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A regional convention usually held in Boston, Massachusetts, named for the anti-Civilization culture of E. E. Smith’s Lensmen saga. It has also been held in Springfield, Framingham, and other locations within the state. Run by NESFA, it grew so much in the 1980s it came to be called the "Winter Worldcon", then it imploded. (See Rise and Fall of the Giant Boskones.)

There were actually two Boston conventions named "Boskone". The first, run by The Stranger Club ran 1941-1945. The current series of Boskones was started in 1965 by the Boston Science Fiction Society (BoSFS) as part of its bidding strategy for Boston in '67. BoSFS ran Boskone 1, Boskone 2, and Boskone 4. Boskone 3 was actually run by Erwin S. Strauss but, because of its venue, it was officially sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Science Fiction Club (MITSFS). The New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA) has run all Boskones starting with Boskone 5.

Along with its gohs, Boskone usually features a Special Guest, a Hal Clement Science Speaker, a NESFA Press Guest and a Featured Filker. It never has a Fan Goh. Fie!

Official Artist is the title Boskone gives to its Art GoH. It originated in a theory that there was but a single GoH at Boskone and the artist being honored was in some sense a functionary of the convention, doing its official art. This theory seems never to have been real and Official Artists should always be considered to have been Guests of Honor.

From Fancyclopedia 1, ca. 1944
(Smith) - Originally, the anti-Civilization culture of the Lensman stories, which the Michelists insisted was superior to Smith's future capitalistic society -- hence the expression "Wollheim, speaking for Boskone". The word now means Boston Conference, the anniversary meetings of the Stranger Club, Boskone I being in 1941.

Boskone Blizzard[edit]

With a convention in the snowiest time of a New England winter, Boskone committees traditionally fret over the possibility of a major blizzard closing Boskone down. While there have been some close calls, none has -- so far -- succeeded.

Boskone Date Blizzard
Boskone 15 February 6-7, 1978 This was one of the worst blizzards in Boston history, closing the whole eastern part of the state for most of a week. Luckily for Boskone, restrictions were lifted before the convention began.
Boskone 33 February 16 and 18, 1996 Heavy snowfalls on both Friday and Sunday
Boskone 37 February 18, 2000 8" of snow on Friday
Boskone 40 February 16-17, 2003 There was 27" of snow starting late Sunday and continuing all Monday. Around fifty out-of-town members were stranded at the hotel and held their own convention, Snokone.

Life Members[edit]

Starting in the earliest years, NESFA sold life memberships in Boskone to raise capital to publish anticipated NESFA Indexes, though as it turned out, that project went into a hiatus soon after.

A Life Membership is not transferable or refundable and entitles the Life Member to an automatic membership in all future Boskones. Additionally, NESFA gives a Life Membership to each of its Boskone Guests of Honor. At present, about 120 Life Memberships have been purchased.

The rate has varied over the years:.

Boskone 1-14: Life Memberships unavailable
Boskone 15-16: 10 x current prereg rate
Boskone 17-19: unavailable
Boskone 20-24: 20 x current prereg rate
Boskone 25-present: 14 x lowest prereg rate

