Boskone 60 – my fourth virtual trip to Boston

A few years ago I would never believe to attend three Boskones in a row. Yet here I am – thanks to the marvel of hybridization world became even smaller than before. At Boskone 58 I was completely enchanted and I enjoyed Boskone 59 so how did the Boskone 60 go?


I must repeat myself – programme is definitely Boskone’s strength. Whether I look at it as a whole or only on virtual part there are many items I find interesting. I was limited to the virtual aspect though. So my choice, although good, wasn’t very broad. There were two online and one hybrid rooms. The hybrid part worked quite well on the items I had the chance to watch.

Each item was 60 minutes long filling in the 1.5 hour long slot. This means there was a 30 minute break between the items. This has some great aspects to it – one has enough time for eating something, grabbing water and so on. On the other hand it means that the amount of items to watch is smaller. On top of that being six hours ahead of Boston limited my chance to attend many programme items. Every day I watched just a few panels.

A screenshot taken in the Zoom Application. It shows a panel bumber with a lot of text. The biggest reads 'Boskone 60'. Below is the panel name, time and list of panellists.
This is the panel bumper from the panel I participated in. I enjoy the fact that the recordings from the con are now available. I already watched two concerts.

How much I enjoyed the programme? A bit hard to say. There was not one very good item I found most memorable. I was very happy to listen to Heather Dale’s concert as I know and appreciate her music. After the convention finished I also listened to the concert of Dave Clement. He was accompanied by Heather and Ben Deschamps (who also played with Heather on her concert). It was quite enjoyable. I had very high hopes for Bioethical Issues Raised by SF panel. Yet in the end only moderator managed to attend it. He did his best to cover the topic and discuss with the audience but it was not exactly what I was hoping for. Still chapeaux bas for him as it was quite an achievement and I found the discussion enjoyable.

I also got the chance to be on Boskone’s programme again. It was a panel called Con Travel Tips and Tricks. I liked how the moderator lead it and I liked what my fellow panellists had to say. I cannot judge how it went as being “on the inside” is completely different thing but I had a good time.

The Discord

Virtual part of the con took place on Discord and it was rather quiet. The Glasgow 2024 table had some questions but not too many. Other channels were also not heavily occupied. I think that the busiest ones were the channels for the virtual staff to coordinate our work and chat. There were some audio-video Discord rooms but when I was awake they were not too populous. I tried to spend some time in one hoping for other to join but it didn’t happen.

The cover of Boskone 60's Souvenir book/Programme book. The text reads 'NESFA's Regional Science Fiction Convention Boskone 60. February 17-19, 2023. Westin Boston Seaport District.' The picture shows a ruined city with two black birds circling above it. Yet the people in one of the buildings seem to be happy.
The cover of Souvenir/Programme book. For years I am enjoying the Boskone’s graphics and this year is no different.

What I miss is the social aspect of the con. I somehow was not interacting too much on Discord (outside of Glasgow table). Still even should I wish to do so there was not too much that happened on the server. I regret that there was no Zoom Con Suite – I always enjoyed them at virtual and hybrid cons.

The very nice aspect of the con were the pictures from the in person part of Boskone 60. They were shared on Discord and they allowed me to feel the con atmosphere a bit more. On the other hand they made me regret so much I was not in Boston in person. Well one cannot have everything!

General feeling

Boskone 60 was not as enjoyable to me as the previous editions of this con. I suspect this is related to the fact that there were fewer people online. I don’t have the statistics to prove this (and I may be wrong) but this is what I felt. Maybe the reason is that I am a bit tired of spending whole weekends in front of my PC? For sure I don’t blame the organizers. They did a great job and I am thankful for both the good programme and the organization. Should next year’s Boskone be hybrid again I will do my best to attend it and enjoy the weekend!

P.S. This was my fourth virtual trip to Boskone as I have also attended Arisia in 2021.

Please expect my next post to appear within two weeks.

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