The programming team is already at work brainstorming ideas for 2017. In the meantime you can take a look at the panels we offered in 2016.
Can-Con 2016 Panel Descriptions
40 Creative Choices that Drive Away Audiences: From fridging to heroic wish-fulfillment fantasy and dis-empowered secondary characters to whitewashed casts that look nothing like the North America and Europe of today, this panel will try to design novels and stories only rabid puppy readers would enjoy. Laugh. Cringe. Do the opposite. Caroline Frechette, Lisa Toohey, Fanny Darling, Susan Forest (m)
50 Days to NaNoWriMo – November is National Novel Writing Month. Come to this panel to learn all about Ottawa’s local writing group and their secret to writing a novel in a month. Note: This panel leads directly into a workshop for anyone interested in outlining and character-building strategies for NaNoWriMo. — Angela S. Stone, Kaitlin Caul, Kim McCarthy, Helena Verdier
Adapting Literary Works to TV and Movies: Tanya Huff’s Blood Ties became a TV series and Valor is currently under option. Jay Odjick was hired to executive produce and write his own animated series based on his graphic novel Kagagi. Ian Rogers’ The House on Ashley Avenue has been optioned (and renewed) by Universal Capital Productions. At The JABberwocky Agency, Sam Morgan and his fellow agents actively pursue the sale of dramatic rights. They discuss the process, the excitement, the long odds and false starts in the development of dramatic works from literature. Tanya Huff, Jay Odjick, Ian Rogers, Sam Morgan, Violette Malan (m).
Agent Kaffeeklatch – with Agent GOH Sam Morgan of the JABberwocky agency. – sign-up sheet
Agent Pitch Session #1 – with Sam Morgan of the JABberwocky agency. 4 slots. Applications for pitch slots were done in advance of Can*Con. If you didn’t get a chance to get a pitch slot, you can still (1) introduce yourself, ask for his business card, and if you could send him a query online, and/or (2) attend his Kaffeeklatsch to learn more about him and what he’s looking for.
Agent Pitch Session #2 – with Sam Morgan of the JABberwocky agency. 4 slots. Applications for pitch slots were done in advance of Can*Con. If you didn’t get a chance to get a pitch slot, you can still (1) introduce yourself, ask for his business card, and if you could send him a query online, and/or (2) attend his Kaffeeklatsch to learn more about him and what he’s looking for.
Amazing Books in the Different Sub-Genres of SF: Science fiction is bubbling over with new ideas and new voices. Our panel discusses must-read works that have been published in the last couple of years. Timothy Gwyn (m), Leah Bobet, Lisa Toohey, Jonathan Crowe, Amal El-Mohtar
Archeology – Indiana Jones vs Real Life: This panel will question representations of archaeology in fiction and share knowledge of actual archaeological sites and research that may inspire new narratives in your next novel or non-fiction reading binge. This is also your chance to ask archaeologists about their work, new technologies that help archeologists, like radar, archeo-DNA analysis, and chemical and molecular analysis. S.M. Carriere, Katrina Guy, Lesley Donaldson (m)
Are We Living in the Golden Age of Superhero TV? Maybe. Jay Garrick is on TV. Never before have we had access to so many network superhero shows! Arrow, the Flash, Agent Carter, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Supergirl, Kagagi, DC Legends of Tomorrow. Are they really golden? Is it all downhill from here? Or is this the Silver Age, building on the explosion of superhero cartoons of the 1990s? Mark Shainblum, Jennifer Carole Lewis, Jack Briglio, Bronwyn Bjorkman (m)
Authors Selling Books at Conventions, Festivals, Etc: Different Experiences and How-To: Selling books is a major (the major?) revenue source of authors. Many authors and publishers attend conventions to sell their books. What are their experiences? Do they have advice? Or horror stories? Our panelists discuss their experiences. Benoit Chartier, Pat Flewelling, Jay Odjick, Robin Riopelle (m)
Award-Winning Guest of Honour Tanya Huff and Award-Winning Special Guest Charles de Lint have each written many novels and have been influential figures in Canadian and world speculative fiction in multiple media and in different roles as editor, critic, musician and so on. They talk to each other about fantasy and writing and also take questions from the audience.
