between duty and his desire to understand the magic that has been forbidden.

As kings prepare, exorcists gather, and divisions widen between the warring clans of Ireland, Aisling and Jordan must come to terms with powers given and withheld, while a world that can still foster magic hangs in the balance. Loyalties are tested, betrayals sown, and the coming war will have repercussions that ripple centuries later, in today’s world—and in particular for a young graduate student named Sara Hill.

The Last Days of Magic
 introduces us to unforgettable characters who grapple with quests for power, human frailty, and the longing for knowledge that has been made taboo. Mark Tompkins has crafted a remarkable tale—a feat of world-building that poses astonishing and resonant answers to epic questions.

Author Bio

Mark Tompkins is the founder of the Aspen Writers’ Network and serves on the board of Aspen Words, a program of the Aspen Institute. Born in Texas of Irish ancestry, Tompkins lives in Boston, Houston, and Aspen. The Last Days of Magic is his first novel. Visit Mark on Facebook and on Twitter.

THE LAST DAYS OF MAGIC
by Mark Tompkins

Excerpt

Prologue
Manchester, England
2016

When Sara Hill’s body washed up on shore, the police concluded— logically, given the lack of injuries— that she must have accidentally fallen overboard and drowned. The previous day she had taken a train from Manchester to Liverpool to catch the ferry to Ireland. The police ascertained that she’d boarded for the overnight passage across the Irish Sea but did not disembark.

On the morning she was to take the ferry, Sara watched the sun emerge above the dreary city, chasing away some of Manchester’s November gray. She had not slept since yesterday’s unsettling call from her grandmother in Ireland. Sweet milky tea had been abandoned for strong coffee until her whole body vibrated, though she knew it had little to do with the caffeine. She leaned back from the desk that dominated her cramped attic bed-sit and rolled her shoulders to ease the knots of tension along her neck and spine.

Her Grandmother O’Trehy was like a second mother to her. She had left her Irish homeland and moved into the family’s London flat for the first fifteen years of Sara’s life, when it turned out that Sara’s workaholic professor parents were woefully ill equipped to keep up with their energetic infant daughter. Over the years Sara and her grandmother became best friends, tramping through the parks of London while her grandmother recited rich and elaborate tales.

“Sara, do you still have the books I gave you when I left?” her grandmother had demanded over the phone the previous day, without so much as a hello.

“Of course,” Sara responded, struck by her grandmother’s unusual tone. “I would never lose those.”

“Well, get them, right now. There’s something you need to see.”

“Okay,” Sara agreed, recalling where she had stashed them. “Let me call you back in a few minutes.”

“No! No, I’m not in Dublin anymore. I’m not any place where you can call. I’m sorry, Sara, to be so abrupt. Please, just do this for me. I’ll wait on the line.”

Sara had never before heard her grandmother sound rattled. She fished the two battered boxes out from under her bed, still sealed as they had remained since her arrival at the University of Manchester as a freshman, six apartment moves ago. She tore them open and, one by one, removed the beautiful books of her childhood, placing them on her desk—books full of Celtic myths, legends, and faerie tales.

“Got them,” she said.

“Good. Now get a knife and pry open the paperboard of their covers.”

“What? Grandmother, no. You can’t be serious. What’s this about?”

“Please just do as I ask, Sara,” her grandmother implored. “You’re not going to believe me until you see for yourself.”

Sara didn’t respond, dismayed at the notion of destroying her treasured books. She picked one up and examined it carefully, touching its broken spine and tattered pages, recalling that her grandmother must have read it to her a thousand times. The cover featured a faerie prince, tall and handsome, holding the hand of a shy human milkmaid. Their love was ultimately doomed, of course, their children to be transformed into swans—a story Sara had always found strangely appealing.

“Listen carefully, Sara,” her grandmother said, breaking the silence. “People came for me, and I barely slipped away. They will come for you, too. They’re after those books. There’s a whole other set of faerie stories, much older, as old as it gets, hidden in them. You have to look in their covers to understand.”

Sara feared that her grandmother must have fallen into some sort of dementia and tried to humor her. “Okay, if that’s what you really want.” She reluctantly took her knife, cut through the linen covering of the front hard cover of the book, and split apart the interior paperboard. To her surprise, a photograph was hidden inside, showing dense Hebrew script elegantly hanging from an invisible line. It was a portion of an ancient scroll—she knew that much from her studies.

Back when Sara was deciding on where to go to university, she had chosen Manchester because her grandmother had studied there. And just as it had with her grandmother, Sara’s major in Middle Eastern Studies led to a graduate program in the region’s historic languages, for which she had a flair—a trait that apparently ran in the family.

