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Science Fiction Convention
Name: Boskone
Dates: 1941-1945; 1965-
Frequency: annual
Location: Boston
Focus: science fiction and fantasy
Organization: the New England Science Fiction Association
Founding Date: original 1941; second founding 1965
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Boskone is a science fiction and fantasy convention. Originally founded in 1941 by the Stranger Club. The convention took a hiatus between 1945 and 1965, when it was revived initially by the Boston Science Fiction Society, then picked up by the New England Science Fiction Association in 1966. The name is a twofold pun - it sounds like a contraction of "Boston Convention" and furthermore references the antagonists from Edward "Doc" Smith's Lensman series.

A series of unfortunate incidents involving rowdy convention attendees, fire alarms, and safety hazards forced Boskone to move from Boston proper to the suburbs in 1987. This incident is referred to as the "Boskone From Hell." This incident led to a much pared-down program, the removal of Masquerade events and much of the adults-only programming. Fan dissatisfaction with this turn of events led to the founding of Arisia, both to fill the hole left by Boskone's move to the suburbs and to fill the void left by Boskone's much stricter rules and smaller size. Arisia's name reflects this - Arisia in the Lensman series was the nation of 'good' protagonists opposing the evil empire of Boskone.

Boskone is a small-to-midsized convention, with an average of 1000 attendees yearly. The programming tends to be more focused on the literary and scientific aspects of science fiction, as opposed to Arisia's focus on fan culture and the fan community. The writer Guest of Honor often holds a book launch on site through NESFA's publishing arm, NESFA Press; while the Guest of Honor artist generally has pieces up for auction at the art show. Other notable characteristics of Boskone include Kaffesklatches and Literary Beers, both events where small groups of attendees can sit down to have coffee or beer with the panelists and guests, and thereby have a more intimate conversation. The huckster's room tends to carry a wide selection of used books, but not a lot of con swag (ie, few T-shirts, action figures, toys, memorabilia, etc).

Con Reports

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