The Beer Panel: Thanks to Hemingway, a lot of people assume writers are borderline alcoholics. Is there such a thing as a beer sommelier? Let’s pretend there are. And let’s say Can*Con has one or more. And let’s say that they have strong opinions about beer. These opinions might not even be connected to writing! KT Bryski, Brent Nichols, Mark Leslie Lefebvre, Max Turner
Being a Woman in the Publishing Industry, Then and Now: Our distinguished panel of very successful publishing and writing professionals discusses their experiences as women in the writing field. Sheila Williams (Asimov’s Editor), Sandra Kasturi (ChiZine Co-Publisher), Marie Bilodeau (TEGG Deputy Publisher), Tanya Huff (DAW Author), Kate Heartfield (moderator)
Beyond the Coming Out Story – New Queer Narratives: Coming out stories seem to be the types of tales that are most told about LGBTQIA characters. This panel explores the fascination with the coming out story and proposes some new queer narratives for the future. What is on the edge of the Queer Frontier? Caroline Frechette, Gabrielle Harbowy, ‘Nathan Burgoine, Talia Johnson, Derek Newman-Stille (m)
Bodies of Difference: Disability in Spec Fic – This panel explores the representation of disability in speculative fiction. We examine representations of medicalized bodies, portrayals of people who are disabled, and the narratives that surround disability in our society. This panel is about imagining a future for the bodies we occupy. Madona Skaff, Rebecca Simkin, Hayden Trenholm, Ada Hoffmann, Cathy Hird, Derek Newman-Stille (m)
Book-Clubbing Foreign Works of SF Translated into English – Clarkesworld, Lightspeed and StarShip Sofa have sought out new translated works from other fandoms. We pick a few stories available online and our panelists will discuss what they thought. You should check these out too! Anatoly Belilovsky, Peter Halasz, Jonathan Crowe, Su Sokol, Costi Gurgu (m)
- Chinese: The Smog Society, by Chen Qiufan – http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-smog-society/,
- Japanese: Violation of the TrueNet Security Act, by Taiyo Fujii – http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/violation-of-the-truenet-security-act/,
- Finnish: The Gorgonoids, by Leena Krohn – http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/gorgonoids/
- Russian: The White Curtain, by Pavel Amnuel – http://www.starshipsofa.com/blog/2016/08/03/starshipsofa-no-446-pavel-amnuel-and-anatoly-belilovsky/
Book-clubbing Three Asimov’s stories with their Writers and Editor: We talk “Ray Gun: A Love Story,” by James Alan Gardner, “Two-Year Man” by Kelly Robson, and “Way of the Needle” by Derek Künsken, with the authors, their editor Sheila Williams, and a reader. What the authors were trying to do, why Sheila bought them, what the reader felt, and what these stories tell us about the range of Asimov’s stories. James Alan Gardner, Kelly Robson, Derek Künsken, Sheila Williams, Robin Riopelle, Liz Westbrook-Trenholm (m)
Stories available here:
- “Two-Year Man” by Kelly Robson: http://kellyrobson.com/two-year-man/
- “Ray Gun: A Love Story,” by James Alan Gardner: http://www.thinkage.ca/~jim/raygun.htm
- “Way of the Needle” by Derek Künsken: http://escapepod.org/2014/05/11/ep446-way-needle/
Brave New Baby – Speculating Birth, Health and Death in the Future: Tremendous new medical tools are now available to improve lives and combat disease, such as stem cell banking, gene therapy, cyborging, and early integration with technology. What exactly is the field of now and the medical field in 20-40 years from now, and how is science fiction engaging with it? Anatoly Belilovski, Lesley Donaldson, Julie Czerneda, Angela S. Stone, Hayden Trenholm (m)
Bundoran’s Political SF Focus: Blood & Water, Strange Bedfellows and Second Contacts – Among publishers, Bundoran Press is perhaps uniquely concerned in deploying the unique strengths of science fiction to comment on politics, and has been rewarded with award nominations and a win. The panel discusses the critical importance of political SF in literature without building a wall or withdrawing from Europe. Also, audience members may get coupons for deals on the Bundoran anthologies! Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, Agnes Cadieux, Brent Nichols, Andrew Barton, Mike Rimar
