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Friday, February 14 - Sunday, February 16

Join me at Boskone (February 14-16, 2019) in Boston, MA for New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. It’s going to be a fun weekend filled with discussions of books, art, games, film, music, and more. For more information, visit the Boskone website: http://www.boskone.org/

There’s tons going on all weekend, but if you’re looking for me try the bar I will be on a bunch of panels – and moderating two (a change!) too!

Marvelous Magical Systems

Format: Panel
14 Feb 2020, Friday 14:00 – 14:50, Harbor II (Westin)

Magical systems are like the laws of science. They have rules. Rules that must be followed or the magic won’t work or the magic will be released in unforeseen ways. Let’s look at what it takes to create a magical system that feels real and plausible. We’ll also review some of the best magical systems in literature and consider why they work so well.

Gerald L. Coleman, Liz Delton, Tonia Thompson (NIGHTLIGHT Podcast) (M), Clea Simon, Mike Squatrito Jr (Association of Rhode Island Authors)


The Role of Supernatural Animals

Format: Panel
14 Feb 2020, Friday 16:00 – 16:50, Burroughs (Westin)

What defines an animal as supernatural? Cats would agree that they are both super and natural, but cats do have their own perspective on the world. Our panel of SFnal experts will help to define the roles of supernatural animals from dragons to griffons and … cats!

Julie C. Day (M), Tonia Thompson (NIGHTLIGHT Podcast), Clea Simon, Lisa Hertel (The Cogitation Zone)


Journalism in Speculative Fiction

Format: Panel
14 Feb 2020, Friday 17:00 – 17:50, Marina 2 (Westin)

From Wells and Orwell to Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, and Annalee Newitz, there’s a long tradition of reporters becoming writers of SF/F/H. Our veteran newshounds report on what a background in journalism can bring to genre work. Are you already accustomed to research, deadlines, and low wages? Does the drive to get the facts mean it’s harder to make stuff up? Can reporters be written as good genre characters? While pounding out a hot story, must you wear a fedora?

Darlene Marshall, Clea Simon (M), Dan Moren, Daniel P. Dern,

Reading: Clea Simon

Format: Reading
15 Feb 2020, Saturday 13:30 – 13:55, Independence (Westin)

Clea Simon


Boskone 57 Book Party

Format: Event
15 Feb 2020, Saturday 18:30 – 19:30, Galleria – Stage (Westin)

Come join the fun at Boskone 57’s Book Party. You’ll meet the authors and publishers who have new books coming out at the con! This is your chance to see what’s new from writers you already love, as well as those you have yet to discover.

Sara Codair (https://saracodair.com/), Dave Seeley (daveseeley.com), Mike Squatrito Jr (Association of Rhode Island Authors), Jeff Hecht, Clea Simon, Nicole Givens Kurtz (Mocha Memoirs Press), R.W.W. Greene, Steven Popkes, Gregory Wilson, Errick Nunnally, James Patrick Kelly (writer), Kim Stanley Robinson, Christopher Paniccia (Gridiron Publishing), E. C. Ambrose, Jeffrey A. Carver, Erin Underwood (M), Rick Berry (RickBerryStudio), Patricia Morgan Lang (NESFA Press), Jim Burns


The Literary Legacy of C.S. Lewis

Format: Panel
16 Feb 2020, Sunday 11:00 – 11:50, Burroughs (Westin)

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were friends. Both created rich imaginary worlds: Lewis’ Narnia portal fantasies and Tolkien’s epic fantasies. Yet much more has been written and discussed about Tolkien’s influence. It’s time to redress the imbalance. Don’t Lewis’ queens Lucy and Susan, and even the White Witch, compare favorably to the lack of female agency in Tolkien’s work, and foretell many later heroines and villainesses? How many of our genre’s school-age protagonists owe their existence to Lewis’ examples? Oh, and don’t forget The Screwtape Letters’ contribution to the satirical fantastic. Is Lewis still influencing fantasy today?

Diana Rowland (M), John Langan, Ginjer Buchanan, Clea Simon, Christopher Paniccia (Gridiron Publishing)


The Secret to Sequels

Format: Panel
16 Feb 2020, Sunday 12:00 – 12:50, Burroughs (Westin)

So the first book was great! Now it’s time to write the second one, under deadline. No matter how many series an author has written, they always have to tackle second book syndrome. So what does it take to get the book out on time, while promoting the first book, planning the third book, and trying not to get caught up in the swell of reader responses?

E. C. Ambrose (M), Zig Zag Claybourne (Obsidian Sky Books), Leigh Perry, Clea Simon, Sarah Smith


Playing in the Post-Apocalypse World

Format: Panel
16 Feb 2020, Sunday 13:00 – 13:50, Marina 1 (Westin)

Why do so many SF writers enjoy playing in this subgenre? Are they simply reporting reasonable extrapolations, because we’re clearly doomed real soon due to climate, corporations, overcrowding, video games, superbugs, big meteorites, and/or reality TV? Is it just because story thrives on conflict, and post-apocalyptic landscapes offer so much scope for disagreements—with chainsaws? Our panelists take a look at some of the more interesting post-apocalyptic worlds as they discuss why they are so compelling and what makes them work.

Julie C. Day, Gene Doucette, Errick Nunnally, Clea Simon (M), Jim Infantino (Jim’s Big Ego)


Friday, February 14
Sunday, February 16


Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel
425 Summer St.
Boston, MA 02210
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