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New England Science Fiction Association
January 25, 2013

Boskone 50 Progress Report 2

By now, you’ve probably seen the second progress report for Boskone 50. However, we thought it would be helpful to include a link on the Boskone Blog so that you have it here just in case you need a quick look at the key con events or you want to check out the floor plan for the hotel or something else. All you have to do to access Progress Report 2 is to click on the image below.

Boskone50 Progress Report

January 25, 2013

Filking at Boskone

Boskone is known for it’s Filking program by music lovers and musicians alike. This year we’ve got one of the best schedules yet, featuring a wonderful host of musicians. The list of events will be published soon. In the meantime, keep your eye on the Program Page on the Boskone website.

From The Phoenix: DR. SNARK, a/k/a Newton South High School teacher Paul Estin (with guitar), is one of many locals carrying on the proud filking tradition.

For those of you new to the filking world, The Phoenix published a terrific piece of Boskone 45’s filking program. The Phoenix writes, “Filk is commonly defined as the music of science-fiction fandom, but there’s more to it than that…Filk, the story goes, emerged from the first science-fiction conventions of the 1950s, when attendees would huddle in stairwells until the wee hours, singing folk-style songs about their favorite books, space travel, silly monsters, or anything at all, really. A misspelling of “folk” in an early write-up about this phenomenon spawned the term “filk,” and it stuck — like a Tribble on a Trekkie.”

Music-related items at Boskone 50 will include several concerts, theme circles, NESFA Hymnal singing, and evening “open filking.” The last three items mentioned are all participatory for singing, playing instruments, and listening. Open filking includes anything and everything from original song debuts to sing-along songs. Concerts include a performance by Jordin Kare, in addition to two performances by Boskone 50’s Featured Musician Heather Dale and her friends as part of the Saturday night festivities.

If you’d like to read more about Boskone’s filk program, we encourage you to read The Phoenix’s article “What is Filk?”, originally published on March 20, 2008.

January 24, 2013

NESFA Press Guest Jerry Pournelle

Each year at Boskone, a special guest is honored by NESFA Press, the publishing component of the New England Science Fiction Association. NESFA Press focuses on publishing the following types of books:

  • Books honoring the guest(s) of honor at our annual convention, Boskone, and at some Worldcons and other conventions.
  • Books in the NESFA’s Choice series, which bring back into print the works of deserving classic SF writers
  • Reference books of science fiction and science fiction fandom

This year’s NESFA Press Guest is renowned fiction writer and tech commentator, Jerry Pournelle.

According to his bio on the Information Week website,  Jerry Pournelle is known “for his groundbreaking column in the original BYTE, Computing at Chaos Manor, Jerry is back in the house. He is, of course, BYTE’s senior technologist. Author of more than a dozen tech books and several more in science fiction with his collaborator, Larry Niven, Pournelle’s accolades include a Bronze Medal from the National Security Council, the Prometheus Award and the Heinlein Society Award for science fiction.” He is also a contributor to the NESFA Press book The Mathematics of Magic: The Enchanter Stories of de Camp and Pratt.


On Saturday afternoon at 3pm in the Galleria, Jerry will be at the release party introducing the book launch of Door to Anywhere, a Poul Anderson collection

Additionally, he will be interviewed, and he will also be on panels about Space Colonization and Military Motifs in SF.

January 22, 2013

One day left to save

Pre-registration closes on 1/23/13 at 5pm EST. If you haven’t yet registered, register now and save $5 off the cost of the at-the-door adult membership price of $55.

An FF1 State of Mind
Photo credit to Flickr user johnpicacio

Are you a student? Are you a family attending with your student children? Boskone offers two different student-level memberships:

  • College (valid student ID required)
  • K-12 (student ID may be required)

Note: The cost of DragonsLair, Boskone’s children’s program, is included in the con membership, so all children (ages 7-12) who use these services must be convention members. However, children under 10 who stay with their parents at all times are considered “kids-in-tow” who need not have memberships. (“Kids-in-tow” do not receive any convention materials.)

