MarsCon - Forces of Darkness


Most recent update: March 13, 2021 10:12

All MarsCon 2021 events are free.

All times listed are U.S. Central Time - CST Friday and Saturday and CDT Sunday. Don’t forget to adjust your sundial, etc.

If you have trouble finding an event please check the Discord HALLWAY #announcements channel - there may be updated/changed YouTube links.

Much of the programming at MarsCon 2021 will take place on one of two YouTube channels. If you subscribe to these channels you can subscribe to upcoming MarsCon events. The channels are:
MarsCon Mainstage -
MarsCon Panels -

If you prefer, we have easy-to-remember shortcuts to these two channels, and - enjoy.
Some events may require advance signups to get login information. Come back for updates.

gray alien image
by Jon Sloan - used by permission

As always, everything here is subject to change.

Time Event Track Description Presenters
05:30pm - FridayCrafting: Galaxy JarsBonus TracksTo join in, you’ll need:
1. Mason jar – any size will do
2. Glow in the Dark paint in blue, green, red, orange, and yellow
3. Brushes for the paint
4. Faerie lights, if you’d like
The Craftonauts: Brittany Vaillancourt, Jen Steffen
06:00pm - FridayView on the Future of Humanity as we Countdown to the MoonBonus TracksDecember 17, 2019, Nathan Price started a project of interviewing a person a day to find out what people think about our return to the moon. In interviews from less than a minute to more than 3 hours, Nathan has captured a wide set of perspectives on the future of humanity using the context of our return to the moon.

All the interviews are published (mostly unedited) to

In this presentation, he will share his experience of how to talk to your fellow citizen and share some of the more interesting highlights from his conversations. It will confirm and challenge some of your hopes and fears.

At the end of the presentation, you will have a broader sense on what people think about the future of humanity, what it takes to do something every single day without fail, how to get over fear of talking to others, and you will become more aware of how others might interpret you.


Did you know that NASA is sending people to the moon in 2024? Most people don't.

What do you think about it? Largely people are supportive. But some people have doubts. What about opportunity costs? What about messing up the moon? Don't we have enough problems here? The government wastes so much money, glad to see they are doing something inspiring.

Would you go if it were safe and affordable? You would be amazed who would and wouldn't go.
Nathan Price
07:00pm - FridayOpening CeremoniesMainstage ChannelThank you for joining us for the 23rd annual MarsCon Sci Fi/Fantasy/Gaming Convention—the first and only ever virtual rendition! We will open MarsCon by welcoming and introducing our wonderful Guests of Honor and sharing important stuff that will help you get the most out of MarsCon 2021!
Con Volunteers
07:00pm - FridayElder Scrolls Online: OblivionBonus TracksTaking a look at the newest Elder Scrolls Online Chapter, Oblivion. And talking about the game in general.
07:30pm - FridayMy Years Working At Paramount StudiosMainstage ChannelDebbie will be sharing her memories from behind the scenes of Star Trek.
Debbie David, MarsCon '99 Guest of Honor
08:00pm - FridayIKV RakeHell Off DutyBonus TracksWanna come and play? Join us in orbit around an undisclosed planet.

