Difference between revisions of "M47 Programming Brainstorm"

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(Convention T-Shirts: I prefer the old-fashioned line-drawings on cloth. Lines may vary between thick and thin, you know.)
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=Minicon 47 Programming Panels=
+
=Unknown Category=
  
==Unknown Category==
+
==What's it like to live in a World With Rampant Unemployment?==
 
+
===The Tragical Historie of Guidolon, The Giant Space Chicken===
+
This panel was suggested during a programming brainstorming session and the description was accidentally left out.  I don't understand.  Seriously, what is this panel about?
+
 
+
===What's it like to live in a World With Rampant Unemployment?===
+
 
The future of employment.  Needs description.
 
The future of employment.  Needs description.
  
==Art, Crafts, Costuming==
+
=Art, Crafts, Costuming=
  
===Costuming Connection===
+
==Costuming Connection==
 
How do I get started with costuming?  How do I improve my beginner skills?  What can I do with a simple sewing machine?  Which features are cool to have on a more expensive, gadgety machine?  What are some good costuming resources?
 
How do I get started with costuming?  How do I improve my beginner skills?  What can I do with a simple sewing machine?  Which features are cool to have on a more expensive, gadgety machine?  What are some good costuming resources?
===It Leapt Right Off The Page!===
+
==It Leapt Right Off The Page!==
 
Live, interactive tutorial on making your own pop-ups.   
 
Live, interactive tutorial on making your own pop-ups.   
  
===Make your own Minin.===
+
==Make your own Minin.==
 
Build Your Own Minion Puppet.  Donated materials provided.  This event may include time at the end for puppets to discuss whether Scott Adams is merely brilliant or a true genius.
 
Build Your Own Minion Puppet.  Donated materials provided.  This event may include time at the end for puppets to discuss whether Scott Adams is merely brilliant or a true genius.
  
===Puppetry===
+
==Puppetry==
 
What's so special about puppets?  What can we do with puppets that live actors can't communicate?  What makes for a successful puppet script? What are some resources for puppeteers?  What are our thoughts on the Muppets re-boot?
 
What's so special about puppets?  What can we do with puppets that live actors can't communicate?  What makes for a successful puppet script? What are some resources for puppeteers?  What are our thoughts on the Muppets re-boot?
 
 
===Spinning Your Yarns===
+
==Spinning Your Yarns==
 
Many fans like working with our hands to create things, sometimes while we're participating in other activities.  How does creating things keep us engaged?  What are some of our favorites?  Is it difficult to knit in a dark movie theater?   
 
Many fans like working with our hands to create things, sometimes while we're participating in other activities.  How does creating things keep us engaged?  What are some of our favorites?  Is it difficult to knit in a dark movie theater?   
  
==Fandom and Fannishness==
+
==The Tragical Historie of Guidolon, The Giant Space Chicken==
 +
A Frank Wu Panel
  
===Convention T-Shirts===
+
=Fandom and Fannishness=
What are convention T-shirts for?  What do we use them for?  What are some of the best ones we've gotten? How do we feel about the recent full-color slab-prints vs the old line-drawings on cloth?
+
  
===Defined by Marketing===
+
==Convention T-Shirts==
 +
What are convention T-shirts for?  What do we use them for?  What are some of the best ones we've gotten?
 +
 
 +
==Defined by Marketing==
 
People are put into marketing categories based on credit card purchases, magazine subscriptions, browser history, Tivo viewing history, and countless other categories.  Is this just a way of voting for what we want?  What are the implications concerning privacy?  How do publication and media companies decide what appeals to fans?  What happens when the marketers get it wrong?
 
People are put into marketing categories based on credit card purchases, magazine subscriptions, browser history, Tivo viewing history, and countless other categories.  Is this just a way of voting for what we want?  What are the implications concerning privacy?  How do publication and media companies decide what appeals to fans?  What happens when the marketers get it wrong?
===Fat Acceptance In Fiction and Fandom===
+
==Fat Acceptance In Fiction and Fandom==
 
How is size acceptance treated in fiction and fandom?   
 
How is size acceptance treated in fiction and fandom?   
  
