Two weeks from now at this time, I’m going to be going over the household master packing list for Boskone, our other midwinter cabin-fever preventative convention, all the while keeping an eye on the weather predictions. (The blizzard that hit Boston missed us, thanks to the White Mountains acting as a barrier, but we’ve got snow scheduled to come in from the Great Lakes tomorrow. This time of year, anything can happen – we got snowed in at Arisia during the Blizzard of 2005, to pick an extreme example.)
Herewith, an advance heads-up for the unified Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald Boskone convention schedule:
Saturday, 14 February, 10:00 AM
The Future of Forensics
Advances in science and technology are driving the future of forensics. How will these changes affect the future of crime prevention and detection? What crimes committed today or yesterday might be solved in the future, and how might it be done? What relationship do these advances have to the future of crime fiction? And how do we keep it feeling “real” without wandering into science fantasy?
John P. Murphy (M), James D. Macdonald, Alison Sinclair
Saturday, 11:00 AM
Mythic Love and Epic Romance
Some of the greatest love stories come from ancient mythology, such as Psyche and Cupid or Odysseus and Penelope. However, great love stories that span the fantastic and (in some cases) the centuries also come in more modern tales, featuring couples such as Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese, Bella and Edward, Wesley and Buttercup, Dr. Frankenstein and Elizabeth, and Count Dracula and Mina. What do these tales of love and romance tell us about love? What do these epic love stories tell us about ourselves? And why are we drawn to them?
Darlene Marshall (M), Debra Doyle, Max Gladstone, Chris Jackson, Ada Palmer
Saturday, 2:00 PM
The Walking Dead: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The Walking Dead opened its fifth season with a literal bang and seems to be going strong despite the occasional halting plot, erratic pace, and poor choices made by several characters in past seasons. Still, it remains the most popular show on cable television. What is it about TWD that compels 17 million viewers to keep watching a show that is possibly one of the most violent on television?
Erin Underwood (M), James D. Macdonald, Jennifer Pelland, Thomas Sweterlitsch, Steve Davidson
Saturday, 3:00 PM
The Hollywood Historical Past
Sleepy Hollow is not the first TV show with a historical backstory that diverges from real-world history. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Highlander also presented us with some highly dubious flashbacks. Is this a recent development, or only the latest product of the ahistorical approach to the past-as-story that gave us Shakespeare’s Italy and medieval writers’ fanciful versions of ancient Greece and Rome?
Saturday, 4:00 PM
Writing Fight and Combat Scenes
You can learn fencing, stage combat, or martial arts, but these skills are neither necessary nor sufficient to write compelling, realistic fight scenes. What does it take to write a fight scene that creates tension and drama without turning it into a play-by-play? Panelists will explore how to bring their readers into the fight and leave them gasping for air.
Myke Cole (M), Chris Jackson, James D. Macdonald, Ken Mondschein, Jen Gunnels
Saturday, 5:00 PM
Autographing: David L. Clements, Debra Doyle, James Macdonald, Allen Steele
Sunday, 15 February, 11:00 AM
Writing Workshops: What’s Right for You as a New Writer?
Thinking about attending a writing workshop or an MFA program? Wondering how to pick which one is right for you? Once you do, then what? There is no magic formula to elicit an acceptance letter, but a solid application is a good place to start. Join representatives from various writing programs and learn how to present the best of what you have to offer as a student.
Kenneth Schneyer (M), Debra Doyle, Theodora Goss, Shahid Mahmud, Jill Shultz
Sunday, 12:30 PM
Reading: James Macdonald and Debra Doyle
The reading very likely will be “Silver Passing in Sunlight” from the upcoming DECO PUNK: The Spirit of the Age anthology published by Pink Narcissus. A world premiere!
A note in passing: The Hollywood Historical Past is a “discussion group”, not a panel, which at Boskone means that I’ll be holding down a table in the Galleria, and interested parties are welcome to join me there and have a lively conversation about the topic. If you’re at Boskone and are an interested party, do show up; if the topic isn’t your cup of tea, but you know someone who might enjoy it, please feel free to pass the word along.