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.

After Readercon

This past weekend I spent in Burlington, MA, at the 26th annual Readercon.  It’s probably the convention I most look forward to each year, because it’s the one the largest percentage of my writing friends attend.  This year was no exception:  I roomed with Paul Tremblay, and spent time with a raft of people including S.J. Bagley, Michael Cisco, Brett Cox, Joann Cox, Ellen Datlow, Gemma Files, John Foster, Mike Griffin, Liz Hand, Jack Haringa, Stephen Graham Jones, Sandra Kasturi and Brett Savory, Nick Kaufmann and Alexa Antopol, Mike and Caroline Kelly, Sarah Langan, Rob Shearman, Justin Steele, Simon Strantzas, Peter Straub, Jeffrey Thomas, and plenty more whose names I apologize for forgetting.  Highlights of the convention included fiction readings by Mike Cisco, Gemma Files, Rob Shearman, and Paul, as well as this year’s Shirley Jackson Awards, which I mc’d for the first time without embarrassing myself or the awards too badly.  I read from my own work twice, first as part of a group reading for The Monstrous, Ellen Datlow’s newest anthology, in which my new story, “Corpsemouth,” appears, and then on my own on Sunday afternoon, after the Jackson Awards, to a surprisingly large audience, to whom I managed to read all of my story, “The Savage Angela in:  The Beast in the Tunnels” (forthcoming in Jesse Bullington and Molly Tanzer’s Swords v. Cthulhu).  In the midst of the convention came the awful news that Tom Piccirilli had lost his brave fight with brain cancer, and we raised a glass in his honor and memory that night.  There was flatbread pizza, and there was Korean barbecue.  Then the weekend was over, so fast I still can’t believe it, and it was time for the annual drive back west accompanied by Michael Cisco.  As ever, thanks to the Readercon crew for putting on such a great convention.  The Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll see you next year.

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.