BvS – Cataloguing the Badness: O.M.G. How bad was this? Was it eleven out of ten on the craptastic scale? Well, some of our panel thought it was good. There will be arguments! No booing! Well, ok, a little, but don’t make the moderator mad. Erik Scott de Bie, Tim Carter, Jack Briglio
Can Mathematics be the Basis of Hard Science Fiction? Science fiction extrapolates physics, astronomy, biology, computer science, and anthropology to create futures that comment on the present. Can mathematics also be extrapolated to create compelling science fiction and what would be the conceptual launching points? Fractals? Chaos? Godel’s Proof? Higher-Dimensions? Asimov’s Editor Sheila Williams puts the question to three writers of hard sf: James Alan Gardner, Eric Choi, Derek Künsken, Sheila Williams (m)
Can The Exorcist work in the modern world? – Some of the most seminal works of horror going back to Shelley and Stoker exist within a context that requires belief in a Judeo-Christian cosmos to truly inspire fear. Does the increasing secularization of the world sap the power from the classics of horror? Timothy Carter, Madeline Ashby, Ranylt Richildis, Mike Rimar, Matt Moore (m)
Challenging Creative Marriages: Comic Book Writers and Artists Working Together – Comic books usually require 2-5 different creative skills. Working in artistic isolation is already difficult. How much worse (or better) is it when the creative vision is shared? Jay Odjick, Dominic Bercier (m), Jack Briglio, Chelsi Robichaud, Caroline Frechette, Gregory A. Wilson
Character Arc and Mental Health: Autism, depression, anxiety and mental health diagnoses are more than character tropes. Which writers effectively structure compelling characters without misrepresenting what it means to live atypical lives? Which ones need to do better and how could they? Hayden Trenholm, Susan Forest, Fanny Darling, Ada Hoffmann, Lynne MacLean (m)
Coffee and Conversation with Charles de Lint – Want to sit around with Special Guest Charles de Lint, chat, play a few songs? Seating limited. Sign up at registration.
Cultural barriers to translation: Words and sentences can be translated, but what happens when we get to truly different ways of thinking and conceptualizing, when basic cultural values and mores are required to understand works? Is there a limit to what can be shared across cultures, and how can we minimize that? Jean-Louis Trudel, Anatoly Belilovsky, Tamara Vardomskaya, Jay Odjick, Kelly Robson (m)
The DAW Authors Reading: Tanya Huff, Julie Czerneda, Violette Malan, Ed Willett
Designing Habitats for the Clouds of Venus: Setting aside the question of why anyone would think to set up a self-sustaining habitat in mineral-poor, sulfuric acid-carbon dioxide clouds, how could it be done? Derek Künsken, Brent Nichols, Eric Choi, Jean-Louis Trudel, Gillian Clinton
Different Ways to Pitch to a Publisher or Agent: In queries to publishers and agents, in interviews with media, in direct and indirect selling to readers, it is necessary to pitch a novel. This is an entirely different skill set from writing and one does get better with practice. Publisher/Editor Robert Runté, Karen Dales and Caroline Frechette, as well as Literary Agent Sam Morgan discuss pitching novels. Linda Poitevin (m)
The Diversification of the Comics Industry: Marvel has African-American creative teams on Black Panther, World of Wakanda and Power Man and Iron Fist, and a female Muslim writer on Ms. Marvel and is making a series of girl-positive creative and editorial choices, including a female Thor, Sam Wilson as Cap, and announcements of a female Iron Man. DC struggles, and 2016’s Rebirth makes, well… a Rebirth, but Earth’s two Green Lanterns are Muslim and Hispanic, and the New Superman is based in Shanghai and being written by Gene Luen Yang. And creator-owned comics are taking on fascinating topics and viewpoints and in November Albequerque is hosting the first Indigenous Comic Con. And sales are up.
