Announcing Mary Robinette Kowal, Boskone’s Guest of Honor

Boskone is delighted to announce Mary Robinette Kowal as our Guest of Honor. Mary will be joining us February 16-18, 2018 at the Westin Waterfront Hotel for a terrific convention!

Join us at Boskone by buying your membership today.

photo credit © 2012 Rod Searcey

Hugo-award winning author, Mary Robinette Kowal is a novelist and professional puppeteer. Her debut novel Shades of Milk and Honey (Tor 2010) was nominated for the 2010 Nebula Award for Best Novel. In 2008 she won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, while two of her short fiction works have been nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Short Story: “Evil Robot Monkey” in 2009 and “For Want of a Nail” in 2011, which won the Hugo that year. Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, and several Year’s Best anthologies, as well as in her collection Scenting the Dark and Other Stories from Subterranean Press.

Kowal is also an award-winning puppeteer. In high school, she took up puppetry as a hobby, but as Kowal says, she “never thought of it as something you could get paid for.” Instead, she went to East Carolina University to pursue an art degree, minoring in theater and speech. While performing as Audrey II in a performance of Little Shop of Horrors, she learned that a professional puppeteer had come to the show. It was a turning point. Kowal went on to intern at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA. With over twenty years of experience, she 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.

Her career in puppetry consumed much of Kowal’s creative energy for over ten years. Although she wrote in high school and college, it wasn’t until her brother moved his family to China that she began writing again. Like Lewis Carroll and J.M. Barrie, she started creating children’s fantasy as a way to stay connected to her young niece and nephew. Reminded of how much she enjoyed writing, she began submitting short stories and made her first sale in 2005, and her first professional sale to Strange Horizons in 2006.

When she isn’t writing or puppeteering, Kowal brings her speech and theater background to her work as a voice actor. She is a member of SAG/AFTRA. As the voice behind several audio books and short stories, she has recorded fiction for authors such as Kage Baker, Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi. She likes to describe voice acting as “puppetry, without the pain.”

Mary lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and over a dozen manual typewriters. Sometimes she even writes on them. Visit www.maryrobinettekowal.com.

 

Buy your Boskone membership today!

 

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Gearing Up for Boskone 55

It’s the middle of summer, which can only mean Boskone 55 is coming in fewer then 6 months and our team is kicking into high gear as we plan for next year’s convention. We will have a few new announcements coming soon, which should be a lot of fun!

In the meantime, to help us in the early stages of planning, we have set up two forms: one to help gather ideas for Boskone and one to enable potential program participants to request a survey. If you’d like to share your thoughts with us, this is the best way to let us know what you are thinking.

Here are the links to the Boskone 55 planning forms:

  • Program Participants:  If you would like to be considered as a potential Program Participant, please send us your contact information via this form.
  • Program Ideas: If you have a program idea that you’d like to share with us, please visit our Program Idea Form.

Register for Boskone — Weekend Rates are Now Available:

Save save some time and buy your membership today for Boskone 55. Plus, buying your membership early is a great way to let us know you are coming. We look forward to seeing you there!

Boskone 55
February 16-18, 2018

Visit the Boskone website for more information.

 

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Boskone 54 Flash Fiction Slam Results

The Boskone Flash Fiction Slam returned for its fourth year with nine writers stepping up to the challenge of writing and reading a short story in under three-minutes. A panel of esteemed judges offered critique for each author. Each story was rated on a scale of 1-5 with scores tallied to determined the winners.

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(R to L) M. Adrian Sellers, George Galuschak, Mikhu Paul

This year’s winner is M.Adrian Sellers with second place to George Galuschak and third place to Mihku Paul. Two years ago, M. Adrian Sellers placed third in the Boskone 52 Flash Fiction Slam. Since Boskone Flash Fiction Slam is a regional qualifier to the New Hampshire Writers’ Project annual Three Minute Fiction Slam, Mark is invited to participate in the finals held NH Institute of Art on March 9, 2017.

