MarsCon - Forces of Darkness

Program Ideas Page

We are taking suggestions for both virtual and in-person events. Please submit your ideas below.

MarsCon programming is driven by our attendees. Please share in the fun by posting your ideas for programming here—talks you’d like to hear or give, presenters/performers you would recommend, subjects or activities of interest to you and other fans…

This plan has served us well for a few years now, so... 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.

By getting beginning programming suggestions online fairly early we’re hoping to stir your creative juices and generate even more great programming suggestions.

Latest trends in YA/MG
Despite publication delays, new YA and Middle Grade books did appear in 2020. What are some of the latest trends observed?

Suggested by Kathryn Sullivan on Friday, January 15, 2021 at 15:57:18

Minnesota Mufon - UFOs in Minnesota
Stories of actual Minnesota sightings throughout the years. Videos of presentations exist.

Suggested by Kathy Blixrud on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 11:42:22

the history of Horror Games
From Haunted House on the original Atari, to Resident Evil on the Playstation, or the more recent Alien Isolation. Horror Games have a long and diverse history in gaming. From the good, the bad, to the sleeper hits let's talk about horror games.

Suggested by Avery Kirchner on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 15:24:47

Do you like Dark Fantasy or Edgy Scifi
What are you favorite dark, horror, or edgy scifi and fantasy books, movies, comics, and games. Also what are your least favorite. What makes a good Dark Fiction vs a bad Dark Fiction.

Suggested by Avery Kirchner on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 15:19:57

Western TV Animation that get's serious
A lot of Western TV animation is used for comedy and sitcoms, but occasionally you get a show that uses the medium to tell a more serious story. Like Avatar The Last Airbenders, Gargoyles, Batman The Animated Series. Let's discuss some of our favorite western animated shows that have a more serious story.

Suggested by Avery Kirchner on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 15:13:16

Next Gen Film Graphics and 3D Game Design
Modelers, Animators, Game Designers and Filmmakers welcome. Is there any upcoming features for autodesk/unity/unreal engine 5 you are excited for, what shortcoming do you hope get fixed in the next gen of software, curious about 3D graphics technology, any hopes for the future of 3D animation and game design, or just enjoy 3D games or animation. If any of this applies to you please join us for a open discussion.

Suggested by Avery Kirchner on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 15:08:06

The Great Game Development Discussion
Do you like tabletop games, enjoy playing video games, make games or curious about making games. Join us in a open discussion about game design and theory.

Suggested by Avery Kirchner on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 15:00:41

Upcoming Video Games
Some trailers for upcoming video games.

Suggested by Avery Kirchner on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 14:56:49

Toyline with great plots
From the adventures of GI Joe, to the battles of Transfromers, the fantasy worldbuilding of Megablox's dragons, or the cheesy edginess of yugioh, and of course the more recent Ninjago. Let's talk about ours and your favorite toylines plots and lore.

Suggested by Avery Kirchner on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 14:52:49

Let's make a bad reboot
Join us in a interactive experience where we try to come up with a hilariously bad reboot of Back to The Future

Suggested by Avery Kirchner on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 14:48:49

Bionicle: Race to Save a Dying God
How a lego theme used its unique setting of the insides of a giant robot to bring about a extremely deep story that touched a generation of kids.the

Suggested by Avery Kirchner on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 11:44:48

Pre-complain about the next Star Wars movie
I have a very bad feeling about this

Suggested by A. Nonymous on Monday, November 30, 2020 at 20:34:49

â Building Up A Webcomic
Do you have a burning desire to tell your story in comics format to share with The Universe? Not sure how to give that massive saga in your head the jumpstart it needs? Artist Guest of Honor, Jon Sloan will share his suggestions on drawing and writing your own webcomic, as well as what tools and venues to explore.

Suggested by Jon Sloan (Artist GoH) on Tuesday, October 06, 2020 at 05:47:30

Video Gaming Evolution
Relive past glory as we discuss video games throughout history. Visual aids will be on hand.

Suggested by Cool beans on Wednesday, September 02, 2020 at 19:37:37

How to start a Podcast hosted by Streaming Thoughts
Have you ever considered starting a podcast? Where to begin? Where to host? Is it as simple as talking into your phone's voice memo recorder for an hour? Let Streaming Thoughts answer your questions as we stream our thoughts on all things nerdy about podcasts.

Suggested by Streaming Thoughts on Wednesday, August 05, 2020 at 21:33:21

Con Newbie Orientation & What Draws You to Fandom?
Panelists and participants alike are encouraged to share your earliest sci-fi, fantasy, ... memory that started you on your journey. Discuss what brought you to con and what you are hoping to do at con. Panelists will also provide newbies with options and tips for how to get the most out of your con experience.

Suggested by CL on Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 10:59:24

Dream Cosplay
It's time to put together your dream cosplay! Pretend that money is not an issue. Who are you now? Chat with fellow cosplayers, gather ideas, and take a few steps toward making that cosplay dream a reality.

Suggested by CL on Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 10:49:04

Lockdown Fantasies/If I Were Immune...
Think along the lines of â If I Won the Lottery...â Say it was confirmed you were somehow immune from COVID-19, and you had carte blanche to do whatever you wanted to do. What would you do, or what would you have done differently. Fantasies aside, what activities did you miss most during lockdown?

Suggested by CL on Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 10:43:34

Fandom Fashions Panel
Which series excelled in wardrobe? Looking for source material, ideas and suggestions for what to watch to inspire the next/greatest cosplay.

Suggested by CL on Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 10:29:29

Best sci fi written in the last twenty years
Bring your best recommendations. Weâ re taking notes.

Suggested by CL on Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 10:24:31

Virtual Con Review Time
What virtual cons and experiences helped you maintain sanity during COVID-19 days? What worked or didnâ t work? What did you miss or, surprisingly, not miss about in person cons? Whatâ s your favorite takeaway?

