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Friday, January 18
 

4:00pm

Rhiannon's Lark
Speakers

Friday January 18, 2019 4:00pm - 4:45pm
Large Auditorium

5:00pm

Meet the 501st: Who is Your Father and What Does he do?
Join us for an introduction of who we are, what we do, where we can be found. Learn how others use their passion for Star Wars for rewarding community support.

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 5:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 6

5:00pm

Fairies and the Written Word
Aside from movies, TV, and art, fairies exist in many of our favorite books and graphic novels. Panelists discuss different iterations and actions of the fay on paper.

Moderators
avatar for Melissa McArthur

Melissa McArthur

Editor; Writer, Falstaff Books
Melissa McArthur is the founder and president of Clicking Keys Writer Services, a full-service editing, cover design, and layout company based in the upstate of South Carolina. She also serves as an Acquiring Editor for Falstaff Books, and is an accomplished editor and proofreader... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Emily Lavin Leverett

Emily Lavin Leverett

Author
Emily Lavin Leverett is a writer, editor, and English professor. She is the co-editor of "Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier" and "The Weird Wild West" with Misty Massey and Margaret McGraw. Her first novel "Changeling’s Fall," co-written with Sarah Joy Adams was followed... Read More →
avatar for Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire writes things.  It can be difficult to make her stop, although she’s easily distracted by swamps, corn fields, and traveling carnivals.  She was once lost on a carnival midway for six hours, only to be found happily operating the Ferris wheel.  Her books have been... Read More →


Friday January 18, 2019 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room 8

5:00pm

Future Laws
How is copyright law going to deal with 3D printers? Piracy laws on movies and music still don't work with the invention of DVRs, now how will it handle the physical mass copying of objects?


Friday January 18, 2019 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room 3

5:00pm

No Headaches or Common Cold - Star Trek Medical Breakthroughs
In the 24th Century, Dr. Crusher tells us that headaches are no longer usual, and the common cold is long gone. What other kind of medical breakthroughs do they have in the future, and how many have become science fact in our own time?

Speakers
avatar for Nickie Jamison

Nickie Jamison

Literary Guest
Nickie Jamison is the secret identity of Ora J. McGuire. She is a writer of LGBTQ+ erotica and romance blended with sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Ora’s hobbies include gaming, fan-girling, and doing marathons…on Netflix. She also vlogs about life, makeup, and KonMari decluttering... Read More →
avatar for D.J. McGuire

D.J. McGuire

A Jersey boy who fell for a Suffolk girl, DJ has been a cost estimator and project manager for various federal government contractors for over 18 years. He also teaches economics at his local community college, plays bass for The Nefarious Ferrets and for Dimensional Riffs, and is... Read More →


Friday January 18, 2019 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room 4

5:00pm

Once Upon a Con: Stories from Various Cons
The panelists will relate stories from various cons over the years... some funny, some strange, and some not so funny.

Moderators
avatar for Michael D. Pederson

Michael D. Pederson

Con Chair, RavenCon

Speakers
avatar for James Fulbright

James Fulbright

Con Chair/President, ConGregate Productions
James Fulbright was introduced to AD&D by a friend in 1979. After joining his first gaming group, his friends convinced him to start attending conventions like StellarCon and Hexacon. It wasn’t long before attending cons led him to start helping out with those cons; which, in turn... Read More →
avatar for Michael Khandelwal

Michael Khandelwal

Pop Quiz: Who is our Toastmaster, Michael Jon Khandelwal? Make your choice below:Once one of the world’s premier primate behavioral scientists, Michael abandoned his award-winning work with monkeys, after a slight incident in the lab, for a new career in the entertainment industry... Read More →
avatar for Margaret S. McGraw

Margaret S. McGraw

Editor/Author
Margaret S. McGraw is co-editor of two anthologies about the wildest West that never was: Weird Wild West (eSpec Books, 2015) and Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier (Falstaff Books, 2017). Her story "Rainmaker" appears in Lawless Lands, and “Stasis” appears in the benefit... Read More →


Friday January 18, 2019 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room 7

5:00pm

Writing Military-Themed Stories
It takes more than 'pew-pew-pew' to write military fiction (tips and tricks for those writing military fiction from military veterans). Candid talk by military veterans on the many faucets of war often missing in military-themed genre fiction

Speakers
avatar for J.

J. "Cal" Baldari

Professor, Stratford University
Dr. Baldari is a bit of a polymath. He joined the United States Army as a Combat Engineer after high school "to seek adventure." He qualified Sapper shortly after and served 24 years, completing the Warrant Officer Training Course to become a Army Civil Engineer. He graduated cum... Read More →


Friday January 18, 2019 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room L

5:00pm

InSight: Looking Inside Mars
NASA’s InSight mission uses a seismometer, a heat flow probe, and other measurements to better understand the interior structure of the Red Planet. The information will support comparisons to the other terrestrial (rocky) planets.

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room M

5:00pm

Metricula
Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 5:00pm - 5:55pm
Large Auditorium

5:00pm

Video Gaming
All ages video gaming, with systems ranging all over, from Atari to XBox and PS4! Ages 11 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult at all times, with no exceptions. Please no food or drink. Note: some games may be inappropriate for young children - use your discretion regarding your child's access.

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 5:00pm - Sunday January 20, 2019 3:50pm
Room 2

6:00pm

Opening Ceremonies
Join the staff and guests of MarsCon in kicking off this year's con! Includes a champagne toast and a performance or two!

Moderators
avatar for Michael Khandelwal

Michael Khandelwal

Pop Quiz: Who is our Toastmaster, Michael Jon Khandelwal? Make your choice below:Once one of the world’s premier primate behavioral scientists, Michael abandoned his award-winning work with monkeys, after a slight incident in the lab, for a new career in the entertainment industry... Read More →

Speakers

Friday January 18, 2019 6:00pm - 6:50pm
Large Auditorium

6:00pm

Family Happy Hour
Catch up with Con Friends or make some new ones! Win prizes just for hanging out, including the coveted MarsBucks to spend in our excellent Dealers Room! Get a photo op with our big, green, long-time friend Marso; bring your silliest or coolest pose and you may be selected to be on the official MarsCon website!

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Room 1

7:00pm

Valentine Wolfe
Moderators
avatar for Valentine Wolfe

Valentine Wolfe

Braxton Ballew and Sarah Black have been composing and performing music together as Valentine Wolfe since 2006. Their scores have been heard in productions of The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest (Warehouse Theater), The Winter’s Tale (Furman University), and Twelfth Night (The... Read More →

Friday January 18, 2019 7:00pm - 7:50pm
Large Auditorium

7:00pm

Talk of the Tavern: Smoke Out
A casual, poolside, get-together with Talk of the Tavern crew, hosted by Travis Sivart. Come join in conversation, camaraderie, and community as friendly folks gather to enjoy the age old tradition of sharing the art of smoking pipes and cigars. This is weather permitting

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 7:00pm - 7:50pm
Pool

7:00pm

Cosplay Makeup: The Good, the Bad, and the Brands in Between
When it comes to cosplay makeup there are plenty of do's and don'ts, and internet tutorials don't always address the best makeup to use for your skin type. Come learn from our cosplay experts which products they swear by, and which products to avoid.

Speakers
avatar for Nickie Jamison

Nickie Jamison

Literary Guest
Nickie Jamison is the secret identity of Ora J. McGuire. She is a writer of LGBTQ+ erotica and romance blended with sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Ora’s hobbies include gaming, fan-girling, and doing marathons…on Netflix. She also vlogs about life, makeup, and KonMari decluttering... Read More →


Friday January 18, 2019 7:00pm - 7:50pm
Room L

7:00pm

Fantasy Worldbuilding: Making the Unbelievable Believable
A peek behind the curtain into the process of developing living, breathing fantasy worlds for storytelling.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Cass Morris

Cass Morris

Cass Morris works as a writer and educator in central Virginia and occasionally moonlights as a bookseller in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a... Read More →


Friday January 18, 2019 7:00pm - 7:50pm
Room 8

7:00pm

I Wish I Knew
Panelists discuss the things they wish they’d known before they were published.


Friday January 18, 2019 7:00pm - 7:50pm
Room 7

7:00pm

Moral Conflict in Genre Fiction
So you think you know what a bad guy is? Come find out as panelists discuss how to present and identify moral conflicts in literature and in one's own writing.

Moderators
avatar for Michael D. Pederson

Michael D. Pederson

Con Chair, RavenCon

Speakers
avatar for J.

J. "Cal" Baldari

Professor, Stratford University
Dr. Baldari is a bit of a polymath. He joined the United States Army as a Combat Engineer after high school "to seek adventure." He qualified Sapper shortly after and served 24 years, completing the Warrant Officer Training Course to become a Army Civil Engineer. He graduated cum... Read More →
avatar for Jason Gilbert

Jason Gilbert

Literary Guest
Jason is the author of The Clockworks of War series, The Rifle Chronicles, and Wolfbane: The Coldstone Files. His stories are Alternate History with an Urban Fantasy and Horror element set in worlds of the supernatural, and sometimes involve steam and gears! You can check out his... Read More →


Friday January 18, 2019 7:00pm - 7:50pm
Room M

7:00pm

Splendid Teapot Race Demo
The night before Saturday's race, come see a demo of the steampunk event that has taken the world by storm!

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 7:00pm - 7:50pm
Room 6

7:00pm

Crafters Meet and Greet
Bring your knit, crochet, beading, sewing, and other projects to this open crafting time. Meet fellow handcrafting geeks and possibly find some inspiration!

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Craft Corner

7:00pm

Allen Wold's Plotting Workshop
Come learn one way to plot a story from beginning to end and write in response to prompts given by Allen Wold. Limited to 30 participants.

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 7:00pm - 8:50pm
Room 5

7:30pm

Kids of the Con Showcase
Tots through teens share their talents. Come encourage our future Con entertainers as they perform!

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 7:30pm - 8:00pm
Room 1

8:00pm

Family Programming Training
If you work with kids at MarsCon or would like more information about doing so, please join us as we review safety and management tips.

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 8:00pm - 8:30pm
Room 1

8:00pm

White Plectrum
Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 8:00pm - 8:50pm
Small Auditorium

8:00pm

Fireside Bedtime Stories
Toddlers through teens are invited to cozy up by the fireplace to listen to an exciting short story or an original picture books read by the authors.

Speakers
avatar for Charlie Stayton

Charlie Stayton

Developer and writer, Cracked Monocle
Charlie Stayton is a writer and developer for Cracked Monocle Games and science fiction and fantasy short stories. He lives in Virginia with His wife Anastasia, and Gwyn the Clockwork Dog. When not writing for Cracked Monocle he can be found writing Steampunk short stories and Science... Read More →


Friday January 18, 2019 8:00pm - 8:50pm
Main Hotel Lobby

8:00pm

Pokemon Go! Meet-Up
Attendees can come meet-up to make friends and trades at the beginning of the convention and discuss strategies on the best way to catch them all!

Friday January 18, 2019 8:00pm - 8:50pm
Room 3

8:00pm

"Based on a True Story": The Weird-but-True Wild West
The American Wild West had plenty of “weird” stories of real people: traveling librarians, "gender non-conformists, explorers and artists, ghosts and mysteries in the real world.

Moderators
avatar for Margaret S. McGraw

Margaret S. McGraw

Editor/Author
Margaret S. McGraw is co-editor of two anthologies about the wildest West that never was: Weird Wild West (eSpec Books, 2015) and Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier (Falstaff Books, 2017). Her story "Rainmaker" appears in Lawless Lands, and “Stasis” appears in the benefit... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Emily Lavin Leverett

Emily Lavin Leverett

Author
Emily Lavin Leverett is a writer, editor, and English professor. She is the co-editor of "Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier" and "The Weird Wild West" with Misty Massey and Margaret McGraw. Her first novel "Changeling’s Fall," co-written with Sarah Joy Adams was followed... Read More →


Friday January 18, 2019 8:00pm - 8:50pm
Room 7

8:00pm

Myths and Legends in the 21st Century
In a tech heavy society, what role do old myths, legends, and faerie tales have? Should they be updated for a modern audience, or do you respect them as canon and hold to their roots?

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Cass Morris

Cass Morris

Cass Morris works as a writer and educator in central Virginia and occasionally moonlights as a bookseller in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a... Read More →


Friday January 18, 2019 8:00pm - 8:50pm
Room 8

8:00pm

Native American Culture and the Supernatural
Rituals, traditions, talismans, and creatures; Native American culture has a richly diverse array of supernatural elements. Come learn about the differences between tribes and find out the facts beyond Hollywood's colorful portrayals.


Friday January 18, 2019 8:00pm - 8:50pm
Room M

8:00pm

Origin Stories
While most folks are familiar with Charles Perrault, The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, and the Andrew Lang fairy collections, not everyone is aware that the largest number of tales were first told by women and later written down by women in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries prior to their appropriation by men. This panel would discuss the origins, purpose, and tropes of fairy tales, including such topics as The Evil Stepmother and The Rule of Three.


