What follows is a listing of all events planned for Thursday, March 29th. You can also download a program grid for Thursday (22KB .pdf) or the full weekend (109KB .pdf).
Schedules for the rest of the weekend are listed here, or jump directly to Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
We will be updating this list as major changes occur, until the convention opens.
Last updated .
Norwescon Film Festival
11 a.m.–4 p.m.
The Norwescon Film Festival will feature films both homegrown and from afar. These films have been submitted for your viewing pleasure. Come expecting to be surprised!
All-Ages Scheduled Gaming
Come sign up for a game run by our DMs or check out games from our lending library. We have RPGs, computer games, LARPs, card games, board games, and so much more! Need ADA access for a game? Please speak to our staff when you sign up, so we can be sure to meet your needs.
Pathfinder and D&D AL
11 a.m.–1 a.m.
Pathfinder Society and Dungeons and Dragons’ Adventurers League will be running games throughout the weekend. Check the gaming schedule for details.
Be the crew, report to the bridge! Artemis
is a spaceship bridge simulator where players assume the jobs of captain, helm, science, communication, engineering, and weapon control. Together you operate your ship and defend the sector from evil aliens. Artemis
simulates spaceship bridges by networking several computers together. One screen acts as the main screen of a bridge, while others serve as stations for the normal jobs a bridge crew might do. Artemis
is a social game where several players work together on each bridge, and one player plays the captain, who doesn’t have a station but tells everyone else what to do. Multiple bridges can participate together in cooperative multi-ship missions.
The New, New Doctor
Still watching Dr. Who? What are your favorites from the current season? Best characters? Best bad guys? From fab to flop, join in on this all-spoilers discussion about what we love, like, and loathe in Dr. Who.
Dawn Vogel (M), Kat Marier, William Sadorous, Kathy
Good God Holmes, You Never Cease to Astound Me!
Were the original Sherlock Holmes stories steampunk or straight-up detective and/or crime stories? What about The Hound of the Baskervilles? Horror, or supernatural mystery? What is it about Sherlock Holmes that allows the great consulting detective to slip in and out of so many different genres? Let’s discuss the many books of science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, etc. that use Sherlock Holmes as a character.
Berlynn Wohl (M), Judy Lyen, Lee Moyer, Renee Stern
Jobs of Tomorrow
Between robots, AIs and the internet, the very notion of what constitutes a job is now coming into question. What jobs are at risk, what will the jobs of the future look like, and what happens to those left behind? Is a BLS a good idea? Join the panel in contemplating what happens when HAL becomes CEO.
Shweta Adhyam (M), Kurt Cagle, Russell Ervin, PJ Manney
Nukes in Space
The key to the Solar System? Everything from small nuclear batteries and heaters to full blown reactors have been flown in space over the years. Their uses range from electrical generation to operating plasma thrusters and military radar systems in Earth orbit. One, Kosmos 954, even crashed in Canada some years back. Many advanced propulsion systems need large supplies of electrical power and nukes are the only way to provide it for missions to the outer planets and asteroids. What is the history of nuclear power in space and what is its future? What sort of mission could be done if megawatts of power was available?
Peter N. Glaskowsky (M), Dan DeLong, Arthur Bozlee
Putting Disability at the Forefront—Writing Deaf & Blind Characters in Fiction: Writing Workshop
Partially deaf and partially blind writer and editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry walks students through the process of researching and understanding both conditions for fiction writing. Topics covered: blindness (including causes, adaptive devices, and media examples); deafness (including the difference between deaf/deaf culture, hearing aids and other adaptive devices, and media examples); ableism (and how to avoid it); language (including the difference between identity first and person first language); genre tropes; and thinking intersectionally. Ages 16+. Space is limited, and advance sign-up is required in Cascade 1.
Elsa Sjunneson-Henry (M)
Baby Quiet Hour
Drop by Olympic 1 for some quiet time.
Danielle Gembala (M)
Pattern Modification for the Large Bust
Commercial sewing patterns assume you have a B cup. Our pros will demonstrate how to take correct measurements and alter a commercial pattern to accommodate a curvier figure.
