What Can*Con Offers Science Fiction Writers at Can*Con 2016

Are you a science fiction author looking to get published? May I offer a recommended package of programming activities at Can*Con to anyone gunning for the next level of their science fiction writing career?


  • Friday 7pm: Ursula K. Le Guin: Contributions and Legacy – this is a no-brainer. Ursula Le Guin’s impact on the field is still enormous.
  • Friday 8pm: Tough choice. Do you want to hear what Sheila Williams, the editor of SF’s most famous magazine talk about story structure, or do you want to hear from biologists and MDs talk about recent advances in disease and our response?
  • Friday, 9pm: Hit the publisher receptions. Grab a pop or a drink and mingle. If you don’t know anyone, ask Evan or Brandon to introduce you to people. The receptions have publishers, editors, agents, writers and readers 🙂


  • Sat, 10am: Weird and Different Sensory Perception in Animals – if you’re making up aliens, they should at least be as innovative as animals that already exist on Earth. OR  Hit the “How to Build an Amazing Reading List from Juried Awards” to get to know the range of the science fiction field.
  • Sat, 11am: Brave New Baby – all sorts of medical advancements have transformed pediatrics and what is possible in infancy.
  • Sat, 12pm: Bundoran’s Political SF Focus – if you can’t name 3 authors who do political SF and why they do it, you may be missing out on a huge part of the field and opportunities. Bundoran specializes in political SF and just won another Aurora Award! OR go eat something. If you don’t want to miss anything, go quickly to the ConSuite and grab a quick piece of fruit and run back to the panels!
  • Sat, 1pm: You have a problem. You could go to the First Great Terraforming Project, or you could listen to Sheila Williams and three of her Award-winning authors discussing three Asimov’s stories. You choose. I hope you ate already, If not, text a friend to bring you food. Or tweet for help. Mention @CanConSF when you complain about hunger 🙂
  • Sat, 2pm: Not exhausted yet? Good! Because SF writers Ed Willett, Tanya Huff and Julie Czerneda (all from DAW Books) are reading for you! If nobody brought you more food, hurry and grab more, or tweet hashtag #sohungry.
  • Sat, 3pm: You have a problem. No, it’s not that you’re not be as savvy as you want on Quantum Mechanics. We brought in Professor Peter Watson from the Department of Physics at U of Ottawa to fix that with a rundown of what quantum mechanics is and isn’t. The problem is you have to choose between Professor Watson’s talk and “Parachuting into Labs Across Canada,” by science journalist Pippa Wysong. She’s going to talk about the cutting edge science being done in Canada. Whatever you do, take a break. Get some food. Hydrate. Eat supper. Sit somewhere quiet. Then…
  • Sat, 9pm: Hit the publisher receptions again! And ask Evan and Brandon to introduce you to more people.


  • Sun, 9am: Have you ever wondered what the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) can do for you? Two members of SFWA’s Board are going to talk to SFWA members and are inviting non-members to attend to see what we talk about! Light refreshments.
  • Sun, 10am: Designing Habitats for the Clouds of Venus – this is a great panel with aerospace engineers and hard sf writers. Many of the principles of habitat building for Venus will also work for gas giants. Take notes! Imagine setting your next story on Venus.
  • Sun, 11am: I can’t overstate how broad the SF field is in voice and perspective. You should check out the “Book-Clubbing Foreign Works of SF Translated into English”. In the program description are links so you can read the works too!
  • Sun, 12pm: Eat again. And drink something. Or, eat while listening to the readings from Clockwork Canada! Steampunk is a sub-genre of scifi!
  • Sun, 1pm: This is not for the faint of heart. This is experimental sf. Try it if you want: “Can Mathematics be the Basis of Hard SF.” Many story ideas might come out, things that could be mixed with other ideas.
  • Sun, 2pm: Last panel of the weekend. You’ve got to pick “Quantum Computing and Quantum Cryptography” with Dr Phillip Kaye of the Tutte Institute or “Amazing Books in the Different Sub-Genres of SF”.
  • Sun, 3pm: Please come to the end and give us feedback!

Note: For people who really want to dig deep, we’ve also lined up some intensive workshops. These cost $20 and happen on the Friday afternoon before Can*Con. And we’ve lined up two especially to help make Ottawa a science fiction writer powerhouse:

  • Eric Choi and Gillian Clinton will give a 2-hour workshop in space science and tech (yup, rocket and satellite science).
  • Nina Munteau will give a 2-hour workshop on the considerations to setting stories, civilizations and ecosystems underwater.
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *