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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
vividly.

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
represent.)

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.

The discounted rates for the Westin Boston Waterfront close Monday 1/31. Click here to book now.

Charles Stross (Boskone 48 guest of honor) burst onto the SF scene in 2003, when Ace published Singularity Sky and the folks at Hugo gave it a nod. He has yet to leave center stage.

The novella Concrete Jungle took a Hugo in 2005, Accelerando brought home a Locus in 2006 and Stross walked with Boskone’s Skylark Award in 2008. Let us not forget the Bob Howard series, The Jennifer Morgue being the best-known entry, that seems to be making Stross some money. Howard is metaphysical James Bond for the IT set, among other things, and his continued adventures make for an approachable but nicely challenging read.

That’s a pretty amazing six years, no matter that Stross got his first short story published in Interzone in the mid ’80s and started out writing RPG articles for White Dwarf in the late 1970s.

The secret to Stross’ success is simple: He’s a good writer, who respects the intelligence of his readers and brings new ideas to the table. Whether you’re diving into Singularity and pondering the motives of an alien race who instantaneously relocated vast swathes of the human race, wondering how a bank could be robbed through a MMORPG, or perusing the hapless (but not helpless) Bob Howard’s adventures in The Atrocity Archives, there’s nearly always a sense of “I haven’t read this before, and I like it.”

Stross is a Boskone veteran and his panels are well-attended and lively. He’s a class act all around, and well worth a look see and a listen. And a read.

Rob Greene is a writer and English teacher in southern New Hampshire.

Boskone 46 main art walk

Boskone 48 is proud to host  one of the largest Science Fiction & Fantasy Art Shows of any East Coast regional convention.

This year’s Art Show will showcase original works by Official Artist Gregory Manchess. His color rich pieces cross genre and show an array of deep colors, light and shadow. Another gallery of his work is available on the Tor website.

 

The Art Show will also feature art from the New England states and beyond, on up to 100 panels plus about a dozen tables for 3-D work. New artsists are encouraged to enter and we support diversity by holding some space for new entrants. Most work will be available for sale via auction using written bids.

It will also include a Print Shop, with hundreds of reproductions available for immediate sale.

Already own art and are looking to sell?  A resale area is available where anyone may enter previously-purchased items that they wish to sell.

For more information on the Art Show, click here.

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.

Registration rates

The deadline for pre-registration is January 18. If you register now the membership rates are:
Adult memberships – $49
College student memberships – $35
K-12 student memberships – $25

At-the-door rates are:
$58-entire con (student rates are the same as the pre-registration rates)
$15-Friday only,
$43-Saturday only
$15-Sunday only

Purchasing 2 adult membership before January 18 saves you $18! That’s money you can spend on items you really want in the Hucksters Room. Or put towards dinner at the LTK.

Extended deadline for hotel conference rate
Special conference rates are available at the Westin Boston Waterfront (the host hotel of Boskone) if you book by January 31.

For more information or to make reservations, click here.

New to Boskone and not sure if you want to stay overnight? Saturday and Sunday morning programs usually start around 9:30-10am, so if you’re not a morning person or travel from outside of Boston, it may be fun to consider.  Here’s an example of past programming from the Boskone 47 (2010) site.

Harry Clement Stubbs, more commonly known as Hal Clement, he was born in 1922 in Somerville, MA. He was an American science fiction writer and a leader of the hard science fiction subgenre. He published over a dozen novels including “Mission of Gravity” published in 1954 which has become a genre classic and can still be found for sale on sites like Amazon.com In addition to writing, he taught for over 40 years.

He was a fixture on the Boskone Program from the first Boskone until his death in 2003 — forty consecutive conventions . He combined a deep knowledge of science blended with wonder and he combined joy in the learning of it with joy in the teaching of it.

After his death, NESFA decided to honor him by establishing the Hal Clement Science Speaker as a memorial. Each year Boskone  brings someone who shares his wide interest in science combined with a love of science fiction to speak at Boskone. This year’s speaker is Joan Slonczewski.

A biologist and a science fiction writer, whose novel A Door into Ocean won the John Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. In her study guide for the book, she expresses why she wrote the book as well as discussing the “gender polarities”. She has published five additional books and has a new book in the works for 2011.

Click here to read the first eight chapters of her new book, The Highest Frontier.