Monday, February 16, 2015

On Writing: What I learned at Boskone 52

Boskone is a 52-year-old, literary-heavy, science-fiction convention that I’ve been going to for a number of years. It’s a small convention, where you might find Charlie Stross wandering around with a cup of tea or find yourself sharing a bank of urinals with a Hugo winner. The programmers offer a mix of fandom, readings, exploration of themes, comics, hard science, filking, and writing advice. I gravitate to the writing panels, and this is a sampling for what I learned this year.

“The short story is very unforgiving … but you are able to go further out on the edge in short fiction.” Michael Swanwick.
“One way to make a short story work is to give the impression that you are telling it at leisure.” Steven Brust.
“The editor is not buying the story; he’s buying how you are telling the story. Stop showing me how clever you are; shut up and tell the story. These statements are contradictory, but they are both true.” Steven Brust
“You are getting a very compressed version of the writer’s experience when you are reading.” Charles Stross
“I get a buzz from writing like nothing else.” Jo Walton
“The point of a work of art is to reveal what is hidden in life. The point of criticism is to reveal what is hidden in art.” Steven Brust
“In noir the chaos always wins, but you never stop fighting.” Leigh Perry


  1. Replies
    1. It's a cool event. I always come away inspired.

    2. Awesome! Feeling energized as well, I'm ready to jump back on the submission grinder wagon and send stuff out.

    3. I always get a good charge out of Boskone.