Look Who’s Coming to Boskone 56!

We are going to have another stellar convention with a fantastic selection of activities and program items for everyone to enjoy. This year, we are looking forward to welcoming several new program participants as well as some returning favorites who have been away for far too long.

We’re still in the process of confirming program participants, but listed below is a sneak peek at some of our new and returning friends. Check out our full list of Boskone 56’s list of program participants, which is being updated daily.

Laurence Raphael Brothers
Laurence Raphael Brothers is a writer and technologist with five patents and a background in high-tech R&D, including work in AI, Telecom and Internet applications, and on-line gaming. He has published stories in such magazines as Nature, PodCastle, the New Haven Review, and Galaxy’s Edge. He is seeking representation for a WWI-era historical fantasy novel and a near-future military-aviation alien-invasion AI romance. Visit his webpage at https://laurencebrothers.com/ for links to more stories that can be read or listened to online, and follow him on twitter: @lbrothers.

S. A. Chakraborty
S. A. Chakraborty is a speculative fiction writer from New York City. Her debut, The City of Brass, was the first book in the Daevabad trilogy and has been short-listed for the Locus, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy awards. When not buried in books about Mughal miniatures and Abbasid political intrigue, she enjoys hiking, knitting, and recreating unnecessarily complicated medieval meals for her family. You can find her online at http://www.sachakraborty.com or on Twitter at @SChakrabooks where she likes to talk about history, politics, and Islamic art.

Brenda W. Clough
Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her latest novel, A Most Dangerous Woman, is being serialized by Serial Box.

John Clute
John Clute has been reviewing science fiction and fantasy since 1964. He has also been working on the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction since 1975, recently passed the 6,666 solo entries marker. In addition, he has done other encyclopedias as well. John has assembled his reviews and criticism in several volumes, beginning with Strokes (1988); a new volume, and The Gaze of Attention: Reviews, due 2020. His SF novel is Appleseed (2001).

David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson
David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson is the author of twenty novels and as many short stories. As D.B. Jackson (http://www.DBJackson-Author.com), he is the author of Time’s Children (October 2018), the first book in The Islevale Cycle, a time travel/epic fantasy series from Angry Robot Books. He also writes the Thieftaker Chronicles, a series set in pre-Revolutionary Boston that combines elements of urban fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction. Under his own name (http://www.DavidBCoe.com) he has written the Crawford Award-winning LonTobyn Chronicle, the critically acclaimed Winds of the Forelands quintet and Blood of the Southlands trilogy, the novelization Ridley Scott’s, Robin Hood, and a contemporary urban fantasy series, the Case Files of Justis Fearsson. He is the co-author of How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion. He is currently working on several projects, including his next book for Angry Robot, his first editing endeavor, and a tie-in project with the History Channel. David has a Ph.D. in U.S. history from Stanford University. His books have been translated into a dozen languages.

Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ
Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ, is Director of the Vatican Observatory. His scientific research studies meteorites and asteroids. He is a native of Detroit, Michigan, received SM and SM degrees from MIT (where he served as MITSFS Skinner), and earned his PhD in Planetary Sciences from the University of Arizona in 1978. Along with more than 200 scientific publications, he is the author or co-author of several popular astronomy books including Turn Let at Orion (with Dan Davis, 5th edition, 2018) and Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial (with Paul Mueller, paperback edition 2018). In 2014 he received the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences for excellence in public communication in planetary sciences.

Ellen Datlow
Ellen Datlow has been editing science fiction, fantasy, and horror short fiction for over thirty-five years as fiction editor of OMNI Magazine and editor of Event Horizon and SCIFICTION. She currently acquires short fiction for Tor.com. In addition, she has edited more than ninety science fiction, fantasy, and horror anthologies, including the annual The Best Horror of the Year, The Doll Collection, Black Feathers, Mad Hatters and March Hares, The Devil and the Deep: Horror Stories of the Sea, and The Best of the Best Horror of the Year. Forthcoming is Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories. She’s won multiple World Fantasy Awards, Locus Awards, Hugo Awards, Stoker Awards, International Horror Guild Awards, Shirley Jackson Awards, and the 2012 Il Posto Nero Black Spot Award for Excellence as Best Foreign Editor. Datlow was named recipient of the 2007 Karl Edward Wagner Award, given at the British Fantasy Convention for “outstanding contribution to the genre,” and has been honored with the Life Achievement Award by the Horror Writers Association and by the World Fantasy Convention. She lives in New York and co-hosts the monthly Fantastic Fiction Reading Series at KGB Bar. More information can be found at http://www.datlow.com, on Facebook, and on twitter as @EllenDatlow.

