Asking How and Why at Boskone 53

I’m excited to announce that next month (Feb. 19-21, 2016) I’ll be a panelist at Boskone, New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention, at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston. It’ll be a great weekend, with panels, readings, and discussions about books, film, art, music, gaming, and more — I’m really looking forward to it. I’m scheduled to participate on three panels and lead a discussion group (see below for details); the full schedule is available online.

Some Friday afternoon events (including my panel on key moments in space travel) are free and open to to the public, or you can visit the Boskone website to register and get access to the full weekend of events. Check out the convention’s blog, Twitter, and Facebook for more information.

And of course — be sure to follow Asking How and Why on Twitter and Facebook for updates!


Key Moments in Space Travel: Columbia (1981), Vostok (1961) – FREE TO PUBLIC
Friday 5:00-5:50pm, Harbor III (Westin)
In 2016, we celebrate 35 years since the launch of Columbia, the U.S.’s first reusable space shuttle, and 55 years since Vostok, the first human spaceflight in history. With more than half a century of space travel behind us, let’s take a look back at some of the more memorable moments in manned space flight and imagine what we can look forward to in the future.
Allen M. Steele (Moderator), James Cambias, Andrew Owens, N.A. Ratnayake

News From Our Neighbors
Saturday 2:00-2:50pm, Marina 2 (Westin)
In recent years, science has learned more about our nearby astronomical neighborhood than ever before. Our moon boasts the coldest spot in the solar system; there’s water on Mars and blue skies on Pluto. What were some other big surprises? What do we still want to know? What else is out there? And where should we go next?
Vincent Docherty (Moderator), Paula Crock, Jordin T. Kare, Andrew Owens, Allen M. Steele

Spaceflight in Science Fiction and in Reality
Saturday 4:00-4:50pm, Harbor I-Discussion Group (Westin)
Join our discussion for an informal chat about spaceflight.
Andrew Owens

Reverse-Engineering The Martian
Saturday 5:00-5:50pm, Marina 3 (Westin)
Its creators certainly had a sense of humor. (Did you know this movie has an official potato? The Albert Bartlett Russet.) But in fealty to the novel, they also baked in a love of problem-solving we haven’t seen since Apollo 13. What else makes The Martian a hard-SF fan’s dream?
Robert J. Sawyer (Moderator), Paula Crock, Janet Catherine Johnston, Andrew Owens

***EDIT, 2/21/2016***

New panel! Due to other panelists being unable to attend Boskone for various reasons, I’ve been added to one more panel:

Phun with Physics
Sunday 2:00-2:50pm, Marina 1 (Westin)
Arguably one of the oldest forms of science, physics is not (always) a dry and dusty matter. Join our playful panel of madcap science mavens for a fun discussion on the history of physics. They’ll note some high and low points on the physics timeline, and consider how these inspired (or demoralized) later research.
Beforehand, check out this great physics timeline for key events.
Jordin T. Kare (Moderator), John Chu, Mark L. Olson, N.A. Ratnayake, Andrew Owens


Alan Shepard prepares to become the first American in space, 1961 (Credit: NASA)


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