===Hectograph to Podcast:  An Introduction to Fanzines===
+
==Hectograph to Podcast:  An Introduction to Fanzines==
 
What is a fanzine?  What makes a good fanzine?  What kind of writing works best?  How have fanzines changed over the years?  How does the history of fanzines inform the present?   
 
What is a fanzine?  What makes a good fanzine?  What kind of writing works best?  How have fanzines changed over the years?  How does the history of fanzines inform the present?   
  
===Minneapolis in 2073===
+
==Minneapolis in 2073==
 
A convention whose time has come, and will come again in about 61 years.  Minneapolis in xx73!
 
A convention whose time has come, and will come again in about 61 years.  Minneapolis in xx73!
  
===Rune Publication===
+
==Rune Publication==
 
We publish an issue of Rune at Minicon.  Those interested in participating must let the programming department what sort of space and time you'll need.
 
We publish an issue of Rune at Minicon.  Those interested in participating must let the programming department what sort of space and time you'll need.
  
===Steamdrunk===
+
==The State of the Fanzines Address==
The mashup of Science Fiction, Alternate History and Speculative Fiction is probably best known for its visual style.  There are those who've declared Steampunk thoroughly over and done with, yet it soldiers on like a pre-Sumerian brass android. How have those who work with Steampunk tropes -- authors, costumers, animators, all -- dealt with the criticisms, and how have they managed to keep Steampunk fresh?
+
 
+
===The State of the Fanzines Address===
+
 
How are Fanzines doing these days?  Do Podcasts count as Fanzines?   
 
How are Fanzines doing these days?  Do Podcasts count as Fanzines?   
  
===What Had Happened Since "Is There A Fannish Accent?"===
+
==What Had Happened Since "Is There A Fannish Accent?"==
 
A follow up panel about how fans talk and communicate.  How has the wisdom from the previous panel entered into the fannish imagination?  Has more research been since then?  Attendance at previous panel is not necessary to enjoy this discussion, and maybe we could ask Callie Soukup to read her description of the original panel.
 
A follow up panel about how fans talk and communicate.  How has the wisdom from the previous panel entered into the fannish imagination?  Has more research been since then?  Attendance at previous panel is not necessary to enjoy this discussion, and maybe we could ask Callie Soukup to read her description of the original panel.
  
===Who Are The People In Your Neighborhood?===
+
==Who Are The People In Your Neighborhood?==
 
Ask a... ?  Up to five panelists talk about their interesting careers.  Description will be based on panelists.   
 
Ask a... ?  Up to five panelists talk about their interesting careers.  Description will be based on panelists.   
  
==Gaming==
+
=Gaming=
===Let Me Tell You About My Character!===
+
==Let Me Tell You About My Character!==
 
What gaming conversations make you want to flee in terror?  Why are these conversations so fascinating to the storyteller, and so horribly boring for the listener?  What is unique about RPGs that cause this phenomenon?   
 
What gaming conversations make you want to flee in terror?  Why are these conversations so fascinating to the storyteller, and so horribly boring for the listener?  What is unique about RPGs that cause this phenomenon?   
  
===Never Enough Rules===
+
==Never Enough Rules==
 
A discussion about making up your own rules for existing games.  At what point does a house-ruled system become a homebrew?  What are some games that cry out for player enhancement?  Is it "house rules," if the original RAW seems insufficent?  What methods work for finding agreeable methods of modification?  Does this discussion need to be limited to only board games or only RPGs?   
 
A discussion about making up your own rules for existing games.  At what point does a house-ruled system become a homebrew?  What are some games that cry out for player enhancement?  Is it "house rules," if the original RAW seems insufficent?  What methods work for finding agreeable methods of modification?  Does this discussion need to be limited to only board games or only RPGs?   
  
===Practical applications of D&D alignments===
+
==Practical applications of D&D alignments==
 
What's the benefit of D&D alignments when applied to real world situations like politics or workplace interactions?  If the 700 Club is Lawful Evil, then Westboro Baptist is Chaotic Evil.  What characteristics define people who are "Chaotic Neutral," and how are they best handled in the workplace?   
 
What's the benefit of D&D alignments when applied to real world situations like politics or workplace interactions?  If the 700 Club is Lawful Evil, then Westboro Baptist is Chaotic Evil.  What characteristics define people who are "Chaotic Neutral," and how are they best handled in the workplace?   
  
