Boskone Panels

Do you want to hear about the panels first, or look at pictures first? Why don’t I give you a few brief comments on the panels, and then the pictures? That makes sense.

First Panel: The Writer’s Child

Katherine Crighton
Theodora Goss
Jo Walton (M)
Jane Yolen

What’s it like for a writer to raise a kid? Our panel includes both writers and people who were (and are) writers’ children. Are the writer’s child-rearing methods, biases, or hopes different from those of other parents? How is a writer’s child different from a reader’s child? Stories will be told.

I didn’t know how this would go, but it was actually fascinating. Jane Yolen and Katherine Crighton both came from families where the parents were writers, and their experiences growing up were so different from mine! I said that my parents were anti-writers, both doctors who assumed that one naturally went into a profession like medicine, law, or business. This led to one of my favorite lines from this panel, which actually came from me. (I’m never the one with the good lines. This one was an exception.) I said they told me I could always do writing on the side – like salad dressing.

Jo Walton pointed out that the panel was all women, which was of course true. I wonder why? I’m sure it wasn’t intentional on the part of the programming planners. But still, it’s interesting that a panel about children would have all female panelists.

I was particularly fascinated by Jane’s account of writing with her children. She had to separate out the mother and the writer, and they in turn had to become used to challenging her, to being effective editors. Jo also said that she got ideas from her son. I wonder if Ophelia and I will ever work on anything together? Of course, she’s already writing her own stories, putting together her own books.

Second Panel: Writer vs. Copyeditor – Lovefest or Deathmatch?

Theodora Goss
Teresa Nielsen Hayden (M)
Jo Walton

Let’s discuss process and roles, how copyeditors can help, when they can go too far, points of contention, and more. Red pens may be flourished, but let’s hope not blood-red . . .

Another panelist had been added to this panel, but I’m afraid I don’t remember her name. I should have written it down. This was incredibly useful. Theresa Nielsen Hayden provided so much information on the editor’s perspective, and told a number of stories about when copyediting had gone well or badly. I particularly liked the one about the copyeditor for a collection of modern classics who “corrected” Faulkner’s punctuation.

She also talked about copyeditors having a superpower, which I think is true. The audience quickly decided to call it hypereulexia.

Third Panel: Fairy Tales into Fantasy

Greer Gilman
Theodora Goss (M)
Jack M. Haringa
Jane Yolen

A whole branch of fantasy literature is based on re-examining the assumptions of well-known fairy tales. Panelists discuss some of the best examples.

I moderated this panel. Just so you know, if you have Jane Yolen, Greer Gilman, and Jack Haringa on a panel, don’t worry about preparing. They’re all brilliant and they all just talk. Brilliantly. This panel was such a pleasure, because the topic itself has come up so often before in convention panels, but I think Jane, Greer, and Jack made it fresh and interesting.

(Fangirl moment: I was on two panels with Jane Yolen! There was a time when I would barely have dared talk to her! I mean, I grew up on Jane Yolen . . .)

My favorite lines in this panel both came from Greer, who always seems to come up with the most wonderful zingers. Here they are:

Greer saying that fantasy needs to have its roots in the folklore tradition, which serves as a sort of soil, giving it the necessary nutrients: “I for one do not believe in hydroponic literature.”

Greer on Hans Christian Andersen’s”The Little Mermaid”: “It’s Titus Andronicus with fish.”

All right, now to the pictures. But I’m going to have to post them separately, because there are a number of them. So, on to the next post.

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3 Responses to Boskone Panels

  1. “Greer on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid: ‘It’s Titus Andronicus with fish.’ ”

    I love that.

  2. Jo Walton says:

    The other person on the copyediting was Janice Gelb.

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