Unfortunately, K won't be able to attend. Nevertheless I am really looking forward to this con; I'm also planning to hang around Massachusetts for the following week. Here's my schedule.
Friday 18:00 - 18:50
The new term "paleofuture" describes a future that never was - a prediction made in the past which hasn't panned out and never will. Which foreseen futures have subsequent events rendered impossible? Which are plausible still? What histories, worlds, discoveries, and technologies could (or could not) yet come true? And for extra credit, what are our own predictions of things to come?
Elizabeth Bear (M), Bill Higgins, James Patrick Kelly, Beth Meacham
Friday 20:00 - 20:50
In Hal Clement's 1951 novel Iceworld, characters who breathe hot gaseous sulfur confront the mysteries of Earth, to them an unbelievably frigid planet. Among other things, the legendary master of hard SF foresaw robotic interplanetary exploration in a unique way. Join Bill Higgins in exploring the chemistry, physics, and astronomy behind the classic story.
[A brand new talk, especially for Boskone, on Hal Clement's home turf.]
Boskone Meet the Guests & Art Show Reception
Friday 21:00 - 22:00
Connoisseurs and philistines alike: welcome! Come meet our special guests while enjoying a feast for the eyes that is the Boskone Art Show. Join us in the Galleria to enjoy refreshments -- and refreshing conversation.
Bill Higgins, Jane Yolen, Seanan McGuire, David Palumbo, Bill Roper, Ginjer Buchanan
[I've heard Boskone's art show is very good. This'll be a great opportunity to get a look at it in my otherwise busy weekend.]
Kaffeeklatsche with Bill Higgins
Saturday 11:00 - 11:50
[Simply conversation with other fans. Sign up and let's chat!]
Welcome to Fermilab: Particles Beneath the Prairie
Saturday 13:00 - 13:50
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is a fascinating place, full of mile-long machines, giant assemblies of intriguing apparatus, underground beams of mysterious particles, and a herd of buffalo. Take a tour and hear a few stories from Bill Higgins's 35 years in the accelerator business.
Interview with Science Speaker Bill Higgins
Saturday 14:00 - 14:50
Join us for a lively discussion as former Special Guest Guy Consolmagno interviews Boskone's current Hal Clement Science Speaker, Bill Higgins. Bill is a radiation safety physicist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago. As a longtime member of fandom, he writes and speaks about the crossroads where science, history, and science fiction meet. Other topics that may come up include spaceflight, astronomy, physics, and maybe even some weird aviation.
Guy Consolmagno (M), Bill Higgins
The Year in Physics and Astronomy
Saturday 17:00 - 17:50
An annual roundup of the latest research and discoveries in physics and astronomy. Our experts will talk about what's new and interesting, cutting-edge and speculative: the Higgs, solar and extrasolar planets, dark energy, and much more besides.
Mark L. Olson (M), Bill Higgins, Guy Consolmagno, Jeff Hecht
[This will require some homework!]
Sunday 11:00 - 11:50
What are dark matter and dark energy? What is this dark universe that coexists alongside the cosmos we can see and feel? How apropos is George Lucas' description of The Force? (Obi-Wan Kenobi speaks of "[A]n energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.") Is there something in this idea that might reveal mysteries that keep eluding us -- and do we really want to find out?
Mark L. Olson (M), Bill Higgins, Elizabeth Bear, Guy Consolmagno
[This will also require homework. Where did I put that Dark Energy file I compiled when I... oh, right. I haven't blogged about that adventure yet.]
Vandals of the Void: The Chelyabinsk Meteor Strike of 2013
Sunday 13:00 - 13:50
One year ago, a window-shattering shock wave injured 1400 Russians and startled the world. A 20-meter asteroid had exploded in the sky above Chelyabinsk. Join Bill Higgins and Guy Consolmagno for a look at what scientists have learned about this striking event.
Bill Higgins, Guy Consolmagno
[I couldn't resist the opportunity to juice up my Chelyabinsk talk by drafting my favorite meteorite expert.]