Convention Dates Venue GoHs Size
First Series of Boskones
Boskone I late February 1941 home of R. D. and F. N. Swisher, Winchester, MA 25
Boskone II February 22, 1942 Ritz Plaza, Boston, MA 25
Boskone III February 28, 1943 Ritz Plaza, Boston, MA Claude Degler 14
Boskone IV February 3-4, 1945 home of R. D. and F. N. Swisher, Winchester, MA Milt Rothman, Jack Riggs, Art Widner, N. F. Stanley, R. D. Swisher 6
Boskone V September 2, 1945 Hotel Hawthorne, Salem, MA 9
Second Series of Boskones
Boskone 1 September 10-12, 1965 Statler-Hilton, Boston Hal Clement, Robert Enzmann 66
Boskone 2 March 11-13, 1966 Statler-Hilton, Boston Frederik Pohl, Dwight Wayne Batteau, Prof. Igor Paul, Prof. Oliver Selfridge 71
Boskone 3 October 1-3, 1966 MIT, Cambridge, MA John W. Campbell, Oliver Selfridge 68
Boskone 4 April 1-2, 1967 Statler-Hilton, Boston Damon Knight, Marvin Minsky 72
Boskone 5 March 23-24, 1968 Statler-Hilton, Boston Larry Niven, Warren McCulloch 155
Boskone 6 March 22-23, 1969 Statler-Hilton, Boston Jack Gaughan, Stephen Fabian, Louis Sutro 262
Boskone 7 March 27-29, 1970 Statler-Hilton, Boston Gordon R. Dickson, George Barr, Donald Menzel 383
Boskone 8 March 12-14, 1971 Sheraton Rolling Green, Andover, MA Larry Niven 211
Boskone 9 April 14-16, 1972 Statler-Hilton, Boston L. Sprague de Camp, Don Simpson, Richard Rosa 403
Boskone 10 March, 9-11 1973 Sheraton Boston Robert A. W. Lowndes, Frank Kelly Freas, Phyllis Brauner 405
Boskone 11 March 1-3, 1974 Sheraton Boston Isaac Asimov, Eddie Jones 701
Boskone 12 February 28-Mar 2, 1975 Sheraton Boston Anne McCaffrey, Bonnie Dalzell, Robert Enzmann 935
Boskone 13 February 13-15, 1976 Sheraton Boston Poul Anderson, Rick Sternbach 900
Boskone 14 February 18-20, 1977 Sheraton Boston Ben Bova, John Schoenherr 1010
Boskone 15 February 17-19, 1978 Sheraton Boston John Brunner, Arthur Thomson (ATom), Marvin Minsky 1454
Boskone 16 February 16-18, 1979 Sheraton Boston Frank Herbert, Mike Symes, Marc C. Chartrand 1950
Boskone 17 February 15-17, 1980 Radisson Ferncroft, Danvers Spider & Jeanne Robinson, Victoria Poyser 800
Boskone 18 February 13-15, 1981 Sheraton Boston Tanith Lee, Don Maitz 1609
Boskone 19 February 12-14, 1982 Boston Park Plaza Donald A. Wollheim, Michael Whelan 2270
Boskone 20 February 18-20, 1983 Boston Park Plaza Mack Reynolds*, Wendy Pini, Jeff Hecht 2420
Boskone 21 February 17-19, 1984 Boston Park Plaza Gene Wolfe, Vincent Di Fate, David Hartwell 2718
Boskone 22 February 15-17, 1985 Copley Marriott, Boston Kate Wilhelm & Damon Knight, Carl Lundgren, Shawna McCarthy 3420
Boskone 23 February 14-16, 1986 Sheraton Boston Robert Bloch, Bob Eggleton, Tom Doherty 3919
Boskone 24 February 13-15, 1987 Sheraton Boston C. J. Cherryh, Barclay Shaw, Tom Clareson 4200
Boskone 25 January 29-31, 1988 Sheraton Tara Springfield, Springfield Marriott Greg Bear, David Mattingly, Ellen Asher 1327
Boskone 26 January 27-29, 1989 Sheraton Tara Springfield, Springfield Marriott Tim Powers, James Gurney, Tom Whitmore 1250
Boskone 27 February 16-18, 1990 Sheraton Tara Springfield, Springfield Marriott Glen Cook, David A. Cherry, Charles Ryan 970
Boskone 28 February 15-17, 1991 Sheraton Tara Springfield, Springfield Marriott Mike Resnick, Ed Emshwiller*, Brian Thomsen 888
Boskone 29 February 14-16, 1992 Sheraton Tara Springfield, Springfield Marriott Jane Yolen, Jody Lee, Dave Langford 840
Boskone 30 February 19-21, 1993 Sheraton Tara, Framingham Joe Haldeman, Tom Kidd, Beth Meacham 851
Boskone 31 February 18-20, 1994 Sheraton Tara, Framingham Emma Bull & Will Shetterly, Nicholas Jainschigg, Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden 875
