A Couple of Happy Updates, Plus! Boskone

I’m delighted to report that the Russian translation of The Fisherman has won an award for best translated novel of the year at the “Most Terrible Festival” in St. Petersburg.  Bozhe moi!  Thanks very much to AST publishing, who brought out the novel in Russia, to Grigory Shokin, who translated it, and to everyone responsible for the book receiving its (and my) first non-English language award!

The Fisherman–Russian edition

In related news, I’ve done an interview with the Russian webzine, Darker, in which we talk about The Fisherman and my love for Russian literature.

I’m also delighted to report that my story, “Haak,” which first appeared in Mark Morris’s splendid New Fears 2 anthology has been selected by Ellen Datlow for inclusion in the eleventh volume of her “Best Horror of the Year” series, alongside some fabulous work.  I’m particularly pleased that this story, written for the inestimable Jack Haringa, continues to reach a wider audience.  Here’s the table of contents:

I Remember Nothing by Anne Billson
Monkeys on the Beach by Ralph Robert Moore
Painted Wolves by Ray Cluley
Shit Happens by Michael Marshall Smith
You Know How the Story Goes by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Back Along the Old Track by Sam Hicks
Masks by Peter Sutton
The Donner Party by Dale Bailey
Milkteeth by Kristi DeMeester
Haak by John Langan
Thin Cold Hands by Gemma Files
A Tiny Mirror by Eloise C. C. Shepherd
I Love You Mary-Grace by Amelia Mangan
The Jaws of Ouroboros by Steve Toase
A Brief Moment of Rage by Bill Davidson
Golden Sun by Kristi DeMeester, Richard Thomas, Damien Angelica Walters, and Michael Wehunt
White Mare by Thana Niveau
Girls Without Their Faces On by Laird Barron
Thumbsucker by Robert Shearman
You Are Released by Joe Hill
Red Rain by Adam-Troy Castro
Split Chain Stitch by Steve Toase
No Exit by Orrin Grey
Haunt by Siobhan Carroll
Sleep by Carly Holmes

Finally, I had a brilliant time this past weekend at the 56th annual Boskone, held at the Westin hotel in Boston.  It’s always a pleasure to see such friends as Paul Tremblay, Jack Haringa, JoAnn Cox, Brett and Jeanne Cox, Nick Kaufmann and Alexa Antopol, Vicki Dalpe, Grady Hendrix, Liz Hand and John Clute, Bracken MacLeod, Errick Nunnally, Chris Golden, and Ellen Datlow, but beyond that, the con organizers have really made an effort to expand their horror-related programming, and to include horror writers on more general-topic panels.  In addition, they’re made a commitment to diversifying their participants that continues to yield results.  It’s made Boskone one of the can’t-miss conventions for me.  Thanks to all who worked so hard at putting it on this year, and to anyone who might be thinking about the convention for 2020, I’d encourage you to give it a try.

 

 

A Quick Boskone Recap

I had a tooth pulled the day before I drove out to Boston for this year’s Boskone (the 53rd), and I feel like I spent most of the convention telling everyone I met about it.  This may have been due to the pain med I was taking, which, when combined with a beer or two, gave me vivid nightmares in which Billy Bob Thornton’s character from the first season of Fargo was on a murder spree on my side of the Hudson River, and also in which I had to avoid a pair of frighteningly large alligators while trying to swim to my mother’s house.

But I also had the pleasure of staying with Paul Tremblay and his long-suffering family, of meeting up with Brett Cox and JoAnn Cox (who are not related), of hanging out with J.T. Petty and Sarah Langan (who says we’re not related, but come on, really?) and their irrepressible girls, and of seeing Jack Haringa, on the road to recovery from his recent heart surgery and already up to 98% snarkiness.  The lovely Barry Lee Dejasu and Catherine Grant had a bunch of us up to their hotel room for a small party featuring some wonderful beer; Chris Irvin and Errick Nunnally hosted a Noir at the Bar reading on Friday night that I took part in and that went very well; and Erin Underwood launched The Grimm Future, a book of stories inspired by the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, in which I have a steampunkish story inspired by “The Brave Little Tailor.”