As dusk gathered outside, Sara, no longer convinced that her grandmother’s mind was slipping, hurried to disassemble the covers of all the books while pressing the phone to her ear with her shoulder.

“Grandmother, how did you get these?”

“John—Dr. Allegro—and I . . . were . . .” her grandmother stammered, and Sara could practically hear her blushing. “We were more than friends when I was in grad school.”

“The Dr. Allegro?” Sara exclaimed. She knew the name well. Decades ago he’d been a professor in her department who had become legendary when he was appointed as the British representative to the international team assembled to study and translate the controversial Qumran scrolls.

“The same,” said her grandmother. “So I saw the whole debacle unfold from his perspective.”

Sara knew well the events her grandmother referred to. Christened “the Dead Sea Scrolls” by the press in the 1950s, the ancient documents were discovered accidentally, along with the remains of a shelving system and an index, in secluded man-made caves located in a hotly disputed area on the West Bank near Qumran. It did not take long for it to become clear that the caves held a carefully arranged, cataloged, and preserved collection of works making up the earliest biblical library ever found—all the books of the modern Hebrew Bible and the Catholic Old Testament were present.

Sara’s grandmother recounted the initial, exciting days when the team worked well together as they began the slow, methodical process of translation, publishing completed sections as their mandate directed. The early results dazzled scholars and the general public alike, and newspapers worldwide reeled off a steady stream of stories devoted to the discoveries being made. Working from text a thousand years older than any previous source material, the team began to fill in gaps in the Old Testament, places where grammatically or structurally there was obviously a missing word or sentence or paragraph.

Soon, though, the publications slowed, then stopped altogether. The press started spinning theories that more than missing paragraphs had been found.

“That’s when the Vatican began to take over and John became frustrated,” Sara’s grandmother said. “By chance, the UN official in charge of the scrolls was Catholic, and he had them shipped off to a Church facility. Unfortunately, John’s letters to another team member were leaked to the press and became headlines.”

Everyone in Sara’s class had seen reprints of those reports. Too interesting for the students to ignore, they seemed to recirculate every year. Allegro wrote, “I am convinced that if something does turn up which affects the Roman Catholic dogma, the world will never see it.” And then, “The non-Catholic members of the team are being removed as quickly as possible.”

“The next year, only four years into the project, John was denied further access,” Sara’s grandmother continued. “And the Vatican took complete and exclusive control of all unpublished scrolls.”

“Yes, I know all that, Grandma. But the scrolls have been published now.”

“Look at the photographs again, and the work papers. John brought those to me late one night and helped me hide them. This was shortly after his disbarment.”

Sara spread out the illicit material. She could tell from the translations, meticulously written out in tiny handwriting on onionskin paper, which had also been pressed into the hiding spaces, that the photographs were of significant Qumran scrolls, the books of Enoch and Jubilees. Ostensibly, the scrolls covering these books had been released years ago and were available to anyone online—Sara herself had read them as part of her coursework—except that large sections of those were missing due to rot or other damage. But not the scrolls shown in the photographs in front of her. These scrolls were virtually intact.

Sara was aware that early in its history the Vatican had excluded these two books from its Bible, even though they had appeared in older and much longer versions of the Old Testament. As late as the eighteenth century, scholars who argued that those older versions were closer to the original writings, and therefore more accurate, had been vigorously discredited as heretics and even burned alive.

“The book of Enoch was allegedly written by the great-grandfather of Noah, but the Vatican repudiated that notion. They ridiculed it as a fifteenth-century forgery at best, or a second-century satirical work of blasphemy at worst,” explained her grandmother. “Can you imagine their panic when the copies found among the scrolls dated back to at least 300 bce? Throughout their history they had killed people to suppress the idea that this book was legitimate!”

Sara’s grandmother went on to assert that as the third-most-common scroll discovered, Enoch must have been an important part of a version of the Hebrew Bible that existed before the Christian era and very likely the Christian Bible that existed before the dominance of the Vatican.

“The other photographs are of the book of Jubilees. For centuries it was rumored there was a longer and more complete version of Genesis, but no copies were known to exist, at least not publicly, before the scrolls, where Jubilees was also a common book. You see, Sara”—her grandmother’s voice lowered—“the ones you have are the complete works. The Vatican released only heavily damaged copies. But it was never safe for me to tell anyone about these, and then John died of that heart attack.”

“But why would the Vatican care?” Sara was making herself a cup of tea.

“That’s the point: the fact that they cared so much proves that the content of these photographs must be important. I believe these scrolls may recount the true history of the early days of our world, a time when angels mated with humans against God’s orders and produced a hybrid offspring, the Nephilim. Sara, those were the faeries.”

