Monday, February 19, 2007

Boskone and Beyond

Last weekend was Boskone weekend here in Boston. Boskone is a convention run by members of NESFA (the New England Science Fiction Association), who are possibly the most organized people on the face of the planet, and who have a wonderful publishing program in NESFA Press, bringing back into print in beautiful durable editions all kinds of great classic stuff. A couple of blog readers said hello at the con, which was very nice (Todd, John, good to meet you). During the course of the weekend, I had a very pleasant conversation with David Gerrold, a lovely dinner with Jane Yolen and my own family, and a nice chat with SF artist Rick Berry (who, I had not realized, lives in my town—and whose wife and mine had actually worked together on a school-related thing, without my ever having made the connection).

Boskone this year was held at a new hotel, the Westin Waterfront, which was a nice hotel situated next to Boston's new convention center, in the midst of a concrete wilderness way out, yes, on the wharf. Let's hope they plant some trees and build some restaurants in the area soon. On Friday, I took public transit, which is easy enough except for the quarter mile walk across the icy, wind-swept wilderness. Leaving that night, I walked with a fellow Boskonite (Boskonian?), a woman of slender build who would have been carried off by the wind if she hadn't grabbed my arm.

Which brings me to a very strange news story that my wife came across online today: a German paraglider training for competition in Australia survived after being sucked up into a thunderstorm and carried to an altitude of 32,000 feet (that's jetliner altitude and higher than Mt. Everest), during which time she blacked out from hypoxia while being pelted by hail and surrounded by lightning. Miraculously, she escaped with some frostbite and bruises. A Chinese paraglider, caught in the same storm system, did not survive.

On a much lighter note, today's Sheldon comic is the funniest I've seen in a while. You will especially appreciate it if you have ever visited an Ikea store, as I have—once.

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