Jay Odjick, Sean Moreland, Jack Briglio, Marie Bilodeau, Caroline Frechette (m)
The Dos and Don’ts of Writing Erotica: Like with every genre, there are certain things one should strive to do and certain things one should avoid with a ten-foot pole (no pun intended). Our panelists discuss the dynamics of writing successful erotica within speculative fiction. Angela S. Stone, Jennifer Carole Lewis, Su Sokol
The Ed Greenwood Group, A New Publishing Model: In 2015, a new publishing company (The Ed Greenwood Group) was founded with a new publishing and payment model. It’s a fascinating and huge experiment with hundred of creatives and business people behind it, driven by new market conditions, enabling technologies and global networks. Come hear what they’re trying and what they’ve already succeeded in doing. Ed Greenwood (President) Marie Bilodeau (Deputy Publisher)
Emerging Issues in Publishing Contracts – Many writers see a contract with an agent or publisher as the ultimate goal – but there are clauses and rights grabs that unwary writers can be victims of, and industry standards that newer writers aren’t aware of. Agent Guest of Honor Sam Morgan and industry professionals discuss contracts. David Szarzynski, Mark Leslie Lefebvre, Sam Morgan, Sandra Kasturi, Violette Malan (m)
Extreme Weather Slap Down: It’s back! Our favourite Stormchaser at the Weather Network is going to slap down some weird and zany weather and our skilled writers are going to have to come up with fiction ideas on the spot! It could be world-building, a theme, a metaphor, a character, or a setting, but they’ve only got a bit of time before the next slap-down! Mark Robinson (Stormchaser), David Nickle (Horror), James Alan Gardner (Scifi), K.V. Johansen (Fantasy), Marie Bilodeau (Chaos)
The First Great Terraforming Project: Alyx Delamonica, in her address at the Toronto Spec Fic Colloquium, argued that the first great terraforming project is making the Earth sustainably habitable for humans. Our panelists discuss what sustainably habitable looks like and then discuss 21st century tools to begin the process. Alyx Dellamonica, Dr. Alison Sinclair, Katrina Guy, Nina Munteanu, Ed Willett (m)
Funny Ha Ha or Funny Fail? Special Guests Marie Bilodeau and Jay Odjick have done comedic podcasting and included (sometimes dark) comedy in some of their writing. Agent Sam Morgan represents authors who use humor in their scifi and fantasy novels and has been involved in New York’s comedy scene himself. They talk funny: why you’d want it, when you’d want it, how you’d do it, and the thousands of ways funny can fail. Oh, the failures….
Gaming – Interactive Storytelling in Action: Dismissed by some as “make-believe with pens and paper,” roleplaying adventures have many of the same structural elements as the novels and short stories we love. Geoff Gander uses his experience as a professional game module writer, annual CanGames host and game designer for TEGG to discuss the key elements of a well-crafted adventure and how to elevate an adventure beyond a mere dungeon-crawl. This will be followed by a short, story-focused gaming session led by Mr. Gander himself (time-permitting). *Note: Due to time constraints, the gaming session is limited to six participants on a first-come, first-served basis.
Getting Your Work Noticed – With so much writing out there these days, having your work reviewed or simply attracting media attention (online or offline) can be a daunting task. Our publicity experts discuss strategies for getting your name out there, setting up successful book launches, and promoting your work to catch as many readers as possible. Beverly Bambury, Laurie Cooper, Marissa Caldwell, Lisa Toohey (m)
Going Global With e-Books: Mark Leslie Lefebvre, Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations at Kobo, will cover the main e-Publishing platforms and comment on which ones do well in different countries, as well as give a view of global e-book sales and how that compares to e-book sales in Canada and the United States. He will also discuss optimizing global sales, using Kobo Writing Life as an example.
Horror and Weird Fiction: A Reader’s Panel – Our panelists discuss the most disturbing, lyrical, and scary horror out there. If you want to not sleep for weeks, make yourself a reading list at this panel! Brett Savory, Sean Moreland, James K Moran, Rebecca Simkin, Sandra Kasturi
Horror is Domestic: It has been argued that horror cannot truly terrify without being about character and about home. Our panelists discuss whether this is true and deconstruct what transgressions of family lie at the core of the most celebrated works of horror. Suzanne Church, Brett Savory, Ryan McFadden, Sandra Kasturi, Matt Moore (m)
How to Be Alive and Dead and Entangled and Confused: Quantum Mechanics for Beginners – Ever wanted to understand quantum mechanics? Professor Peter Watson from the Department of Physics at Carleton University will make it easy, but do prepare for your head to hurt, or your universe to be far less what you expected!