“Come on, that’s absurd!” exclaimed Sara. “You know as well as I do that ancient origin myths tend to . . .” Sara’s voice trailed off. She tried again. “These stories were probably invented to explain the genesis of . . .”

Her grandmother completed the academic principle for her. “The genesis of actual things. And that would mean there were real nonhuman beings in that time, which were endowed with strange powers. But that’s almost as absurd.”

“Almost,” echoed Sara, plopping into her desk chair, her tea momentarily forgotten.

“Read the translations. There is detail there that will leave you questioning what you know of the Old Testament. And bring the photographs and work papers to me. Leave tomorrow, and don’t fly or use a credit card. Take the ferry to Belfast, then a bus to Derry. I’ll meet you there.”

“Who is after you? What’s going on, Grandmother? You’re scaring me.”

“There’s more, Sara. I need to tell you something that even your parents don’t know.” There was an excruciatingly long pause. “I had a twin sister who disappeared while we were in grad school. It must be connected somehow. I know it must. That’s why I held on to the photographs and kept them secret for all these years. In case one day I could use them somehow to get her back.”

Sara could her hear grandmother’s breathing get ragged. A twin? Sara’s grip on the phone tightened, she was shocked and hurt that there was so much her grandmother had kept from her.

“I really didn’t know what to do at the time, after a hasty investigation faded out,” her grandmother continued. “No one listened to me. I knew she hadn’t run away. But now I think those who came for me are the ones who took her. I’ll tell you everything when I see you. I just can’t right now.”

“Grandmother—”

But she had already hung up.

Sara studied the photographs. These scrolls were much more complete than the fragments that she’d seen when she visited the modern home of the Qumran scrolls, the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem. At the time she’d thought the shrine’s architectural symbolism merely interesting—a parabolic wave frozen into a white dome opposing a monolithic black basalt wall—but now it reverberated with meaning. The design represented a prophecy in the scrolls of a war between the sons of light and the sons of darkness, a war in which humans and Nephilim would fight in both factions, along with angels holy and fallen. She wondered if it was a war to come or one that had already been fought.

Sara had read through the night. With dawn sunlight streaming in her attic bed-sit window, she stood, stretched, and packed the translations and the photographs into a weathered leather satchel. What could her beloved grandmother have gotten herself into? she worried. She pulled some clothes out of a dresser and tossed them into her dilapidated suitcase. Before leaving she surveyed the mess on the desk—all her childhood books with their covers split open—and vowed to repair them upon her return.

On the train to Liverpool, as the English countryside rushed by, Sara’s concerned mind kept replaying what her grandmother had said. She had trouble enough believing in a God above, let alone in randy angels sneaking out of heaven to have forbidden sex with humans and in their resulting offspring. She withdrew two of her own handwritten pages from her satchel, notes she’d made about the hybrid beings in the scrolls and their striking similarity to the magical beings from her grandmother’s old stories: pixies, giants, trolls, goblins, merpeople, and faeries.

The elegant, powerful, and passionate faeries that had populated the tales of her grandmother’s Irish homeland were known as the Tuatha Dé Danann, a name shortened by the Celts to the Sidhe. Sara loved the fact that the Sidhe were not the shy, diminutive faeries of today’s children’s books—they even married and bore children with the Celts, when they weren’t fighting them. The Sidhe ruled the Middle Kingdom, a mostly hidden land that occupied a parallel plane with Ireland and was accessed through magical doorways.

Sara’s favorite of these tales featured enchanted twins, and now she knew why her grandmother’s voice was always tinged with sadness when she told them. These were stories of the Goddess Morrígna, who ruled over both the Celts and the Sidhe. The Morrígna, a triple-faceted goddess, carried three female aspects, much as the Christian God carried three male aspects—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, what St. Patrick likened to a three-leaf clover. The Morrígna’s aspects were Anann, who remained in the spirit realm as the source of power to the other two, and a set of twin girls who were periodically reborn into the human realm during times of great trouble: the sage Anya and the warrior Aisling.

Chapter 1

Kingdom of Meath, Ireland
September 1387

Aisling fell through the rain in a land bright and dark, where the edges of contrast were sharp, often bloody. She had thought, even at thirteen, that she understood the many dangers of this land where the boundaries of the human and the Sidhe realms merged, as only someone who had been trained since birth to rule both worlds could. Now it was knowing, not understanding, that was carried on the tip of the arrow that had slipped beneath her left shoulder blade on its way to her heart. Launched from her galloping horse, her body attempting to flee the arrow’s intrusion, her arc ended abruptly in mud, facedown. Then the pain came, an edge flaying her chest from the inside.

