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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B55 Mini Interviews with Jane Yolen, Nik Korpon, Ginjer Buchanan & Bracken MacLeod

Jane Yolen

jyolenThis year (2018) Jane Yolen’s 365th and 366th book will be published so you can (literally) be able to read a Yolen book a day for a year–even if it’s a Leap Year. She has won by the numbers, 2 Nebulas, 3 Mythyopoeic Awards, 1 Caldecott, 2 Christopher Medals, 1 World Fantasy Award, 1 Jewish Book Award, 2 Massachusetts Book Awards (as well as being named a Massachusetts Unsung Heroine and New England Public Radio’s 1st ever writer to be given their Arts & Humanities Award), 2 Charlotte Award, 1 California Children’s Book Award, etc,, etc. and is a SFWA Grand Master, SFPA Grand Master, World Fantasy Grand Master, 6 colleges and universities have given her honorary doctorates. And Boskone’s Skylark Award set her good coat on fire. Visit her website, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @JaneYolen.

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

I can drive there. I have been going for years so I know a lot of people. (I am actually quite shy.)

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

Various birthday events since my birthday is February 11 and is always close (if not right ON) the weekend of the con. Getting to see the latest pictures by artists I admire in the art show. Being on a panel (any pane) with Bruce Coville. Winning the Skylark award. And watching son Adam perform with the music guest of honor, Lojo Russo last year.

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?

First you have to know my married name is Stemple, not a common name in Massachusetts.

It was 1960. My husband and I had just returned from a year camping in Europe. He got a job at UMass Amherst, we bought our first old house (7 rooms), moved in and had our first baby all within several weeks. But we only owned three pieces of furniture because we’d sold everything else before going on our long camping trip. We had a brass bed, a roll top desk, and a single dresser. It was time to go to homestead auctions where house contents were being sold. At one–new baby in pram–I bid on a bunch of stuff I didn’t get to look at closely since we got there on baby’s schedule–not mine. One was a dresser for our guest room for which I paid $7. When I got it back home and wrestled it out of the VW van, it was too heavy for me to get it into the house alone and up the stairs. Besides, it was UGLY! Probably overpaid. When I checked the drawers, it was filled with the underclothes of the newly-deceased old man who’d owned the house. A bank! Maybe I could recoup some of the money! But it was made of iron and there was no key. When my husband got back from work, he took a chisel and hammer out of the toolbox. (We had a toolbox????) And cracked the bank open. In it were fifteen dollars in one dollar bills and an obituary for someone named Stemple!

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

This past Halloween I wore a tiara. Not exactly cosplay. But every year Holly and Theo Black have a dress-up New Year’s party. The year it was all about high class British folk, my family and I went as marauding Scots in kilts, swords, targes, and blue face paint. Last year when it was a Bad Fairies theme we went as Red Caps.

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

Really working on #Yolen365, since in 2018 my 365th and 366th books will be published so you will be able to read a Yolen book a day for a year–even if it’s a leap year! To be honest, by year’s end I will be up to 375 books as I have (we think) 12 books out next year. They range from picture books, to a fantasy novel in verse, to a Holocaust novel hung on the armature of Hansel & Gretel, to a nonfiction book from National Geographic about birds, to a book of adult poetry. . .you get the picture.

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.

I would choose a writer (Emily Dickinson), a politician (Elizabeth Warren), and a dancer (Misty Copeland) all kick-ass women blazing trails and taking no prisoners along the way. Who needs fantasy figures when we have them? Though we might want to see them dressed as superheroes–my challenge to any illustrator out there. On the sidelines cheering–the Notorious RBG, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and a kick line of suffragettes.

Nik Korpon

nkorponNik Korpon is the author of The Rebellion’s Last Traitor (Angry Robot), Queen of the Struggle, and The Soul Standard, among others. He lives in Baltimore. Visit his website, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @NikKorpon.

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

I’ve been writing crime and mystery stories for a while and have gone to many of those conferences, but I’ve only just started writing science fiction. I’ve heard from a lot of people that Boskone is one of the best science fiction conventions around. Plus, Boston, in mid-February—what’s not to like?

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

This past Halloween. My son and daughter were a jellyfish and a butterfly, and my wife was a flamingo. I wore a gorilla mask and chased all the neighborhood kids around. I looked like a maniac. It was a ton of fun.

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

“I just turned in the final draft of Queen of the Struggle, the second book in Memory Thief series (the first being The Rebellion’s Last Traitor) and thinking about the one. I’m also editing a science fiction thriller that I keep describing as Die Hard meets The Shield but in space.

