New England Science Fiction Association

The New England Science Fiction Association, or NESFA, is a science fiction club centered in the New England area. It was founded in 1967, "by fans who wanted to do things in addition to socializing"[1]. NESFA is currently registered as a non-profit literary organization under IRS section 501(c)(3).

The organization holds regular meetings (at their dedicated site, the NESFA Clubhouse) of and for members and other interested parties. A weekly meeting is held most Wednesday evenings, for socializing, projects, and miscellaneous business. Two weekend meetings are held every month: a Business Meeting (for administration), and the Other Meeting. The club also publishes a regular newsletter, Instant Message. There are two book groups that meet on a monthly basis, as well as a monthly Game Day, and a monthly Game Night. In addition, there is a monthly Media day. This involves showings of two episodes of an anime series, two TV series episodes and a movie choice. All are science fiction/fantasy related. There is currently a NESFA Short Story Contest, accepting submissions from amateur writers seeking to improve their science fiction/fantasy writing through constructive critical analysis from expert readers, editors, and professional writers.


GenreScience fiction
Location(s)Boston, Massachusetts
CountryUnited States
Organized byNew England Science Fiction Association
Filing status501(c)(3)

The club runs an annual science fiction convention, Boskone. In the words of the convention organizers, "Boskone is a regional Science Fiction convention focusing on literature, art, music, and gaming (with just a dash of whimsy)"[2]. It is held over a weekend every February, in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. The name is a reference to the classic Lensman series by E. E. Smith, in which "Boskone" is a council of villains, and also a name for their civilization. The obvious name for a con in Boston would, of course, be "Boscon"; the similarity was noticed and embraced. Continuing the trend, when a new Boston-area convention was formed, the organizers of that event named it "Arisia", the name of the civilization for which the protagonists work in the Lensman series.

Boskone I[3] was held in 1941 under the auspices of The Stranger Club, an earlier Boston-based SF club. Four more were held annually, ending with Boskone V in 1945. The current series of Boskones started in 1965 with Boskone 1[4] and continued without interruption to the present. Boskone 1, 2, and 4 were run by BosSFS, the now-defunct Boston Science Fiction Society. The then-newly formed NESFA took over with Boskone 5. The tradition of holding Boskone in February started in 1976.[5]


NESFA has a small publishing arm, NESFA Press, which specializes in classic and neglected works of science fiction, as well as SF/fandom reference and historical material. Works published by NESFA press include:[1]


Skylark Award

The Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction (the Skylark) is presented annually by NESFA to some person, who, in the opinion of the membership, has contributed significantly to science fiction, both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities which made the late "Doc" Smith well loved by those who knew him.

Jack Gaughan Award

The Jack Gaughan Award is presented annually to an emerging artist chosen by a panel of judges (which have included Vincent Di Fate, Kelly Freas, Michael Whelan, David Cherry, Bob Eggleton, Tyler Jacobson, and Ron Walotsky).


NESFA also hosts meetings of Massachusetts Convention Fandom, Inc. MCFI, a non-profit like NESFA, is responsible for various "special" conventions in the New England area. Most notable of these is Noreascon, MCFI's occasional Worldcon bid. The most recent of these was Noreascon Four, the 62nd World Science Fiction Convention, in September 2004. MCFI has also hosted SMOFcon, Ditto, and the World Fantasy Convention. MCFI is a separate legal entity from NESFA, though there is a large overlap in membership.

See also


  1. ^ Burgess, Michael; Bartle, Lisa R. (2002). Reference guide to science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Libraries Unlimited. pp. 140, 160. ISBN 978-1-56308-548-2.


  1. ^ What is NESFA?
  2. ^ Boskone Home Page
  3. ^ Roman numeral I for one
  4. ^ Numbering for the new Boskone series was restarted at one, with some Roman numerals, some Arabic numerals, and some numbers spelled out. Beginning with Boskone 29, the numbering has been exclusively with Arabic numerals.
  5. ^ Boskone History

External links

27th World Science Fiction Convention

The 27th World Science Fiction Convention, also known as St. Louiscon, was held August 28–September 1, 1969, at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, under the auspices of OSFA, the Ozark Science Fiction Association.