==Krushenko's==
+
==Chicon 7==
===Clifford D. Simak - Alien Life In The Heartlands===
+
Everything you wanted to know about Worldcon but were afraid to ask.
 +
 
 +
=Krushenko's=
 +
 
 +
==Clifford D. Simak - Alien Life In The Heartlands==
 
Clifford D. Simak Simak set much of his SF in rural Wisconsin where he grew up and Minnesota where he worked as a journalist.  Join this discussion of the work of Clifford D. Simak.
 
Clifford D. Simak Simak set much of his SF in rural Wisconsin where he grew up and Minnesota where he worked as a journalist.  Join this discussion of the work of Clifford D. Simak.
  
===The Life and Works of Joanna Russ (1937-2011)===
+
==The Life and Works of Joanna Russ (1937-2011)==
 
Joanna Russ is perhaps best known for her 1975 work "The Female Man," the 1972 short story "When it Changed," and her 1983 writing guide "How to Suppress Women's Writing."  The dialogue regarding sexism in the field of science fiction and fantasy benefited from her voice, and her contributions still impact how that discussion is carried out.  What do we think about all of this?   
 
Joanna Russ is perhaps best known for her 1975 work "The Female Man," the 1972 short story "When it Changed," and her 1983 writing guide "How to Suppress Women's Writing."  The dialogue regarding sexism in the field of science fiction and fantasy benefited from her voice, and her contributions still impact how that discussion is carried out.  What do we think about all of this?   
  
==Lit Reader==
+
=Lit Reader=
===Fantasy Without Swords or Vampires===
+
==Fantasy Without Swords or Vampires==
 
Gee, is that even possible?
 
Gee, is that even possible?
 
 
===GLBT characters and censorship in comics and manga===
+
==GLBT characters and censorship in comics and manga==
 
In 1954, The Comics Code Authority (CCA) came into being as a response to Fredric Wertham's "Seduction of the Innocent."  Wertham argued that comic books negatively influenced children in many was, including portrayals of subliminal homosexuality. Wonder Woman's independence and background was an indication of her lesbianism, and "The Batman type of story may stimulate children to homosexual fantasies." Manga and comics today still often contain unrealistic portrayals of sexuality, though it could be argued that the genre has improved.  How do these formats get it right and wrong?  How can they improve?
 
In 1954, The Comics Code Authority (CCA) came into being as a response to Fredric Wertham's "Seduction of the Innocent."  Wertham argued that comic books negatively influenced children in many was, including portrayals of subliminal homosexuality. Wonder Woman's independence and background was an indication of her lesbianism, and "The Batman type of story may stimulate children to homosexual fantasies." Manga and comics today still often contain unrealistic portrayals of sexuality, though it could be argued that the genre has improved.  How do these formats get it right and wrong?  How can they improve?
 
    
 
    
===Guilty Secrets of Your Booklist===
+
==Guilty Secrets of Your Booklist==
 
What other books do fans also enjoy?  What are some of our new favorites in non-fiction or non-genre?
 
What other books do fans also enjoy?  What are some of our new favorites in non-fiction or non-genre?
  
===A Love Letter to Jo Walton's "Among Others"===
+
==A Love Letter to Jo Walton's "Among Others"==
 
A celebratory discussion, along with an annotated bibliography of the books mentioned in "Among Others."
 
A celebratory discussion, along with an annotated bibliography of the books mentioned in "Among Others."
  
===That Reminds Me Of A Book I Read!===
+
==That Reminds Me Of A Book I Read!==
 
A dramatic reading of the 2012 panel list in which the audience is encouraged to blurt out titles of books of which they are reminded.  Just like some other Minicon panels, except on purpose.   
 
A dramatic reading of the 2012 panel list in which the audience is encouraged to blurt out titles of books of which they are reminded.  Just like some other Minicon panels, except on purpose.   
  
===Where Do I Find Your Work, Ted?===
+
==Where Do I Find Your Work, Ted?==
 
Our Author Guest of Honor's work is published in a variety of venues.  How has he chosen where to publish them?   
 
Our Author Guest of Honor's work is published in a variety of venues.  How has he chosen where to publish them?   
  
