B55 Mini Interviews with Dana Cameron, Richard Shealy, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert & H. Paul Shuch

With snow in this week’s forecast, what better way to prepare for Boskone by relaxing with our latest set of mini interviews!

Dana Cameron

DanaCameron_7Dana Cameron writes across many genres, but mostly crime fiction and urban fantasy in every possible form. Dana’s work has won multiple Anthony, Agatha, and Macavity Awards, and has been nominated for the Edgar Award. Her six Emma Fielding archaeology mysteries were optioned by Muse Entertainment, and the first, Site Unseen, was made into a movie for the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. Dana will be one of the Writer Guests of Honor at Necon this July, and when she’s not traveling or visiting museums, she’s usually yelling at the TV about historical inaccuracies. Visit her website, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @danacmrn.

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

Boskone is local for me, but more importantly, it covers a wide range of genres (from mystery to science fiction and fantasy to horror), and topics (panels on writing, world-building, etc.). It’s so well organized, and the Boskone folks work really hard to make an interesting convention set in a comfortable environment.

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’m going to say Star Wars. It wasn’t my introduction to science fiction, but it was the first science fiction movie experience that blew my impressionable young mind. I couldn’t stop talking about it for months after, much to the dismay of all around me. It was also the first time I found novelizations of a ‘verse, starting with the movie novelization by “George Lucas” (really Alan Dean foster). I was totally unsubtle when I saw a kid reading A Splinter of the Mind’s Eye (Alan Dean Foster) in science class: I all but grabbed the book out of his hand while yelling “where did you get that?” Slick, that. It was also the first time realized that I was part of a fan community.

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?

This is tough–I’m proud of all of my “firsts” (mystery novel, UF novel, short story, etc.), but for me it’s “Femme Sole,” which appeared in BOSTON NOIR (ed. Dennis Lehane). It was the first time I really understood about how to make my emotions work for me as I was writing the story: I had a very short time to write it and a lot was on the line, at least in my mind. I was taking a chance on writing 18th-century noir and I got so caught up in my own nerves about writing this story that it wasn’t for some time after that I realized my protagonist, Anna Hoyt, was…let’s just say, she isn’t entirely a well person.

2W9R__132151When was the last time you dressed up for Halloween? What costume did you wear?

I try to do something every year for when I dole out candy. The trick, for me, is to find a costume that won’t freak out the little ones, but will be interesting enough to older kids and adults. A vampire bite tattoo on my neck with an apron and a “Merlotte’s Bar and Grill” shirt; Tank Girl was a lot of fun; my academic robes, a wand, and my Hogwarts mug; a long-sleeved shirt with werewolf arms and claws. This year, I dressed up all black, added some lipstick–basically what I’d wear for a night out–and then put on some horns for your basic demon. Some kids took a beat to notice the horns, and asked what they were; I pretended I had no idea how they got there. The kids got all wide-eyed and then we all laughed like hell.

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

I’m working on a couple of short stories, both horror and speculative fiction. I’m excited about this because I have some very interesting images I’d like to be able to use–and it’s challenging (like most projects) because I need to remember that the plot, the theme, and the atmosphere don’t necessarily all happen at once in the writing process. Get the story, then figure out the theme, then work the atmosphere in.

Richard Shealy

RichardShealy_192Richard Shealy is a freelance copyeditor specializing in science fiction and fantasy work from short stories to novels but has worked in broader genre as well. He works with both traditional publishing houses and self-publishing authors. Visit his website, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SFFCopyediting.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

Sitting in the lobby bar with friends off and on at the same table for over twelve hours (with breaks for panels and such; there was always going to be someone still at the table when the break-taker returned). Friends, acquaintances, colleagues and new people joined and left all through that time. This is the core of the con experience: being able to interact in a relaxed way with other con-goers for however long one wishes.

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?”

Good Omens. The book was a constant joy of discovery.

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?

(As I’m a copyeditor, this technically doesn’t apply to me, but I’m taking it anyway!) I have had so many excellent, joyous, moving, etc. experiences throughout my career, but I suppose the one that stands out the most was copyediting Seanan McGuire’s Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day. I was genuinely moved to tears at more than one point. NB: I am constantly finding things to love about projects at hand, so this is a far harder question than it might be otherwise. I am regularly finding myself muttering at characters, cheering a victory and so on!

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

An indie author’s novel. It’s still too early in the project to answer those questions in any specific way, but I’ll give the answer I would give about any of my projects: discerning this particular author’s voice and determining how best to support it.

Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert

SreynoldsalpertSuzanne Reynolds-Alpert writes science fiction, horror, dark fantasy, and the occasional poem. Her short fiction had been published in the anthologies Killing It Softly and The Deep Dark Woods. Her poetry has appeared in places such as the anthology Wicked Witches, Tales of the Zombie War, The Wayfarer: A Journal of Contemplative Literature and Eternal Haunted Summer. Suzanne is a professional editor, holds down a job in marketing, and has degrees in Communication and Sociology. Visit her website, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @SuzsMuses.

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

I attended my first Boskone years ago, as a day-only attendee. I was impressed with the programming, guests, and the serious focus on genre topics. I’ve been looking forward to the opportunity to attend as a program participant.

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 collective experience of reading Animal Farm, 1984, and Brave New World as a pre-adolescent had a profound effect on me. My reaction to these was, “Oh my God, humans will manipulate the truth and facts in order to control other humans?” I literally felt my mind being blown, which was disturbing and exhilarating all at the same time. Thus began my love affair with dystopias, which continues to this day.

Bonus answer: as an adult, reading Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, the first book of hers I’d read, gave me an adult-version mind-blowing similar to the above. She went on to become my favorite author, and I sobbed the day she died.

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

I’m simultaneously, slowly, working on several projects. I wrote very little the past year, due to a combination of health issues, a new job, and Imposter Syndrome. I’ve had a horror, young adult novella in progress for over a year. This has been challenging for me, because I don’t “naturally” write for younger audiences.