Friday January 18, 2019 8:00pm - 8:50pm
Room 6

8:00pm

Powerless and Clean-Up Crews
While not as popular to the general public, concepts regarding the consequences and after-effects of heroes vs villains and vigilantism abound among the fandom, and this ended up being a key plot point in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Just how should these city-destroying battles be handled, who should be accountable, and who's really coming up with the tech?

Speakers
avatar for Falstaff Books

Falstaff Books

Falstaff Books
Falstaff Books is a digital and print publishing company based in Charlotte, NC dedicated to bringing to life the best in fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and dramatic literature. We love bringing amazing stories to light and giving incredible writers a voice. The battered... Read More →
avatar for D.J. McGuire

D.J. McGuire

A Jersey boy who fell for a Suffolk girl, DJ has been a cost estimator and project manager for various federal government contractors for over 18 years. He also teaches economics at his local community college, plays bass for The Nefarious Ferrets and for Dimensional Riffs, and is... Read More →


Friday January 18, 2019 8:00pm - 8:50pm
Room 4

8:00pm

Harrington, Hornblower, and Lucky Jack
Meet with the members of TRMN and discuss how Age of Sail fiction by such writers as C.S. Forester and Patrick O’Brian helped inspire David Weber’s Honorverse.

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 8:00pm - 8:50pm
Room L

8:00pm

Open Crafting
Bring your knit, crochet, beading, sewing, and other projects to this open crafting time. Meet fellow handcrafting geeks and possibly find some inspiration!

Friday January 18, 2019 8:00pm - 11:00pm
Craft Corner

8:30pm

Dungeon Masters of Vaudeville
Join world-renowned juggler & comedian Paul Garbanzo and torch songstress Madame Onça for 'Dungeon Masters of Vaudeville', a variety show full of danger, comedy and tongue-in-cheek references. Be thoroughly entertained by international talent Carmel Clavin, seen here as Ozma, as well as Wedji TuCheeksMab Just Mab and award-winning May Hemmer at this Wizard of Odd 45 minute-long vaudeville show! Rated PG-13.

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 8:30pm - 9:15pm
Large Auditorium

8:30pm

VR Teen Meet & Greet
Teens and pre-teens are invited to see who else made it to the Con this year! A drawing will be held for MarsBucks to spend in our excellent Dealers Room; must be present to win! Included are special guests Zenith VR + Escape with an opportunity to try out the virtual reality "headset of the year", the HTC Vive Pro. All visitors who stop by will receive a discount code for use at their location in Yorktown, VA.

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 8:30pm - 10:00pm
Room 1

9:00pm

Amazing Colossal MST3K Trivia Challenge
Watch as two teams battle to display their superior knowledge of Mystery Science Theater 3000 minutiae! Marvel as they attempt to be the first to answer questions about Crow's screenwriter ambitions, Mike's rock star career in an alternate timeline, Dr. Forrester's laundry practices and Joel's desire to be on Star Search! Learn the dark secrets of the Isaac Asimov Doomsday Device! And recoil in horror as you find out the true cost of Torgo's suspiciously warm pizza! It's The Amazing Colossal MST3K Trivia Challenge, in 3-D Sensoround Smell-o-Vision, with patented Hinder 90. Join us, won't you?

Moderators
avatar for Michael Khandelwal

Michael Khandelwal

Pop Quiz: Who is our Toastmaster, Michael Jon Khandelwal? Make your choice below:Once one of the world’s premier primate behavioral scientists, Michael abandoned his award-winning work with monkeys, after a slight incident in the lab, for a new career in the entertainment industry... Read More →

Friday January 18, 2019 9:00pm - 9:50pm
Small Auditorium

9:00pm

Adventures and Disasters in Space
Listen to tales of adventure and disaster from the field by scientists in the endless pursuit of knowledge!


Friday January 18, 2019 9:00pm - 9:50pm
Room 4

9:00pm

Fairies Kidnap Children and Other Common Beliefs
Exactly what the title says; panelists will discuss the general beliefs surrounding fairies.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Meredith Dillman

Meredith Dillman

Meredith Dillman is an artist and illustrator originally from Minnesota. She now lives in Wisconsin. She is known for her colorful watercolors which blend Art Nouveau, fantasy and Asian influences. She enjoys painting fairies, woodland creatures and other fantasy and medieval themes... Read More →
avatar for Catherynne Valente

Catherynne Valente

Catherynne M. Valente is the New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen works of fiction and poetry, including Palimpsest, the Orphan’s Tales series, Deathless, Radiance, and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Own Making. She... Read More →


Friday January 18, 2019 9:00pm - 9:50pm
Room L

9:00pm

Get Off My Lawn! Writing in a Shared Universe
Co-writing and collaboration are great, but sometimes they're just a little too close for comfort. However, another type of collaborative possibility is writing in a shared universe. The panelists discuss what it’s like to write in a shared universe, how they got involved in that universe, and what universes they’d like to further write in.

Moderators
avatar for Melissa McArthur

Melissa McArthur

Editor; Writer, Falstaff Books
Melissa McArthur is the founder and president of Clicking Keys Writer Services, a full-service editing, cover design, and layout company based in the upstate of South Carolina. She also serves as an Acquiring Editor for Falstaff Books, and is an accomplished editor and proofreader... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Falstaff Books

Falstaff Books

Falstaff Books
Falstaff Books is a digital and print publishing company based in Charlotte, NC dedicated to bringing to life the best in fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and dramatic literature. We love bringing amazing stories to light and giving incredible writers a voice. The battered... Read More →
avatar for Tera Fulbright

Tera Fulbright

In Tera’s world, she is dedicated to driving stronger engagement at her place of work, creates innovative programming for SF conventions - including her own (ConGregate), and writes short stories that tug on the emotional heartstrings of her readers.  With over 20 years of event... Read More →


Friday January 18, 2019 9:00pm - 9:50pm
Room 7

9:00pm

Raising the Stakes in Middle Grade Fiction
Middle grade fiction is bursting with quirky, clever, and brave kids who find themselves in situations where adults would often fear to tread. But how do we raise the stakes in children’s fiction without propelling the story into unrealistic events? What limits can we push and what should we avoid? Panelists discuss some of their favorite scenes and plot twists that keep readers engaged while pushing characters and stories to the next level.


Friday January 18, 2019 9:00pm - 9:50pm
Room 8

9:00pm

Creator, Content, Consumer, and Community - the Four Cs of the 21st Century Pro and Fan
Sean Patrick Fannon - writer, game designer, publisher, communications and promotions consultant - leads a discussion on the extremely fluid and dynamic nature of today's creative world, and how these changes directly impact professional creators and the fans. It's easy to see how the Internet has changed everything, but it's important to truly explore and understand what those changes mean, and what more is in store for us all down the road. He'll open up with the "Four Cs Model" of the creator-to-fan relationship and how to employ it in basic terms, then open things up for a robust discussion about today's creative direct-to-fan world.

Moderators
avatar for Sean Patrick Fannon

Sean Patrick Fannon

Evil Beagle
Sean Patrick Fannon (aka "Big Irish" or SPF) has been professionally involved in tabletop RPGs, computer games, and entertainment for over a quarter-century. His dozens of projects have included Hero Games' Champions product line; both West End's and Fantasy Flight's Star Wars RPGs... Read More →

Friday January 18, 2019 9:00pm - 9:50pm
Room M

9:00pm

Weird Tales: The Pulp Magazine of H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert E. Howard
In the 1920s, the popular fiction published in pulp fiction magazines had become formulaic. But one publisher, J.C. Hennenberger, had a dream for a "unique magazine" that would distinguish itself by refusing the formulaic: Weird Tales, the legendary "pulp" that published such writers as H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert E. Howard. This presentation and Q&A by print and literary historian Dr. Jason Ray Carney (CNU) will briefly survey Weird Tales' history as well as highlight the unique sub-genres it became known for: cosmic horror, sword and sorcery, space opera, and the tale of occult detection.

Speakers

Friday January 18, 2019 9:00pm - 9:50pm
Room 6

9:00pm

Basic Armor Patterning
Come see how the process of armor making begins as the designers at Ribbons and Rivets lead participants through making their own bracer pattern. All tools and materials are provided for this free workshop.

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 9:00pm - 9:50pm
Room 5

9:30pm

Fairy Ball with The Brinjal Faerie Band
Take a trip to the land of the fae with the Brinjal Faerie Band! Costumes recommended, but not required.

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 9:30pm - 11:30pm
Harrison 3 & 4

10:00pm

Blibbering Humdingers
Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 10:00pm - 10:50pm
Large Auditorium

10:00pm

Sex Scenes in Writing (Ages 18+)
Sex is a part of life, and an aspect we can use to learn many things about a character. Are they chatty in bed, or kinky, or do they prefer the lights off? All are insights that help a reader relate to the characters. But does sex 'need' to be in your writing? Let's discuss what sex in writing means and whether it needs to be in your novel.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Nickie Jamison

Nickie Jamison

Literary Guest
Nickie Jamison is the secret identity of Ora J. McGuire. She is a writer of LGBTQ+ erotica and romance blended with sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Ora’s hobbies include gaming, fan-girling, and doing marathons…on Netflix. She also vlogs about life, makeup, and KonMari decluttering... Read More →
avatar for Emily Lavin Leverett

Emily Lavin Leverett

Author
Emily Lavin Leverett is a writer, editor, and English professor. She is the co-editor of "Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier" and "The Weird Wild West" with Misty Massey and Margaret McGraw. Her first novel "Changeling’s Fall," co-written with Sarah Joy Adams was followed... Read More →


Friday January 18, 2019 10:00pm - 10:50pm
Room L

10:00pm

Sexploitation in the Grindhouse (Ages 18+)
An overview of sexploitaion movies during the grindhouse era.

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 10:00pm - 10:50pm
Room 6

10:00pm

Tea Party E-Tea-quette in the Land of the Fae
What would you do if you found yourself in a literal Faerie Tea Party? This panel explores both tea facts and faerie lore for an entertaining and informative look at tea culture with a Faerieland twist. What's the difference between green tea and black tea? How do you steep them? And should you thank a faerie for a gift? These answers (and some hot tea) await!

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 10:00pm - 10:50pm
Room 5

10:00pm

Win, Lose, or Draw
Join a team and win a prize!

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 10:00pm - 11:50pm
Small Auditorium

11:00pm

Mikey Mason
Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 11:00pm - 11:50pm
Large Auditorium

11:00pm

Fanfiction Late Night Readings (Ages 18+)
Join us for an 18+ reading of some of the most ridiculous spelling, grammar, and incoherent plots that teenagers can dream up on Fanfiction.net.

Moderators
Friday January 18, 2019 11:00pm - 11:50pm
Room M

12:00am

Misbehavin' Maidens - Uncensored (Ages 18+)
Join the Misbehavin' Maidens for this special adult-content version of their music!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 12:00am - 12:50am
Large Auditorium
 
Saturday, January 19
 

8:00am

Morning PT with TRMN
Captain Burnham and Lieutenant Cunningham of HMS Atropos lead MarsCon's early risers in a regimen to start the day off with energy and fitness.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 8:00am - 8:50am
Harrison 3 & 4

9:00am

Crafting Circle
Grab your needles and hooks and sit for a spell while you work on your project and relax.

Saturday January 19, 2019 9:00am - 9:50am
Harrison 3 & 4

9:00am

Guided Geeky Meditation
Start your day off Geekfully! Err...Mindful and geeky? Alyssa will ease you into Saturday morning with 2-3 guided meditations in the spirit of Marscon: you might encounter your Patronus, bend some elements, or connect with the Force!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 9:00am - 9:50am
Room 3

9:00am

Ladies of the Legions
A Star Wars multi group support and community resource for costuming ladies (and those who identify as ladies and women). Come chat about the challenges and concerns of costuming as a lady in a Galaxy Far Far Away.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 9:00am - 9:50am
Room 6

9:30am

Magical Journey with Morlin the Magician
Please join us on a fascinating journey highlighting some of the classics of magic! Illusions that have stood the test of time entertaining and amazing audiences for centuries if not longer. You'll see things that appear from nowhere, multiply at will, teleport from one place to another and then vanish back to wherever they came from in the first place. And that's just a sampling of what we have in store for you! After the show, don’t forget to look for Morlin the Magician as he strolls around offering an effect or two to attendees interested in seeing magic close-up and personal.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 9:30am - 10:00am
Room 1

10:00am

Geek Out About Fantastic Beasts!
Attendee-led roundtable talk about the current iteration of the Harry Potter universe. Love it or hate it, everyone whose seen these movies has an opinion. There will be spoilers!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 3

10:00am

Debunking Gaming Myths
Do games make you more violent? Is gaming inherently damaging or a waste of time? We'll discuss the truth (or lack thereof) behind common myths about gaming and gamers, including what studies have shown and what they have not.