Theresa Halbert (M), Anita Taylor, Melissa Quinn
All-Ages Game Demos
All weekend there are dealers and game developers running demos of games in Maxi’s Salon. Come up and see the latest and greatest games and talk to game developers.
Cosplay, Consent, And Other Important Convention Vocabulary
Park your butt here for a speedy introduction to appropriate behavior in the hallways, at panels, during photo-ops, and evening gatherings. Our panel of experts is here to answer all your weird/tough/potentially embarrassing questions, and to ensure you get the best possible experience as a Norwescon youth attendee.
Lisa Mantchev (M), Amélie Mantchev, Melissa Quinn
To facilitate better and deeper discussions of diversity, come learn some of the basics. Let’s define things like intersectionality, derailing, tone arguments, and more. Let’s ask the questions that might feel difficult to ask in more advanced panels. Suggested pre-panel Googling: Derailing for Dummies and “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.”
Sar Surmick (M), Shubzilla, J. F. High, Gabriel de los Angeles
Fan Culture and the New Meta
Captain Kirk is a feminist. Hannibal Lecter is a Hufflepuff. Stormtroopers can hit their targets; they just don’t want to. Fan writers on social media have put forth these innovative theories about pop culture and many more. Our panelists will discuss how 21st-century fandom has dismantled the conventional wisdom about film, book, and TV franchises, and re-contextualized them in ways that are mind-blowing, inclusive, and often hilarious.
Berlynn Wohl (M), DameRuth
Witches in Horror
The Craft, American Horror Story “Coven,” The Witch—women with mystical power often show up in horror fiction as protagonists, threats, and helpers, sometimes all three at once. What are some of the most interesting examples? What would we like to see more of? What would we like to see less of?
Julie McGalliard (M), Jason Vanhee, Lish McBride, Jon Lasser
The Moral of the Story: Fantasy, Horror, Current Events
It’s a given that characters should be complex and a story’s message, or moral, should not be overly evident. Is fiction a place where big questions of ethics, morality, and humanity should be discussed? Many readers read in order to have such questions addressed. Or is literature simply supposed to be entertainment, unburdened by philosophy and morality? Do authors have a moral responsibility when creating stories? What is moral fiction, if it exists at all, and what role do genre stories have in addressing ‘the big questions’ of life?
K.G. Anderson (M), Tegan Moore, Alexandra Renwick
Tools of the Trade: Story Arcs
The arc of a story is vital to successful narrative, but what are the expectations of flash vs. short fiction, novelette vs. novel? Listen as pros share their approach to arc and story development in a variety of story lengths.
Randy Henderson (M), Dean Wells, Andy Dudak, Scott James Magner
Story Time for Families
Story time and activities for families in Olympic 1.
Danielle Gembala (M)
Book Addicts Anonymous Meetup
Do your friends sometimes tell you have too many books? Come chat with fellow bibliophiles about the wonder and grandeur of books. Also, how do you store all of them?
3D Printing and Costuming
A 101-level discussion on getting into 3D printing for prop and costume making. We’ll cover types of printers, filaments, and software to get started and the pros and cons of printing parts for costumes.
Theresa Halbert (M), Torrey Stenmark
Rules of Engagement
“Rules of Engagement” is the legal framework for conduct of the modern battlefield. When and how are we allowed to conduct military operations in the field, and against whom—state-sponsored or terrorist? From approved engagements to atrocities, how do we classify legal and illegal activities, e.g. what makes an atrocity, and what do we do about it? Learn why modern commanders depend on their lawyer’s counsel to protect both themselves and their adversaries.
Elliott Kay (M), Russell Ervin, Clayton Mann, Tony Hinson, Eric Pedersen
Technology at the Gaming Table
iPads, laptops, cell phones, and computers are all popping up at the game table, and apps are being developed to assist with character management and rules tracking. But do these elements hinder immersion into the game and distract more than they help? Our panelists will discuss the pros and cons of using technology during role-playing games and recommend their favorite programs.
Gabriel de los Angeles (M), Dylan Templar, Donna Prior, Liz Courts
Collapse: When Rule Disintegrates
One morning you wake up and realize (or don’t realize) that things aren’t the same, and not for the better. Your monuments may still be standing, but something undeniable has happened. What brings down the once mighty and accomplished?
