Welcome to Bouchercon 2000, the 31st annual world mystery convention. Depending on how you calculate it, this is either the last Bouchercon of the Twentieth Century, or the first one of the Twenty-first Century. Either way it?s a time for reflection. The next century will bring changes we cannot yet imagine to the mystery field, particularly in the way books are developed, marketed, and sold, while the last century has produced a rich tradition upon which the next one can and should build.
Both Elmore Leonard, our Guest of Honor, and Jane Langton, the recipient of our Lifetime Achievement Award, have been dominant forces in the last third of the century. Leonard has written inventive crime novels that have also enjoyed tremendous success in their translation into film. Langton has carried on the much older tradition of the civilized novel of manners as transmuted into the detective story. Val McDermid, our toastmaster, typifies some of the newer directions the mystery is taking in Britain, where the realistic crime novel is coming into its own along with the classic detective stories for which England has long been famous.
In our programming, we want to spend some time looking back upon what twentieth century mystery fiction is all about. So in addition to panels featuring current writers, we will offer programming that highlights what writers of the past have brought to the genre.