Boskone 60 was held February 17-19, 2023 in Boston MA at the Westin Boston Seaport. Nalo Hopkinson was the guest of honor, Victo Ngai was the official artist, Tui T. Sutherland was the special guest, Dave Clement was the musical guest, and astronaut Jeanette J. Epps, PhD, was the science speaker. There were around 1,400 registrations, 370 virtual, with 963 warm bodies on site. Attendees came in from nine countries and 41 states.
The convention featured a complementary array of panels, readings, concerts, workshops, and kaffeeklatsches, plus walking tours, art show, and dealers’ room. The dealer’s room hosted 34 vendors at 42 tables including publishers, booksellers, jewelry, crafts, and more. The art show had 42 artists – 31 attending and 11 mail-in – with 708 original pieces on display and 271 prints. Artists included Bob Eggleton, Sara Felix, Amelia Leonards, Mike Maung, Ruth Sanderson, Dave Seeley, and more. Total sales were $27,707, and several pieces sold for over a thousand dollars. There was also a panel for art produced by the children in Dragonslair, the convention’s programming track for kids, of which one piece sold!
Opening ceremonies took place on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Programming saw 280 sessions, with 15 hybrid, 29 virtual only, and 236 in-person only. There were 191 program participants, with 85 participating in their panels virtually. Panels included a wide selection of topics including publishing, craft in both art and writing, and discussing fiction, like “Noir & Moral Ambiguity in SF”, “Darkness in Fairy Tales”, “Writing Great Endings”, and more. There were multiple panels discussing AIs, both in narratives and in the real world. The shift to 60 minute panels with 30 minute breaks between was largely welcomed by the attendees. The Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist was presented on Saturday evening to Martina Fačková, and Amy Johnson won the 2022 Short Story contest for short story “Excuse Me, This is My Apocalypse”.
Panels and con events seemed to go smoothly, with efficient and friendly registration, a good pocket program that had everything an attendee needed to navigate the weekend (plus the program and info were available on the ConClár app), and an open plan bar lounge for mingling and meeting. From concom member Erin Underwood, “Overall, programming went really well. The overwhelming response from participants and members alike was how much Boskone felt like a small, intimate version of a Worldcon.” The annual convention is sponsored by the New England Science Fiction Association. For more see their website.
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