Bill Gruner (M), Kurt Cagle, Agathon McGeachy, Adrienne Carlson
Cutting it Down: An Editor’s Dream
Want to impress your editor? Learn to cut out filler and weasel words that weaken your writing before it gets to the editing phase. Locate phrases like “I could see” and change them to “I saw” and catch bad habits like “just” or “was”.
Mark Teppo (M), Jaym Gates, Susan Chang, Tod McCoy
Space Elevators: Problems, Solutions, Alternatives
From Tsiolkovsky to Artsutanov, Pearson to Edwards, Clarke to Forstchen, space elevators and their potential have captured our imagination.
Peter N. Glaskowsky (M)
Out of the Genre Box: Writing Workshop
Writers write, that’s what we do, but sometimes writing in the genres we love becomes more of a chore than a joy. What to do? Step outside the genre box and look at stories in a new light. In this 90-minute workshop, we’ll discuss what it means to write in different genres, what’s involved in writing cross-genre, and examples of how different genres can focus on the same theme or setting. We’ll use simple item story prompts to jumpstart timed writings, and maybe even share our work. Bring your favorite writing implements and your imagination. It’s time to think outside the box! Presented by Clarion West. Ages 14+. Space is limited, and advance sign-up is required in Cascade 1.
Sandra M. Odell (M)
Exploring the Universe with Binoculars
Have binoculars gathering dust in the closet? Learn how you can use them to observe hundreds of nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies. See for yourself the building blocks of the cosmos and understand the structure of the Milky Way and our place in it, all with handheld instruments.
Mathew Wedel (M)
Sensory Friendly Open House
Conventions can be overwhelming and difficult for everyone. Come by Olympic 1 for sensory-friendly activities and open space for stimming and being yourself.
Danielle Gembala (M)
Glass Fusing Workshop Part 1
Learn glass fusing with acclaimed space glass artist Joy Day. Participants will create a small fused glass piece, which will be fired overnight, and available for pickup on Sunday. Materials fee of $8 will be collected by the instructor. Space is limited to 18 participants. Sign up in Cascade 1.
Joy Alyssa Day (M)
Presidential Suite 1360
Come hang out with your fellow LGBTQ fans in a casual mixer environment. Meet n’ greet and find new folks to wander the con with.
Reading: Kurt Cagle
Phoenix Ascendant. To be continued. Rated: PG.
Kurt Cagle (M)
The Biological Apocalypse
Will the world end in a bang, or a whimper? How can biological systems become the means by which the world as we know it collapses? The extinction of bees? Super-virus? Or something unimagined?
Charlotte Lewis Brown (M), Jake McKinzie
What is Consensual Non-Monogamy? Is it Polyamory or Swinging or Polygamy or Relationship Anarchy? Why would anyone want more than one partner? What important advice is there for starting out? How do you do you minimize hurt feelings? Can you? How do more conservative family members react to these plural relationships? Should you, shouldn’t you? What are the pros and cons?
Sar Surmick (M), Sienna Saint-Cyr, Liz Courts, Sheye Anne Blaze
Ancient and Medieval Surgery
If you were a wounded Roman, you could usually expect a trained medic with a med kit and medicines. But what about serious wounds? What techniques were used in the attempt to save the lives of the suffering?
Adrienne Carlson, Alan Andrist, Pat MacEwen
Magic: Status Quo or Revolution?
Magic is change and power. It can transform characters, as well as entire worlds, or it can entrench a status quo for eons. Does magic bring the concept of change or status quo to the fantasy you’ve read? Is magic another way of writing about politics? Do writers have to be experts in magic to write about magic, or is magic more symbolic in fantastic literature? What is magic?
Fonda Lee (M), Eva L. Elasigue, Joseph Brassey
This is My First Con
You are very welcome here. You are among friends, most of whom you haven’t met yet, and we want you to enjoy Norwescon as much as we do. This panel is both a place where you can ask questions and to listen to the panelists say, “And something I wish I knew at MY first con is…”
Bridget Landry (M), Donna Prior, Lee Moyer
Our Monsters, Our Selves
The best monsters, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, zombies all begin as human beings: as US. All have their roots in the ideas of lost/strayed/stolen humanity. Freud alludes to the factor of semblance in The Uncanny, and that idea, with the tensions inherent in duality/dichotomy—an otherness both projected and found within—is crucial. Is our continued fascination with these monsters our way of grappling with ourselves? And which fantasy characters are most persuasive in convincing us that they are not really monsters; that they are, in reality, a reflection/distortion/creation of us?