Riding beside her as he always did, Liam, guardian of the Morrígna twins, twisted on his horse to follow Aisling’s unexpected flight. A moment earlier his attention had been drawn across the clearing ahead, where he had sensed a rush of fear and desire, a sudden movement of iron, and a flood of intent. He had thrown his dagger even before the assailant he perceived—a crossbreed like himself, neither pure human nor pure Sidhe— had fully emerged from behind the ring of seven standing stones. The knife had caught the attacker just under the chin, lifted him off his feet, and sent his already drawn arrow flying wide. As if a single iron-tipped arrow would ever make it past him and on to her without one of them deflecting it. Now, seeing Aisling land in the mud, he wondered how he could have fallen for such a diversion. The arrow that pierced her back had come from the opposite direction, undetected from the woods behind them.

Two of the four guards who had thundered into the clearing with Liam and Aisling wheeled and charged the tree line. The others, swords drawn, surveyed their surroundings while reining in their horses, whose nervous hooves sprayed more mud across Aisling’s body.

Liam sat calmly, turning his mount to scan the woods, then walking it over to where she lay, the shaft protruding from her back. He had inherited his muscular build from his human father, who was of a warrior clan, while his dignified stature came from his mother, a Sidhe—a Celtic term for those the Irish Christian Church called Nephilim or, more casually, faeries. Leaning a forearm on his horse’s neck, Liam studied Aisling. The splattering of rain mixed with the sounds of branches snapping as the guards zigzagged their horses through the undergrowth in a futile search for the second archer.

“Are you going to get up?” demanded Liam. “The high king’s waiting for us. We can’t dally here all afternoon. You’re going to make us late for the full-moon ritual, and I don’t want to miss the feast. You have to be stronger than this.”

Aisling dragged one arm under her chest, then the other, and struggled up to her hands and knees. Water trickled from her deep red hair, leaving pale streaks down the side of her grime-soaked face. Liam could not see her eyes but knew they would have gone from light gray to vivid green. He also knew that she should be on her feet already—something was wrong.

“Poison,” Aisling gasped. “In . . . my . . . heart. Spreading. Burning.”

“Great Mother Danu!” exclaimed Liam in frustration. “I told the king that we should have you in mail already, even if you haven’t been enthroned yet.” He reached down and tore the arrow out. She grunted and collapsed back into mud that was beginning to take on a red tint—her red.

“He thinks if one of you is safe, then the other is too. Well, now he’ll grasp that he has too narrow a view of ‘safe.’ ”

As a warrior, Liam had to admit that the shot had been remarkable. The archer had to adjust for a target galloping away in the rain. At that angle the bowman had to miss the shoulder blade and hit the gap between the seventh and eight ribs to catch the only part of her heart not protected by bone. Shot too softly, the arrow would not reach the critical vessel, too hard and the tip would pass through the heart, taking the bulk of the poison with it. He knew of no human archer with such skill.

Aisling was back on her hands and knees, head hanging limp. She reached out and fumbled for the dangling reins of her horse. Raising her head, she climbed the reins with both hands until she was standing, clinging to the bridle, shaking.

Liam studied the unusual arrow, making no move to help her. It had been carefully constructed to be undetectable even by a crossbreed such as himself, whose senses were inhumanly sharp. There was nothing unnatural or even animal to draw his attention, to differentiate it from the wooded background. A hawthorn shaft, he noted; a Celtic assassin would have used elm. No human would dare to cut a hawthorn tree, sacred to the Sidhe, not in this land and suffer the curse that was sure to follow. Instead of feathers, ash leaves, meticulously sliced lengthwise along their stems, were used for flights. The head was made of oak, hardened by centuries buried in a bog and then polished razor sharp. The Sidhe archer had to have been a member of an old-line assassin clan or the arrowhead purchased from one at a high price. Few could afford such a rare thing. Sniffing, Liam was surprised that he could not identify the poison, but there had been a lot of it, judging by the warren of small channels drilled into its head.

But why bother? Liam wondered. Whoever had staged this attack would have known that Aisling could not be killed, not so long as her twin sister, Anya, was safe. And Liam always made sure that Anya was protected in a secure room while Aisling was traveling. Were they trying to send a message? He shook his head. No, there had been too much effort and expense; there was serious intent to kill here. Then it hit him: Anya must not be safe. They must have found a way to get to both twins. Liam jumped from his horse, reaching Aisling just as she began screaming.

As he held her, his chest too tight to utter any words of comfort, he feared that he must have failed in his duty, his oath to protect the Morrígna twins. He picked Aisling up and carried her to his horse while her screams faded into sobs.

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ENTER THE CONTEST

TO WIN A COPY OF

THE LAST DAYS OF MAGIC by Mark Tompkins

How to Enter the Contest:  It’s easy! For your chance to win a copy of The Last Days of Magic, all you have to do is post a note in the comments below by midnight on Sunday, April 17, 2016. One entry per person.