We are not able to offer babysitting through the convention.

Single day memberships are available online or at-the-door.

Click here to read the details about con memberships and registration details

January 17, 2013

Looking for Food in All the Right Places at Boskone

Hungry? Looking for a good place to find food while your at Boskone this year? Well, we have just the thing for you! Announcing the Sci-Fi Dining Guide for Boston.


The organizers of Boskone and Arisia have collaborated on this  amazing new restaurant guide for the Boston-based conventions. You can either access it with this shiny new link: RestaurantGuide or by clicking on the picture.

With more and more new restaurants moving into the nearby area, you’ll definitely want to know your options this year. Some of them look pretty interesting.

January 16, 2013

What is the Skylark Award?

As many of you know, Boskone, is the annual convention held by the New England Science Fiction Asssociation (NESFA), one of the oldest science fiction clubs in New England. The club’s longevity provides rich history and insight into the culture of the science fiction community over the past 40 years.

skylark flickr doctorow
Cory Doctorow with David Hartwell’s Skylark – (photo credit gruntzooki)

Each year, NESFA presents the Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction, or more commonly referred to as the Skylark Award. It is presented “to some person, who, in the opinion of the membership, has contributed significantly to science fiction, both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities which made the late “Doc” Smith well-loved by those who knew him.”

E.E. “Doc” Smith authored both the Lensman and Skylark series and is closely associated with space opera, sometimes even being referred to as the father of space opera. Click here to read Andrew Liptak’s recent post on Kirkus

Past recipients include Charles Stross, George R.R. Martin and Jane Yolen. Haven’t heard the Jane Yolen Skylark story? Click here

This year’s award ceremony takes place at 9pm on Saturday evening in the Harbor Ballroom. Featured Musician Heather Dale starts the evening with a concert at 8pm.

January 13, 2013

The art of darkness

A highlight of Boskone is the Art Show. One of the largest in New England, this year’s art show has over 90 panels, 3D art displays, two special exhibits and as always, our Official Artist.

This year’s Official Artist is Lisa Snellings.

According to the Boskone 50 website, “A Gaughan Award and Chesley Award winner, Lisa’s sometimes disquieting and macabre artworks reflect her background in biology and pathology. Her images and sculptures are the bases for collaborative projects with authors such as Neil Gaiman, Gene Wolfe, and Charles de Lint”. Click here to read the io9 post about her work


In addition to having her original works featured in the Art Show, Official Artist Lisa Snellings will give a tour of her artwork in the Art Show and will join in at Dragonslair, in addition to her other program participation.

Want to see more? Click here to view the Poppets on Tour Flickr group or Poppet Planet on Facebook

January 9, 2013

Celtic music, myth and legends

Modern musical interpretations of medieval music might sound difficult to some, but the talented Heather Dale, creates it with beautiful ease. Each year, the Boskone honors a Featured Musician who plays a concert as part of our Saturday night activities.

This year’s Featured Musician is Heather Dale.

A commenter on her website, describes her as a “Celtic goddess”. During her recent tour, An Ancient Yule, she played venues in Montreal, Toronto, St. Louis, Omaha, Minneapolis and more. Read a review


We are thrilled to have Heather at Boskone 50 where she’ll  play  two Saturday night concerts and will lead performance workshops throughout the day.

Want to hear more? She’s offering a free downloadable album, Perpetual Gift, here.

January 2, 2013

Special Guest John Hertz on Three Classic SF Novels

Boskone 50’s Special Guest John Hertz will be hosting discussions on three classics of science fiction novels: Galactic Patrol by E.E. “Doc” Smith, Moonraker by Ian Fleming, and The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dick. We thought you might like to know these book titles in advance so that you’d have an opportunity to read or reacquaint yourself with these novels. We’re sure the discussion that John has prepared will be fantastic. See you there!

Galactic Patrol2
Galactic Patrol by E.E. “Doc” Smith
Moonraker by Ian Fleming
The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dick

More program related information for Boskone 50 will be coming soon!