Wow. Except for moving it in and out of the driveway at the whim of the plowguy, I haven’t driven my poor little car since the day before the Christmas Ice Storm. This morning, I had to scrape the inside of the windshield, then rock the car gently to break the ice binding it to the driveway, before I could drive to town and walk across the glassy tundra that are Waterville’s sidewalks, to go to gym, another badly neglected activity.
It’s a bright, sunny day, 13F/-11C, with a breeze, so driving was pleasant, if walking was not. I was glad to have remembered to wear my dorky fleece-lined ear-flap cap.
Fans of Mozart will be interested to hear that we are, at the suggestion of the vet, reducing his dose of pain medication to once a day. We’re only a day into this new regime, but he’s already polished off one can of Fancy Feast and made serious inroads into a second. I wish I knew what was causing the pain, but the vet seems to consider that a secondary issue.
Steve and I have received our schedules for Boskone, which is being held February 14 through 16 (Valentine’s Day and President’s Day — two holidays bracketing an SF convention. What’s not to love?). Guests of Honor are Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant, David Palumbo, Ginjer Buchanan, and Bill Roper, plus All of the Usual Suspects. If you’re on the fence about committing to Boston in February, allow me to persuade you to attend. Boskone’s always a good time.
For the purposes of planning, and also so I have this all in one place, here is the Lee-and-Miller Boskone Schedule:
Friday, February 14
5 — 5:50
The Fine Art of Murder
What is it that fascinates us about murder mysteries? How do you create a captivating crime? Is it possible to make a satisfying whodunit or locked-room mystery in a setting where technology or magic eliminates too many constraints and presents the potential to do anything?
Sharon Lee (M), Leigh Perry, Dana Cameron, Charlaine Harris, Vincent O’Neil
6:00 — 6:50
A Valentine’s Day panel about romance in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. What are some of our great love stories for the ages? What stories turned out to be tragedies — or worse? Panelists will discuss how love can turn a character’s world upside-down.
Darlene Marshall (M), Ellen Asher, Leigh Perry, Steve Miller
8 — 8:50
Good vs Evil: The Great Divide
Fantasy often incorporates pure goodness and pure evil, foregrounding them as serious character motivations or actually giving them bodily form. How does the battle of good and evil stay relevant in a world filled with shades of gray? What value does purity, for good or ill, lend to fantasy?
Jack M. Haringa(M), Jeffrey A. Carver, Steve Miller, Steven Popkes
Saturday, February 15
11 — 11:50
Autographing — Sharon Lee & Steve Miller and Charles Stross
12:00 — 12:50
Writers on Writing: Character Versus Characterization
The success of any story relies upon its characters. But writers can get confused between establishing a character and characterization. What’s observable? What’s hidden? What do we see on the page, and what do we feel when reading about this character as a whole? Writers discuss ways to more deeply develop characters, and how characterization can either get in the way or be used successfully.
Jeffrey A. Carver (M), Sarah Beth Durst, Steve Miller, Greer Gilman, Steven Sawicki
2:00 — 2:50
Kaffeeklatsche — Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
4:00 — 4:25
Reading — Steve Miller & Sharon Lee
5:00 — 5:50
The Long Series — How We Did It
Experts in the long multibook series share their secrets for keeping it alive and interesting. How do you prevent characters and storylines from feeling tired after the third or twelfth or even nineteenth book? How do you keep all those characters and histories straight when coming up with new ideas? Can fandom affect series development? Finally, when — and how — do you bring things to a satisfying end?
Ginjer Buchanan (M), Melinda Snodgrass, Sharon Lee, Charlaine Harris
Sunday, February 16
11:00 — 11:50
Ezines, Fanzines, and Blogs, Oh My!
Fanzines, ezines, and blogs come and go, and return again in new and different forms. What is it about fanzines that gives them such resiliency when so many readerships remain in perpetual flux? What are the advantages of these forms? What do their readers — and writers — get out of each?
Steve Davidson (M), Joe Siclari, E. C. Ambrose, Steve Miller
12:00 — 12:50
Reboots: New Chances for Old Stories?
Are do-overs only for television programs, movies, and comics, or can we hit the dreaded reboot button on written fiction as well? Which classic stories should be preserved untouched in SF/F/H’s hallowed halls? Which might gain fresh life – and new readers — from judicious technological or social updating? Once you start changing things, how far should you go?
Steve Miller (M), Shahid Mahmud, Beth Meacham, Alexander Jablokov, Ellen Asher