Had a great time at Boskone--my first Boskone on some panels, doing a reading and a signing. I had my reading Friday night at 10:30--I read chapter 1 from Sea Throne to an audience of five. Before that I took in the Graphic Novel (& comic) panel with Christopher Golden, John Langan, Stefan Petrucha, Alisa Kwitney Sheckley, Rene Walling. Also caught the YA panel with Chris Golden, who just seems like a cool guy who's done a lot of cool stuff--comics, ya, mainstream fantasy, horror, you name it.
Then it was off to the Uncanny Valley panel on the acceptence of human-like robots with Muriel Hykes, Robert Katz, Jim Kelly, Paul Melko, Allen Steele, and Charles Stross. Stross I think beat everyone else at good barbed make-you-think comments. Paul Melko (I started Walls of the Universe last Thursday) added humor--among other things--to an already fading Friday evening (Friday night seemed a bit subdued to me, as if everyone was tired from traveling, long day, etc. I know I'd been working all day, and left right for the con, didn't get home until after midnight).
Saturday started early. I had a 10 AM panel on Men Writing Women--it was me, Paul Melko, Joshua B. Palmatier, Alisa Kwitney Sheckley, and Joel Shepherd, with Paul Melko moderating. (I'm considering this my first real con panel appearance. I've been on a panel at UMass Lowell, done a couple readings and signings--Pandemonium Books and Water Street Books, but this Boskone is my first con as a full panelist. Really fun, BTW, even for us Introverts). Good questions on gender behavior, how to write as a female character--and whether the writer even thinks explicitly in those terms while writing. Skott and I spent the next hour talking to Alisa Kwitney Sheckley and Joel Shepherd (cool SF and fantasy writer from Australia in the US on an educational project with our Congress). Alisa (of Vertigo where she worked on Sandman--how cool is that!--and a bunch of other stuff) has a novel coming out next month: The Better to Hold You.
I was on the New Marketing Technologies panel at 12:00 talking about ebooks, podcasting web comics, creative commons licensing, and all the ways authors can sell their work and themselves using all the new tech out there, with Darlene Marshall, me, James Patrick Kelly, Dani Kollin, Eytan Kollin, Shane Tourtellotte. I'll take this moment to say that Darlene Marshall is one of the best moderators around--that and all the insight and experience she brought to this particular panel. Jim Kelly had a lot to say on this one--obviously--from ebooks to podcasting. Eytan and Dani Kollin, brothers and collaborative authors of the forthcoming The Unincorporated Man, had us laughing, and jumped in with a wealth of web marketing and book launch experience. (I'm really sorry I missed their Literary Beer, although I got a card from Dani just before that). Looking forward to reading their first novel.
I did get to Jeff Carver's literary beer, crowded but a lot of good talk around the table, on marketing and publishing. Jeff also came to my reading, Friday night, which was very cool--thanks, Jeff!
At 3:00 PM I took in the Sketch to Finish panel with Dave Seeley, Dan Dos Santos, Donato Giancola, and Stephen Martiniere. This was an AMAZING panel, each artist running through and explaining progressive steps in their work. I've seen some of these presentations and videos online (probably linked from Irene Gallo's blog), but it was extra cool to have the artists there and filling in the details. I picked up a lot in this panel and the art panel I was on Sunday--things like using many more layers in Photoshop than I do now--Stephen Martiniere said he regularly used 50 and sometimes as many as a 100! I don't think I've ever done any digital work with more than twenty layers--and I thought that was excessive. I also loved Stephen's use of highlighting and methods for building a scene.
Sunday morning, bright an early, I was on the Clothing in SF and Fantasy Art panel with Alan F. Beck, Elaine Isaak, Margaret Organ-Kean, Ruth Sanderson. I think what made this one especially cool were the differences we brought to the panel. A couple of us were mainstream F&SF authors (me and Elaine Isaak), with three pro artists. I did some research and note taking before the panel. I thought this was going to be a tough one--turned out to be fun and enlightening. Not sure what the others throught of me advocating for natural origins in clothing. (With my own characters in Seaborn, I drew from marine life, fish scales, crab carapace armor, etc).
At noon, I was on another art panel, this time with the incomparable Stephen Martiniere, Dave Seeley and Alan Beck. This one had the unfortunate title, Drawing with a Mouse, but ended up as an overview of digital art, with advantages and disadvantages of the medium. Good questions in this one as well, even if it did occasionally plummet into strange technology and storage solutions discussions. For me, what was really weird was being on the panel with Irene Gallo in the audience. Yeah, I'm still stunned--yes, shocked and stunned.
Ended Boskone with a book signing at 2:00 PM with Ann Tonsor Zeddies. I signed a couple copies of Seaborn, and spent the rest of the time talking about web comics, art, and Japan.
Great con, missed a lot of authors this year. Hoping Boskone draws them all back next. (I know several people were sick for this one, so hoping we've cured all disease for Boskone 47!)