My Boskone Schedule

Whew, they’re keeping me busy this year! A nice range of stuff, plus I get to rant about coffee for an hour, which is nice.

Chances are I’ll be reading my short story “At The Old Folks Home at the End of the World” and either a scene from my recent novella THE LIAR or from a work in progress.


The Harry Potter Effect

Friday 18:00 – 19:00, Harbor II (Westin)

Twenty years ago, an owl delivered a very special invitation to a boy who lived under the stairs in a small house at 4 Privet Drive. The world has never been the same. Tolkien changed the face of fantasy literature for adults; J.K. Rowling has done the same for children. How has the Harry Potter Effect influenced publishing? What have we learned about fantasy — and ourselves — through Harry’s adventures? Is 20 years of Potterdom enough? Do we need or want more?

20th Anniversary: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone

Emma Caywood, John P. Murphy, Victoria Sandbrook (M), Flourish Klink, Sarah Beth Durst 

Dawn of the Cyborg Age

Saturday 11:00 – 12:00, Burroughs (Westin)

Darth Vader, RoboCop, Inspector Gadget, and more — science and SF are coming together to create part-human, part-machine cyborgs in ever-more-clever ways. What research will influence the next generation of fictional mashup men or women? (In reverse, how might our favorite cyborgs inspire real science?) With neural interfaces and bionic body parts coming online, how soon until cyborgs stalk amongst us? … Or are they already here?

Robert B. Finegold M.D. (M), John P. Murphy, Jeanne Cavelos, Tom Easton, Justine Graykin

Technology That Will Change the Future

Saturday 12:00 – 13:00, Burroughs (Westin)

From smarter, faster computer chips to printable batteries, green chemistry, and nanocrystals that increase solar cell efficiency, how might technological advances change the future? What’s on the horizon? How might it help? Sounds perfect! What could possibly go wrong?

Edie Stern (M) , William Hayashi, Jordin T. Kare, Charles Stross, John P. Murphy

A Muddle of Mad Scientists

Saturday 20:00 – 21:00, Burroughs (Westin)

From Dr. Frankenstein to Dr. Faustus, Mrs. Coulter to Dr. Horrible, genre fiction is filled with a long list of the crazily creative geniuses known as mad scientists. Why do we love them? What makes the mad scientist character so appealing in horror, comedy, and everything in between? Join us for a mad, mad discussion featuring some of our favorite screwy scientists/inventors from the past, present, and future.

Jordin T. Kare, Debra Doyle, John P. Murphy (M), Kristin Janz, John Langan

All About Coffee

Sunday 10:00 – 11:00, Galleria – Makers’ Space (Westin)

History, mythology, chemistry, storage in bulbs for spaceflight … tasting?

John P. Murphy

Reading by John Murphy

Sunday 12:30 – 13:00, Independence (Westin)

John P. Murphy

iMorality and Machines

Sunday 13:00 – 14:00, Harbor III (Westin)

Whose ethics will define the limits of AI/robot behavior? The ethics of business? Of government? Of the cybermilitary/roboindustrial complex? Will we engage in inorganic Other-blaming when unintended consequences occur, per Asimov’s Robot series and sociologist Robert K. Merton? Do the ends justify the AI means, even if we can’t be sure where it will end? (And does a robot taking a selfie pass the Turing test … or fail?)

Ken Altabef , John P. Murphy (M), Christine Taylor-Butler , Gregory Feeley

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