How to Build an Amazing Reading List from the Juried Awards: Our panelists talk about the different works that have made the shortlists of the WF Award, the P.K. Dick Award, the James Tiptree Jr. Award, le Prix Jacques Brossard, the Shirley Jackson award, and certainly not least, the Sunburst Award. Jot down a bevy of titles that those in the field think are worth your time and your dime. Peter Halasz, Jonathan Crowe (m), Annette Mocek, Jean-Louis Trudel
How to Make an Anthology Coffee Chat – Kaffeeklatsch with Special Guests Gabrielle Harbowy & Julie Czerneda and GoH Eric Choi: Have you ever considered editing an anthology, but have no idea where to start? Want to know more about how to write for an anthology when the call goes out? Veteran anthologists Gabrielle Harbowy, Eric Choi and Julie Czerneda will discuss over light refreshments. Sign-up at registration required.
Interested in Being on Programming Next Year? Drop in and help the Programmers Know What You’re Good At! If you’d like to suggest programming ideas for next year, this is a great time too for us to get started right away! Brandon Crilly, Evan May
It Was a Rich Tapestry: Complex Realities of Medieval Cultures – Fantasy is often set in an idealised medieval world that doesn’t necessarily match the actual medieval world. Fantasy produces the middle ages as one giant monolithic culture when there were differences in based on geography, ethnicity, age, culture, and socio-economic class. People would have had very different experiences with religion, material culture, and justice, depending on many of these factors. This panel brings together medievalists and those interested in the middle ages to critically question the representation of medieval cultures and to answer questions about the lives of medieval people. Max Turner, K.V. Johansen, Evan May, David Szarzynski
Jay and Silent Dom on Comic Creation: Graphic novelist and TV Executive Jay Odjick created Kagagi the Raven. Aurora-nominated comic creator Dominic Bercier founded Mirror Comics and worked for some independent comic publishers. They talk creating comics, the field, and the comic industry.
Laksa Media Presents: Strangers Among Us – Join Laksa Media’s publisher, editors and authors of Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts to explore mental health/illness and support Canadian Mental Health Association. Lively conversation, teasers readings, Q&A, and upcoming projects. Suzanne Church, A.M. Dellamonica, Julie E. Czerneda, Susan Forest, James Alan Gardner, Rich Larson, Lucas K. Law, Ursula Pflug, Robert Runté, Hayden Trenholm, Edward Willett
Law & Order vs CSI: A Reality Check on Police Procedures for Writers – This session will provide a general overview of facts over fiction of police procedures from forensic evidence and interview techniques to white collar crime and national security investigations. Sgt Pat Poitevin, a 34-year veteran of the RCMP, will share is experience on various policing issues and will provide answers to questions and debunk some myths.
Linguistics 101 for Writers and Readers of Science Fiction and Fantasy – Languages evolve in ways that are eerily similar to organic evolution. Languages make us human, and aliens’ and fantastical creatures’ bodies would also be reflected in their languages. Accents, dialects and word choices are keys to access culture and social alliances. Yet often this has little effect in speculative fiction. Tamara Vardomskaya, PhD candidate in Linguistics from the University of Chicago offers a 101 crash course on the basics of linguistics.
Locally-sourced: Drawing on Local History – When discussing alternate history, we tend to think of international events and historical figures. But what of local history? What are some of the advantages and/or challenges of working with locations and historical events with which the reader may not be familiar? Amal El-Mohtar, Dominik Parisien, Mary Pletsch, Kate Heartfield (m)
Lovecraft and Race: The modern world is forced to analyze HP Lovecraft as a racist horror writing. How do we come to terms with HP Lovecraft’s racism? David Nickle, Max Turner, Bronwyn Bjorkman, Sean Moreland (m)
Making Literature Out of Spam Emails – We did it once. It was really funny. Rebecca Simkin will provide panelists/victims with phrases from spam emails and they must construct narratives that they must read immediately. Rebecca Simkin, Timothy Carter, Anita Dolman
Martial Arts – Swordfighting 201: We whetted appetites for all things sword-fighting at last year’s introductory panel, so this year your heavily-armed hosts will cut deeper into the subject. And yes, because you demanded it, we will even stage a few mock battles to show you how it all goes together. Or comes apart, as the case may be. The longsword, the katana, and the axe will be featured. Caution: This panel contains pointy objects and bad puns. Ariella Elema, Raeanne Roy, K.W. Ramsey, Geoff Gander (m)
The Mechanics of Sex – Incorporating sex into writing isn’t as taboo as it used to be, but unfortunately not everyone writes about sex accurately or successfully. We like to think we understand sex, but do we understand it enough to write about it well? Angela S. Stone, ‘Nathan Burgoine, Talia Johnson, Dr. Dylan Blacquiere
Not All Antagonists Are Created Equal – Monsters vs Villains vs Forces of Nature: Godzilla, Magneto and Jason Voorhees are all antagonists, but are very different thematically and dramatically. Our panelists discuss how these types of antagonists differ and how they have been used well and not well. Julie Czerneda, Erik Scott de Bie, Gregory A. Wilson, Nina Munteanu, Matt Moore (m)
One-on-One Meetings with Mark Leslie Lefebvre of Kobo #1 – talk one-on-one with Kobo’s Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations about your work and the opportunities that may be there. Sign-up online.
