B57 Mini Interviews with Nicole Givenz Kurtz, Joshua Bilmes, and Mur Lafferty

The Boskone Mini Interviews are back, which means that Boskone 57 is now only a couple of months away. We are particularly excited to share this year’s mini interviews, which so completely capture the love of SF/F and science, the fannish energy within our community, and the clever wit of our participants. We are also delighted to share mini interviews from participants who are new to Boskone as well as those who have returned after long absences.

There is something incredibly special about the Boskone community. We are so glad that you have joined us for our first set of our Boskone 57 mini interviews and look forward to seeing you for a fantastic convention in February 2020.

Kicking off this year’s mini interviews in style is Nicole Givens Kurtz (who is new to Boskone), Joshua Bilmes (who is one of our favorite resident agents), and Mur Lafferty (who has been away, but is now back. Huzzah!). Please help us to welcome them all. Leave questions, share this post, or just stop by to say “hi.”

Nicole Givens Kurtz

Nicole Givens Kurtz is a published author, educator, and publisher. She’s know for her science fiction mystery series, CYBIL LEWIS. Her works have been published in over 40 anthologies and publications. She’s an active SFWA member. Her work has appeared in 2018 Bram Stoker Award Finalist, Sycorax’s Daughters. Her novels have finaled in science fiction awards, Dream Realm Awards, EPPIE Awards, and Fresh Awards. Readers can support Nicole’s #OwnVoices stories by becoming a patron of her Patreon.

Visit Nicole on their Facebook, Twitter, or website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year? Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

I have heard wonderful things about Boskone and about its inclusive programming. I liked working with Erin for WorldCon programming. She is the reason I’m attending this year.

Bonus: Up for a challenge? Give us a haiku or limerick about Boskone!

Boskone in the snow
Fandom fun in the coldness
Geek loving warms us

Authors: Fans often ask authors to talk about their favorite main characters, but what about the side characters? Who is one of your favorite sidekicks or secondary/tertiary characters who have had a lesser role in your work?

My favorite sidekick of any of the characters and stories I’ve told is Jane, from my Cybil Lewis series. She’s younger than my private inspector, and she’s spunkier. She loves hard, is fiercely loyal, but doesn’t miss a chance to point out her own personal growth to her mentor. I love writing her because she’s so, well, no pun intended, plain. Jane Broxter is herself all the time, no mask, no coverage, and I adore that about her. You can see for yourself at https://cybillewisseries.blogspot.com/p/character-bio-jane.html.

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

I will be releasing the next Cybil Lewis novel, book 4, called SCORNED: A CYBIL LEWIS SF MYSTERY NOVEL (August 2020). It will pit Cybil against an enemy she doesn’t know and one that is as faceless as the online life that spawned it. I will also continue to pitch my urban fantasy novel as well as work on editing a collection of black vampire stories, titled SLAY: STORIES OF THE VAMPIRE NOIRE (October 2020). I will continue to write for my patrons over at my Patreon site as well as serve as a guest at various SF conventions.

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

I would bring Hermoine’s Time Turner from Harry Potter because I need more hours in the day to do stuff!


Joshua Bilmes

SJoshua Bilmes founded JABberwocky Literary Agency in 1994, and the first stepping stone on that path was the 1979 Boskone, making this 40th anniversary year a very special one. His clients include top bestselling authors like Brandon Sanderson, Charlaine Harris, Jack Campbell and Peter V. Brett, and many other award-winning and long-running authors including Elizabeth Moon, Simon R. Green, Tanya Huff and Myke Cole. We’re just weeks away from the publication of FINDER, the debut novel from Hugo Award winning author and Massachusets’ own Suzanne Palmer, and Dan Moren, Greg Katsoulis and Auston Habershaw are other Boston area authors. Joshua first met Nick Martell at Boskone 56, and less than a year later had a personal best debut author sale for Nick’s first novel. Comics, movies and tennis are the things Joshua does when he isn’t doing the work thing.

Visit Joshua on their Twitter, or website.

What topics are you most looking forward to talking about at Boskone?

Three years ago, I met a young author named Nick Martell at Boskone, which led to my repping him and then selling his first novel.That book, THE KINGDOM OF LIARS, will be coming from Saga Press in May 2020, so this is the first Boskone since when I’ll be able to show off an actual advance reader copy of the book, and the cover.And as of the day of this writing I’m about to go out to market with another author whom I met at a Boskone Kaffeklatsch a couple years ago, and I have fingers crossed I’ll be able to sell that manuscript between now and February.

Bonus: Up for a challenge? Give us a haiku or limerick about Boskone!

The windswept passage
Across to the waterfront
Now developing

If you could be a fly on the wall during any scene or event in literature of film, which scene would it be and why?

Back before special effects were as fancy and full of CGI as they are today — I believe I read that when Luke and Vader are fighting at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, there are people outside of the frame throwing things at them, the detritus etc. that Vader is supposed to be using his mastery of the force to overwhelm Luke.Wouldn’t it have been great to be one of the people throwing stuff, or even watching them throw stuff?