Th20170219_101601anks to judges James Patrick Kelly, Dana Cameron, Bruce Coville, Leigh Perry, to moderator Rob Greene and to all nine writers who participated: Bob Kuhn, M. Adrian Sellers, Robin Orm Hansen, Mihku Paul, Jason Febery, Christopher Cornell, George Galuschak, Chia Evans and Mike Ciaraldi.

 

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Congratulations to Jo Walton and Kirbi Fagan!

On Saturday, February 18, 2017, the New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA) held its awards ceremony and announced the winners of the 2016 Skylark Award andthe Gaughan Award. Congratulations to our winners!

2017 Skylark Award

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

 

2017 Skylark Award Winner:
Jo Walton

Jo Walton SkylarkJo Walton has published thirteen novels, three poetry collections and an essay collection. She won the John W. Campbell Award in 2002, the World Fantasy Award for Tooth and Claw in 2004, the Hugo and Nebula awards for Among Others in 2012, the Tiptree Award for My Real Children and the Locus Non Fiction award for What Makes This Book So Great in 2014. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal. She reads a lot, enjoys travel, talking about books, and eating great food. She plans to live to be ninety-nine and write a book every year. Her most recent novel is Necessity.

2017 Gaughan Award

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

2017 Gaughan Award Winner: Kirbi Fagan

kirbifagan-gaughn-awardKirbi Fagan is an award-winning Metro Detroit based illustrator who specializes in creating art for young readers. Her illustrations are known for their magical themes, nostalgic mood, bright colors, and powerful characters. Kirbi’s work has been acknowledged by organizations such as Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles and New York, ImagineFX, Art Order and the International Writers & Illustrators of the Future. Recent clients include, Marvel, Capstone Publishing, Stone Arch Books and Dark Horse Comics. Kirbi lives by two words… “spread joy.”

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Use #boskone to share your thoughts and photos

Screenshot 2016-02-18 at 7.46.10 AMNot everyone can brave the cold New England winter to make it to Boskone. If you’re using social media, like Twitter or Instagram, considering tagging your posts with #boskone to share your experiences and photos.

 

 

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Registration opens at 1pm on Friday

Welcome to the first day at Boskone 54!

Registration is open on Friday from 1pm-8:30pm.

If you have already purchased a Boskone 54 membership or if you need to purchase one, head to our Registration area by taking the up escalators near MJ O’Connor’s pub. Registration will be located at the top of the escalators in the Harbor Foyer.

Here for the Free Friday Programming from 2pm-6pm? You don’t need to stand in line at Registration, but  you’ll be able to pick up a pocket program on tables in the area.

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B54 Mini Interviews: Jo Walton and Robert B. Finegold

With one day left until Boskone 54 begins, we give you the last of this year’s mini interviews. Thanks to all the program participants who took part!

Jo Walton

jowalton_55Jo Walton has published thirteen novels, three poetry collections and an essay collection. She won the John W. Campbell Award in 2002, the World Fantasy Award for Tooth and Claw in 2004, the Hugo and Nebula awards for Among Others in 2012, the Tiptree Award for My Real Children and the Locus Non Fiction award for What Makes This Book So Great in 2014. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal. She reads a lot, enjoys travel, talking about books, and eating great food. She plans to live to be ninety-nine and write a book every year.

Her most recent novel is Necessity. Find her online at her website or on Twitter.

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

I’m just finishing writing my first ever actual science fiction novel. Fantasy is easy for me, because fantasy leans on history, and I’m pretty good on that. Alternate history too, it’s history. Science fiction, while it has always been what I most like to read, is more challenging, because when you’re dealing with the future you have to make it all up but you can’t get it wrong. I always worry about scientific consistency and getting everything the right level of real. I’ve written science fiction at short length, but this is the first time I’ve done it as a novel. So that’s exciting!

If you could recommend a book to your teenage-self, what book would you recommend? Why did you pick that book?

Does it have to be something that was already written when I was a teenager? Because when I was a teenager I did nothing but read, and most of what I read was SF, and so there really wasn’t much that was available that I didn’t read at the time. I’d do insane things like order the complete backlist of Robert Silverberg from the library. Of course there have been a lot of things published since that I’d have loved when I was a teenager, and that would have been really useful to me, but they weren’t around then.

