Tag Archives: Detroit

DetCon1 is in full swing

So far I’ve scored some free books (thank you freebie table and Baen), chatted with the usual mix of highly interesting people, drove down Michigan Avenue with a local pointing out the highlights, and sat on a “Teens talk to scientists” panel where the audience was extremely small but very precocious.  Without a designated moderator (oops) or list of questions, we wandered across topics ranging from how to become a zoologist to whether or not time travel is possible.

The hotel layout is great for getting around once you get the hang of it, and so far there has been no massive elevator congestion – that may change on Saturday and Sunday, but fingers crossed the sailing stays smooth.  The dealer’s room is better than most, and I’m tempted by at least six of the t-shirts in there, but will probably limit myself to two.  Probably.

The view from the con suite (69th floor) is amazing, so even if you don’t want to partake of the company and free food, you can see all of Detroit from there.  I also recommend the view from the fitness center, which is on the 40th floor and looks out over the water.  The tail end of the sunrise this morning was absolutely gorgeous from up there, albeit a little blinding.

Overall it feels like a really well-run con and is off to a good start.  Now I’m heading down to my “Designing Fictional Spacecraft” panel.

 

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DetCon1 Here We Come!

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I now have my finalized – and therefore completely subject to change at some future date – itinerary for this year’s North American Science Fiction Convention NASFiC) – DetCon1 in Detroit, MI.  If you are going to be there, I hope to see you at one of these panels!

It’s going to be a very busy and very fun weekend.  I will also definitely be at the 80s dance, as I would not miss for all the world seeing John Scalzi as the DJ for that, and the masquerade (just as an audience member, as I have not remotely had time for cosplay this year).

What panel topics have caught your eye?  Do you have any suggestions for really badly done science/tech in movies or books that I can use in the Balonium! panel?

Teens Talk to… Scientists Duluth A Teen Fri 12:00 PM
Description Our panel of folks who work in the science fields (both hard and soft) talks about their work and answers questions about what they do and how they got there.
Designing Fictional Spacecraft Ambassador Salon 2 Literature Fri 4:00 PM
Description Our panel discusses aspects of designing non-existent spacecraft, such as applying current and historic shipbuilding and spacecraft-building practices to future designs, and keeping designs realistic. How do you make the ship suit its mission, and what considerations are there beyond engines and weapons?
Women in Science and STEM Mackinac West Science Sat 2:00 PM
Description Men still outnumber women in most STEM fields. What are the unique challenges for women in STEM fields, and how can they be addressed? What can be done to encourage more women to consider these fields and prepare for them?
Military SF Mackinac East Literature Sat 7:00 PM
Description Our panelists offer their opinions on the broad field of military SF. What themes and stories does military SF explore? Why do readers and creators like this subgenre? Who does it well, in terms of realism and good research?
Balonium!! Ambassador Salon 1 Media Sun 10:00 AM
Description Our panelist indulge their penchant for “oh, come ON!” in discussing the science, pseudo-science, and outright balonium in recent SF, whether in print, media, comics, or wherever!
Ask a Scientist Ambassador Salon 1 Science Sun 1:00 PM
Description Audience members ask questions they’d like scientists to answer. Carl Sagan once said: “There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question”.

 

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My DetCon1 Preliminary Schedule!

If you’ll be in the Detroit area in mid-July, consider stopping by the North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFIC).  The NASFIC is a special con that’s only held in years that the WorldCon is outside North America.  This is mainly for those of us who can’t afford to go to the really cool WorldCon location (London this year) somewhere to go and still do all the wonderful things we usually do at a WorldCon, just a little closer to home.

I’ve just received my preliminary schedule for panels.  I’m really excited about the panels I’ve been selected for, although I’m a little disappointed that, once again, I haven’t managed to make it onto their military sci-fi panel or anything closely related to that topic.  If the military sci-fi panel is yet again comprised exclusively of a bunch of older white males who have never been in the military (and no, the guy who made it through two weeks of boot camp doesn’t count), I’m going to tear my hear out.  At least the last one I went to had some people who had actually been in the military!

The whole reason I got involved in panels at cons in the first place was after two straight years of a certain unnamed local con having a “Women Warriors” panel made up of old white men who had never been in the military, and a “Military Sci Fi” panel also made up of old white men who had never been in the military.  I figured the best way to try to get the panel representation to mirror real life a little better was to throw my name in the hat.  I hasn’t really worked yet, but I’ll keep trying.  And trying.

