MarsCon 2011 Days of Magic!

Programming Ideas Page

MarsCon depends on you, the attendees, for much of our programming. This page is for programming suggestions. If you are willing to do the leg work behind your suggestion, wonderful! If you just want to add an idea, that's great too.

Read the list below, then add your idea and/or drop us an email saying which event(s) already listed you would like to take part in.

Is the book dead?
Is there a role for words-on-dead-trees in an age of ebooks and audiobooks? Will book stores survive? And will people 100 years from now be able to read SF written in 2011?

Suggested by Rich Brown on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 06:27:56

Bring your favorite secret websites and find some new gems to start up.

Suggested by Frankie on Monday, January 24, 2011 at 09:08:50

ZARGS: building EDC and GOOD/BOB bags
Reviewing my schedule for MarsCon 2011, I fear I might be overextended. I would like to remove ZARGS: building EDC and GOOD/BOB bags from the programming docket. As much as I want to do this, I am not going to have time to do it justice. hanks for your help!

Suggested by Erik Pakieser on Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 08:35:31

The changing face of the Art Show
Bjo Trimble has been running fashion and art shows for more than 50 years. What was the hole that needed filling then, and how has costuming and art show advanced today.

Suggested by Baron Dave Romm on Monday, January 17, 2011 at 03:17:05

Miles Vorkosigan: The perils and pleasures of a continuing series
Miles Naismith Vorkosigan has been around a long time, and his story is not necessarily told in chronological order. How has Lois McMaster Bujold kept her character and her world together?

Suggested by Baron Dave Romm on Monday, January 17, 2011 at 03:12:23

Comics Into Movies: What works, what doesn't
The Green Hornet didn't work. Batman worked, at least some of them. Superman worked, at least some of them. Spiderman worked, at least some of them. And so on and so forth. Comics were heavily influences by movies, and movies have reciprocated. What makes a good adaptation? How can we encourage the good ones.

Suggested by Baron Dave Romm on Monday, January 17, 2011 at 03:07:47

Mad Science Fun
The Mad Science show is a collection of amazing experiments to demonstrate the scientific method and to help kids recognize how science is all around us. We show kids how cool dry ice is (-109.3¢ª F to be exact); we review the three states of matter (solid, liquid, and gas); and we talk about Bernoulli's Principle in which fast moving air creates lower pressure, with a series of captivating demonstrations.

Suggested by Mad Science of Minnesota on Friday, January 14, 2011 at 14:19:28

Dumb Animal?
Intelligent animals in science fiction and fantasy

Suggested by Kathryn Sullivan on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 15:49:32

Making professional-sounding musical arrangements using computer tools
Wonder where the brilliant, crazy artists who do "Dementia" get their backing tracks? Want to perform filk, but don't play an instrument? Got a great idea for a song, but don't want to put together a band to play it? Brett Glass shows how to use inexpensive, off-the-shelf software to create musical arrangements in minutes. Several such tools are available, but because we'll have limited time this session will focus on one in particular - Band in a Box - which is becoming increasingly popular among amateur and professional musicians.

Suggested by Brett Glass on Monday, January 10, 2011 at 20:00:30

Dude, Where's My Flying Car?
10 years into the 21st Century, we have some modern conveniences we never expected (such as cellular phones more capable than Star Trek's "communicators"), while others (such as flying cars) seem still beyond reach. What fantasy devices are we likely to have in 2021? And will we have our flying cars by then? Discuss.

Suggested by Brett Glass on Monday, January 10, 2011 at 19:47:03

KH: A fandom that went downhill
After a time of going, "Yay! Another Kingdom Hearts game!! ^_^" to going "Freaking great, another Kingdom Hearts game..." Why Kingdom Hearts just doesn't captivate the players anymore. Why they change the playing style so much for the newer games. Most importantly, WHY ARE 99% OF THEIR COSPLAYERS FEMALE!!! Probably because it makes me look like a better Axel cosplayer, being a skinny tall guy and all.

Suggested by Luxord Timegambler on Sunday, January 09, 2011 at 04:31:24

Writing and Getting Read - Finding An Audience
The Internet, the bookstore, and everything in between: let's discuss different ways to get your writing out there into the world.