Moderators
avatar for Charlie Stayton

Charlie Stayton

Developer and writer, Cracked Monocle
Charlie Stayton is a writer and developer for Cracked Monocle Games and science fiction and fantasy short stories. He lives in Virginia with His wife Anastasia, and Gwyn the Clockwork Dog. When not writing for Cracked Monocle he can be found writing Steampunk short stories and Science... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for J.

J. "Cal" Baldari

Professor, Stratford University
Dr. Baldari is a bit of a polymath. He joined the United States Army as a Combat Engineer after high school "to seek adventure." He qualified Sapper shortly after and served 24 years, completing the Warrant Officer Training Course to become a Army Civil Engineer. He graduated cum... Read More →
avatar for Nickie Jamison

Nickie Jamison

Literary Guest
Nickie Jamison is the secret identity of Ora J. McGuire. She is a writer of LGBTQ+ erotica and romance blended with sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Ora’s hobbies include gaming, fan-girling, and doing marathons…on Netflix. She also vlogs about life, makeup, and KonMari decluttering... Read More →
avatar for Carinn Seabolt

Carinn Seabolt

Carinn Seabolt is Evil Beagle Games’ Editor-in-Chief and co-designer of the long-awaited The Crew setting book for Savage Worlds. She is also in charge of reviewing charity requests and coordinating the Beagle’s involvement with worthy causes.Carinn also does quite a bit of freelance... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 4

10:00am

Fanfic and Beyond
Fanfiction is often the gateway drug of writing, particularly for authors in shared universes. Panelists will talk about the fanfiction they have written and how it got them to where they are today. They may even share a few favorites out of currently available fanfiction.

Moderators
avatar for Tera Fulbright

Tera Fulbright

In Tera’s world, she is dedicated to driving stronger engagement at her place of work, creates innovative programming for SF conventions - including her own (ConGregate), and writes short stories that tug on the emotional heartstrings of her readers.  With over 20 years of event... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire writes things.  It can be difficult to make her stop, although she’s easily distracted by swamps, corn fields, and traveling carnivals.  She was once lost on a carnival midway for six hours, only to be found happily operating the Ferris wheel.  Her books have been... Read More →
avatar for Cass Morris

Cass Morris

Cass Morris works as a writer and educator in central Virginia and occasionally moonlights as a bookseller in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 7

10:00am

Horror in Doctor Who
For a "Family Show", there has been plenty of Horror in Doctor Who. This panel will explore the horror themes, the monsters, and everything generally scary that has shown up on Doctor Who, from the Early Days of the show, to the Gothic Horror of the Tom Baker era, to Today.


Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 8

10:00am

How Does Supernatural Measure Up?
A discussion on the supernatural creatures featured in the hit series "Supernatural." Panelists delve into the traditional mythology of these creatures and compare that to how they are represented in the show.


Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room L

10:00am

Who's Who of Star Wars Costumed Charity?
Do you love Star Wars? Do you love doing charity work… IN COSTUME? Then joining one of the world's largest Star Wars charity organizations is definitely for you. This panel will provide information about the various Lucas Film Ltd. sanctioned costumed charity organizations: The 501st Legion, The Rebel Legion, The Mandolorian Mercs, The Droid Builders, and the Galactic Academy. Active members of these organizations will hold an informative discussion about what each organization does and how to join their ranks. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 6

10:00am

Next Generation of Weather Satellites
Dr. Mikles shares exciting advances in weather prediction from the NOAA-20 satellite. The advanced instrumentation fuels new science, allowing us to track hurricanes at night, predict river flooding from melted ice, and even get early warning of famine.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room M

10:00am

Open Crafting
Bring your knit, crochet, beading, sewing, and other projects to this open crafting time. Meet fellow handcrafting geeks and possibly find some inspiration!

Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Craft Corner

10:00am

MarsCon Mission Tours
Follow your official Tour Guide to Gaming, Art Show, Dealers Room, and ConSuite for special kid-focused activities only available to tour participants! Meet early and enjoy the Magic Show in Rm. 1 at 9:30 am; parents MUST sign waiver before kids leave on tour and pick them up at 12 noon. Targeted to ages 6-14; children under age 6 must be accompanied by a responsible adult or teen.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00am - 11:50am
Room 1

10:00am

Behind the Music
Join a few of our musical guests as they talk about the inspiration for their songs and how they bring things together.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Valentine Wolfe

Valentine Wolfe

Braxton Ballew and Sarah Black have been composing and performing music together as Valentine Wolfe since 2006. Their scores have been heard in productions of The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest (Warehouse Theater), The Winter’s Tale (Furman University), and Twelfth Night (The... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00am - 11:50am
Small Auditorium

10:00am

Allen Wold's Writer's Workshop
Allen Wold reprises his popular writer's workshop where he'll give a writing exercised that is then discussed. Limited to 12 participants


Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00am - 11:50am
Room 5

11:00am

Geek Out About Marvel!
Attendee-led roundtable talk about the largest cross-media fandom in today's pop culture and theories on what will happen after Avengers 4. There will be spoilers!

Speakers

Saturday January 19, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 3

11:00am

Mermaid Beauty Secrets
Want to learn some mermaid secrets? Join our professional mermaid with her many years as a siren of the seas, synchronized swimming coach and swimmer, and a premiere princess/character entertainer for over a decade! She will you give you her tips to apply and which to buy.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Pool

11:00am

Evolution of the Zombie
From slow walkers to runners to zombies who develop a pack mentality - join our Author GoH Seanan McGuire and other panelists as they discuss how zombies have evolved over time.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Mira Grant

Mira Grant

Mira Grant knows what you did last summer.


Saturday January 19, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 8

11:00am

Geek Parenting
Explore what it's like be a geek, working in a geek culture vocation, while raising a geekling. Join panelists for a rousing discussion of modern-day parenting, attending conventions, using devices, cosplaying, online privacy, and using tech to make you a better parent, as well as when is best to introduce kids to the Star Wars movies (and in what order?), and more! Bring your kids and your questions! The panel will have some coloring books to keep kids occupied so you can try to focus!

Moderators
avatar for Jason Gilbert

Jason Gilbert

Literary Guest
Jason is the author of The Clockworks of War series, The Rifle Chronicles, and Wolfbane: The Coldstone Files. His stories are Alternate History with an Urban Fantasy and Horror element set in worlds of the supernatural, and sometimes involve steam and gears! You can check out his... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for J.

J. "Cal" Baldari

Professor, Stratford University
Dr. Baldari is a bit of a polymath. He joined the United States Army as a Combat Engineer after high school "to seek adventure." He qualified Sapper shortly after and served 24 years, completing the Warrant Officer Training Course to become a Army Civil Engineer. He graduated cum... Read More →
avatar for James Fulbright

James Fulbright

Con Chair/President, ConGregate Productions
James Fulbright was introduced to AD&D by a friend in 1979. After joining his first gaming group, his friends convinced him to start attending conventions like StellarCon and Hexacon. It wasn’t long before attending cons led him to start helping out with those cons; which, in turn... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 1

11:00am

Camera Ready 101
Half of being ready for a photoshoot is having the look down, but the rest is feeling ready in your bones. Learn tips and tricks today!


Saturday January 19, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 4

11:00am

Level Up Your Editing Game
Guests should bring parts of their manuscripts to the workshop. We will discuss and perform some of the best techniques of editing. Dependent upon time, Donna will take a look at the first few pages of a given manuscript to provide some critiques.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Melissa McArthur

Melissa McArthur

Editor; Writer, Falstaff Books
Melissa McArthur is the founder and president of Clicking Keys Writer Services, a full-service editing, cover design, and layout company based in the upstate of South Carolina. She also serves as an Acquiring Editor for Falstaff Books, and is an accomplished editor and proofreader... Read More →
avatar for Margaret S. McGraw

Margaret S. McGraw

Editor/Author
Margaret S. McGraw is co-editor of two anthologies about the wildest West that never was: Weird Wild West (eSpec Books, 2015) and Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier (Falstaff Books, 2017). Her story "Rainmaker" appears in Lawless Lands, and “Stasis” appears in the benefit... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 6

11:00am

New Horizons: The Next Observations
The New Horizons spacecraft will fly past a Kuiper Belt Object on 1/1/19. This program will look at the early results of the encounter.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room M

11:00am

ORCSLARP
ORCSLARP is a full-speed, full-contact, medieval fantasy live action role playing game with foam-padded weapons and a magic system. Players become their character, assuming their profession and all the abilities that come with it in order to adventure through the Realm. ORCS hosts regularly scheduled events, including day battles, tournaments, campouts, and feasts.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Harrison 3 & 4

11:00am

Fairyland Jamboree
Come one! Come all! Join us for carnival games, prizes and fun at the Fairyland Jamboree. Ticket proceeds go to the Heritage Humane Society. Ages 12 & under get a FREE ticket! Get a photo op with our big, green, long-time friend Marso; bring your silliest or coolest pose and you may be selected to be on the official MarsCon website!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 11:00am - 12:50pm
Main Hotel Lobby

11:00am

RavenCon Meeting
Each year, our sister convention RavenCon has a meeting at MarsCon. Come learn what's going on and see how you can get involved!

Moderators
avatar for Michael D. Pederson

Michael D. Pederson

Con Chair, RavenCon

Speakers

Saturday January 19, 2019 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room L

11:00am

DIY Doll Wings
Back by popular demand, in this workshop you will use fabric, wire, paint, and glitter to make a pair of mini-wings for your favorite doll or plushie (or pet, if they are patient enough to wear them).

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 11:00am - 1:00pm
Craft Corner

11:30am

MarsCon Doctor Who Tea Party
Come enjoy tea and treats at the original MarsCon Doctor Who Tea Party! Seating is limited. Sign-up available in the hallway, $5 entry fee required.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 11:30am - 1:00pm
Room E

12:00pm

Geek Out About Star Wars
Attendee-led roundtable talk about our favorite galaxy far, far away. There will be spoilers!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 3

12:00pm

Hogwarts School of Ballroom Dancing
The Blibbering Humdingers teach ballroom dancing to Harry Potter-loving fans of all ages.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Harrison 3 & 4

12:00pm

Mermaid Swimming Lesions
Learn the basics of how to swim like a wild beauty of the deep. Our professional mermaid with her many years as a siren of the seas, synchronized swimming coach and swimmer will teach you the basics of mermaid swimming. Bring a swimsuit and swim accessories as needed. All ages are welcome as long as participants are good swimmers. Participants must be comfortable and capable of staying in the water without their feet touching the bottom, as well as putting their heads underwater. An easy test of retrieving 2 rings from the bottom and swimming to deep end and back will be requested at the beginning. NOTE: Although a lifeguard will be on duty during our pool programming please remember that you, not MarsCon nor the DoubleTree Hotel, will be responsible for the safety of yourself and your children.

Saturday January 19, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Pool

12:00pm

Tis the Season for Krampus and Other Darker Fairytales
It's still winter, which means it's still the darkest time of the year, when Krampus and other darker stories rear their heads to delight and scare our hearts and minds.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Catherynne Valente

Catherynne Valente

Catherynne M. Valente is the New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen works of fiction and poetry, including Palimpsest, the Orphan’s Tales series, Deathless, Radiance, and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Own Making. She... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 6

12:00pm

Villains: But Are They Really?
How often does the "villain" of the story become forced into that role by the society of their tale? Who where are favorite story villans before their times of trial. Have we heard the whole story, and do they fully deserve the title given? We will explore and debate about how some so called Villians came to be.


Saturday January 19, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 7

12:00pm

Westerns in SciFi and Fantasy
In many ways, the Western and Scifi genres are uniquely American—but their blending has influenced fiction worldwide. From Star Wars and Mad Max to Firefly and Cowboy Beebop, some of the most successful titles in genre fiction blend these two themes. But how do you balance them, what are the strengths and benefits of each, and how have some cross-genre properties succeeded where others have failed.

Moderators
avatar for Margaret S. McGraw

Margaret S. McGraw

Editor/Author
Margaret S. McGraw is co-editor of two anthologies about the wildest West that never was: Weird Wild West (eSpec Books, 2015) and Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier (Falstaff Books, 2017). Her story "Rainmaker" appears in Lawless Lands, and “Stasis” appears in the benefit... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Falstaff Books

Falstaff Books

Falstaff Books
Falstaff Books is a digital and print publishing company based in Charlotte, NC dedicated to bringing to life the best in fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and dramatic literature. We love bringing amazing stories to light and giving incredible writers a voice. The battered... Read More →
avatar for Jason Gilbert

Jason Gilbert

Literary Guest
Jason is the author of The Clockworks of War series, The Rifle Chronicles, and Wolfbane: The Coldstone Files. His stories are Alternate History with an Urban Fantasy and Horror element set in worlds of the supernatural, and sometimes involve steam and gears! You can check out his... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 8

12:00pm

Faerie Resilience: How to be Happy in the Human World
Find the joy! Techniques for appreciation, mental health and whimsy. Faeries and the hunter-gatherer ancestors of humans had a lot in common. How can we find balance and pleasure in a world with concrete and traffic?