Jon Lasser (M), Lish McBride, Alexander James Adams
Write and Record a Room Song Part 1
Two sessions of making a song with our musicians! We’ll have beat options, melody options, and song subject options. If you can play an instrument, bring it! We’ll try to capture it. This is a great opportunity for us to make something with our fellow attendees. Will it be a metal song about pirates? Or a Filk song about… pirates? WHO KNOWS!?!
C0splay (M), Dara Korra’ti, Bill Beats
Fight Like an Amazon
Learn the basics of Roman Battle Strategy.
Ann Shilling (M), V Whitlock, Lisa Mantchev
Enjoy a buffet of great food and great company as you rub elbows with our Guests of Honor. Photo ops and preferred seating for the opening ceremonies abound. Ticket sales are limited, so get them while they are hot!
Chris Pramas, Galen Dara, Ken Liu, Mathew Wedel, Nicole Lindroos, Vicki Wedel
Reading: Dawn Vogel
Brass and Glass. In the windy skies of the Republic, it’s not always easy to chart your own course. When Svetlana Tereshchenko, captain of the airship The Silent Monsoon, catches wind that a cask of mythical Cranglimmering whiskey has been stolen, she and her renegade crew of outcasts fly off in search of it. Rated: PG.
Dawn Vogel (M)
Reading: Erik Scott de Bie
Scourge of the Broken World. From book four of my World of Ruin apocalyptic fantasy series! Rated: R.
Erik Scott de Bie (M)
Military Singularity: When AI Takes Over
From Colossus: The Forbin Project to Skynet, dystopian authors have questioned the bright and encouraging uses of computers—anticipating the day they take over and become our masters. Explore the fears and prognostications of futurists since the 1950s and how you can use their warnings and research in your writing. And why is it the computers always utilize the military to execute their inter-species coup?
Michael Ormes (M), V Whitlock, Mike Brennan, Peter Fuller
As we get ready for the final season of Game of Thrones we look back on the incredible clothes from the series and the rich variety of different cultures that they represent. What kingdom was your favorite? Who would you like to dress like? Embroidery, knitting, pleating, armor, and jewelry work—we will try and cover it all!
Richard Stephens (M), Bethany Roullett, Ann Shilling
*Insert Favorite Media* Would Make a Great Game!
Why certain books, TV, or movie series would make great games… or really, really bad ones.
Crystal Frasier (M), Dylan Templar
Never Mind the Bollocks: Punk in SF
From steampunk and cyberpunk to clockpunk, solarpunk, and bronzepunk, SF has entertained a lot of -punk in the last 30 years. Is there any real connection between SF and the music genre of punk? What makes a SF or fantasy story “punk”?
Alexandra Renwick (M), Dawn Vogel, Cory Skerry, Jon Lasser
From Start to Finish
What to expect when you wish to go with a big press. From the agent placing your work, to your contract, edit expectations, promotion, and finally, how do royalties work, and what can you count on?
Fonda Lee (M), Patrick Hurley, Susan Chang, Randy Henderson
Words to Images
How does a writer collaborate with an artist to create the visuals of an imaginary world? From art notes to finished product, professionals will discuss the steps and techniques of the illustrative process.
Lee Moyer (M), Eva L. Elasigue, Kent Hamilton
Seattle’s Mosquito Fleet
A history of steamboats and marine steam travel in the Pacific Northwest. The Mosquito Fleet was a swarm of hundreds of steamboats, carrying passengers and freight across Puget Sound before the days of cars, highways, and bridges. Come hear their stories of piracy, racing, fights, success, and failure.
Getting into Geek Music (Where Do We Start?)
How do you even begin? There’s SO much noise. So many genres. The internet is full of amateurs and trolls and terrible choices. This will be the easiest panel to attend. Ask questions, mentions bands you like, and we’ll connect you with the nerd music for you! It’ll be an hour of good tunes and weird choices.