I also have a novelette I’ve been writing off and on for over three years. This one is also horror, has a lot of body horror involved. As it’s currently written, there is an attempted rape scene, and I’m rethinking this because of the past several years’ pushback against using rape capriciously as a plot device. I’m trying to decide if there are other ways to get one of my themes across without this scene. So this story has been challenging as well.

H. Paul Shuch

Dr. SETI is the stage name of the blatant exhibitionist who inhabits the body of noted author and educator Dr. H. Paul Shuch (rhymes with luck). A cross between Tom Lehrer and Carl Sagan, it is said that Dr. SETI sings like Sagan and lectures like Lehrer. Armed with a laptop computer and an acoustical guitar, Dr. SETI travels the world making the search for life in space accessible to audiences as diverse as humanity itself. At college campuses, science centers, public lecture halls, and on television and radio, Dr. SETI’s unique mix of science and song seeks to educate as well as entertain. He compels the listener to contemplate a fundamental question, which has haunted humankind since first we realized that the points of light in the night sky are other suns: Are We Alone? Visit his website or find him on Facebook.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

BlizzardCon 2015! My wife and I (along with hundreds of our best friends) were snowed in there for a couple of extra days, over Valentines Day weekend. It was like a second honeymoon.

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?

Although I’m probably better known for my science filks, I think my anti-war song “And The Band Played The Star Spangled Banner” is probably my best work. Inspired by Eric Bogle’s “Galipoli” (aka “And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”), it draws on my experiences during the Vietnam War and afterward – and took me 29 years to complete.

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?

Experiencing Arthur Clarke’s incredible hospitality at 25 Barnes Place, Colombo, in early 2000. His warmth, generosity, and humility will never be forgotten. I wrote him a song for the occasion (“Extraterrestrial Relays”), and after I had sung it for him and his brother Fred, Arthur called in all his household staff and bade me sing it again. Afterward, I gifted him the original draft (autographed to “Arthur Charles Clarke, the world’s second-greatest communications engineer”), which he immediately framed and hung up on the wall of his Ego Chamber.

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B55 Mini Interviews with James Moore, Darlene Marshall, John P. Murphy & Vincent O’Neil

James Moore

jmooreJames A. Moore is the author of over forty novels, including the critically acclaimed Fireworks, Under The Overtree, Blood Red, Blood Harvest, the Serenity Falls trilogy (featuring his recurring anti-hero, Jonathan Crowley) Cherry Hill, Alien: Sea of Sorrows and the Seven Forges series of novels. He has twice been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award and spent three years as an officer in the Horror Writers Association, first as Secretary and later as Vice President. Never one to stay in one genre for too long, James has recently written epic fantasy novels in the series Seven Forges (Seven Forges, The Blasted Lands, City of Wonders and The Silent Army), and the third of his urban fantasy-crime novels in the Griffin & Price series co-authored with Charles R. Rutledge, A Hell Within was released last October. He is working on a new series called The Tides Of War. The first book The Last Sacrifice, came out last year and the sequel, Fallen Gods, in January in 2018. Visit his website, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @JamesAMoore.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

There is a place where people cram bring books for exchange. No cost is accrued, but a great number of books change hands. I had a friend of mine bring over a copy of my first ever published novel House of Secrets and I was so amused that I asked him here he got it. He looked at me and said, “Right there, It was free.” He looked like a kid at Christmas. I was thoroughly flattered.

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?”

Bladerunner. The sumptuous visuals and deeply engaging plot line made that one of my favorite ever first run movies.

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 did a short story called “Spirits” under a very, very tight deadline (24 hours) and had absolutely no time to think about or reflect on what I was writing, the end result was so much better than I expected and I can’t say that happens all that often.

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?

Almost getting into a fist fight with actor James Doohan. I call it a near-death experience, because it was a Star Trek convention and I’m pretty sure the people thee would have killed me for decking Scotty.

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

I was seven the first time I got to decide what I was going to wear for Halloween. I was the Gillman from the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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

I am finishing up the third and final book in the Tides of War series. I’ve never actually written a fantasy series that wasn’t deliberately open ended. This is apocalyptic. I’m not even sure at this moment if there will be a world left by the time I’m done. It’s invigorating and at the same time is helping me finish my science fiction apocalyptic novel, Spores. In all honestly I was hesitant to be that mean, but I’m feeling better about it now. 🙂

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.

Batman (He’s just plain meaner and better at working out the details than the bad guys are.) Doctor Strange (Sorcerer Supreme. he’s got the Emperor’s Force powers whupped, and can probably cure the Night King.) and finally Superman (who can clean up almost any issue faster than the bad guys can realize there’s a problem.)

 

Darlene Marshall

DarleneMarshall_37Darlene Marshall writes award-winning historical romance featuring pirates, privateers, smugglers, and the occasional possum. She loves working at a job where business attire is shorts and a shirt festooned with pink flamingos and palm trees. Marshall lives in North Central Florida, a convenient location for putting the convertible top down and researching sites of great historical significance, which also happen to be at the beach and serve mojitos. Marshall’s day job is writing romance, but her hobby is science fiction fandom. She’s been a broadcast and print journalist, news anchor, radio station owner and obituary writer. She’s a regular blogger at the Heroes & Heartbreakers website (owned by Macmillan Publishing), and is the section leader for Erotic Writing at Compuserve’s Books and Writers Community. Her novels, available in ebook and print from the usual suspects, include Sea Change, The Bride and the Buccaneer, Castaway Dreams, and Smuggler’s Bride. Visit her website, find her on Facebook or Twitter.

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

Who doesn’t want to leave Florida for Boston in February??? Clearly, there’s a strong attraction to Boskone and over the years I’ve found it a perfect balance of programming and entertainment in a quality venue. I always come away from Boskone with fresh knowledge on the craft of writing and quality time spent with friends and fans both old and new.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

Snowcon! My very first Boskone (2003) we were snowed in, trapped in a luxury hotel (with our party supplies) adjacent to a mall with a huge food court. All things considered, there are worse places to ride out a record setting blizzard.