===Wookies Need Extra Legroom===
+
==Wookies Need Extra Legroom==
 
Many SF stories include the realization that reasonable accommodations are for many different types of "normal."  By challenging the idea of normal in a format that includes different species, do we marginalize disability accessibility or do we make it more socially universal?
 
Many SF stories include the realization that reasonable accommodations are for many different types of "normal."  By challenging the idea of normal in a format that includes different species, do we marginalize disability accessibility or do we make it more socially universal?
  
===Young Children's Fantasy Books===
+
==Young Children's Fantasy Books==
 
Needs description.
 
Needs description.
  
==Lit Reader or Movies/TV==
+
=Lit Reader or Movies/TV=
===Id, Ego, Superego===
+
 
 +
==Id, Ego, Superego==
 
How does psychology fit into fiction?  When Characters represent facets of a complete persona, what does it say about what the author is trying to communicate?   
 
How does psychology fit into fiction?  When Characters represent facets of a complete persona, what does it say about what the author is trying to communicate?   
  
===Appending Our Cultural Heritage===
+
==Appending Our Cultural Heritage==
 
Public domain works such as Dracula, Sherlock Holmes and Alice in Wonderland inspire new stories.  How does an author make a topic uniquely their own, and still respect the original story?  How does fan fiction around non-public domain works fit into the discussion of derivative work?  When, if ever, does something become part of the cultural landscape and no longer the sole property of the original creator?
 
Public domain works such as Dracula, Sherlock Holmes and Alice in Wonderland inspire new stories.  How does an author make a topic uniquely their own, and still respect the original story?  How does fan fiction around non-public domain works fit into the discussion of derivative work?  When, if ever, does something become part of the cultural landscape and no longer the sole property of the original creator?
  
===New Ideas in an Old Universe===
+
==Playing in Someone Else's Universe==
 
Fanfiction isn't new, though the internet has made it much more accessible in the last two decades.  Where is it growing?  What is there to know about the explosion of fanfiction?  How can we find fanfiction that we like?  How can we find communities to help us develop our work? How do fanfic authors critique each other's writing?  
 
Fanfiction isn't new, though the internet has made it much more accessible in the last two decades.  Where is it growing?  What is there to know about the explosion of fanfiction?  How can we find fanfiction that we like?  How can we find communities to help us develop our work? How do fanfic authors critique each other's writing?  
  
===Once Upon A Time:  More Than A Card Game===
+
==Once Upon A Time:  More Than A Card Game==
 
Once Upon A Time is a card game where four (or more, or less, but four is ideal) players try to tell a story leading to one of their pre-determined endings using elements dealt to them on cards both at the beginning and throughout the game. Apart from being a very fun experience, Once Upon a Time is a wonderful writing exercise.
 
Once Upon A Time is a card game where four (or more, or less, but four is ideal) players try to tell a story leading to one of their pre-determined endings using elements dealt to them on cards both at the beginning and throughout the game. Apart from being a very fun experience, Once Upon a Time is a wonderful writing exercise.
  
===The end of the vanity publisher===
+
==The end of the vanity publisher==
 
What are some of the options in self-publishing these days?  What should writers be aware of?
 
What are some of the options in self-publishing these days?  What should writers be aware of?
  
===Crossing over from SF to Mystery===
+
==Crossing over from SF to Mystery==
 
Can SF and Mystery successfully co-exist in the same book?  What qualities do the respective genres have that play nicely together, and which elements squabble bitterly?  How do their respective backgrounds in the niche market of pulp make them unique?  What are some of our favorite authors who successfully navigate the blending of these two popular styles?   
 
Can SF and Mystery successfully co-exist in the same book?  What qualities do the respective genres have that play nicely together, and which elements squabble bitterly?  How do their respective backgrounds in the niche market of pulp make them unique?  What are some of our favorite authors who successfully navigate the blending of these two popular styles?   
  
===Folklore and Fairytales===
+
==Folklore and Fairytales==
 
Description forthcoming
 
Description forthcoming
  
===Believable Antagonists===
+
==Believable Antagonists==
 
What makes a good antagonist?  Why does Gaius Baltar on Battlestar Galactica work better than Anakin Skywalker in Episode III?  Is the antagonist more about motivations, or contrast with the protagonist?  What makes an antagonist believable?
 
