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MarsCon 2013

Program Ideas Page (2013 edition)

Please share your programming ideas with us. If you've submitted ideas in years past you already know the plan: read the ideas list… if you see a program event you want to help with drop us an email. If you have an idea for an event that isn't yet listed jump to the form and tell us about it. As always, MarsCon depends on our attendees for much of our programming. Thanks in advance for all of your wonderful suggestions.

What's Old is New Again
Let's talk about our favorite shows and movies being transferred to blu-ray.

Suggested by Romeo Azar on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 12:03:57


Guilty Pleasures
So bad, but we love them still. Let's open up about our loves for film and tv shows that others hate!

Suggested by Romeo Azar on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 12:02:37


Best Sci-Fi Side Kicks
From R2D2 to any Doctor Who companion, lets talk about the best of the best and why we love them.

Suggested by Romeo Azar on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 11:56:25


Best and Worst films of 2012
I think the title says it all.

Suggested by Romeo Azar on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 11:52:44


Films you didn't see but should have
We'll talk about the lesser known films that us geeks should see.

Suggested by Romeo Azar on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 11:51:24


Let's go Dark... Ness
We'll have a chat about all of the rumors and confirmed plot points about the upcoming Star Trek into Darkness.

Suggested by Romeo Azar on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 11:50:07


DC versus Marvel on film
Let's have a smack down now that Warner Bros. is trying to go toe to toe with The Avengers with their Justice League film.

Suggested by Romeo Azar on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 11:47:47


Stargate: Changing the Polarity
Stargate fan fic is an ever expanding genre for SG fans. Lets meet up and talk about the show, and where us fans could take it in the future.

Suggested by Courtney Okey on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 11:44:33


A Shat Chat
Let's all geek out over our love of the main man, William Shatner.

Suggested by Romeo AZAR on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 11:39:56


The end of Fringe
Lets mourn the loss of Fringe together and discuss our favorite episodes.

Suggested by Romeo Azar on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 11:23:48


Man of Steel
We haven't had a good Superman film since 1981. Will Man of Steel break that dry spell? Lets discuss our hopes and fears.

Suggested by Romeo Azar on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 11:20:51


Trek Wars
Now that J.J. Abrams is directing the new Star Wars film, he has the unique opportunity to bring yet another scifi iconic film series back to life. Lets discuss the good and bad.

Suggested by Romeo on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 11:15:12


Urban Fantasy from A to Z
A comparison and contrast between urban fantasy worlds. What works and what doesnâ t.

Suggested by Cassandra and Brandon on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 20:30:02


Looking Forward and Being Optimistic in SF
So much current SF is dark, grim, and dystopian. Renowned writers of SF have sneered at any attempts to move SF to a more positive portrayal of the future. What can we as writers and readers do to recapture the hope and joy that brought so many of us to SF?

Suggested by Michael Merriam on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 19:04:46


Reasons Things Go Wrong
Things that go wrong in the crafting of stories. War stories from writers and readers alike about what and why something went off the rails.

Suggested by Michael Merriam on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 19:04:00


Writerâ s Lies
What lies do you have to tell yourself in order to do your best work? If we know they are lies, why do we keep believing them?

Suggested by Michael Merriam on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 19:03:25


Michael Merriam Book Signing
Michael Merriam will sell and sign copies of his books.

Suggested by Michael Merriam on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 19:02:38


Michael Merriam Reading
Local author Michael Merriam will read from his forthcoming short story collection, Whispers in Space, as well as from The Curious Case of the Jeweled Alicorn, and possibly something not yet published.

Suggested by Michael Merriam on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 19:01:16


Meet the Weapons - Apocalypse Edition
So the apocalypse has come and you've survived. What weapons are going to be the most useful, or available in fighting off your marauding neighbors, zombies, mutants, etc? Panelists bring in the weapons that you're most likely to need or have available and discuss the pros and cons of each one. Whether you're expecting an actual apocalypse, you like to role play it, or you're interested in writing a post-apocalyptic tale, this could be handy info. This could allow for lots of Q and A, and if possible, time would be set aside to allow audience members to come up and see how heavy swords and things actually are.

Suggested by S.N.Arly on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 16:31:23


The Evolution of the Fan Film
Fan films were once relegated to sets made from cardboard and model paint, but the rise of accessible technology and collaborative potential of cheap global communication has redefined what it is to make and share a fan film. Panelists discuss some of the factors that have elevated fan films from the domain of dedicated hobby to that of artistic endeavor, and share some of their favorite examples of modern fan film. Also clips and trailers if AV is available.