On Discord: IKV RakeHell Party Channel under PARTY FLOOR
IKV RakeHell
08:30pm - FridayApocalypse CraftingPanel ChannelDuring the pandemic, we all took up hobbies that are related to being housebound / on Zoom a lot which we'd like to talk about.
Naomi Kritzer, mod.; S.N.Arly, Lyda Morehouse, Isabel Schechter, Haddayr Copley Woods
09:00pm - FridayBeth Kinderman concertMainstage ChannelBeth Kinderman mainly performs serious folk music, but her recent album Return of the Son of More Songs About Robots & Death is a full-on comedy album, so Beth (and maybe some of her band, the Player Characters) is going to give us all a big slice of the funny! Another important thing of note is that Beth Kinderman and her friends from the Feng Shui Ninjas also host the annual “Space Oddity Brew Club & Pub” Room Party on the 11th floor, which Beth is hosting this year as a Virtual Room Party!
Beth Kinderman
09:00pm - FridayReading by T. Aaron CiscoBonus Tracks“Captain Michaela” from Rod String Nail Cloth
T. Aaron Cisco
09:15PM - FridayReading by Lyda Morehouse (Tate Hallaway)Bonus TracksLyda Morehouse aka Tate Hallaway reads from Unjust Cause (Wizard Tower Press)
Lyda Morehouse
09:45PM - FridayAmy Engelhardt concertMainstage ChannelOur other first-timer at MarsCon this year is Amy Engelhardt, who has a comedy song with Harry Shearer on it which makes me so jealous I can’t even. Amy spent a lot of time in rental cars from 1998-2011 as the sole female voice/writer/arranger for eclectic, Grammy®-nominated vocal “band without instruments,” The Bobs. She recorded 4 CDs and toured extensively with the band, from Lincoln Center’s American Songbook to Northwest Folklife to the Pori (Finland) Jazz Festival. As Mother Superior of the Chattering Order of St. Beryl, Amy recently led a choir of rocking Satanic nuns rhapsodizing about Armageddon through Hollywood, Austin, New York and London in the promo campaign for Amazon Prime’s Good Omens series. After invading all red carpet events, Q&As with Neil Gaiman and flashmobbing in every city, Amy produced the nuns’ EP Unholy Night for Amazon Music.
Amy Englehardt
10:00pm - FridayPower for the Lunar ShadowPanel ChannelNight on the Moon lasts two weeks. It would seem a shame to shut everything down until the sun rises again, but clearly direct solar power isn't an option. What are some of the ideas for keeping lunar operations going at night?
G. David Nordley
10:00pm - FridayNow U KNOW: Women in FilmBonus TracksNow U Know Talks to three panelists about Women in Film. We cover favorite roles, what they do in the industry, advice to future females in the film world, and some harder topics as well.
Host: Sam Hedden; Producer: Andy Watson; Guests: Gwenn Ruhoff, Jessica Mraz, Lori Roovers
10:30pm - FridayDevo Spice concertMainstage ChannelDevo Spice (a former MarsCon Music Guest Of Honor) is a nerdcore and comedy rapper from New Jersey who calls himself “the red-headed stepson of Weird Al Yankovic and Eminem” and is one of the most popular artists on The Dr. Demento Show, having had the #1 most requested song of the year three times, and is also a two-time Logan Award winner for Outstanding Original Song and Outstanding Parody Song. He is the webmaster of the comedy music collective website “The Funny Music Project”, aka The FuMP .com. Of his many albums, one of note would be his Doctor Who concept album I Am The Doctor, which has has 11 tracks about each of the first 11 Doctors (there’s a new Capaldi song on his latest album, Whittaker song coming in the future, fam).
Devo Spice
11:00pm - FridayMusical Performances by SynthonieBonus TracksPerforming “Death Stranding” & “Electric Sheep”

We are SYNTHONIE (pronounced Sintony), a SciFi and gaming related band from Germany. We play on special self-made instruments and have an artificial intelligence that sings for us, called Syndarella. We want to perform at all SciFi and gaming related conventions around the world. So we hope to perform at your convention next year! You can get our album on our homepage, and find out where we do Lets Plays together (Twitch), and other social media platforms like Instagram, Discord and more.

Galactic greetings
Christian le Fou - Captain of SYNTHONIE
11:15PM - FridayWorm Quartet concertMainstage ChannelShoEboX is the sole member of comedy music act known as Worm Quartet (a former MarsCon Music Guest Of Honor) which is a Rochester, NY-based band that forcibly staples punk and electronica together and throws them into a blender with hysterically twisted lyrics. They have been featured repeatedly on The Dr. Demento Show, with many Funny Five / Top Ten appearances, and had the most requested song of the year in both 2004 (“Great Idea For A Song”) and 2005 (“Inner Voice” with Sudden Death.) By day he poses as a mild-mannered software engineer. His latest album is titled simply The Pac-Man EP, on which pays tribute to everyone’s favorite goldenrod semi-circle on the game’s 40th Anniversary as best as anyone who shares a VH-1 TV episode credit with Fred Willard.
Worm Quartet
10:00am - SaturdayForces of Darkness in WesternsMainstage ChannelFilm and literary Westerns almost always center around a struggle between the forces of good and the forces of darkness. We’ll look at how the forces of Western darkness change as they reflect changing times. This panel is sponsored by Con-Sarnit 13, a Western convention to be held this summer or fall at the Best Western Plus Hotel—Como Park, by Bandana Square, St Paul, in honor of Con-Sarnit co-founder David Christenson, 1958-2021.
Eric M. Heideman, host
10:00am - SaturdayWriters and Their PetsPanel ChannelYou see mentions sometimes in the author bios, some variation of “lives with a cat”, “lives with two dogs” or “lives with a turtle, a parakeet and two cats who ignore them all”. Now with Zoom you have the chance to meet some of them and discuss their impact (or lack of) on their writing. Audience members are encouraged to have their pets on screen as well!
Kathryn Sullivan, mod.; S.N.Arly, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller, with possible cameos by Trooper, Belle, or Sprite
10:00am - SaturdayOpen GamingBonus Tracks10:00-2:00pm CST
Twin Cities Game Fest
11:00am - SaturdayPMRP Presents: "Doctor Who: The Starship of Madness"Bonus TracksThe Roaring Twenties have just begun! Flappers! Gin joints! Deep Ones? A newly-regenerated Doctor joins forces with a struggling, nightmare-plagued writer by the name of Lovecraft to investigate attacks in Boston by monstrous creatures. Who is this eccentric Professor Whiteman who appears to be behind it all? What is the secret of the Professor's amazing chair that can seemingly cure the insane? What truly goes on inside the Miskatonic Gentlemen's Club? What will happen to the world, and every living being on it, when C'thulhu rises?