What makes a good antagonist?  Why does Gaius Baltar on Battlestar Galactica work better than Anakin Skywalker in Episode III?  Is the antagonist more about motivations, or contrast with the protagonist?  What makes an antagonist believable?
 
 
==Movies/TV==
+
=Movies/TV=
===A Big Bang Theory Panel===
+
==A Big Bang Theory Panel==
 
A discussion of the television show, with a description to be provided by the panelists.
 
A discussion of the television show, with a description to be provided by the panelists.
  
===Superman===
+
==Superman==
A discussion of America's most popular illegal immigrant.  What are some of the more interesting developments in the recent Superman comics and screen adaptations?  Who are our favorite writers for these stories?  What do we think about the upcoming Henry Cavill movie?  Why is Superman so much more awesomeer than Batman?  If the panelists and audience are willing, the last 20 minutes of this panel will be devoted to Smallville spoilers.
+
A discussion of America's most popular illegal immigrant.  What are some of the more interesting developments in the recent Superman comics and screen adaptations?  Who are our favorite writers for these stories?  What do we think about the upcoming Henry Cavill movie?  Why is Superman so much more awesomeer than Batman?  If the panelists and audience are willing, the last 20 minutes of this panel will be devoted to Smallville spoilers
 +
*************
 +
 
 +
=Music
 +
==Music and the Mind==
 +
How does music affect the brain? How much of our reaction to music is hard-wired and how much is cultural? What is the relationship between music and memory? Did human beings sing before they spoke? What is the significance of the sacred geometry of music?  What's so naughty about the Forbidden Interval? 
 +
 
 +
==SF Rock & Roll==
 +
From classics like Space Oddity and Rocket Man to Janelle Monae's Metropolis & The ArchAndroid, how is science fiction represented in the world of music? What stories are being told by songwriters, rather than book writers? Are there stories/themes that are particularly well-suited to being expressed in this medium? =
 +
 
 +
=Standards=
 +
==Guest of Honor Interview x 4==
 +
 
 +
==Mega Moneyduck==
 +
The mesmerizing return of The Magnificant Mega Moneyduck Machine.
 +
 +
=Science and Technology=
 +
 
 +
==Electronics Show & Tell==
 +
Show, tell, and discuss new and upcoming gadgets and gizmos.  What will these tools do to change the world we live in?  We might all wish for flying cars and jetpacks, but much of the technology we've got has just made life more complicated.  Where is the line between fad and function? 
 +
 
 +
==Failing The Turing Test==
 +
What does it mean to be intelligent?  What is intelligence?  What would it mean to be super-intelligent?  What's our current definition of intelligence?  How have AI surpassed that, and what do we do when humans don't pass it? 
 +
 
 +
==Futurists and Futures==
 +
Futurists are scientists and social scientists whose speciality is to attempt to systematically predict the future, whether that of human society in particular or of life on earth in general.  They've also been known to get the future wrong. How do they compare with sf writers? Do they make the same mistakes, for the same reasons?
 +
 
 +
==History is Stranger than Fiction==
 +
Weird stuff in the world of science and technology that actually happened! 
 +
 
 +
==Let's Play God==
 +
Scientists and doctors are often accused of "playing God," but no one seems to have specified what, exactly, God does that can so easily be imitated, or what is wrong with imitating it. What sorts of things are considered godlike behaviors or experiments? What are the potential rewards or punishments? Are there any lines that should not be crossed, or slippery slopes that we are standing too close to? Should God be worried?
 +
 
 +
==Linguistics==
 +
What is your favorite alien language? How does one go about constructing a language from scratch? The secret languages of twins, and are our brains hard wired that way?
 +
 
 +
==Science Reporting:  Threat or Menace?==
 +
NASA finds extra-terrestrials!  Scientists have definite proof that neutrinos go faster than light!  Why is science reporting so often sensationalist?  How do we separate the wheat from the chaff? 
 +
 
 +
==Subatomic Galaxies:  Was Horton Right?==
 +
The science fiction of Doctor Seuss.
 +
 
 +
==Talking Back To Creationists==
 +
How to discuss fundamental issues with fundamentalists. 
 +
 
