Coming Full Circle: A Boskone Story (and Schedule)

The year is 2015. The place is Boston. The snow is everywhere. A younger version of me, wide-eyed with excitement, is sharing a hotel room with a writer friend and his girlfriend and checking out a con called Boskone. I am able to attend through the awesomeness that is Con or Bust – they had a last minute drop-out (likely due to all the snow) who donated their ticket to help a fan of color attend the con, and I took advantage. I had a secret goal to learn more about the Odyssey Writing Program, which my writer friend had already gotten in to, but aside from that, I just wanted to learn a few things.

By the end of that weekend, I had decided to apply to Odyssey, learned about the Stonecoast MFA program for the first time, met a ton of awesome people, discovered that tying plastic bags around your shoes to waterproof them does not work well on streets that slope to the side, and found that if you fall over enough times on the same sidewalk, a Good Samaritan may eventually offer you a ride the 2 blocks to the venue. But mostly I discovered that Boskone was awesome, and I set forth a goal to one day be one of the mystical and wise people on the programming who talked about their writing.

And lo, this day has come. I will be at Boskone this year, and I will be on the following panels:

Incorporating Cultures Into Fiction

Format: Panel
16 Feb 2018, Friday 17:00 – 18:00, Marina 3 (Westin)

In writing, it’s hard to navigate between inclusion and appropriation of a culture or cultural elements. But like it or hate it, people write what they know … or at least what they think they know. Complicating matters, the definitions of these two words are fuzzy for many. So, what is cultural appropriation? How do we incorporate cultures or aspects of cultures without crossing the line?

Name That Legendary Object

Format: Game Show
16 Feb 2018, Friday 19:00 – 20:00, Marina 2 (Westin)

Legendary objects of yore — from various worlds throughout the universe, and from myriad planes of existence — have been gathered together in anticipation of this special Boskonegame, for the entertainment and edification of the public. Our expert “historians” compete for the ultimate prize as they seek to identify these awesome articles, which may have once been owned by gods, heroes, villains … or the occasional ancient street sweeper. Audience participation is encouraged: bring your favorite enigmatic items to be identified by our adepts of the interdimensional.

Writing Workshops & MFA Programs Redux

Format: Panel
17 Feb 2018, Saturday 10:00 – 11:00, Marina 1 (Westin)

Thinking about attending a writing workshop or an MFA program? Wondering how to pick the one that’s right for you? Once you do: then what? There’s no magic formula to elicit an acceptance letter, but a solid application is a good place to start. Join representatives from various writing programs, and learn how to present the best of what you have to offer to win your place.

Saturday Night Special Event: Boskone Awards and Rapid-Fire Theater

Format: Event
17 Feb 2018, Saturday 20:00 – 22:00, Harbor II+III (Westin)

Saturday night’s presentation is a fast-paced theatrical extravaganza, featuring a set of mini-shows that resemble live-action podcasts (akin to a science fiction variety show with a short awards ceremony, an interview, a game show, and an original radio show with aliens).

9:30 p.m. — Boskone Radio Play: Boskone‘s Rapid-Fire Theater comes to an out-of-this-world conclusion with a short adapted radio play by Nat Segaloff about humanity’s first contact with aliens.

Women Who Write Science Fiction

Format: Panel
18 Feb 2018, Sunday 12:00 – 13:00, Marina 3 (Westin)

Mary Shelley, Leigh Brackett, Ursula K. Le Guin, Connie Willis, N. K. Jemisin —  women have been in the thick of writing science fiction for a very long time. Let’s discuss some of their landmark publications that captured our imagination. Why do we love these stories? What works should we look for the next time we’re browsing the shelves?

I could not be happier – not only have I achieved my goal, but I get to be a part of an amazingly welcoming group of fans and writers, new friends and old. And this time I have boots. What could be better?

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