Suggested by CL on Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 10:21:02

Casting/Re-casting the Classics
Have a favorite book or comic series that seems ideal for a film adaptation? What current talent would you cast in the main roles? For existing cult classics, are there any actors who can measure up to the originals for a potential reboot? Youâ re in the directorâ s chair now. Who would you cast? What would they do to enhance the characters you adore?

Suggested by CL on Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 10:13:40

Epic Fails & Runaway Hits!
Episode I aside, what series/films did you most eagerly anticipate which fell far short of the mark, leading to utter disappointment? Likewise, when you were at your most skeptical, where did you find some unexpected gems? Letâ s chat about the hits and misses.

Suggested by CL on Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 10:04:15

Letâ s Dish on Cons!
What are the silliest, craziest, best memories from hanging with your friends at a con? Open discussion, so please bring a couple happy or slightly cringe-y stories to share!

Suggested by CL on Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 09:47:41

Rediscovering Science Fiction/Fantasy During Lockdown
As events and outings were cancelled, and we spent more than the usual amount of time indoors, what â comfortâ fiction did you rely or rediscover as a pleasant escape or occasional respite from darker days?

Suggested by CL on Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 09:37:51

Plagues & Pandemics in Fiction
The forces of darkness were hard at work disrupting 2020 with a real-life pandemic. Plagues and pandemics have long been the subjects of speculative fiction. George Orrâ s disastrous dream which caused a plague and wiped out billions in Ursula Le Guinâ s â The Lathe of Heavenâ comes to mind. How does present-day reality compare to the stories many of us grew up on?

Suggested by CL on Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 09:25:43

Hexbug BattleBots Tournament
Fighting Hexbug BattleBots for really lame prizes!

Suggested by The Other M on Saturday, June 06, 2020 at 16:41:12

Star Trek Universe
A talk about the Emerald anniversary (55 years) of Star Trek, We will cover all 9 shows, the 13 movies, and the many shows in development, There will be spoilers, plus mix in some good memorizes from Star Treks past. With: Tony Artym, Joan Marie Verba

Suggested by Tony Artym on Friday, June 05, 2020 at 10:53:26

The Dresden Files
Celebrating the Platinum anniversary (20 years) of The Dresden Files Series, telling the story of Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Chicagoâ s first (and only) Wizard P.I. The series is slated to run 23-24 books: 20-21 â case booksâ like weâ ve seen so far, capped by a Big Apocalyptic Trilogy, because who doesnâ t love apocalyptic trilogies? The 3 Microfiction, Book 16, Peace Talks, and Book 17, Battle Ground, will be spoiled along with all the rest of the books. With: Tony Artym, Crystal Therese, Tim Strong

Suggested by Tony Artym on Friday, June 05, 2020 at 10:52:05

Sharknado - Fabulously Awful!!!
Sharknado Series - the Good the Bad and the Really Bad!!! Why did we watch? Why doesn't everyone?

Suggested by The Other M on Thursday, June 04, 2020 at 20:14:26

How to make a successful Web series - Now U Know
Sam Hedden and her producer Andy Watson sit down and talk about the challenges and positives of starting a web series ground up. They share some of their favorite guests and occurrences. And advice for anyone looking to start their own web series.

Suggested by Sam Hedden on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 16:28:40

Women in Filmmaking
A panel of women in the filmmaking industry. They talk about positives, negatives, obstacles over come in this industry. The importance of women as filmmakers, actresses, and more.

Suggested by Sam Hedden on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 16:25:27

This is the place to offer your program idea.

(Real or Fanish) name:

Event title:


Anything (except HTML) entered above this line will be sent to our programming department and might appear on this web page in a while. If you are a Nigerian prince offering herbal supplements designed to Make Money Fast your ideas will be recycled as compost. Anything entered below this line will not be published but will be sent to our programming department.

Your contact information:
Email: and/or
Best way or time to reach you:

Is your idea for MarsCon 2021 (virtual) or MarsCon 2022 (in person)?

Are you willing to Make This Happen?
If you are, what is the maximum number of events at MarsCon you could help run?
In an ideal world, what time or day during MarsCon would this event happen?
What time(s) or day(s) during MarsCon would not work for you running this event?

Set up information:
Don’t assume all program rooms come equiped with a projector and screen: If your presentation will need video goodies tell us now. We are learning it works best if presenters bring their own computers—that way they can be pretty sure their presentations will work... We can probably come up with adaptors for whatever type of video output is on your computer if you tell us in advance. If you are unsure what you have, here is a picture of many types of display outputs. If your presentation will have sound we will need to know that as well—if your sound output is not a 3.5mm plug what is it? The most important thing is to let us know in advance.


If nobody suggests an event, it won’t happen. Thank you for your suggestions.

The Forces of Darkness shall safely assemble in front of screens on March 12th - 14th, 2021

MarsCon is a fan-run science fiction convention for all ages held every March in the Twin Cities area. At MarsCon you’ll find panel discussions, parties, guest of honor presentations, music of many kinds, our art show, film/anime room, science room, dealers room, charity auction, and masquerade. Our comedy music track is virtually a con in itself, and attracts a nation-wide audience.

MarsCon 2021

“Forces of Darkness”
March 12 - 14, 2021
Virtual only

MarsCon 2022
“The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be”
will return to
Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Mall of America
3800 American Blvd E
Bloomington, Minnesota
March 11 - 13, 2022

Send questions about MarsCon to, we’ll do our best to send answers!

More about MarsCon may be found at...
  • Twitter:
  • FaceBook:
  • Dementia:

If you are searching for the Marscon in Williamsburg, VA click here.

© 2020 and/or 2021, FenSF