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February 17-19, 2023 — Westin Boston Seaport District
December 12, 2015

Mini Interviews: James Patrick Kelly and Bruce Coville

It’s time for an extra bit of FUN! with the Boskone Mini Interviews. Today we bring you the delightfully fun James Patrick Kelly and Bruce Coville. Both Jim and Bruce are longtime Boskone favorites. So, while many of you may already know them, perhaps you’ll glean something interesting and new in their Mini Interviews that you haven’t yet uncovered about these two dashing characters…AND you even get to read their favorite Star Wars memories!

We hope you enjoy these Mini Interviews and may the Force be with you! Remember to pick up your Boskone 53 membership  and book your hotel room today.

James Patrick Kelly

JimKellyJames Patrick Kelly has written novels, short stories, essays, reviews, poetry, plays and planetarium shows. His short novel Burn won the Nebula Award in 2007. He has won the Hugo Award twice: in 1996, for his novelette “Think Like A Dinosaur” and in 2000, for his novelette, “Ten to the Sixteenth to One.” His fiction has been translated into eighteen languages. With John Kessel he is co-editor of a series of anthologies including Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology. He has two podcasts, James Patrick Kelly’s Storypod on and the Free Reads Podcast. He writes columns for Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine and for Mothership Zeta is on the faculty of the Stonecoast Creative Writing MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. Be on the lookout in 2017 for Mothership, his first novel in decades. Visit James Patrick Kelly online by visiting his website, friending him on Facebook, and following him on Twitter.Kelly Burn

What is it that you enjoy most about Boskone?

Boskone was the first convention I ever attended and over the years it has become my home con. It’s like that bar in that sitcom – what’s it called again? — the place where everyone knows your name. I can’t say that I’ve made every single Boskone in recent years, but pretty damn near! Boskone gives me a chance to catch up with my writer and reader pals, sign some books, and talk about all things science fictional, both on panels and at meals and at the many parties. Probably my favorite thing to do at Boskone is to read my own work. Those who have braved a JPK reading will tell you that I give every story the full Shatner treatment.

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

Kelly DinosaurThose eight or nine fans who have been following my career know that it’s been a while since I’ve published a novel. I can’t complain; the reception that pros and fans alike have given my short fiction has been gratifying – the stuff of a young writer’s dreams, actually. But I’m not a young writer anymore and my reputation as someone who only writes short has been feeling a little tight around the collar, recently. And the sleeves aren’t long enough! So I’m happy to announce that I’ve finished an 85,000 word novel that revisits a future I created for a couple of award-nominated stories, “Going Deep” and “Plus or Minus.” I have a new agent and I hope to have sold this book, called Mother Go, by the time we all meet up at Boskone 53.

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

My feeling is that if I could describe my work to strangers, then my career would have been a failure! I’ve always been a restless writer, and I deliberately try not to repeat myself. A couple of times I have returned to a world across several stories, but that has always been because I was trying to psyche myself into writing a novel set in that world. But I’ve published a lot of different stuff in a lot of different genres. Early on in my career, the cyberpunks tried to lump me into something called the humanist movement with my best pals John Kessel and Connie Willis and Stan Robinson. So I started writing cyberpunk stories just to show ‘em I could, and got one selected for official cyberpunk anthology Mirrorshades. When I was workshopping with Karen Joy Fowler and Carol Emshwiller and Kelly Link in the 90’s, I fell in love with magic of slipstream and published a clutch of stories in that mode.

I’ve written contemporary fantasy … um … urban fantasy … er … paranormal romance. I’ve been published in YA anthologies, humor anthologies, space opera anthologies, superhero anthologies, military sf anthologies … and I’ve edited six anthologies myself! My stage plays have been performed, my audio plays produced – hell, I even wrote a couple of planetarium shows! And I write a column on the internet for Asimov’s. So how would I describe my bibliography? Probably too scattered for my own good!

Star Wars Original PosterWhat is your favorite Star Wars memory, scene, or line? What is it that that memory, scene or line that continues to stick with you today?

It was eight years from the demise of Star Trek to the advent of Star Wars, and like most in science fiction, I spent that bleak time in mourning. I was waiting for another dramatic space opera that could be at once delicious and nutritious. My grieving ended with the opening shot of the first Star Wars, immediately after the Alderaanian cruiser flashed across the screen and I watched the Imperial Star Destroyer giving chase. As it passed over and over and over and kept passing over, I knew that this Lucas guy had got to me where I live and wasn’t about to let me go.

Bruce Coville

Bruce CovilleBruce Coville has published over 100 books for children and young adults, including the international bestseller My Teacher is an Alien, and the Unicorn Chronicles series. His works have appeared in a dozen languages and won children’s choice awards in as many states. He has been a teacher, a toymaker, a magazine editor, a gravedigger, and a cookware salesman. He is also the founder of Full Cast Audio, an audiobook publishing company devoted to producing full cast, unabridged recordings of material for family listening. Mr. Coville lives in Syracuse, New York, with his wife, illustrator and author Katherine Coville. Visit Bruce Coville online at his website and follow him on Twitter.

What is it that you enjoy most about Boskone?

The chance to connect with so many friends that I don’t get to see nearly often enough!

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

I’m working on the third book of “The Enchanted Files” a series that is told in diary form from the point of view of a magical being, interspersed with “supporting documents.”. The first was about a cantankerous brownie, the second about a young griffin who runs away from his aerie. The one I’m working on now is about a female troll who is passing as a human male in New York City.

So at the moment I am writing first person transvestite troll, which, yeah . . . is a bit of a challenge. But it’s also enormous fun. Which has been true for all three of these books. I have to inhabit a completely different creature each time I do one.

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

VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN! I love the Frankenstein mythos, and I’m fascinated by the new spin they’ve put on Igor. Can’t wait to see this one!

What is your favorite Star Wars memory, scene, or line? What is it that that memory, scene or line that continues to stick with you today?

A memory I cherish is having been present for the opening night of the first film way back in 1977. It was a joyful, enormously excited crowd, filled with hope for what we were about to see — and then utterly delighted when our hopes were completely fulfilled.


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