GrimmFuture

 

This convention felt a bit more subdued than past Boskones.  In part, I’m sure this was due to the absence of the recently-deceased David Hartwell.  I wonder, too, if it wasn’t due to memories of last year’s blizzard.  But I had a fine time, got to make the acquaintance of some splendid new folks (Chris Irvin, Errick Nunnally, E.J. Stevens), and managed my annual meals at the L Street Diner, the No-Name Seafood Restaurant, and Maxie’s Diner.  Thanks to Erin Underwood and the other fine folks who made the convention happen.  I’m already looking forward to next year.

 

 

 

Boskone 53!

This weekend, I’ll be attending Boskone 53.  I love Boskone:  it’s a chance to see many good friends, and I always feel it helps to break up the winter’s bleakness.  Here’s my tentative schedule, should you happen to be at the convention:

The Wonderful World of Horror Lit

Friday 19:00 – 19:50, Marina 2 (Westin)

Sure, zombies are cool! But horror assumes many other shapes and forms, from psychological thrillers by Edgar Allan Poe and Alfred Hitchcock to more gory (or ghostly) tales by Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, and Shirley Jackson. Once pronounced DOA on bookstore shelves, horror still thrillingly refuses to die. Panelists discuss favorite horror fiction, from the icons that raised the genre and the up-and-coming writers we should read today … plus what might terrify us tomorrow.

F. Brett Cox (M), Jordan Hamessley, Jack M. Haringa, John Langan, James Moore

 

Noir at the Bar Special Edition Boskone

Friday 21:30 – 22:20, Galleria-Stage (Westin)

Noir at the Bar comes to Boskone for a special night of reading and fun with our noir, crime, mystery, and horror writers. Hosted by Chris Irvin and Errick Nunnally.

Chris Irvin (M), Errick Nunnally (M), Dana Cameron, Christopher Golden, John Langan, Sarah Langan, James Moore, Melinda Snodgrass, Paul G. Tremblay

 

Autographing: Thomas Kidd, E.J. Stevens, John Langan

Saturday 10:00 – 10:50, Galleria-Autographing (Westin)

Thomas Kidd, E.J. Stevens, John Langan

 

_The Grimm Future_ — The Anthology Group Reading

Saturday 16:00 – 16:50, Griffin (Westin)

NESFA Press presents a special reading for this year’s Boskone Book: The Grimm Future, edited by Erin Underwood. This exciting new anthology of reimagined Grimm’s fairy tales brings you 14 original short stories with a science fictional twist. The Grimm Future features cover art by Boskone 53’s Official Artist, Richard Anderson, and original stories by Guest of Honor Garth Nix as well as program participants Dana Cameron, Max Gladstone, Carlos Hernandez, John Langan, and Peadar Ó Guilín.

Erin Underwood (M), Carlos Hernandez, Max Gladstone, Peadar Ó Guilín, John Langan, Dana Cameron, Garth Nix

 

Dark Fairy Tales

Saturday 17:00 – 17:50, Burroughs (Westin)

Most of the beloved fairy tales we tell our children are sanitized versions of stories intended for mature audiences only. We can write the graphic violence and debauchery out of these tales — but should we? What gets lost when we blunt the sharp edges of Cinderella’s story? There’s much to learn about the human condition from these rich sources of psychological drama. And some fine authors have subverted and reimagined the old tales to make them new again. Let’s discuss tales we know and those we may have overlooked.

John Langan (M), Jack M. Haringa, Hillary Monahan, James Moore, E.J. Stevens

 

Boskone Book Party

Saturday 18:00 – 19:20, Galleria-Stage (Westin)

Join us for Boskone’s Multi-Author Book Party, see what’s new from authors you love, and discover new favorites. Boskone is also launching three NESFA Press books tonight: The Collected Stories of Poul Anderson Vol 7, Conspiracy!, and The Grimm Future. (Authors and publishers with a new book and a current Boskone membership are welcome to take part; contact program@boskone.org for details.)