One-on-One Meetings with Mark Leslie Lefebvre of Kobo #2 – talk one-on-one with Kobo’s Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations about your work and the opportunities that may be there. Sign-up online.
Our Monsters Are Us: What is that sound in the dark? What lurks the forests of the night? Monsters lurk in our imagination, bursting through into our consciousness to inspire stories. Monsters have been a companion to people and as Jeffrey Jerome Cohen tells us, our monsters are our children. We create our monsters to represent our desires, fears, anxieties, and obsessions. They become our darkened, distorted mirrors, teaching us about ourselves. This panel examines the cultural interest in the monster and the role that monsters have in presenting questions through our fiction that ask us about those murky areas on the edges where we fear to tread. Erik Scott de Bie, S.M. Carriere, Peter Halasz, Madeline Ashby, Derek Newman-Stille (m)
Parachuting into Labs Across Canada: Science journalist Pippa Wysong covers science stories from across Canada for many print and online magazines. Here, she delivers a presentation on the bubbling energy of cutting-edge work being done in Canadian labs!
Portraying Non-Verbal Communication in Prose: “I am sad,” he said, sadly… Just doesn’t cut it anymore (obviously). But it’s easy to say don’t do that and it’s hard to replace with moving and evocative nonverbal communication. Our panel discusses getting to moving and evocative. Jennifer Carole Lewis, Anita Dolman, Cathy Hird, Karen Dales, Linda Poitevin (m)
Publicity Consultations with Beverly Bambury – Want suggestions on getting your work noticed? Sit down for a one-on-one consultation with publicist and DIY publicity consultant Beverly Bambury. Sign-up required at registration.
Publicity Consultations with PubCraft – Want suggestions on getting your work noticed? Sit down for a one-on-one consultation with representatives from PubCraft, a virtual assistant and promotion management service for authors. Sign-up at registration.
Readings from Steampunk Anthology Clockwork Canada: Contributors to the critically-acclaimed anthology of Canadian steampunk read from their stories. Dominik Parisien, Charlotte Ashley, Kate Heartfield, Rati Mehrotra, Brent Nichols.
Rejectomancy and Other Myths: Can you really glean any information by scrying between the lines of a rejection letter? Do you really have to write every day to be a “real” writer? Veteran editor Gabrielle Harbowy explores these assumptions and more in an interactive discussion about the “truth” in common writing truisms.