 +
==The Chinese Space Program==
 +
In 2003, Yang Liwei's sucessful mission aboard Shenzhou 5 made China the third country to independently send a human into space.  Since then, the Chinese space program has expanded.  Current plans include a permanent space station and crewed expeditions to the Moon and Mars.  How are these projects coming along?  What other exciting developments are in the works? 
 +
 
 +
==The Death Panel==
 +
Despite modern medicine and the promises of science fiction, immortality continues to elude us. Instead of bringing salvation, advances have made it possible to hang onto life well past when some would consider it desirable. Sarah Palin criticized the growing need for end of life decisions, but perhaps "death panels" are just what we should have. We will examine dying in American hospitals, options for end of life care, and how decisions should be made. How do you want to die?
 +
 
 +
==The Future of American Space Exploration==
 +
How did the end of the Space Shuttle program finally wind up?  How is the Russian Soyuz program doing in replacing the Shuttle?  The planning and implementation of any American space program is typically longer than the tenure of fickle politicians.  Is the American political climate too volatile for future space exploration?   
 +
 
 +
==The Year In Science==
 +
What exciting developments have happened in the last year in various science disciplines?  Are we headed for a chocolate communist hellhole?
 +
 
 +
==Yoda Said There'd Be Days Like This==
 +
Things that science fiction taught us that we had to learn the hard way anyway.

Revision as of 10:44, 3 December 2011

Contents

Unknown Category

What's it like to live in a World With Rampant Unemployment?

The future of employment. Needs description.

Art, Crafts, Costuming

Costuming Connection

How do I get started with costuming? How do I improve my beginner skills? What can I do with a simple sewing machine? Which features are cool to have on a more expensive, gadgety machine? What are some good costuming resources?

It Leapt Right Off The Page!

Live, interactive tutorial on making your own pop-ups.

Make your own Minin.

Build Your Own Minion Puppet. Donated materials provided. This event may include time at the end for puppets to discuss whether Scott Adams is merely brilliant or a true genius.

Puppetry

What's so special about puppets? What can we do with puppets that live actors can't communicate? What makes for a successful puppet script? What are some resources for puppeteers? What are our thoughts on the Muppets re-boot?

Spinning Your Yarns

Many fans like working with our hands to create things, sometimes while we're participating in other activities. How does creating things keep us engaged? What are some of our favorites? Is it difficult to knit in a dark movie theater?

The Tragical Historie of Guidolon, The Giant Space Chicken

A Frank Wu Panel

Fandom and Fannishness

Convention T-Shirts

What are convention T-shirts for? What do we use them for? What are some of the best ones we've gotten?

Defined by Marketing

People are put into marketing categories based on credit card purchases, magazine subscriptions, browser history, Tivo viewing history, and countless other categories. Is this just a way of voting for what we want? What are the implications concerning privacy? How do publication and media companies decide what appeals to fans? What happens when the marketers get it wrong?

Fat Acceptance In Fiction and Fandom

How is size acceptance treated in fiction and fandom?

Hectograph to Podcast: An Introduction to Fanzines

What is a fanzine? What makes a good fanzine? What kind of writing works best? How have fanzines changed over the years? How does the history of fanzines inform the present?

Minneapolis in 2073

A convention whose time has come, and will come again in about 61 years. Minneapolis in xx73!

Rune Publication

We publish an issue of Rune at Minicon. Those interested in participating must let the programming department what sort of space and time you'll need.

The State of the Fanzines Address

How are Fanzines doing these days? Do Podcasts count as Fanzines?

What Had Happened Since "Is There A Fannish Accent?"

A follow up panel about how fans talk and communicate. How has the wisdom from the previous panel entered into the fannish imagination? Has more research been since then? Attendance at previous panel is not necessary to enjoy this discussion, and maybe we could ask Callie Soukup to read her description of the original panel.

Who Are The People In Your Neighborhood?

Ask a... ? Up to five panelists talk about their interesting careers. Description will be based on panelists.

Gaming

Let Me Tell You About My Character!

What gaming conversations make you want to flee in terror? Why are these conversations so fascinating to the storyteller, and so horribly boring for the listener? What is unique about RPGs that cause this phenomenon?