The chairpersons were Ray Fisher and Joyce Fisher. The guests of honor were Jack Gaughan (professional) and Eddie Jones (fan artist). Jones, the Trans Atlantic Fan Fund (TAFF) winner, replaced Ted White. The toastmaster was Harlan Ellison. Total attendance was 1,534 from a registration exceeding 2,001, making it the largest Worldcon to that point in both regards.

Baltimore Science Fiction Society

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society is a literary organization focusing on science fiction, fantasy and related genres. A 501c3 literary society based in Baltimore, Maryland, the BSFS sponsors Balticon, the Maryland Regional Science Fiction Convention.


Boskone is an annual science fiction convention ("con") run by the New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA) in Boston, Massachusetts. In the words of the convention organizers, "Boskone is a regional Science Fiction convention focusing on literature, art, music, and gaming (with just a dash of whimsy)".[1] It is held every February, in Boston. The name is a reference to the classic Lensman series by E. E. Smith, in which "Boskone" is a council of villains, and also a name for their civilization. The obvious name for a con in Boston would, of course, be "Boscon"; the similarity was noticed and embraced. Continuing the trend, when a new Boston-area convention was formed, the organizers of that event named it "Arisia".

Daniel M. Kimmel

Daniel M. Kimmel (born 1955) is an American film critic and author.In September 2014, he became editor of The Jewish Advocate where he served through December 2015. He received a B.A. from the University of Rochester and a degree in law from Boston University.

Kimmel was the Boston correspondent for Variety from 1986 to 2013, and has been a TV columnist for The Boston Herald. From 1984 to 2009, he was a film reviewer for the Telegram & Gazette in Worcester, Massachusetts. His reviews can be found at and the Sci-Fi Movie Page. Until his promotion he was the "Movie Maven" for The Jewish Advocate. His essays on classic science fiction films were being published in The Internet Review of Science Fiction from 2005–2010 and are now in Space and Time.

He is a past president and current member of the Boston Society of Film Critics. In May 2012, he became founding co-chair of the Boston Online Film Critics Association.

Kimmel is the author of several books and has co-written a play The Waldorf Conference about the Hollywood blacklist. His 2004 history of Fox, The Fourth Network, received the Cable Center Award for best book of the year. His collection of essays titled Jar Jar Binks Must Die was nominated for a Hugo Award in the category "Best Related Work". His novel Shh! It's a Secret was on the shortlist for the Compton Crook Award given to best first novel by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. His latest is Time on My Hands: My Misadventures in Time Travel. He is the 2018 recipient of the Skylark Award given by the New England Science Fiction Association.

Edward E. Smith Memorial Award

The Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction, or "Skylark", annually recognizes someone for lifetime contributions to science fiction, "both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities which made the late "Doc" Smith well-loved by those who knew him." It is presented by the New England Science Fiction Association at its annual convention, Boskone, to someone chosen by a vote of NESFA members. The trophy is a large lens mounted on a simple plinth.The award was inaugurated in 1966, the year after Smith's death. Fifty-one people have been honored in 49 years to 2015 (Hal Clement received the award twice, in 1969 and 1997).

Skylark recipients

Ellen Asher

Ellen Asher is an American science fiction editor who served as editor-in-chief of the Science Fiction Book Club (SFBC) for thirty-four years, from February 8, 1973, through June 1, 2007. She grew up in New York City and began editing science fiction at New American Library from 1970 to 1972.As editor-in-chief of the SFBC, she oversaw the publication of anthologies like The Dragon Quintet, Vampire Sextet, Fair Folk, and Masterpieces of Terror and the Supernatural. In 1984, Asher sat as a judge for the World Fantasy Awards. In 2001, Asher received the New England Science Fiction Association Edward E. Smith Memorial Award. In early 2007, the multinational media corporation, Bertelsmann, bought a controlling portion of Bookspan, of which the SFBC is an affiliate. In the subsequent restructuring, Asher was given an early retirement.Asher received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2009 and was a guest of honor at Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention. She occasionally performs some freelance work.

Hammerfall (novel)

Hammerfall is a science fiction novel by American science fiction and fantasy author C. J. Cherryh. It was first published in June 2001 in the United States by HarperCollins under its Eos Books imprint. It was also serialized in two parts as Ribelle Genetico and Il Pianeta del Deserto in the Italian science fiction magazine, Urania, published in issue 1425 in October 2001, and issue 1430 in January 2002, respectively.Hammerfall is the first of two novels set in Cherryh's Gene Wars universe, and concerns gene manipulation using nanotechnology, and contact with an alien race, the ondat. The second novel, Forge of Heaven was published in June 2004.

