Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator and Bouchercon Aficionado Scott Montgomery
Two things happen around this time of year: I get ready to go to Bouchercon, and a lot of people ask about what one on earth that is when I tell them what I’m preparing for. For the uninitiated who haven’t yet heard of the magic of this conference, I will address the three most frequently asked questions about it.
What is Bouchercon?
Bouchercon is the world’s largest mystery conference. Thousands of fans rub elbows with hundreds of crime fiction writers. It is held in a different city each year (this time, New Orleans). Themes match their locations – this year has been officially named the “Blood on the Bayou” Bouchercon. The conference celebrates the genre with at least three awards ceremonies, lots of parties, and tons of panels. It is put on by crime fiction fans for crime fiction fans.
Why is it called Bouchercon?
Bouchercon is named after sci-fi and mystery writer Anthony Boucher, who died in 1968, but whose legacy still shines. He had an impact on both genres as a book reviewer and editor for the San Francisco Chronicle. He celebrated the literary merit of scifi and mystery, and championed authors like Jim Thompson. The last awards, given out on Sunday, are known as The Anthonies.
Should I go?
Yes.You get to meet some of your favorite writers and get introduced to new ones. The panels can be an enlightening and they are always entertaining. I always find something in the book room that is filled with great booksellers and publishers. Also, if you are at an early panel you can see what the authors look like in the morning after they’ve been drinking.
Molly, Meike, and myself will be there in New Orleans September 15th through 18th. Say hi, and get ready for lots of stories when we return!