What were the gaps? Stuff that never had a UK publication, of course, but I’m blanking on what specifically would have been around then.

Hmm, waaaay back — oh, I know. Tale of Genji! I didn’t read that until this year and it’s really bizarre and really great. I’d have loved it. The Decameron! Yes, totally. Purgatorio and Paradiso. I read Inferno, but I never got on to the other two, and they’re amazing, did you know there’s no gravity in Paradiso? It all takes place floating in the air and rising upwards. It must be the first book in zero gravity. Some idiot told me they weren’t as good as the first volume, but I shouldn’t have listened, the whole trilogy is great. Not sure if the Ciardi translation was around then, but it is now. But not Orlando Furioso. I tried to read that when I was a teenager, because C.S. Lewis compared it to Tolkien, but I couldn’t.

Who is your all-time favorite fictional character? What is it about this character that you love?

I think today I’ll say Therem Harth rem i’r Estraven. I love his honour and his openness and his curiosity and his forward-looking open-eyed vision, and his practicality, and his tenderness, and the complexity of his past, and the fact he really is human without being a man or a woman. He’s always my first pick for “if you could have a dinner party with anyone from history or fiction”. I like to imagine him sitting down with Pico and Cicero and Ada and Emilie du Chatelet and Alexander the Great and asking them quiet incisive interested questions.

Robert B. Finegold, MD

robertb-finegold_275Robert B Finegold, M.D. is a radiologist living in Maine. He has an undergraduate degree in English (Creative Writing and British Literature), has been a university newspaper cartoonist, and served as a Major in the U.S. Army during the first Gulf War. He is a two-time Writers of the Future Contest Finalist whose work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, GigaNotosaurus, Straeon 2, Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, and the anthologies Robotica: The Real Relationships of Artificial Lifeforms, 1st & Starlight, and 2nd & Starlight. On Facebook, find him at Robert B Finegold’s Kvells and Kvetchings.

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

I’ve a completed an “occult thriller”, a novel-length sequel to a Kabbalist novelette that will one day appear in Marc Blake’s Straeon 2. I’ve written the first third of a Jack Vance-like “science fantasy” that takes place on Precipice, the cliff world setting of my tale Lirazel’s Heart that appeared October 2015 in Elizabeth Hirst’s anthology Robotica: The Relationships of Artificial Lifeforms.

This is my “throw wide the doors” romp with world-building: descendants of crash-landed Society of Creative Anachronists, “alien” natives, political intrigue, loss of innocence/coming of age, a wealth of strange characters, unique cities and cultures above and below the Sea of Clouds, and…skyships. It has been a lot of fun to write.

What are you looking forward to at Boskone?

This is my first Boskone. I’ve long wanted to attend, but family, career, and nasty pixies have long thwarted my attempts.

What event or experience stands out as one of those ‘defining moments’ that shaped who you are today?

My grandfather, of blessed memory, shared a story of students who were told they each must speak to the learned assembly regarding chesed and tzedakah, i.e. kindness and charity…and the assembly had already begun! As the students ran to the assembly hall, each passed a beggar who sat shivering in the cold, his empty supplication bowl before him. In their alarm at being late, and in their self-absorption in recalling their lessons, none of the students paid heed to him–none save one.

The doors of the assembly hall closed. The students formed a line upon the stage, jostling for position. The first awaited his invitation to speak; but the seated rabbis said nothing, their expressions dour.

The door to the hall opened again, and the last student entered, hatless and coatless. Together, the rabbis and students turned and stared silently at him. He blushed; and murmuring apologies, got to the end of the line. Still, none spoke.

The door opened a final time, and the beggar came in, wearing the student’s coat and hat. From his bowl he placed a small coin into the tzedakah (charity) box, and took a seat among the assembly.

The rabbis smiled.

*[ It is not enough to learn our lessons, we need live them. ]*

 

 

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