Archive for the ‘Experience Boskone’ Category

Deciding on whether or not to attend as a family? With activities in the Dragonslair to sword fighting/combat demostrations to gaming to music Boskone has a little something for everyone.

DragonsLair is a place for kids activities and programming. Any child between the ages of 7 and 12 with a membership may attend. Story-telling, sing-a-longs, sessions with Higgin’s Armory people, crafts and reading are among our activities.

*Note that DragonsLair does not take responsibility for keeping kids from wandering off, so we aim it at somewhat older/presumably more “free range” kids. A younger child (ages 5 and 6) could probably be in DragonsLair on his own. If not, a parent could stay with the child and do Dragonslair together with him.

Dragonslair schedule (as of 2/15):

Friday 5pm: Games in Dragonslair
Saturday 10am: Wing Building
Saturday 11am: Midnight Belles at Dragonslair – Spooky and funny songs and stories of the land and sea by The Midnight Belles with April Grant, Faye Ringel
Saturday 12noon: Sword and Buckler Demonstration – Have at you! Witness the subtle skills of attack, parry, and grapple as the Higgins Armory Sword Guild brings to life the earliest recorded style of swordplay, which features priests, students, and women as combatants.
Saturday 12:30pm: Arming a Knight -Have you ever wondered how a knight got into his armor? It wasn’t easy. Come watch as the demonstrators of the Higgins Armory Sword Guild harness a knight for combat and explain how his armor works.
Saturday 1pm: Medieval Halberd Drill and Workshop – Learn to be a soldier in a medieval army! Members of the Higgins Armory Sword Guild will demonstrate the use of the halberd, a late-medieval polearm, and then teach Dragonslair participants battlefield drill with the weapon.
Saturday 2pm: Storytelling with Bruce Coville
Saturday 3pm: Acting & Voicing with Robert Kuhn
Saturday 4pm: Longswords and Lightsabers by Kunstbruder Come learn to use either a lightsaber or a longsword! Lessons will be done with safe, foam weapons.
Saturday 5pm: Fun & Games with Walter H. Hunt
Sunday 10am: Crafts for Kids: Going Buggy with Priscilla Olson
Sunday 11am: Magic Show with Daniel P. Dern
Sunday 12noon: Stories for Kids withLeah Cypess
Sunday 1pm: Scary Stories for Kids with Sarah Langan

Swordsmanship, Fighting style demonstrations
Longing for a little action? On Saturday both Higgins Armory and Kunstbruder will stage various events in the Galleria. If you want to take part, sign-up at the Consuite. Otherwise, feel free to watch the action right before your eyes. Click here to see photos from 2010.

Saturday 12noon: Medieval Swords by Kunstbruder Come learn to use the longsword in the medieval German tradition! Hands-on lessons will be done in small groups, so sign up early with Kunstbruder in the con suite!
Saturday 3pm: Rapier Fencing Class Come try the martial art of the Renaissance gentlemen. Con-goers are welcome to take part, no experience necessary. Equipment will be provided. (Space is limited, so sign up early with Higgins in the Consuite.)
Saturday 2pm: Greatstick Demonstration and Class Come experience the living descendant of the medieval longsword. Con-goers are welcome to take class, no experience necessary. (Space is limited, so sign up early with Higgins in the Consuite.)

Music (Filk)
Filksongs are fandom’s folk songs, generally played on acoustic guitar, with themes of SF, fantasy and fannish interests. If your kids like music, listening to filk can be lots of fun.

Filk schedule (as of 2/15)

Saturday 2pm Griffin: Theme Filk Circle: “Philosophy” Come bring your favorite songs about philosophers or deep thoughts, or just listen, and don’t forget Immanuel Kant was a real pissant with Erica Neely
Saturday 9pm Griffin: Open Filking Keep on singing as long as you can stay awake
Sunday 12:30pm Griffin: Filk Theme Circle: “Eldrich Horrors” Got songs about Cthulhu, zombies, or demons under the bed? Come join in the singing or just listen with Ellen Kranzer
Sunday 4pm Griffin: Open Filking Last chance to sing together.

Did a swashbuckler steal your gold? Did Batman divert your nuclear strike on your estate? Not to worry, gaming has you covered. Gaming will be located in the Galleria Ballroom near the Hucksters Room and is open throughout normal hours of the convention.  Both tournaments are back and, because you asked for it, the video games have been updated and Call of Duty will be on the Xbox 360. We’ve even got zombie games for the zombie party, so come on in and play, but please don’t fall to pieces

Con Suite is our hospitality area, and it’s between the Art Show and Hucksters Room. Stop by for some soda and munchies, to meet new and old friends and have fun!



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Come join these authors, editors, and artists for a drink and discussion about anything under the sun or beyond the stars. Check out the pocket program in your registration package to see who will be doing what, and when. However, before grabbing your cuppa coffee or buying your beer and joining the group, be sure to sign up early for your preferred session to avoid losing your seat at the table!