Sarah Beth Durst
Sarah Beth Durst is the award-winning author of seventeen fantasy books for adults, teens, and kids, including The Queens of Renthia series, Drink Slay Love, and The Stone Girl’s Story. She won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her children, and her ill-mannered cat. For more information, visit her at sarahbethdurst.com.

Kate Elliott
Kate Elliott has been writing science fiction and fantasy fiction and non fiction for thirty years. Her twenty-seven books include her recent YA trilogy Court of Fives, the Afro-Celtic post-Roman alt-history fantasy adventure with lawyer dinosaurs the Spiritwalker trilogy (Cold Magic), the SF Novels of the Jaran, the Crossroads trilogy (Spirit Gate) & Black Wolves, and the massive AND complete seven volume epic fantasy Crown of Stars (King’s Dragon). Expect gender-bent Alexander the Great as space opera in 2019. Her work has been nominated for the Nebula, World Fantasy, RT, Norton, and Locus Awards. Kate was born in Iowa, raised in Oregon, and now lives in Hawaii, where she paddles outrigger canoes and spoils her schnauzer, Fingolfin, High King of the Schnoldor (Finn for short).

Leigh Grossman
Leigh Grossman (www.swordsmith.com @SwordsmithLRG) is a writer, college lecturer, editor, and publishing consultant. He teaches in the English Department at the University of Connecticut and does typesetting, book development, and book production for various publishers and authors via his company, Swordsmith Productions. Grossman is the author of sixteen published books, most recently fantasy novel The Lost Daughters. He compiled and edited Sense of Wonder, the largest single-volume science fiction anthology ever produced.

Nicholas Kaufmann
Nicholas Kaufmann is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated, Thriller Award-nominated, and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author of two collections and six novels, the most recent of which is the horror novel 100 Fathoms Below (2018, Blackstone Publishing). His short fiction has appeared in Cemetery Dance, Black Static, Nightmare Magazine, Dark Discoveries, and others. In addition to his own original work, he has written for such properties as Zombies vs. Robots and The Rocketeer. He and his wife live in Brooklyn, New York.

Mur Lafferty
Mur Lafferty is a Hugo and Nebula nominated writer, most recently of Six Wakes and Solo: A Star Wars Story. She’s also known for being a Hugo winning and Hall of Fame podcaster and co-host and producer of Ditch Diggers and I Should Be Writing. She’s the co-editor of the science fiction podcast Escape Pod, nominee for the Best Semiprozine Hugo Award in 2018.

Fonda Lee
Fonda Lee is the award-winning author of the Green Bone Saga, the genre-blending gangster fantasy series beginning with Jade City (Orbit) and continuing in Jade War, which releases in May of 2019. She is also the author of the acclaimed young adult science fiction novels Zeroboxer (Flux), Exo and Cross Fire (Scholastic). Fonda’s work has been nominated for the Nebula, Andre Norton, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards, and she won the Aurora Award, Canada’s national science fiction and fantasy award, twice in the same year for Best Novel and Best Young Adult Novel. Fonda is a recovering corporate strategist, black belt martial artist, and an action movie aficionado residing in Portland, Oregon. She can be found online at http://www.fondalee.com and on Twitter @fondajlee.

Charles Stross
Charles Stross, 54, is a full-time science fiction writer and resident of Edinburgh, Scotland. A former Boskone guest of honor and the author of seven Hugo-nominated novels and winner of three Hugo awards for best novella, Stross’s works have been translated into over twelve languages. His most recent novel, The Labyrinth Index, was published by Tor.com in October 2018; his next novel, “Invisible Sun” is due out from Tor in late 2019.