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 always recapture the “sense of wonder” I felt when I read The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester. It opened my eyes to what science fiction could be and while it wasn’t the first science fiction book I read, it may have been the first one that made me want to grab people and say, “Read this!”

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’m fond of all my characters, even when they’re driving me nuts because they won’t do what I want them to do. I have a special fondness for Daphne, the heroine of Castaway Dreams. I’m a big fan of the film Born Yesterday, and Daphne reminded me of Judy Holliday in that classic take on politics, education, cynicism and love.

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

Just this year, and I was a pirate captain, of course.

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

I’m working on a story that may feature the son of the pirate hero from The Pirate’s Secret Baby. It’s slow going though–I always find it more difficult to write “nice guys” than pirates. Go figure.

John P. Murphy

John P. Murphy is an engineer and Nebula-nominated writer living in the greater Boston area. In his day job he works in network security; in his fiction he’s interested in mysteries in science fiction and fantasy. His fiction has appeared in venues including F&SF, Daily Science Fiction, and Nature Magazine. He’s originally from West Virginia and has a hobby roasting coffee. Visit his website or follow him on Twitter @dolohov.

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

You wouldn’t think I’d look forward to Boston in February, would you? And I don’t. BUT it’s the perfect time for a whole lot of my favorite people to start getting grumpy about winter and want to go spend a weekend together and talk about all the stuff we’ve been thinking about and reading over the long winter months. Although I’ve been repeatedly told we’re not allowed to set fires, it’s the old “huddle round the big fireplace” dynamic at work. By February it’s been too cold and too dark for too long, and Boskone always attracts so many people I particularly want to talk to and listen to. By the time the weekend’s over, I’m full of ideas and fired up for new projects.

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?”

Cowboy Bebop, the anime series directed Shinichiro Watanabe. There’s just something about that first blast of music that made me sit back and say “whoa.” I knew I was in for something special, but didn’t quite know what. Getting to know the characters in all their colorful glory, coming to understand who they really were a bit at a time, and the slow realization that Watanabe wouldn’t go easy on them. I remember being stunned by that ending, simultaneously believing it couldn’t be possible and knowing it was inevitable.

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

I’m working on kind of a cross between a space opera and a samurai flick, going by the tentative title Red Noise. It’s a bit outside my wheelhouse, since I don’t usually write much action, but it’s letting me draw on a whole different set of inspirations and old favorites, to try to capture the feel of some of my favorite old stories and movies in a fresh setting.

Vincent O’Neil

voneilVincent H. O’Neil is the Malice Award-winning author of the Frank Cole mysteries (Murder in Exile, Reduced Circumstances, Exile Trust, and Contest of Wills) as well as the theater-themed mystery Death Troupe. Writing under the name Henry V. O’Neil, he recently finished his five-novel military science fiction Sim War series with HarperCollins. Those books are Glory Main, Orphan Brigade, Dire Steps, CHOP Line, and Live Echoes. A graduate of West Point, Vincent is originally from Massachusetts and now resides in Cranston, Rhode Island. Visit his website or find him on Facebook.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

My favorite experience was at my very first Boskone. George R.R. Martin was there, and one afternoon he read from one of the books in his Song of Ice and Fire series. It was a tremendous experience, and Standing Room Only. On a related note, I attend a wide range of conventions, and some of them have lots of cosplayers and celebrity impersonators. When I was checking in at Boskone for the first time, George R.R. Martin was in the lobby speaking with some people. I saw him, and for some bizarre reason my brain said, “Oh look, a George R.R. Martin impersonator.” I blame lack of caffeine for that one.

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 really like this question. My favorite book is also my favorite film –The Godfather. Although I read the novel before seeing the movie, I still remember the excitement of watching certain key scenes play out on the screen. WARNING: SPOILERS. The scene where Michael Corleone is in the restaurant with the gangster Sollozzo and the crooked police Captain McCluskey really carried me away the first time I saw it, even though I already knew how it ended. When Michael excuses himself to go the bathroom (where a gun has been hidden for him) my pulse was already elevated. In the movie, he reaches up where the weapon is supposed to be waiting, and at first he can’t find it. For a second or two I actually wondered if the gun had been misplaced, even though I knew it was there. Then, when he comes back out and sits down with the weapon under his jacket, I felt like I was actually sitting there with him. Sollozzo begins speaking again, but Michael’s too worked up to catch much of it. Al Pacino’s eyes start darting around just as you hear the screech of a street car, and my heart was actually racing for the long moments before he stands up and guns the two men down. I’ve seen that sequence many times since then, but it’s never been the same. I think I was identifying so powerfully with Michael’s motivation to protect his father and his family from this deadly pair that I was basically in his shoes. That’s the film experience I’d like to relive.

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

I recently completed the fifth and final novel in my military science fiction Sim War series (published by HarperCollins under the name Henry V. O’Neil) and decided to write short stories for a bit. Over the years I’ve switched back and forth across full-length novels, screenplays, and short stories because each type requires a different kind of writing and I think it’s good discipline. It’s also fun. My most recent short story is a fantasy tale, more sword than sorcery but definitely containing magic, and the inspiration came to me under unusual circumstances. A little over a year ago I was hospitalized with an emergency appendectomy, and was reading a history of the Borgia family in Renaissance Italy while I recovered. The author of that book could really paint pictures with words, and before I knew it I had an idea about a banished soldier of fortune returning to the city of his birth on the one night that exiles are allowed to come home–and no dueling challenge can be refused. I took my time writing that one, and feel it turned out quite well. It’s called Prodigals’ Night.

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Black Science Fiction at Boskone

This year Boskone features a program with a strong selection of panels and discussions dedicated to black science fiction authors, publishers, and fans. Our program includes everything from black publishers and Afrofuturism to works by authors such as Octavia Butler, science panels that include the future of medicine, writing discussions that tackle young adult fiction, and much, much more!

Here’s a quick list of some of our program items with an emphasis on black science fiction and the authors who will be joining us from across the country. For the full set of program items, view the Boskone 55 program.

