Boskone 45, Day 2 (Saturday)

I started my day at Boskone with a panel called “SF and Fantasy as Modern Myth”. The panel included Judith Berman, Debra Doyle, Greer Gilamn, and Sonya Taaffe. This panel was way far over my head. When discussions of science fiction feature words like “archetype”, they become too erudite even for me. So while I did my best to pay close attention to what was being say, I cannot summarize what this panel was all about. These folks have bigger brains than I.

At 11 AM, I headed off to the “Tops on the Tube Tonight” panel, featuring mabfan as moderator, and with Seanan McGuire, Jennifer Pelland, and Eric M. Van on the panel. I found a seat in the front row, and watched with delight this amusing panel. Ironically, of all of the shows mentioned as either genre shows, or close-to-genre shows, the only one I’ve seen is “Rescue Me” (considered close-to-genre because Dennis Leary talks to dead people). The panel wrapped up by talking about “the hottest honeys and hunks” and one of the panelists uttered what I thought was the funniest line of the convention. I believe it was in reference to Kara Thrace, from Battlestar Galactica that this panelist said, “I have to watch the show sitting on a towel.” The entire audience collapsed and since nothing could top that, the session was abruptly ended.

At 1 PM, I attended the first of a couple of short fiction sessions. This one was called “Do Sweat the Small Stuff” and the panel contained James Patrick Kelly, Kelly Link, and Jennifer Polland. This was also an entertaining panel. James Patrick is a good moderator and he’s good at bringing questions back to the panel and giving each person a turn at answering them. On this panel, the panelists talked about their experience with short stories, and how they came up with the idea for a particular story. During this panel, I got a message from strausmouse that he had arrived. When the panel was over, I met him in the hotel lobby, and we headed up to the room so that he could drop off his stuff.

The two of us headed to registration where Eric registered for the day and got his badge. They warned Eric to make sure to clip it on tightly because they’d had reports that the snaps had been popping open and people had been losing their badges. Not two steps into the huckster room, Eric’s badge fell off, but luckily, he noticed. We browsed the huckster room quickly and then headed up to the main hotel restaurant, Sauciety, and had a beer at the bar.

Eric attended the 3 PM panel with me: “Good Things Come in Small Packages”, another short fiction panel. This time, the panel was made up of Beth Bernobich, James Patrick Kelly, Kelly Link and Michael Swanwick. Once again, James Patrick did a good job of moderating. The one problem with this session was that the room it was held in was warm, and Eric and I noticed people nodding of here and there. Nevertheless, there was good discussion on the panel and I enjoyed it.

At 4 PM, Eric and I split up and I headed to the “Battlestar Galactic Endings” panel. The panel was made up of mabfan, Jeffrey A. Carver, Craig Shaw Gardner, MaryAnn Johanson, and Jennifer Pelland. Another interesting panel, this was the first one in which I raised my hand to comment.

When this was over, Eric and I had a 3 hour gap before our next panel. We headed to a nearby bar and grill (Seaport Bar & Grill, I believe), getting only slightly lost, and had dinner there. When we got back, we sat in the lobby bar for a while. Our waitress asked us if we were part of the convention. Eric replied by asking if we looked like we were and our waitress said no. We then showed her our badges. Strangely, I ordered a Mai-Tai and she told us they didn’t have the stuff to make it. So I ordered a Planters Punch, and it came back tasting like a mai-tai. I had a second one. When the bill came, there was 1 mai-tai and 1 planters punch listed on the bill. Go figure.

8 PM brought us to a front row seat at “Battle of the Mutant Plot Mashups”, with mabfan as moderator, Craig Shaw Gardner, Amy Thomson, and a special guest panelist, Seanan McGuire. Of all of the panelist up there, Seanan stole the show. She spoke extemporaneously in complete paragraphs, like a reincarnated L. Ron Hubbard (pre-Dianetics) and was hilarious. I threw out my own plot mash-up suggestion, “Hervit’s World of Tiers”. When that was over, we kept our seats because the award ceremony was supposed to take place, but first, there was a performed reading from one of Bruce Coville’s stories, “The Stinky Princess”.

We stayed for that but decided to skip the award ceremony. We wandered into the Con Suite, where we found mabfan, gnomi, and others and chatted with them for a while. During this gab fest, Michael was looking for a title of a story he wanted to write and I guess I came up with a good one for him, because he said he wanted to use it. He also kept insisting that I introduce myself to David Hartwell. Now, for those who don’t know, David Hartwell is, perhaps, science fiction’s best-known book editor. For me that’s the equivalent of an amateur film-maker introducing himself to Stephen Spielberg. He told us where the TOR party was being held and Eric and I spent some time wandering the 4th floor of the hotel, sticking our heads in and out of parties, looking for Hartwell, but couldn’t find him. Eventually, it was late and we headed back to the hotel room and off to bed.