Suggested by Anna Waltz on Friday, January 07, 2011 at 19:14:10

Comic Books Will Eventually Destroy the World
Why "Seduction of the Innocent" by Fredric Wertham was correct and how the ongoing publishing & marketing of comic books will destroy the world!

Suggested by Fredric Wertham on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 04:04:08

S.F. Solutions to Real World Problems
We can get off Fossil Fuels and end our dependency on foreign oil as well stop global warming.

Suggested by Thistle on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at 10:28:55

Ask a Writer
Always wanted to know how a novel is born? How does a writer structure their day? Is it all glittering parties and intelligent company? Come ask a panel of working writers anything?

Suggested by Michael Merriam on Monday, December 27, 2010 at 20:13:51

The Woods Are Lovely
Panel: How do we create modern fairytales and myths? How do we tap into the primal emotions of fairytales in a modern era?

Suggested by Michael Merriam on Monday, December 27, 2010 at 20:12:56

Vampires: Why they die in the sunlight, and don't sparkle.
A discussion panel on Vampires as a Genre. Why anything that gets kids to read is good, while simultaneously not always being well written.

Suggested by DJ Vlad on Monday, December 27, 2010 at 18:44:08

Clock-Steam and Diesel...the new punk era
Learn more about the fandoms's when Eric Larson (Lord Hastings Bobbins) of TeslaCon introduces and explains the differences and similarities of these genred fandoms. From costumes to customs...a fun event panel for all ages.

Suggested by Eric Larson on Monday, December 27, 2010 at 18:36:07

Christopher RiversBey Memorial Panel
Come Celebrate and Share stories about our Ghost of Honor and Dark Lord Christopher RiversBey.

Suggested by Ben Ellis on Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 21:59:29

Electro-Herbalism Is this a step toward Star Fleet Medical?
Electro-herbalism is the new term for using light, sound, vibrational and EM (neuro stimulator) frequencies for healing and using spectrum analyzers for diagnostics (medical tricorder). Maybe this is something from the original "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (light)? The Consolidated Annotated Frequency List, zappers and Rife devices among others will be discussed.

Suggested by Joe Swenson on Wednesday, December 08, 2010 at 19:42:41

Ballroom dance instruction
Due to the recent popularity of steampunk/Victorian themed events, ballroom dancing/waltzes have seen a resurgence. Been too long since dance lessons in gym class? Let experienced instructors teach you to be graceful on the dance floor. Who knows? Someone may ask you to a Yule Ball.

Suggested by Rae Lundquist (the DreamStitcher) & Laura Ulak on Saturday, December 04, 2010 at 21:15:01

How to Run a Costume contest
An 'open mike' discussion, inviting each person who's ever run a costume contest - or been in one - to give ONE tip to improve the flow, and result. Wanted: opinions on how to organize, things to emphasis, thing to avoid, problems that come up.

Suggested by Rae Lundquist (the DreamStitcher) on Saturday, December 04, 2010 at 21:08:39

Intergalactic Fashion Show
A runway exhibit of fashion from around the Galaxy; from Orion slave girls, to the latest in Star Fleet uniforms, from Queen Amidala to Han Solo and the latest in Wookie wear. BSG to SG1, and the latest trends in SteamPunk.

Suggested by Rae Lundquist (the DreamStitcher) on Monday, November 08, 2010 at 19:57:10

An Overview of Underwear
Useful for those who really want to do their costumes up right. Especially helpful for those who are into Victorian steampunk, and want to learn more about corset, hoops, bum rolls, etc.

Suggested by Rae Lundquist (the DreamStitcher) on Monday, November 08, 2010 at 19:51:36

The Green Hornet
Does Seth Rogan wear the title of action well or should he go back to comedy?

Suggested by Ben Ellis on Friday, October 29, 2010 at 19:48:30

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Did the series redeem itself or does the book need to be closed on the Narnia series.

Suggested by Ben Ellis on Friday, October 29, 2010 at 19:44:25

Tron Legacy
Was it as good as the original or did we get a two hour draft punk video?

Suggested by Ben Ellis on Friday, October 29, 2010 at 19:39:49

Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have brought Sherlock Holmes into the 21st century. What was great about it and What could have been better.