Moderators
avatar for Nina Amaya

Nina Amaya

supreme leader, Big Whimsy, Baltimore Faerie Faire, Brinjal
Brinjal Faerie Band- playing Friday nightBaltimore Faerie Faire - has a fan table, is lots o funBig Whimsy - stilts, balloon twisting, etc entertainmentfull time fun person, mom, teacher, flarbinjunks

Saturday January 19, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 4

12:00pm

How YA Shaped a Generation of Activism
Everything is political, media especially so. We will discuss how book series such as Harry Potter, the Hunger Games and the Maze Runner influenced the youths to take a stand.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room M

12:00pm

Modding Nerf Blasters tor Performance and Style
Come out and learn how to modify the most popular styles of nerf blasters to increase performance, range and accuracy, as well as techniques to make them look as good as they performance. See (and touch) samples of various levels of modification for the two most popular blaster types: flywheels and springers. Children welcome (with supervision) and there will be some chances to fire cool toy blasters, but you have to be able to sit through an EXCITING presentation first!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 1

1:00pm

White Plectrum
Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Small Auditorium

1:00pm

Geek Out About Doctor Who!
Attendee-led roundtable talk about the latest in the Whoverse and flailing over Jodie Whittaker and the Doctor's companions. There will be spoilers!

Speakers

Saturday January 19, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Room 3

1:00pm

Conversations with Seanan and Cat
Our Guests of Honor will take questions posed to each other and directly from the audience. Come meet them!

Speakers
avatar for Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire writes things.  It can be difficult to make her stop, although she’s easily distracted by swamps, corn fields, and traveling carnivals.  She was once lost on a carnival midway for six hours, only to be found happily operating the Ferris wheel.  Her books have been... Read More →
avatar for Catherynne Valente

Catherynne Valente

Catherynne M. Valente is the New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen works of fiction and poetry, including Palimpsest, the Orphan’s Tales series, Deathless, Radiance, and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Own Making. She... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Large Auditorium

1:00pm

Creative Commons Rights for Creators and Fans
What can the experts tell us about Creative Commons Rights, and what does it mean to fans and authors? Let's look at ways people use the license and find out how our creative community feels about publishing their work.


Saturday January 19, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Room L

1:00pm

Hollywood Magic
While Disney began the fairy tale film adaptation craze in 1937 with the immediate success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, there have been many different reinterpretations of Snow White and other classic fairy tales since then, both in film and television. This panel would discuss the reasons fairy tales make perfect films and television platforms and the ways that film makers have played with the tropes.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Meredith Dillman

Meredith Dillman

Meredith Dillman is an artist and illustrator originally from Minnesota. She now lives in Wisconsin. She is known for her colorful watercolors which blend Art Nouveau, fantasy and Asian influences. She enjoys painting fairies, woodland creatures and other fantasy and medieval themes... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Room 6

1:00pm

Say it on the Page!
Panelists talk about the importance of diverse representation and diverse voices in literature/media.

Speakers
avatar for Margaret S. McGraw

Margaret S. McGraw

Editor/Author
Margaret S. McGraw is co-editor of two anthologies about the wildest West that never was: Weird Wild West (eSpec Books, 2015) and Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier (Falstaff Books, 2017). Her story "Rainmaker" appears in Lawless Lands, and “Stasis” appears in the benefit... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Room 4

1:00pm

The Writing Process
Do you start with an outline for your story, or do you use a cluster map? Which writing processes work and which don't? Authors discuss their processes as well as general processes, and answer audience questions relating to their own writing.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Emily Lavin Leverett

Emily Lavin Leverett

Author
Emily Lavin Leverett is a writer, editor, and English professor. She is the co-editor of "Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier" and "The Weird Wild West" with Misty Massey and Margaret McGraw. Her first novel "Changeling’s Fall," co-written with Sarah Joy Adams was followed... Read More →
avatar for Cass Morris

Cass Morris

Cass Morris works as a writer and educator in central Virginia and occasionally moonlights as a bookseller in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Room 8

1:00pm

The Pitch
When someone asks, "What's your story about?" What do you say? How do you condense your 100,000 word epic into the space of an elevator ride, but still keep the impact, the uniqueness, and the heart? What are the dos and do nots when you're pitching a reader, an agent, a publisher?

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Falstaff Books

Falstaff Books

Falstaff Books
Falstaff Books is a digital and print publishing company based in Charlotte, NC dedicated to bringing to life the best in fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and dramatic literature. We love bringing amazing stories to light and giving incredible writers a voice. The battered... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Room 7

1:00pm

Baen Books Traveling Road Show
Come to the annual Baen Books Traveling Road Show! Win a book and find out what's new from Baen.


Saturday January 19, 2019 1:00pm - 2:50pm
Room M

1:00pm

Splendid Teapot Race
Come watch the annual Spendid Teapot Race and find out how you can participate next year!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 1:00pm - 2:50pm
Harrison 3 & 4

1:00pm

Water Quidditch
Think what you got what it takes to be a seeker, chaser, beater or keeper.... but that darn gravity is keeps pulling ya down? Come try it in the water! Each witch or wizard will receive a broom (or pool noodle) to fly on, and try to beat the other team! Rules will be covered at the pool! Bring a swimsuit and swim accessories as needed. Please note: All ages are welcome as long as participants are good swimmers. Participants must be comfortable and capable of staying in the water without their feet touching the bottom, as well as putting their heads underwater. An easy test of retrieving 2 rings from the bottom and swimming to deep end and back will be requested at the beginning. Although a lifeguard will be on duty during our pool programming please remember that you, not MarsCon nor the DoubleTree Hotel, will be responsible for the safety of yourself and your children.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 1:00pm - 2:50pm
Pool

1:00pm

Miniature Painting Workshop for Beginner and Advanced Painters
This miniature painting workshop is designed for beginners and experienced painters alike. The first part of the workshop will focus on basic techniques of painting tabletop gaming miniatures and getting to know the materials. The second part will delve into more advanced techniques to take your miniature painting to the next level. Bring your excitement and questions and have fun painting one of the primed miniatures provided for you to take home! Materials will also be provided at no fee. Participants may bring their own pre-primed miniature and materials. Limited to 15 participants, sign up at registration.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 1:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 5

1:00pm

Fairy Wings
Tulle or translucent? Which will you choose to create your very own wearable wings?

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Craft Corner

2:00pm

Blibbering Humdingers
Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Small Auditorium

2:00pm

Geek Out About DC!
Attendee-led roundtable talk everything DC-related, from the Cinematic verse to the CW shows. There will be spoilers - and probably fawning over Jason Momoa. No one is sorry.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 3

2:00pm

Guests of Honor Book Signings
Bring your books to have signed by the author Guests of Honor!

Speakers
avatar for Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire writes things.  It can be difficult to make her stop, although she’s easily distracted by swamps, corn fields, and traveling carnivals.  She was once lost on a carnival midway for six hours, only to be found happily operating the Ferris wheel.  Her books have been... Read More →
avatar for Catherynne Valente

Catherynne Valente

Catherynne M. Valente is the New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen works of fiction and poetry, including Palimpsest, the Orphan’s Tales series, Deathless, Radiance, and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Own Making. She... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Large Auditorium

2:00pm

Cosplay Show & Tell
Interested in learning to cosplay? Or perhaps so excited about your latest costume that you just need to tell people about it? Come share your passion and your struggles in this audience-driven panel. We'll interview cosplayers, encouraging them to share the benefits of their experience and supplement the topics that emerge with the panelists’ wealth of cosplay knowledge.

Moderators
avatar for Michael Khandelwal

Michael Khandelwal

Pop Quiz: Who is our Toastmaster, Michael Jon Khandelwal? Make your choice below:Once one of the world’s premier primate behavioral scientists, Michael abandoned his award-winning work with monkeys, after a slight incident in the lab, for a new career in the entertainment industry... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Ed Huff

Ed Huff

Well, it all started when a friend introduced me to Jerry Hogan back in the 80s when he was selling comics out of his truck at flea markets (before he bought the Trilogy comic book shop). I helped him work cons in New York, Charlotte, and all over the Hampton Roads area. During that... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 7

2:00pm

Feared and Revered: The Witches of SciFi and Fantasy
Witches have held sway in fiction for a millennium, but what makes them such an enduring, frightful idea? Panelists explore witches in popular fiction such as the Bene Gesserit, the Aes Sedai, the Witches of Dathomir, Discworld, and many other sci-fi and fantasy media.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Tera Fulbright

Tera Fulbright

In Tera’s world, she is dedicated to driving stronger engagement at her place of work, creates innovative programming for SF conventions - including her own (ConGregate), and writes short stories that tug on the emotional heartstrings of her readers.  With over 20 years of event... Read More →
avatar for Cass Morris

Cass Morris

Cass Morris works as a writer and educator in central Virginia and occasionally moonlights as a bookseller in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room L

2:00pm

How Does One Write Near Future SciFi?
We are looking at global warming, resource wars, the migration of large numbers of people, a fragile world economic system and a world political system that seems unable to deal seriously with real problems. How does a writer extrapolate from this mess into the future?


Saturday January 19, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 8

2:00pm

Why You Must Watch She-Ra
Netflix has rebooted a beloved 80s cartoon and is breaking gender and heteronormative stereotypes in a way not often seen on TV. Come geek out about Adora, Catra, Scorpia, Bow, and all of their friends!

Speakers
avatar for Crystal Smalling

Crystal Smalling

Programming Director, MarsCon


Saturday January 19, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 4

2:00pm

Traveling and the Sensory Spectrum
Traveling to favorite, geek-related venues should be fun. However, for some these places can cause sensory overload. How does a parent plan and execute such a trip whether out be to Disney, Universal Studios, or your local con? Come learn from a parent what to do beforehand and what to do during the trip so everyone had as much fun as possible while minimizing the meltdowns.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 1

2:00pm

Photo Prompt Writing
Photos are used as a writing muse. A photo is shown, along with a writing goal (quick character description, plot conflict, conflict dialog between your character and another). Participants are provided paper and pen and 2 minutes, to write as inspired by the photo.


Saturday January 19, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 6

3:00pm

Cookie Conspiracy Part 1
A twist on our annual filk & cookies - come enjoy your cookies and milk while listening to the entertaining musical stylings of Rhiannon's Lark, and find out who won this year's Cookie Conspiracy. Please keep talking to a minimum!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Con Suite

3:00pm

The Flabbergst Magic Show
Flabbergast, the wacky wizard, presents comical conjuring and pert puppet companions to amaze and amuse audiences of all ages. Prepare to be Flabbergasted!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Large Auditorium

3:00pm

Geek Out About The Walking Dead!
Attendee-led roundtable talk about where they think TWD will go next when the show returns from its mid-season hiatus. There will be spoilers (possibly for the show and the comics)!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 3

3:00pm

Show Your Swank!
Are you an author who isn't a guest? Are you an up and coming game designer? A musician? An artist? Come in, get a raffle ticket, and be prepared to wow the audience with a five minute speech about your awesome creative endeavors! Bring your swag to hand out, too! We recommend attending "The Pitch" for tips and tricks if you need them (see schedule for details).

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Small Auditorium

3:00pm

Diversity in Geek Media
The push for more diversity has become a regular topic in the world of genre media and games, from calling out instances of white-washing and queer-baiting, to protesting the inevitable and often inexplicable deaths of queer characters and characters of color. It’s an exhausting road, but is it actually leading to more diverse and inclusive media?

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for J.

J. "Cal" Baldari

Professor, Stratford University
Dr. Baldari is a bit of a polymath. He joined the United States Army as a Combat Engineer after high school "to seek adventure." He qualified Sapper shortly after and served 24 years, completing the Warrant Officer Training Course to become a Army Civil Engineer. He graduated cum... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 8

3:00pm

Music Makes a Difference
Music can make or break a scene, or even and entire film. Panelists discuss films where the score made the scene work...and times when it broke the scene utterly.

Speakers
avatar for Jason Gilbert

Jason Gilbert

Literary Guest
Jason is the author of The Clockworks of War series, The Rifle Chronicles, and Wolfbane: The Coldstone Files. His stories are Alternate History with an Urban Fantasy and Horror element set in worlds of the supernatural, and sometimes involve steam and gears! You can check out his... Read More →
avatar for Michael D. Pederson

Michael D. Pederson

Con Chair, RavenCon


Saturday January 19, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 7

3:00pm

Outsiders Unite!
Loners, underdogs, geeks, nerds, outcasts, weirdos, changelings, and everyone other, why do we love them? Why are they so at home in sci-fi and fantasy? Panelists will discuss their favorite examples of outsiders and why they appeal to them.


