Diversicon 27

“The Next Step”

July 26-28, 2019
Best Western Como Park Hotel
1010 Bandana Boulevard W
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108

Programming Ideas Seeking Volunteers

Guest,of Honor, Nisi Shawl
Special Guest: Ben Huset
Posthumous Guests: Ursula K. Le Guin, Harlan Ellison, Boris Karloff

Programming Items Seeking Volunteers to June 26, 2019 (to volunteer, expand descriptions on this list, and/or suggest new items contact Eric M. Heideman, eheideman@dhzone.com, Scott Lohman, scottl2605@aol.com, Conrad Zero: conradzero@gmail.com; and/or fill out the Programming “Blue Sheet” form.
Deadline: soon. Let us know days/times when you are NOT available to do Programming, and the maximum number of things in which you’re comfortable being scheduled.

*Panel: The Left Hand of Ursula K. Le Guin, 1929-2018 On the author of A Wizard of Earthsea, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, The Language of the Night, Always Coming Home, and Catwings

*Panel: Unrepentant Harlequin, Harlan Ellison, 1934-2018 On the author of “Repent, Harlequin,” Said the Tick-Tock Man, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Demon with a Glass Hand, The City on the Edge of Forever, Mephisto in Onyx, and Paladin of the Lost Hour

*Panel: Even the Phone is Dead: Boris Karloff: 1887-1969 On the star or co-star of Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, The Mummy, The Black Cat, Bride of Frankenstein, The Body Snatcher, Isle of the Dead, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Targets. Eric M. Heideman, Robin raianiemi

*The SF Minnesota Auction Saturday evening. Rick Gellman, Melissa S. Kaercher?, Auctioneers; Eric M. Heideman, Quartermaster; David Christenson, Materials Scrounger; Conrad Zero, Vanna; Scott Lohman, Recorder; Arthur C. Johnson, Treasurer. Supports SF Minnesota’ss projects, including Tales of the Unanticipated, The Speculations Readings Series, and Diversicon. To donate or consign items, contact Scott and/or Eric, above.

*Panel or Discussion: Science Fiction/Fantasy Films: The Year in Review. Melissa S. Kaercher, mod.?

Panel or Discussion:: Science Fiction/Fantasy TV: The Year in Review. Scott Lohman, mod.

*Panel: One Small Step On how the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo projects lead to the Lunar Landing on July 20, 1969. Eric M. Heideman, mod.? Ben Huset, Scott E. Shjefte

*Panel: What do I Read Next? A Diversicon staple. What’s some of the best print speculative fiction published in the past year. Greg L. Johnson, Russell Letson. David Lenander?

*Panel: LGBTQ SF: What’s New? Including LGBTQ fiction, films, and issues. Robin Rainiemi

*Panel: The Year in YA SF/F. David Lenander?

*The 12th annual Flash Fiction Contest invites your stories on the Diversicon Theme, “The Next Step,” up to 250 words. Nisi Shawl will judge. See the Diversicon Website (www.diversicon.org) for details.

*Panel: The State of Speculative Poetry, 2019. Including the announcement of the Rhysling Award-winning poems. FJ. Bergmann, mod. Followed by…

*Round Robin Poetry Readings

*Lady Poetesses from Hell? Terry A. Garey, mod.?

*The 21st Annual Yugo Awards Book Review. The Yugo Award, founded by Laura Thurston, celebrates the best SF works that should have been written. Hosts Carole Ashmore and Hank Lederer welcome your nominations..

*Panel: Saved by The Expanse! Fans saved The Expanse, now we’ll discuss why it’s the best SF show on TV. Greg L. Johnson, mod.; Scott Lohman

*Panel or Discussion: Marvel Movies: The Saga Continues Especially Avengers Infinity War and Endgame—do we love them or hate them? Robin Raienimi, mod. Eleanor Arnason?

*Workshop: Space “Crafts,” Saturday, 1:00-3:00 p.m. Bring shafts to share: knitting, weaving, quilting, macramé. Becky Huset, instructor

*Panel: Save the Earth! Pm the step—Lunar and asteroid mining. Scott E. Sjhefte, mod.; Ben Huset

*Generic Panel Sunday. Considers topics discussed over the weekend. New topics will also be discussed. Arthur C. Johnson, mod.

