to Boskone I did go

Spent a large chunk of Friday, and all of Saturday and pretty much all of Sunday up in Boston at Boskone. My next conference is the Whidbey Island one just next week, so I guess I’d better get busy writing up material for my workshops there.

Anyway, while at Boskone, I got to attend a very interesting lecture (felt like university) by Alistair Reynolds (I’m reading his book Revelation Space when I can fit in a few moments here and there). It was about the resurgence of space opera and included a wonderful overview of the history thereof which I found quite interesting to hear summed up in such a fashion. Also met with a few clients and was promised more things to read! Two of those clients also spent some time trying to talk me into attending Necon. Hmmm….

Bought a few books from Larry Smith:

Pandora’s Star by Peter F. Hamilton
City of Pearl by Karen Traviss
Alphabet of Thorn by Patricia McKillip
Murder of Angels by Caitlin Kiernan
The Year of Our War by Steph Swainston
Toast by Charles Stross

Those will keep me busy for a while….

19 responses to “to Boskone I did go

  1. Oh! Alphabet of Thorn! I’ll be interested in what you think.

    • It might be a while before I get to read it. I’m in the midst of REVELATION SPACE by Alistair Reynolds right now. And after that in the queue, it will probably be Kim Stanley Robinson’s YEAR OF RICE AND SALT (because it’s chunky and I have a long plane ride coming up next week). I also still have FORRESTS OF SERRE to read as well. (And so many other books it would take too long to list them here. What a tragedy…)

  2. Y’know, I’m reconsidering all the “come to Necon” conversations… do we REALLY want you there? I dunno…

  3. Darn, wish I was there. I am enjoying Reynolds’ work, and I think he (as well, as say, Peter Hamilton) is part of the reason there IS a resurgence in Space Opera.

    • Could someone please comment on why it’s considered a resurgence when writers like Moon, Bujold, Lee/Miller and Czerneda have sold well and are, at least as far as I’m aware, writers of space opera?

      • Yes, they are, and reading and enjoying three out of four counts.
        On the other hand, Space Opera is usually (and I am not saying its right or particularly correct) associated with “Big Dumb Objects” and other such constructions.
        Miles’ adventures are space opera, but they often get mentally (and I do it too) slotted into more sociological science fiction, because Bujold (and yes, Moon, the Liaden stuff, etc) is far more character based and less focused on the “big toys”.
        So the perception is that Space Opera’s lifeblood, right or wrong, is the sort of writing that Reynolds, Baxter, the late Charles Sheffield, and Hamilton (to name a few) are doing. And since there has been more of that kind of Space Opera lately, thus the “resurgence theme”, even if Bujold has been writing Miles novels for a decade and a half.

        • I guess what gets my underwear in a bundle about the whole thing is the fact that I recall arguments of a few years ago in which it was maintained that Sheffield et al wrote Hard SF and Bujold et al wrote Space Opera, which was at the time defined as bigger than life people/aliens/sentient energy beings doing bigger than life things with much drama and occasional weapons clashes, much like regular Opera. Hard SF was Boys with Tech, and girls had one helluva time applying. Now the Boys have nabbed the Real Space Opera tag, and Bujold et al write/wrote sociological SF.
          I don’t mean to sound snarky, and I sure don’t want it to seem like I’m shooting a messenger. It’s just that I’ve read the Usenet arguments over the years and seen some of the panels, and it all seems to be about moving the bar so that all that girl cootie** people stuff gets left by the wayside so it doesn’t contaminate the Next Great Thing.
          And with apologies to our Hostess, I will go away now…but **Deb Doyle’s essay on one facet of this subject makes entertaining reading.

          • Do you happen to have a link to that Deb Doyle essay? *curious* I’d like to read it. I’m always interested to hear what anyone has to say about genre. To me, it’s all labels to a certain degree. Call it what you like as long as the books are good. I took a bunch of notes during the lecture and maybe I’ll have time to compose them into something more like a summary and post that — then you can see what “Al” meant by it himself. I don’t think he means it to be exclusionary based on gender at all, and anyone who does just isn’t really thinking about it right, imo.

              Also on that page is a link to her essay on genre in general, which is also good. I enjoy her essays.
              And I should have typed *Debra* Doyle. I’ve never seen any references to her as Deb–I blame too-fast posting and a headcold.
              I recall hearing about one panel on Space Opera from one of the panelists, who is one of the writers I mentioned previously. She sat with two editors whose opinion was that the New Space Opera is better space opera than the smaller-focus character-based books written by her and others. Their attitude irritated her.
              So, Al may not mean to be exclusionary, but others are apparently happy to be exclusionary for him. I agree to a great extent that if the book is good, it doesn’t matter what you call it–the slice of disagreement involves marketing which isn’t the point here–but the across-the-planter chatter inside the bounds of the hothouse does get around and does aggravate, I guess the secret is to not listen.

  4. Whidby Island
    I’ve been visiting fellow RTB columnist blogs and saw Whidby Island mentioned. Had to comment to tell you it’s one of my favorite places and I hope you have time during the conference to play around a little! Deception Pass has a spectacular view (and nice hiking trails) and it’s a ferry ride away from historic Port Townsend. : ) Charlene Teglia

    • Re: Whidby Island
      I don’t exactly know what my schedule will be like. I have at least one workshop and one “fireside chat” along with a few of those author-agent interviews. But I know I get to stay in a nice B&B while I’m there and I hope I get to take in some of the scenery.

  5. How about an earlier warning next time you’re going to be on this side of the continent? (Of course, even if I had known about the Whidbey Island con earlier, my day-job deadlines wouldn’t allow me to go. But still…sigh.)

    • I’ll try to remember that. Sometimes those things just don’t occur to me until well after things are settled. You can always keep an eye on my conference plans on my website though….

  6. Ghu, I miss Boskone. They still have Punday, right? *fingers crossed*

  7. *waves*
    Hello… I was pointed to your journal by who pointed out you had useful posts regarding publishing, etc. Since I’m 45,000 words into a novel I hope will be my first, I thought it might be beneficial to friend you. Just letting you know I’m here 😀

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