Rewriting Fairy Tales: Once upon a time there was a panel that brought together authors and editors who were exploring the re-writing of fairy tales. These brave souls sought to delve into the roots of fairy tales and explore their fluid, changeable texts and how we can adapt fairy tales for new ideas and new social issues. Dominik Parisien, Fanny Darling, Charles de Lint, K.V. Johansen, Kelsi Morris, Melissa Yuan-Innes. Suggested readings:
- Selkie Stories are For Losers by Sofia Samatar: http://www.strangehorizons.com/2013/20130107/selkie-f.shtml
- Black Feathers by K. Tempest Bradford: http://podcastle.org/2010/09/21/podcastle-123-black-feather/
- Given the Advantage of the Blade, by Genevieve Valentine: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/given-the-advantage-of-the-blade/
Same Old Story – Aging Bias and the Limited Narratives of Aging Characters in Speculative Fiction: We like to pretend that we will be young forever and we hide the aged and images of aging as a result. But, SF is about the future and our futures are ones of aging. This panel explores narratives of aging, looking at issues around the fact that most protagonists are between 20-40 years of age, the fact that aging characters often serve the role of mentors to the young hero, or die to inspire the hero. Isn’t it time to imagine a new future for aging? Mike Rimar, Tanya Huff, Matthew Johnston, Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, Derek Newman-Stille (m)
SARS, Ebola and Zika, the last Decade of Outbreaks: Plagues and outbreaks of disease are a standby of speculative fiction, as well as something we grapple with in the real world. This panel will discuss what the last decade’s major disease events have taught us about the the realities of disease outbreak in a globalized society, our capacity to manage pandemics, and consider what the near future may hold in terms of new or changing infectious threats. Agnes Cadieux, Dr. Dylan Blaquiere, Dr. Anatoly Belilovski, Dr. Melissa Yuan-Innes, Dr. Alison Sinclair, Pippa Wysong (m)
SFWA: Supports for Writers and Routes to Membership: Join SFWA’s Susan Forest (Secretary), Matthew Johnson (Board Member-at-Large), and Derek Kunsken (Volunteer Coordinator) for light refreshments and information on programs run by SFWA in support of all writers. How to join and become more involved, as well as Q&A, will be covered in this hour
Shakespeare in SF: 400 years after his death, we continue to use Shakespeare’s characters, themes and plotlines in the stories we tell. This panel will discuss Shakespeare’s continuing relevance to modern stories, why we return to his work to enhance our own, and how the world of Shakespeare intersects with that of science fiction and fantasy. Kate Heartfield, James Alan Gardner, Lesley Donaldson, Amal El-Mohtar, Kelly Robson (m)
So This is Your First Con! – Never attended a literary scifi convention? Well, this isn’t comiccon. You’re going to meet a bunch of people. Hear amazing insights from professionals on panels! You’re going to have a chance to sit with pros over coffee or drinks. Learn what Can*Con is and how to get the most out of it! Lisa Toohey, Ryan McFadden, Matt Moore, Brandon Crilly (m)
So You Want to Write (or Art) for TEGG? Have Coffee With the Deputy Publisher! The Ed Greenwood Group has already launched two of their shared worlds: Hellmaw, a dark urban fantasy, and Stormtalons, a sword and sorcery fantasy. Other shared worlds are launching through 2020. Hundreds of creatives are involved. If you are interested in knowing how you could get involved, come have coffee with Marie Bilodeau, the Deputy Publisher. Sign-up at registration.
Stormtalons: The Second Setting in The Ed Greenwood Group, a shared world of sword and sorcery fantasy. Ed Greenwood made his fame with the creation of D&D’s Forgotten Realms. He re-enters the world of fantasy with several dozen other novelists and short story writers. Ed and his authors discuss what they are creating in the vast new fantasy world called Stormtalons. Ed Greenwood, Marie Bilodeau, Gabrielle Harbowy, Julie Czerneda, Ryan McFadden, Fanny Darling, David Szarzynski, Nicole Lavgine, Eric Scott de Bie, Gregory Wilson, Geoff Gander, Linda Poitevin, Erik Buchanan, KT Bryski, Leah Petersen
Stormtalons World-Building Discussion and Work Sessions: Closed meeting reserved for Ed Greenwood and his Stormtalons authors to further advance world-building in the shared world. The Publisher and Deputy Publisher will also discuss secret upcoming settings available for writers. Note: This session is for authors already under contract with The Ed Greenwood Group. If you are a writer or artist and would like to know about how to join TEGG, the Deputy Publisher Marie Bilodeau will be hosting discussion over coffee on Sunday at 2pm called “So You Want to Write (or art) for TEGG”.
Story Structure – From the perspectives of literary agent, editors and writers, our panel discusses story structure, both the old standards and more experimental structures that have worked. Sheila Williams, Sam Morgan, Ranylt Richildis, Leah Bobet, Nina Munteanu (m).
Terrestrial and Space-Borne Quantum Cryptography: A Presentation by Dr. Phillip Kaye of the Tutte Institute for Mathematics and Computing.
Unarmed Martial Arts for Dummies and Writers: Knowing the basics of many martial arts leads to more dynamic and believable scenes. And martial arts are super-interesting and fun to pull out at dinner parties! S.M. Carrière practices Kung Fu and teaches kickboxing. Nicole Lavigne studies karate. K.W. Ramsey studied Jiusitsu and Tae Kwon Do. Erik Buchanan holds a black belt in Mo Kempo & Shaolin Kenpo.