Tonia Thompson
Tonia Thompson is the creator and executive producer of Nightlight, a horror podcast featuring creepy tales from Black writers. Tonia has been writing horror since the second grade, much to the dismay of the teachers in her rural East Texas community. She is currently working on her first audio drama series, described as a podcast version of American Horror Story meets Superstition. Tonia tells horror stories regularly on Twitter, and in her spare time, she loves to hike, but normally chooses to sleep in instead. She lives in Texas with her husband and son, but dreams of living in Colorado, especially in the summer.

Cadwell Turnbull
Cadwell Turnbull is a graduate from the North Carolina State University’s Creative Writing MFA in Fiction and English MA in Linguistics. He attended Clarion West 2016. His debut novel, The Lesson, set in near-future U.S. Virgin Islands after an alien colonization, is forthcoming from Blackstone Publishing. His short fiction has appeared in Lightspeed, Nightmare, and Asimov’s Science Fiction. His short story “Loneliness is in Your Blood” was selected for The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018. His novelette “Other Worlds and This One” was also selected as notable story by the anthology.

Come see this fantastic group of authors along with over 150 other authors, artists, scientists, engineers, musicians, creators, publishing professionals, and more!

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Meet the Boskone 56 Guests & Share Your Program Ideas!

Worldcon 76 may be over, but Boskone 56 is coming coming to Boston, MA, February 15-17, 2019!

Join us at New England’s longest running science fiction convention. This year’s list of Boskone guests is fantastic and we are going to have a lot of fun. Please help us give them a warm welcome.

Announcing Boskone 56’s Guests:

*In honor of our friend Gardner’s memory, Gardner Dozois will remain as the NESFA Press Guest for Boskone 56.

As we gear up for Boskone 56, our program team is beginning to pull together ideas for next year’s convention.

Did you see a great panel somewhere else? Are there any themes that keep coming up that would be interesting to talk about? What about interesting discoveries or inventions? …new TV series? …fun music? …diverse art?

Share your program ideas with use today through Boskone’s online idea form!

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Gardner Dozois, Boskone 56’s NESFA Press Guest Update

Gardner Dozois 1992 – Photo Credit Beth Gwinn

It is with great regret that we mourn the passing of our friend, NESFA Press author, and respected science fiction editor Gardner Dozois.

We were honored that Gardner agreed to be Boskone 56’s NESFA Press Guest in conjunction with the publication of his forthcoming travel memoir On the Road with Gardner Dozois: Travel Narratives 1995-2000, which will be the Boskone 56 book.

In honor of his memory, Gardner Dozois will remain the NESFA Press Guest for Boskone 56. We are working on special program items and special program participants to further honor his memory and will post details as they are finalized. If you would like to participate in Boskone 56’s program, please email program@boskone.org.

~ * ~

Gardner Dozois (1947-2018) was the editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine for nearly 20 years and was also the editor for the anthology series The Year’s Best Science Fiction. He has received dozens of awards for his work, including 30 Locus Awards, 15 Hugo Awards, several Nebula awards, a Sidewise Award to honor his work as an editor and as a writer. He also received NESFA’s Skylark Award for Lifetime Achievement in Science Fiction, and in many ways had a direct hand in shaping the future of science fiction during his career.

He has edited hundreds of books, including solo and co-edited anthologies as well as novels written in collaboration with authors such as George R.R. Martin, Michael Swanwick, and others. His work has topped the New York Times bestseller list, he has been inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and he has been a member of the science fiction community and fandom for decades. Born in Salem, MA, he lived much of his life in Philadelphia, PA with his wife Susan Casper (1947-2017).

Gardner and Susan were longtime fans, who enjoyed exploring the world together, and spending time with friends at conventions all around the world. In addition to his work as an editor, Gardner was known for capturing their adventures in delightful narratives that preserved these moments in time. Both he and Susan will be missed.