Saturday January 19, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 4

3:00pm

So You Want to Write Steampunk
Do you have an idea for a steampunk story? Do you already have a story written but don't know what to do next? Our talented authors will talk to you about the in's and out's of making it the best story it can be.

Moderators
avatar for Charlie Stayton

Charlie Stayton

Developer and writer, Cracked Monocle
Charlie Stayton is a writer and developer for Cracked Monocle Games and science fiction and fantasy short stories. He lives in Virginia with His wife Anastasia, and Gwyn the Clockwork Dog. When not writing for Cracked Monocle he can be found writing Steampunk short stories and Science... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Nickie Jamison

Nickie Jamison

Literary Guest
Nickie Jamison is the secret identity of Ora J. McGuire. She is a writer of LGBTQ+ erotica and romance blended with sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Ora’s hobbies include gaming, fan-girling, and doing marathons…on Netflix. She also vlogs about life, makeup, and KonMari decluttering... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room L

3:00pm

Armor 101: Building a Screen-Accurate Star Wars Costume
Have you ever yearned to become a Jedi? A Storm Trooper? Do you want to bring magic to the world of people of all ages? Then this panel is for you. For an hour, active members of the Rebel Legion and 501st Legion will discuss the ins and outs of Star Wars costume and armor building, from where to source pieces for any Star Wars costume you want to build, to finding active costume building groups and "armor parties," and how to go from your dream of being a Jedi to achieving it. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 6

3:00pm

Beaded Beasts
String pony beads to create fantastic creatures which can be used as zipper pulls, backpack i.d.s, or ornaments.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Craft Corner

3:30pm

MarsCon Doctor Who Tea Party
Come enjoy tea and treats at the original MarsCon Doctor Who Tea Party! Seating is limited. Sign-up available in the hallway, $5 entry fee required.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Room E

4:00pm

Cookie Conspiracy Part 2
A twist on our annual filk & cookies - come enjoy your cookies and milk while listening to the entertaining musical stylings of Metricula . Please keep talking to a minimum!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Con Suite

4:00pm

Harry Potter in 45 Minutes
Don't have time to read seven books or watch eight movies? Luna-C has you covered.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Large Auditorium

4:00pm

Lego Challenge
Participants will have the opportunity to earn Marsbucks to spend in the Dealers Room by earning points from completing Lego based challenges. Who can build the tallest tower or build something to toss the most bricks in a bucket? Come find out what the challenges will be and have fun!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Room 1

4:00pm

Tidewater Alliance Lightsaber Academy
An interactive lesson in usage of the lightsaber, fun for all ages!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Harrison 3 & 4

4:00pm

Whose God is it Anyway?
Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans - Oh My! You think you know your mythology? Well, get ready to work your pantheons off against your fellow mythology enthusiasts! Grab your hammer, string your bow, polish your trident, and bolt on down to Shangri-La. Winners will be enshrined in awesomeness, and receive hearty high fives from all involved.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Small Auditorium

4:00pm

Big Data or Big Brother
Can Facebook predict who will become a criminal? Can we use Twitter to foretell the next election results? Does Target know you're pregnant before you do? What does Big Data truly know and what are the implications of that knowledge?

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Nickie Jamison

Nickie Jamison

Literary Guest
Nickie Jamison is the secret identity of Ora J. McGuire. She is a writer of LGBTQ+ erotica and romance blended with sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Ora’s hobbies include gaming, fan-girling, and doing marathons…on Netflix. She also vlogs about life, makeup, and KonMari decluttering... Read More →
avatar for D.J. McGuire

D.J. McGuire

A Jersey boy who fell for a Suffolk girl, DJ has been a cost estimator and project manager for various federal government contractors for over 18 years. He also teaches economics at his local community college, plays bass for The Nefarious Ferrets and for Dimensional Riffs, and is... Read More →
avatar for Charlie Stayton

Charlie Stayton

Developer and writer, Cracked Monocle
Charlie Stayton is a writer and developer for Cracked Monocle Games and science fiction and fantasy short stories. He lives in Virginia with His wife Anastasia, and Gwyn the Clockwork Dog. When not writing for Cracked Monocle he can be found writing Steampunk short stories and Science... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Room L

4:00pm

Convention Budgets Done Right (We Hope)
The panelists will discuss some of the issues in creating a good budget for a convention. They will address things that have worked, and pitfalls that have doomed conventions.

Speakers
avatar for James Fulbright

James Fulbright

Con Chair/President, ConGregate Productions
James Fulbright was introduced to AD&D by a friend in 1979. After joining his first gaming group, his friends convinced him to start attending conventions like StellarCon and Hexacon. It wasn’t long before attending cons led him to start helping out with those cons; which, in turn... Read More →
avatar for Michael Khandelwal

Michael Khandelwal

Pop Quiz: Who is our Toastmaster, Michael Jon Khandelwal? Make your choice below:Once one of the world’s premier primate behavioral scientists, Michael abandoned his award-winning work with monkeys, after a slight incident in the lab, for a new career in the entertainment industry... Read More →
avatar for Michael D. Pederson

Michael D. Pederson

Con Chair, RavenCon


Saturday January 19, 2019 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Room 6

4:00pm

Famous First Words
What makes a story opening compelling? Panelists will discuss the openings of select science fiction and fantasy stories or novels, in an attempt to help writers find out what works -- and maybe what doesn't. Audience members may bring in stories or novels they have recently read that they found particularly inviting; if time permits, the panelists and audience may discuss those works as well.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Cass Morris

Cass Morris

Cass Morris works as a writer and educator in central Virginia and occasionally moonlights as a bookseller in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Room 8

4:00pm

Neologism and Linguicide: How the Dominate Language Mutates and Assimilates Other Languages
Why is the loss of language so important? Believed to be an indicator of what is happening to cultures in general, panelists will discuss expression and language and why it must be protected and allowed to grow.

Speakers
avatar for Emily Lavin Leverett

Emily Lavin Leverett

Author
Emily Lavin Leverett is a writer, editor, and English professor. She is the co-editor of "Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier" and "The Weird Wild West" with Misty Massey and Margaret McGraw. Her first novel "Changeling’s Fall," co-written with Sarah Joy Adams was followed... Read More →
avatar for Margaret S. McGraw

Margaret S. McGraw

Editor/Author
Margaret S. McGraw is co-editor of two anthologies about the wildest West that never was: Weird Wild West (eSpec Books, 2015) and Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier (Falstaff Books, 2017). Her story "Rainmaker" appears in Lawless Lands, and “Stasis” appears in the benefit... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Room 7

4:00pm

Changelings, Dopplegangers, and Shape-Shifters in Contemporary Media
Some of the Fae’s most dangerous beings are the ones that can look just like you or any other person. This is an ancient trope and is still drawn upon today in modern media. From Twin Peaks the Return to John Carpenter’s the Thing, join us as we uncover the ever shifting Fae of modern stories.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Room M

4:00pm

Craft Dump and Trade
Leftover materials taking up space? Bring beads, fabric, yarn, etc. and trade for something new to you. Someone else's "trash" could become your new treasure!

Saturday January 19, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Craft Corner

4:00pm

Leatherworking 101 ($20 fee)
A primer for the basics of leatherwork lead by the designers at Ribbons and Rivets, where participants edge, burnish, dye, seal, and decorate their very own wrist cuff. All tools and materials will be provided. Just bring a pair of hands. Fee is $20 - sign up at Registration.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 4:00pm - 5:50pm
Room 5

4:30pm

Costume Contest Pre-Judging
Sign up for the costume contest in Artist’s Alley, then come here for the pre-judging segment of the costume contest. hildren are not required to go to pre-judging. Participants in the children's category will go on stage first. Winners will be announced after all categories have been seen. A parent or responsible adult must remain with children at all times. Not open to the public, contestants only, please.


Saturday January 19, 2019 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Room 3

5:00pm

Misbehavin' Maidens
Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Large Auditorium

5:00pm

Steampunk Jamboree
Familiar tunes with funny, fan-fueled lyrics presented for your sing-along pleasure by Prof. Flabbergast in Victorian Music Hall-style! Rated E for Everyone

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Small Auditorium

5:00pm

Costuming for Kids
Kids just want to have fun and wear great costumes. Every person has a character deep inside themselves, just waiting to be outfitted. Kids are welcome to come learn how to craft amazing cosplay costumes in thrifty and creative ways.


Saturday January 19, 2019 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room L

5:00pm

The Big World of Small Press and Indie Publishing
Let’s get published! An introduction to the exciting and expanding world of independent and small press publishing.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Melissa McArthur

Melissa McArthur

Editor; Writer, Falstaff Books
Melissa McArthur is the founder and president of Clicking Keys Writer Services, a full-service editing, cover design, and layout company based in the upstate of South Carolina. She also serves as an Acquiring Editor for Falstaff Books, and is an accomplished editor and proofreader... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room 8

5:00pm

The Zombie Apocalypse and You
Zombies have risen in popularity in contemporary culture, but what does that say about modern society? Would the government be a help or a hindrance in the zombie apocalypse? Should you open your door to your neighbors or survive on your own?Panelists will explore zombies as both a literal and metaphorical threat to society and our way of life, and what steps you can take to prepare yourself, your family, and friends when the undead come clawing at your door.

Moderators
avatar for Jason Gilbert

Jason Gilbert

Literary Guest
Jason is the author of The Clockworks of War series, The Rifle Chronicles, and Wolfbane: The Coldstone Files. His stories are Alternate History with an Urban Fantasy and Horror element set in worlds of the supernatural, and sometimes involve steam and gears! You can check out his... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Mira Grant

Mira Grant

Mira Grant knows what you did last summer.


Saturday January 19, 2019 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room 7

5:00pm

Was the Planet Killer a Keynesian Stimulus? The Economics of SciFi
Did the lack of money in Star Trek bother you? Did you ever wonder how the First Order raised the funds for the Planet Killer? Come to this panel to discuss who in science fiction and fantasy did economics right...and wrong.

Speakers
avatar for D.J. McGuire

D.J. McGuire

A Jersey boy who fell for a Suffolk girl, DJ has been a cost estimator and project manager for various federal government contractors for over 18 years. He also teaches economics at his local community college, plays bass for The Nefarious Ferrets and for Dimensional Riffs, and is... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room 6

5:00pm

Meet the Artist Guest of Honor
Our Artist Guest of Honor shows off some of her art and answers questions from the audience.

Moderators
avatar for Meredith Dillman

Meredith Dillman

Meredith Dillman is an artist and illustrator originally from Minnesota. She now lives in Wisconsin. She is known for her colorful watercolors which blend Art Nouveau, fantasy and Asian influences. She enjoys painting fairies, woodland creatures and other fantasy and medieval themes... Read More →

Saturday January 19, 2019 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room M

5:00pm

Open Crafting
Bring your knit, crochet, beading, sewing, and other projects to this open crafting time. Meet fellow handcrafting geeks and possibly find some inspiration!

Saturday January 19, 2019 5:00pm - 11:00pm
Craft Corner

6:00pm

Catherynne Valente Reading
Moderators
avatar for Catherynne Valente

Catherynne Valente

Catherynne M. Valente is the New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen works of fiction and poetry, including Palimpsest, the Orphan’s Tales series, Deathless, Radiance, and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Own Making. She... Read More →

Saturday January 19, 2019 6:00pm - 6:50pm
Room 6

6:00pm

1 Book, 3 Books, 8 Books, or More?
Should your story be a single novel or a trilogy? When should you decide if you'll be stopping at book 5 or book 15? What happens if you realize in book 4 that you need three more books to tell the tale? Come learn about the differences between single story arcs and series-long arcs and how best to decide which way you want to go.


Saturday January 19, 2019 6:00pm - 6:50pm
Room 8

6:00pm

1982: The Most Important Year in Fantasy Film
1982 saw a big change in fantasy, science-fiction, and horror in film - and may have been the biggest. come explore the year that brought us Conan, E.T., and Blade Runner among others.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Carol Cowles

Carol Cowles

Fan Guest
Carol Cowles - Carol has long been a fixture of Geek Culture in Charlotte. She has served for several years as the Programming Director for ConCarolinas and worked the Carolina and Arizona Renaissance Festivals for 15 years. She also podcasts – she is Carol the Cat on the weekly... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 6:00pm - 6:50pm
Room M

6:00pm

Gateway Reading: Getting New People into SciFi and Fantasy
So... you want to engage a reader who is new to our genre. What factors should you consider? Which books or short stories, classic or recent, make the best entry points, and which should be avoided?


Saturday January 19, 2019 6:00pm - 6:50pm
Room 7

6:00pm

The Hero's Journey
What does Joseph Campbell know? A conversation and introduction to Joseph Campbell's theory of the monomyth, or Hero's Journey.

Speakers
avatar for J.

