Difference between revisions of "Programming ideas for Minicon 44"

From Minn-StF Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
(Reboots/Remakes: Necessary/Not?)
(Minicon 44 programming items)
 
(135 intermediate revisions by 5 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
 
==  [[Main_Page#Minicon_stuff|Minicon]] 44 programming items ==
 
==  [[Main_Page#Minicon_stuff|Minicon]] 44 programming items ==
This is a '''BRAINSTORM IN PROGRESS'''. However, it's about time to stop brainstorming, settle on some programming items and get them populated! If you are interested in participating in any item you see on this page, please email '''programming@minicon44.mnstf.org'''.
+
Okay, it's no longer a brainstorming page. This is the list of scheduled items, subject to only minor changes between now and Minicon.  
  
We are still adding some new items (it's getting late, but great new ideas keep arriving!) Newer items are in <font color="purple">purple</font> to make them easier to spot.  
+
[Laurel Krahn added times/days and panelists as listed in the program book on Friday afternoon of Minicon 44.  Also added music programming items.]
 +
 
 +
[[Brainstorm_backup_mar14 | (backup mar14)]].  
  
 
;Links
 
;Links
 +
* [[Minicon45_Programming ]]
 
* [[ Main_Page#Programming | Full set of programming Wiki related links ]] ''(room requirements, planning tips, etc.)''  
 
* [[ Main_Page#Programming | Full set of programming Wiki related links ]] ''(room requirements, planning tips, etc.)''  
 +
* [http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/meetings/overview_map.html?propertyID=1493  Sheraton Bloomington room capacities]
 
*[http://www.mnstf.org/minicon44/ Minicon44 home page]
 
*[http://www.mnstf.org/minicon44/ Minicon44 home page]
 
*[http://www.mnstf.org/minicon44/programming Minicon44 Programming]
 
*[http://www.mnstf.org/minicon44/programming Minicon44 Programming]
 +
 +
== Science ==
 +
 +
==== Ask a Scientist ====
 +
This panel is always so popular we just have to do it again. If you're a scientist of any type, please volunteer! The participants always have a great time.
 +
 +
Sunday at 2:30pm.
 +
 +
Panelists:  Chas Somdahl (m), Matt Strait, Sue Smith, Dave Buth.
 +
 +
==== Astronomy with Children ====
 +
''Note: this item has a single presenter, not looking for panelists.''
 +
This class is for parents or teachers looking for easy, cheap astronomy projects to do with children. Topics will include how to create a  solar analemma on the ground in a sunny yard or on a ceiling in a sunny room;  how to use the wonderful planisphere;  and how to find a person's real sun sign; plus various types of telescopes, where to buy telescopes, and where to go for a free astronomy experience. I will also give my take on how to get into amateur astronomy (go to a free star party, join a club, before spending money!)      Children accompanied by an adult are welcome.
 +
 +
Saturday at 11:30am.
 +
 +
Panelist:  Michael Kauper.
 +
 +
====Confessions of an Alien Hunter / Book Signing ====
 +
Our science GoH discusses his new book and talks about what extraterrestrials might really be like when we finally find them.
 +
 +
Sunday at 1pm.
 +
 +
Panelist:  Seth Shostak.
 +
 +
====Current Trends in Science====
 +
The life of a scientist isn't filled by doing experiments – just as much time, if not more, is spent writing grant proposals to get funding to do those experiments.  Part of the trick to getting the money is knowing what buttons to push, what keywords to include.  What topics are hot in science right now?  Where is the money going?  What new avenues of scientific exploration could (or should) be the next big thing?
 +
 +
Friday at 8:30pm.
 +
 +
Panelists:  Pat Scaramuzza (m), George Flentke, Sue Smith, Seth Shostak, Chris Beskar.
 +
 +
====First Contact====
 +
Many depictions of Earth's first contact with alien races rely on the idea that this first message will be transmitted via radio waves and will consist of some easily identifiable mathematical idea, usually prime numbers.  But are there other ways that far-off civilizations might choose to communicate to the universe?  Are we limited to the electromagnetic spectrum?  Are there other messages that might be universally understood?
 +
 +
Saturday at 8:30pm.
 +
 +
Panelists:  Kelly Strait (m), Seth Shostak, George Flentke, Ctein.
 +
 +
==== Intelligent Balloons ==== 
 +
Seems like one long-term science fiction meme is intelligent jellyfish-like creatures living in the atmosphere of a Jovian planet. How plausible are such creatures, and why are they such a fixture of xenology?
 +
 +
Saturday at 4pm.
 +
 +
Panelists:  Chas Somdahl (m), Rachel Kronick, Mark Richards, Sue Smith.
 +
 +
====SETI Fact vs. Fiction====
 +
How does the real-world endeavor of SETI compare with how it is portrayed in speculative fiction?  Many portrayals of SETI show us a highly dedicated (and maybe slightly obsessed) scientist that the public tends to write off as a little nuts.  What is it like to really work for SETI?  Do the SF writers get it right?  Does the public perception of SETI really match what they do?
 +
 +
Saturday at 4pm.
 +
 +
Panelists:  Kelly Strait (m), Seth Shostak, Pat Scaramuzza, Howard Davidson, Michael Kauper.
 +
 +
====Secret Underground Physics Labs====
 +
What's going on in the old Tower Soudan mine (and why does it look so much like a Half-Life game)? What's this DUSEL thing anyway?  What else have scientists hidden under the earth, and what are they doing with it?
 +
 +
Saturday at 5:30pm.
 +
 +
Panelists:  Matt Strait (m), Howard Davidson, Bill Higgins.
 +
 +
==== Science in the Public Eye ====
 +
Scientists have held a strange iconic place in the popular imagination ever since Mary Shelley introduced us to the Frankenstein Trope in the early 19th century. Alternatively, scientists in the late nineteenth and early 20th centuries were often presented as the ultimate hope of humankind. More recently, the public consciousness has swung back to a demonization of science, with scientists often presented as (at best) amoral and (at worst) agents of the devil. With the Obama presidency will we see a swing back in the other direction?
 +
 +
Saturday at 7pm.
 +
 +
Panelists:  LIsa Freitag (m), George Flentke, Sue Smith, Graham Leathers, Mark Richards.
 +
 +
==== How Antimatter Became a Plaything of Science Fiction ====
 +
Antimatter, a bizarre family of particles first discovered by physicists in the
 +
1930s, eventually became commonplace in science fiction stories.  Bill Higgins
 +
traces the path from science to fiction, which passes through astronomy and the
 +
study of meteorites before falling into the hands of such SF writers as John
 +
Campbell, Robert Heinlein, and Jack Williamson.
 +
 +
Saturday at 1pm.
 +
 +
Panelist/Presenter: Bill Higgins.
  
 
== Art, the Arts, and Craft ==
 
== Art, the Arts, and Craft ==
  
==== Arts vs. Crafts ====  
+
 
For those who produce works of both sorts, what distinguishes art from
+
==== Costuming Roundtable ====
craft? when does craft transcend its defining characteristics to be counted
+
What sort of costuming-related activities do we want to see at future Minicons?  Panels, hall costume awards, a prade, a fashion show, a return of the masquerade . . . something entirely new and fabulous? Please come and join the conversation.  Spiffy duds encouraged, but not required.
as art? Why do we distinguish art as a separate category? For those who
+
 
specialize in one area or the other, how does craft improve art, art inform
+
Sunday at 2pm in the Bar.
craft?
+
 
 +
Co-hosts:  Bonnie Somdahl & Seven.
 +
 
 +
==== Popup Books and Paper Engineering ====
 +
Come and see some resplendent examples of the popup book art form, and learn what goes into the construction of these little masterpieces. We may also throw in a little paper craft fun for everybody - learn a little origami, cut out a snowflake, or make a folded-paper fortune telling machine customized for Minicon.
 +
 
 +
Friday at 5:30pm.
 +
 
 +
Panelists:  Laura Krentz (m), Jeanne Mealy, Laramie Sassevill, Bonnie Somdahl.
  
 
==Social Issues, Internet, Fandom==
 
==Social Issues, Internet, Fandom==
 +
==== Etiquette for Social Networking ====
 +
Regardless of platform, awkwardness abounds in online social networks. What situations have we encountered? What methods work in avoiding or dealing with these situations?
 +
 +
Sunday at 1pm.
  