*Panel: Our Words Matter! SF&F words and phrases have contributed to the general lexicon. Which are most notable? Have our words influenced to the general lexicon. Which are most notable? Have our words influenced how people think about how people think about life, the universe, and everything?—Martha A. Hood

*Panel: Characterizations of Evil How SF&F treats evil—its origins and causes, the possibility of redemption (or not). Looking at Stross’ “Laundry Files,” McGuire’s October Day series, and other works that I will think of later. –Martha A. Hood

*Panel: Are You a Sansa or an Anya? Do you meet brutal autocracy with the pointy end, or are you just trying to stay alive? Which Game of Thrones character are you most like? Be honest!—Martha A. Hood

*Panel: When Good TV Goes Bad! Game of Thrones has ended, leaving a bad taste in many fans’ mouths. What causes a good series like GOT, Lost, or Battle Star Galactica to lose its way? And what about the shows, if any, that have done it right?—Greg L. Johnson

*Panel: What happens to women SF Writers? Except for the giants like Le Guin, Women SFF writers vanish from history. Why? Who should we still be reading?—Eleanor Arnason

*Panel: Writing the Other Inspired by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward’s book, we’ll talk about creating characters who differ from us ethnically as well as in gender, sexual preference, age, and in other ways. Nisi Shawl requested

*Panel: Movie Series Detectives Continuing our long-running series on film genres. This time we focus on detectives at the center of film series, including Sherlock Holmes, Philip Marlowe, The Falcon, Hercule Poirot, Mr. Wong, Mr. Moto, Miss Marple, et al. David Christenson, mod.; Eric M. Heideman

*Panel: Literary SF Detectives and SF Detective Stories Carole Ashmore, mod.; Rick Gellman, Hank Lederer

*Panel: Biotech’s influence on spec fic What is biotech? Why do we, as speculative fiction fans, care? What can it add to fiction? Where does it show up? What biotechnology is now available that showed up in past spec fic (bonus points if you can come up with things that people swore would never be developed)? What real things are in the pipeline or under development for the future? What are the risks and benefits? How can these feed into spec fic? What crazy biotechnology have you seen in spec fic recently that you don’t think stands a chance? —S.N. Arly

*Panel: Critique Groups - functional and dysfunctional What are the benefits of being in a critique group? How about the disadvantages? When has a group become dysfunctional? Can a dysfunctional group be salvaged, and if so, how?—S.N. Arly

*Panel: Dealing with rejection it’s a part of the game. If you’re an artist of any kind and you actually want to get read, or perform, or have your art displayed, you have to learn how to handle the inevitable and innumerable rejections that follow the submission/audition process. What works? What doesn’t? Even if you have a good way of dealing with it, are there times you end up in a funk? How do you recover from that? Bring your best and worst rejection stories.—S.N. Arly

*Panel: Editors and Authors We don’t have to have an adversarial relationship, but we often do, or seem to. Is this all a bunch of posturing, or is there something more to this? Editors need authors and authors need editors. What do we have to offer each other if we can get past this?—S.N. Arly

*Panel: Good Blog/Bad Blog - modern technology and artists What modern technology is available for artists (for self promotion, research, networking, other reasons)? Online research, boon or bane? What purpose can a blog serve? What things can go wrong? Discussion boards - good, bad, or dependent on how they’re used? Facebook? Tumblr? Twitter? How can these be useful? When do they become a hinderance? How can platforms like Patreon and Curious Fictions help or harm writers and artists?—S.N. Arly

*Panel: Not My Beautiful Minnesota It has become fairly common for urban fantasy writers to place their stories in a modern world analogue. What purpose does this serve? What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages and how can you avoid them? Who does it well?—S.N. Arly

*Panel: A Peek into the Indie Writer World What’s an indie writer? What are some reasons writers choose to go indie? What are the pros and cons of choosing this over a traditional path? How does this even work? What tricks, tips, and tools are helpful? What pitfalls exist to be avoided?—S.N. Arly

*Panel: Preparing for Readings A great way for writers to share or showcase their work is through readings (live at conventions, bookstores, or other events, or recorded as pod-casts). Writing is a solitary activity, whereas reading is closer to acting, and not all of us feel comfortable with this change of venue. What can we do to best prepare ourselves for this? How should you go about choosing a story or excerpt? What are good options for practicing? How can this form of publicity go very wrong? What can you do at the reading to make things go smoothly?—S.N. Arly

*Panel: Resources for spec fic Writers So you have a great idea for science fiction or fantasy, but you lack some knowledge necessary to pull it off. It’s okay, we don’t all have to be rocket scientists to write about them. And we don’t all have to be geologists and cartographers to create new worlds. Writers share some of their go to resources for when they need to create something they don’t have a working knowledge of as well as tools we use to bolster our weaknesses.—S.N. Arly

*Panel: Standing Out Without Chasing the Trends How can you make your story stand out from the numerous others in the slush pile? What makes a story stand out? Many editors and authors suggest against chasing or writing to publishing trends. If this is what’s selling, why shouldn’t you do this? And how do you make your story fit the popular narrative without doing this?—S.N. Arly

*Panel: Supportive writer/artist spouses/significant others What one must do and be willing to forego when attached to one with a muse? How can one be supportive of someone with this affliction? How involved can you be? When is it appropriate to take a hard line with the sweetheart? Benefits and disadvantages of living with an artist? What sorts of weird things do artists need their sweeties to be understanding of?—S/N. Arly