Double Your Chances to Win!: You can get a double entry by posting the link for this contest on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, or somewhere else. Then, mention in the comments below that you “boosted the signal” and your one entry will count as two (2) entries – doubling your chances to win.

Rules & Restrictions: This contest is for The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins, and only one winner will be chosen. The contest is open to anyone with a U.S. mailing address. The winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries and contacted via email for postal mailing instructions. If you are under 17, please get your parent’s permission before entering this contest.


Keep up to date on all things Boskone by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted in Boskone 54, Contest | 1 Comment

Announcing the Boskone 54 Guests

Boskone 54 is proud to announce our Guests for next year’s convention, which will take place on Presidents Day Weekend (February 17-19, 2017) in Boston, MA at the Westin Waterfront Hotel. We hope to see you there for a fantastic convention.

Full Weekend Rates:*

(*Membership rates increase in January 2017.)

Join us at Boskone in February 2017! All attendees need to purchase a Boskone 54 convention membership, which you can do by registering online. If you prefer not to use a credit card, you can also register via our our Mail-In Registration Form.

Guest of Honor: Brandon Sanderson

b54-BrandonSandersonBrandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. By junior high he had lost interest in the novels suggested to him, and he never cracked a book if he could help it. Then an eighth grade teacher, Mrs. Reader, gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.

Brandon was finishing his thirteenth novel when Moshe Feder at Tor Books bought the sixth he had written. In 2005 Brandon held his first published novel, Elantris, in his hands. Tor also published six books in Brandon’s Mistborn series, the most recent being The Bands of Mourning, along with Warbreaker and then The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, the first two in the planned ten-volume series The Stormlight Archive. Brandon was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; the final book, A Memory of Light, was released in 2013—the year that his novella The Emperor’s Soul won a Hugo Award. That year also marked the releases of YA novels The Rithmatist from Tor Teen and Steelheart, the first book in the Reckoners trilogy from Delacorte, which concluded in 2016 with Calamity. The fifth book in his middle-grade Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series is also a 2016 release from Starscape (Tom Doherty Associates).

Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University. He also hosts the Hugo Award-winning writing advice podcast Writing Excuses with Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells.

Learn more about Brandon Sanderson by visiting his website or following him on Facebook and Twitter.

Official Artist: Dave Seeley

Dave SeeleyDave Seeley claims to be a victim of modern mass media and the one-second-MTV-vid-shot, hence the moniker “Image Junkie”. He is far more influenced by contemporary sci-fi film noir than by the legacy of science fiction illustration.

Dave came from an education in architecture and fine art. After 10 years as an award-winning architect, he was seduced by the glamour of illustration and derailed his career for the far more immediate gratification of image making. The inner-architect is flourishing in his work, where a sense of materials fetishism, and a love of spatial atmospherics are omnipresent.

Dave’s recent monograph, The Art of Dave Seeley, published by Insight Editions, has received top ranked reviews from ImagineFX magazine and io9.com. In addition, Dave is one of 10 artists profiled in Dick Jude’s Fantasy Art Masters by Harper Collins, and profiled in Karen Haber’s Masters of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art. He is a contributor to Jane Frank’s Pixel or Paint by NonStop Press. Dave is interviewed in issue 39 of ImagineFX Magazine, and is featured in the August ’06 Art Scene International. He is also featured in the documentary film by Michael MacDonald at Roadhouse films called Visions From the Edge: The Art of Science Fiction, and will be featured in the upcoming Bill Neimeyer film Art of the Fantastic. You can see more printed work in SPECTRUM: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art , Ballistic’s Exposé, and d-artist Concept Art.

Clients Include: Hasbro, Disney, Lucasfilm, Vivendi Universal, Microsoft Games Studios, FromSoft Games, Sideshow Collectibles, Sony, Baen Books, Tor Books, Randomhouse / Del Rey / Ballantine Books / Penguin, Harlequin Gold Eagle, Ace, St Martins, Kensington Books, PYR press, Simon and Schuster, Harper Collins, Scholastic, Harcourt School Publishers, Night Shade Books, Solaris Books, Midway Games, Fox Interactive, The Village Voice, Heavy Metal Magazine, Popular Science Magazine, Boy’s Life Magazine, Humanoids Publishing, White Wolf Publishing, FASA, Wizards of the Coast, TSR, Wild Planet Toys, DC Comics, and a host of advertising firms.

You can see, commission, learn about and buy work in multiple media at DaveSeeley.com.