Never Enough Rules

A discussion about making up your own rules for existing games. At what point does a house-ruled system become a homebrew? What are some games that cry out for player enhancement? Is it "house rules," if the original RAW seems insufficent? What methods work for finding agreeable methods of modification? Does this discussion need to be limited to only board games or only RPGs?

Practical applications of D&D alignments

What's the benefit of D&D alignments when applied to real world situations like politics or workplace interactions? If the 700 Club is Lawful Evil, then Westboro Baptist is Chaotic Evil. What characteristics define people who are "Chaotic Neutral," and how are they best handled in the workplace?

Chicon 7

Everything you wanted to know about Worldcon but were afraid to ask.

Krushenko's

Clifford D. Simak - Alien Life In The Heartlands

Clifford D. Simak Simak set much of his SF in rural Wisconsin where he grew up and Minnesota where he worked as a journalist. Join this discussion of the work of Clifford D. Simak.

The Life and Works of Joanna Russ (1937-2011)

Joanna Russ is perhaps best known for her 1975 work "The Female Man," the 1972 short story "When it Changed," and her 1983 writing guide "How to Suppress Women's Writing." The dialogue regarding sexism in the field of science fiction and fantasy benefited from her voice, and her contributions still impact how that discussion is carried out. What do we think about all of this?

Lit Reader

Fantasy Without Swords or Vampires

Gee, is that even possible?

GLBT characters and censorship in comics and manga

In 1954, The Comics Code Authority (CCA) came into being as a response to Fredric Wertham's "Seduction of the Innocent." Wertham argued that comic books negatively influenced children in many was, including portrayals of subliminal homosexuality. Wonder Woman's independence and background was an indication of her lesbianism, and "The Batman type of story may stimulate children to homosexual fantasies." Manga and comics today still often contain unrealistic portrayals of sexuality, though it could be argued that the genre has improved. How do these formats get it right and wrong? How can they improve?

Guilty Secrets of Your Booklist

What other books do fans also enjoy? What are some of our new favorites in non-fiction or non-genre?

A Love Letter to Jo Walton's "Among Others"

A celebratory discussion, along with an annotated bibliography of the books mentioned in "Among Others."

That Reminds Me Of A Book I Read!

A dramatic reading of the 2012 panel list in which the audience is encouraged to blurt out titles of books of which they are reminded. Just like some other Minicon panels, except on purpose.

Where Do I Find Your Work, Ted?

Our Author Guest of Honor's work is published in a variety of venues. How has he chosen where to publish them?

Wookies Need Extra Legroom

Many SF stories include the realization that reasonable accommodations are for many different types of "normal." By challenging the idea of normal in a format that includes different species, do we marginalize disability accessibility or do we make it more socially universal?

Young Children's Fantasy Books

Needs description.

Lit Reader or Movies/TV

Id, Ego, Superego

How does psychology fit into fiction? When Characters represent facets of a complete persona, what does it say about what the author is trying to communicate?

Appending Our Cultural Heritage

Public domain works such as Dracula, Sherlock Holmes and Alice in Wonderland inspire new stories. How does an author make a topic uniquely their own, and still respect the original story? How does fan fiction around non-public domain works fit into the discussion of derivative work? When, if ever, does something become part of the cultural landscape and no longer the sole property of the original creator?

Playing in Someone Else's Universe

Fanfiction isn't new, though the internet has made it much more accessible in the last two decades. Where is it growing? What is there to know about the explosion of fanfiction? How can we find fanfiction that we like? How can we find communities to help us develop our work? How do fanfic authors critique each other's writing?

Once Upon A Time: More Than A Card Game

Once Upon A Time is a card game where four (or more, or less, but four is ideal) players try to tell a story leading to one of their pre-determined endings using elements dealt to them on cards both at the beginning and throughout the game. Apart from being a very fun experience, Once Upon a Time is a wonderful writing exercise.

The end of the vanity publisher

What are some of the options in self-publishing these days? What should writers be aware of?

Crossing over from SF to Mystery

Can SF and Mystery successfully co-exist in the same book? What qualities do the respective genres have that play nicely together, and which elements squabble bitterly? How do their respective backgrounds in the niche market of pulp make them unique? What are some of our favorite authors who successfully navigate the blending of these two popular styles?