Founded in 2005 and based in the Boston area, The Post-Meridian Radio Players are a group of actors, writers, Foley FX artists, composers, sound designers and other interested people dedicated to the preservation of radio drama, and the development of audio theater, as unique art forms. They offer live performances and studio productions of both classic tales from the Golden Age of Radio and original works by new and experienced writers, with a special emphasis on science-fiction, fantasy, and horror. For more info on the PMRP, please visit
Michael McAfee, PMRP
11:15AM - SaturdayAssistive Technology in Science FictionMainstage ChannelWhat’s the latest and upcoming technology to expand human senses and abilities? It’s too easy to bring the technology of the past to stories of the future, so attend this discussion about what we can do now to assist those with disabilities, where we’re going with this in the future, and what the implications are for those without disabilities.
Tyler Tork, mod.; S.N.Arly, Kaden E Colton
11:30am - SaturdayShip ProtectorsPanel ChannelAndre Norton, Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey all had ship's cats to protect their trading vessels against vermin that crept in to damage ships and the goods they carried. What other protectors have various authors used to defend physical and mental health of ships and crews?
Kathryn Sullivan, mod.; Sharon Lee
12:15PM - SaturdayBlue Lotus BellydanceBonus TracksThe Blue Lotus Middle Eastern Dancers dance company was established in 2004. They are a troupe of professional and semi-professional dancers based in Minneapolis and Rochester, MN. They perform together in community events, professional performances, and their own original stage productions. Tune in to enjoy a sampler of performances from their past shows, including theatrical dances with veils, wings, fans, and other surprises! To learn more, find them on Instagram @bluelotusbellydancers and on Facebook at "The Blue Lotus Middle Eastern Dancers."
Blue Lotus Middle Eastern Dancers
12:30pm - SaturdayRoving on MarsMainstage ChannelRovers come in all shapes and sizes and are extremely valuable in our investigations of Mars. Come listen to a member of several rover operations teams tell about the missions and her experiences exploring the Red Planet.
Bridget Landry
01:00pm - SaturdayDistant Calling Pictures Film ShowcasePanel ChannelJoin local filmmaker Nathan Block and his Distant Calling Pictures filmmaking team for a look at some of their Minnesota made short films. Distant Calling Pictures is a multi-award winning film team with over 50 short films made in 12 years. Their films have appeared in festivals all over the world. Q&A to follow each film.
Nathan Block, host
01:00pm - SaturdayZumbaBonus Tracks(Via Zoom; Registration link below)

Wear a costume you can move in if you like. Zumba is for all bodies, all levels set to Latin and world rhythms. This event will also include some Halloween geek themed music like Monster Mash and Time Warp. The number one goal is to have fun!
Rachel Beise
01:30pm - SaturdayReading by S.N.ArlyBonus TracksS.N.Arly reads from ‘Something Familiar’
02:00pm - SaturdayJon “Bermuda” Schwartz Q & AMainstage ChannelJoin us for a virtual Q&A: Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz—Drummer of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s band for over 40 years and the author of the new book Black & White & Weird All Over: The Lost Photographs of “Weird Al” Yankovic ’83-’86.

For much of Weird Al’s career, one man has been by his side, photographing and documenting the fun and weirdness: longtime drummer Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz. Since meeting Al on September 14th, 1980, the fateful day they recorded Al’s first international hit parody song “Another One Rides The Bus” live on the air on The Dr. Demento Show, Jon has taken more than 20,000 images of Al in his element: on tour, in the studio, and on video sets. We’ll be asking him about his book, what things were like on the last couple of tours, and where you can get the best chili in Burbank.

The Q & A will be hosted by two “Close Personal Friends Of Jon”, The Dr. Demento Show’s Most Requested Comedy Music Act of the 21st Century, the great Luke Ski, and his bestie partner in “Weird Al” fanaticism since 1998 and fellow MarsCon attendee since 2003, Stephanie Wild!

