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  1. Meeting Your Heroes (Hildy Silverman) - One of the great thrills of fandom -- readers and viewers -- is getting the opportunity to meet creatives from beloved show stars to favorite authors, and even other pros are drawn by the thrill of meeting one another. Let's discuss encounters that exceeded expectations and those that let us down. How much influence did meeting a "hero" have on your future enjoyment of their work?
  2. Anthologies - Share The Love (Hildy Silverman) - What attracts readers to short story collections? Do you prefer themed collections, single author collections, or a Whitman's Sampler of stories? What draws authors to write for anthologies, sometimes the whole or majority of their careers?
  3. Is the Book Always Better? (Hildy Silverman) - Fans all have said this at one point or another, "The book was better than the show/movie." But sometimes, it's the opposite -- the series or film is arguably superior to the literary source material. Panelists can share their examples and likely debate a few expressed opinions.
  4. Dramatic Readings (Valerie) - (participatory event) Tired of the same old 'readings'? Want to add some pizazz or humor or drama? Go over the top with dramatic readings. Volunteers from the audience or author panel will dramatically read/reenact select scenes from the author guest's work.
  5. Bring Your Own Book (Valerie) - (participatory event) A game of borrowed phrases where players search through books to take the text way out of contest! Come to play, listen, and laugh. Bring your own book, or borrow one from our authors.
  6. When Does it Count as Representation? (Valerie) - Is it enough to have a character in the minority or does that character need to be a lead? Does the plot need to somehow include the character's race, sexual orientation, or gender identity? When does it count? When is the author allowed to advertise it as such?
  7. Author Meet-N-Greet (Valerie) - (participatory event) Round-robin 'speed-dating' style allowing you to get to know our author guests and ask them questions about the industry.
  8. The Elevator or Twitter Pitch (Andrew) One of the most important skills in writing is getting your idea across quickly in an exciting way. How do you condense that 100,000 word novel into a thirty second spiel or a couple hundred characters? What different strategies should an author use when trying to communicate their work with an audience versus an agent/publisher? We can also discuss how social media has become an important part of the author's toolkit and the good and bad of interacting with the public.
  9. Kira Nerys: the Actual Lead of Deep Space Nine (Rigel Ailur) -- DSN boasts arguably the best-written and best-cast characters in Star Trek. Of those, Kira stands out like a diamond among pearls: the series' heart and soul, its driving force and its anchor.
  10. Outside In by ATB Publishing (Laura) Meet the contributors to these essay collections on the likes of Doctor Who, Star Trek, Buffy, and more.
  11. Heinlein's Five Rules of Writing (Laura) - Robert Heinlein wrote five basic rules of writing that are easy to remember but hard to actually carry out. A discussion of said rules and their application.
  12. Doctor Who's She? (Dave Galanter) - A discussion of the upcoming latest regeneration of the Timelord known as the Doctor and what may and may not change now that Doctor Him is Doctor Her.
  13. Continuity vs. Canon (Dave Galanter) - The sign in front of the table will read "Stories don't need canon. Change my mind."
  14. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 25th anniversary retrospective (Jim Johnson) - All about DS9 and how it's just as relevant in today's social and political climate.
  15. Indie Publishing 101 (Jim Johnson) - The basics of indie publishing and why you should give it a go.
  16. Star Trek Adventures RPG (Jim Johnson) - Starfleet needs a new crew! Come hear about the new pen and paper Star Trek RPG and how you can boldly explore strange new worlds at the game table with friends.
  17. The Scully Effect 25 Years Later (Amy Imhoff) - A discussion of how The X-Files' Special Agent Dana Scully influenced a generation of career women to be confident in themselves and their feminism. We'll examine how Scully has evolved as a pop culture icon, her unique contribution to the TV landscape, and how actress Gillian Anderson embodies Scully's fierce determination throughout 25 years of playing her. 
  18. From Holmes to Sherlock (Roberta Rogow) How and why we are still fascinated by the character of Sherlock Holmes, and how it's developed over a century and a half.
  19. Star Trek Discovery: Prime Timeline or Not Possible? (Joshua Palmatier) -- The Star Trek Discovery show claims to be in the Prime timeline, with the season finale keeping us on our toes with the arrival of the Enterprise ... but given the advance in technology shown already, is having it in the Prime timeline even possible? Can they pull it off, believably, or will it require a suspension of disbelief in the audience to make it work?
  20. Firebringer Press Presents (Phil Giunta) - The scribes at Firebringer Press are ramping up some new releases and we'd love to tell you about them.
  21. The Writing Life (Phil Giunta) - With full time jobs, raising families, caring for elderly parents, and other obligations, panelists discuss their strategies for ensuring that words make it to the page (or screen) regardless of what life throws at them.
  22. Let's Put Them On Ice (Joshua Palmatier) -- The death of a main characters family or loved one at the start of a book or movie is a standard trope for both fantasy and sci-fi. It's even worse when the plotline involves time travel and the family/loved ones are brought back to life and "saved" by the end. Writers will discuss this trope, why it can be powerful as a motivator, why it is a disadvantage to the characters put on ice and then revived, and why writers should accept the challenge of KEEPING the character alive and involved instead of shoving them off to the side.
  23. Ordinary Heroes (David Mack) - How do tales that feature ordinary folks forced to do extraordinary things differ from those featuring larger-than-life heroes and villains?
  24. End at the Beginning (David Mack) - Our panel will talk about non-linear approaches to narrative structure, and will discuss some stories in which it worked, and some in which it did not.
  25. All Fiction is Political (David Mack) - How do authors' personal politics affect what stories they choose to write and how they write them? How do readers' politics affect what they choose to read?
  26. It's Good to Be Bad (David Mack) - What is the appeal of the antihero? What makes one antihero enjoyable to read about and another just a jerk?
  27. Crazy 8 Press (Bob) - They did it. They actually killed Glenn Hauman. He will be lhying in state during their annual presentation so make sure you come and pay your respects. Learn what else is coming, dead or alive, from this band of writers.
  28. What is Star Trek?  (Derek Attico) - What are the essential elements necessary to tell a Star Trek story and what part do values play?
  29. Avengers vs. Justice League (John Coffren and Derek Attico): It’s the end of the world. Whom do you trust to save it? The panel will cover comic books, cartoons and movies.
  30. SciFi from the Parents' Eye (Russ Colchamiro): We all love SF/F, but how do we pass the torch to our children in an age appropriate way so that they can enjoy--or even love--a genre that we're so passionate about?
  31. Solo: A Star Wars Story (Laura Ware) - This prequel depicting Han Solo as a younger man hasn't met expectations at the box office. Why not? A look at the latest offering from the Star Wars franchise.
  32. What I Learned About Writing Novels by Binge-watching... (Kim Headlee) Panelists discuss their big- and small-screen favorites and share which elements have helped them deliver a better reading experience for their books' audiences.
  33. Science Fact (Kelli Fitzpatrick): What really cool recent technologies and scientific breakthroughs or discoveries will shape our near future reality, as well as the way we tell genre stories? Collab with science guests.
  34. To Tweet or Not To Tweet (Jenifer Rosenberg): While social media is a vital aspect of self-marketing, not all social media promotion is good. Seasoned Social Media veterans and experts discuss the ins and outs of when, where, and how to engage...and when to put the phone down!
  35. Why the NSA Hates Us (Aaron Rosenberg): As writers, we wind up doing research on the darnedest things, to the point where our search histories must make the NSA crazy. Come hear what some of our authors' wackiest searches were, and why.