<font color="purple">
+
Panelists:  Rachel Kronick (m), Emily Stewart, Emily Alter, Josh More, Alison Sommer.
==== Creating Web Pages that Don't Suck ====   
+
Whether you're a writer, an artist or a fan, chances are you're going to find yourself creating a web page sooner or later. What common mistakes should you be sure to avoid? How can you improve your website without getting too complicated? It's all about art and design, with a dash of marketing thrown in!
+
</font>
+
  
 
====The Legend of Forry Ackerman====
 
====The Legend of Forry Ackerman====
 
In memoriam for Forrest J. Ackerman, one of the founders of science fiction fandom. This sounds like a good Krushenko's item.
 
In memoriam for Forrest J. Ackerman, one of the founders of science fiction fandom. This sounds like a good Krushenko's item.
  
==== Etiquette for Social Networking ====
+
Sunday at 2:30pm.
There is no Emily Post for Live Journaling (is that a verb?), but perhaps there should be. Let’s create a set of social & politeness standards to journal and facebook by.
+
  
==== Getting Back Into It ====  
+
Panelists: Eric M. Heideman (m), Bill Higgins.
Getting back into fandoms you've been absent from. Maybe you haven't read comics in a long time but would like to get started again, or you'd like to play RPGs again after a decade-long absence.
+
  
==== Polyamory 101 ==== 
+
== F/SF Literature and Skiffy concepts ==
The basics of open relationships, polyamory, etc.
+
+
==== Drowning in Data ==== 
+
Too much info at our fingertips
+
  
==== Time to Go Back to Typewriters? What About the Paperless Office? ====  
+
==== The Works of Karl Schroeder  ====
 +
Come and talk with the Author GOH about his work! Sponsored by Second Foundation, an SF-book discussion group. Discussion sponsored by Second Foundation, a Twin Cities book-discussion group that has met regularly since 1983.
  
==== Privacy in a World Full of Cameras====
+
Sunday, 11:30am in Krushenko's.
Security cameras, satellite mapping, micro-cameras you can buy on the Internet. Wave, you're on Google Maps!
+
  
==== Seniors on the Internet ====
+
Panelists:  Eric M. Heideman (m), Karl Schroeder, John Till, Greg L. Johnson.
  
==== Internet Vigilantes====  
+
==== Steampunk: the Romance of Science ====  
Scammer-baiters, but also hoax-spotters like Snopes, security activists
+
What is Steampunk? Attitude or merely fashion statement? Or is there something about the buoyant spirit of the late 19th century that speaks to our feelings about technology today? Who else is defining the genre? Check out this incredible video: [http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2009/01/maker_profile_steampunk_on_make_tel.html Steampunk meets Maker Movement].
  
==== Non-English Fandom====
+
Saturday at 2:30pm in Krushenko's.
What fandom's like in countries where the main language isn't English. (And no, not just Japan, either.)
+
  
==== "The Whole World as "The Village" ====
+
Panelists:  Sharon Kahn (m), Karl Schroeder, Richard Mueller, Dorf, Ceridwen Christensen.
"Number 2's dream voiced to Number 6 in the 1967 ''Prisoner'' episode "Chimes of Big Ben". While we might not be numbers, as a series of database entries that risk theft of identity & individuality, spyware in communications technology & cameras everywhere, among other things we've come to accept, yet guard against invading our privacy today, how well did McGoohan predict this New Global Village in which we live?"
+
  
==Science==
+
==== Which singularity is it? ====
==== Ask a Scientist ====
+
SF has dealt more and more with the Singularity, Vernor Vinge's concept of the point beyond which we cannot predict, but which singularity is it? The post-scarcity singularity, when no one has less than they need? The post-scarcity singularity where everyone gets everything they want (an important difference)? Or the one where artificial intelligence is cheap and frequent? Or the one where we all upload ourselves and our intelligences are no longer limited by flesh and blood. Transhumanism is a kind of singularity -- humanity evolving to the next stage, whatever that is -- as are Christian "left behind" narratives. Which singularities seem likely, which ones do we actually hope for, and what does that say about us?
This panel is always so popular we just have to do it again. If you're a scientist of any type, please volunteer! The participants always have a great time.
+
  
==== Astronomy with Children ====
+
Saturday at 11:30am in Krushenko's.
This class is for parents or teachers looking for easy, cheap astronomy projects to do with children. Topics will include how to create a  solar analemma on the ground in a sunny yard or on a ceiling in a sunny room;  how to use the wonderful planisphere;  and how to find a person's real sun sign; plus various types of telescopes, where to buy telescopes, and where to go for a free astronomy experience. I will also give my take on how to get into amateur astronomy (go to a free star party, join a club, before spending money!)      Children accompanied by an adult are welcome.
+
  
==== The Maker Movement ====
+
Panelists: Greg L. Johnson (m), Karl Schroeder, Pat Scaramuzza, Rachel Kronick, Dave Romm.
Teenagers used to tinker all day with their hot rods or their ham radio sets - where has that creative impulse gone in the modern world? In all sorts of crazy/wonderful directions it turns out, from kids hacking their iPhones to crazy inventors combining old VCR motors with gears and empty CD spindles to scout troops that spend their weekends building [http://www.punkinchunkin.com/ pumpkin trebuchets]. The [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/13/science/13make.html Maker Movement] is gaining speed, with its own magazines ([http://makezine.com/ Make]), [http://makezine.com/ Maker Faires], countless blogs, and most recently a fascinating [http://makezine.tv/ TV show] with a Minnesota connection.
+
  
==== Secret Underground Physics Labs ====
+
==== Humor With An Edge: Mixing The Silly With the Profound ====
What's going on in the old Tower Soudan mine? (and why does it look so much like a Half-Life game?) Other underground neutrino detectors/experiments.
+
What is it about the writings of humorists (like Terry Pratchett) that allows them to work on controversial issues that other writers won't touch? Does humor give more license for subversion? What about depth? How does humor allow writers to strike deep emotional chords with their readers?
  
==== LHC First Light ==== 
+
Saturday at 10am in Krushenko's.
The first collisions there may well be during Minicon
+
  
==== Current Trends in Science ====
+
Panelists:  Michael Merriam (m), Karl Schroeder, Rob Callahan, Greg L. Johnson.
If you had $700 billion, what would you put it into?
+
  
==== SETI Fact vs. Fiction ====  
+
==== Interview & Signing: Author GoH ====
How is the real-world endeavor of SETI the same/different from how it is portrayed in SF (see Contact, Factoring Humanity, etc - there are LOTS of examples). Does the public perception of SETI really match what they do?
+
Our author Guest of Honor talks about his life and his work.  After the interview there will be a book signing in teh same space and a chance to chat one on one with Karl.
  
==== First Contact ====
+
Saturday at 7pm.
What else might we use beside radio waves? A message other than primes?
+
  
==== Portrayal of Science/Scientists in Popular Media ====
+
Panelist: Karl Schroeder, Rick Brignall (interviewer)
  
==== The Future of Batteries ====  
+
==== Breaking into Publishing in the 21st Century ====
or '''How Can I Ever Get a Multi-Shot Laser Weapon?''' Energy storage in the future.
+
An update of the perennially popular "Publishing 101" topic. What do you as a new writer need to know to get your big break? How is the process changing with the advent of printing on demand, audio books, and the paperback publishing industry in a state of freefall? Last year's advice on how to break into the business may already be obsolete.
  
==== Intelligent Balloons ==== 
+
Sunday at 10am.
Seems like one long-term fannish meme is intelligent jellyfish-like creatures living in the atmosphere of a Jovian planet. How plausible are such creatures, and why are they such a fixture of xenology?
+
  
----
+
Panelists:  Michael Merriam (m), Karl Scheoder, Scott McCoy, Rob Callahan, Rick Brignall.
  