Black Publishers in SF/F
Science fiction and fantasy work by black writers is thriving. The environment is slowly (but finally) changing, as more publishers, editors, and artists enter the market every day. Our panelists discuss the lay of the land, the challenges of publishing black-themed content, getting shelf space at large and/or independent bookstores, and more.

Beyond Afrofuturism
Afrofuturism started as by definition an outsider movement. But like many subgenres of speculative fiction, it has had a direct impact on the development of the larger field. Where is Afrofuturism going? Which authors should we be watching as they branch out into other subgenres? Are Afrofuturistic stories now becoming seen simply as science fiction, fantasy, or horror?

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler’s prescient dystopian novel Parable of the Sower was written 25 years ago. Set in the 2020s, it presents a society beset by climate change, social and economic collapse, corporate greed, wealth inequality … need we go on? What did Butler’s masterpiece get right — and wrong? How do her beleaguered characters cope? And what can the novel teach us today?

Afrofuturism Group Reading
Boskone’s Afrofuturism Reading features a wide selection of authors who come together for this special group reading.

Meet Up: The State of Black Science Fiction Facebook Group
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/

Program Participants

E. Ardell
Award-winning author E. Ardell spent her childhood in Houston, Texas obsessed with anything science fiction, fantastic, paranormal or just plain weird. She loves to write stories that feature young people with extraordinary talents thrown into strange and dangerous situations. She took her obsession to the next level, earning a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern Maine where she specialized in young adult genre fiction. She’s a big kid at heart and loves her job as a teen librarian at Monterey Public Library in Monterey, California, where she voluntarily shuts herself in rooms with hungry hordes of teenagers and runs crazy after-school programs for them. When she’s not working, she’s reading, writing, running writers critique groups, trying to keep up with a blog, and even writing fan fiction as her guilty pleasure. Her first YA science fiction novel, The Fourth Piece, was released by 48fourteen Publishing in July of 2016.

Jeff Carroll
Jeff Carroll is pioneering what he calls hip hop horror, science fiction, and Fantasy. His stories always have lots of action and a social edge. He has written and produced 3 films and has written over 5 science fiction and nonfiction books. His short stories have appeared in The Black Science Fiction Society’s anthology and their magazine as well as other anthologies. Jeff produces The Monster Panel a traveling sci-fi panel which features writers of color in a lively discussion of comic books, movies and science fiction.

Gerald L. Coleman
Gerald L. Coleman is a philosopher, theologian, poet, and author residing in Atlanta. Born in Lexington, he did his undergraduate work in Philosophy and English at the University of Kentucky. He followed that by completing a degree in Religious Studies and concluding with a Master’s degree in Theology at Trevecca Nazarene University. He is the author of the epic fantasy novel saga The Three Gifts, which currently includes When Night Falls (Book One) and A Plague of Shadows (Book Two). He has appeared on panels at DragonCon, SOBSFCon, Atlanta Science Fiction & Fantasy Expo, the Outer Dark Symposium, and has been a Guest Author and panelist at JordonCon and Imaginarium. He is a co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets and has recently released three collections of poetry entitled the road is long, falling to earth, and microphone check. You can find him at geraldlcoleman.co.

Gabriel Erkard
Gabriel began his career as a graduate from Berklee College of Music with an entertainment business degree. Through his seven-year career span in corporate America, he’s merged his business-minded skill sets with his creativity. In addition to being an author, he is a pianist, singer, and composer. Currently, he does finance for a media company in Brooklyn, NY. However, his crowning achievement has been The Hidden Eternity Series, a soon-to-be seven-book fantasy tale where the deceased are sorted into one of seven castles based on the crimes of their last life. There, they must go through a maze of their past lives before they can get to their next life. Since publication in early Feb 2017, he has been featured on television and radio several times! His growing fan base is calling “The Hidden Eternity Series” the next “Harry Potter”! He thanks you for your time and would love to see you at the 2018 Boskone Convention.

William Hayashi
William Hayashi is an author, screenwriter and radio personality who hosts the Genesis Science Fiction Radio Show on Friday evenings. His Darkside Trilogy tells the story of what happens in the U.S. when it is discovered that African Americans have been secretly living on the backside of the moon since before Neil Armstrong arrived. He is currently preparing a second trilogy in his Darkside Universe, which will culminate with a seventh volume that winds up the whole saga.

Justin Key
Justin C. Key is a resident physician living in Manhattan with his lovely wife and two sons. His short stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Crossed Genres, and KYSO Flash, as well as in the revolutionary children’s iPad application, FarFaria. He held a writing advice blog for several years at Scribophile.com and worked as a professional health blogger and content editor at WellnessFX while applying to medical school. Justin’s medical training richly informs his writing, and the power of story and narrative allows him to connect with patients on a deeper level. Even as a full-time psychiatry resident, he finds ample time to write. Just don’t ask him how he does it; he wouldn’t be able to tell you.

Errick Nunnally
Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Errick Nunnally served one tour in the Marine Corps before deciding art school would be a safer—and more natural—pursuit. He strives to develop his strengths in storytelling and remains permanently distracted by art, comics, science fiction, history, and horror. Trained as a graphic designer, he has earned a black belt in Krav Maga with Muay Thai kickboxing after dark. Errick’s successes include: the novel, Blood For The Sun; an upcoming novel with ChiZine Publications; a comic strip collection, Lost in Transition; and first prize in one hamburger contest. The following are short stories and their respective anthologies: Welcome to the D.I.V. (Wicked Witches); Harold At The Halfcourt (Inner Demons Out); The Last Apology (A Dark World of Spirits and The Fey); You Call This An Apocalypse? (After The Fall); Recovery (Winter Animals: stories to benefit PROTECT.ORG); A Hundred Pearls: PROTECTORS 2 (stories to benefit PROTECT.ORG) and The Elevation of Oliver Black (Distant Dying Ember). He also has two lovely children and one beautiful wife.

Erin Roberts
Erin Roberts is a writer and communications consultant from Washington, DC. Her fiction has been published or is forthcoming in Podcastle, Clarkesworld, and The Dark, and her non-fiction has appeared on Tor.com and in People of Colo(u)r Destroy Fantasy, People of Color Take Over FSI, and Cascadia Subduction Zone. She is a Staff Writer for Zombies, Run!, an Associate Editor for Escape Pod, and a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and Stonecoast MFA program.

