Programming: Staff Picks

Among the dozens of panels, on uncounted subjects, our staff has some favorites. Here are their top picks from all the hard work -- you won't want to miss them. Don't see your thing? See the entire schedule..

  • Improbable Research and the Ig Nobel Prizes — Science, Lecture — 1hr 15min — Grand DE (1W) -- Saturday 11:00am
    Highlights from Ig Nobel prize-winning studies and patents as presented by luminaries and experts in dramatic mini-readings. Between presentations, members of the audience will be challenged to divine the intended purpose of diagrams from research papers.
  • Crafting Spirits: Home Brewing and Distilling— Maker, Panel — 1hr 15min — Burroughs (3E) -- Saturday 1:00pm
    Home brewing and distilling have exploded in popularity in recent years. Come learn the difference between an ale and a lager, or a vodka and a gin. Discuss brewing techniques, trade recipes, and share stories. Sampling must be saved for your hotel room!
  • Realism & Outliers— Literature, Panel — 1hr 15min — Faneuil (3W) -- Saturday 2:30 PM
    Sometimes fantasy characters are criticized for not being "realistic". Often what that criticism actually means is "in the history I learned, women and people of color were not the heroes". What are some of the historical fallacies that could use some debunking? If we can't find historical evidence of, say, a woman in a particular role, does that matter in a fantasy setting? What are some cases of "outlier" fantasy characters who do have historical counterparts?
  • Cross-Cultural Costuming-- Costuming, Panel — 1hr 15min — Bulfinch (3W) -- Saturday 5:30 pm
    Inspiring characters and ways of dress are found across the globe. When presenting a character or costume of a demographic not your own, what issues do we need to be sensitive to? What are the pitfalls to avoid when portraying characters of a different race or ethnicity? Our panelists discuss their approach to costuming outside of their own cultural box.
  • Gamedev Women Discuss Women in Games — Gaming, Panel — 1hr 15min — Adams (3W) -- Sunday 11:30 AM
    Everyone has opinions on games, but you can get an inside look of what professional female game developers and think of the work their industry has produced over the last year. Their answers might just surprise you! Female panelists include perspectives from a studio head, an animator, an engineer, a game designer and a journalist!
  • How to Disagree Better— Fan Interest, Panel — 1hr 15min — Douglas (3W) -- Sunday 5:30 PM
    Someone is wrong on the Internet! Discussion of new and sometimes challenging ideas is one of the hallmarks of fandom and any free society. We can do a better job of arguing and disagreeing with each other. How do we do this? What tools do we have for sorting out those arguments and finding where the areas of agreement might be hiding? This is not a plea for everyone to agree, this is about how to disagree honestly and respectfully, in ways that allow us to remain a community.
  • So You Think You Can Write a Fight — Literature, Panel — 1hr 15min — Griffin (3E) -- Sunday 7 PM
    Come find out how viable your fight scene really is. An experienced panel of talented authors, martial artists, and maybe one hapless would-be victim will take your quick fight scene and act it out while our esteemed panelists help you work out the physical and literary kinks. Please no epic wave battles.
  • From Earthsea to Ekumen — Literature, Panel — 1hr 15min — Burroughs (3E) -- Monday 10 AM
    Arguably Ursula K. Le Guin's two greatest achievements are the fantasy world of Earthsea and the SF universe of the Ekumen of Known Worlds. Earthsea is a world of natural magic in which the self-knowledge of the adept is the key to effectiveness. The Ekumen is a members-only interstellar organization encompassing numerous cultures. Do we see the same vision in these worlds? Are they different sides of the same coin? And how have these two worlds influenced the fiction of the last four decades?