As usual, Boskone was a lot of fun. I think as time has passed, I’ve learned my way around the con enough and become comfortable enough in my professional persona that I can relax.
The Friday night reading went very well — thanks to everyone who showed up! I read from “Letters of Fire,” which will be coming out in Beneath Ceaseless Skies later this year, and which takes place in the same industrial fantasy world as the last few short stories…only quite a bit earlier. I sat down with a good friend later and traded a crit of his excellent novel for a crit of the mechanical lobsters short story.
Saturday I was a little frazzled, but only in a good way. As the lone fantasy author — and the lone non-scientist — on the Handwaving Science panel, I think I held my own fairly well. I made the points I wanted to make, mainly the idea that so long as the reader has the sense that the characters know the science behind the system, the reader can then trust the story to keep it together. The Monsters in the City panel also went well, although I’m still mildly amused that we all seemed to be on Team Canine (Hound, fangborn, werewolves…). I think I was starting to fray a little by the point of the Playing With Dice, but it was still a lot of fun. While we all had very different stories of how we’d come to gaming and our current status, we still had many common points when it came to the social value of gaming and constructing a world so that it’s believable for either players or readers.
The rest of the evening is a bit fuzzy, partly due to the margaritas over dinner and partly due to the apparent mandate my friends had to get me drunk enough to start explaining my theory of the Holy Grail. This is, it turns out, an excellent benchmark; when I hit Grail point, I should not have any more to drink. (Unfortunately, when I hit Grail point, I am usually fuzzy enough that I can’t properly cite my references, and so my argument loses a good deal of force.) I hope I was entertaining at least.
Sunday morning, with the help of quite a lot of caffeine, I joined Darlene Marshall, Charlaine Harris, and Alexander Jablokov for a discussion of how setting affects our stories. Somehow this got onto a discussion of teeth. It made sense in context, trust me. The Beneath Ceaseless Skies reading was quick but fun, and afterwards I joined family for sandwiches — and then lurched home and slept for most of the rest of the day. That’s what I get for missing that nap on Saturday.
It sounds so bland to say this — the word “nice” has lost a lot of its strength — but everyone I met at Boskone was really nice. Maybe I just unknowingly got put on the “charming people” track for the weekend.
Now, to sit down and fix the mechanical lobsters story. And then…*eyes large manuscript on desk* to the rest of the work.