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Helmuth, Friday at 5pm – Boskone’s At Con Newsletter with Updates

Hey Con-goers! The first Helmuth Newsletter is available. Check it out at Helmuth 55 – Friday Night Edition. Be sure to take a look at the Program Changes listed below:

The following people have dropped from Program:

Steve Berman
Debra Doyle
James D. Macdonald
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Karl Schroeder
Fran Wilde
Frank Wu
Brianna Wu

The following items have been added:

Meet Up: The State of Black Science Fiction Facebook Group
Harbor I – Discussion Group Westin
Friday 06:00 PM

Join Gerald Coleman for a discussion focused on the popular Facebook group The State of Black Science Fiction and visit the group online at https://www.facebook.com/groups/blackscifi/
Gerald L. Coleman

Meet Up: Emerson College Popular Fiction
Harbor I – Discussion Group Westin
Saturday 02:00 PM

Join the Emerson College popular fiction meet up for a casual discussion about writing, MFAs, and popular fiction.
Jessica Treadway

Dublin 2019 Late Night Meet Up
Galleria – Meetup Spot Westin
Saturday 10:30 PM

Join the Dublin 2019 Worldcon team for a meet up in the Galleria for some Irish snacks and music.
Vincent Docherty Erin Underwood Jackie Kamlot Ginjer Buchanan John R. Douglas

Friday item changes:

Evolution and Alien Psychology
Now begins at 9:00 pm in Burroughs. (Change from 9:00 pm in Marina 3.)

Name That Tune: What’s Next?
Now begins at 10:00 pm on Friday in Marina 1. (Change from 2:00 pm on Sunday.)
Generation Ships

Dropped participant: Jeffrey A. Carver

Saturday item changes:

Reading by Geary Gravel
Now begins at 1:00 pm in Independence. (Change from Sunday at 12:00 noon.)

Sunday item changes:

A Wizard of Earthsea
2018-02-17 – 12:00 (Harbor II, Westin)
Now begins at 12:00 noon in Harbor II. (Change from 12:00 noon in Harbor III)
New participant: Jeff Carroll

Stories for Themed Anthologies
Now begins at 12:00 noon in Griffin. (Change from 12:00 noon in Harbor III).

Reading by Tamora Pierce
Now begins at 12:00 noon in Harbor III. (Change from 12:30pm in Griffin.)

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Boskone, Travel, Traffic, and the Boat Show!

For those of us who are driving to Boskone, and that includes cabs as well as Uber and Lift, please be aware that the New England Boat Show is happening at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, which shares a driveway with the Westin.

When driving, please be aware that traffic will likely be heavy at times, especially during the opening and closing hours of the Boat Show. On the bright side, this means that their parking lot will be open during the day (and I believe that parking is around $18 per day, but you should verify that with the BC&EC’s attendant). Since their lot does close at night, please also be sure to also ask how late they will be open (each day that you use their lot) so that you can retrieve your car.

A nice alternative to driving is to take the Silver Line, SL1 or SL2, to the World Trade Center Station. For details on how to navigate the MBTA system see the Boskone website. We also have parking information listed as well.

Please be sure to plan some extra time to arrive at the convention before the first program item that you would like to attend. Safe travels! We look forward to seeing you there!

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Remembering Ursula K. Le Guin at Boskone

This year at Boskone, we have several items that are either dedicated to the work of science fiction icon Ursula K. Le Guin, including a few items that also touch on her contributions to the SF field. We hope that you will be able to join us and to share in these events.

Ursula K. Le Guin
21 October 1929–22 January 2018

Photo © Marian Wood Kolisch

Saturday, February 17, 10:00 am-8:00 pm
Memory Book for Ursula K. Le Guin
In the Maker’s Space, located in the Galleria, we will have a memory book for fans and friends to write memories and notes dedicated to our dearly departed friend Ursula K. Le Guin. At the end of the convention, we will send the book to Ursula’s family with a note of thanks for all she has done for our community.

Friday at 6:00 PM
Exploring Gender in Speculative Fiction
Julie Holderman, Inanna Arthen, Stephen P. Kelner Jr., Suzanne Palmer, Stacey Berg (M)
Harbor III · 60 min · Panel
In 1969, Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness famously featured an androgynous culture. More recently, Ann Leckie’s celebrated Ancillary series and her latest novel, Provenance, treat readers to a society in which gender doesn’t matter. What other SF/F/H writers offer us gender-expansive characters or societies? Why and when should gender matter?

