By John Hertz: It’s a new year. Last month I turned in my 2013 Worldcon report in time for File 770 163 [PDF file] — a prime issue. This month Bill Wright and I closed Down Under Fan Fund nominations, and opened voting. Boskone LI is approaching at the terrifying rate of sixty seconds a minute. So I thought I’d better tell you how golden Boskone L was.
“Boskone” for Boston + con refers to E.E. Smith’s Lensman series. His Boskone and Lens first appear in Galactic Patrol (1937); prequels and sequels followed.
The earliest Boskone conventions were hosted 1941-1945 by the Stranger Club; Boskone I of a new series in 1965 by BoSFS the Boston S-F Society; current host NESFA, the New England S-F Ass’n, took the helm with Boskone V (N.S., we might say — or anyway I might). Boskone L was 15-17 Feb 13 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel; Boskone LI will be likewise 14-16 Feb 14.
I was Special Guest at Boskone L. Boskone doesn’t have Fan Guests of Honor; the SG may be a fan or pro (or both): before me had been Guy Consolmagno, Irene Gallo, Bob Madle, Shawna McCarthy, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Toni Weisskopf, Tom Whitmore.
In fact there is one Guest of Honor. Therewith, an Official Artist; a Featured Filker (Boston’s history with filk music being mighty), later called Featured Musician; an SG; a Hal Clement Science Speaker; and a NESFA Press Guest (NESFA Press being the publishing pseudopod of NESFA). Some folks are or become variously eminent: Jordin Kare, FF in 2000, was SS in 2013.
At Boskone L the GoH was Vernor Vinge; OA, Lisa Snellings; FM, Heather Dale; SG, me; SS, Kare; NPG, Jerry Pournelle. Chair, Rick Kovalcik. Attendance about 1,000.
Suford Lewis, then NESFA President, thought to publish a fourth collection of my fanwriting, and reprint the three previous. This was done, the fourth being Neither Complete nor Conclusive, released at the con. I couldn’t or anyway didn’t resist a Lensman reference. Nor does the con newszine, naturally Helmuth speaking for Boskone.
It’s only fair to note that in the event Neither took extra hours by Suford, sleeping on a NESFA Clubhouse couch by me, learning what was with the %*?! software and printer by Paula Lieberman, and a host of others, all in a hard day’s or night’s work.
I led three Classics of S-F talks, The Man in the High Castle (1962), Moonraker (1955), and Patrol. Another project was a reprise of the Chicon VII Diane & Leo Dillon exhibit. Elizabeth Klein-Lebbink had kindly modified her top label. Sure enough Chip Hitchcock arrived with NESFA Library books the Dillons had illustrated. He’d co-chaired World Fantasy Con XXV where they were Guests of Honor.
Colored tape on the hotel’s lower-level floor ran to the Art Show, the Dealers’ Room, Hospitality. Ron Salomon talked with Pournelle about wise and unwise couplings, e.g. telephones and cameras. Guest Liaison Persis Thorndike’s daughter Talis Thorndike Love headed a children’s space, Dragon’s Lair; she’d been the child warrior helped by a dragon in “Seeking Hope” at the Millennium Philcon Masquerade, to which I and the other judges awarded Best Transformation.
Alas, I couldn’t attend “Who Painted That?”, reprising a panel or maybe game I’d built for L.A.con IV from watching Bob Eggleton browse at Massoglia Books; Renovation reprised it with Mark Olson moderating; now John Picacio moderated Eggleton, Olson, and Joe Siclari. In the Art Show, Siclari with Edie Stern curated a superb 50-year Boskone retrospective. I had my hands full with Galactic Patrol.
In that discussion Fred Lerner brought up Ezra Pound’s “news that stays news”. Lori Meltzer said the aliens weren’t what we were used to. Ben Yalow said their incomprehensibility was made a tool to show character development. I said we weren’t used to seeing that from outside. C.D. Carson said, as in Homer.
At the Awards Ceremony the Skylark, whose trophy is a lens, was given to Ginjer Buchanan. Stern had in 2012 been made a Fellow of NESFA. I said fandom’s difference was participation. Dale sang.
Moonraker was intense. Meltzer asked if its rocket could as well have been a sailboat. I expounded 1955 British rocket science, seconded by Peter Weston. We dug into the role of science in s-f, the characterization of Bond and Brand and Drax, the skill of Fleming.
I lunched with Woody Bernardi and Geri Sullivan, took Picacio’s Art Show tour and gave mine, led Regency Dancing, heard filking, and taught Zev Sero something he didn’t know about the Book of Jonah. As Judah P. Benjamin said in Britain, that’s my case, my lords.
John, that was timely and welcome, as I am about to attend my first Boskone, and am deep into the preparation of talks.
Laurie Mann has pointed out that the program schedule is now available.
Hal Clement Science Speaker
(Roman numerals are classy, but “LI” doesn’t have the majesty and sweep of, say, “XLVIII.” My correspondence with the concom has employed Arabic numerals, as far as I recall.)