== SF Literature and skiffy concepts ==
 
<font color="purple">
 
 
==== Lady Poetesses from Hell ====
 
==== Lady Poetesses from Hell ====
An old favorite that we love doing every year - I just forgot to list it.
+
''Ruth Berman, Jane Yolen, Elise Matthesen, Cassandra O’Malley, John C. Rezmerski, Eleanor Arnason''
</font>
+
The Lady Poetesses from Hell write about: Change, Futures, Pasts, Life, Love, Sex, Death, Violence, Manners -- all those volcanic urges. Their joint collection, "Lady Poetesses from Hell," will be published later this year
  
==== The Science Fiction That Lurks Beneath ====
+
Saturday at 2:30pm.
[m] Greg Johnson
+
Some of the most memorable novels of the last thirty years and more have come in the guise of fantasy stories that are revealed to actually be science fiction beneath the trappings of fantasy. We’ll talk about some of the best examples, and discuss the challenges faced by authors attempting to write stories which, when they work, contain the best of both worlds. Several of Karl Schroeder's novels fit right into this topic, as does the artwork Stephan Martiniere has done for Kay Kenyon's Entire and The Rose series.  
+
  
==== There's Something about Twilight ====
+
Panelists:  Ruth Berman, Jane Yolen, Elise Matthesen, K.C. O'Malley, John C. Rezmerski, Eleanor Arnason.
No matter how you feel about Stephanie Meyer’s skill as a writer, you can’t deny that her Twilight books have captured the imaginations of teenage girls everywhere. I would like fans of the book to talk about the reasons they find it so compelling, and what messages the story sends to its readers. Non fans of the book can then decide whether or not the books’ popularity is a Good Thing. Feminist issues may or may not be discovered.
+
  
 
==== Vampires and Zombies and Werewolves, Oh, My! ====  
 
==== Vampires and Zombies and Werewolves, Oh, My! ====  
 
The long standing popularity of these three fictional races argues that the stories we tell about them are more than just horror stories to scare children. Is there a cultural reason for this popularity? Can we mine any deep psychological meaning from our interest in these sorts? If vampires are a metaphor for forbidden sexuality (aren’t they?), then lets see what we can make of zombies and werewolves.   
 
The long standing popularity of these three fictional races argues that the stories we tell about them are more than just horror stories to scare children. Is there a cultural reason for this popularity? Can we mine any deep psychological meaning from our interest in these sorts? If vampires are a metaphor for forbidden sexuality (aren’t they?), then lets see what we can make of zombies and werewolves.   
  
==== The Romantic Poets in SF/F ====
+
Saturday at 5:30pm.
We’ve done Shakespeare and Jane Austen in the past, and now it’s time to talk about the influence of the Romantic Poets on the genre. Since I’ve learned everything I know about these poets from Tim Powers and Pamela Dean, if this panel needs any more description than that, perhaps someone else should write it.  
+
  
==== My Mind, It’s Going: Memory Loss in Science and Fiction ====
+
Panelists: Lisa Freitag (m), Scott McCoy, Emily Stewart, C.J. Mills.
From Flowers For Algernon to the popular pre-teen video game Kingdom Hearts, memory loss has a place in SF and fantasy. Sometimes it’s just a plot device, and badly researched at that. But sometimes, intentionally or not, it taps into our deepest fears of loss of self. We will discuss stories that deal with memory loss, and why they are important in an age when Alzheimer’s seems to always be on the news. 
+
 
+
==== The New Male Hero Class? ====
+
Starting with Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond (or maybe before), I have noticed a new type of male hero. Instead of charging into battle, sword at the ready, he is more likely to betray his loved ones (and himself) for important reasons known only to himself and the reader. He is secretive, vulnerable, and bound by an acutely painful sense of honor. Who are these guys, and who is creating them? Why now? (Brandon Sanderson, Elizabeth Bear, Scott Lynch, Patrick Rothfuss, The Runed Man)
+
 
+
==== Steampunk: the Romance of Science ====
+
What is Steampunk? Attitude or merely fashion statement? Or is there something about the buoyant spirit of the late 19th century that speaks to our feelings about technology today? Who else is defining the genre? Check out this incredible video: [http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2009/01/maker_profile_steampunk_on_make_tel.html Steampunk meets Maker Movement].
+
  
 
==== “Careful the Wish You Make . . .” ====  
 
==== “Careful the Wish You Make . . .” ====  
 
The line is from Sondheim’s Into the Woods, and is followed by the assertion that “wishes come true, not free.” From wishing upon a star to three wishes, we will discuss the techniques, rewards and perils of having one’s wishes granted. What would you wish for?
 
The line is from Sondheim’s Into the Woods, and is followed by the assertion that “wishes come true, not free.” From wishing upon a star to three wishes, we will discuss the techniques, rewards and perils of having one’s wishes granted. What would you wish for?
  
==== Just Borges ====
+
Sunday at 2:30pm.
Borges wrote strange and wonderful stories that always seem to be at the edge of science fiction. Phil Dick was called an American Borges, and Borges' story "The Aleph" strongly inspired ''2001: A Space Odyssey''. Let's give Borges thought in this panel.
+
  
==== Genocide Narratives in SF/F ====
+
Panelists:  Ruth Berman (m), Jane Yolen, Patricia C. Wrede, Laramie Sasseville, Marissa Lingen.
Hmmm . . .
+
  
 
==== Adventures For Young Women ====  
 
==== Adventures For Young Women ====  
Even young women get to kick a lot more butt these days than they used to, but adventure stories for girls are still different from those for boys. We’ll discuss both female and male young adventurers, with the goal of discovering directions yet to be taken. Feminism may come up.  
+
Even young women get to kick a lot more butt these days than they used to, but adventure stories for girls are still different from those for boys. We’ll discuss both female and male young adventurers, with the goal of discovering directions yet to be taken. Feminism may come up.
  
====  Empowerment of Children During Wartime ====
+
Sunday at 1pm
Hmmm . . . The Narnia books and Bedknobs and Broomsticks were mentioned by someone.
+
  
==== Harlequin Science Fiction panel ====  
+
Panelists:  Sharon Kahn (m), Jane Yolen, Patricia C. Wrede, Laura Krentz, Dorf
You got your romance in my SF! No, you got your SF in my Romance! Romantic plotlines seem to be making frequent appearances in SF/F. And fantasy or SF settings for romance novels have become extremely popular. Combining romance with fantasy or SF might even be a good way to get published.  
+
 
 +
==== The Year in SF/F: What Should I Read Next? ====  
 +
The usual discussion of the best books and stories of the year. It never gets old!
 +
 
 +
Saturday at 7pm.
 +
 
 +
Panelists:  Greg L. Johnson (m), Russell Letson, David Lenander.
  
 
==== Wikis as Literature ====  
 
==== Wikis as Literature ====  
 
There's a long history of wonderful worlds presented in a reference or non-fiction format -- Pure setting, no plot. One logical extension of this is for authors to create beautiful multimedia wikis (perhaps by a single author, perhaps by collaborative effort) that people can explore, and maybe even expand, without the encumbrance of a plot or main characters -- would people pay for this? What examples already exist?
 
There's a long history of wonderful worlds presented in a reference or non-fiction format -- Pure setting, no plot. One logical extension of this is for authors to create beautiful multimedia wikis (perhaps by a single author, perhaps by collaborative effort) that people can explore, and maybe even expand, without the encumbrance of a plot or main characters -- would people pay for this? What examples already exist?
  
==== The Future of Fashion ====
+
Saturday at 2:30pm.
Corsets are back in style, but worn on the outside. Who knew? What other fashion statements will the new century bring?
+
  
==== The Future of Food (and Drink?) ====
+
Panelists:  Rachel Kronick, Patricia C. Wrede, possibly others TBA.
This could be about either science--cloned food, irradiated food, better/worse nutrition--or fiction--soylent green, anyone?  Alcoholic beverages were essential in the Middle Ages, perhaps they will be again when all the water is polluted.
+
  
==== Booze and S.F. ====
+
==== Auntie Jane's Bedtime Stories (with milk & cookies  ====
Alcohol has a special place in s.f. fandom (smoooooth) and has also played a key part in a surprising amount of classic s.f. and fantasy. Remember a Bicycle Built for Brew? Pan-Galactic Gargleblaster anybody? An associated workshop or lab for this panel has also been suggested. There are several directions that this could take: a workshop on creating (and more important, naming) new mixed drinks; serious discussion of single malt scotch (preferably with samples); or a panel of con bartenders sharing their favorite stories.
+
Acclaimed YA author Jane Yolen reads bedtime stories for all ages. Milk and cookies will be provided.
  
