The short version: a wonderful, speculative time was had by all.
The way longer version (apologies for people, places, and things I forgot):
Pre-pre-Boskone, writer, friend, man about town, John Langan came to my school to speak to some classes about writing and dairy farming. The students interested in dairy farming were sorely disappointed, but everyone else enjoyed John’s visit. He’s a great teacher and his passion for writing is infectious, just like his nasty case of scabies.
Pre-Boskone we stopped by my house where John demanded my family serve him bottles of scotch whiskey and bags of no-name black liquorice. The kids only laughed and threw nerf balls at his nether region instead.
We arrived at the Westin hotel carrying bricks of corn bread and plastic tubs of delicious beef stew from the famous L Street Diner (South Boston). This part of the story is true. John Joseph Adams was made to watch us consume while John, finally, dispensed with the do’s-and-don’ts of dairy farming. Eventually we were discovered by Jack Harigna and Genevieve Valentine. Hilarity and good conversation ensued. I’d credit her with the naming of a new genre called sh*tpunk, but then I’d be lying.
I had two panels on that Friday night. The first was Ten Best Books of the Past Ten Years and was very well attended. After banging my shoe on the table like nikita khrushchev the other panelists kindly agreed that my two Sleep novels and my short story collection just had to be every and all top ten book lists. We also talked about other books and publishing trends/successes from the last ten years.
Because my books made those top ten lists, I was then roped into serving on a panel on short fiction: why wasn’t it more popular? James Patrick Kelly moderated, John Joseph Adams and Brett Cox (who is my friend, but I also know he’s a spy from the south) talked about why you people want to read long boring novels instead of our awesome short stories.
After encountering the chocolate petri dish of death in the dealer’s room, the rest of the evening was spent in joyously in the company of my betters, including all of the aforementioned plus Dana Cameron and Boskone hero, JoAnn Cox.
Saturday, was more of the same. JoAnn, Brett, Jack, John, and myself had a secret Shirley Jackson Awards board meeting at the No Name restaurant where we dined on the squamous. Post-lunch, John Harvey, Dave Wellington, Barry Lee Dejasu, and Jordan and Matt London joined in on the con fun. Or at least shared in my con fun. Pre-dinner, I read my story “House of Windows” to throngs of people. Not thongs of people. Fine. I joined the thongs of people for a big dinner at Papagayo. Hands down the best food of the weekend, says me. Food was enjoyed until Brett Cox insisted on taking a picture of John, Genevieve, and myself. It took three tries to get our collective good side. Can’t have been that good either, because the photo has yet to materialize.
After dinner was the big Politics in Horror panel. Genevieve, Jordan, and John made it a very easy panel to moderate. I threw out a quote from Stephen King about how horror was as conservative as an Illinois Republican in a three-piece suit and we were off and running. We also addressed Lovecraft, torture-porn flicks, and works of horror that were transgressive and not reactionary.
Post-paneling, more fun hangout time with the peeps. Not the Peeps. Peeps are yellow and made of marshmallow.
Sunday was the wrap-up day. John and I had a Kaffeeklatsche and enjoyed talking dairy farming with Jack, Brett, Theodore, Frank, and Patricia.