My Boskone Schedule

by wjw on February 15, 2017

I’ll be in Boston this weekend for Boskone 54, one of my favorite conventions.  It’s large, it’s literate, it has a very large percentage of professional attendees, and even after all these years it’s still about the books, which is clear the second you walk into the large dealer room, with table after table of (often rare or obscure) volumes by your favorite authors.

At Boskone, events on Friday afternoon are free (including a couple of mine, apparently).  So if you want to see me (or Brandon Sanderson or Jo Walton or any of the other fine guests), but lack the dosh for a ticket, come on Friday afternoon and you’ll be very welcome.

Here’s my schedule, if any of you want to stalk me:

My Toughest Book

Friday 15:00 – 16:00, Burroughs (Westin)

What makes a book difficult to write, or difficult to write well? Is ignorance of the subject matter a barrier? Is knowing too much? We’re always told to “write what you know,” but can this be a trap? How about troubles with plot, character, dialog, or pacing? Our panel of authors recall which of their works had the most arduous gestation.

Brandon Sanderson, Charles Stross, Walter Jon Williams, Darlene Marshall (M), Allen M. Steele


Roger Zelazny: _Lord of Light_

Friday 17:00 – 18:00, Marina 3 (Westin)

This Hugo-winning and Nebula-nominated novel created a sensation 50 years ago. Does it still excite the modern reader? Was its mix of SF and fantasy elements influential on other writers, or did it stand alone? Are the Hindu/Buddhist elements mere decoration, or do they provide a backbone for the story and its world? The book’s episodic structure allows individual chapters to contain complete stories. How do those stories coalesce to create a complete novel?

Walter Jon Williams, Jordin T. Kare, Paul Di Filippo (M), Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Jo Walton


Indie Pub Your Backlist

Saturday 10:00 – 11:00, Marina 2 (Westin)

Do you have old stories that were published ages ago, now lingering in drawers, gathering dust — not getting read? Independent publishers can be a great resource for letting your stories see the light of day again, and drumming up interest from new readers. We’ll discuss ideas on revitalizing your backlist and finding indie publishers for your unpublished early gems.

Walter Jon Williams, Joshua Bilmes (M), Richard Shealy, Juliana Spink Mills, Craig Shaw Gardner


Autographing: Craig Shaw Gardner, Steven Popkes, Melinda Snodgrass, Walter Jon Williams

Saturday 12:00 – 13:00, Galleria – Autographing (Westin)

Ms Melinda Snodgrass, Craig Shaw Gardner, Walter Jon Williams, Steven Popkes


Digital Rights and Other Small Press Traps and Issues

Saturday 14:00 – 15:00, Marina 4 (Westin)

How has the revolution in (and evolution of) digital technology affected the SF publishing field? What has the popularity/promise of e-books and of e-publishing in general done to demand, and to the whole publishing process? What are the complications of these media, barely out of their infancy? What do writers, readers, and publishers need to know to avoid running into trouble in these exciting (but dangerous) digital waters?

Darlene Marshall (M), Walter Jon Williams, Neil Clarke


Kaffeeklatsch: Walter Jon Williams

Sunday 11:00 – 12:00, Harbor I – Kaffeeklatsch 1 (Westin)

Walter Jon Williams


Best Book EVER!

Sunday 13:00 – 14:00, Harbor II (Westin)

Some books are good. Some books are great. And some are the BEST BOOK EVER! Let’s dish over the works that stand out — that changed the way we think about reading — as well as those that fed our appetite for fine fiction and made us hungry for more. What does it take to top your list of all-time great reads?

Maryelizabeth Yturralde, Walter Jon Williams (M), Emma Caywood, Richard R. Horton

Matt February 19, 2017 at 6:55 am

For me, the best books ever have to be based on realism.
Not that they have to happen in our real world, but that they are consistent with the world they are in.

Characters shouldn’t be motivated by the plot. That isn’t what life is like. They should be motivated by who they are and react to the plot as it happens to them.

I love dead empires fall because your characters don’t just get on with the war. They go to clubs, have arguments and misunderstand each other. GRRM has brilliant characters who have completely unique objectives, Robert Jordan’s amazing books had good characters directly working against each other, you couldn’t even be sure who was “good”.

If you have amazing characters, I think you could write the best book ever about anything. The characters will have you committed to their story.
(Lots of exciting stuff and surprising twists do help though. I can’t bear all of that poignant cleverer than thou stuff.

Matt February 19, 2017 at 6:58 am

P.S.. I hope I haven’t made the other books sound better than yours, it’s just that I’m quite conscious that you might read this and its made me feel a little bit fan boy and shy.
(I am 40 and should know better)
I live your books, thank you.

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