This is your chance to ask that burning question about the new novel. Hear some interesting stories about the struggles of being a writer or making your first sale. You might even meet a new friend, discover some new books for your “to read” list, or compare notes during a critical discussion about a literary theory. These small group discussions are rewarding opportunities to get to know your favorite writer better.

Sláinte (Cheers),


Listed below are the dates, times and writers/artists who have made themselves available to chat with you.

Note: These dates and times are “almost” final. Times, participants and places are subject to change. Please be sure to check the final conference schedule once it is posted. Please remember that attending these sessions requires advance sign-up.




  • 10am [Galleria]: Greer Gilman, Jo Walton
  • 11am [Galleria]: Jeanne M. Cavelos
  • 12noon [Galleria]: Esther Friesner, Christopher Golden
  • 1pm [Galleria]: Peter V. Brett, David Anthony Durham
  • 2pm [Galleria]: Margaret Ronald, Melinda Snodgrass
  • 3pm [Galleria]: Neil Clarke, Beth Meacham
  • 4pm [Galleria]: Laird Barron, Sarah Langan, Paul G. Tremblay


  • 5pm [Galleria]: Charlaine Harris, Toni L. P. Kelner
  • 10am [Galleria]: Joan Slonczewski
  • 11am [Galleria]: Bruce Coville, Jane Yolen
  • 12noon [Galleria]: Michael F. Flynn
  • 1pm [Galleria]: Charles Stross
  • 2pm [Galleria]: Walter H. Hunt, Alexander Jablokov




  • 12noon [Bar]: Ginjer Buchanan, John R. Douglas
  • 1pm [Bar]: Karl Schroeder
  • 2pm [Bar]: Michael F. Flynn, James Patrick Kelly
  • 3pm [Bar]: Michael Swanwick
  • 4pm [Bar]: Jeffrey A. Carver
  • 5pm [Bar]: Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald


  • 12noon [Bar]: Jean-Pierre Normand, Omar Rayyan
  • 1pm [Bar]: Irene Gallo, Greg Manchess
  • 2pm [Bar]: Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden

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“I, Eric Norseman, my assistant Pam, and the vampires of Louisiana have prepared an evening event to honor the Maker.”

The Boskone Friday night event is a mix of story-telling and role play with a murder-mystery flair.  The Galleria Ballroom transforms into Fangtasia, a vampire owned-run bar where mortals are welcome at their own risk. Complete with a cast of characters based on Charlaine Harris’ books, this event is sure to be a playful event that even shy bookish-types will enjoy.

Event creator Mary Dumas took some time to divulge more tasty tidbits about this curious event:

B: Is this your first time creating an event like this?

M: This is the first time I’ve done this in over two decades.  In a
previous life, before children, I did similar things for corporate
groups in Los Angeles, as part of the catering staff for the L.A.
Music Center.  It helps a lot that I’m a big fan of Ms. Harris’ Sookie
Stackhouse books, and I’ve found actors and friends who are fans of
the True Blood HBO series.

B: Is it hard to create an event for a discerning science fiction crowd at a convention like Boskone?

M: It is harder to produce a good script for a crowd like Boskone’s
membership than for a less well-read group.  You must have read the
books, and you must have made an effort to know other books that
relate to the theme.  And you have to have a sense of humor.

B: Is this Fangtasia going to be similar to the TV show version?

M: The setting from the books written by Charlaine Harris have been very
faithfully represented in the TV series.  So, yes, Fangtasia will be
similar to the TV show version, insomuch as the books describe it so

B: If people want to dress up, can they? Do you have any suggestions on attire?

M: Absolutely!  It’s always fun to dress up for an occasion, and those
tourists who would go to the Fangtasia of the books would try to put
their best goth-foot forward.  But even a nice dress or suit would be
welcome, as Eric’s assistant, Pam, has a love for 1960s haute couture.

B: Anything else you want to say to convince people who might deciding on coming?

M: No one will bite you, even if you look delicious, as that is deeply
frowned upon in the world Charlaine Harris has introduced us to.
These vampires all want to assimilate and be part of the world at
large.  (Don’t worry, this acting troop knows not to make people feel
uncomfortable.  If you are friendly and just want to chat they will
hold their cosplay in check, but they will still be who they

Still curious? Take a peek at the cast bios (in no particular order):

SUFORD: Though often caught up in concom & other sercon stuff, Suford is loves being in a play or a musical. Last year she was in “Godson” by Roger Zelazny, a musical play staged at Boskone. She directed “The Filkado” performed at Noreascon 4 and has been in the chorus with the Sudbury Savoyards. Delving deep into the past, she enjoyed playing Frederick in “The Pirates of Penzance” and von Stein in “Masquerade in Vienna” (a shortened version of “Die Fleidermaus”)–ah! the advantages of going to a girls school.

