I’m very glad I allowed myself to be talked into attending Boskone — I had a real blast. I got to see a number of people I knew (though I’m sorry that I had so little time to talk to most of them) got to meet a number of people I knew only from conversations online, and met even more people I had known only by name if at all. The panels and side conversations were fascinating. There are a lot of smart people in speculative fiction: readers, writers, editors, all. I saw not only intelligence, cleverness, and humor but also kindness, grace, and warmth: a genuine delight in welcoming new folks like myself. So, thank you all!
This was just the shot in the arm I needed, too. I feel like I’ve been getting into a rut, submitting the same six or seven stories over and over while writing new ones at a snail’s pace. I came away from the panels with great ideas, and from conversations with a new enthusiasm. (OK, maybe also a tiny bit intimidated by the impressive talent already in the field…)
This is a good place to note that Viable Paradise is still open for applications. VP is why I knew so many people there, and how I met new people. The con would still have been fun, don’t get me wrong, but I would have been left to my own devices. And as my own devices are not particularly well-suited to striking up conversations, I would not have enjoyed Boskone nearly as much as I did. For that matter, I would probably not have gone in the first place, except that people I knew and trusted told me I’d enjoy it.