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International Bon Vivant and Raconteur

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February 18th, 2008

Valentine's Day Sci-Fi Convention Weekend Extravaganza [Feb. 18th, 2008|04:12 pm]
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
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Boskone was a lot of fun, and so was getting to share it with my sweetheart. There's something quite lovely about celebrating your belated Valentine's Day in a luxury hotel.

Equally lovely was spending the weekend with friends I don't get to see very often: Jack Haringa, F. Brett Cox, John Langan, JoAnne Cox, Alyson Benoit, and Paul Tremblay and his stye Pinky. Saturday night also featured much-enjoyed cameos from Nick Mamatas, Kelly Laymon, Dan Booth, and L.L. Soares and Laura Cooney. I was looking forward to seeing Hannah Wolf Bowen too, but she decided to go horse-riding instead. Ginjer Buchanan and Craig Shaw Gardner were floating around the hotel, but I only caught glimpses of them after a brief hello. Chris Golden was supposed to come but had to cancel on account of a flat tire (a likely story -- I picture him calling Ginjer with his regrets from his jacuzzi). I also finally got to meet Jack's son Jacob, who is adorable!

Boskone itself isn't my kind of convention, really. I would only return for the same reason I went this year, to see friends. Traveling as a pack, we went to a small handful of panels, and aside from the panel on the Shirley Jackson Awards I found them insufferable, a brutal reminder of why I try not to go to convention panels anymore. The only reading I attended was John Langan's, which took place in a conference room around an enormous table that had me half expecting a PowerPoint marketing presentation. The reading was excellent, by the way, though underattended, perhaps because it didn't feature space rangers, starship battles or cloak-wearing elves. Welcome to Boskone.

However, there were a lot of attendees wearing cloaks. Or capes. Lots of bearded men with ponytails and Renaissance-style hats, and women in dresses that looked like what elf queens wear on the covers of paperback original fantasies. Luckily, there weren't a lot of corsets -- a convention pet peeve of mine -- nor were there any Imperial Stormtroopers or furries, but I did see one person in a full suit of armor taking the escalator up to the anime screening room. So yeah, not really my crowd.

While there, I picked up copies of dgk goldberg's posthumous collection Queen of the Country and Dead Reckonings #2, which contains a nice review of General Slocum's Gold.

As I'm sure my friends can attest, I was unbearable all weekend with my bloated ego. A check would arrive at our restaurant table and I would scream at the waiter, "How dare you? I'm a Bram Stoker Award-nominated author! I don't pay for my food!" Or, "Checkout is at noon? I'm a Bram Stoker Award-nominated author! I'll check out when I damn well feel like it!" I hesitate to think what I would have shouted at any highway patrolman unfortunate enough to pull us over for speeding on I-95.

Fun weekend, but I don't know if I'll be making Boskone one of my regular conventions like Necon and, when possible, World Horror and World Fantasy. It depends on who'll be there and what my finances are like each year. Though with that said, it proved itself to be a valuable event for catching up with friends.

Oh, and here's what my sweetie gave me for Valentine's Day: Brian K. Vaughn's graphic novel Pride of Baghdad, a gorgeous little hardcover edition of Virgil's The Aeneid, and that most romantic of films, Full Metal Jacket! (I gave her a Dave Matthews CD she's been meaning to pick up for a while now, a nice collection of sketching pencils in a cool metal case, a velvety heart-shaped box o' chocolates, and that other most romantic of films, Fido.)
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Probably the Last "General Slocum's Gold" Review [Feb. 18th, 2008|10:25 pm]
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I mentioned earlier that I finally got my hands on a copy of Dead Reckonings No. 2 at Boskone and it includes a capsule review of General Slocum's Gold. Here's a pull-quote:

"Kaufmann has a sure hand for plotting and dialogue, and his precise prose keeps the caper moving briskly to its horrific conclusion...The author has tapped into a deep vein of pulp storytelling for his tale."

It's a nice review, though I differ with the reviewer on one point: I don't view the conclusion as horrific at all. In fact, I think it's kind of sweet. But then again, I'm weird.

If you happen to be looking for a copy of Slocum, there are only a few left of the second printing. Get 'em right from the publisher before the out-of-stock lag time kicks in.
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