Hammerfall was nominated for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in 2002, and was a third-place runner-up.

Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov (; c. January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992) was an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He was known for his works of science fiction and popular science. Asimov was a prolific writer who wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. His books have been published in 9 of the 10 major categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification.Asimov wrote hard science fiction. Along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, Asimov was considered one of the "Big Three" science fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov's most famous work is the "Foundation" series; his other major series are the "Galactic Empire" series and the Robot series. The Galactic Empire novels are set in earlier history of the same fictional universe as the Foundation series. Later, with Foundation and Earth (1986), he linked this distant future to the Robot stories, creating a unified "future history" for his stories much like those pioneered by Robert A. Heinlein and previously produced by Cordwainer Smith and Poul Anderson. He wrote hundreds of short stories, including the social science fiction novelette "Nightfall"; in 1964, it was voted the best short science fiction story of all time by the Science Fiction Writers of America. Asimov wrote the Lucky Starr series of juvenile science-fiction novels using the pen name Paul French.Asimov also wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as much nonfiction. Most of his popular science books explain concepts in a historical way, going as far back as possible to a time when the science in question was at its simplest stage. Examples include Guide to Science, the three-volume set Understanding Physics, and Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery. He wrote on numerous other scientific and non-scientific topics, such as chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, history, biblical exegesis, and literary criticism.

He was president of the American Humanist Association. The asteroid 5020 Asimov, a crater on the planet Mars, a Brooklyn elementary school, and a literary award are named in his honor.

Jack Gaughan

John Brian Francis "Jack" Gaughan (September 24, 1930 – July 21, 1985) was an American science fiction artist and illustrator who won the Hugo Award several times. Working primarily with Donald A. Wollheim at Ace Books, and DAW Books from 1971, his simple linear style brought to life images of such works as Andre Norton's Witch World novels and E. E. Smith's Lensmen and Skylark novels (for which he did two related sets of Pyramid Books covers). His broad visual vocabulary enabled him to render the objects, spaceships and scenes in whatever was presented to him as they were described in the books and stories he illustrated. That was especially an accomplishment as many of these authors drew on their knowledge of esoteric subjects for their imagery. This ability made him very popular among people with an engineering background.During most of Ejler Jakobsson's tenure as editor of Galaxy Science Fiction from 1969 to 1974, Gaughan did all the illustration and much of the design that went on in the magazine. In addition, many of the books he did for Ace featured hand-lettered titled pages, frontispieces, or maps with Gaughan's distinctive calligraphy. One example is its 1966 edition of Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. (Ace replaced the Gaughan cover illustration in its second printing, 1978.) L. Sprague de Camp's 1967 anthology, The Fantastic Swordsmen, included a Gaughan map before each of the eight collected stories. His maps also grace the Ace first editions of some Witch World novels – including the 1963 first edition of the first one – and Mark S. Geston's Lords of the Starship (title page and map).

Gaughan illustrated the covers and hand-lettered title pages for the unauthorized first paperback edition of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, which Ace released in 1965.Beside his professional work, he was a frequent contributor to SF fan magazines. In his heyday he was often nominated for Hugo Awards for both professional artist and best fan artist simultaneously. Locus ran a column by him for a while.

In his memory, the New England Science Fiction Association presents the annual Jack Gaughan Award for best emerging science fiction illustrator.

Gaughan was posthumously inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2015.

Jack Gaughan Award

The Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist is an American award honoring the memory of illustrator Jack Gaughan. Because the latter felt it was important to encourage and recognize new blood in the field, the New England Science Fiction Association, Inc., presents the Gaughan Award annually to an emerging artist (an artist who has become a professional within the past five years) chosen by a panel of judges.

The winner of the Gaughan Award is announced during Boskone, NESFA's annual convention.