==== SETI Fact vs. Fiction ==== 
+
Saturday at 8:30pm.
A discussion of SETI and the possibility of contact with life on other planets. How is the real-world endeavor of SETI the same/different from how it is portrayed in SF? Does the public perception of SETI really match what they do?
+
  
==== This Year in SF/F ====
+
Panelist:  Jane Yolen.
The usual discussion of the best books and stories of the year. It never gets old!
+
  
==== Swashbucklers in Space ====  
+
==== Rivendell Group Discussion:  The works of Adam Stemple ====
More fun than pirates, better dressed than ninjas, swashbucklers, whether in space or on the high seas, are often found fighting on the side of the good guys - but in quite non-standard ways! We’ll discuss swashbucklers, their appearance in our favorite stories, and their particular code of honor.
+
  
==== Zeppelins in SF/F ====  
+
We'll particularly focus on the author's adult fantasy novels <i>Singer of Souls</i> and <i>Steward of Song</i>. Sponsored by The Rivendell Group, a Twin Cities fantasy-book discussion group that has met regularly since 1973.
This might be combined with the panel on Swashbucklers, who seem to have a fondness for airships in SF and fantastic worlds. Not just in books but also movies (Treasure Planet, Adventures of Mark Twain, Stardust) and games (Crimson Sky).  
+
  
Victor Raymond observed that you can always tell a book is alternate reality because there will be zeppelins. Humor aside, he's got a point -- we often seem to wish for a world in which airships are commonplace. What needs do zeppelins fulfill for us?
+
Saturday at 1pm.
  
==== Which singularity is it? ====
+
Panelists:  David Lenander (m), Adam Stemple (special guest).
SF has dealt more and more with the Singularity, Vernor Vinge's concept of the point beyond which we cannot predict, but which singularity is it? The post-scarcity singularity, when no one has less than they need? The post-scarcity singularity where everyone gets everything they want (an important difference)? Or the one where artificial intelligence is cheap and frequent? Or the one where we all upload ourselves and our intelligences are no longer limited by flesh and blood. Transhumanism is a kind of singularity -- humanity evolving to the next stage, whatever that is -- as are Christian "left behind" narratives. Which singularities seem likely, which ones do we actually hope for, and what does that say about us?
+
  
 
==Writing and publishing==
 
==Writing and publishing==
<font color="purple">
+
''Note: If you don't see the item you're looking for here, check the "GoH" section at the top. Quite a lot of them got moved up there.''
;New ideas - added Feb 21
+
==== Collaborating ====
+
What does it take for two or more creators to work together?
+
  
==== Humor With An Edge: Mixing The Silly With the Profound ====
+
==== Social Contract: What Negative Emotions is it Okay to Evoke in Your Readers? ====  
What is it about the writings of humorists (like Terry Pratchett) that allows them to work on controversial issues that other writers won't touch? Does humor give more license for subversion? What about depth? How does humor allow writers to strike deep emotional chords with their readers?
+
How much of a social contract do writers have with their readers? What about making past memories come back painfully?
  
==== Publishing 101 ====
+
Sunday at 11:30am.
How to get famous and make lots of money writing. No? Well, how about a group of writers discussing the basics of publishing--from preparing a work for submission to coping with rejection.
+
+
==== The Scoop on Writers' Workshops ====
+
the Ups and Downs of Local Critique Groups, Online Critique Groups, Clarion & Odyssey
+
How to get good feedback on your work without succumbing to group think. Also, cogent advice on what NOT to do in a writers group.
+
  
==== Short Fiction Markets You Should Know ====
+
Panelists: Phyllis Eisenstein (m), Michael Merriam, Rob Callahan, Scott McCoy, Pamela Dean.
We all know the big names in short fiction, but what magazines and web sites should you be reading that you aren't? Come hear the panelists discuss their favorites, and bring your own lists to share.
+
</font>
+
  
 +
==== How To Not Get Depressed When You Work Alone ====
 +
There’s something about the writer’s life. For some reason, people are actually jealous. But working alone at home on your own schedule has its own special challenges.
  
==== What Negative Emotions is it Okay to Evoke in Your Readers? ====
+
Saturday at 11:30am.
How much of a social contract do writers have with their readers? What about making past memories come back painfully?
+
  
==== How To Not Get Depressed When You Work Alone ====
+
Panelists:  C.J. Mills (m), Rob Callahan, Jane Yolen, Adam Stemple, Rick Brignall.
There’s always something on the writer’s life. For some reason, people are actually jealous. Let us know what direction to take with it this year.
+
  
==== Basics of Book Design and Publishing ====  
+
==== Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writer's Meetup ====
There’s nothing quite like reading (or just holding) a really beautiful book. The cover design, interior illustrations, type face, layout, and even paper quality all contribute to the experience. What goes into creating a satisfyingly artistic volume? How does it affect the experience of the reader? Can electronic books ever come close?
+
  
==== Let’s Create a World ====
+
Welcome to Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers (a.k.a. MinnSpec)!  Come learn about this valuable resource for local aspiring science fiction and fantasy writers.
This is a panel to practice world-building by actually doing it. Join our team of experts as we create a new world. Will it be science fiction or fantasy? Aliens or elves? How many moons? How will the magic/ science work? And who will be the first person to write a story in it when we’re done?
+
  
==== Characters You Care About ====
+
Saturday at 5:30pm.
How do you create a character that the reader really cares about from Page One?
+
  
==== What It's Like to Have Your First Book Remaindered ====
+
Hosted by Michael Merriam.
Does anybody want to talk about this? For an hour?
+
  
==== Is There a Secret Handshake? ====
 
Getting Your manuscript read and ready. Another topic that people never seem to hear enough about.
 
  
==== Writing Historical Detail ====
 
Getting your thread counts, cannonball weights and whatever right. Yes, it takes research. Do we want to talk about this again?
 
  
 
----
 
----
  
 
== Media and comics ==
 
== Media and comics ==
<font color="purple">
+
==== The Many Faces of Batman ====
 +
Did Frank Miller go too far when he turned a beloved comics icon into a borderline psycho, or was it a return to Batman's 1939 essence? Was there really any point in Heath Ledger redoing The Joker after Jack Nicholson defined the character in the 1989 movie? Did its sequels channel too much camp from 1966? Does the latest cinematic take on the Dark Knight pull its punches, or correct the balance?
 +
 
 +
Friday at 4pm.
 +
 
 +
Panelists:  Eric Heideman (m), Richard Tatge, Erica Stark, Lisa Freitag.
 +
 
 
==== Pushing Daisies: what comes next? ====
 
==== Pushing Daisies: what comes next? ====
 
While we don't *know* how the story works out, and won't until the three finished episodes are aired and the graphic novel wraps up the story (if these things ever happen), we can certainly speculate. Come prepared to discuss Ned's last name, the fate of Lil Gumshoe, the agelessness of Digby, and all those glorious colors.
 
While we don't *know* how the story works out, and won't until the three finished episodes are aired and the graphic novel wraps up the story (if these things ever happen), we can certainly speculate. Come prepared to discuss Ned's last name, the fate of Lil Gumshoe, the agelessness of Digby, and all those glorious colors.
</font>
 
  
====Building Your DVD Collection Inexpensively====
+
Friday at 8:30pm.
Shopping for DVDs in the 21st century.
+
 
 +
Panelists:  Karen Cooper, Joe Agee, Aliera Brust.
  
 
==== What's '''New''' in '''Old''' Comics ====  
 
==== What's '''New''' in '''Old''' Comics ====  
 
Comics publishers have had to look beyond publishing periodicals to maintain their bottom line & have dug into the past to reprint classic material in collected volumes. From Marvel's Masterworks, Omnibus & Essential lines, DC's Showcase, Archive & Absolute lines to Dark Horse's reprinting of Gold Key classics (Magnus Robot Fighter, Doctor Solar, MARS Patrol, Tarzan, et al) and the Warren horror line, find out what's available at a fraction of the cost of the original back issues.  Also: Titan Books' 007 newspaper strip collections, Gladstone's EC collections & various Irwin Allen & Gerry Anderson properties, 1960s Star Trek, Conan and more.
 
Comics publishers have had to look beyond publishing periodicals to maintain their bottom line & have dug into the past to reprint classic material in collected volumes. From Marvel's Masterworks, Omnibus & Essential lines, DC's Showcase, Archive & Absolute lines to Dark Horse's reprinting of Gold Key classics (Magnus Robot Fighter, Doctor Solar, MARS Patrol, Tarzan, et al) and the Warren horror line, find out what's available at a fraction of the cost of the original back issues.  Also: Titan Books' 007 newspaper strip collections, Gladstone's EC collections & various Irwin Allen & Gerry Anderson properties, 1960s Star Trek, Conan and more.
 +
 +
Saturday at 1pm.
 +
 +
Panelists:  Greg Larsen (m), Steve Kempton, Bob Jackson.
  
 
==== The Convenient Comic Book ====  
 
==== The Convenient Comic Book ====  
Line 229: Line 279:
 
If you love comics, but gave up on the frustrating weekly pursuit of "floppies" (comic magazines) and just want to read a good stand-alone story of your favorite heroes with a minimum of confusion, find out which TPBs allow you to do just that.
 