Friday at 8:45 PM
Opening Ceremony: Meet the Guests
David G. Grubbs (M), Gay Ellen Dennett (M), Catherine Asaro, Mary Robinette Kowal, Craig Miller, Tamora Pierce, Marianne Plumridge, Nat Segaloff
Galleria – Stage · 15 min · Event
Welcome to Boskone, New England’s longest-running convention for science fiction, fantasy, and horror! Whether you are attending for the first time or the fifty-fifth, we invite you to join us in the Galleria to meet this year’s guests. Guest of Honor Mary Robinette Kowal will also say a few words acknowledging our departed friends, including SF icon Ursula K. Le Guin.

Saturday  at 12:00 NOON
A Wizard of Earthsea
Catherine Asaro, Vandana Singh, Robert V.S. Redick, Max Gladstone (M)
Harbor II · 60 min · Panel
Ursula K. Le Guin’s masterpiece was published 50 years ago. A classic coming-of-age story, A Wizard of Earthsea continues to cast its spell over teens and adults alike. Why is Ged such a compelling character? What makes the story as fresh and appealing today as in 1968? What does it have to say about words, magic, ambition, patience, truth, death? Our panelists share their insights — and favorite parts.

Sunday at 12:00 NOON
Women Who Write Science Fiction
LJ Cohen, Victoria Sandbrook (M), Catherine Asaro, Erin Roberts, Marianna Martin PhD
Marina 3 · 60 min · Panel
Mary Shelley, Leigh Brackett, Ursula K. Le Guin, Connie Willis, N. K. Jemisin — women have been in the thick of writing science fiction for a very long time. Let’s discuss some of their landmark publications that captured our imagination. Why do we love these stories? What works should we look for the next time we’re browsing the shelves?


As Boskone’s Head of Program this year, I hope you are able to share in some of these program items that acknowledge the work, life, and contributions of Ursula K. Le Guin. She was a force within the genre and her loss was felt throughout our community and beyond its borders. Many people have already shared their thoughts and feelings than I ever could upon hearing that Ursula had passed away. Since nothing I can say would be nearly as elegant or touching, I am sharing a short interview that Nancy Holder and I did with Ursula K. Le Guin in 2011 for our column in the SFWA Bulletin, which  focused on diversity in SF.

Diversity is a topic that has always been important to both Nancy and me. So, when we had the opportunity to talk with Ursula, we jumped at the chance because she has always included characters who were not white, and in some cases none of her characters were white. Given that covers don’t always reflect the characters within the story, we wanted to know what experiences she had with cover designs and diversity. Ursula responded without mincing words.

URSULA: I hardly know where to begin about covers. The most egregiously silly one was the first British Wizard of Earthsea, a Puffin paperback. Ged is a skinny, dead-white-skinned fellow in a nightgown in a drooping Pre-Raphaelite pose. You sort of have to laugh. Puffin did better later, but never was my bronze-skinned Ged shown as anything but white.

The only early Earthsea covers where everybody wasn’t white were the beautiful cover paintings Margaret Chodos-Irvine did for the joint Houghton-Mifflin/Atheneum hardcover set of the first four books — but that edition was a well-kept secret; it got no PR, and hardly anyone seems to have ever seen it.

As I got more clout, I began demanding cover approval, and sometimes got it, and sometimes it made a difference. Mostly my people are people of color, and mostly the cover picture whitewashes them. Dips them in the Clorox.

…[T]he arrogance of any illustrator or designer who insists on a right to contradict and thus betray [emphasis Ursula’s] the text is unforgivable. Especially when something as genuinely, morally important as skin color is involved.

When asked if  she had experienced any challenges portraying/including diversity in young adult fiction, she responded with an equally thoughtful answer.

URSULA: No. Partly because I have been very fortunate in my choice of agent and my luck in editors. Partly because during a good deal of my writing career there was no diversity bandwagon to hop on. And partly because right from the beginning, which would be in the late 1960’s, in my SF and fantasy books, at least one of the main characters was not white, and sometimes none of them where white. I made no big deal out of this–the societies in the books made no big deal out of it. That made it easier for the editor to just pass over it. (The problem came with the Cover Department–sheeeeesh–you want some growling and snarling about covers??) Making my main people brown, bronze, black, etc. (green once) and doing it quietly was a conscious and deliberate ploy. I was just so sick of thinking–What is it with this far future, or this alternate earth, where everybody is named Jim or Bob or Joe and is as white as Shirley Temple? I mean, what the hell?