Kenneth Rogers Jr.
Kenneth has been living and teaching in Baltimore City since 2010 with his wife, Sarah, and two daughters, Mirus and Amare. In that time, he has taught 6-10th grade English in Baltimore, MD. Kenneth has earned a masters degree in education from Johns Hopkins School of Education, the number one ranked school of education in the country. Since growing up and moving from Peoria, IL he graduated from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH in 2008 with a dual degree in Political Science and English, he has written and published six novels. Those six novels are: Thoughts in Italics, a book of short stories that range from speculative to science fiction; Writing in the Margins, a novel that intertwines the characters of Jack Mueller and John Rubaker that makes the reader question what is reality and fiction; Sequence, a dystopian science fiction novel telling the story of Andrea Remus and Thomas Charon through each memory they are forced to relive as they are downloaded in a computer known as the Pandora Complex to save the human race; The Diary of Oliver Lee, the first in a young adult trilogy that tells the story of Oliver Lee, his ability to “stream” stories from the minds of those around him, and his search for the first couple he ever “streamed”; Love and Fear, book two in the Liturian trilogy which tells the story of Kevin and his continued search for Oliver Lee and answers to his possible future and fate; Raped Black Male: A Memoir which tells Kenneth’s story of what it means to be a male rape survivor, overcoming stereotypes of what it means to be black, and male, and that men can’t be raped; Heroes, Villains, and Healing: A Guide for Male Survivors Using DC Superheroes and Villains which uses comic books and back research to help male survivors of child sexual abuse understand and heal from their childhood sexual trauma.

Christine Taylor-Butler
Christine Taylor-Butler is the author of more than 80 commercially published books for children, including titles in the “True Book” nonfiction series at Scholastic. A graduate of MIT, she holds degrees in both Civil Engineering as well as Art & Design. Her speculative series: The Lost Tribes, debuted in 2015 followed by the sequel Safe Harbor. Book three, entitled Trials, debuts in Fall 2018. Kirkus Reviews said, “…the solid character development, strong writing, and action will appeal to sci-fi and adventure-story readers alike…..A great choice for fans of Rick Riordan and the Artemis Fowl books” She lives in Kansas City.

Kenesha Williams
Kenesha Williams is the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Black Girl Magic Lit Mag. She took to heart the advice, “If you don’t see a clear path for what you want, sometimes you have to make it yourself,” and created a Speculative Fiction Literary Magazine featuring characters that were representative of herself and other women she identified with. Kenesha has always had a love for the weird and the macabre which she has happily parlayed into Black Girl Magic Literary Magazine, finding the best in undiscovered talent in speculative fiction.

Clarence Young
Zig Zag Claybourne wishes he’d grown up with the powers of either Gary Mitchell or Charlie X but without the Kirk confrontations. His work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Vex Mosaic, Alt History 101, Stupefying Stories, The City: A Cyberfunk Anthology, UnCommon Origins, and others. His latest novel is The Brothers Jetstream: Leviathan. Visit him at www.WriteonRighton.com.

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For the full schedule of events and registration information, visit us online at www.boskone.org Find us on Facebook, on Twitter, and check out the Boskone Blog.

Register for Boskone 55 today!

Posted in Black Science Fiction, Boskone 55, Program | 1 Comment

B55 Mini Interviews with Mary Robinette Kowal, R.W.W. Greene, Marianna Martin PhD & Craig Miller

Mary Robinette Kowal

mrobinettekowalMary Robinette Kowal is the author of historical fantasy novels: The Glamourist Histories series and Ghost Talkers. She has received the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, three Hugo awards, the RT Reviews award for Best Fantasy Novel, and has been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. Stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, several Year’s Best anthologies and her collections Word Puppets and Scenting the Dark and Other Stories. As a professional puppeteer and voice actor (SAG/AFTRA), Mary has performed for LazyTown (CBS), the Center for Puppetry Arts, Jim Henson Pictures, and founded Other Hand Productions. Her designs have garnered two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence, the highest award an American puppeteer can achieve. She records fiction for authors such as Kage Baker, Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi. Mary lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and over a dozen manual typewriters. Visit her website, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @MaryRobinette.

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

This will be my first Boskone, but I’ve been hearing about it for years. What I hear is that it’s got a strong literary track and a ton of really smart fans. That’s enough, in and of itself, to get me excited. Plus, honestly, Boston is where the Puppet Showplace is, so when you have one of the best cons in the US in the same city as a venerable puppetry institution, it’s kinda like a giant neon sign saying “Come to me…”

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?

Golly… sometimes, I feel like just my resume would make people roll their eyes. “Your MC is a puppeteer AND a writer AND a voice actor. What else, does she play violin, too?” Well… yes. Actually. For seventeen years.

2APz__128031When was the last time you dressed up for Halloween? What costume did you wear?

This Halloween! We live on the second floor and it’s a little bit of a pain to run down the stairs so… since we have a balcony, I levitated down a basket of goodies while dressed as a witch. It’s great fun and I get to deploy my evil cackle, too.

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.

Eleven from Stranger Things, because she’s got the mental powers to give the Emperor a run for his money. Mary Poppins, because she’s clearly a time lord and thus equipped to deal with the Master. My mom, because she would Bless Their Hearts into shame and surrender.

 

R.W.W. Greene

20170810_094602R.W.W. Greene is a New Hampshire writer with an MFA that he likes to exorcise in dive bars and dark coffee shops. His work has seen daylight in Daily Science Fiction, the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, and The New Republic, among other places. He keeps typewriters, collects bees, and Tweets about it all @rwwgreene. Visit his website or find him on Facebook.