If you love comics, but gave up on the frustrating weekly pursuit of "floppies" (comic magazines) and just want to read a good stand-alone story of your favorite heroes with a minimum of confusion, find out which TPBs allow you to do just that.
  
==== The Many Faces of Batman ====
+
Saturday at 11:30am.
Did Frank Miller go too far when he turned a beloved comics icon into a borderline psycho, or was it a return to Batman's 1939 essence? Was there really any point in Heath Ledger redoing The Joker after Jack Nicholson defined the character in the 1989 movie? Did its sequels channel too much camp from 1966? Does the latest cinematic take on the Dark Knight pull its punches, or correct the balance?
+
 
+
==== SF Films Sans SFX ====
+
Science fiction has always been about ideas. But, in film, they often take a back seat to the rush of visual effects.  Some of the most thought provoking films in SF have little in (obvious) effects.  Find out what they are and discuss their merits.
+
 
+
==== Reboots/Remakes: Necessary/Not? ====
+
Make your pitch!
+
* Did Michael Rennie's then-unknown status make him a more convincing alien than superstar Keanu?
+
* How many remakes of a Kevin McCarthy classic does it take to convince us that "They're Here!" ?
+
* Did we need to see Director Tim Burton "go ape"?
+
* How many times can a man fall to earth?
+
* How many versions of War of the Worlds are there?
+
* Is Will Smith finally the Last Man on Earth after Charlton Heston & Vincent Price became 'Legend'? "
+
* Are you tingling with anticipation over the upcoming Fantastic Voyage remake and dreading that of Forbidden Planet?
+
 
+
====The Pitfalls of Comic Book Continuity in the DC & Marvel Universes====
+
  
Marvel successfully pioneered continuity for its superheroes in the 1960s, & DC followed suit after 1985's ''Crisis on Infinite Earths''. What does this do for characters who never age, but need to grow?  Is the DC Universe easier to "re-set" than Marvel's?
+
Panelists:  Greg Larsen (m), Steve Kempton, Bob Jackson.
  
 
==== Long Live Number 6! ====  
 
==== Long Live Number 6! ====  
 
From the wrap of production for ''The Prisoner'' until his until his recent death, Patrick McGoohan said little about his most influential work.  Do ''Ice Station Zebra'' and the Columbo episode "Identity Crisis" tie in to ''The Prisoner''?  Was Number 6 actually Danger Man/Secret Agent John Drake?  If so, some episodes of the earlier series reveal clues to the question, "Why did he resign?".  Why would McGoohan never tie Number 6 to Drake?  The answers may surprise you!  Plus, news on the 2009 AMC/ITV mini-series with Jim Caveizel as Number 6 and Ian McKellan as Number 2, adaptations & homages of The Prisoner in books, comics and a place you never expected!
 
From the wrap of production for ''The Prisoner'' until his until his recent death, Patrick McGoohan said little about his most influential work.  Do ''Ice Station Zebra'' and the Columbo episode "Identity Crisis" tie in to ''The Prisoner''?  Was Number 6 actually Danger Man/Secret Agent John Drake?  If so, some episodes of the earlier series reveal clues to the question, "Why did he resign?".  Why would McGoohan never tie Number 6 to Drake?  The answers may surprise you!  Plus, news on the 2009 AMC/ITV mini-series with Jim Caveizel as Number 6 and Ian McKellan as Number 2, adaptations & homages of The Prisoner in books, comics and a place you never expected!
  
==== This Year in Film ====
+
Saturday at 2:30pm.
What were the best and worst sf/fantasy films this year?
+
 
 +
Panelists:  Greg Larsen (m), Steve Kempton, Bob Jackson.
  
 
==== Who Watched The ''Watchmen''? ====
 
==== Who Watched The ''Watchmen''? ====
 
Obstacles beset ''Watchmen'' from the start. When DC acquired Charlton Comics' superheroes & had other plans, Alan Moore's idea to grandly reinvent them as the Watchmen had to be reinvented itself, with new, albeit similar characters.  Once filmed, "the graphic novel that could not be filmed" for almost 20 years, saw lawsuits over the movie rights threatening to prevent its release.  With no on-going characters, realizing ''Watchmen'' on film had one chance only. The final hurdle:  Did they get it right?
 
Obstacles beset ''Watchmen'' from the start. When DC acquired Charlton Comics' superheroes & had other plans, Alan Moore's idea to grandly reinvent them as the Watchmen had to be reinvented itself, with new, albeit similar characters.  Once filmed, "the graphic novel that could not be filmed" for almost 20 years, saw lawsuits over the movie rights threatening to prevent its release.  With no on-going characters, realizing ''Watchmen'' on film had one chance only. The final hurdle:  Did they get it right?
  
==== Prequels: When You Know the Ultimate Outcome, Where's the Drama to the Back-Story? ====
+
Friday at 5:30pm.
If you found individuals on this planet who had never seen ''Star Wars'', would you show them Episodes 1 - 6 in that order, or 4 - 6, then 1 - 3?  Remember how blown away you were when Vader tells Luke, "I '''am''' your father"?  Would you ruin this moment for someone by showing them Episode 3 before Episode 5?  ''Babylon 5'''s sequel series ''Crusade'' occurred 15 years before B5's final episode. Since you know that Earth survives, was the series a pointless exercise? What of the upcoming ''Caprica'' prequel to ''Battlestar Galactica''?
+
 
+
Panelists: Greg Larsen (m), Eric M. Heideman, Steve Kempton.
==== Fringe: X-Files Conspiracy Show for a New Decade? ====
+
After 8 years of real life conspiracies from the Bush administration on the news, TV viewers seem to have a renewed tasted for fictional ones. How does ''Fringe'' compare to ''X-Files''? And, does anyone remember ''Heroes'' creator Tim Kring's short lived ''Strange World''?  Would ''Eleventh Hour'' benefit from an ongoing conspiracy element?
+
+
==== TV Show to Movie and Back Again ====
+
Are shows like ''Futurama'' and ''Star Wars: The Clone Wars'' more palatable in 22-minute increments on TV and insufferable at feature-length?  How does ''Sarah Connor Chronicles''  stack up to the Terminator films?  Should we even mention ''X-Files''?
+
  
 
==== The Worlds of Blade Runner ====  
 
==== The Worlds of Blade Runner ====  
Released the same week as ''E.T.'', initially critically and financially trounced, ''Blade Runner'' became a cinematic phoenix.  While last year's DVD release of The Final Cut closes the book on the original film (probably definitely), we'll enlighten you to films and TV shows similar in theme and look to help relieve your withdrawal.  (Anime series ''Ghost in the Shell'' and sequels; TV series ''Total Recall 2070'' owes more to ''BR'' than the PKD-inspired ''Total Recall'' film; ''Natural City'', referred to by reviewers as "the Korean BR" to name a few).
+
Released the same week as ''E.T.'', initially critically and financially trounced, ''Blade Runner'' became a cinematic phoenix.  While last year's DVD release of The Final Cut closes the book on the original film, we'll enlighten you to films and TV shows similar in theme and look to help relieve your withdrawal.   
  
<font color="purple">
+
Friday at 8:30pm.
 +
 
 +
Panelists:  Greg Larsen (m), Eric M. Heideman, Tory Stewart.
  
 
==== Who's Your Doctor? ====
 
==== Who's Your Doctor? ====
Calling all Dr. Who fans! Who was your favorite Doctor? Is there one you couldn't stand?
+
Calling all Dr. Who fans! Who was your favorite Doctor? Is there one you couldn't stand? Or suggest a different offshoot of of this topic. There's a lot of Dr. Who to choose from out there, and fans seem to have a lot to talk about.
</font>
+
  
==Gaming ==
+
Saturday at 8:30pm.
==== The Secret RPG Gamer====
+
A lot of people are into RPGs but don't admit it, or at least aren't forward about it. Why? What's to be done, if anything?
+
  
==== Board Games: What's new and cool====
+
Panelists: Michael Lee (m), Rob Callahan, Aliera Brust, Corwin Brust.
(aka the Richard panel)
+
  
==== Info-dumping in RPGs====  
+
==== Science Fiction Westerns ====
In RPGs, there's a great deal of exposition to be done. GMs need to explain setting information, and as a player, it can be frustrating when the GM tells you vital information ''after'' you needed it. ("What do you mean there's a lever on the wall? Why have we been trying to bust down this door for the past half-hour?") But exposition can become long-winded and tiresome. How do GMs and players strike a balance?
+
These two film genres go back to the start of narrative film (SF to 1902, Westerns to 1903). What do they have in common and how do they differ?  We'll focus especially on such hybrids as Westworld, Outland, Battle Beyond the Stars, Back to the Future III, The Postman, Firefly, and Serenity. Sponsored by Con-Sarnit, the Twin Cities Western convention.
  