What was your first book event or literary convention? Tell us about it! Perhaps you even have a photo to share?

Depending on one’s definition of “first” and “book,” there are a surprising # of possibilities I could talk about for this, but I’m going to go back to a comic book convention I attended at a hotel off of Times Square back when I was in high school.It wasn’t that big, pint-sized or smaller by today’s standards but they had some Syd Mead art from Blade Runner on display which was totally cool. And they also had a small focus group panel led by someone at DC Comics. I remember quite clearly that one thing that came up as a negative was the whole “skip week” thing. I might have been a high school student, but it was pretty clear to me that it made no sense to have weeks that a company would just decide to entirely take off. Sometime thereafter (we’re talking years, but sometime thereafter), DC did away with skip weeks. Currently, those are the weeks that are filled with Annuals and other assorted one shots.I have no idea the entire process that led to that happening, but I’d like to believe that the focus group at this little comics convention in the early 1980s might have lit a spark someplace.

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

A tribble, of course.A very troublesome tribble, straight from Star Trek.


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.

Visit Mur on their Twitter or website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year? Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

It’s a well-organized and professionally run convention that a lot of people I like and admire attend.

If you could be a fly on the wall during any scene or event in literature of film, which scene would it be and why?

Pretty much any scene in The Lighthouse because I have no idea how much of that movie occurred in one character’s head and how much was real.

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle. Giving girls the lead role in an SF adventure was new to me, and the story blew my mind.

Register for Boskone 57!
Register for Boskone 57 today!

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Get Ready for Boskone: Check out the First B57 Helmuth

Boskone 57 is coming! Read this year’s first Helmuth newsletter (Vol 57, Issue 1) to get the inside details for what’s happening from the guests and participants to the hotel reservations, art show, dealers room, and volunteering. It’s going to be a fantastic convention and we look forward to seeing you there!

Get your membership today and let us know you are coming to Boskone 57.

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NESFA Short Story Contest – Submissions Close Sept 30, 2019

The 2019-2020 NESFA Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Story Contest will be open from June 2019 through September 30, 2019, with winners to be announced at Boskone 57, February 14–16, 2020.

For those of you who would like to learn more about the contest, here’s a short clip from the NESFA Short Story Contest website:

The purpose of the NESFA Short Story 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. This contest is intended for beginning writers. If you have received more than $1000 for your fiction writing from any source on the date you submit your story, and/or have published, in any paying publication, a novel or multiple shorter works adding up to more than 40,000 words you are no longer eligible. If you are unsure, send us your publication history.

The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2019. All submissions must be made via email to storycontest@boskone.org in flat text, rich text, PDF, or any format readable by MS Word, Open Office, or LibreOffice. Please include your submission as an attachment rather than in the body of the email. Story pages should be numbered, with the page number and the title of the story at the top of each page.

A qualifying story must have strong science fiction or fantasy elements and must be shorter than 7,500 words. Stories must be original works of fiction, submitted by their authors. No reprints, fan fiction, or poetry please.

For the full set of rules, please visit the NESFA Short Story Contest website where you can also find the list of past winners. Submissions that do not conform to the guidelines and rules will not be considered. So, be sure to visit the NESFA website to review the full set of details.

We look forward to announcing this year’s winner during the Saturday night Awards Ceremony at Boskone 57! Good luck to all who enter!!

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Announcing Boskone 57’s Musical Guests: Cheshire Moon

We are pleased to announce our Musical Guests for Boskone 57! Please help us welcome Cheshire Moon.

Boskone 57 will take place from February 14-16, 2020, at the Westin Boston Waterfront, in Boston, MA. We look forward to seeing you there for another fantastic convention.


The Cheshire Moon rises over the landscape, smiling down as only a trickster the size of a planet could smile. Caught in that sliver of moonlight, a guitar string, a swath of blue hair, a bow.

A guitar melody drifts across the evening, along with the sweetly sinister counter melody of a careworn fiddle, a pair of faces are found, smiling along with the moon above, the music beckoning you closer….

Cheshire Moon is the musical collaboration of Lizzie Crowe and Eric Coleman. Come join in the fun!

Visit Cheshire Moon  at cheshiremoonband.com.

* * *

Click here to purchase your membership for Boskone 57 today!

Join us at Boskone 57! Click here to purchase your membership for Boskone 57 today. Visit the Boskone 57 website at boskone.org to find out more information about this year’s convention.

Additional Guests will be announced soon.

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Announcing the Boskone 57 Guests

We are pleased to announce our first set of Guests for Boskone 57.

Boskone 57 will take place from February 14-16, 2020, at the Westin Boston Waterfront, in Boston, MA. We look forward to seeing you there for another fantastic convention.