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 filled a couple of those Moleskin notebooks with tips, quotes, and ideas that I’ve gleaned from Boskone over the years. I never fail to come away inspired by something I have seen or heard. Just being in the uni-mind generated by so many bright, talented people improves my mental health. Boskone is a living history of where speculative fiction has been and where it’s going.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

I had dinner in the faux Irish pub with James Patrick Kelly, Brendan Dubois, and Jeffrey A. Carver at the last Boskone. We talked about writing, and I felt like I’d been allowed to sit at the big-kids table.

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 have a character in as-yet unpublished, unfinished novel named “Brooklyn Lamontagne.” He’s a Queens kid, a street hustler, living in a 1970s America wherein the search for extraterrestrial life has been violently justified and taxi-cabs can be programmed with punch cards and 8-track tapes. I’m sort of enamored with Brooklyn–his all-American, gritty, can-do, to hell with the system–and I hope to join him on many adventures.

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?

People are always shocked — and I often use that to my advantage — that my first “real” job was working in a veterinary hospital’s crematory. At 15, I made $3.65 an hour to reduce beloved pets — dogs, cats, litters of young — to ashes. Often, I was recruited to help “put them to sleep” as well.

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

I’m writing the back half of a novel about a slow apocalypse. The main character is a 20-something-year-old woman looking for a reason to live in a world that doesn’t offer much of a future for people her age. It’s kind of a modern-day Millennial’s tale made speculative. I love the idea and the characters. The challenge, as always, is finding more than quarter hours in which to write.

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.

If ever a non-Who character had a chance to match the intellect of Missy, it would be Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. (It would also give Missy a chance to drop some classic and cool innuendos.) The Night King can, what, raise the dead? Break steel weapons? Resist fire? I guess I’d recruit The Mighty Dragon from Peter Clines’ Ex-Heroes series. The Mighty Dragon has super zombie-pulping strength, can fly, is invulnerable, and breathes fire (good enough for the average wraith). The Emperor seems tough enough, with his TK, Force lightning, and precognition, but he was easily grabbed from behind and tossed down a Death Star shaft. I’m going to save some money on this one and hire Quasimodo, who has no fear of heights and has a history of throwing villains off tall buildings.

Marianna Martin PhD

mmartinA PhD in Cinema and Media Studies and founder of Genretastic.com, Marianna Martin got her start as a hopeless Star Trek nerd in suburban Boston. Her lifelong fascination with the structures of genre storytelling led to an abiding love of everything pertaining to the Marvel Universe–and a dissertation on the same. After an interlude working in Development in the US film and television industry, she decided that while helping other writers bring their stories to life was rewarding, finally writing her own would be even more so, and she now splits her time between her editorial duties at Genretastic.com and completing her debut SF YA novel. Visit her website, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @genretastic.

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

This is my first Boskone, and I’m quite excited. It has such positive word-of-mouth as an attendee experience, and I can’t wait to see for myself.

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

This year, actually! I hadn’t in a long time, but the right party/costume came together, and I went as Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. I’m trying to get up the courage to cosplay her at a future con, because it was a lot of fun.

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

I’m currently splitting my time between my writing/editorial duties at genretastic.com (the inclusive genre fandom site I founded) and getting my Young Adult science fiction novel to final draft. I’m really excited about the characters and world in the story I’m telling, but it’s hard to find the long stretches of time to settle in and write the way I prefer to work.

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.

Carol Danvers (Marvel)–she’s a total badass and knows her Star Wars trivia, Jessica Jones (Marvel), because she knows how to hero and hates time travel, and Garnet (Steven Universe) because she’s totally unflappable.

Craig Miller

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

While I don’t often travel out of Southern California for conventions any more, I used to attend a lot. And Boskones, which I’ve attended many of, were always filled with intelligent, interesting fans and I enjoyed the camaraderie, the broad scope of the program, and the general affability of everyone involved. Though not the Boston-in-February weather. (In fact, a 1980s Boskone was this L.A.-boy’s first experience with snow.) However, compared to last February, when I was on a glacier in Norway where Shakelton and other polar explorers trained, I expect Boskone’s weather to be favorable.

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?”

Star Wars, of course, is near and dear to my heart for all kinds of reasons. I grew up a science fiction geek, loving science fiction in books and movies. Seeing Star Wars for the first time, a few weeks before the film opened in theaters, was magical. As with so many people, when the Star Destroyer cruised overhead in the opening sequence, coming and coming and coming onto the screen, it was the culmination of everything I wanted to see in a science fiction film. They had me.

There are two. For quite different reasons.

The Empire Strikes Back was the first movie I worked on from start to finish. I didn’t write it or direct it, of course, but everyone who works on a film feels a proprietary interest. And my role in things included spending weeks at the studio at various times, spending time with all of the principals in order to do my job, coming up with ideas to promote the film and writing all kinds of pieces about it. It also included operating R2-D2 for outside things like Sesame Street and commercials and award shows. And it led to my meeting and dating and eventually marrying my wife.

The other work that stands out is a show I co-created, co-produced, and wrote a couple dozen episodes of. An animated series titled Pocket Dragon Adventures, based on a character created by artist Real Musgrave. We did 104 episodes which aired all over the world, including running on the BBC seven days a week for six years.

vDgX__127681When was the last time you dressed up for Halloween? What costume did you wear?

This year. I went as Po, the main character from Kung Fu Panda, to Larry & Fuzzy Niven’s annual Halloween party.

 

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What’s on Tap for Boskone’s Free Friday Afternoon Programming?

Free Friday AfternoonStill on the fence about Boskone? Consider checking us out on Friday, February 16th for an afternoon of free programming. That’s right, from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Boskone is FREE and open to the public!

We’ve packed in lots of programming to give you a taste of why so many people love Boskone.

With more than 40 program items, including panels, autographings, and reading from your favorite authors, Boskone offers a little something for everyone.