==== Publishing your RPG====
+
Saturday at 4pm.
How to go from basic idea to holding it in your hands to being a rich and famous RPG author. Okay, maybe not the last part.
+
  
==Not exactly panels==
+
Co-moderators:  David Christenson & Eric M. Heideman
  
==== The State of Lego====  
+
==Gaming ==
What's new and cool in Lego bricks? This would be great if we can get people to bring some in to demonstrate.
+
==== Dungeons and Dragons for Girls and Boys ====
 +
Saturday, 1:30 to 3:30 PM
 +
East Ballroom A
 +
Hosted by Richard Tatge and Michael Kauper
 +
 +
Ages 6 to 17, no experience necessary, must be able to read some. We will provide characters and materials. All new, exiting adventure, featuring a rare appearance by one of the grand masters of role playing games!! Not to be missed!
  
==== Knit Knacks====
+
NOTE: All players must be enrolled in game by parent or responsible adult. No exceptions. We require contact information. Bring snacks, invite friends and family to watch.
Is there enough interest to do this again?
+
  
==== Collage Workshop====  
+
==== The Secret RPG Gamer====  
This item was always a hit; is it still on sabbatical?
+
A lot of people are into RPGs but don't admit it, or at least aren't forward about it. Why? What's to be done, if anything?
  
==== Blimp Races====
+
Saturday at 8:30pm.
  
==== Costuming ====
+
Panelists:  Rachel Kronick (m), John Till.
How to get started, or some kind of workshop; working on historical detail in costume (or “future historical” detail)
+
  
==== Prep for Anticipation?====  
+
==== Info-dumping in RPGs====  
Sci-Fi French, or useful French, etc.?
+
In RPGs, there's a great deal of exposition to be done. GMs need to explain setting information, and as a player, it can be frustrating when the GM tells you vital information ''after'' you needed it. ("What do you mean there's a lever on the wall? Why have we been trying to bust down this door for the past half-hour?") But exposition can become long-winded and tiresome. How do GMs and players strike a balance?
  
==== Texting Competition====
+
Sunday at 2:30pm.
YA programming (or texting vs. Morse code)
+
  
==== There and Back Again====
+
Panelists:  Rachel Kronick (m), John Till.
Sci-fi quotes run through machine translation as a game show
+
  
==== Reading from Favorite Pulps====  
+
== Not exactly panels ==
 +
 
 +
==== Popup Books and Paper Engineering ====
 +
Come and see some resplendent examples of the popup book art form, and learn what goes into the construction of these little masterpieces. We may also throw in a little paper craft fun for everybody - learn a little origami, cut out a snowflake, or make a folded-paper fortune telling machine customized for Minicon.
 +
 
 +
Friday at 5:30pm.
 +
 
 +
Panelists:  Laura Krentz (m), Jeanne Mealy, Laramie Sasseville, Bonnie Somdahl.
  
 
==== I'll Show You Mine if You Show Me Yours ====
 
==== I'll Show You Mine if You Show Me Yours ====
Hey, let's all get together and compare our new mini-laptops, smart phones and whatever other electronic gadgetry we got for Christmas. We can set up our own wireless network right there in the programming room!
+
Hey, let's all get together and compare our new mini-laptops, smart phones and whatever other electronic gadgetry we got for Christmas. We can set up our own wireless network right there in the programming room! Does anybody still have one of those cute little Roombas? We could run them through a maze or obstacle course.
  
==== Dueling Roombas ====
+
Friday at 4pm.
or '''Roomba Obstacle Course''' Does anybody still have one of those cute little Roombas? We could run them through a maze or obstacle course.
+
  
==== The Traveling Panel====
+
Panelists:  Sharon Kahn (m), Dean Gahlon, Laurel Krahn, David Dyer-Bennet.
Same panel at Minicon, Convergence, Marscon, maybe Diversicon) - now we just need a topic!
+
  
==== Opposable Thumbs Appreciation====
+
== Music Programming ==
Part panel, part “workshop” on what it’s like not having opposable thumbs. Tentacles vs. thumbs -- how would society be different? Crossover appeal to children. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Guindon cartoons (huh?).
+
  
==== Storm-Chasing with Shauna====  
+
==== Jamming 101 ====
Lecture, maybe slide show?
+
  
==== Chess Tournament for Kids ====
+
What makes a good music jam?  What to do and not to do.
  
 +
Saturday at 2:30pm in the Shipside/Music room.
  
----
+
Participants/Panelists:  Chas Somdahl (m), Adam Stemple, Graham Leathers, Teresa Chandler.
 +
 
 +
==== Singalong ====
 +
Group singalong: song sheets provided or bring your own to share.
  
==Film Room==
+
Participants: Peggy O'Neill, Elise Matthesen, and a host of others.
* '''Minicon Sarcasm Theater''': let's get a bunch of fans in a room with a bad skiffy movie and encourage them to make sarcastic comments. (Note how well this meshes with the next item, not to mention with our limited film budget).
+
* '''B-List Movies: Cinema Obscura''' Ideas: Twilight Zone episodes, small indie sf films -- Is Metropolis public domain? The Thief of Bagdad -- the old silent one with Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.
+

Latest revision as of 17:38, 13 April 2009

Contents

Minicon 44 programming items

Okay, it's no longer a brainstorming page. This is the list of scheduled items, subject to only minor changes between now and Minicon.

[Laurel Krahn added times/days and panelists as listed in the program book on Friday afternoon of Minicon 44. Also added music programming items.]

(backup mar14).

Links

Science

Ask a Scientist

This panel is always so popular we just have to do it again. If you're a scientist of any type, please volunteer! The participants always have a great time.

Sunday at 2:30pm.

Panelists: Chas Somdahl (m), Matt Strait, Sue Smith, Dave Buth.

Astronomy with Children

Note: this item has a single presenter, not looking for panelists. This class is for parents or teachers looking for easy, cheap astronomy projects to do with children. Topics will include how to create a solar analemma on the ground in a sunny yard or on a ceiling in a sunny room; how to use the wonderful planisphere; and how to find a person's real sun sign; plus various types of telescopes, where to buy telescopes, and where to go for a free astronomy experience. I will also give my take on how to get into amateur astronomy (go to a free star party, join a club, before spending money!) Children accompanied by an adult are welcome.

Saturday at 11:30am.

Panelist: Michael Kauper.

Confessions of an Alien Hunter / Book Signing

Our science GoH discusses his new book and talks about what extraterrestrials might really be like when we finally find them.

Sunday at 1pm.

Panelist: Seth Shostak.

Current Trends in Science

The life of a scientist isn't filled by doing experiments – just as much time, if not more, is spent writing grant proposals to get funding to do those experiments. Part of the trick to getting the money is knowing what buttons to push, what keywords to include. What topics are hot in science right now? Where is the money going? What new avenues of scientific exploration could (or should) be the next big thing?

Friday at 8:30pm.

Panelists: Pat Scaramuzza (m), George Flentke, Sue Smith, Seth Shostak, Chris Beskar.

First Contact

Many depictions of Earth's first contact with alien races rely on the idea that this first message will be transmitted via radio waves and will consist of some easily identifiable mathematical idea, usually prime numbers. But are there other ways that far-off civilizations might choose to communicate to the universe? Are we limited to the electromagnetic spectrum? Are there other messages that might be universally understood?

Saturday at 8:30pm.

Panelists: Kelly Strait (m), Seth Shostak, George Flentke, Ctein.

Intelligent Balloons

Seems like one long-term science fiction meme is intelligent jellyfish-like creatures living in the atmosphere of a Jovian planet. How plausible are such creatures, and why are they such a fixture of xenology?

Saturday at 4pm.

Panelists: Chas Somdahl (m), Rachel Kronick, Mark Richards, Sue Smith.

SETI Fact vs. Fiction

How does the real-world endeavor of SETI compare with how it is portrayed in speculative fiction? Many portrayals of SETI show us a highly dedicated (and maybe slightly obsessed) scientist that the public tends to write off as a little nuts. What is it like to really work for SETI? Do the SF writers get it right? Does the public perception of SETI really match what they do?

