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February 17-19, 2023 — Westin Boston Seaport District
February 14, 2017

B54 Mini Interviews: Flourish Klink, Paul Di Filippo and Lisa Hertel

It’s finally here! Boskone kicks off this Friday at the Westin Waterfront in Boston. We have a few more mini interviews to help you through the week.

flourishklink_74Flourish Klink

Half of Fansplaining, a podcast by, for and about (transformative media) fandom. Chief Research Officer and Partner in Chaotic Good Studios, which the PR people say is a “franchise-focused content company” out in LA. Board member of the Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation. Continual fanfiction author. Find her online at her website and on Twitter.

How would you describe your work to people who might be unfamiliar with you?

“My day job and my fannish life are pretty separate. In my day job, I study audiences—fan cultures, and also other people who might not be “”superfans”” (Lord, I hate that word, but it seems to have caught on) but who are particularly devoted to particular movie franchises. Then I help guide those franchises to better choices about what to do: what movies to make, what tie-ins to create, etc. I like the job because I think that when a franchise gets it right, they make the right choices both for fans and for their business. I don’t think the two things are mutually exclusive.

In my fannish life, though, I write fanfic and am deeply engaged interactive storytelling—I’m a board member of the Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation along with Andrew Plotkin, who is another Boskone regular. I’m especially interested in forms of interactive storytelling that anyone can access, that is, that don’t require you to be a AAA videogame producer. So I like making things like visual novels and interactive fiction. Right now, I’m working on an original visual novel about time travel, my first original work in a very long time—but like much SF, it’s so intertextual that it might as well be fanfic. (And yes, I’ll go to the mat for that, too: in fact, I’ll say that fantasy often is as well… fight me!)”

What is it that you enjoy most about Boskone?

I really love the community feel of Boskone. I’m from a younger fan demographic, and a lot of people don’t have the same experience of fandom being something that’s built by fans for fans, or the same experience of communities that have gathered together over many years. To me, that’s one of the greatest things about fandom, and Boskone really exemplifies it.

From a fan perspective, what new book, film, TV show, or comic are you most looking forward to seeing/reading?

I’m thrilled—THRILLED—about the new Twin Peaks. It’s not traditionally “fannish” in the sense of being sci fi or fantasy, but of course it has its adherents. But what I’m really thrilled about is how coherently the whole thing hangs together. “Twin Peaks, coherent?!” you might say. Yes! I mean this: Twin Peaks has several tie-in novels and an audiobook, and they are all 100% canonical, they reference each other and they have not been “Jossed” or deleted the way the Star Wars Extended Universe has been. What’s more, they’re incredibly high quality (try reading The Secret Diary Of Laura Palmer; you’ll really believe it’s a teen girl’s diary… and it’s just as chilling as Fire Walk with Me, which I will defend to my death). The latest just came out, written by Mark Frost (co-writer of the original series) and it’s fantastic, The X-Files like it should have been, just playing with all the ideas that sprang out of Twin Peaks‘ original run and doing them better than ever. My expectations are incredibly high and for once I don’t think they’ll be disappointed.

Paul Di Filippo

Paul Di Filippo has been writing professionally for nearly forty years. His latest book, Lost Among the Stars, appeared in December of 2016. He lives in Providence with his mate Deborah Newton. Find him online at his website and on Facebook.

How would you describe your work to people who might be unfamiliar with you?

My fiction is all over the map of fantastika, as I thnk my latest collection, Lost Among the Stars, illustrates quite well. I even just finished a totally mimetic crime novel, as part of my continuing pursuit to conquer every mode of fiction. next up, a nurse novel? A western? Who knows!

What are you working on now? What excites or challenges you about this project?

I am editing a Readers Guide to SF/F for Magill’s, and the chance to be on the other side of the writer/editor fence is something new for me. Never too late in a career to try something different!

What is it that you enjoy most about Boskone?

I truly enjoy the family atmosphere, where all attendees, even newcomers, are invited to feel like brothers and sisters of fantastika. Also, the putting aside of partisan passions in honor of shared values.

lisahertel_61Lisa Hertel

Lisa Hertel is an artist in a variety of media, including pottery, watercolors and encaustics. She is currently illustrating classic animal tales from around the world and writing up the accompanying stories, and intends to publish a book eventually. See her work at her studio at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell MA, or on her website, You can also find her on Twitter.

What are you working on now? What excites or challenges you about this project?

Recently, I’ve been expanding into new media. I really like alcohol inks and encaustics, the ancient art of painting with wax. Because the pigment is embedded in beeswax, so long as you keep it out of the sun, it won’t fade, so some of the few colored things we have from the ancient Greeks and Egyptians is encaustics. Both alcohol inks and encaustics are fairly abstract media, which is good for me; I felt I was getting too tight with my watercolors and pen-and-inks. Of course, I still do a lot of pottery as well. Working in a building with 200 other artists has really expanded my repertoire.

How would you describe your work to people who might be unfamiliar with you?

Some days, I’m not sure I can describe my work to myself! I’m one of those people who refused to develop a style — or rather, I’ve developed several. The watercolors over pen-and-inks gets a lot of compliments, but it’s very exacting work; it’s a long process of penciling, inking, erasing the pencil lines, and then painting. The large pencils are physically demanding, as I have to work at an easel, which hurts after a while; they take months to complete. The encaustics and alcohol inks are faster and more fun, but I keep wanting them to be less abstract, and am exploring ways to do that. Finally, the pottery is physically demanding in a whole different way; it requires strength to manipulate the clay, and so many things get recycled before they even finish drying because I feel they aren’t worthy. They turn-around time for any pottery item is minimally two weeks, so it’s also a slow process. My motto is “art is not for wimps.”

What event or experience stands out as one of those ‘defining moments’ that shaped who you are today?

When I was in high school, two friends walked in after February vacation wearing cool buttons with the word “Boskone” on them. I asked where they got them; they told me “A science fiction convention.” Wide-eyed, I replied, “They have those?” I started going to Boskone the next year (1979) and have been to almost every one since. As for my friends, they became well-known in the comic book field — Kurt Busiek & Scott McCloud.