D L Carter, Tom Easton, Grady Hendrix, Carlos Hernandez, E. C. Ambrose, Judith K. Dial, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller, Cerece Rennie Murphy, N.A. Ratnayake, Erin Underwood

Murder, Mystery, and Mayhem

Saturday 20:00 – 20:50, Marina 2 (Westin)

Dark fiction and suspense are natural bedfellows. What is it about their synergy that works so well? How do you walk the line between mystery and suspense when there are monsters tearing their way through the plot? And how does dark fiction and horror help to generate or amplify those nail-biting moments that make readers blaze through a story to see how it ends?

Paul G. Tremblay (M), Dana Cameron, Craig Shaw Gardner, Leigh Perry, John Langan

Notes for Participant(s)

This panel was cancelled last year due to snow. So, we’re adding it again this year.

 

Kaffeeklatsch 2: John Langan

Sunday 13:00 – 13:50, Harbor I-Kaffeeklatsch 2 (Westin)

John Langan

 

I’m especially pleased to be present for the book launch of The Grimm Future, edited by Erin Underwood, in which I’m happy to have a story.  The contributors were asked to pick one of the Grimm brothers’ stories and re-imagine it in a fantastic way.  I chose the Brave Little Tailor, which I reconfigured as a steampunk tale set in 1930’s Kansas, involving an invading army from the Earth’s core and a heroine with a jetpack and a raygun.

As always, if you’re around, please come up and say hello.

Boskone 52!

B52homepage-hero

In about a month, I’ll be driving east to participate in the 52nd annual Boskone.  It’s been a couple of years since my last Boskone, and I’m very much looking forward to it.  This is my schedule:

Great Horror for Teens and Tweens

Saturday 11:00 – 11:50, Burroughs (Westin)

Teen fiction is more than BFFs, family issues, and dystopias. A whole lot more. There is a world of dark and dangerous beings who walk the night and infest the pages of teen and tween horror. Panelists share the books that inspired them to love reading and writing horror. Does adult and teen horror differ? Is there a line that should or shouldn’t be crossed? What new stories are coming out that you should be reading?

John Langan (M), Christopher Golden, Jack M. Haringa, Sarah Langan, Paul G. Tremblay

Autographing: Jeffrey Carver, John Langan, Marjorie Liu, Michael Swanwick

Saturday 13:00 – 13:50, Galleria-Autographing (Westin)

Jeffrey A. Carver, John Langan, Michael Swanwick, Marjorie Liu

The Children of Metamorphosis

Saturday 16:00 – 16:50, Marina 4 (Westin)

A hundred years ago, Gregor Samsa awoke from uneasy dreams to find himself transformed into a gigantic dung beetle. Franz Kafka was a fairly obscure writer at the time, but his fiction has since helped to transform literature as it challenged preconceptions about what could be done and how it might be done. What other stories of personal “metamorphosis” have since been published that echo or reflect Kafka’s masterpieces? Panelists discuss “Metamorphosis” (1915), Franz Kafka as an author, and his literary legacy.

James Patrick Kelly (M), F. Brett Cox, Sarah Langan, John Langan, Darrell Schweitzer

Notes for Participant(s)

An interesting link in the Paris Review written by David Cronenberg http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2014/01/17/the-beetle-and-the-fly/

Murder, Mystery, and Mayhem

Saturday 20:00 – 20:50, Burroughs (Westin)

Dark fiction and suspense are natural bedfellows. What is it about their synergy that works so well? How do you walk the line between mystery and suspense when there are monsters tearing their way through the plot? And how do dark fiction and horror help generate or amplify those nail-biting moments that make readers blaze through a story to see how it ends?

Leigh Perry (M), Dana Cameron, John Langan, Paul G. Tremblay

Reading: John Langan

Saturday 21:00 – 21:25, Griffin (Westin)

John Langan

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Sunday 11:00 – 11:50, Marina 2 (Westin)

From comics to movies, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has succeeded in keeping comic book fans interested and engaging new ones. With the weekly television show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the reach extends. How does the show expand the storytelling toolkit of comics and/or the movies? Which elements have been successful and which could use some improvement?

Jack M. Haringa (M), LJ Cohen, Jim Mann, Marshall Ryan Maresca, John Langan

Kaffeeklatsch: John Langan

Sunday 12:00 – 12:50, Galleria-Kaffeeklatsch 1 (Westin)

John Langan

If you’re around and can afford it, think about dropping by, and if you do, please say hi.