Folklore and Fairytales

Description forthcoming

Believable Antagonists

What makes a good antagonist? Why does Gaius Baltar on Battlestar Galactica work better than Anakin Skywalker in Episode III? Is the antagonist more about motivations, or contrast with the protagonist? What makes an antagonist believable?

Movies/TV

A Big Bang Theory Panel

A discussion of the television show, with a description to be provided by the panelists.

Superman

A discussion of America's most popular illegal immigrant. What are some of the more interesting developments in the recent Superman comics and screen adaptations? Who are our favorite writers for these stories? What do we think about the upcoming Henry Cavill movie? Why is Superman so much more awesomeer than Batman? If the panelists and audience are willing, the last 20 minutes of this panel will be devoted to Smallville spoilers.

=Music

Music and the Mind

How does music affect the brain? How much of our reaction to music is hard-wired and how much is cultural? What is the relationship between music and memory? Did human beings sing before they spoke? What is the significance of the sacred geometry of music? What's so naughty about the Forbidden Interval?

SF Rock & Roll

From classics like Space Oddity and Rocket Man to Janelle Monae's Metropolis & The ArchAndroid, how is science fiction represented in the world of music? What stories are being told by songwriters, rather than book writers? Are there stories/themes that are particularly well-suited to being expressed in this medium? =

Standards

Guest of Honor Interview x 4

Mega Moneyduck

The mesmerizing return of The Magnificant Mega Moneyduck Machine.

Science and Technology

Electronics Show & Tell

Show, tell, and discuss new and upcoming gadgets and gizmos. What will these tools do to change the world we live in? We might all wish for flying cars and jetpacks, but much of the technology we've got has just made life more complicated. Where is the line between fad and function?

Failing The Turing Test

What does it mean to be intelligent? What is intelligence? What would it mean to be super-intelligent? What's our current definition of intelligence? How have AI surpassed that, and what do we do when humans don't pass it?

Futurists and Futures

Futurists are scientists and social scientists whose speciality is to attempt to systematically predict the future, whether that of human society in particular or of life on earth in general. They've also been known to get the future wrong. How do they compare with sf writers? Do they make the same mistakes, for the same reasons?

History is Stranger than Fiction

Weird stuff in the world of science and technology that actually happened!

Let's Play God

Scientists and doctors are often accused of "playing God," but no one seems to have specified what, exactly, God does that can so easily be imitated, or what is wrong with imitating it. What sorts of things are considered godlike behaviors or experiments? What are the potential rewards or punishments? Are there any lines that should not be crossed, or slippery slopes that we are standing too close to? Should God be worried?

Linguistics

What is your favorite alien language? How does one go about constructing a language from scratch? The secret languages of twins, and are our brains hard wired that way?

Science Reporting: Threat or Menace?

NASA finds extra-terrestrials! Scientists have definite proof that neutrinos go faster than light! Why is science reporting so often sensationalist? How do we separate the wheat from the chaff?

Subatomic Galaxies: Was Horton Right?

The science fiction of Doctor Seuss.

Talking Back To Creationists

How to discuss fundamental issues with fundamentalists.

The Chinese Space Program

In 2003, Yang Liwei's sucessful mission aboard Shenzhou 5 made China the third country to independently send a human into space. Since then, the Chinese space program has expanded. Current plans include a permanent space station and crewed expeditions to the Moon and Mars. How are these projects coming along? What other exciting developments are in the works?

The Death Panel

Despite modern medicine and the promises of science fiction, immortality continues to elude us. Instead of bringing salvation, advances have made it possible to hang onto life well past when some would consider it desirable. Sarah Palin criticized the growing need for end of life decisions, but perhaps "death panels" are just what we should have. We will examine dying in American hospitals, options for end of life care, and how decisions should be made. How do you want to die?

The Future of American Space Exploration

How did the end of the Space Shuttle program finally wind up? How is the Russian Soyuz program doing in replacing the Shuttle? The planning and implementation of any American space program is typically longer than the tenure of fickle politicians. Is the American political climate too volatile for future space exploration?

The Year In Science

What exciting developments have happened in the last year in various science disciplines? Are we headed for a chocolate communist hellhole?

Yoda Said There'd Be Days Like This

Things that science fiction taught us that we had to learn the hard way anyway.