1986 Stephen Hickman

1987 Val Lakey Lindahn

1988 Bob Eggleton

1989 Dell Harris

1990 Keith Parkinson

1991 Richard Hescox

1992 Jody Lee

1993 Nicholas Jainschigg

1994 Dorian Vallejo

1995 Bruce Jensen

1996 Charles Lang

1997 Lisa Snellings-Clark

1998 Donato Giancola

1999 Brom

2000 Stephen Daniele

2001 Mark Zug

2002 Terese Nielsen

2003 Martina Pilcerova

2004 Justin Sweet

2005 Adam Rex

2006 Scott M. Fischer

2007 Dan Dos Santos

2008 Shelly Wan

2009 Eric Fortune

2010 Tyler Jacobson

2014 Sam Burley

2016 Tommy Arnold

2017 Kirbi Fagan

Massachusetts Convention Fandom, Inc

Massachusetts Convention Fandom, Inc. (MCFI) is an American 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization incorporated in 1974 as an administrative vehicle for proposing, promoting, and running World Science Fiction Conventions (Worldcons) and other special (non-ongoing) SF conventions in the New England area.

Although MCFI rents space in the Boston clubhouse of the New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA) for its annual meetings, purchased the "Noreascon" trademark from NESFA, and has overlapping membership with NESFA, the two groups are otherwise separate.

Mira, Mirror

Mira, Mirror is a young adult fantasy novel written by Mette Ivie Harrison. The novel was first published in 2004. The story of the novel is told from the viewpoint of the magic mirror from the fairy tale "Snow White". "Mira" is a main character.


NESFA Press is the publishing arm of the New England Science Fiction Association, Inc. The NESFA Press primarily produces three types of books:

Books honoring the guest(s) of honor at their annual convention, Boskone, and at some Worldcons and other conventions.

Books in the NESFA's Choice series, which bring back into print the works of deserving classic SF writers such as James Schmitz, Cordwainer Smith, C. M. Kornbluth, and Zenna Henderson.

Reference books on science fiction and science fiction fandom.

Science fiction fandom

Science fiction fandom or SF fandom is a community or fandom of people interested in science fiction in contact with one another based upon that interest. SF fandom has a life of its own, but not much in the way of formal organization (although clubs such as the Futurians (1937–1945) are a recognized example of organized fandom).

Most often called simply "fandom" within the community, it can be viewed as a distinct subculture, with its own literature and jargon; marriages and other relationships among fans are common, as are multi-generational fan families.


Scribblings is a 1972 collection of writings by science fiction and fantasy author L. Sprague de Camp to celebrate his appearance as Guest of Honor at Boskone IX, a convention sponsored by the New England Science Fiction Association. The Association served as publisher.The book contains short works of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and aphorisms. Among the stories are the complete set of de Camp's four short "Drinkwhiskey Institute" series of tall tales.

St. Fidgeta and Other Parodies

St. Fidgeta & Other Parodies, a mostly uncategorizable spoof of 1960s Catholicism, was the first published work by John Bellairs. The original St. Fidgeta article first appeared in the Chicago-based Catholic magazine, the Critic. it describes the putative life of St. Fidgeta ("Quieter of the giggly / Steadier of the wiggly"), a seven year-old martyr and the patroness of unmanageable children. A subsequent book appeared with eleven other vignettes that offered sardonic comment on the Vatican II era. Long out of print, St. Fidgeta was re-released in the 2009 anthology, Magic Mirrors, published by the New England Science Fiction Association press.

Steve Miller (science fiction writer)

Steve Miller (born July 31, 1950) is an American science fiction writer from Winslow, Maine, best known for his works set in the Liaden universe, written in collaboration with his wife Sharon Lee.

The Science of Discworld

The Science of Discworld is a 1999 book by novelist Terry Pratchett and popular science writers Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen. Three sequels, The Science of Discworld II: The Globe, The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch, and The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day, have been written by the same authors.

The book alternates between a typically absurd Discworld story and serious scientific exposition after each chapter.

The cover of the book, designed by Paul Kidby, is a parody of the 1768 painting "An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump" by Joseph Wright of Derby.

The White Dragon (novel)

The White Dragon is a science fantasy novel by American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey.

It completes the original Dragonriders trilogy in the Dragonriders of Pern series, seven years after the second book. It was first published by Del Rey Books in June 1978, one year before the young adult Harper Hall trilogy.

In 1987, the magazine Locus ranked The White Dragon number 23 among the 33 "All-Time Best Fantasy Novels", based on a poll of subscribers.

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