If you would like to SUBMIT A QUESTION FOR JON, you can do so by clicking the link below and filling out our question form:
Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz hosted by Luke Ski & Stephanie Wild
02:00pm - SaturdayMagic the Gathering ArenaBonus TracksHow to get started
Matt McMillan, Twin Cities Game Fest
02:00pm - SaturdayCrafting: Sand JarsBonus TracksTo craft along, you will need:
1. Jar – tall and thin, or any shape you would like, with a top
2. Sand – 3 – 6 bags of various colors, depending on the size of your jar
3. Funnel – to minimize the mess
4. Hot glue gun/glue – if you need to glue seal your sand
The Craftonauts: Brittany Vaillancourt, Jen Steffen
02:30pm - SaturdayStar Trek UniversePanel ChannelA talk about the Emerald anniversary (55 years) of Star Trek. We will cover all the shows and movies. Discovery, Short Treks, Picard, Lower Decks, Prodigy--the last few years have given us a ton of new Trek! There will be spoilers, plus mix in some good memories from Star Treks past. Join a panel of Trekkies as they discuss, debate, and compare all things Trek!
Tony Artym, mod.; Joan Marie Verba, Walter Hunt, T. Aaron Cisco, Isabel Schechter
03:00pm - Saturdaythe great Luke Ski concertMainstage ChannelAt Dragon*Con 2004, Dr. Demento declared “the great Luke Ski” (a former MarsCon Music Guest Of Honor) to be his radio program’s “Most Requested Artist of the 21st Century”. Since then, Luke held onto that title by having his nerdy comedy tracks on The Dr. Demento Show’s annual year-end “Funny 25” countdown of his most requested songs of the year for 18 years in a row, with a whopping FIVE of them reaching the #1 spot, including his 2018 hit “Candybars”, which earned him his 3rd Logan Award for Outstanding Parody Song. Luke has been the Chair of the MarsCon Comedy Music Track since its inception, now in its 18th year. Luke Ski is currently looking for his next full-time job in the animation industry in the Burbank / L.A. area, paying the bills by being a cannabis product delivery boy, and trying to make more new comedy songs when he has the time and money to do so.
Luke Ski
03:00pm - SaturdayOpen GamingBonus Tracks3:00-10:00pm
Twin Cities Game Fest
03:00pm - SaturdayReading by Sharon Lee & Steve MillerBonus TracksSharon and Steve read from “Trader’s Leap,” the 23rd book in the Liaden Universe
Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
03:30pm - SaturdayCreating the...Sith WitchBonus TracksCostume Makeup Demo. As a nod to MarsCon 2021: Forces of Darkness, Bill creates a truly dark Sith Witch. For more background, check out:
Bill Hedrick
03:45PM - SaturdayIl Neige concertMainstage ChannelReturning for his second year is Garett Snook, a.k.a. “Il Neige” (it’s French). He is an L.A. based songwriter who’s love of the electric guitar is matched only by his passion for Simpsons quotes. He began producing comedy music in 2014 with “Sub Zero,” widely regarded as the moment “Let It Go” parodies stopped being funny, and has since gone on to spoof Bastille, the Beatles, and more. His originals walk the line between silly and sincere, covering topics ranging from Nintendo, to the meme-ification of Christmas, to… okay, so it’s mostly Nintendo. His most recent project is “Rock that Pokemon,” a YouTube series that attempts to immortalize all 800+ of the little buggers through song. Citing influence from Green Day, Weezer, and whichever Ska band is playing in Anaheim tonight, Neige believes there’s always room for a little more Geek in your Rock. He also made one of Dr. Demento’s highest charting hits of 2019, a song about Nintendo’s fighting game “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” titled “Everyone’s Here!” And check out his parody music video of a song by the Killers about Kylo Ren, “Mr. Darkside”!
Il Neige
04:00pm - SaturdayThe Dresden FilesPanel ChannelCelebrating the Platinum anniversary (20 years) of The Dresden Files Series, telling the story of Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Chicago’s first (and only) Wizard P.I. The series is slated to run 23-24 books: 20-21 case books like we’ve seen so far, capped by a Big Apocalyptic Trilogy, because who doesn’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.
Tony Artym, mod.; Elizabeth Erickson, Crystal Therese, Tim Strong
04:15PM - SaturdayTV’s Kyle & Lindzilla concertMainstage ChannelKyle A. Carrozza, aka “TV’s Kyle” created an awesome hilarious animated program for Cartoon Network, Mighty MagiSwords, as well as being one of the voice actors on it voicing MANY characters, including the lead male Prohyas. His dinosaur-lifemate “Lindzilla” also worked on the show as a character designer and voice actor. But before any of that happened, Kyle spent decades coming up with crazy catchy tunes, and quite often, Lindsay would join him on the tracks. Once he found “The FuMP .com”, he started sharing his earworms with all of us. In 2011, after he attended MarsCon for the first time, he vowed never to miss one ever, and with Lindsay joining him hasn’t missed one since, making this his 11th consecutive MarsCon performance, a streak second only to Luke Ski (who also worked as a storyboarder and voice actor on Mighty MagiSwords, which by the way is available to watch in its entirety on Hulu and HBOmax! That’s 88 episodes, just waiting to be binge watched! What are you waiting for?) He also co-hosts the fortnightly animation podcast “Kyle & Luke Talk About Toons” with Luke Ski and is one half of the duo Scooter Picnic with Insane Ian, which he describes as “bloopcore quirkhop” as if those words have meaning. Silly cartoon man.
TV’s Kyle & Lindzilla
04:45PM - SaturdayCrafting: Dark FaeriesBonus TracksTo join in, you’ll need:
1. Wooden Clothes pegs – any size, but not the clips with springs
2. Hot glue gun and glue
3. Sharpies – if you want to color the peg or give it a face
4. Items to put on the peg to make a faerie. These items will be cut and glued. Many of these things can be got at the Dollar Tree.
5. Silk flowers
6. Yarn
7. Ribbon
8. Felt
9. Feathers
10. Anything you want to use
11. Fishing twine – since these faeries don’t stand well, you can put twine or thread around them to hang them up
The Craftonauts: Brittany Vaillancourt, Jen Steffen
05:00pm - SaturdayRobbie Ellis concertMainstage ChannelRobbie Ellis is primarily a piano comedian, and has done feature-length musical comedy sets at venues around Chicago, including FuMPFest 2019, as well as around the US and his native New Zealand. His debut album Pumpkins has earned him multiple dollars of sales on Bandcamp and royalties on Spotify.