Special Guest: Maryelizabeth Yturralde

b54-MaryelizabethYturraldeMaryelizabeth Yturralde last attended Boskone in 1984, and spent the next decade working in chain bookstores. Maryelizabeth co-founded independent genre bookstore Mysterious Galaxy in Southern California in 1993; she is a regular contributor to programming at literary conventions all over the country, including Comic-Con International San Diego and New York Comic Con; and she is a regular writer of non-fiction, including critical and biographical essays, and reviews for Mysterious Galaxy, as well as Publishers Weekly. She is passionate about connecting readers and stories.

Visit Maryelizabeth on her website and follow her on Twitter.

Featured Filkers: The Fabulous Lorraine & Lojo Russo

b54-LorraineGarland

Photo Credit: Tara Skatesov

The Fabulous Lorraine aka Quiche Me Deadly has been a musician for simply yonks now. Starting way back in the dawn of time with Emma Bull in the Flash Girls, where she performed songs from a variety of authors including Emma, Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen, Dave McKean and many others she has no doubt forgotten. She’s currently playing with a guy named Paul in the excitedly named band “Paul and Lorraine” and has for the moment retired from Roller Derby but that could change at any time.

Fabulous-Lorraine-Quiche worked for 20 years as Neil Gaiman’s Assistant before deciding to go back to Skool and get AODA/Spanish/English/Librarian Assoc/BA/Masters degree thing. She and Neil remain best friends, Skool is wonderful fun except for the whole wearing pants thing and she’s still funny as hell.

Visit Lorraine on her website, friend her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Lego LojoLojo Russo has been orbiting the ‘Con biospheres since her first days in the awesomely, classic-jam-rock quintet known as, ‘Cats Laughing’.  Three of the original members of ‘Cats Laughing’ – Emma Bull, Steven Brust and Adam Stemple – are best known for their wonderfully crafted SF/F novels. A fourth member wrote ‘blue novels’ under the pseudonym, “Anonymous”. Russo retains the dubious distinction of being the only non-published author of that group.

Somewhere along this timeline she also fell in with the Fabulous Lorraine and has remained both friend and confidant as well as one part of the peculiarly remarkable twosome, Mogg. (aka; Moggenahf, Mogguffaw, the “other” Flashgirls)

From those humble beginnings Lojo Russo has continued to provide soulful, fanciful and farcical music to her enduring fan.  Her novelty album, Sweet Tooth, contains the ‘Con-inspired hits, ‘Orbital Groove’ and ‘Blame It On the Jello’.  She enjoys long walks on the beach, the smell of Hi-Karate and the way bandaid packets spark when you open them.

Visit Lojo on her website, friend her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Hal Clement Science Speaker: Milton Davis

Milton Davis-B54Milton Davis is currently a Research and Development Chemist for Chemtronics, a company specializing in chemicals and coating used for reworking and repairing circuit boards. Milton has been a research chemist for over thirty years specializing in polymer coatings. He is a 1983 cum laude graduate from Fort Valley State University with a B.S. Degree in Pure Chemistry with a Math Minor. Milton has utilized his skill to develop polymer compounds for the textile, janitorial, and computer industry. In 2004, Milton received a U.S. patent for his Cleaning Solvent and dispenser pen designed to remove conformal coatings and adhesives from circuit boards and other electrical equipment.

In addition to being a research chemist, Milton Davis is a speculative fiction writer and owner of MVmedia, LLC, a micro publishing company specializing in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Sword and Soul. MVmedia’s mission is to provide speculative fiction books that represent people of color in a positive manner. Milton is the author of Changa’s Safari Volumes One, Two and Three. His most recent releases are Woman of the Woods and Amber and the Hidden City. He is co-editor of four anthologies; Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology and Griot: Sisters of the Spear, with Charles R. Saunders; The Ki Khanga Anthology with Balogun Ojetade and the Steamfunk! Anthology, also with Balogun Ojetade. Milton Davis and Balogun Ojetade recently received the Best Screenplay Award for 2014 from the Urban Action Showcase for their African martial arts script, Ngolo. His current projects include The City, a cyberfunk anthology, Dark Universe, a space opera anthology based on a galactic empire ruled by people of African American descent, and From Here to Timbuktu, a steamfunk novel.

Milton resides in Metro Atlanta with his wife Vickie and his children Brandon and Alana.

Visit Milton on his website, friend him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.

NESFA Press: Ken MacLeod

Scottish science-ficture writer Ken MacLeod at South Queensferry.

Ken MacLeod at South Queensferry

Ken MacLeod was born in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland and lives in West Lothian. He has Honours and Masters degrees in biological subjects and worked for some years in the IT industry. Since 1997 he has been a full-time writer. He is the author of fifteen novels, from The Star Fraction (1995) to The Corporation Wars: Dissidence (Orbit, May 2016), and many articles and short stories. His novels and stories have received three BSFA awards and three Prometheus Awards, and several have been short-listed for the Clarke and Hugo Awards. He is currently working on a space opera trilogy, The Corporation Wars (forthcoming 2016-2017).