Boskone 32 February 17-19, 1995 Sheraton Tara, Framingham Diana Wynne Jones, Ruth Sanderson, Fred Lerner & Patricia Wrede 902/1037
Boskone 33 February 16-18, 1996 Sheraton Tara, Framingham Lois McMaster Bujold, Gary Rudell, Bob Madle 829/983
Boskone 34 February 14-16, 1997 Sheraton Tara, Framingham John M. Ford, Ron Walotsky, Jerry Kaufman & Suzanne Tompkins ~800/991
Boskone 35 February 13-15, 1998 Sheraton Tara, Framingham Walter Jon Williams, Omar Rayyan, Stanley Schmidt ~800/991
Boskone 36 February 12-14, 1999 Sheraton Tara, Framingham Connie Willis, Stephen Youll, Teddy Harvia & Diana Thayer 759/986
Boskone 37 February 18-20, 2000 Sheraton, Framingham Michael Swanwick, Rick Berry, Peter Weston 790/960
Boskone 38 February 16-18, 2001 Sheraton, Framingham George R. R. Martin, Charles Vess, Jack Cohen 933/1093
Boskone 39 February 15-17, 2002 Sheraton, Framingham Neil Gaiman, Steve Hickman, Marv Wolfman 1108/1266
Boskone 40 February 14-16, 2003 Sheraton Boston David Brin, Jim Burns, Charlie Brown 1154/1320
Boskone 41 February 13-15, 2004 Sheraton Boston Stephen Baxter, Richard Hescox, Betsy Mitchell 982/1145
Boskone 42 February 18-20, 2005 Sheraton Boston Orson Scott Card, Alan Pollack, Mike Glyer 1014/1186
Boskone 43 February 17-19, 2006 Sheraton Boston Ken MacLeod, Donato Giancola, Cory Doctorow 1104/1284
Boskone 44 February 16-18, 2007 Westin Waterfront, Boston David Gerrold, Gary A. Lippincott, Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ 1057/1268
Boskone 45 February 15-17, 2008 Westin Waterfront, Boston David Weber, Dean Morrissey, Bruce Coville 1056/1263
Boskone 46 February 13-15, 2009 Westin Waterfront, Boston Jo Walton, Stephan Martiniere, Irene Gallo 959/1139
Boskone 47 February 12-14, 2010 Westin Waterfront, Boston Alastair Reynolds, John Picacio, Tom Shippey 1065/1262
Boskone 48 February 18-20, 2011 Westin Waterfront, Boston Charles Stross, Gregory Manchess, Charlaine Harris 1047/1247
Boskone 49 February 17-19, 2012 Westin Waterfront, Boston John Scalzi, Daniel Dos Santos, Toni Weisskopf 1201/1384
Boskone 50 February 15-17, 2013 Westin Waterfront, Boston Vernor Vinge, Lisa Snellings, John Hertz 1042/1262
Boskone 51 February 14-16, 2014 Westin Waterfront, Boston Seanan McGuire, David Palumbo, Ginjer Buchanan
Boskone 52 February 13-15, 2015 Westin Waterfront, Boston Steven Brust, Charles Lang, Wendy Snow Lang, Robert K. Wiener
Boskone 53 February 19-21, 2016 Westin Waterfront, Boston Garth Nix, Richard Anderson, Arnie Fenner, Cathy Fenner
Boskone 54 February 17-19, 2017 Westin Waterfront, Boston Brandon Sanderson, Maryelizabeth Yturralde, Dave Seeley
Boskone 55 February 16-18, 2018 Westin Waterfront, Boston Mary Robinette Kowal, Craig Miller
Boskone 56 February 15-17, 2019 Westin Waterfront, Boston Elizabeth Hand, Christopher Golden, Cindy Pon, Vandana Singh, Gardner Dozois, Jim Burns
Boskone 57 February 14-16, 2020 Westin Waterfront, Boston Kim Stanley Robinson, Holly Black, Eric Wilkerson, Cheshire Moon
Boskone 58 February 12-14, 2021 (virtual) Joe Abercrombie, Julie Dillon, Tamsyn Muir, Marc Gunn
Boskone 59 February 18-20, 2022 Westin Waterfront, Boston Ted Chiang, Sara Felix, Tamsyn Muir, Tim Griffin
Boskone 60 February 17-19, 2023 Westin Waterfront, Boston Nalo Hopkinson, Victo Ngai, Tui T. Sutherland. Dave Clement
Boskone 61 February 9-11, 2024 Westin Waterfront, Boston Ben Aaronovitch, Emily Hurst Pritchett, Bradford Lyau
Boskone 62 February 14-16, 2025 Westin Waterfront, Boston [Theresa Mather]], Madison Metricula Roberts

  • = Died before the convention.

Website 1941
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