M47 Programming Brainstorm

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Minicon 47 Programming Panels

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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.

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.


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?

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 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?

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.


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?


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?

New Ideas in an Old 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?


A Big Bang Theory Panel

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


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.