He’s a regular musical guest at The Paper Machete at The Green Mill, on the faculty at the Second City Training Center, and is a music director for improv, sketch, and musical theatre. He’s a composer for orchestras, choirs, chamber ensembles etc, and headlined an orchestral comedy concert called The Mid-30s Guide to the Orchestra with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago. His day job is presenting and producing classical music radio on WFMT Chicago.

His latest release “Breathe”, song written immediately after Joe Biden was projected to be the winner of the 2020 US Presidential Election, is available to listen to and download at the Funny Music Project.

Learn more about Robbie or buy his music at &
Music Guest of Honor Robbie Ellis
05:00pm - SaturdaySF Writing Groups: The 2021 SceneBonus Tracks(Krushenko’s Talk channel, under PROGRAMMING & EVENTS)
Since 1986 the Minnesota Imaginative Writers’ Alliance (MIFWA) has held an annual meeting at a local SF convention—first Minicon, then CONvergence, now MarsCon—at which representatives of science fiction/fantasy writing groups talk about how their groups got started
and how they function; after which the group representatives go into a huddle with writers who are looking for an SF writing group.
Eric M. Heideman
06:00pm - SaturdayMarsCon Costume PresentationsBonus Tracks(In Costume Presentations channels, under PROGRAMMING & EVENTS on Discord)

This year the Costume presentation will be online through Discord. As a costume presentation rather than a contest we are opening it to all costumes past and present pictures, videos, and actual costumes as well as representations are welcome! For further details:
George Richard, Costume Presentation Director
06:00pm - SaturdayCrafting: Story StonesBonus TracksTo join in, you’ll need:
1. Various stones or wood discs – flat stones work better that rounded
2. Mod Podge
3. A brush for the mod podge
4. Icon sheet from Tried and True blog found here: Scroll to the end of the blog and click on the image of the page, you can then print it.
5. If you’d rather, and have time for, search and print small ( 1/4” to 3/4”) icons of your choice
6. A bag or jar to store your stones in
The Craftonauts: Brittany Vaillancourt, Jen Steffen
06:30pm - SaturdayDistant Calling PicturesMainstage ChannelEverything You Wanted to Know About Making a Short Film But Were Afraid to Ask