I hope you will be able to join us at Boskone and that you too will have an opportunity to appreciate and celebrate one of the great women of science fiction. I also hope you have enjoyed these short interview answers from Ursula K. Le Guin. If you have time, please stop by the Maker’s Space in the Galleria and leave a note for Ursula in the Memory Book dedicated to her.

It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

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B55 Mini Interviews with Allen M. Steele, J. Kathleen Cheney, Adam Stemple & Michael Swanwick

Allen M. Steele

Allen Mulherin Steele, Jr. became a full-time science fiction writer in 1988, following publication of his first short story, “Live From The Mars Hotel” (Asimov’s, mid-Dec. `88). Since then he has become a prolific author of novels, short stories, and essays, with his work translated into more than a dozen languages worldwide.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

Way back in 1987, more than a year before my first story was published in Asimov’s, I had my first novel, Orbital Decay, in submission to Ace. At Boskone that year, I happened to run into the editor who’d contacted me some time earlier, Ginjer Buchanan. We went off to have coffee together, and it was then that Ginjer told me that Ace wanted to buy my novel … my first fiction sale, after many years of rejection. I managed to take the news calmly, as a professional should; it wasn’t until I got back to my room that I began screaming and jumping up and down on the bed. Don’t tell me a science fiction convention can’t change your life.

If you could relive your first experience with any book or film, which one would you pick? What is it about this book or film that you want to experience again for the “first time?”

Close Encounters of the Third Kind, opening weekend, Thanksgiving 1977, at the Zeigfield in Manhattan. One of the biggest and best movie theaters I’ve ever been to, with an enormous screen and an amazing sound system. I stood in a block-long line, in a cold downpour, for an hour or more to get in, and it was worth it. When the alien mothership descends on Devil’s Tower, the speakers were cranked up to full volume and the theater walls themselves seemed to shake. No movie has impressed me on such a visceral level, before or since.

In the realm of “truth is stranger than fiction,” what experience from your past would people never believe if it were written into a story?

Being knocked down twice by Secret Service agents. Both incidents happened back when I was a reporter. The first time was by the agents escorting Chip Carter, President Carter’s son, during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, February 1980. I stepped in front of Chip to get his picture for the college paper for which I was covering the New Hampshire primary, and his security detail knocked me on my back and broke my camera. The second time happened five years later, while I was working in D.C. as a Capitol Hill correspondent. I was in a hallway on the House side of the Capitol, on my way to a hearing, when Casper Weinberger, President Reagan’s defense secretary, unexpectedly came around the corner with his security detail. I tried to step out of their way, but once again, I was knocked off my feet by Secret Service agents. Weinberger thought it was funny, the bastard. No one ever believes me when I tell them this — how could the same thing happened twice? — but it’s true.

If you were building a team of 3 (super)heroes to save the world from this trio of (super)villains: The Night King (GOT), the Emperor (Star Wars), and The Master/Missy (Doctor Who), who would you pick? The only catch is that you can’t pick characters from the GOT, Star Wars, or Doctor Who universes. Share why you chose your 3 (super)heroes.

Doc Savage, The Shadow, and Captain Future. And if you have to ask who these people are … well, then ask me.

J. Kathleen Cheney

jcheneyJ. Kathleen Cheney taught mathematics ranging from 7th grade to Calculus, but gave it all up for a chance to write stories. Her novella Iron Shoes was a 2010 Nebula Award Finalist. Her novel, The Golden City was a Finalist for the 2014 Locus Awards (Best First Novel). Dreaming Death (Feb 2016) was the first in a new world, with the related books of The Horn coming out in 2017 and the first sequel to Dreaming Death, In Dreaming Bound, debuting in 2018.  Visit her website, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @jkcheney.

There are a number of conventions that you could attend. What is it about Boskone that makes you want to attend this convention?

I was invited to come in 2018 and I jumped at the chance to meet new writers and fans from outside my usual region. (Plus, I’ve never seen Boston before!)

