M52 Programming Brainstorm

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Proposed programming items for Minicon 52.

To sign up to be a panelist, send an email to programming@minicon52.mnstf.org.

Your email should include the titles of the panels that you are interested in, schedule limitations, and whether or not you would consider moderating any of the panels that you're volunteering for.


If you are an author and would like to schedule a reading and/or signing, send an email to the same address.


Exploring Creativity

What does it mean to be creative? Are we all creative, or just some of us? Can creativity be learned? What's "sense of wonder"?

Striking a Pose

Based on this post [1] by Jim Hines. Examining the way women are portrayed on SF/F book covers. In particular - Are these poses realistic? Can they be replicated by a male body? What do such images say about the portrayal of women (even in books with strong female protagonists) in SF/F?

The Creative Process

So you're going to make something. Our experts will give you all the info you need to be completely successful EVERY TIME! ;)

Fandom and Zeitgeist

Birds of a Feather

An opportunity for people to suggest group discussions on a topic

Fannish Hobbies

What do we like to do in our spare time, what makes it fannish, and where did it lead us?

Getting There is Half the Fun

Incredible stories about conventions and fannish travel

How To Spot A Fan

Observations and personal stories about our commonalities

Living The Con Life

Spending a lot of time at conventions sounds like a dream but can sometimes be a nightmare. Survival skills and tales from the front lines on how to survive attending ALL the conventions.


A panel or two for neos, hosted by upbeat panelists who are happy to share basic info and answer questions.

Parenting the Non-Neurotypical Child

Share Your Passion

Talk for five minutes or less on a topic you're passionate about.

Speaking The Words

What does it take to read aloud to groups of people? Discussing the nuance and skill it takes to make your reading effective and entertaining.

Surviving the End

What happens when your favorite book/movie/anime/TV/comic series ends? Can fandom continue without new source material? Should it?

The First Con In Space

What will be the pluses, minuses, challenges, and expectations? How soon can we hope to go?

Untangling the Tingle

Doctor Chuck Tingle, a taekwondo grandmaster from Billings, Montana, who acquired a PhD in holistic massage at DeVry University (which does not offer such a degree), was the clear savior of the 2015 Hugo award. Who is Chuck Tingle? What are our best Chuck Tingle theories? All panelists deny being Chuck Tingle, despite their implausible explanations.


Mega MoneyDuck Reveal

Sunday reveal of the ongoing MoneyDuck serial story compiled over the course of the weekend. (This event does not need panelists)

Literature And Writing

Feet Of Clay

Discussing the foibles and flaws that make our heroic figures more interesting and relatable.

Internet Presence

Creating, growing and maintaining your blog/vlog/fanfic/etc presence and the dos and don'ts of managing your empire of minions and technical details about your podcasting equipment.

Lady Poetesses From Hell

A Minicon Tradition! Poetry preformance group. (This event does not need panelists)

Lazy Writing

Don’t let your readers come crashing into cliches and scenes they’ve seen before, or take plot turns that don’t make sense. That’s lazy writing. We see it all the time on television, and in movies and books. Somebody needs an editor. And a writer needs to find ways to take that in a new direction.

Life and Work in an Absolute (Benevolent) Monarchy

Day-to-day life in the Vatican, with an eye to how that compares to the ways that such things are depicted in fantasy novels.

Self Publishing: Tragedies and Triumphs

All self publishers face a landscape of challenges. Let's hear some tales from the trenches.

The Business of Writing

Some of the nuts and bolts behind running the business end of a writing career.

The Hugo Finalists

Did your favorite works make the list? Any real surprises to discuss? Join us for an investigative review of the finalists for this year's Hugo Award.

Walking Alone: Shirley Jackson, 1916-1965

A centennial-plus-two-years tribute to the genre-straddling author of the novels The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle and the stories "The Lottery," "The Summer People," and "One Ordinary Day, with Peanuts.


Monsters From Space

Space monsters in fiction, film, TV, and comics, though meaning us no good, have brought us countless hours of pleasure. Let us, by all means, squee.


There are podcasts about writing, about science and pseudoscience, about skepticism, and plenty that are original audio theater and storytelling. We could talk about what podcasts are out there to listen to. And we could talk about what it takes to make your own podcast - hardware, software, preparations, and what it takes to make a good one.

Recent and Upcoming Media

TV and movies from last year and what's coming up for this year.

Science Fiction and the TV Revolution

Streaming services have vastly altered the landscape of TV programming with a flood of original short series, many of them SF or Fantasy.


Costume Contest

Saturday afternoon juried contest of costumes - grown-up edition. (Is sign up through programming or through the costume department? This needs to be clarified on this Wiki)

Science and Technology

Amino Acids in Meteoroids

What is the significance of the finding of amino acids in meteorites? Panspermia is the concept that the building blocks of life could have been delivered to Earth via comet or meteorite impact; does the presence of amino acids in meteorites add validity to that claim?

Ask A Scientist

With Guy Consolmagno

Basic Astronomy

Where to find out what's going by overhead, how to watch it. Special mention: the total solar eclipse in August.

Consciousness in Species - Terrestrial and Extra Terrestrial

People may be able to readily accept the idea of consciousness in extraterrestrial species, but the idea of consciousness in non-hominid species may make people uncomfortable. Why is that? What are the benefits and disadvantages of the mirror test for evaluating consciousness? Does intelligence necessarily imply consciousness?

ExoPlanets and the Potential For Life

With the confirmation of multiple planets in the habitation zone of other stars, what does this mean for the possibility of alien life?

Medicine In Space

Most of the mass and cost of a CT scanner is the source to project the beam. In orbit can you use the ambient radiation instead?

The Future of Local/National/Planetary Government in the Information Age

(Description Missing)

The Long Strange Journey Of Turn Left At Orion

Brother Guy Consolmagno published one of the most popular guides to using a small telescope. The story on how it got published is filled with missteps and adventures that were almost as much fun as the astronomical observations done for the book.

The Space Program in the Trump Era: Year One

For a bunch of years a band of space scientists and space science fans have been panelling at local cons about how space exploration and astronomy have been faring during the Obama administration. We'll wind that up and start talking about space science during the Trump years.