With Queen of the Struggle, I’ve never written a series before so it’s challenging to keep in mind what’s come before and make sure it informs what’s coming in the future. And the thriller is just an out-and-out thriller, so it’s a challenge to keep one-upping myself. ”

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.

“Sarah Manning (Orphan Black) because she’s a straight-up bad ass and she always finds a way to get out of a situation. Sydney Bristow (Alias) because, well, see Sarah Manning. Tim Bisley (Spaced) because, while he’s pretty worthless at fighting (except that finger-gun shootout), he knows everything about science fiction and fantasy and could help me figure out how to destroy the baddies.”

Ginjer Buchanan

While a student at Carnegie Mellon University, Ginjer Buchanan helped start the Western Pennsylvania Science Fiction Association. In the early 1970s, she moved from Pittsburgh to New York City where she made her living as a social worker, while doing free-lance editorial work. In 1984, she took a job as an editor at Ace Books before becoming an acquisitions editor for Penguin USA, which includes Putnam, Berkley and Ace Books. Ginjer is now retired and will be on of the Guests of Honor at the Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon.

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

When I was working, it was a convention which a lot of my authors attended (It was the one time a year I could reliably expect to see Charlie Stross) Now that I’m retired, I have a lot of fan friends who attend. It’s a great con, with the absolute best art shows!

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

There are a lot of years of memories. From way back when the con was at the Pru Center, getting blizzard-ed in. That may sound odd but it was kinda magical. More recently, being given the Skylark Award. What an honor!

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?”

Hmm– I guess the first Star Wars movie. To recapture the sense of wonder. There are a lot of books I re-read, but I remember how The Stars My Destination. It absolutely blew me away when I first read it. I loved the scope and sweep of the story and the strong female characters, particularly Jisbella McQueen. It would be be great to have that sense of first discovering a kind of sf that really spoke to me.

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

A couple years ago, at the last company Halloween party. The editors were zombies and I was a zombie hunter, vaguely modeled on Woody Harrelson in Zombieland.

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.

Buffy because–well,she’s Buffy. Wonder Woman, because–well, she’s Wonder Woman. And Wolverine,because–well,he’s Hugh Jackman.

 

Bracken MacLeod

Bracken MacLeod has worked as a martial arts teacher, a university philosophy instructor, for a children’s non-profit, and as a trial attorney. He is the author of the novels, Mountain Home, Come to Dust, and Stranded for Tor Books which is in active development at Warner Bros. Television. His short fiction has appeared in several magazines and anthologies including LampLight, ThugLit, and Splatterpunk and has been collected in 13 Views of the Suicide Woods by ChiZine Publications. He lives outside of Boston with his wife and son, where he is at work on his next novel. Visit his website, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @BrackenMacLeod.

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

Boskone has been strongly recommended to me by several friends in the industry for quite a while now. I’m looking forward to my first experience there.

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?”

I wish I could see Alien for the first time again. It wasn’t just seeing Alien, but the fact that I was 10 years old and was sneaking it on late night cable. That movie completely captivated me and I made a note in the cable guide of every time it was going to be on so I could try to watch it as much as possible (we didn’t have a VCR, but we had stolen cable). I’d already been reading scary books, but this was my first experience with several different things that blew my mind as a kid. First, I’d never seen a frightening *space* movie before. Up until then, it was Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and Battle Beyond the Stars. I had no idea the two could go together. Also, that was my first look at H.R. Giger’s work and it revolutionized how I thought of both aliens and terrestrial monsters. Even though it was a guy in a suit, it was so convincing and unworldly the age of believing people in monster suits pretty much ended for me right there. Finally, and probably most importantly, I was the only child of a single mother, and seeing Ellen Ripley fight to survive resounded with me considerably. At the end she was protecting a cat, not a kid (like in the sequel), but for 10 year old me without any real strong male figures in my life beyond my grandfather, I really identified with her as a child who relied on a mother. Her as a survivor, but also as an unapologetic and enthusiastic fighter, meant a ton to me. 1979’s Ripley still informs the kind of stories I like to tell. Yeah, I wish I could see Alien again with 11 year old eyes.

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

I dress up every year. This year I went as David S. Pumpkin’s lesser known (but much funnier) twin brother, Bracken (NMI) Pumpkins. David’s got more hair, but I wear the suit better.

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

After two supernatural books in a row (Stranded, a science fiction thriller, and Come to Dust, a straight-up horror novel) I am working on a a “secular horror” thriller more like my first novel, Mountain Home. Closing Costs is a home invasion thriller about a couple who buy a house with stolen money from a man who isn’t ready to give it up. His secrets and theirs collide in a way that could cost all of them everything. It’s about all those little expenses that aren’t part of the asking price, and can sink the deal if you aren’t prepared for them.

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