Boskone 24

Boskone 24 was a convention held February 13-15, 1987 at the Sheraton Boston. The GoH was C. J. Cherryh, the Official Artist was Barclay Shaw and the Special Guest was Tom Clareson. It was chaired by Chip Hitchcock and official attendance was 4,200.

Boskone was hit by the perfect storm: Attendance continued to grow, and the number of ghosts — mainly underage high-schoolers — also grew to as many as a thousand. Additionally, the Sheraton Boston had a new, particularly sensitive, fire alarm system which turned out to be set off by especially cold air. And, that weekend, Boston was hit by extraordinarily cold temperatures. The combination of large, partying crowds, extra-cold weather and a sensitive fire alarm system meant that the convention — which would have been challenging for both the committee and the hotel as it was — was hit by more than a dozen false alarms day and night through the weekend, which wore terribly on the committee, members, and the hotel. (Some committee members had PSTD-like dreams, waking up to imaginary fire alarms for months afterwards.)

While there were many bad actors at this Boskone, they were overwhelmingly from outside the SF community. The community rallied around Boskone. One of the most appreciated actions that weekend was when then SFWA President, Jane Yolen called an emergency SFWA meeting to explain the situation to the SFWA members who were less experienced in fannish gatherings and to ask them all to support the con and fandom.

In spite of everything fans and pros alike could do, the consequence of the disruptions was that the Sheraton Boston refused to host another Boskone and also told the Noreascon 3 Worldcon committee and the Worldcon (which had already won its bid with the Sheraton Boston and the Hynes Auditorium as facilities) that it, also, was unwelcome.

Boskone 24 became known within the committee as the Boskone from Hell. See Rise and Fall of the Giant Boskones for more information and context.

The Boskone Book was Glass and Amber, a collection of stories by C. J. Cherryh.

  • File 770 #65 p2 (initial report on Boskone being thrown out of hotel)

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