Local filmmaker Nathan Block, founder of Distant Calling Pictures production company, will lead this panel that will give you information on how you, yes you, can make your very own short film. Everything from budgets to casting, shooting and post-production will be covered.
Nathan Block, mod.
06:30pm - SaturdayReading by Tyler TorkBonus TracksTyler reads from “The Deep End”
Tyler Tork
07:00pm - SaturdayBroadUniverse Rapid Fire ReadingPanel ChannelCome hear the members of BroadUniverse Literary Coalition read from their latest works and get a sampler of stories across the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres.
Terri Bruce, mod.
07:00pm - SaturdayLEGO Chit ChatBonus TracksChatting about all things LEGO. New, current, and past sets. Minifigs through the years. Building techniques. Home goods merchandise. AFOL, LUG, and MOC. Where to find more pieces. Discussion and Q & A.
08:00pm - SaturdayThe Space Program in the Biden Era, Year OneMainstage ChannelFor years a band of scientists and science fans have been paneling at local cons about the course of space exploration and astronomy during the Obama and Trump administrations. This year we look at developments in the final year of Trump, including the Space Force, and the beginning of the Biden administration.
Eric M. Heideman, mod.; Ben Huset, Bridget Landry, G. David Nordley
08:00pm - SaturdayVirtual Space Oddity Music Club & Brew PubBonus Tracks(Via Zoom & Discord)
Begins 8pm - runs until ??

Space Oddity Music Club & Brew Pub has been serving craft beer, cocktails, tasty snacks, and music circles to MarsCon members since 2009. We can't bring you all of those things this year, but we can still have fun! Join our Discord voice and text chat channels anytime to hang out with other geeks, and bring your voices and instruments to our Zoom music circle on Saturday night of the con (listeners also welcome!). BYO sausage, cheese, cookies, beer keg, blog, and Purple Rain.
hosted by Beth Kinderman
08:00pm - SaturdayReading by Naomi KritzerBonus TracksNaomi reads from “Chaos on CatNet”
Naomi Kritzer
08:30pm - SaturdayArt of the PandemicPanel ChannelWhat has isolation or being essential done to your inspiration? Did you fall into your art as a distraction from the woes of EVERYTHING in 2020? Did you change your preferred medium - we hope it didn’t inhibit you, but it's okay if it did. You’re not alone either! Come talk to us about it.
Jon Sloan, Artist Guest of Honor
Nora Leverson, Art Show co-chair
08:45PM - SaturdayReading by MaryJanice DavidsonBonus TracksMaryJanice reads from her time-travel historical fiction "A Contemporary Asshat at the Court of Henry VIII."

MaryJanice Davidson is the New York Times best-selling author of the UNDEAD series and the FosterWere trilogy. Her first time travel novel, A CONTEMPORARY ASSHAT AT THE COURT OF HENRY VIII, is available in paperback, audio, and on Kindle. Members of Amazon's Kindle Unlimited can read it for free!

Twitter: @MaryJaniceD
MaryJanice Davidson
09:00pm - SaturdayCOSTplayMainstage ChannelHow to make/find/modify costumes, accessories, and props without breaking the bank. Cosplay is for everybody and every BODY, and also, for every budget!
T. Aaron Cisco, mod.; Bridget Landry, Diana Tonn, Karina Lozano
09:00pm - SaturdayChiCon Party beginsBonus Tracks(Via Discord, in PARTY FLOOR)

Come join Chicon 8 on Sat. night to find out how you can take off to the stars at the 80th World Con Labor Day weekend 2022 in Chicago. We will be open from 9 pm to answer questions or if you just want to hang out. Looking forward to seeing you there.
09:00pm - SaturdayReading by Kathryn SullivanBonus TracksKathy reads from "Fledgling" (CORVID-19: A RavenCon Anthology), then from "Doctor Who- Short Trips: Repercussions."
Kathryn Sullivan
09:45PM - SaturdayMusical Performance by SynthonieBonus TracksPerforming “Impulsium” & “The Inner Battle”

We are SYNTHONIE (pronounced Sintony), a SciFi and gaming related band from Germany. We play on special self-made instruments and have an artificial intelligence that sings for us, called Syndarella. We want to perform at all SciFi and gaming related conventions around the world. So we hope to perform at your convention next year! You can get our album on our homepage, and find out where we do Lets Plays together (Twitch), and other social media platforms like Instagram, Discord and more.