Free Friday Afternoon Programming Highlights:

  • Gaming includes:
    • Istanbul
    • Moonquake Escape / Leaf Me Alone
    • Splendor
    • St. Petersburg
  • Kaffeeklatsches with:
    • James Cambias
    • Jane Yolen
    • Jeff Hecht
    • Steven Popkes
    • Walter Hunt
  • Readings by:
    • Alan Gordon
    • Catherine Asaro
    • James Patrick Kelly
    • Walter Jon Williams
  • Panels include:
    • AIs and the Female Image
    • Armchair Detectives
    • Big YA
    • Boskone’s Regency Dance with Guest of Honor Mary Robinette Kowal
    • Curse Your Inevitable Romantic Subplot!
    • Interstellar Travel — Separating the Reality From the Fiction
    • Reimagining the Book
    • Star Wars Mad Libs
    • Stories Before the Apocalypse
    • The 10 Books That Made Me a Fan
    • The New Doctor Is Coming!
    • The Real Hero of Hogwarts
    • YA Fiction Guest Interview: Tamora Pierce

These are just a few of our Free Friday Afternoon program items. There is so much more to enjoy at Boskone this year! Check out Boskone 55’s full program schedule to see what elseis in store for you.

After 6:00 pm on Friday and through the rest of the convention, you’ll need to purchase a membership to stay and enjoy the events, panels, interviews, games, and more! Weekend passes as well as day passes are available.

Come early, stay late, and return for more. It all begins at 2:00 pm on Friday, February 16. See you there!

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B55 Mini Interviews with Jon Hunt, Juliana Spink Mills, Christopher Irvin &Kenneth Schneyer

Jon Hunt

JhuntI illustrate all kinds of games, role playing manuals, book covers, magazines, album covers, and t-shirts. I also do storyboards, concept art and visual development. I have illustrated eleven picturebooks for children and have written four of them. I am a founding contributor for Art Hive Magazine where I write and illustrate the monthly column “Art Drone”.  I worked as the art director and in-house illustrator for Frombie where I helped to design collectible toys, graphic novels, pins, posters and stickers. I also sell collectible pins and comics through my own company called EEPz. Visit his website, find him on Facebook or follow him on Instagram.

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 raised in the North East and Boskone was the first convention I ever attended. I really enjoy the chill atmosphere of Boskone. Since I am an illustrator, the Art Show is definitely a focal point for me. It is one of the best-run shows I have ever entered work in. I can always count on being humbled by a diverse and inspiring selection of paintings and prints by some of the most talented and influential artists working in the genre. Boskone is also one of the most laid back and conversation-friendly conventions I have ever attended. I look forward to catching up with friends as well as networking with artists, art directors, editors and fans.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

Even though I was asked to answer only one question I couldn’t resist bringing up one of my favorite Boskone memories. This was during Boskone 52 (2015)– There was a snow storm that year, (which unfortunately lowered the attendance at the convention and shut down the entire city of Boston, including the airport) but as luck would have it, I was traveling with a group of my students and we made the best of it by playing games, swimming in the hotel pool, sketching while eating the leftover con suite food and all 5 of us camping out in my hotel room. Best flight delay I ever had!

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?

The piece that stands out for me is something that hardly anyone has seen. It is an illustrated treatment/screenplay called Jaz:Rifts. I had hopes of getting it optioned or at least using it as leverage to get work in the entertainment industry, but that will probably never happen. The reason it is important to me is because this was the first time I wrote and visualized a project like this from beginning to end. I wanted to create a story that was action-packed and entertaining while not pandering to the typical “Hollywood” expectations of how male and female characters should behave. It taught me to get into the heads of two very different characters and discover the joy of writing their dialog and exploring how their relationship developed through the course of the plot. It was also a lot of fun to draw Lovecraftian creatures, big guns, a guy in a cape and a bad-ass female African american monster fighter in black leather.

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?

The extreme mediocrity of my life is inconceivable to most people.

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

I am currently working on multiple freelance projects. Each of them offers unique challenges and opportunities. I am currently illustrating a wraparound cover for Book 4 of the Krög The Battle Prince fantasy series. For the past year and a half, I have been involved with the O’Keefe Music Foundation (OMF). My job is to design and illustrate 12″” vinyl album covers. The first project was for a collection of Tool cover songs and the second is a collection of Danzig songs re-imagined by the OMF kids. The Danzig project has been quite a challenge since I not only painted the cover of the album but also the 12″”x 24″” gatefold– which is a group portrait of 17 young musicians! For another exciting ongoing project I am responsible for designing characters who appear in the game Susurrus: Season of Tides. This project is especially challenging and fulfilling since the characters represent a broad range of ethnicities, body types and genders. Side Note: I met my art director, Duncan Eagleson at Boskone!

Juliana Spink Mills

JMillsJuliana Spink Mills was born in England, but grew up in Brazil. Now she lives in Connecticut, and writes science fiction and fantasy. She is the author of Heart Blade and Night Blade, the first two books in the young adult Blade Hunt Chronicles urban fantasy series. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies and online publications. Besides writing, Juliana works as a Portuguese/English translator, and as a teen library assistant. She watches way too many TV shows, and loves to get lost in a good book. Her dream is to move to Narnia when she grows up. Or possibly Middle Earth, if she’s allowed a very small dragon of her own. Visit her website, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @JSpinkMills.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

One of my favorite things to do at Boskone is spend my free moments by the hotel lobby bar, catching up with old friends and making new ones. It’s at moments like this that I truly feel like a part of the science fiction and fantasy community.

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 read The Lord of the Rings for the first time when I was eleven, on a family vacation in Brazil. That book followed me to the beach, to the rocks while my family fished, and even into the ocean on a motor-powered canoe. It was the first big fantasy epic I ever read, and I can still remember that feeling of absolute immersion, where the story seemed more real than the gorgeous scenery around me. I have incredibly special memories of this experience, although I think it would be impossible to replicate that level of enthrallment today.

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

At the moment I’m waiting for edit notes for a short story I wrote; it’s part of an upcoming science fiction anthology called The Last City, which has a shared world premise. This was my first time writing for a shared world, and it was a fun challenge. Trying to stay within the world building guidelines while doing something different from everyone else’s stories took some thought. In the end, though, I was very pleased with my murder-by-flesh-eating-fungus crime story.

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.

