I confess, I was a bit concerned. Sure, many of my book feature fantastical elements – talking cats, witch craft, ghosts. But would they – and I – fit into a science fiction/fantasy convention? Were my mysteries really “speculative fiction”? But more than one reader, as well as fellow crime fiction authors Toni L.P. Kelner, Dana Cameron and Sarah Smith had suggested I give Boskone a chance. Plus, a childhood friend (and longtime SF fan) was coming up from NY, so … I signed up
Reader, I loved it. To backtrack a little, Boskone – New England’s longest-running science fiction convention – is a three-day party brought to you by the New England Science Fiction Association. It’s book- and art-oriented, extremely friendly to newcomers, smart and proactive in its approach to LGBTQIA (and both cis and trans women), and proactively inclusive in its outreach. Just … wonderful.
When I signed up, I offered myself up for any and everything. Even though I’m a total newbie, I ended up on two panels and moderating two more, which is more than I could have dreamed of (and just might have been too much), as well as getting a reading slot and a table at the Saturday night book party. So, yeah, I got to gas on about magical cats and why I believe in articulate animals. But basically these were great spurs to get me out there – to the panels spread across two floors of the Boston Westin. Which meant I got to hear former lawyer-turned-horror author Bracken MacLeod discuss the legal implications of superpowers, while other writers/readers/humans traced the origins of Tolkien’s One Ring back through not just Wagnerian folklore roots but out to Plato’s Republic), and in the next breath how Bugs Bunny can be traced back to the Trickster and Brer Rabbit. There were in-depth discussions of how folklore of different cultures/continents came to influence our concepts of the future, what role cities play in our subconscious, and so much more… In short, nerd heaven.
Of course, I caught a cold (the infamous “con crud” that results from too many close conversations and too little sleep). And so I’m not being as eloquent as I should be. If I have a chance to write more, I will, but I want to get this down while I’m still buzzing (if sneezing).