But for now, I am on some very awesome-sounding panels, with some amazing-sounding people who I look forward to meeting and panel-ing with (and please note these schedules are pretty much guaranteed to change in the next few weeks).  Also, I am very open to reader suggestions for the Balonium panel!

Fri 4:00:00 PM Mackinac East – Designing Fictional Spacecraft
If your story or artwork includes spacecraft, it’s a whole other kettle of fish.
Our panelists discuss aspects of designing non-existent spacecraft, such as
applying current and historic shipbuilding and spacecraft-building practices
to future designs, keeping designs realistic, making the ship suit its mission,
and considerations beyond engines and weapons.

Sat 2:00:00 PM Mackinac West – Women in Science and STEM

What are the unique challenges for women in STEM fields, how can they be
addressed, how can we get more women interested in these fields, what can
you do to prepare

Sun 10:00:00 AM Ambassador Salon 2 – Balonium!!
Our panelist indulge their penchant for “Oh, come ON!” in discussing the
science, pseudo-science, and outright balonium in recent SF, whether in
print, media, comics, or wherever!

Sun 1:00:00 PM Ambassador Salon 2 – Ask a Scientist
Audience members ask questions they’d like scientists to answer. Carl
Sagan once said: “There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased
questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question.

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I’ll Be Seeing You at Detcon1!

This week I received an official invitation to participate in programming at Detcon1, this year’s North American Science Fiction Convention.  I am always thrilled to be a part of programming at cons, and look forward to some really great panels this year.  This is my first NASFIC and will also be my first con completely child-free, as kiddo will be camping with the grandparents for this one.  Can’t wait.

So here are my Top Five Reasons to go to Detcon1, if you need some motivation to go:

5) I want to see for myself if Detroit deserves the bad rap it has.  I kind of doubt it, or my sister-in-law wouldn’t live near there.  And it’s way cheaper than going to the WorldCon in London!

4) People-watching and people-meeting.  I meet some awesome people at every con, and I love seeing the costumes some folks come up with.  There is some crafty talent well beyond anything I will ever manage, and I especially look forward to the masquerade.  I’m about as socially awkward as they come, but even I can manage to muddle through and make some new friends at cons.

3) The awards.  Since WorldCon is in London this year, that’s where the Hugos will be, but the Golden Duck awards for YA and Middle Grade Speculative Fiction will be handed out at Detcon1.  The ceremonies are always entertaining, and the award nomination lists always give me new ideas for things to go read.

2) The 80’s dance with John Scalzi as DJ.  First, I really like John Scalzi and will try not to squee too much about being in the same room.  Few people who haven’t been in the military can write military SF that doesn’t make me cringe over its ridiculous cliches and borrowed-from-Hollywood stereotypes.  Scalzi is one, and the only other I can think of off the top of my head is Lois McMaster Bujold.  Second, while I can’t dance, an 80’s dance at a sci-fi convention sounds like just the place where that won’t matter and I can look as ridiculous as I want. Third, there will be neon.  Lots of neon.

1) The opportunity to learn about interesting new things.  I may be the only person on earth who thinks the primary reason to go to cons is the programming, but I get really excited when the panel matrix comes out.  Presentations on the latest NASA missions, e-publishing vs. traditional publishing, the latest new SF TV show coming out, you name it, there’s probably a panel.  The STEM outreach is always fun at these events, too, because the audience tends to already be interested.  I usually have first, second, and third choices of what I want to see during each session.  Tough decisions, people!

I won’t know for probably a few months what kind of panels I might be doing, but usually look for me to be on panels for things like STEM outreach, women in STEM, diversity in fandom, “talk to a rocket scientist”, spacecraft design, getting kids interested in sci-fi, geek parenting, etc.  So, you know, the stuff I talk about on this blog.  I also make a point of asking to be on any panels with titles like “women warriors” or “military SF” because at my first few cons I was absolutely horrified to go to a “women warriors” panel consisting entirely of middle-aged men and a “military SF” panel without a single person who had ever been in the military.  Which, well, made me kinda angry… and that’s how I got into this whole paneling gig!

Are you going?  What are you looking forward to most?

 

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