Please help us to welcome the first three of our Guests:

Kim Stanley Robinson is an American novelist, widely recognized as one of the foremost living writers of science fiction. Robinson began publishing novels in 1984. His work has been described as “humanist science fiction” and “literary science fiction”. Robinson himself has been a proud defender and advocate of science fiction as a genre, which he regards as one of the most powerful of all literary forms. (From Kim Stanley Robinson’s website.) Learn more at kimstanleyrobinson.info.

Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over thirty fantasy novels for kids and teens, including Tithe, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Doll Bones, and The Cruel Prince. She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award, the Mythopoeic Award and a Newbery Honor. Her books have been translated into 32 languages worldwide and her series, The Spiderwick Chronicles, was adapted for a feature film. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door. (From Holly Black.) Learn more at blackholly.com.

Eric Wilkerson is an Illustrator who has worked in film, commercials, video games and the publishing industry.  As a professional Illustrator for nearly twenty years, Eric has worked as a freelance and staff artist, having held both lead and senior positions. He has provided concept art, matte painting and art direction services while working in-house for casino/mobile gaming studios and advertising agencies. (From Eric Wilkerson’s website.) Learn more at ericwilkersonart.com.

Join us at Boskone 57! Click here to purchase your membership for Boskone 57 today. Visit the Boskone 57 website at boskone.org to find out more information about this year’s convention.

Additional Guests will be announced soon.


Membership Rates

Online Registration is now open.

Category Full Convention
Adult $60
College* $35
Children K-12* $25
(See Below for more information)

*(school ID may be required)

Memberships for Children and Kids-in-Tow

All children (ages 7–12) who use Dragonslair services must be convention members. However, children who stay with their parents at all times are considered “kids-in-tow,” and need not have memberships. (“Kids-in-tow” do not receive any convention materials.) We are not able to offer babysitting through the convention.

If you have additional questions, please contact us at registration@boskone.org.

Hotel Rates

$159 (plus tax, currently 14.45%) for single through quad – less than 2019! The Boskone Hotel Rate includes free in room WiFi. There is also free WiFi in the Hotel Lobby.

If you have additional questions, please contact us at info@boskone.org.

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Official Artist Jim Burns Sends His Regrets

Dear Members,

With regret we share that Official Artist Jim Burns is unable to join us this year at Boskone due to an emergency that will keep him from travelling to Boston. However, his art will still be on display in the Art Show.

We are in the process of redesigning the “Official Artist Interview with Jim Burns” to be a discussion among artists and art experts who will come together to talk about Jim’s career and his work.

The special presentation that Jim Burns was to give, “The Art of Jim Burns,” which was scheduled for Saturday at 5:00 pm, has been cancelled.

We are also revising the docent tour he was to give of the Art Show on Sunday at 10:00 am to be led by our special exhibit co-curator Joe Siclari.

Please know that Jim is saddened that he is unable to join us this year as he was very much looking forward to it, and is hoping to join us at Boskone next year, if possible. We support Jim in this decision, and thank you all for your understanding.

We have many wonderful and exciting things planned for Boskone this year, and look forward to seeing you all there to celebrate and enjoy this weekend of science fiction, fantasy, and horror with us.

Richard Duffy
Chair, Boskone 56

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Food Options at the Westin and Boskone 56

The Westin Waterfront Boston now requires Boskone to limit the types of food and snack items we can serve in the Con Suite. Specifically, we can no longer provide food items that need to be prepared by our staff, such as hard boiled eggs, cheese cubes, bagels, or the bread loaves we’ve provided in the past. The hotel requirements limit us to prepackaged snacks that come in individually wrapped packaging.

We are doing our best to provide reasonable snack choices including fruit, salty snacks, nuts, cookies, candy, and so on. In addition, we will still have plenty of coffee and hot water for tea, and have a variety of sodas and juices as we’ve done in the past. And the Con Suite will still be a relaxing, convivial space for you to enjoy them in the company of your fellow fans.

We have also been working with the Westin to expand their on-site restaurant hours, and they are also looking into expanding the hours of the Birch Bar.

The Westin has confirmed that individual convention members may bring food and non-alcoholic beverages from any on-site restaurant within the hotel to take away and bring into the function space to eat, including the Con Suite. Note, this is purely for individual people who need to grab a bite and eat quickly during/between sessions. However, you cannot bring food from restaurants that are outside of the hotel into function space or the Con Suite, though you can bring it into your own hotel guest room for consumption.

Current on-site Westin restaurant hours are:

Breakfast: 6:30 am-11:00 am
Lunch: 11:30 am-2:30 pm

Breakfast: 7:00 am-11:30 am
Lunch: 12:00 noon-3:00 pm

Breakfast: 7:00 am–12:00 noon
Lunch: 12:30 pm–3:00 pm

Open: 6:00 am–7:00 pm

Open: 3:00 pm–12:00 midnight

Open: 11:30 am–2:00 am

Sun–Thurs: 11:30 am–12:00 midnight
Fri–Sat: 11:30 am–1:00 am

Open: 4:30 pm–2:00 am

While not the perfect or ideal scenario, we hope these alternative options help in providing you the food you need in order to stay lively and healthy during the con!

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