Galactic greetings
Christian le Fou - Captain of SYNTHONIE
10:00pm - SaturdayStar Wars Is Cool AgainMainstage ChannelThis is the way.
Brian LaBounty, Kevin Berg, Nathan Block
10:00pm - SaturdayWriting Craft: World Building - Hard vs SoftPanel ChannelMuch like we have hard and soft science fiction, where hard does not equal more difficult but has a focused intent on scientific accuracy, hard world building involves having a well-established, clearly laid out plan before you start writing. Tolkien is the prime example in fantasy. Soft world building is something that continues to grow over time, and evokes more of the feeling of other worldliness. Studio Ghibli’s films are an example of this. What are the advantages and disadvantages to both these styles of world building? Which do you favor writing and reading, and why? Are there types of stories that intrinsically lend themselves to one style over the other?
S.N.Arly, mod.; Kathryn Sullivan, Tyler Tork
10:00am - SundayOpen GamingBonus Tracks10:00-2:00pm CST
Twin Cities Game Fest
11:00am - SundayJupiter RevisitedMainstage ChannelThe Juno mission has returned thousands of glorious pictures of Jupiter, in vivid color and stunning detail. Following in Galileo’s footsteps, it is answering questions as well as posing new ones. Bridget Landry is a former member of the operations team, here to tell you all about it.
Bridget Landry, Host
11:30am - SundayCut the Boring PartsPanel ChannelWriters are told they need to cut out all the boring parts. But boring to whom? Those who like every last detail of a ship or weapons? Those who want only action? What about quiet bits of worldbuilding - should they stay or go?
Kathryn Sullivan, mod.; S.N.Arly, Walter Hunt, Steve Miller, Tyler Tork
12:00pm - SundayScenes from a Hat ImprovMainstage ChannelScenes from a Hat is a public access cable show recorded at Town Square Television in Inver Grove Heights, MN. The show is run like an open mic comedy club, welcoming anyone brave enough to get on stage. Stick around for some sci-fi themed improv, fun and mayhem. FFI:
Scenes from a Hat
01:00pm - SundayInsane Ian concertMainstage ChannelInsane Ian is a comedian/writer who has been in several bands and loves video games. He plays them, he reviews them, he collects them, he even writes comedy songs about video games. He’s gone so far as to combine reviews and comedy songs into his video game “Reviewsicals” on YouTube. Just one look at Ian’s Bandcamp page makes it obvious that Insane Ian is a comedy music juggernaut that cannot be stopped. Ian hit a milestone in his career a long time in coming, as he had the #1 most requested song of 2015 on The Dr. Demento Show, the name-mangling Brit-tribute, “Benedict Cumberbatch”, sitting firmly atop the Doctor’s year-end Funny 25. With a sharp wit, sarcastic smirk, and a bit of self-deprecation, he’s here to bring his unique sound to anyone who won’t tell him to shut up…and even a few that will.
Insane Ian
01:00pm - SundayThe Do-Jahng: Just What Is This Comic About, Anyway?!Panel ChannelTo the uninitiated, navigating the pages and plots of Jon Sloan’s Sa-Bom Jim and sequel series, The Do-Jahng may be quite daunting! Never fear! In this panel, creator/writer/artist (and Artist GoH) Jon Sloan will introduce and discuss who’s who and what’s what in his webcomic work. How it started, what’s going on currently, and some discussion about where it might lead.
Jon Sloan, Artist Guest of Honor
01:00pm - SundaySecond Foundation MeetingBonus Tracks(Via Zoom; Registration link below) Second Foundation, a speculative and science fiction book discussion group, has been meeting at about six week intervals since January 1983. We’ve also sponsored many conversational parties at MarsCon. This year we’ll discuss Tau Zero (1970) and other works by Poul Anderson). Join us!
Eric M. Heideman, mod.
01:00pm - SundayMN MUFON VideoBonus TracksWarren MN UFO Incident 40th Anniversary
01:30pm - Sunday“Ask Me Anything” interview with Ookla The MokMainstage ChannelOokla the Mok is a filk band fronted by Rand Bellavia and Adam English. The two met as undergraduates while attending Houghton College in 1988. The band is named after a character from the Ruby-Spears Productions cartoon Thundarr the Barbarian, created by Steve Gerber.

They provided the theme song to Disney’s Fillmore!,and scored the feature film Bite Me, Fanboy! They have won four Pegasus Awards for excellence in filk music, and the 2014 Logan Award for Outstanding Original Comedy Song (“Mwahaha”). Ookla the Mok had the most requested song on Dr. Demento’s syndicated radio show in both 2012 (“Tantric Yoda”) and 2013 (“Mwahaha”). Two of their songs (“Stop Talking About Comic Books or I’ll Kill You” and “F. People”) have appeared on Dr. Demento CD compilations.

