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February 17-19, 2023 — Westin Boston Seaport District
December 5, 2014

Mini Interview with Vincent O’Neil and Jennifer Pelland

The Mini Interviews continue with authors Vincent O’Neil and Jennifer Pelland who many of you may already know since they are two of our local authors who are returning again this year to Boskone. For those of you who are meeting them for the first time, we hope you enjoy this introduction to Vincent and Jennifer. For those of you who already know them, we think you’ll also enjoy these interviews because, hey!, it’s Vinny and Jen!

Vincent O’Neil


Vincent H. O’Neil is the Malice Award-winning author of five mystery novels. Most recently he’s published the military sci-fi survival tale Glory Main (as Henry V. O’Neil) and Interlands, a Lovecraftian horror novel set in Providence, Rhode Island featuring the historian Angela Morse. For more information visit Vincent’s website and find him on Facebook.

What is it that you enjoy most about Boskone?

Vincent O’Neil (VO): Honestly, I really like to spend time in the con suite area. That seems to be the big crossroads of Boskone, and I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve made just striking up conversations there. Sci-fi and fantasy people are always so enthusiastic about the many different facets of these genres, and the Boskone crowd is extremely engaged on so many levels. There are a lot of things to do and see right there, from participating in different discussion groups to perusing the amazing art work on display. The Boskone program is always packed with excellent panels, but when I’m not at one of those I usually head back to the con suite to see what they’ve got going on and who’s up for a chat.

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

(VO):  Just after I graduated from West Point, I entered a grueling army training school known as the Ranger course. Ranger lasts two months, and the students aren’t fed much and don’t get to sleep much while carrying heavy loads over difficult terrain and accomplishing various graded tasks. It was an enormous challenge, but it was also a humbling experience that taught me a lot about myself. Whenever I’ve been faced with a tough situation, I’ve usually been able to reach back to the Ranger course for inspiration and motivation.

I based my first mil sci-fi novel Glory Main: Book One of the Sim War Series on the Ranger experience, placing my main characters in a survival situation with no water, food, or weapons. As they overcome one obstacle, an even worse one pops up to take its place. It was quite a trip down memory lane, and several of my classmates from Ranger have remarked that it is highly reminiscent of that experience.

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

(VO):  HarperVoyager is releasing the sequel to Glory Main, entitled Orphan Brigade, in January of 2015. Right now, I’m writing the third book in the Sim War series, and it’s a whole lot of fun to build on the universe and characters presented in the first two books.

Whereas Glory Main was a gritty tale of survival, Orphan Brigade has a much broader scope and explores some of the darker ramifications of humanity’s war against the humanoid Sims. The third book ties several earlier threads together while adding still more complexity to the storyline, and it’s a real challenge to stay true to the preceding books while allowing the plot and the characters to continue to evolve.

That’s one of the best things about attending Boskone: Everyone is so well-read and well-versed in sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and other genres that I always come away excited about getting back to whatever I’m writing at the time. It’s really a great convention, and I highly recommend it.

Jennifer PellandJenniferPelland

Jennifer Pelland is a Boston-area writer and bellydancer. Her novel Machine and short story collection Unwelcome Bodies were published by Apex Publications. She’s most recently been published in Glitter and Mayhem, Chicks Unravel Time, and Queers Dig Time Lords.

What is it that you enjoy most about Boskone?
Visit Jennifer’s website for more information, find her on Facebook, check out her dancing, and follow her on Twitter @jenniferpelland

Jennifer Pelland (JP): Mostly that it’s relaxing. There’s much more time for me to just hang out and talk with my old writing friends at Boskone than there is at other cons. I appreciate that it’s not as insanely scheduled as other local conventions, and that it still has a lot of opportunities for fun. It was a lot less relaxing back when I was writing, but now that I’m just there as a fan? Ahhhh…

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

(JP): Right now, I’m working on crafting a belly dance piece for a show based on The Night Circus by Erin Morgernstern. I’m going to be embodying the Ice Garden. It’s fascinating to be part of a dance show that’s based on a piece of literature. The toughest part, beyond satisfying the fans of the book, is the fact that my piece is glacially slow. So I need to make sure I completely banish my adrenaline before going on stage. I’ve managed to do it for previous super-slow performances, but each one is a new challenge.

The show is Saturday, December 6th at 7 pm at the Cambridge YMCA. All proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. For more information, visit

Once I’m done with that, then I need to start prepping for Arisia’s Geeky Belly Dance Show. Last year, I was a belly dancing Dalek, complete with twirling plunger, so that’s gonna be tough to top.

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

(JP): Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever already aired, so I guess I can’t use that as my answer. And I’m not sure The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore counts as something fannish, but I’m chomping at the bit for it. I hope it fills the void left behind by Totally Biased, because it was a crime when it was canceled. I guess I’m hoping for good things from SyFy’s version of Twelve Monkeys and from Ascension. They finally got their shit together with Helix (and to a lesser extent with Defiance), so hopefully they’re back to making good SF television. But who am I kidding? I’ll also watch Sharknado 3 when it airs. It doesn’t all need to be good.


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