To start with, I’ll take Kaladin from Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive, a great warrior and an honorable man who cares deeply about his friends and teammates. For magical back-up, as well as that rogue’s touch that can come in handy when other paths fail, I choose Delilah ‘Lila’ Bard, from V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy. Finally, every team of heroes needs a tech genius to guide them: my pick is Pidge (aka Katie Holt) from Voltron Legendary Defender, who not only is a genius supreme, but a great fighter and pilot.

Christopher Irvin

cirvinChristopher Irvin is the author of Ragged; or, The Loveliest Lies of All. His debut collection, Safe Inside the Violence, was a finalist for the 2016 Anthony Award for Best Anthology or Collection. He lives in Boston, MA with his wife and two sons. Visit his website, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @chrislirvin.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

I attended Boskone for the first time two years ago and had a blast running Noir at the Bar with Errick Nunnally. I was a little anxious as the convention is huge and crammed with excellent programming, but everyone was so welcoming and a ton of people came out for our late night event (didn’t hurt to have a bar and dessert table close by as well!) It was great to meet John Langan and Sarah Langan (no relation) for the first time in person, and overall it was just a wonderful weekend. Looking forward to doing it again this 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?

My grandparents own a summer house in Michigan that’s around 125 years old and sits on the edge of a bluff looking out onto the lake. It was added onto several times over the course of history, turning it into lovely (but also kind of creepy) hodge-podge of a cottage. My grandparents bought the house in the early 1980’s after the previous owner, a woman, died in the house of old age. Several people in my family say they have seen her ghost in the house…but the story that really gets me – about fifteen years ago or so a crew of painters were working on the exterior of the house. My grandparents drove up from Chicago to see family in Grand Rapids before heading over to the summer house. When they arrived the men were taking a lunch break on the deck. The foreman greeted my grandparents and told them that my grandfather’s mother will be excited to see them. When my grandparents acted confused, the men said they’d seen an older woman walking around the inside of the house. My great grandmother (grand father’s mother) was in a retirement home outside of Chicago at the time. No one was in the summer house…

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

I’m working on two projects to follow my novel, Ragged; or, The Loveliest Lies of All. I had so much fun writing anthropomorphic characters that I’m going to keep at it. Figg is a novella that takes place in the spring following the events of Ragged, centering on Figg, a mustachioed, former bare-knuckled boxing, toad and his cranberry bog/distillery. The second is an untitled novel that takes a character from Ragged into a Regency era-esque London. The book requires a lot of research, but I’m thrilled to be working on it.

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.

Oh, man! The choices! I’ll go with Saitama (One-Punch Man) because he can stop anything. Hulk – who doesn’t like a good HULK SMASH!? And…Hellboy, as he’s one of my all-time favorites. Between the three, we’ll get a lot of angry fists flying, and a serious dose of dry, disgruntled comedy that we all need.

Kenneth Schneyer

KenSchneyerKenneth Schneyer’s most recent story, “Keepsakes”, appeared in the November/December issue of Analog. A finalist for both the Nebula and Sturgeon Awards, he has published over 30 stories in such venues as Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Uncanny, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Clockwork Phoenix 3 & 4, the Escape Artists podcasts, and elsewhere. His first collection, The Law & the Heart came out in 2014. Visit his website, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ken_schneyer.

What is your favorite Boskone memory or experience?

I’m sentimentally attached to the Boskone 53 panel “What Are Kids Really Reading,” which featured my son, along with the daughters of Kate Baker, Dora Goss, and Fran Wilde, in a discussion moderated by Emma Caywood. I was the beaming, proud parent during the whole thing.

I loved my first Boskone (2010), in which I got to meet some of my science fiction heroes, such as Alex Jablokov, Jim Kelly, Alastair Reyholds, and Michael Swanwick.

I shall always be devoted to the desserts on gallery night. 🙂

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 think I want to re-live individual moments in books or films, moments where either I’m hit in the head with a shattering reveal or where something deep in my own history is twanged.

I’ve never had a more intense “Holy sh*t!” moment than the reveal near the ending of Michael Cunningham’s The Hours; the film didn’t hit me nearly so hard, because I’d already read the novel. (I suppose I would have had a similar moment with the reveal in The Sixth Sense except that a buddy had already (with my permission) given me a spoiler for it.)

As for the “twang” moments, I remember sitting in the movie theater in 1978/79 when the first Superman movie came out, and the first fanfare in the overture was timed with the appearance of the “S” emblem on the screen. Every hair on my body stood on end.

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 think that “Hear the Enemy, My Daughter” (Strange Horizons May, 2013) comes closest to saying something important, on two different levels — first the dilemma of child soldiers, and second the fundamental alienness of children; it also says something about grief and what it means to be a parent.

I’m also proud of my most recent novelette “Keepsakes” (Analog Nov/Dec 2017), because I think it begins to say something important about memory and age.

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

I’m working on a second draft of a story about the nature of texts; it’s fun and brand new.

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Going Mobile and Staying Connected at Boskone

With over 350 program items and nearly 200 program participants, there are a lot of things to keep track of at Boskone this year. But we have an app for that!

(Actually, we have your choice of two apps for that!)

With your smart phone, tablet, or computer, you can use the Grenadine Event Planner app or the KonOpas app to personalize your very own Boskone 55 schedule!

Online Schedules

The Boskone 55 schedule is online as a schedule that can be personalized as well as a text-only listing.

The Boskone Schedule Apps

Grenadine Event Guide is an (IOS or Android) application available on your phones and mobile devices.  Grenadine is the database we use to set up the Boskone schedule.


Download on the AppStore
Get it on Google Play

Once you have installed and launched the application, enter code “boskone55” to download the correct schedule.

Note: If you have set up a Grenadine account in the past for organizing your Boskone schedule, you can reuse that same account. Otherwise you may need to sign up as a new user.

KonOpas is a website which can be viewed in any browser, but which will store all its data in the browser so you can still view it when you have no internet connectivity.

Access the KonOpas schedule at http://schedule.boskone.org

Tweet Your Experience 

Use #boskone to share your thoughts on Twitter.

Boskone Internet Access

The hotel lobby offers free internet access.

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