Saturday at 4pm.

Panelists: Kelly Strait (m), Seth Shostak, Pat Scaramuzza, Howard Davidson, Michael Kauper.

Secret Underground Physics Labs

What's going on in the old Tower Soudan mine (and why does it look so much like a Half-Life game)? What's this DUSEL thing anyway? What else have scientists hidden under the earth, and what are they doing with it?

Saturday at 5:30pm.

Panelists: Matt Strait (m), Howard Davidson, Bill Higgins.

Science in the Public Eye

Scientists have held a strange iconic place in the popular imagination ever since Mary Shelley introduced us to the Frankenstein Trope in the early 19th century. Alternatively, scientists in the late nineteenth and early 20th centuries were often presented as the ultimate hope of humankind. More recently, the public consciousness has swung back to a demonization of science, with scientists often presented as (at best) amoral and (at worst) agents of the devil. With the Obama presidency will we see a swing back in the other direction?

Saturday at 7pm.

Panelists: LIsa Freitag (m), George Flentke, Sue Smith, Graham Leathers, Mark Richards.

How Antimatter Became a Plaything of Science Fiction

Antimatter, a bizarre family of particles first discovered by physicists in the 1930s, eventually became commonplace in science fiction stories. Bill Higgins traces the path from science to fiction, which passes through astronomy and the study of meteorites before falling into the hands of such SF writers as John Campbell, Robert Heinlein, and Jack Williamson.

Saturday at 1pm.

Panelist/Presenter: Bill Higgins.

Art, the Arts, and Craft

Costuming Roundtable

What sort of costuming-related activities do we want to see at future Minicons? Panels, hall costume awards, a prade, a fashion show, a return of the masquerade . . . something entirely new and fabulous? Please come and join the conversation. Spiffy duds encouraged, but not required.

Sunday at 2pm in the Bar.

Co-hosts: Bonnie Somdahl & Seven.

Popup Books and Paper Engineering

Come and see some resplendent examples of the popup book art form, and learn what goes into the construction of these little masterpieces. We may also throw in a little paper craft fun for everybody - learn a little origami, cut out a snowflake, or make a folded-paper fortune telling machine customized for Minicon.

Friday at 5:30pm.

Panelists: Laura Krentz (m), Jeanne Mealy, Laramie Sassevill, Bonnie Somdahl.

Social Issues, Internet, Fandom

Etiquette for Social Networking

Regardless of platform, awkwardness abounds in online social networks. What situations have we encountered? What methods work in avoiding or dealing with these situations?

Sunday at 1pm.

Panelists: Rachel Kronick (m), Emily Stewart, Emily Alter, Josh More, Alison Sommer.

The Legend of Forry Ackerman

In memoriam for Forrest J. Ackerman, one of the founders of science fiction fandom. This sounds like a good Krushenko's item.

Sunday at 2:30pm.

Panelists: Eric M. Heideman (m), Bill Higgins.

F/SF Literature and Skiffy concepts

The Works of Karl Schroeder

Come and talk with the Author GOH about his work! Sponsored by Second Foundation, an SF-book discussion group. Discussion sponsored by Second Foundation, a Twin Cities book-discussion group that has met regularly since 1983.

Sunday, 11:30am in Krushenko's.

Panelists: Eric M. Heideman (m), Karl Schroeder, John Till, Greg L. Johnson.

Steampunk: the Romance of Science

What is Steampunk? Attitude or merely fashion statement? Or is there something about the buoyant spirit of the late 19th century that speaks to our feelings about technology today? Who else is defining the genre? Check out this incredible video: Steampunk meets Maker Movement.

Saturday at 2:30pm in Krushenko's.

Panelists: Sharon Kahn (m), Karl Schroeder, Richard Mueller, Dorf, Ceridwen Christensen.

Which singularity is it?

SF has dealt more and more with the Singularity, Vernor Vinge's concept of the point beyond which we cannot predict, but which singularity is it? The post-scarcity singularity, when no one has less than they need? The post-scarcity singularity where everyone gets everything they want (an important difference)? Or the one where artificial intelligence is cheap and frequent? Or the one where we all upload ourselves and our intelligences are no longer limited by flesh and blood. Transhumanism is a kind of singularity -- humanity evolving to the next stage, whatever that is -- as are Christian "left behind" narratives. Which singularities seem likely, which ones do we actually hope for, and what does that say about us?

Saturday at 11:30am in Krushenko's.

Panelists: Greg L. Johnson (m), Karl Schroeder, Pat Scaramuzza, Rachel Kronick, Dave Romm.

Humor With An Edge: Mixing The Silly With the Profound

What is it about the writings of humorists (like Terry Pratchett) that allows them to work on controversial issues that other writers won't touch? Does humor give more license for subversion? What about depth? How does humor allow writers to strike deep emotional chords with their readers?

Saturday at 10am in Krushenko's.

Panelists: Michael Merriam (m), Karl Schroeder, Rob Callahan, Greg L. Johnson.

Interview & Signing: Author GoH

Our author Guest of Honor talks about his life and his work. After the interview there will be a book signing in teh same space and a chance to chat one on one with Karl.

Saturday at 7pm.

Panelist: Karl Schroeder, Rick Brignall (interviewer)

Breaking into Publishing in the 21st Century

An update of the perennially popular "Publishing 101" topic. What do you as a new writer need to know to get your big break? How is the process changing with the advent of printing on demand, audio books, and the paperback publishing industry in a state of freefall? Last year's advice on how to break into the business may already be obsolete.

Sunday at 10am.

Panelists: Michael Merriam (m), Karl Scheoder, Scott McCoy, Rob Callahan, Rick Brignall.

Lady Poetesses from Hell

Ruth Berman, Jane Yolen, Elise Matthesen, Cassandra O’Malley, John C. Rezmerski, Eleanor Arnason The Lady Poetesses from Hell write about: Change, Futures, Pasts, Life, Love, Sex, Death, Violence, Manners -- all those volcanic urges. Their joint collection, "Lady Poetesses from Hell," will be published later this year

Saturday at 2:30pm.

Panelists: Ruth Berman, Jane Yolen, Elise Matthesen, K.C. O'Malley, John C. Rezmerski, Eleanor Arnason.

Vampires and Zombies and Werewolves, Oh, My!

The long standing popularity of these three fictional races argues that the stories we tell about them are more than just horror stories to scare children. Is there a cultural reason for this popularity? Can we mine any deep psychological meaning from our interest in these sorts? If vampires are a metaphor for forbidden sexuality (aren’t they?), then lets see what we can make of zombies and werewolves.

Saturday at 5:30pm.

Panelists: Lisa Freitag (m), Scott McCoy, Emily Stewart, C.J. Mills.

“Careful the Wish You Make . . .”

The line is from Sondheim’s Into the Woods, and is followed by the assertion that “wishes come true, not free.” From wishing upon a star to three wishes, we will discuss the techniques, rewards and perils of having one’s wishes granted. What would you wish for?

Sunday at 2:30pm.

Panelists: Ruth Berman (m), Jane Yolen, Patricia C. Wrede, Laramie Sasseville, Marissa Lingen.

Adventures For Young Women

Even young women get to kick a lot more butt these days than they used to, but adventure stories for girls are still different from those for boys. We’ll discuss both female and male young adventurers, with the goal of discovering directions yet to be taken. Feminism may come up.

Sunday at 1pm

Panelists: Sharon Kahn (m), Jane Yolen, Patricia C. Wrede, Laura Krentz, Dorf

The Year in SF/F: What Should I Read Next?

The usual discussion of the best books and stories of the year. It never gets old!

Saturday at 7pm.

Panelists: Greg L. Johnson (m), Russell Letson, David Lenander.

Wikis as Literature

There's a long history of wonderful worlds presented in a reference or non-fiction format -- Pure setting, no plot. One logical extension of this is for authors to create beautiful multimedia wikis (perhaps by a single author, perhaps by collaborative effort) that people can explore, and maybe even expand, without the encumbrance of a plot or main characters -- would people pay for this? What examples already exist?

Saturday at 2:30pm.

Panelists: Rachel Kronick, Patricia C. Wrede, possibly others TBA.

Auntie Jane's Bedtime Stories (with milk & cookies

Acclaimed YA author Jane Yolen reads bedtime stories for all ages. Milk and cookies will be provided.

Saturday at 8:30pm.

Panelist: Jane Yolen.

