February 12th, 2008


Boskone Schedule

In lieu of actual content, my program schedule for Boskone:

Saturday 11am
Tops on the Tube Tonight: Good New Genre TV Shows
Michael A. Burstein, Seanan McGuire, Jennifer Pelland, Eric M. Van

From Pushing Daisies and Eureka to Supernatural, Moonlight to Torchwood, Journeyman to Jericho, there s a fair bit of buzz in genre TV fandom about some new and newish shows. What separates the standouts from the nonstarters? What have they learned from shows and showrunners that have gone before? What offers any hint oforiginality? Where can you find the best writing? The most promising premise? The hottest honeys and hunks? And can the good survive?

Saturday 4pm
Battlestar Galactica Endings -- Roll Your Own
Michael A. Burstein, Jeffrey A. Carver, Craig Shaw Gardner, MaryAnn Johanson, Jennifer Pelland

Looks like we may never get an official end to the series. But hey, we're SF fans: we'll make one (heck, several) up. Conversation may also include but should not be limited to discussion of how BSG is (was) the awesomist esseff teevee evah!

Saturday 8pm
The Stories You Wish You Never Heard Of
Michael A. Burstein, Craig Shaw Gardner, Amy Thomson

Listen as our panelists tell you about the stories you never (ever!) heard of before!Hear the plot of classics like "Foundation and Empire Strikes Back"! and "The Lights int he Sky are Little Fuzzies".

The "Does Anyone Know This Story?" Hoax

Yesterday, my older brother emailed me to ask if I could identify the title of a science fiction story, and he gave me a few pieces of the plot and descriptions of the characters that he remembered. (I didn't recognize the story.) I noticed that today over on SF Signal one of the contributors has posted the same question about a different story.

Asking the hive mind (or the human database, as I like to call it) to identify the title and author of a story one remembers from long ago is something that goes back to the early days of the Usenet and SF-Lovers Digest. I remember that certain plots were asked about so many times that they ended up in the FAQ. (Some of those included "The Last Question" by Isaac Asimov, "Light of Other Days" by Bob Shaw, "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury, and "The Star" by Arthur C. Clarke.)

Anyway, every time I see one of these requests, a mischievous impulse tries to convince me to turn this inquiry game into a hoax. That is, it prompts me to go on one of these bulletin boards and to describe a story that as far as I know doesn't actually exist...and then to see what real stories people think I'm remembering.

Who knows? Maybe one can build up a list of cool stories to track down that way.