Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Boskone 2014 Recap - Part 4 (Sunday)

I have never stayed through to the end of Boskone and I thought I might this time, and be able to help tear down, to attend the feedback session, and maybe even check out the Dead Dog Filk, but I had a chance to get a ride home instead of discovering first-hand whether the public transportation was affected by the storm.

After checking out and stowing my luggage in the luggage room, I attended two more panels. My Favorite (or Worst) Story and Why I Wrote It was moderated by Leigh Perry and included Paul G. Tremblay, Dana Cameron, and Charlaine Harris. It's always interesting to hear how writers come to their stories (or stories come to their writers), and this was no exception. Interesting and fun.

The second panel, Having Your Work Adapted to Film was moderated by Melinda Snodgrass and included Charlaine Harris and Steven Sawicki. They discussed what an option is (a placeholder so that someone else doesn't buy the rights, not an agreement to do a film), how the money works (the lower the money, the shorter the term), and why books must by necessity differ from the movie (books are internal, movies are external; books are too long to fit in 90 minutes or, with some, even 3 hours). Very informative, well-explained, and well-moderated.

Where Was I Supposed to Be?
Before I wrap up my recap, let me mention Boskone's new guide application. Based on open-source software called KonOpas, it runs on a browser and - a biggie for me - can even show the schedule when you're not connected to the internet. Because it runs on a browser, it doesn't matter whether your smartphone is an iPhone, an Android phone, or a Windows phone; you just open a browser and go to You can select the panels that you want to attend and they will appear in a chronological list under MyCon.

One of my friends said he actually preferred it over Guidebook, the app that Boskone used last year (and Arisia used this year). I have only two minor complaints: I don't think there's a way to add your own events (for example, going out to dinner or staffing the Broad Universe table) and I don't know how to pronounce KonOpas. Kudos to the team who implemented it for Boskone! (Boskone lists them as Eemeli Aro, Henry Balen and Tim Szczesuil).

So How Was the Interview with the Guest of Honor?
When I first started going to cons, I remember hearing "You should get to the room early. GOH events are always packed." I didn't, and after standing outside the room trying to listen to the well-modulated but under-amplified voice inside for a few minutes, I walked away. I forget who it was or where it was, but I felt that I had really missed something of great import, like going to Paris and missing the Louvre or La Tour Eiffel or the Catacombs.

I know people who plan their whole convention around the GOH events. I know others who avoid them because they can be too crowded. And then there are others like me, who forget to put them on their schedule and then do things like sign up for table duty because there's an empty slot (duh! I wonder why!) or go get lunch because there finally isn't a line (duh, again!)

So maybe next year the first thing I do when looking at the schedule using KonOpas will be to select the GOH events. I don't need to plan my con around them, but at least I'll remember they're there.

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