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Boskone

    Boskone was great.  This is the second time I’ve attended, and it is stacking up to be one of my favorite conventions.   Some of this is due to the fact I get to see my friends from Australia, Janice Gelb and Stephen Boucher, and my friend Sam Butler from NY, but it is also a con where lots of writers and lots of readers talk about books for two and a half days.
    I did a _lot_ of programming.  Sam had a great idea for a panel or a “conversation” as he billed it with Ian Tregillis, Sam and me.  It was about the business of writing.  What can you write off?  When can you write off?  What’s a fair deduction?  How do you set a work schedule?  This isn’t mystic, it’s a job.  A couple of people came up afterward and said it was one the best pieces of programming they had ever attended, so kudos to Sam for setting this up.
    The only confusion was over the reading.  Ian and I had been scheduled together and thought we had an hour.  We only had 25 minutes which meant that Ian got stiffed for a chance to read.  If it’d been clearer we might have just passed on the reading, or picked a project we are writing together such as our spec pilot, OUTPOST.
    I met Ian’s web designer, Richard Mueller who is tremendously fun and charming, and oh, my god, talented.  Check out Ian’s web site.  He will design a website for you and he also designs business cards for people.
    Because the hotel is out in a corporate area the food situation is pretty dire.  There were a few places close by that I didn’t know about so I ended up eating bad food in the hotel, served by rude staff.  In this economy they should have been glad to see us.
    I was on an interesting panel about why Hollywood keeps doing remakes of classic movies.  I had come down with an awful cold, and had gotten up at 4:00 am so I wasn’t at my scintillating best.  There was a movie critic moderating the panel who had a lot of interesting things to say though he probably talked more than a moderator strictly should, and one writer who made it his business to trash Hollywood and the people who work there.  Which left me in the position as the only Hollywood hack defending the process.  Yes, there is a lot to complain about, but we really, truly don’t set out to make bad movies or television shows.  None of us get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and like a mustache twirling villain say, “By god, I want to make a really crappy movie today.”  A member of the audience brought up the endless Saw movies, or Halloween, etc.  Yes, you could argue they are “bad” in an objective sense, but they actually do exactly as they are intended — they are very cheap and quick to make an the generate money for a studio that can be used for more ambitious projects.
    Saturday night we went off for a lingering dinner with dear friends, and talked about books, the economy since our friend Sam was there to give us insight into the entire debacle from the point of view of a bond trader, movies — Stephen and I battled over Slumdog vs. Benjamin Button.  He and Janice hated Button, thought it was dull and slow, and I thought Slumdog was way overhyped.  It was a great evening.
    Upon our return to the hotel we went off to the Tor party where I spent more time listening to a pair of brothers — Dani Kollin and his brother who have written a book together.  One of them looks like a biker, and the other like a college professor.  They’re a science fiction sitcom in the making because they were bright, quick and very funny.
    I crawled off to bed at 11:30 because I had reached the “moist” stage of the cold, and slept like a dead thing.
    Sunday was the disastrous reading, then two panels back to back.  I moderated one about breaking out of genre that was quite interesting, and I was on a retrospective panel about Roger Zelazny.  It brought back a lot of wonderful memories about evenings spent with Roger.  NESFA press is doing an impressive six volume collection of all of Roger’s shorter works.  Check it out.
    Then it was time for the goodbye’s and hugs and “see you at Worldcon”.  Ian and I piled into Sam’s car, and headed for New York.  Ian has an amazing ability to concentrate.  He sat in the backseat and edited on his Milkweed chapters while Sam and I yammered away in the front seat.p
    As we began pulling into Brooklyn Sam began giving us a running tour.  He loves his city as much as I love New Mexico, and it was great to hear about Shea Stadium, and actually see it.  Oh, and I saw the giant building that houses the Jehovah’s Witnesses which had figured so prominently in my Wild Card comic vignette.  Hope you all get to read it sometime.  We’re still waiting for Daniel’s six issue to come out that also contains my vignette.    I’ll pick up the New York section of the trip in another post.

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