*Panel: Timing and Pacing What does timing have to do with writing? How do you know where to put your action/dialogue/sex scene? How can you tell if you have it in the wrong place? What is pacing in fiction? How do you make your story move at the right pace? How does this differ between novels and shorter works? What horrible things can go wrong? Why do writers groups have trouble gauging pacing in novels? Is there such a thing as too fast in pacing?—S.N. Arly

*Panel: Writing Diversity Right Done right, art (including fiction) can give readers a connection with an unfamiliar place, push away stereotypes and further understanding. Done wrong, it perpetuates stereotypes, offends readers familiar with the source material or culture, is tainted by colonialism, and comes off as a cheap and poorly constructed attempt to include diversity. —S.N. Arly

*Panel: Writing Exercises for Those Short on Time and Motivation and Those Seeking to Work Through Weaknesses There are a lot of great exercises and activities out there for writers who are well beyond the basics of storycrafting. We’re going to focus on some that are useful for writers who have found themselves short or time or motivation (hey, life interferes, we can work with that). We’re going to explore some things you can try if you’re working through a writing weakness but don’t want to spend a year focusing on a novel that you’re going to scrap as an exercise. We’ll also talk about how to jump start your creativity if it’s taken a walk. Writing sprints, prompts, trades, relays, even fanfiction may come up as we discuss ways to get out of a slump and improve as a writer.--S.N.Arly

*”Interested in something on Star Trek, especially Star Trek: Discovery.”-- Robin Rainiemi, mod.; Scott Lohman

*Interested in something on Steampunk.—Robin Rainiemi

*Eleanor Arnason suggests a panel on C.J. Cherryh’s “Foreigner” series, suggests Russell Letson.

*Massive Autographing. Probably Saturday, 5:00-5:25 p.m. Nisi Shawl, et al.

Scheduled for Diversicon 27, but probably not seeking volunteers:

*Thursday, July 25, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Speculations Reading at DreamHaven Books. Reading 6:30-7:30 by Diversicon 27 Guest of Honor Nisi Shawl, followed by Reception & Autographing. Followed by dinner expedition by 7:50-8:00.

*Friday, July 26, 7:00-7:30 p.m. Opening Ceremonies. Scott Lohman, MC; Nisi Shawl, Ben Huset, Eric M. Heideman; Boris Karloff, Ursula K. Le Guin, Harlan Ellison in absentia

*Guest of Honor Interview. Nisi Shawl interviewed by Eric M. Heideman and Scott Lohman

*Dave & Eric & Anybody Who Cares to Join Them Sit Around & Talk About Films for an Hour. This long-running conversation looks at a wide variety of film topics. David Christenson, Eric M. Heideman, co-mods.

*Fiction Reading: Nisi Shawl. Our Guest of Honor reads from her work.

*I would love to have time set aside to teach the granddaddy of science fiction themed games, Cosmic Encounter.”—Robin Raianiemi (two hours)

*Prose Reading: Phyllis Ann Karr

*Talk/Presentation: The State of the Solar System: 2019--Space Exploration Hank Lederer, mod.; Ben Huset

*Presentation: The State of the Solar System: 2019—Astronomy. Michael Kauper, presenter

*SF Minnesota Auction: Saturday, 7:00-7:3:0 p.m. Items available for inspection. 7:30-8:30 p.m. Bidding, Round One. 8:30-8:40 p.m. Auction Halftime, featuring the Flash Fiction Contest Winner. 8:40-9:40 p.m. Bidding, Round Two

*PowerPoint Presentation: To the Moon and Mars Via Utah. Details TBA. Hen Huset, presenter

*PowerPoint Presentation: The Chinese Space Program. Ben Huset, presenter

*An overview of the Minnesota Astronomical Society as told by Ben Huset

*Sunday, 5:00-5:30 p.m. Closing Ceremonies. Scott Lohman, MC; Nisi Shawl, Ben Huset, Eric M. Heideman; Ursula K. Le Guin, Harlan Ellison, Boris Karloff in absentia

Probable Socials:

*Friday night: The Minnesota Space Frontier Society hosts the Diversicon 27 Hospitality Suite

*Friday, c. 8:45 p.m.-1:00 a.m. a Party for Readers and Viewers, Krushenko’s, hosted by Second Foundation

*Saturday, 9:00-11:00 a.m., Hospitality Suite.”You will be Caffeinated! Rich Brown, host

*Saturday night: The Minnesota Space Frontier Society hosts the Hospitality Suite

9:45 p.m.-2:00 a.m., Krushenko’s. Tales of the Unanticipated Partu

*Sunday, 9:00-11:00 a.m. You will be Caffeinated! Rich Brown, host

*Sunday, 6:00 p.m. Dinner Expedition to Gane’s by the Park

*7:15 p.m.-late night. There’s Still Life in the Old Dog Party, including Hotel Lobby: Conversation & Gaming Krushenko’s: Conversation & Viewers’ Choice