In 2009 he was Writer in Residence at the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum at Edinburgh University, and in 2013 and 2014 was Writer in Residence at the MA Creative Writing course at Edinburgh Napier University.

Visit Ken’s blog (The Early Days of a Better Nation) and follow him on Twitter.

Posted in Boskone 54, Guests, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

2016 NESFA Awards Announced at Boskone 53

Our Boskone follow up has been a bit delayed, but we wanted to make sure to share the award winners from this year’s covention…even if the information is posted a little late. On Saturday, February 20, 2016, NESFA held its awards ceremony and announced the winners of the 2016 Skylark Award, the Gaughan Award, and short story contest. Congratulations to all of our winners!

2016 Skylark Award

The Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction (the Skylark) is presented annually by NESFA to some person, who, in the opinion of the membership, has contributed significantly to science fiction, both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities which made the late “Doc” Smith well-loved by those who knew him.

2016 Skylark Award Winner:
Gardner Dozois

Gardner Dozois, one of the most acclaimed editors in science-fiction, has won the Hugo Award for Best Editor 15 times. He was the editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine for 20 years. He is the editor of the Year’s Best Science Fiction anthologies and co-editor of the Warrior anthologies, Songs of the Dying Earth, and many others.  As a writer, Dozois twice won the Nebula Award for best short story. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (bio from Macmillan)

2016 Gaughan Award

The Gaughan Award honors the memory of Jack Gaughan, a long-time friend of fandom and one of the finest SF artists of the 20th century. Because Jack felt it was important to encourage and recognize new blood in the field, The New England Science Fiction Association, Inc., presents the Gaughan Award annually to an emerging artist (an artist who has become a professional within the past five years) chosen by a panel of judges. (This year’s panel of judges included Greg Manchess, Arnie Fenner, and Cathy Fenner).

2016 Gaughan Award Winner: Tommy Arnold

Tommy Arnold is an Atlanta-based illustrator working primarily in fantasy and science-fiction. Clients include Tor Books, Orbit Books, and Wizards of the Coast. Visit Tommy online at tommyarnoldart.com.

NESFA Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Story Contest

The purpose of this contest is to encourage amateur and semi-professional writers to reach the next level of proficiency. We will look for engaging openings, good character development, well structured plotting, powerful imagery, witty or humorous language, unique word or phrasing choices, and convincing endings.

The 2016 winners were announced at Boskone 53, February 2016, as follows:

  • Winner: “Super” by Kevin Fitch
  • Runner-Up: “First Impressions” by Alexandria Krein

The final round judges were Tony Lewis, Dan Kimmel, and Garth Nix.

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Let’s get social!

With so much great programming, unless you have a Time Turner or TARDIS, there’s bound to be something you miss. That’s where you and the Boskone social media community can help out!
Screenshot 2016-02-18 at 7.46.10 AMUse #boskone on Twitter to live tweet panels, share fun photos or connect with con goers in general. I’ve personally met several amazing Boskone folks this way.

 

Screenshot 2016-02-18 at 7.50.18 AMYou can also share your experiences via the Boskone Facebook group. It’s a great way to get advice from the group, like where to eat, or share photo albums.

As always, be respectful of folks, especially when taking photos, and follow the handy Code of Conduct.

I can’t wait to see you, in real life (IRL) and on the interwebs.

 

 

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Signature Saturday Night

SaturdayNightBoskone’s Saturday night events are spectacular this year. So, get ready for a ton of fun.

After a full day of events ranging from art demos to readings, discussions, panels, and music… we have an evening full of special events for you. Come to the Boskone Book Party to discover new books and get some swag, attend the Rapid-Fire Theater for a series of exciting events (which includes the annual Boskone Awards Ceremony), and join us for some late night superhero fun down in the Galleria.

Boskone Multi-Author Book Party:

Publishers and authors come together in the Galleria to share what’s new since last year. This year NESFA Press is also launching two anthologies: The Grimm Future, edited by Erin Underwood, and Conspiracy!, edited by Tom Easton and Judith K. Dial. (Saturday, 6:30-7:45 pm)

Our Book Party authors and publishers include: D L Carter, Brendan DuBois, Tom Easton, Grady Hendrix, Carlos Hernandez, E. C. Ambrose (Elaine Isaak), Judith K. Dial, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller, Cerece Rennie Murphy, N.A. Ratnayake, E.J. Stevens,  Erin Underwood, and more!