Corey Philips (Eric Northman) teaches fencing, stage combat, and historical weapons at the Guard Up school in Burlington. When not encouraging fighting amongst his students, he designs and creates special effects makeup for stage, screen, and other projects, and has been called adept at “bringing people’s dreams- and nightmares- to life.” He spent most of October terrorizing Burlington with a pack of zombies, and some time during the summer as a herald of Death. He’d like to thank his colleagues in advance for what will surely be a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Lara Jay – Lara is a graduate of the International Stunt School, a certified Actor/Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors, and a fight choreographer/instructor for many schools, theater companies, independent films and private classes. She has been acting and modelling for over 15 years and has worked in everything from major motion pictures to fringe theatre. She is currently working with independent film companies Paracelsus films and Unicovia Pictures as well as Suit of Sables Theatre. She has been set on fire, fought werewolves, vampires, and many, many zombies, does horse stunts, and probably spends far too much time reading.

Pamela “Izumi” Larson- Pam has been directing Worcester News Tonight for over 15 years. In her spare time she has been appearing as Blind Mag for the Boston Legal Assassins Repo shadowcast, Gwen Cooper from Torchwood, Astrid Peth from Dr. Who and her personal favorite Izumi Curtis from Fullmetal Alchemist for a variety of conventions in the Northeast. She is also a hardcore Duran Duran fan and a avid reader of the works of Neil Gaiman.

Paul J (PJ) Letersky – (Bill) – PJ is a Connecticut-based actor and musician who has been performing in various productions on-stage, on-screen and on television for over 20 years. He is an avid cosplayer in conventions on the East Coast, where you will most likely find him “not quite himself.” Over the last 5 years, his primary characters for conventions have been Ed Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, Dante from Devil May Cry 3 and Hei from Darker than Black. He recently has been an orderly on numerous episodes of Royal Pains, a Postal Supervisor in episodes of Boardwalk Empire, and occasionally photo doubles for Alan Cumming on The Good Wife. He really looks forward to having a great time with Boskone tonight!

David Lee – David has been teaching swordsmanship to kids and adults for over six years at Guard Up, a family swordsmanship school in Burlington. He also has an artistic background with a degree in graphic design. Thanks to his workplace, he has been able to expand his creative skills in roleplaying and creative imagination. David is a huge lover of all things Japanese, enjoying all aspects of the culture. You can find him attending local anime conventions cosplaying and doing swordsmanship panels. Having watched many anime shows and manga series, David could easily suggest a dvd or book for those that would pique your interest in Japanese culture or for the seasoned enthusiast.

Fangtasia takes place the opening night of Boskone (Friday 2/18) at 8pm in the Galleria Ballroom. True Blood will be available for those so inclined, as well as a bar and snacks for our mortal and shifter friends.

The Boskone Art Show Reception begins at 10pm, immediately following this costume-friendly event, near the Art Show portion of the Galleria.

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When you use the word “filk” your speech be prepared for a variety of very strong opinions. People will seems to either love it or hate it with little room for gray area. But I think more people have a love/hate relationship with it, tending to hide the love side until you see the smile lift the corners of their mouth at an impromptu song.

What is filk?  According to the MASSFILC, the Filk Music Club of New England, “Filk is a subset of folk music that is practiced in, by and for the Science Fiction and Fantasy community.”  So if you like folk and science fiction chances are you’ll like filk.

You’ll also find a fair amount of parody, wit and inside jokes in these songs. So even if folk music in general isn’t your style, the lyrics will have you smiling despite yourself.

Want a crash course in filking? Click here for Filkinf 101.

Every year at Boskone, we choose a Featured Filker. This year, we’ve thrilled to have Erica Neely, who was inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame in 2009. New songs like  “Why You Haven’t Heard of Me” and “Average SCAdian Girl” are simple joys. To hear previews, click here.

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My love affair with  Boskone was completely accidental. Three years ago, as my husband and I prepared for our sci-fi wedding, we decided we wanted to celebrate by attending local conventions. Being in Manchester, NH we planned on attending “Granite-con” hosted by our local comic book store, Double Midnight Comics. But outside of that, we weren’t sure where else to go.

Enter the Internet.

I found the Boskone 46 site in early February. The site was basic and the programming schedule hadn’t been posted, but we were intrigued. The week of we found the programming schedule and noticed it was chock full of events: panels, discussions, demonstrations and the art show.  So we took a chance and decided to head down with our 12 year-old son for Saturday.

What we found was a breath of fresh air; a convention focused on literature, writing and authors. Panels focused on books, writing techniques, debates about themes with robust amounts of audience participation thrown in.  Of course the demonstrations from the Higgins Armory Sword Guild was one of my favorite events, especially the demonstration of a Jedi light saber duel and the break down of styles and techniques behind it.

Our first experience inspired us to spend the night for Boskone 47. My husband, a high school creative writing/journalism teacher, my son and I divided and conquered for panels. I attended my first Kaffeeklatsche (an informal round table chat) with program participant Vernor Vinge (so cool!) and my son (not surprisingly) found his way to the game tables. As a family we regrouped for dinner and watched Godson on Saturday night. By Sunday afternoon, my husband and I had volunteered to help for Boskone 48.

If you’re on the fence about coming this year, I encourage you to come if only for a day. Come join the discussion and you won’t be disappointed. See you there !

The author with folks from the HASG


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