J. "Cal" Baldari

Professor, Stratford University
Dr. Baldari is a bit of a polymath. He joined the United States Army as a Combat Engineer after high school "to seek adventure." He qualified Sapper shortly after and served 24 years, completing the Warrant Officer Training Course to become a Army Civil Engineer. He graduated cum... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 6:00pm - 6:50pm
Room L

6:00pm

Open Family Table Gaming
Need some space for the young ones to roam? Bring your own open gaming for all ages.

Saturday January 19, 2019 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Room 1

6:00pm

Annual MarsCon Costume Contest
Strut your stuff and show your skills in our annual Costume Contest! Sign up Friday or Saturday morning in Artist Alley and be sure and report to the pre-judging (see schedule for details) in order to compete.


Saturday January 19, 2019 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Large Auditorium

6:00pm

HCS Publishing Book Release Party
Join us as we celebrate the release of HCS Publishing's two latest novels and anthology! HCS Publishing is positively thrilled about "Unbalanced", the debut novel from Hunter Campbell Royall set in the Pathfinder universe. "The Admiral's Gambit: Book 1 of the Khitai Conspiracy" is the debut novel from authors Michael Parodi, Jeanne Wilkins with seasoned author collaborators S.A.Cosby Author, Nicole Ordway and Matt DeLoach. Last but certainly not least, we celebrate the newest anthology "Shadows and Mist: Twelve Terrifying Tales" by HCS Publishing authors listed above as well as Dave Lee, JM Lee, Charlie Stayton, Frédéric Purplely Hel MyFire, Stephen Chapman, Valentine Wolfe and DM Patterson. Snacks and refreshments will be served as select pieces are read to you by the authors themselves. www.hcspublishing.com

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Charlie Stayton

Charlie Stayton

Developer and writer, Cracked Monocle
Charlie Stayton is a writer and developer for Cracked Monocle Games and science fiction and fantasy short stories. He lives in Virginia with His wife Anastasia, and Gwyn the Clockwork Dog. When not writing for Cracked Monocle he can be found writing Steampunk short stories and Science... Read More →
avatar for Valentine Wolfe

Valentine Wolfe

Braxton Ballew and Sarah Black have been composing and performing music together as Valentine Wolfe since 2006. Their scores have been heard in productions of The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest (Warehouse Theater), The Winter’s Tale (Furman University), and Twelfth Night (The... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 6:00pm - 7:50pm
Room 5

7:00pm

Beyond Manic Pixie Dream Girls
Laurie Penny argues that women "deserve to be able to write our own stories rather than exist as supporting characters in the stories for men." How can we write our way past 'mournful men-children' who attach themselves to the bright, the unconventionally pretty, the eager-to-please"? What movies, books, and TV shows in today's world embrace wild women and girls behaving badly, being ugly, and telling their own stories?

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Emily Lavin Leverett

Emily Lavin Leverett

Author
Emily Lavin Leverett is a writer, editor, and English professor. She is the co-editor of "Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier" and "The Weird Wild West" with Misty Massey and Margaret McGraw. Her first novel "Changeling’s Fall," co-written with Sarah Joy Adams was followed... Read More →
TG

Tina Glasneck

USA Today bestselling author Tina Glasneck is back with a fantastical tale filled with magic, myth, and dragons. Fans of Norse mythology, time travel, and paranormal romance, as well as action and adventure, will enjoy this new addition in the Dragon series! www.TinaGlasneck.com


Saturday January 19, 2019 7:00pm - 7:50pm
Room 8

7:00pm

LGBTQ+ Books Discussion
Our panelists discuss books with positive portrayals of LGBTQ+ situations and characters or from LGBTQ+ authors. This panel will discuss the books we’ve read, which we thought were good, which we disliked and why.


Saturday January 19, 2019 7:00pm - 7:50pm
Room 7

7:00pm

Tech in the Classroom
As we move further into the future, we and our children are becoming comfortable with more and more technology. How is this tech being folded into the classroom experience? Is it enhancing education? Is it forcing our society to lose vital skills?


Saturday January 19, 2019 7:00pm - 7:50pm
Room L

7:00pm

Young, Scrappy, and Hungry
Don't throw away your shot and get to this panel to discuss the 11 Tony winning hip hop musical about one of our nation's founding fathers.

Moderators
avatar for Crystal Smalling

Crystal Smalling

Programming Director, MarsCon

Speakers
avatar for Margaret S. McGraw

Margaret S. McGraw

Editor/Author
Margaret S. McGraw is co-editor of two anthologies about the wildest West that never was: Weird Wild West (eSpec Books, 2015) and Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier (Falstaff Books, 2017). Her story "Rainmaker" appears in Lawless Lands, and “Stasis” appears in the benefit... Read More →
avatar for Cass Morris

Cass Morris

Cass Morris works as a writer and educator in central Virginia and occasionally moonlights as a bookseller in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 7:00pm - 7:50pm
Room 4

7:00pm

Dark Faerie Alchemy: Tweens & Teens
Not all fairies are helpful, flower-loving creatures. Some are mischievous and troublesome. If this is you and you are between the ages of 11 and 16, come discover the darker side of fairy magic through alchemical experiments. Caution: your clothes could get messy but otherwise all necessary safety precautions will be followed.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 7:00pm - 7:50pm
Room 1

7:00pm

Meet the 501st: A Day/Year in the Life of a Trooper
So you want to be a TK? How to get started. Resources, Armor Parties and Pals. What to expect as a Troop with My First Year As A Stormtrooper.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 7:00pm - 7:50pm
Room M

7:00pm

Let's Draw a Face!
Monica and Rachael of Tangent Artists teach attendants the basics of how to draw human facial features and how to make an expression sheet for an original character.


Saturday January 19, 2019 7:00pm - 7:50pm
Room 6

7:30pm

Charity Auction for the Heritage Humane Society
Come bid on cool things on behalf of the kitties and puppies!

Speakers
avatar for Michael Khandelwal

Michael Khandelwal

Pop Quiz: Who is our Toastmaster, Michael Jon Khandelwal? Make your choice below:Once one of the world’s premier primate behavioral scientists, Michael abandoned his award-winning work with monkeys, after a slight incident in the lab, for a new career in the entertainment industry... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Small Auditorium

8:00pm

Family VR with Zenith VR + Escape
All ages are invited to meet Zenith VR + Escape with an opportunity to try out the virtual reality "headset of the year", the HTC Vive Pro. All visitors who stop by will receive a discount code for use at their location in Yorktown, VA.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 8:00pm - 8:50pm
Room 1

8:00pm

Team Trivia
Can you and your friends prove yourselves to be the Kings and Queens of useless information? Trivia will be played in four rounds with 10 questions per round. Teams of up to six players will compete for the title. Finally all that useless knowledge will have a purpose!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 8:00pm - 8:50pm
Room 5

8:00pm

The Delphic Oracle
The Oracle at Delphi used great magic to see the future. Now our writer guests will channel her power to tell us a story—one word at a time.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Falstaff Books

Falstaff Books

Falstaff Books
Falstaff Books is a digital and print publishing company based in Charlotte, NC dedicated to bringing to life the best in fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and dramatic literature. We love bringing amazing stories to light and giving incredible writers a voice. The battered... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 8:00pm - 8:50pm
Room 7

8:00pm

Taboo Topics in SciFi and Fantasy
Some people claim that there are some topics that even the most daring writers and publishers prefer not to touch. From menstruation to birth control, hot flashes, and growing middle-aged, do we tend to shy away from such ordinary and mundane topics? Is it really an issue of female taboo topics or do we struggle with similar male taboo issues as well? Why is this? What makes a topic taboo? How do we get over that stigma so that we can get back to telling good stories?


Saturday January 19, 2019 8:00pm - 8:50pm
Room 8

8:00pm

What About Wizarding Czechoslovakia? The World of Harry Potter
Harry Potter is a classic of our age, but while the characters and story are perhaps among the best, the same can not always be said for a setting that often leads to more question than answers.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 8:00pm - 8:50pm
Room M

8:00pm

Forgotten Cartoons and Toys of the 80s
Take a walk down memory lane with the Tidewater Alliance during their presentation about the cartoons and toys many of us grew up with and have long since forgotten.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 8:00pm - 8:50pm
Room 6

8:00pm

Talk of the Tavern: Tea & Story-time
The crew of Talk of the Tavern, led by host Travis Sivart, comes together with children's authors to read stories and share conversation over a cup of tea. Bring your kids and their blanket, pillows, and PJs, as well as your favorite cup and saucer to enjoy a hot beverage! Stay for the adult programming afterwards (see schedule for details).

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 8:00pm - 9:50pm
Room E

8:00pm

Nerf Gun Wars
Come and play with your own Nerf gun or one will be provided. Both team on team and player vs. monster scenarios will be run. Enjoy a low lighting atmosphere as you maneuver our obstacles and have fun! (3 hours)

Saturday January 19, 2019 8:00pm - 11:00pm
Harrison 3 & 4

8:30pm

Valentine Wolfe
Moderators
avatar for Valentine Wolfe

Valentine Wolfe

Braxton Ballew and Sarah Black have been composing and performing music together as Valentine Wolfe since 2006. Their scores have been heard in productions of The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest (Warehouse Theater), The Winter’s Tale (Furman University), and Twelfth Night (The... Read More →

Saturday January 19, 2019 8:30pm - 9:30pm
Large Auditorium

9:00pm

Teen VR with Zenith VR + Escape
Teens, didn't get enough at the Friday Meet & Greet? Here is your chance for more of the virtual reality "headset of the year", the HTC Vive Pro!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 9:00pm - 9:50pm
Room 1

9:00pm

Literary Filk
Authors from Peter Beagle to Jerry Pournelle have included bits of song and poetry in their fiction, and and many SFF stories have been set to music. Join local Filkers as they discuss the hows and wheres of placing songs in fiction and sing some songs from their favorite books.

Speakers
avatar for D.J. McGuire

D.J. McGuire

A Jersey boy who fell for a Suffolk girl, DJ has been a cost estimator and project manager for various federal government contractors for over 18 years. He also teaches economics at his local community college, plays bass for The Nefarious Ferrets and for Dimensional Riffs, and is... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 9:00pm - 9:50pm
Room 8

9:00pm

Tales from the Slush Pile
Editors share horror stories, experiences, and advice from their time reading slush for various projects.

Speakers
avatar for Margaret S. McGraw

Margaret S. McGraw

Editor/Author
Margaret S. McGraw is co-editor of two anthologies about the wildest West that never was: Weird Wild West (eSpec Books, 2015) and Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier (Falstaff Books, 2017). Her story "Rainmaker" appears in Lawless Lands, and “Stasis” appears in the benefit... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 9:00pm - 9:50pm
Room 7

10:00pm

Mikey Mason
Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00pm - 10:50pm
Large Auditorium

10:00pm

Poison Apples and Pretty Witches (Ages 18+)
Gather 'round for Lilith's wickedly salacious retelling of classic stories from the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and Charles Perrault. Be prepared to see the darker side of heroes and heroines, and to have illuminated the twisted motives of your favorite villains. Once upon a time... but only rarely happily ever after.

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00pm - 10:50pm
Small Auditorium

10:00pm

Sex and Violence in Fairytales (Ages 18+)
Naughty princes, violent godmothers, and other sordid details. Panelists discuss the role of both sex and violence in the narratives of the Grimm brothers along with other traditional folktales. Issues surrounding why many tales were later sanitized and adapted for the children’s market will also be addressed.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Nickie Jamison

Nickie Jamison

Literary Guest
Nickie Jamison is the secret identity of Ora J. McGuire. She is a writer of LGBTQ+ erotica and romance blended with sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Ora’s hobbies include gaming, fan-girling, and doing marathons…on Netflix. She also vlogs about life, makeup, and KonMari decluttering... Read More →
avatar for Emily Lavin Leverett

Emily Lavin Leverett

Author
Emily Lavin Leverett is a writer, editor, and English professor. She is the co-editor of "Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier" and "The Weird Wild West" with Misty Massey and Margaret McGraw. Her first novel "Changeling’s Fall," co-written with Sarah Joy Adams was followed... Read More →
avatar for Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire writes things.  It can be difficult to make her stop, although she’s easily distracted by swamps, corn fields, and traveling carnivals.  She was once lost on a carnival midway for six hours, only to be found happily operating the Ferris wheel.  Her books have been... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00pm - 10:50pm
Room L

10:00pm

Open Family Table Gaming
Need some space for the young ones to roam? Bring your own open gaming for all ages.

Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00pm - 11:00pm
Room 1

10:00pm

Talk of the Tavern: After Hours (Ages 18+)
After we wrap up the Tea & Story-time (see schedule for details) we shall send the kids off to be, and begin our mature content. Interviews, bawdy jokes, bad puns, and glasses raised to toast one another shall be the order of the night! This is the most interactive, casual, inclusive talk show you shall ever see!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 10:00pm - 11:50pm
Room E

11:00pm

Rule 34 Can Ruin Anything (Ages 18+)
Rule 34! The greatest rule of the internet! Have a fandom? Interested in ruining it? Allow us to help.

