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"> B57 Mini Interviews with William Hayashi, John Kessel, and Steve Davidson – Boskone
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New England Science Fiction Association
January 9, 2020

B57 Mini Interviews with William Hayashi, John Kessel, and Steve Davidson

Today we are interviewing William Hayashi, John Kessel, and Steve Davidson!

William Hayashi

William Hayashi is an award winning screen writer, and accomplished author of two speculative fiction trilogies, Darkside and Archangel-X, and several short stories. His Darkside Trilogy is in development for adaptation into a television show. He has been in and out of radio since the mid 1970 and has been the host of the Genesis Science Fiction Radio Show for the past eight years, interviewing Black creatives in science fiction, fantasy, and horror of all mediums (all shows are available as podcasts at no charge). He is also a frequent participant in science fiction conventions around the country, sitting on panel discussions on topics on diversity, science fiction media and culture, and specialized discussions about specific movies, trends, and other content creators throughout the industry.

Visit William on their Facebook, Twitter, and website!

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

Attending Boskone is a professional joy. The panels and discussions I’ve participated in have been interesting, informative, lively, and are often fun. The convention is professionally run, the volunteer staff are real standouts in terms of producing a truly excellent event, year after year.

Looking back, what was the first piece of work (whether it be from literature, cinema, art, music, video game, toy, or whatever it may be) that first made you love science-fiction and fantasy?

My father was a science fiction fan and had a library of hundreds of books written by the gients of the Golden Age of Science Fiction. One of my earliest memories was of reading Isaac Asimov’s original Foundation Trilogy. Shortly after that, I discovered Asimov’s Robots series – then it was off to the races. I read everything he had at home, then started taking a couple of books out of the library every other week, and this was at the age of eleven or twelve.

What was your first book event or literary convention? Tell us about it! Perhaps you even have a photo to share?

My first convention experience was at the 2016 WorldCon in Kansas City. As an independent author, up until I was persuaded to participate at WorldCon, I hated the though of sitting at a table and trying to sell books. It wasn’t until I sat on half dozen panels, moderating about half of them, that I saw a whole different side of the convention experience. I enjoy the experience of directly interacting with both fans and fellow creatives.

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

In 2020 I will be publishing a new trilogy, The Archangel-X Trilogy, which is a sequel to my original Darkside Trilogy, which is currently being adapted for television. Also on the docket is my first Young Adult novel set in a dystopian, near future, the early chapters are available for review on my Patreon account page.

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

Will anyone think less of me if I choose the Orgasmatron from the movie Sleeper? Because at my age, you sometimes you just don’t have the energy for anything more vigorous.

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John Kessel

John Kessel has written the novels Pride and Prometheus, The Moon and the Other, Good News from Outer Space, Corrupting Dr. Nice, and Freedom Beach (with James Patrick Kelly), and the collections Meeting in Infinity, The Pure Product, and The Baum Plan for Financial Independence. His work has received the Nebula, the Theodore Sturgeon, the Locus, the James Tiptree Jr., and the Shirley Jackson awards. He holds an undergraduate degree in physics and English and a PhD in English. At North Carolina State University Kessel helped found the MFA program in creative writing, serving twice as its director. He lives with his wife, the novelist Therese Anne Fowler, in Raleigh.

Visit John on their Facebook, and website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

I have not been to Boskone for a long time, but the 1970 Boskone was the first regional sf convention that I ever attended. There I met a number of people for the first time who were to become good friends, notably Gardner Dozois and Jack Dann–though our friendship was not to develop for another decade or so. Boskone (along with the 1969 Worldcon in St. Louis) was at the beginning of my association with organized sf fandom, which shaped my life and career for years afterward.

My pal and collaborator James Patrick Kelly is a regular at Boskone, and Kim Stanley Robinson, your author guest, is another friend, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to revisit the con.

Authors: Fans often ask authors to talk about their favorite main characters, but what about the side characters? Who is one of your favorite sidekicks or secondary/tertiary characters who have had a lesser role in your work?

My favorite secondary character from my recent fiction is the uplifted dog Sirius in my 2017 novel THE MOON AND THE OTHER. The novel is set on the moon in the 22nd century, when the intelligence of certain animals has been lifted to the point where at least some of them have gained important roles in society, though they are still second-class citizens without the legal rights of humans. Sirius is a media star (Dog Star!”) who has a political talk and interview show that is the most popular throughout my lunar colonies; I think of him as Sean Hannity as a Doberman.

Secretly, Sirius (his name comes from the 1944 sf novel of that title by Olaf Stapledon, about the life of such a superintelligent dog) resents his manipulation by his human creators, his short life span, his alienation from both human beings and from normal dogs. Though he is not a main character, Sirius plays a crucial role in the plot of my novel.

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

I have completed a novella “The Dark Ride” which is about the assassination of President William McKinley at the Pan American Exposition, a world’s fair that took place in Buffalo in 1901, and an H.G. Wells-style trip to the moon based on a ride that debuted at the fair, the first true “dark ride” of amusement park history. It is the title story in a new story collection I have on submission.

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Steve Davidson

Steve Davidson is the publisher of Amazing Stories magazine, now in its second year of publication.

Visit Steve on their Facebook, Twitter, and website.

What is it about Boskone that makes this the convention you choose to attend each year?

Or if this is your first Boskone, what attracted you most to Boskone this year?

Well, beyond its proximity (which has made it my “go-to” con for years), is the fact that the committee made a committment to expanding the reach and appeal of a traditional fan-run convention to both younger fans and to diverse fan communities and I get to watch the positive effects of that committment each and every year – more “kids” in attendance, more people of color in attendance, more LGBTQI people in attendance – all while managing to retain the essential elements of what makes a convention a real convention – the camaraderie, the celebration of literature, the shared community.

What topics are you most looking forward to talking about at Boskone?

I love talking about the magazine of course, but I also love talking about both older works (film, TV, novels and stories) and newer works because at Boskone the audience is diverse enough to offer both – often with the same people.

Bonus: Up for a challenge? Give us a haiku or limerick about Boskone!

Appearing on panels is fun
so’s conversing until day is done
so long as I’m able
to visit the free table
before anyone else on day one

What was your first book event or literary convention? Tell us about it! Perhaps you even have a photo to share?

My first literary-focused SF convention was a Philcon in ’74 or ’75.I’d been attending Star Trek cons previously and found that I was more drawn to the dealer’s room and the SF magazine and book content there than I was the Trek stuff – after all, how many times can you watch the blooper reel?
At that first Philcon I was “attacked” by older fen for using the phrase “sci fi” (learned quickly why you don’t mimic fornicating crickets when talking about literature), spent quite a long time with Harry Stubbs (Hal Clement) and met Bob Madle who passed on to me a life-long love for the science fiction magazines.

What will you be working on in 2020? Any new releases or dates that fans should be looking forward to hearing about?

Amazing Stories is launching a line of selected novellas under the Amazing Selects imprint.Our first release (which may have been announced by the time this is read) will be Allen Steele’s Captain Future in Love, which was originally serialized in Amazing Stories.

If you could bring any object or device into the real world from fiction or film, and it would work perfectly, what would you choose? Why would you choose that item?

Either a working time machine or a working FTL drive.I so much want to experience many of the things I’ve read about over the past 50+ years, or at least experience their real world analogs.

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