Suggested by Ben Ellis on Friday, October 29, 2010 at 19:30:41

John and Bjo Trimble The Ultimate Fans.
Come hear Marscon co exec Ben Ellis interview our fan guests of honor John and Bjo Trimble

Suggested by Ben Ellis on Friday, October 29, 2010 at 19:28:44

Harry Potter Hogwarts Graduate
August 2011 will see the end of The Harry Potter film series. Come discuss The Deathly Hallows part 1 and what your hope are for part 2.

Suggested by Ben Ellis on Friday, October 29, 2010 at 19:27:05

The Worst movies of 2010
Vampires suck, Jonah Hex was hexed and Sex in the City 2 was just Crap Lets talk about what else sucked.

Suggested by Ben Ellis on Friday, October 29, 2010 at 19:23:26

The Best Movies of 2010 .
Was 2010 a Kick-Ass year at the movies or did it feel like you visit to the theater was expendable?

Suggested by Ben Ellis on Friday, October 29, 2010 at 19:17:08

Rituals, Rhythms and Magical Helpers
Panel. Building a believable magical system - what works and what doesn't.

Suggested by Catherine on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 21:36:11

Spell, Book and Candle
Panel. Magic users in fantasy - what makes them memorable? Who hasn't ever wanted to be Gandalf or Granny Weatherwax or their equivalents? Panelists discuss their favorites.

Suggested by Catherine on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 21:25:55

Broad Universe Rapidfire Reading
An annual event for the last several cons. Members of Broad Universe read their current work.

Suggested by Catherine on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 21:19:14

30 years of Indiana Jones - Raiders hits the big 3-0!
Hard to believe, but Raiders of the Lost Ark is now THIRTY years old this year! Grab some birthday cake, dust off your bullwhips, and let's talk about the greatest adventure movie of all time and how it changed cinema forever and also how it saved Spielberg's career! No Crystal Skull bashing please... ha!

Suggested by Minnesota Jones on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 10:35:56

Steam Century Mystery Game
The Steam Century Mystery is a multifaceted game that combines elements of live action role-playing and crime dramas. Players follow a trail of clues by investigating rooms and interacting with costumed characters. Our mystery events are role playing games in the sense that we, the cast, stay in character. Players are invited to play in character with us at their comfort level. You are also welcome to just play the game to solve the mystery and don t worry about pretending to be any kind of character. Participants are free to come & go anytime during the time period, and enjoy the con as they play detective. We are asking a modest $5 per person to cover our own costs.

Suggested by Xana on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 10:05:39

Beginning Game Mastering
How to be the Master of your Dungeon if you've never run a game before. What do you need to know? Where do you start?

Suggested by Susan on Saturday, August 28, 2010 at 11:32:41

Max Brooks Got It Wrong
Everyone loves Max Brooks' zombie books, "World War Z" and "The Zombie Survival Guide" but did he really know what he was talking about? Join experts in firearms, disaster management, and survival for an honest and entertaining criticism of Brooks' work.

Suggested by Erik Pakieser on Friday, August 27, 2010 at 18:13:23

ZARGS: building EDC and GOOD/BOB bags
So you attended the panel on ZARGS or Zombie Hunting, and now you want to be better prepared? A good first step is developing bags for Every Day Carry (EDC), or, in a worst-case ZARGS scenario, Get Out Of Dodge (GOOD) or Bug Out Bags (BOB). Learn what needs to go into these kits, how to carry them, and how to integrate these simple strategies into your everyday life.

Suggested by Erik Pakieser on Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 19:47:07

Costuming on a Dime
I love to be in costume but money is tight! I can't sew or have no access to a sewing machine. How can I save money and still look fabulous? This would be an open discussion group.

Suggested by zmaj dama on Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 12:35:06

Future Cops
There have been many interpertations of law and order in SciFi. What scifi police archtypes are realistic, or stereotypical? How might policing evolve in the future? Are the portrayals of future cops accurate or absurd?

Suggested by Erik D. Pakieser on Monday, August 02, 2010 at 10:48:35

Mermaids In fact and Fiction
How mermaids have been done in books and poetry. The history of mermaids in different cultures through the centuries.

Suggested by Nighthawk on Sunday, August 01, 2010 at 22:33:23

Starting Your Props Collection
How do you start your own Prop Collection? Beside lots and lots of money? What is the different between Fan Made, Official license, Screen Used, and Reproduction? What do I look for in props I what in my collection? Come find out the answers to this and more

Suggested by Tony on Friday, July 30, 2010 at 10:27:59

Paper Prop
The Art of Paper Props. From what goes in to them to how there made.