Suggested by Rob Callahan on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 08:00:20


Happy 20th Birthday, Babylon 5!
It has now been twenty years since the original broadcast of the Babylon 5 pilot episode, "The Gathering", which began J. Michael Straczynski's audacious 5-year long novel for television, with breakthrough special effects, a stellar cast, and awesome storytelling. What lasting impacts has the show had on genre television? Has it withstood the test of time or do some aspects seem dated? Is there any chance that further stories in the B5 universe will come to our screens in the current millennium? Would you like some spoo? It's fresh.

Suggested by Ninakins on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 00:10:56


Social Media Marketing for Creatives & Geeks
Strategies and tips for successfully marketing your geeky creative endeavor or business on various social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn will be discussed. (This is a panel idea I would like to do at CONvergence, but would love to do a "dry run" of it at Marscon if there is any interest. I work in internet marketing professionally, spent about a year developing and managing Christopher Jones' social media presence, and am a subhead in the CONvergence social media department.)

Suggested by Hal on Thursday, January 03, 2013 at 12:49:18


The Pulp Revival
The Shadow, Doc Savage, G-8 and his Battle Aces, The Spider, The Avenger. These and many other classic pulp heroes have been undergoing a resurgence thanks to new reprint series, many of which contain the orginal pulp artwork and covers.

Suggested by Todd Hansen on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 07:44:54


Doc Savage at 80
This MarsCon coincides with the 80th anniversary of the publication of Doc Savage #1, The Man of Bronze. considered to be the first Superman, Doc Savage was the second longest running pulp series, and continues with renewed interest thanks to a new print run using the original pulp covers.

Suggested by Todd Hansen on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 07:42:45


Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse
This panel is about changing your perspective of the zombie apocalypse. Panelists will compare and contrast common beliefs about survival in a post-apocalyptic setting. The purpose is to help the audience understand human and zombie threats and prepare a mindset for how to survive both. The panel will include a Q&A session to discuss audience questions about the outbreak. The panel features Damian Smith, director of Operation Z.

Suggested by Legion Productions on Monday, December 03, 2012 at 14:40:20


Ask a Scientist
Writing a sci-fi story, but not clear on whether the science and technology in it is feasible, or more likely fantasy? Ask a scientist! Prof. Tom Gardner teaches chemistry at Gustavus Adolphus College, as well as a course in Science Fiction Science, and returns again this year for his open discussion of sci-fi science topics, technology, and trends.

Suggested by Prof. Tom Gardner on Monday, November 12, 2012 at 23:14:48


Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading
(annual event). Members of Broad Universe do short readings from their recent work.

Suggested by Catherine on Monday, November 12, 2012 at 13:34:59


Growing Old in SF/F
Panel discussion on depictions of aging in sf/f: the good, the bad, the ugly (Logan's Run, anyone?). Which depictions of old(er) characters have you enjoyed? Hated? What makes an older characters seem real to you? What would you like to see in new portrayals?

Suggested by Catherine on Monday, November 12, 2012 at 13:30:44


Using History in SF/F
Panel discussion on writing sf/f with historical or alternate historical settings and/or characters. Tips and tricks for writers, thoughts from readers.

Suggested by Catherine on Monday, November 12, 2012 at 13:26:32


Scientific Barrier or Engineering Problem.
Scientists who make negative pronouncements don't think like engineers, but sometimes they're right anyway. How do you tell an engineering problem from a scientific barrier?. If you want to know what the future may bring, who do you ask?

Suggested by Gerald on Monday, November 05, 2012 at 11:02:29


To Go Boldy Where One Has Gone Before
Are national (and international) space agencies playing it too safe? There are places on Mars where, occasionally, the atmospheric pressure is high enough for liquid water; has anyone sent anything there? Does fear of negative results mean robotic probes that look only for what we already know is there? How are we going to find anything new if we don't look for it?

Suggested by Gerald on Monday, November 05, 2012 at 11:02:04


The Suburban Survivalist
With solar cells, satellite comm, compost piles, high tech vegetable gardens, 3D printers, and so on, how long before an ordinary tract home can go "off grid" in ways that would make the 70's era survivalist recluse envious. How far will some people go to pull the plug? How many will do so? What difference will it make to society?

Suggested by Gerald on Monday, November 05, 2012 at 11:01:34


The Stone Pillow
Heinlein's nightmare of a theocracy taking over the U.S. keeps coming back to haunt us. If it happens, how are people going to handle it? Who stays and joins a resistance? Who join the Theocracy and gets rich? Who emigrates to Canada, Australia, or Brazil? What happens when former neighbors become deadly enemies? Where do one's greater loyalties lie; to a church, the country, the planet, or the species.

