Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lonely no more (God Bless You, Mr. Boskone)

I felt bleak last week. Moaned and whined. Then for whatever reason (tired of feeling like the weirdest person in the room) I checked to see if there were a science fiction anything happening anywhere nearby, and there was Boskone in Boston, where I have a LOVELY older couple who look after a pied-a-terre for (my parents think it's their apartment). Warned by the story of the guy in a flood who says God will save him, then refuses to be rescued by a boat or a helicopter, and drowns, saying "GOD will save me" (God says "But I sent the boat and helicopter...")I figured I should go.

I won a pair of sneakers from the Coraline movie last winter and I have been saving them for a special occasion. I found a blue long-sleeved T at the feed and grain store and stamped very subtle stars on it, and dyed my hair blue. This was fun. I have some partially blue towels and a bluish bath/shower thing now.

My parents were charming. My father picked me up at the bus station and observed mildly that my hair was blue. I remarked that it had been a Photoshop accident. My mother said it suited me. We watched the Olympic opening ceremonies and wanted more Francophone content and fewer women with pianos. The effects the lighting person produced were amazing. It was still too long.

I went to Boskone for the first time in many years (like five?). It was once a rowdy con with lots of TV and movie ties-in, although its association with MIT has always given it a turn toward harder science than, say, Darkovercon. They ran aground and were exiled from the Boston hotels for a long time, but they are now considered to have rehabilitated themselves. They got a Boston hotel into the distant port-convention center area, and the con is now mostly book-oriented. There were relatively few costumes, but several people liked my hair.

I went to a panel called "The 'Suck Fairy,' and Other Horrors of Rereading." It was a good discussion of what happens when you reread a book you loved the first time and then the racism, the ideology, the sexism, the heavy-handed message, etc., appear). A woman from Randolph, NH (it was on her name tag) sat next to me. Randolph has a population of about 330 on a good day and is mainly notable for a motel with a shop selling wool yarn (sic) and a quietly spectacular PaleoIndian site where I have had the great joy to dig. Because there are only a few people in the world, she lives across the road from it. It's weird enough to meet another science-fiction fan from NH, let alone one older than I am.

Then I tried out a panel on retro-actively inserting story changes into serials, but I was not far enough into the comics they were discussing, and then what turned out to be a not interesting enough one-person panel about researching if you want to write fantasy. Might have been better if she had been less relentlessly specific about pattern-welding, though since she was writing a sword-smith it made sense. I ended up at a very funny panel about 'what series should have zombies added to it next.'

Then I went and ate at the very, very well-stocked (if you like bread and things to go on it, but they were also aiming to feed the gluten free and the vegetarian) ConSuite buffet,and looked at books, and watched a woman with a spinning wheel explain the mechanism to two engineers, who were fascinated. And I talked to an iPod Touch fanatic, which was informative.

Then I would have gone to a panel about revamping Asimov's Laws of Robotics, (nearly all attending were men) but I got bored, and went to Fantasy: Getting Away from the Traditional, which was okay (nearly all women), and then I misplaced my knitting and fretted for awhile. Then I went a panel on 'the Heroine's Journey:' something new, now that women are living in larger numbers past the age of child-rearing, and also having careers and money and stuff; and a reading by
Lois McMasters Bujold, whose new book about Miles will be coming out in November.

I tried to meet the person I was supposed to meet for dinner, but she got stuck in Rhode Island, so I went and checked Quincy Market (Chowda Company= not very good chowda, sadly). There was a free shuttle from the hotel, so I went to wait at the bus stop with the other people. One of them was a friend of a friend with whom I had gone in 1985 to get my ears pierced. She barely remembered this (she was getting a second piercing in one ear, to be edgier -- this was A LONG TIME AGO, when double pierced was still a little weird), but she recalled the Japanese lunch beforehand and that my infant had been refusing the nice Japanese miso-and-tofu baby food and preferred to plunder my tuna rolls. "Yeah," I said. "Now he's 25 and works at the ----- St. Apple store."
"I know someone there," she said. "He's named Sam." She is friends with his fiancee.
"Blond? Hair down to there?"
"Yep," she said.
"That's him, the baby who was eating my tuna."
Her jaw dropped impressively.


Rosemary said...

It's so nice to hear other stories about how Boston is an impressively small place.

It makes me miss it even more, though.

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