Rivendell Group Discussion: The works of Adam Stemple

We'll particularly focus on the author's adult fantasy novels Singer of Souls and Steward of Song. Sponsored by The Rivendell Group, a Twin Cities fantasy-book discussion group that has met regularly since 1973.

Saturday at 1pm.

Panelists: David Lenander (m), Adam Stemple (special guest).

Writing and publishing

Note: If you don't see the item you're looking for here, check the "GoH" section at the top. Quite a lot of them got moved up there.

Social Contract: What Negative Emotions is it Okay to Evoke in Your Readers?

How much of a social contract do writers have with their readers? What about making past memories come back painfully?

Sunday at 11:30am.

Panelists: Phyllis Eisenstein (m), Michael Merriam, Rob Callahan, Scott McCoy, Pamela Dean.

How To Not Get Depressed When You Work Alone

There’s something about the writer’s life. For some reason, people are actually jealous. But working alone at home on your own schedule has its own special challenges.

Saturday at 11:30am.

Panelists: C.J. Mills (m), Rob Callahan, Jane Yolen, Adam Stemple, Rick Brignall.

Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writer's Meetup

Welcome to Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers (a.k.a. MinnSpec)! Come learn about this valuable resource for local aspiring science fiction and fantasy writers.

Saturday at 5:30pm.

Hosted by Michael Merriam.



Media and comics

The Many Faces of Batman

Did Frank Miller go too far when he turned a beloved comics icon into a borderline psycho, or was it a return to Batman's 1939 essence? Was there really any point in Heath Ledger redoing The Joker after Jack Nicholson defined the character in the 1989 movie? Did its sequels channel too much camp from 1966? Does the latest cinematic take on the Dark Knight pull its punches, or correct the balance?

Friday at 4pm.

Panelists: Eric Heideman (m), Richard Tatge, Erica Stark, Lisa Freitag.

Pushing Daisies: what comes next?

While we don't *know* how the story works out, and won't until the three finished episodes are aired and the graphic novel wraps up the story (if these things ever happen), we can certainly speculate. Come prepared to discuss Ned's last name, the fate of Lil Gumshoe, the agelessness of Digby, and all those glorious colors.

Friday at 8:30pm.

Panelists: Karen Cooper, Joe Agee, Aliera Brust.

What's New in Old Comics

Comics publishers have had to look beyond publishing periodicals to maintain their bottom line & have dug into the past to reprint classic material in collected volumes. From Marvel's Masterworks, Omnibus & Essential lines, DC's Showcase, Archive & Absolute lines to Dark Horse's reprinting of Gold Key classics (Magnus Robot Fighter, Doctor Solar, MARS Patrol, Tarzan, et al) and the Warren horror line, find out what's available at a fraction of the cost of the original back issues. Also: Titan Books' 007 newspaper strip collections, Gladstone's EC collections & various Irwin Allen & Gerry Anderson properties, 1960s Star Trek, Conan and more.

Saturday at 1pm.

Panelists: Greg Larsen (m), Steve Kempton, Bob Jackson.

The Convenient Comic Book

Now that publishers are regularly collecting multi-issue story arcs into Trade Paperback & Hardcover editions, it is easier than ever to enjoy comics, without spending time looking for individual issues (& discovering you missed a chapter/issue) or trying to remember what happened last month. If you love comics, but gave up on the frustrating weekly pursuit of "floppies" (comic magazines) and just want to read a good stand-alone story of your favorite heroes with a minimum of confusion, find out which TPBs allow you to do just that.

Saturday at 11:30am.

Panelists: Greg Larsen (m), Steve Kempton, Bob Jackson.

Long Live Number 6!

From the wrap of production for The Prisoner until his until his recent death, Patrick McGoohan said little about his most influential work. Do Ice Station Zebra and the Columbo episode "Identity Crisis" tie in to The Prisoner? Was Number 6 actually Danger Man/Secret Agent John Drake? If so, some episodes of the earlier series reveal clues to the question, "Why did he resign?". Why would McGoohan never tie Number 6 to Drake? The answers may surprise you! Plus, news on the 2009 AMC/ITV mini-series with Jim Caveizel as Number 6 and Ian McKellan as Number 2, adaptations & homages of The Prisoner in books, comics and a place you never expected!

Saturday at 2:30pm.

Panelists: Greg Larsen (m), Steve Kempton, Bob Jackson.

Who Watched The Watchmen?

Obstacles beset Watchmen from the start. When DC acquired Charlton Comics' superheroes & had other plans, Alan Moore's idea to grandly reinvent them as the Watchmen had to be reinvented itself, with new, albeit similar characters. Once filmed, "the graphic novel that could not be filmed" for almost 20 years, saw lawsuits over the movie rights threatening to prevent its release. With no on-going characters, realizing Watchmen on film had one chance only. The final hurdle: Did they get it right?

Friday at 5:30pm.

Panelists: Greg Larsen (m), Eric M. Heideman, Steve Kempton.

The Worlds of Blade Runner

Released the same week as E.T., initially critically and financially trounced, Blade Runner became a cinematic phoenix. While last year's DVD release of The Final Cut closes the book on the original film, we'll enlighten you to films and TV shows similar in theme and look to help relieve your withdrawal.

Friday at 8:30pm.

Panelists: Greg Larsen (m), Eric M. Heideman, Tory Stewart.

Who's Your Doctor?

Calling all Dr. Who fans! Who was your favorite Doctor? Is there one you couldn't stand? Or suggest a different offshoot of of this topic. There's a lot of Dr. Who to choose from out there, and fans seem to have a lot to talk about.

Saturday at 8:30pm.

Panelists: Michael Lee (m), Rob Callahan, Aliera Brust, Corwin Brust.

Science Fiction Westerns

These two film genres go back to the start of narrative film (SF to 1902, Westerns to 1903). What do they have in common and how do they differ? We'll focus especially on such hybrids as Westworld, Outland, Battle Beyond the Stars, Back to the Future III, The Postman, Firefly, and Serenity. Sponsored by Con-Sarnit, the Twin Cities Western convention.

Saturday at 4pm.

Co-moderators: David Christenson & Eric M. Heideman

Gaming

Dungeons and Dragons for Girls and Boys

Saturday, 1:30 to 3:30 PM East Ballroom A Hosted by Richard Tatge and Michael Kauper

Ages 6 to 17, no experience necessary, must be able to read some. We will provide characters and materials. All new, exiting adventure, featuring a rare appearance by one of the grand masters of role playing games!! Not to be missed!

NOTE: All players must be enrolled in game by parent or responsible adult. No exceptions. We require contact information. Bring snacks, invite friends and family to watch.

The Secret RPG Gamer

A lot of people are into RPGs but don't admit it, or at least aren't forward about it. Why? What's to be done, if anything?

Saturday at 8:30pm.

Panelists: Rachel Kronick (m), John Till.

Info-dumping in RPGs

In RPGs, there's a great deal of exposition to be done. GMs need to explain setting information, and as a player, it can be frustrating when the GM tells you vital information after you needed it. ("What do you mean there's a lever on the wall? Why have we been trying to bust down this door for the past half-hour?") But exposition can become long-winded and tiresome. How do GMs and players strike a balance?

Sunday at 2:30pm.

Panelists: Rachel Kronick (m), John Till.

Not exactly panels

Popup Books and Paper Engineering

Come and see some resplendent examples of the popup book art form, and learn what goes into the construction of these little masterpieces. We may also throw in a little paper craft fun for everybody - learn a little origami, cut out a snowflake, or make a folded-paper fortune telling machine customized for Minicon.

Friday at 5:30pm.

Panelists: Laura Krentz (m), Jeanne Mealy, Laramie Sasseville, Bonnie Somdahl.

I'll Show You Mine if You Show Me Yours

Hey, let's all get together and compare our new mini-laptops, smart phones and whatever other electronic gadgetry we got for Christmas. We can set up our own wireless network right there in the programming room! Does anybody still have one of those cute little Roombas? We could run them through a maze or obstacle course.

Friday at 4pm.

Panelists: Sharon Kahn (m), Dean Gahlon, Laurel Krahn, David Dyer-Bennet.

Music Programming

Jamming 101

What makes a good music jam? What to do and not to do.

Saturday at 2:30pm in the Shipside/Music room.

Participants/Panelists: Chas Somdahl (m), Adam Stemple, Graham Leathers, Teresa Chandler.

Singalong

Group singalong: song sheets provided or bring your own to share.

Participants: Peggy O'Neill, Elise Matthesen, and a host of others.