Suggested by Gerald on Monday, November 05, 2012 at 11:01:02


Are we ready for Robots? Ask Siri.
There ought to be robots, send in the robots, where are the robots? Maybe they're here. We're very close to a "tipping" point in civilization where robot slaves that respond to our orders are going to become commonplace. What will the economic and cultural implications be? Will there be efforts to outlaw them? What constitutes "a robot" anyway?

Suggested by Gerald on Monday, November 05, 2012 at 10:59:55


Clone Rights, and those of other Genetically Engineered People
Would current law allow such people to be enslaved or discriminated against? Why is there such a gap between the way much of science fiction treats such people and how they would have to be treated in reality.

Suggested by Gerald on Monday, November 05, 2012 at 10:59:30


Twilight Zone Planets
This is where one lives in a (hopefully) green band between fire and ice. Medea (Harlan's World) was one of these. Astronomers have found several candidates and a world like this might be the first one we find to have a breathable atmosphere. Would humans settle on such a world? What would life be like there?

Suggested by Gerald on Monday, November 05, 2012 at 10:59:05


Will there be Amish in the year 3012?
Not everyone is an early adopter or an adopter at all. As the technological wave front move ahead, some groups will choose to stay where they are. Does science fiction ever recognize this? Might it be true of extraterrestrials as well as human beings?

Suggested by Gerald on Monday, November 05, 2012 at 10:57:38


The Kardeshev Scale
The energy of a planet, a star, an entire galaxy? How might a civilization gain control of that much energy and what could it do with it?

Suggested by Gerald on Monday, November 05, 2012 at 10:57:11


Quetzelcoatlus and other flying monsters.
Quetzelcoatlus was the size of a hang-glider and Argentinis Magnificens wasn't much smaller. How much could they lift? What determines how big a flying critter can be on Earth? What about other worlds where gravity might be less, air density higher, or both?

Suggested by Gerald on Monday, November 05, 2012 at 10:56:42


James Bond, 50 and beyond
A look at the cinematic and literary history of the superspy and why the Bond films led the way to Star Wars and all current day blockbusters!

Suggested by Tony on Monday, October 29, 2012 at 10:03:28


Making independent films
A inside look from the view points from a Actor, Director, Writer, production designer, and more.

Suggested by Tony on Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 00:53:31


The Social Contract gaming panel
When you start a new gaming group, are the rules explicit? What do you do when you feel that the rules are being ignored? How many rules is too many rules? Why do gamers have such a hard time kicking people out of groups?

Suggested by Darin on Monday, October 22, 2012 at 20:54:39


Quills Challenge
The Quill challenges any unpublished writer and give them under and hour to come up with the original story. The writer will randomly choose, 3 different cards from 3 different piles of cards on the spot, all 3 card will be included in the story. They will have 10 minutes to write. Then they will have to stop for 5 min. They and the audience, can ask questions and research questions. Then it will be back to writing for 10 min, it will go back and forth until end, where each person writing will have to read there story out load the audience and the audience picks the winner.

Suggested by Tony on Monday, October 15, 2012 at 09:39:54


For the love of the geek
Once upon a time, a geek was "that guy" that you didn't want to be. Now being a geek is extremely popular, with mainstream shows, books and movies. How did the geek go from being "that guy" to being in vogue?

Suggested by Scott on Friday, September 07, 2012 at 22:48:49


Female Fandom in Comics
Women are becoming more involved with the comics industry, and this has brought female readers and characters to the forefront. However, we are still seeing sexism and misogyny in mainstream comics despite these facts. How do readers face these situations and what can be done to rectify these problems?

Suggested by Scott on Friday, September 07, 2012 at 22:43:27


SF & Horror: Where do you draw the line?
Where is the line drawn between SF & horror in movies and TV? Are monsters such as Frankenstein's monster and the Invisible Man SF, horror or both? What about the monster from Alien? Are zombies now SF now that "scientific" explanations are being offered for thier existence?

Suggested by Scott on Friday, September 07, 2012 at 22:30:28


Gender Limitations in SF/F
Discuss how strong female characters are usually portrayed as abandoning most, if not all, things feminine. Also, male characters who take on what are considered traditionally female roles are portrayed as being emasculated. Can a strong female character still be feminine and can a house husband be more than a punch line?