If you could relive your first experience with any book or film, which one would you pick? What is it about this book or film that you want to experience again for the “first time?”

Ah, Star Wars, my old friend. When this first came out in ’78, I fell in love with this movie with the passion of…well, a junior high student. I scrimped and saved my chore money and managed to see the movie 26 times in the theater that summer. No one in my family was a fan of speculative fiction, so I was wandering into a new world, unlike anything I’d ever seen. I loved the characters, the set, the music, the whole thing!

Looking back at your work, which character, piece of art, song, poem, article, etc. stands out as an all-time favorite? What is it about this piece that makes it stand out for you?

I wrote a short story called “Whatever Else” that I have inordinate affection for. It was one that editors either held for a long time…or instantly rejected. Mostly because the main character isn’t perceived as doing ‘protagonist’ things. She’s a young woman in a very patriarchal world, though, and even considering some of the things she does is a huge step for her, so despite being told to change it (and her), I doggedly stuck with the story I had.

Adam Stemple

Photo credit Lisa Jaster

Adam Stemple grew up in western Massachusetts but emigrated to the frozen wastelands of Minnesota in the late 80’s. He writes mostly fantasy, but has had historical fiction, non-fiction, and poetry published, as well. His most recent works are a novel, The Seelie King’s War, third in the Seelie Wars trilogy (Viking), a graphic novel, Stone Cold (Graphic Universe), and a collection of animal stories written with his entire family, Animal Stories (National Geographic). Visit his website or follow him on Twitter @hatfield13.

There are a number of conventions that you could attend. What is it about Boskone that makes you want to attend this convention?

I grew up in western Massachusetts and Boskone was my very first convention. I moved to the midwest in 1987, but I love coming back for this convention.

If you could relive your first experience with any book or film, which one would you pick? What is it about this book or film that you want to experience again for the “first time?”

The end of Lloyd Alexander’s The First Two Lives of Lucas Kasha and the midpoint of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Alexander’s was just pure emotion, and Hitchhiker’s revelation about the Improbability Drive made me put down the book and say, “Wow.”

Looking back at your work, which character, piece of art, song, poem, article, etc. stands out as an all-time favorite? What is it about this piece that makes it stand out for you?

I believe my song, “One Night in Boston” is the best song I’ve ever written. Deceptively simple, words that seem to resonate with people.

What are you working on now? What excites or challenges you about this project?

I just finished a new novel that is currently on submission. It’s a real departure for me, tech thriller/zombie novel rather than fantasy. It was very fun to write, with three viewpoint characters, and a hero who is a very bad person.

Michael Swanwick

mswanwickMichael Swanwick has received the Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon, World Fantasy and Hugo Awards, and has the pleasant distinction of having been nominated for and lost more of these same awards than any other writer. He has written ten novels, over a hundred and fifty short stories, and countless works of flash fiction. His latest novel The Iron Dragon’s Mother, the capstone of an accidental trillogy, is forthcoming from Tor Books. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Marianne Porter. Visit his website, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @MichaelSwanwick.

There are a number of conventions that you could attend. What is it about Boskone that makes you want to attend this convention?

The strong possibility of getting snowed in. I grew up in Vermont but now live in Philadelphia and I miss blizzards terribly.

If you could relive your first experience with any book or film, which one would you pick? What is it about this book or film that you want to experience again for the “first time?”

Reading The Fellowship of the Ring. I was sixteen and a junior in high school, when I picked it up out of a box of books my sister Patty had sent home from college. It was eleven o’clock at night and I’d just finished my homework, so I thought I’d read a chapter or two before bed. I stayed up all night, reading. I read through breakfast. I read all the mile-long walk to school, and I finished the book just as the home bell rang.

I’ve said this before, but it’s true. That book rang me like a bell. Overnight, it made me determined to become a writer. It’s the reason I’m taking part in this mini-interview right now.

When was the last time you dressed up for Halloween? What costume did you wear?

A friend has a themed costume party, where everyone has to dress up as something beginning with that year’s letter. It was T this year, so I went as Tom Terrific. It’s an easy costume to put together once you locate an enormous white funnel for his Thinking Cap.
On reflection, I probably went as grown-up Tom Terrific. Young Tom didn’t have a beard.

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