Speakers
avatar for Carol Cowles

Carol Cowles

Fan Guest
Carol Cowles - Carol has long been a fixture of Geek Culture in Charlotte. She has served for several years as the Programming Director for ConCarolinas and worked the Carolina and Arizona Renaissance Festivals for 15 years. She also podcasts – she is Carol the Cat on the weekly... Read More →
avatar for Jason Gilbert

Jason Gilbert

Literary Guest
Jason is the author of The Clockworks of War series, The Rifle Chronicles, and Wolfbane: The Coldstone Files. His stories are Alternate History with an Urban Fantasy and Horror element set in worlds of the supernatural, and sometimes involve steam and gears! You can check out his... Read More →
avatar for Nickie Jamison

Nickie Jamison

Literary Guest
Nickie Jamison is the secret identity of Ora J. McGuire. She is a writer of LGBTQ+ erotica and romance blended with sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Ora’s hobbies include gaming, fan-girling, and doing marathons…on Netflix. She also vlogs about life, makeup, and KonMari decluttering... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 11:00pm - 11:50pm
Room L

11:00pm

Open Filking
Saturday January 19, 2019 11:00pm - Sunday January 20, 2019 12:50am
Small Auditorium

11:30pm

Nerdlesque (Ages 18+)
Ellie Quinn presents burlesque with a geeky twist!

Moderators
Saturday January 19, 2019 11:30pm - Sunday January 20, 2019 12:50am
Large Auditorium
 
Sunday, January 20
 

8:00am

Morning PT with TRMN
Captain Burnham and Lieutenant Cunningham of HMS Atropos lead MarsCon's early risers in a regimen to start the day off with energy and fitness.

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 8:00am - 8:50am
Harrison 3 & 4

9:00am

Crafting Circle
Grab your needles and hooks and sit for a spell while you work on your project and relax.

Sunday January 20, 2019 9:00am - 9:50am
Harrison 3 & 4

9:00am

Worship Concert
Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 9:00am - 9:50am
Small Auditorium

10:00am

Angela Pritchett in Concert
Angela plays her originals songs with her ukulele

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Small Auditorium

10:00am

Amazing MarsCon Chase Check-In
Bring your team and your scavenger hunt finds to the check-in to get your points tallied for a chance to win half-price tickets to next year's MarsCon!

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 3

10:00am

Dark Faerie Alchemy: All ages
Things that make you go "Eww!" is what this science demo is all about! Come see what magic lurks behind items even you may find in your own home.

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 1

10:00am

Talk of the Tavern: Morning Tea & Etiquette
Grab your favorite cup & saucer and join Talk of the Tavern, hosted by MarsCon's own Andrea D'Amico, as we go over various aspects of tea culture. Conversation and community included. All ages and family friendly!

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 5

10:00am

Tidewater Alliance Lightsaber Academy
An interactive lesson in usage of the lightsaber, fun for all ages!

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Harrison 3 & 4

10:00am

Accessorizing Your Adventurer
A good costume is all in the details, come figure out whether you need a compass, an accordion or maybe just a snazzy hat.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for James Fulbright

James Fulbright

Con Chair/President, ConGregate Productions
James Fulbright was introduced to AD&D by a friend in 1979. After joining his first gaming group, his friends convinced him to start attending conventions like StellarCon and Hexacon. It wasn’t long before attending cons led him to start helping out with those cons; which, in turn... Read More →
avatar for Carinn Seabolt

Carinn Seabolt

Carinn Seabolt is Evil Beagle Games’ Editor-in-Chief and co-designer of the long-awaited The Crew setting book for Savage Worlds. She is also in charge of reviewing charity requests and coordinating the Beagle’s involvement with worthy causes.Carinn also does quite a bit of freelance... Read More →
avatar for Charlie Stayton

Charlie Stayton

Developer and writer, Cracked Monocle
Charlie Stayton is a writer and developer for Cracked Monocle Games and science fiction and fantasy short stories. He lives in Virginia with His wife Anastasia, and Gwyn the Clockwork Dog. When not writing for Cracked Monocle he can be found writing Steampunk short stories and Science... Read More →


Sunday January 20, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room L

10:00am

Genre-Hopping Fairies
Traditionally, fairies were a part of what defined the fantasy genre; today, they can be found in science fiction, urban fantasy, speculative fiction, and space operas. Panelists will discuss these versatile creatures and why they can cross into different genres, and whether their presence changes the genre of a novel.

Moderators
avatar for Emily Lavin Leverett

Emily Lavin Leverett

Author
Emily Lavin Leverett is a writer, editor, and English professor. She is the co-editor of "Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier" and "The Weird Wild West" with Misty Massey and Margaret McGraw. Her first novel "Changeling’s Fall," co-written with Sarah Joy Adams was followed... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Meredith Dillman

Meredith Dillman

Meredith Dillman is an artist and illustrator originally from Minnesota. She now lives in Wisconsin. She is known for her colorful watercolors which blend Art Nouveau, fantasy and Asian influences. She enjoys painting fairies, woodland creatures and other fantasy and medieval themes... Read More →
avatar for Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire writes things.  It can be difficult to make her stop, although she’s easily distracted by swamps, corn fields, and traveling carnivals.  She was once lost on a carnival midway for six hours, only to be found happily operating the Ferris wheel.  Her books have been... Read More →


Sunday January 20, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 7

10:00am

Legalities and Ethics of Fan Works
Many of us love fan created content, from fanfiction to vids, but are they legal? And beyond legality, what are the ethics of transformative works?

Speakers
avatar for J.

J. "Cal" Baldari

Professor, Stratford University
Dr. Baldari is a bit of a polymath. He joined the United States Army as a Combat Engineer after high school "to seek adventure." He qualified Sapper shortly after and served 24 years, completing the Warrant Officer Training Course to become a Army Civil Engineer. He graduated cum... Read More →


Sunday January 20, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 4

10:00am

Top Ten Star Trek Ships
Guests and the audience will work together to come up with the ultimate top ten list of ships in the Star Trek universe. Come and see where your favorite lands!

Speakers
avatar for D.J. McGuire

D.J. McGuire

A Jersey boy who fell for a Suffolk girl, DJ has been a cost estimator and project manager for various federal government contractors for over 18 years. He also teaches economics at his local community college, plays bass for The Nefarious Ferrets and for Dimensional Riffs, and is... Read More →


Sunday January 20, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room M

10:00am

Amadeus: The Strange Tale of Mozart's Requiem
Braxton Ballew of Valentine Wolfe takes you into the past to discover the strange tale of the music that inspired the play and movie Amadeus: Mozart's Requiem. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

Moderators
avatar for Valentine Wolfe

Valentine Wolfe

Braxton Ballew and Sarah Black have been composing and performing music together as Valentine Wolfe since 2006. Their scores have been heard in productions of The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest (Warehouse Theater), The Winter’s Tale (Furman University), and Twelfth Night (The... Read More →

Sunday January 20, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Large Auditorium

10:00am

Chris Kennedy Publishing: The Year Ahead
The presentation will give attendees a look ahead at what CKP will be releasing in the next year and will have a number of prizes and freebies to give away.

Moderators
Speakers

Sunday January 20, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 6

10:00am

When Elves Ruin Everything
Everything you wanted to know about the Silmarillion but were afraid to ask. Panelists help break down Tolkien's most daunting entries and help answer your questions.


Sunday January 20, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 8

10:00am

Open Crafting
Bring your knit, crochet, beading, sewing, and other projects to this open crafting time. Meet fellow handcrafting geeks and possibly find some inspiration!

Sunday January 20, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Craft Corner

11:00am

Rhiannon's Lark
Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Large Auditorium

11:00am

Flabbergast Presents Close-Up Magic!
Join Flabbergast the Wizard for a casually intimate magic show that encourages participation from all ages!

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 4

11:00am

Parody Song Writing Techniques
Parody is much more than putting new lyrics to an existing tune. Learn techniques for writing effective parodies.

Speakers
avatar for D.J. McGuire

D.J. McGuire

A Jersey boy who fell for a Suffolk girl, DJ has been a cost estimator and project manager for various federal government contractors for over 18 years. He also teaches economics at his local community college, plays bass for The Nefarious Ferrets and for Dimensional Riffs, and is... Read More →


Sunday January 20, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Small Auditorium

11:00am

Seelie and Unseelie
What makes the Seelie and Unseelie so mysterious, and what are their similarities and differences?

Moderators
avatar for Tera Fulbright

Tera Fulbright

In Tera’s world, she is dedicated to driving stronger engagement at her place of work, creates innovative programming for SF conventions - including her own (ConGregate), and writes short stories that tug on the emotional heartstrings of her readers.  With over 20 years of event... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Catherynne Valente

Catherynne Valente

Catherynne M. Valente is the New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen works of fiction and poetry, including Palimpsest, the Orphan’s Tales series, Deathless, Radiance, and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Own Making. She... Read More →


Sunday January 20, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 7

11:00am

That's the Pointy End, Right?
Panelists discuss the pointy strategic bits of weapons and battle tactics as their characters battle for causes from the mundane to the sublime.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for J.

J. "Cal" Baldari

Professor, Stratford University
Dr. Baldari is a bit of a polymath. He joined the United States Army as a Combat Engineer after high school "to seek adventure." He qualified Sapper shortly after and served 24 years, completing the Warrant Officer Training Course to become a Army Civil Engineer. He graduated cum... Read More →


Sunday January 20, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room L

11:00am

Writing Comedy: How to be Funnier
Want to write the funny? Come and learn the techniques and tools for writing jokes, scripts, and books. We might even have a few laughs.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Falstaff Books

Falstaff Books

Falstaff Books
Falstaff Books is a digital and print publishing company based in Charlotte, NC dedicated to bringing to life the best in fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and dramatic literature. We love bringing amazing stories to light and giving incredible writers a voice. The battered... Read More →
avatar for Jason Gilbert

Jason Gilbert

Literary Guest
Jason is the author of The Clockworks of War series, The Rifle Chronicles, and Wolfbane: The Coldstone Files. His stories are Alternate History with an Urban Fantasy and Horror element set in worlds of the supernatural, and sometimes involve steam and gears! You can check out his... Read More →
avatar for Nickie Jamison

Nickie Jamison

Literary Guest
Nickie Jamison is the secret identity of Ora J. McGuire. She is a writer of LGBTQ+ erotica and romance blended with sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Ora’s hobbies include gaming, fan-girling, and doing marathons…on Netflix. She also vlogs about life, makeup, and KonMari decluttering... Read More →


Sunday January 20, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 8

11:00am

Character Entertainment; Parties and Beyond
Ever think of entertaining little ones! Our panel host has been a character entertainer since 2005, and has put smiles on face from young to old, from small parties to large events! Let’s talk tricks of trade, any questions, and meet some of her seasoned entertainers. -Her company, Pirate Princess Parties, has characters like Captain Jack, all the princesses, Spiderman/Super Heroes, and many more!

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 1

11:00am

Commercial Crew for the ISS
Both Boeing and SpaceX are working to develop spacecraft that will carry astronauts and others to and from the International Space Station. The first uncrewed test flights may occur as early as January 2019.

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room M

11:00am

The Golden Age of Movie Posters
A look back at when movie posters really sold the movie to you

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 6

11:00am

Miniature Workshop Continued!
Due to popular demand, we've added another hour for the miniature figures workshop! 

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 3

11:00am

Tarot Spreads for Everyone
The centuries-old tradition of card reading provides a fascinating window into our own minds, showing us what we already know deep down. After a quick overview of Tarot history and deck structure, we will dive into exploring ways of reading the cards. There is no 'Right' way to use Tarot, but we have inherited many methods of laying out the cards for consideration. Come learn some creative 'spreads', or reading formats, from the classic and practical to the whimsical and futuristic. We may even create one together in this workshop!

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 5

11:00am

Miniature Fairy Garden Workshop
The National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts (NAME) is a non-profit, educational organization whose purpose is to promote miniatures as a distinct art form, to provide education forums on their construction, historical significance and intrinsic value, to preserve unique collections in a miniature museum open to the public (located in Carmel, IN), and to maintain a mutually beneficial network of collectors, crafters, and artisans. Come and learn how to start your own miniature fairy garden, and try your hand at painting a unique piece of your very own!

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm
Craft Corner

12:00pm

Metricula
Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Large Auditorium

12:00pm

Geek Trivia
Think you've got what it takes to be the ultimate geek? Come and test your knowledge of all geek fandoms in this trivia contest presented by the Tidewater Alliance!

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Small Auditorium

12:00pm

Crafted into a Corner
Every costumer/maker has that moment when they have seemingly ruined their project. Come discuss with people who've been there how to recover and avoid some common (and sometimes uncommon) mistakes.