Ursula K Le Guin: Contributions and Legacy – Writing since the age of 11 and first published in the early 1960s, Ursula K Le Guin has had a long and impressive impact on the world of speculative fiction. Panelists discuss her most pivotal works, her successful career, and her ongoing contribution to the world of writing. Caroline Frechette, Cathy Hird, Chris Kelworth, Su Sokol, Alison Sinclair
Want to Dominate the World, but Don’t Have a Writers’ Group? Want to make one? Come hear how these other successful minionless writers formed their own critiquing groups so you can found your own! Totally not a pyramid scheme. You may have to sign up for a time-share though… Maaja Wentz, Su Sokol, Mike Rimar, James K Moran, Ryan McFadden (m)
Water Is … A Frank Discussion on the Meaning of Water: Nina Munteanu’s 12th book “Water Is…” was released in May 2016 along with her politically-fired dystopic short story “The Way of Water”. In these fascinating meditations on water, internationally published limnologist, Nina Munteanu, draws inspiration from some of the world’s greatest thinkers, artists and scientists, and a lifetime dedicated to water, into a spectacular gift for hydrophilics. Emerging as one of the most important resources on this planet, water has become the new “gold.” It is currently traded on the Stock Exchange and is the source of border tensions between many countries, including Canada and the USA. Join Nina Munteanu in this casual and frank presentation and discussion on water and what it means to Canadians. Water will be served.
Weird and Different Sensory Perception in Animals: Nature abounds with examples of weird senses in animals and plants. This panel of biologists will entertain with their favourite examples of weird senses in nature and what they’re for, hopefully also providing the writers in the audience with new building blocks for their world-building. Julie Czerneda (m), Agnes Cadieux, Max Turner, Madona Skaff, Nina Munteanu
What if vN is Just the First Circle of Hell? The Dark Future of Sexuality: Madeline Ashby’s Machine Dynasty Series is a very dark prediction of how sexuality and technology could combine to change society, taking as a starting point how our society’s sexuality has already been altered by technology. Our panelists go dark from this launching point. Suzanne Church, K.W. Ramsey, Una Verdandi, David Nickle
Why Doesn’t Epic Fantasy Get Any Respect? Or Does It? It’s been said that it isn’t often that epic fantasy is short listed for the major awards, or even receives critical recognition the same way other kinds of fantasy, science fiction and horror do? Is this true, and if so, why? Ranylt Richildis, S.M. Carriere, Peter Halasz, Evan May, Ed Willett (m)
Witchcraft, Druids and the Occult: Want to know more about the history and practices of various occult groups? Our panel of experts will discuss some of the misconceptions and clichés that writers should avoid, and answer your questions about the true nature of the occult. Max Turner, Mary Pletsch, Brendan Myers, Farrell McGovern (m)
The Works of Tanya Huff: Author Guest of Honour Tanya Huff has a broad set of works, including thr Blood Series (adapted for TV), the Wizard Crystal, Quarter Series, Keeper’s Chronicles, Confederation, Enchantment Emporium, and others. Our panel discusses the range, themes and reader reactions to Tanya’s work. Violette Malan, Bronwyn Bjorkman, Derek Newman-Stille, Brandon Crilly
Ye Olde Medievalisms in Fantasy: Fantasy is often set in an idealised medieval world that doesn’t necessarily match the actual medieval world. Fantasy produces the middle ages as one giant monolithic culture when there were differences based on geography, ethnicity, culture, age, and socio-economic class. This panel brings together medievalists and those interested in the middle ages to critically question the representation of medieval cultures and to answer questions about the lives of medieval people. Max Turner, K.V. Johansen, Evan May (m), David Szarzynski
Youth Gateways into Genre Fiction: Every author can probably, tell you when they first got interested in their chosen genre. Today, though, the way that younger readers are accessing speculative fiction is much different than it was even five years ago. How are new readers being hooked into sci-fi, fantasy or horror? Have there been changes for older readers, too, and has this changed the way we write or market our fiction? Authors of Young Adult fiction discuss. Ed Willett, Leah Bobet (m), Fanny Darling, Mark Shainblum.