Boskone Rapid-Fire Theater and NESFA Awards Ceremony:

Tonight’s presentation: a fast-paced theatrical extravaganza, featuring a set of mini-shows that resemble live-action “podcast experiments.” This special Saturday night program has something for everyfan. We hope you’re entertained, amused, soothed, gratified, provoked, intrigued, informed, or if possible all of the above in swift succession. Hosted by Boskone’s very own David G. Grubbs. (Saturday, 7:30-9:30 pm)

  • Music with Vixy & Tony.
  • NESFA Awards Presentation: The New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA) presents its annual Skylark and Gaughan Awards as well as the winner of the NESFA Short Story Contest.
  • The Wesley Chu Interview.
  • At the Movies with Boskone (Dan Kimmel and Garen Daly)
  • Mystery Radio Play (Bruce Coville, David Grubbs, Bob Kuhn, Laurie Mann, Melinda Snodgrass).

Superhero Open Mic:

Superhero Open MicKapow! Live from Boskone … enjoy the knock-out stylings of our program participants and audience members who share their open mic skills in the first-ever Superhero Open Mic. Each person gives his/her best 5-minute superhero performance – story, poem, song, skit, interpretive dance, or whatever!

OPTIONAL: For extra appeal, feel free to come dressed as a superhero!

Cash bar available.

The Rules: Boskone members are invited to join our participants in the open mic by signing up for one of the eight open slots at the door to the event, which opens for sign-ups at 8:30 pm. Each performer is given a firm 5-minute time limit (max), including set-up time. So a quick transition between acts is key.

Walter H. Hunt (M), Kenneth Schneyer (M), C.S.E. Cooney, E.C. Myers, Garth Nix, Don Pizarro, Lauren Roy, Mary Ellen Wessels. (Saturday, 9:00 pm)

Posted in Boskone 53, Program, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Book Club Meetings at Boskone

This year, Boskone has beefed up the presence of book clubs at the convention. In addition to our annual Boskone Book club that features a book by our Guest of Honor (this year it’s Clariel by Garth Nix), we are also featuring a time for the NESFA Book Club to gather as well as the addition of a new comics book club discussion group. For any book club gathering that you plan to attend, please be sure to read the book first so that you are properly prepared for an fun discussion.

ClarielFriday, 6:00 PM
Room: Marina 3
Boskone Book Club: Clariel by Guest of Honor Garth Nix
The Boskone Book Club continues! Join us for a conversation that brings con-goers together to consider one noteworthy work at length. This year we are reading Clariel by Garth Nix (Boskone’s Guest of Honor). Boskone’s own Bob Kuhn will lead the discussion; Garth Nix will join the group halfway through for a Q&A. To participate, please read the book and come ready with your observations on style, plot, character, setting, vision…

ms marvel Saturday, 12:00 NOON
Room: Galleria-Meetup Spot
Comics and Cookies Book Club – Ms. Marvel
This year, Boskone is introducing the new Comics and Cookies Book Club! Join other fans in discussing popular and amazing comics. Hugo-nominated author G. Willow Wilson has created Ms. Marvel and a hugely popular character in Kamala Khan. Read the comics and come ready to discuss these thought-provoking stories. And, yes, there will be cookies!
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sagaSaturday, 3:00 PM
Room: Galleria-Meetup Spot
Comics and Cookies Book Club — Saga (Adult Themes)
This year, Boskone is introducing the new Comics and Cookies Book Club! Join other fans in discussing well-liked and wonderful comics. The Hugo-winning Saga, by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan, is hugely popular and full of humor, while providing a beautiful mix of science fiction and fantasy. Read the comics and come ready to discuss their thought-provoking stories. And, yes, there will be cookies! Please note that these comics — and the discussion — will feature adult themes.

starlightSunday, 10:00 AM
Room: Galleria-Meetup Spot
Comics and Cookies Book Club – Starlight (Adult Themes)
This year, Boskone is introducing the new Comics and Cookies Book Club! Join other fans in discussing popular and amazing comics. Starlight by Mark Millar and Goran Parlov calls on some of the elements of classic pulp science fiction, but adds a modern-day twist by metaphorically looking at how society treats the aging and those whom we believe to be mentally unsound. The comic has its own problems for some. Read the comics and come ready to discuss these thought-provoking stories. And, yes, there will be cookies! Please note that these comics and the discussion will feature adult themes.

Conflict of HonorsSunday, 11:00 AM
Room: Griffin
NESFA Book Club: Conflict of Honors by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
This February, the NESFA Book Club hosts its monthly meeting at Boskone. Join us as we discuss Conflict of Honors by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, who will join the group halfway through the discussion in order to lead a Q&A. All members are welcome and newcomers are encouraged to attend.

 

Posted in Boskone 53, Guest of Honor, Program, Uncategorized | Leave a comment