Sunday January 20, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 8

12:00pm

Fairies on Screan
From the small screen to the big, different versions of the fey have been shown. Panelists discuss the fairies they loved and hated, from Tinkerbell to Maeve.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Meredith Dillman

Meredith Dillman

Meredith Dillman is an artist and illustrator originally from Minnesota. She now lives in Wisconsin. She is known for her colorful watercolors which blend Art Nouveau, fantasy and Asian influences. She enjoys painting fairies, woodland creatures and other fantasy and medieval themes... Read More →
avatar for Margaret S. McGraw

Margaret S. McGraw

Editor/Author
Margaret S. McGraw is co-editor of two anthologies about the wildest West that never was: Weird Wild West (eSpec Books, 2015) and Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier (Falstaff Books, 2017). Her story "Rainmaker" appears in Lawless Lands, and “Stasis” appears in the benefit... Read More →


Sunday January 20, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 6

12:00pm

Forget the Glass Slipper
My princess wears hockey skates! - Raising a child who is trans, non-binary or maybe just bucks the traditional gender roles.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Jeremy Rodden

Jeremy Rodden

Author, Portmanteau Press LLC
Cartoons, comics, anything fantasy, indie publishing, writing process, whatever!


Sunday January 20, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 3

12:00pm

The Art of the Book Reviewer
As blogging has become more mainstream, how have the duties of the book reviewer changed? Are traditional book reviewing venues still important? How does the expected audience for a book review affect what the reviewer should say? What are some of the best places to go for reviews of science fiction and fantasy?


Sunday January 20, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room L

12:00pm

The Commercialization of Conventions
The panelists will discuss the differences in fan cons, commercial conventions, and comic cons, and whether anything other than fan cons are truly conventions. And does it really matter?

Speakers
avatar for Falstaff Books

Falstaff Books

Falstaff Books
Falstaff Books is a digital and print publishing company based in Charlotte, NC dedicated to bringing to life the best in fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and dramatic literature. We love bringing amazing stories to light and giving incredible writers a voice. The battered... Read More →
avatar for James Fulbright

James Fulbright

Con Chair/President, ConGregate Productions
James Fulbright was introduced to AD&D by a friend in 1979. After joining his first gaming group, his friends convinced him to start attending conventions like StellarCon and Hexacon. It wasn’t long before attending cons led him to start helping out with those cons; which, in turn... Read More →
avatar for Michael D. Pederson

Michael D. Pederson

Con Chair, RavenCon


Sunday January 20, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 7

12:00pm

Tales from the Grid
Traces America's electrification, including inventions, feuds, rivalries, and revenge from Edison to today, and from P. T. Barnum's mighty elephant to California's threatening duck, with over 50 slides and videos.

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room M

12:00pm

Dazzling Duct Tape Fairy Wands
Using only simple supplies found at your local home improvement store, learn how to create amazing wands! Both creative and meditative for all ages, perfect for a Sunday afternoon.

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Craft Corner

12:00pm

Art Auction
Come bid on the amazing artwork and craft pieces viewable in the art room all weekend long!

Moderators
avatar for Michael Khandelwal

Michael Khandelwal

Pop Quiz: Who is our Toastmaster, Michael Jon Khandelwal? Make your choice below:Once one of the world’s premier primate behavioral scientists, Michael abandoned his award-winning work with monkeys, after a slight incident in the lab, for a new career in the entertainment industry... Read More →

Sunday January 20, 2019 12:00pm - 1:50pm
Harrison 3 & 4

12:30pm

Live Action Star Wars Chess
It's the fourth annual favorite Live Action Star Wars Chess at MarsCon! Will the Lightside or Darkside win this year? Will the Force be one with you? Wear your favorite Star Wars cosplay and come join in the game! Special appearance by the Tidewater Alliance.

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 12:30pm - 1:50pm
Room 1

1:00pm

Valentine Wolfe
Moderators
avatar for Valentine Wolfe

Valentine Wolfe

Braxton Ballew and Sarah Black have been composing and performing music together as Valentine Wolfe since 2006. Their scores have been heard in productions of The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest (Warehouse Theater), The Winter’s Tale (Furman University), and Twelfth Night (The... Read More →

Sunday January 20, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Large Auditorium

1:00pm

Fairy Similar: How Some Tropes Seem Universal and How they Differ
“Cinderella” or a tale clearly similar to it, exists in many different cultures and changes with the times. This panel will take several of the most familiar tales and look at how those exist in cultures around the world—why similar tropes appear as well as how and why the tales differ.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire writes things.  It can be difficult to make her stop, although she’s easily distracted by swamps, corn fields, and traveling carnivals.  She was once lost on a carnival midway for six hours, only to be found happily operating the Ferris wheel.  Her books have been... Read More →


Sunday January 20, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Room 8

1:00pm

Freedom Squadron, Prowlers & Paragons, the OmniVerse, a Geek Media Empire... and Everything Evil Beagle!
Evil Beagle Games is going through a huge transformation, bringing in some of the top talents of the industry to produce material for Savage Worlds, Prowlers & Paragons, 5th Edition, and lots of other things. Founder, CVO, and Lunatic-in-Charge Sean Patrick Fannon and EBG Editor-in-Chief (and MarsCon Guest of Honor!) Carinn Seabolt bring you up to speed on all the things they are working on, and they'll open the floor for you to ask them anything you like.

Speakers
avatar for Sean Patrick Fannon

Sean Patrick Fannon

Evil Beagle
Sean Patrick Fannon (aka "Big Irish" or SPF) has been professionally involved in tabletop RPGs, computer games, and entertainment for over a quarter-century. His dozens of projects have included Hero Games' Champions product line; both West End's and Fantasy Flight's Star Wars RPGs... Read More →
avatar for Carinn Seabolt

Carinn Seabolt

Carinn Seabolt is Evil Beagle Games’ Editor-in-Chief and co-designer of the long-awaited The Crew setting book for Savage Worlds. She is also in charge of reviewing charity requests and coordinating the Beagle’s involvement with worthy causes.Carinn also does quite a bit of freelance... Read More →


Sunday January 20, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Room L

1:00pm

Love Your Cosplay Body
So they say you shouldn't cosplay? This panel covers such topics as body image, skin color, age, and more. Some of our cosplay guests will discuss how to push past boundaries that others try to place against you. After all, cosplay is for everyone; it is not limited to one demographic.

Speakers
avatar for Ed Huff

Ed Huff

Well, it all started when a friend introduced me to Jerry Hogan back in the 80s when he was selling comics out of his truck at flea markets (before he bought the Trilogy comic book shop). I helped him work cons in New York, Charlotte, and all over the Hampton Roads area. During that... Read More →


Sunday January 20, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Room 7

1:00pm

The Cars aren't Flying, but they are Driving Themselves
We’re extremely close to having fully autonomous vehicles available for sale, and what does that mean for the average consumer? We hear a lot about Google and Apple’s efforts, but Ford, Volvo, Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota/Lexus and Audi are all in this game up to their elbows as well. Which of them is likely to get to the market first? Who are self-driving cars going to be marketed to? What’s the state of the technology? Is this a technological revolution, or a tempest in a teacup? And are they going to take over the world and kill us all?


Sunday January 20, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Room M

1:00pm

The Mechanics of Writing
From the Oxford Comma to ending on a preposition, authors will discuss the mechanics of writing and whether the rules remain the same, or if they're really just more like guidelines now.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Melissa McArthur

Melissa McArthur

Editor; Writer, Falstaff Books
Melissa McArthur is the founder and president of Clicking Keys Writer Services, a full-service editing, cover design, and layout company based in the upstate of South Carolina. She also serves as an Acquiring Editor for Falstaff Books, and is an accomplished editor and proofreader... Read More →


Sunday January 20, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Room 6

1:00pm

Why You Must See Black Panther
Representation is important and what's also important is to recognize the contributions and achievements of characters outside of the "typical mainstream". Panelists discuss why Black Panther may have been one of the most important movies of 2018.

Speakers
avatar for Margaret S. McGraw

Margaret S. McGraw

Editor/Author
Margaret S. McGraw is co-editor of two anthologies about the wildest West that never was: Weird Wild West (eSpec Books, 2015) and Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier (Falstaff Books, 2017). Her story "Rainmaker" appears in Lawless Lands, and “Stasis” appears in the benefit... Read More →
avatar for D.J. McGuire

D.J. McGuire

A Jersey boy who fell for a Suffolk girl, DJ has been a cost estimator and project manager for various federal government contractors for over 18 years. He also teaches economics at his local community college, plays bass for The Nefarious Ferrets and for Dimensional Riffs, and is... Read More →


Sunday January 20, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm
Room 3

1:00pm

Magic Tournament ($30 Fee)
Magic: The Gathering was the first trading card game, released in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast. Inspiration for the game's setting was taken from traditional pencil and paper roleplaying games, though the gameplay is quite different. This is the penultimate moment of the Gatewatch's fight against Nicol Bolas. Darkness is coming to Ravnica. A conflict that could tear apart the world itself looms large, and the fragile peace between the guilds is strained to its breaking point. Now, with everything on the line, it's time to step up, prove your loyalty, and fight for your guild. This event only has 18 available spots so we will be doing pre-registration. You can register at the convention if spots are available but the only way to guarantee a spot is to pre-register. You will have 45 minutes to construct your deck from the sealed prerelease kit, then compete in three rounds of game play. Everyone that plays will get 4 custom Marscon D6 Dice as well as 1 pack of the new set for every match win with a minimum of 1 pack going to every player. Rounds will be 50 minutes. Register here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=JU5XU95R43X5Q.

Sunday January 20, 2019 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 4

2:00pm

MarsCon Volunteer and Staff Rally
Want to join the staff, or see what it takes to run your favorite winter convention? Want to see more programming next year that is fun for the whole family? Come and share your ideas; we would love to hear from our fans of all ages and are always looking for more staff to join our ranks!

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 6

2:00pm

Losing Your Muse
We've all been there....it can happen to everyone for days, months, or years at a time. Share your stories and experiences that made your lose your muse and how you go it back.


Sunday January 20, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 3

2:00pm

Ranking the Modern Doctor Who Series
There have now been 11 Series of Modern Doctor Who. Come watch as our panelists give their rankings of these seasons and make their cases for their decisions.

Speakers

Sunday January 20, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 7

2:00pm

The Words, They Are a'Changing
Language is fluid. These days we’re trying to find ways to be more inclusive of all readers, by dropping the standard white-guy-hero tropes and using more gender-neutral words. But sometimes we’re so worried about getting it right that we get it all very wrong. Our panel will discuss the pitfalls and joys of language fluidity.

Moderators
avatar for Melissa McArthur

Melissa McArthur

Editor; Writer, Falstaff Books
Melissa McArthur is the founder and president of Clicking Keys Writer Services, a full-service editing, cover design, and layout company based in the upstate of South Carolina. She also serves as an Acquiring Editor for Falstaff Books, and is an accomplished editor and proofreader... Read More →

Speakers

Sunday January 20, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 8

2:00pm

Utopia, Dystopia, and the Default?
Certain kinds of imagined futures currently dominate the SF field.. For example, we usually find settings in either grand interstellar deep space futures or trapped-on-Earth dystopias with the rare exception. What about the futures that land somewhere in-between, that may be more likely for us? Is the "middle future" too reminiscent of the Golden Age of SF? Let's discuss the "middle future" in SF, how it compares to earlier eras in SF, and where it falls on the Utopia/Dystopia spectrum.

Moderators
avatar for D.J. McGuire

D.J. McGuire

A Jersey boy who fell for a Suffolk girl, DJ has been a cost estimator and project manager for various federal government contractors for over 18 years. He also teaches economics at his local community college, plays bass for The Nefarious Ferrets and for Dimensional Riffs, and is... Read More →

Speakers

Sunday January 20, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room L

2:00pm

501st Costuming and Kitting
A brief visual walk and talk of different Empire costumes, hard and soft. Makeup and hair resources for both women and men. Approaching a high cost build and how to find resources.

Moderators
Sunday January 20, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room M

2:00pm

Round Robin Music
Speakers

Sunday January 20, 2019 2:00pm - 3:50pm
Large Auditorium

2:00pm

Open Family Table Gaming
Need some space for the young ones to roam? Bring your own open gaming for all ages.

Sunday January 20, 2019 2:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 1

4:00pm

Closing Ceremonies
Join the MarsCon staff in closing out the con and finding out how things went over the weekend

Moderators
avatar for Michael Khandelwal

Michael Khandelwal

Pop Quiz: Who is our Toastmaster, Michael Jon Khandelwal? Make your choice below:Once one of the world’s premier primate behavioral scientists, Michael abandoned his award-winning work with monkeys, after a slight incident in the lab, for a new career in the entertainment industry... Read More →

Speakers

Sunday January 20, 2019 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Large Auditorium