Although Ookla the Mok has released many songs about more universal topics like relationships and lost love, they are best known for filk songs that cater to the interests of listeners at science fiction and comic book conventions, where the band makes the bulk of their public appearances. For example, their song “Arthur Curry” from Less Than Art pokes fun at Aquaman and the way his super-powers don’t seem to compare favorably with the rest of the Super Friends. Another example is “Stop Talking About Comic Books Or I’ll Kill You” from Super Secret. “Song of Kong” from Smell No Evil takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the relationship between King Kong and Godzilla. “W.W.S.D.?” from oh okay LA asks its listeners to ask themselves “What would Scooby do?”. “Mr. W” from the same album paints a nightmare scenario of Mr. Worf being in command of Star Trek’s starship Enterprise. “Spot The Cat” from Dave Lennon sets to music a poem originally read by Star Trek’s Data (written by Clay Dale). Tribute songs about celebrities Gary Coleman, Michael Jackson, Cher, and Sting also appear on oh okay LA.

Ookla the Mok were the musical guests of honor at the 2007 MarsCon. FFI: &
Ookla The Mok
02:00pm - SundayThrowing Toasters concertMainstage ChannelGrant Baciocco discovered Dr. Demento in 6th grade, who introduced him to the likes of “Weird Al” Yankovic, The Smothers Brothers, Tom Lehrer, Allan Sherman and his hero, Stan Freberg. Since 1995, Grant has entertained audiences with his comedy music act “Throwing Toasters”. He’s performed his songs in over 100 clubs and music venues, 30 colleges, 3 cruise ships and a sold out show at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. No lie. He’s released several CDs with his songs that have topped the charts of The Dr. Demento Show and have been featured on college stations around the country. He’s also worked as a skipper on the The Jungle Cruise at Disneyland and was the puppeteer of the robot Waverly on Netflix’s Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Toiley 200

And oh yeah…
He is also the creator and puppeteer of “Toiley T. Paper”,
who has 2 MILLION FOLLOWERS on TikTok.
Throwing Toasters
02:00pm - SundayTabletop Gaming in a Digital WorldBonus TracksDigital Tabletop Gaming
Twin Cities Game Fest
02:30pm - SundayMinnesota Mufon - UFOs in Minnesota Q&APanel ChannelBring your questions and hear stories of actual Minnesota sightings throughout the years.
Mike Harris, mod.; Dean DeHarpporte, Tom Maher, Bill McNeff, Mutual UFO Network (MUFON)
02:30pm - SundayCrafting: Bead LizardBonus TracksTo join in, you’ll need:
1. Ribbon – about 3’ in length
2. Key ring –just the ring with no fob or decoration
3. Pony beads – any color you’d like, but craft can be done with 1 or 2 colors
The Craftonauts: Brittany Vaillancourt, Jen Steffen
02:45PM - SundayTom Smith concertMainstage ChannelKnown as one of the world’s fastest comedy songwriters, Tom Smith (a former MarsCon Music Guest Of Honor, which brings us to 4 former Music Guests of Honor performing this year) is beloved by thousands of people all over the world who have passed out in a hotel conference room with a bottle of vodka in one hand and an autoharp in the other. With the lyrical complexity of Ashman and Sondheim, the vocal fireworks of Meat Loaf, the comedic timing of Robin Williams, and the dynamic physique of the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island, the only thing he won’t do is be boring. The only recording artist to be featured on both NPR’s Sound and Spirit and The Dr. Demento Show, and writer of the official chantey for Talk Like A Pirate Day, Tom has been praised by such diverse folk as Christine Lavin, Larry Niven, and Randy Milholland. He has two dozen albums so far, blending comedy, tragedy, science fiction, fantasy, romance, popular culture, politics, religion, and the occasional recipe with virtually every genre of music you can imagine.
Tom Smith
03:00pm - SundayDiversicon MeetingBonus Tracks(Via Zoom; Registration link below)
Come learn about (and perhaps volunteer for) this multicultural, multimedia Twin Cities speculative fiction convention, the 28th edition of which is scheduled for July 30-August 1, 2021.
Scott Lohman, Diversicon Chair, mod.
03:00pm - SundayReading by Walter H. HuntBonus TracksWalter reads from “City by the Bay: Stories of Novaya Rossiya”
Walter H. Hunt
03:30pm - SundayComedy Music Smackdown concertMainstage Channelfeaturing some of the 2021 Comedy Music Track acts in our grand finale!
04:15PM - SundayClosing CeremoniesMainstage ChannelSay “farewell” to the guests & “thanks” to volunteers. Hear news about next year’s convention plans, pre-register for next year, and wonder why the weekend went so quickly.

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
Con Volunteers
05:00pm - SundayPi Day FilkBonus Tracks3.14(.2021) is Pi Day! Plan to Zoom in after closing ceremonies to sing songs about circumferences and diameters, to eat pie and to chat about the recently-completed MarsCon. No group singing - sigh - that just won’t work over Zoom.
Bring your own pie.
Zoom Meeting ID: 859 6145 3738
Passcode: 3691758241
Rich Brown, host

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!

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