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January 7th, 2014

Boskone schedule (first cut)

Apparently I will have a lot of free time in Boston.... not!

But there's nothing on this schedule I would want to give up, it all looks like fun... as usual, this is just the first announcement and the program is subject to change...

Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?
Friday 17:00 - 17:50
When we finally meet the aliens, how will the encounter affect the Earth’s religions? Does their sentience guarantee a soul capable of salvation? Is it likely that they will be creatures of faith? Will they adopt our creeds? Will we convert to theirs? Will they deflate old beliefs, or inspire new ones? How have SF writers handled these questions so far? What frontiers of faith have yet to be explored?
Guy Consolmagno, James D. Macdonald
Stay Near the Fire: The New Solar System Science Fiction
Saturday 10:00 - 10:50
Forget star-spanning empires. Recently, writers from Charles Stross to Kim Stanley Robinson, James S. A. Corey to Hannu Rajaniemi have instead created stories set in the future of our own solar system. What are the scientific reasons for this? Is there sufficient room for our imaginations in staying (relatively) close to home? Who’s writing the best stuff about it?
Charles Stross, Guy Consolmagno, Allen M. Steele, Joan Slonczewski
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
Reading -- Guy Consolmagno
Saturday 15:30 - 15:55
Guy Consolmagno
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
The Dark Universe
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
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

(edit: another previously listed program item, "Welcome to Fermilab" is confirmed to be a solo presentation by Bill Higgins.  I will be in the audience!)



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