Suggested by Tony on Friday, July 30, 2010 at 10:14:15

A Very Moffat Christmas Carol or How The Gambon stole christmas
Come and discuss This Years Doctor Who Christmas Special.

Suggested by Ben Ellis on Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 13:57:56

Rob Callahan interviews Lois McMaster Bujold
Come hear local author and fringe show preformer Rob Callahan interview Our Author Guest of Honor Lois McMaster Bujold.

Suggested by Ben Ellis on Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 13:52:33

The big bang theory
Come talk about what happening on the The big bang theory

Suggested by Tony on Friday, July 09, 2010 at 09:24:07

Star Wars: Beyond the Movies
A forum to discuss what happens after the Battle of Endor. And should Darth Vader be redeemed and considered a hero, for overthrowing the Emperor?

Suggested by Stern Bel-Norden on Wednesday, July 07, 2010 at 23:03:33

Beginner's Guide to Prop Guns
Guns are cool, and for many costumes, and essential accessory. Learn how to build or acquire replica weapons for your costume and how to carry them safely during 'cons and other events.

Suggested by Erik D. Pakieser on Wednesday, July 07, 2010 at 09:59:18

Zombie Hunting
Back by popular demand, a panel that gets better and better every year. Learn about fighting zombies from a professional firearms instructor and experienced zombie hunter. See videos of zombie training scenarios and find out the best equipment and techniques to make dead things deader.

Suggested by Erik D. Pakieser on Wednesday, July 07, 2010 at 09:55:59

ZARGS and You
Most disaster scenarios will fit into five catagories: Zombies, Aliens, Raptors, Graboids, and Skynet. Learn about these potential threats and how to prepare for them.

Suggested by Erik D. Pakieser on Wednesday, July 07, 2010 at 09:48:50

How to Draw a Mini-Comic
Walk away with your own 8 page/panel mini-comic! After some initial brainstorming, we'll set to work with pencil, pens, and your creative ideas. Don't think you're artistic? Come write a script for someone else to draw!

Suggested by Susan on Monday, July 05, 2010 at 16:57:15

Creating mini-comics with Computers
What techniques and/or programs have you used for various effects? What are the differences between Photoshop, Corel Painter, Illustrator, and the freeware available for image and booklet creation? Please bring examples to show.

Suggested by Susan on Monday, July 05, 2010 at 16:50:54

Whatever Happened to Electronic Music?
A discussion, with sound clips, demonstrations and performance of old-school (i.e., pre-hip hop/house/trance...) electronic music, ala the "Forbidden Planet Soundtrack", theremin music, space music, etc., and a discography of artists, past and present who are still making classic electronic music.

Suggested by Rick Griffith (aka Dr. Raymond Kirby) on Saturday, July 03, 2010 at 22:49:40

MI6: Declassified: Q Branch
Where would Bond be with out little magic from Q. Bond is a hero created to embrace the power of technology, from cars to weapons and equipment. Got a favorite gadget from Bond? Lets talk about it.

Suggested by Tony on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 23:57:42

Harry Potter world
From the The Wizarding World, to the final 2 films. Take a look at what is going on in the Harry Potter world today

Suggested by Tony on Tuesday, June 08, 2010 at 10:13:57

That Guy With The Glasses
That Guy With The Glasses aka The Nostalgia Critic aka Doug Walker (Chicago native) answering questions and giving insight into his popular online video series. Hopefully having other members of his site as well. Examples being Lewis Lovhaug aka Linkara (Minnesota native) and Spoony aka Noah Antwiler(Arizona native).

Suggested by Mr. Tuesday on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 21:20:17

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As always, MarsCon is immensely grateful for the incredible programming contributions we receive each year from artists, authors, guests, musicians, singers, actors, fan groups, clubs and individuals. Thank you for your support!


MarsCon 2011
March 4-6, 2011
Crowne Plaza Minneapolis Int’l Airport Hotel & Suites
(formerly: Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites)
3 Appletree Square
Bloomington, MN

If you’re looking for the Marscon in Williamsburg, VA click here.
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This page updated 09:56 am April 10, 2015, © 2011 Fans Educational Network for Science Fiction.