Suggested by Scott on Friday, September 07, 2012 at 22:24:23


The state of Fantasy Flight Games
Headquartered in the Twin Cities, Fantasy Flight Games is one of the most dynamic and successful of the newer generation of game companies. Come to hear what products they have released in the last year and get sneak peeks of upcoming products.

Suggested by Docrailgun on Friday, September 07, 2012 at 09:22:12


Decorating for Geeks
How to properly display Darth Vader's head in your home and other tips.

Suggested by Mary Mac on Thursday, September 06, 2012 at 19:25:26


MarsCon '99 to 2013
How has SF/fantasy fandom changed over this time?

Suggested by Mary Mac on Thursday, September 06, 2012 at 19:24:10


SF/Fantasy Music Video Hour
Cool fan-made music videos from SF/fantasy series like Xena, Buffy, Farscape, Star Trek and others.

Suggested by Christine on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 07:18:37


The Hobbit
Come talk about The Hobbit part 1 of a two-part epic fantasy-adventure film directed and produced by Peter Jackson and based on J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy novel

Suggested by Tony on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 08:22:06


Harry Potter
A talk about all things Harry Potter

Suggested by Tony on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 08:19:58


Skyfall and Bond at 50
Talk about Skyfall and the last 50 years of James Bond

Suggested by Tony on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 08:17:22


dresden files
Telling the story of Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Chicagoâ s first (and only) Wizard P.I.

Suggested by Tony on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 08:16:36


Big Bang Theory
Talk about what is going on with Big Bang Theory

Suggested by Tony on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 08:14:47


Designing better characters with HEADOLOGY
A discussion for writers about the different ways that psychologists divide and subdivide humanity. Learn about the Myers-Briggs, social types, top priority, and how to combine them to create realistic and consistent characters who are very different from you and from each other.

Suggested by Rebecca Chesin on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 18:34:31


Diversity of Character
A lot of the characters in speculative fiction have similar personalities to most fans. Are writers limiting their audience by failing to include characters that express the whole range of diverse human personalities? Who's good at doing this? What techniques do writers use to design characters unlike themselves?

Suggested by Rebecca Chesin on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 18:30:38


Nerd Male Privilege
A geek culture phenomenon

Suggested by Survey on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 00:00:57


Steam punk Badminton/croquet
Play the game

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:56:51


Magewords Books
(James D. McDonald & Debra Doyle)

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:55:47


Villainy for Fun & Profit
Discuss

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:55:07


Best SF book recommendations
Bring your recommendations and share with others

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:54:10


The Future of Fandom
Has it all been done before? The truly â newâ in popular culture

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:52:58


How to run a role playing game & deal with players going left
A GM survival guide

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:51:49


Urban fantasy
Panel discussion

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:49:48


Girl Genius
Adventure,Romance, Mad Science!

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:49:12


How to make a doomsday device
A doomsday device is a hypothetical construction â usually a weapon, or collection of weapons â which could destroy all life on the planet or the planet itself. Put on your evil thinking caps and join the discussion.

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:47:07


Zombie Lit
Discussion

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:44:28


And now for something completely different
Let's talk about that thing that isn't on the agenda, but should be there. Bring your ideas for the discussion.

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:37:53


Military Sci fi
Where humans go, wars will exist. Sci fi authors have long-envisioned futures brimming with bravery, valor and tactical foresight. Discussion will include such greats as H.G. Wells, Heinlein, Gordon Dickson, David Drake, Joe Haldeman, Poul Andersen, David Weber, Ian Douglas and Jack Campbell...to name just a few.

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:36:10


You can never go wrong with, "Why Twilight is so terrible."
See also last year's offering, "Real Vampires Don't Sparkle."

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:10:03


what's needed to make near future sci fi using 100% solid science?
How to construct a future world that is convincing and compelling.

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:07:38


Wake for Recently Deceased SciFi/Fantasy Stars
Join other fans in remembering some of the brightest stars in SF.

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:04:54


SETI
The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. Let's discuss SETI--its goals and achievements--as well as how individuals can get involved.

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 23:02:09


Peak Oil
What is the future of energy resources?

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 22:57:23


Joss Whedon Series
Discuss Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, etc...

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 22:56:01


Star Trek Starts Over
Differences between spinoffs and Redux

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 22:52:13


DC Reboots
Begin again

Suggested by Survey on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 22:50:12



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If nobody suggests it, it won’t happen. Thank you for your support!

MarsCon 2013
March 1-3, 2013

Crowne Plaza Hotel and Suites

3 Appletree Square
Bloomington, MN 55425

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