Yes, once again, I'm going to be going to the sunny tropical paradise that is Boston in February to attend Boskone (February 17-19). Believe it or not, I always have fun at Boskone. The snow is irrelevant. Usually.
If you're going too, be sure to say hi. Here's my schedule:
Friday 17:00 - 18:00, Burroughs (Westin)
Beginning ... middle ... end. That’s a narrative, right? What about those stories that loop around, flash back, and wander off into other perspectives? Our panelists explore the delights and pitfalls of the nonlinear narrative: discussing reasons for writing them, challenges along the way, and their own favorite examples.
KT Bryski, Max Gladstone, Charles Stross (M), Michael Swanwick, Sarah Smith
Achilles Needs a Heel: The Problem With Power
Friday 19:00 - 20:00, Harbor III (Westin)
Would Achilles be as valiant if he were truly invulnerable? (Or, instead of dying a tragic hero, would he still be acting like a psychopathic adolescent 30 years after Troy?) Can power without vulnerability keep your interest? Do some stories turn into mere puzzle pieces about searching for the chink in the protagonist's armor? What sorts of weakness make the most engaging heroes or heroines?
Michael Swanwick, Greer Gilman, Paul Di Filippo, Vincent O'Neil (M), Brendan DuBois
50 Minutes of Bad Advice
Saturday 12:00 - 13:00, Harbor II (Westin)
Everyone has advice to give ... especially to aspiring creative types. However, that doesn't make it good advice. In the realm of "She said what? LOL!" — without naming names, our panelists share some of the best bad advice they received when first venturing into writing, editing, or art. Did they listen? Did it help?
Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Michael Swanwick, Fran Wilde (M), Ellen Asher, Ginjer Buchanan
My Gateway Book
Saturday 16:00 - 17:00, Harbor III (Westin)
We each discuss the work — often but not always a children’s or young adult book — that first fired us up about science fiction, fantasy, or horror. For our Guest of Honor Brandon Sanderson, it’s Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly. How about you, audience member? What do you remember about that first genre work? What if anything made it special? What did you do next? Have you ever reread it? Did it keep the magic?
Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Daniel Hatch, Elizabeth Bear, Michael Swanwick (M), Ellen Asher
How Stories End
Sunday 14:00 - 15:00, Marina 2 (Westin)
Heinlein often rushed his finales. Planet of the Apes ends with a truly monumental twist. Rowling took seven books to set up the boss fight with Mr. Slitsnout. What’s your favorite finish? How do writers finesse the final strokes of their stories? How do readers respond? (Warning: by definition, this panel is Spoiler Central.)
Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Michael Swanwick (M) , Greer Gilman, J. M. McDermott
Above: This genuine image of Boston in February two years ago was swiped from CBS News. You can read more here.