Shubzilla (M), C0splay, MC3P0
Reading: Lilith Dawn
Someday, Mars. Rated: PG.
Lilith Dawn (M)
Doors Open for Opening Ceremonies
Come and get a seat!
Enjoy an official kickoff to your Norwescon 41 at the opening ceremonies! Enjoy interviews with our Guests of Honor, get a preview of events and essential information, and enjoy general shenanigans and merrymaking.
Chris Pramas, Galen Dara, Ken Liu, Mathew Wedel, Nicole Lindroos
Not Everything Has to Glow
Fantasy worlds are filled with wondrous magical items. But how do we as artists break away from the ‘oh, let’s make it glow’ trope? Discuss ways and techniques to make magical items and sorcery affects that do not rely on glowing.
Bryan Syme (M), Liz Courts
We brought our pros together to ask the all-important question: Where do you get your great stuff? Secret shops, sari safaris, online stores—take notes on where to find the supplies you need to make the costumes you want!
Richard Stephens (M), Deborah Strub, Torrey Stenmark
Sexism in Comics
On the heels of Harvey Weinstein, DC announced the suspension of Eddie Berganza after accusations of sexual harassment. Twitter is filled with stories from women and the various instances of sexual harassment they’d faced in the industry. How does the sexism of the old boys’ club affect the marketability of the Big Two? Is it only the Big Two, or do indie publishers suffer the same infection?
Jaym Gates (M), Minim Calibre, Brenna Clarke Gray
Variant DNA? Silicon based life? Acid blood? Yeah, it’s been done. How will you make something original? Do you even need to? What quirky biology can you use that few people know about?
Eva L. Elasigue (M), Kurt Cagle, DameRuth
Teen Cosplay Meet-up
Join the other Norwescon 18-and-unders as your favorite character from fandom!
Lisa Mantchev (M), Amélie Mantchev, Melissa Quinn
Level Up: Making Feedback Work for Your Story
The Fairwood Writers will use a live demo of a critique session and hands-on exercises to help participants learn how to take in critical feedback, pinpoint the most useful comments, and use them to not only shape their own fixes for the story at hand, but also to address weaknesses in their craft. Advance sign-up is required. Priority will be given to writers attending the Norwescon Writers’ Workshop and some discussion may be geared toward questions for writers with submitted manuscripts.
G.R. Theron (M), Catherine Cooke Montrose, Erin Wagner Tidwell, Renee Stern, Dean Wells
Forensic Science for Writers with Pat MacEwan
What can you find out from looking at a dead body? What are the forensics basics every writer of crime or horror fiction should know? What are some common mistakes to avoid?
Pat MacEwen (M)
Thursday Night Dance: Subnautica
Come dance the night away in a fabulous mechanical undersea world! Wear your scuba gear or just tread water as best you can in whatever you’ve got on. Swim with the sharks and float with the jellyfish! (No actual water, sharks, or jellyfish will be present. There might be mermaids.)
If you plan to enter the masquerade, you must come to one of the three Pre-Masquerade Meetings (Thursday at 9 p.m., Friday at 5 p.m. or Saturday at 8 a.m.) to get all the information you need to compete and turn over your music. If you have not already registered online, we will have a computer available for you to do so. If you are just curious and have some questions, we will have the answers.
How to Get Laid at a Con
How to hook up and be safe, tips on enhancing your communication skills, safer sex advice, grooming tips, and etiquette suggestions of things to NEVER EVER do or say to keep you from being that creep others avoid. And who knows—today’s hook-up might be tomorrow’s happily-ever-after. Funny stories and serious advice. 18+ only, please.
Loree Parker (M), Donna Prior, Sar Surmick
Why do Comics Matter?
What is it about comics that makes them such an enduring form of media? And why do they inspire such controversy at times? From the Seduction of the Innocent to the current day’s debates about feminism, sexism—what do comics mean to different people?
Minim Calibre (M), Brenna Clarke Gray, Torrey Stenmark, Dylan Templar
What Makes Good Space Art?
If space art makes you think of photoshopped nebulas and space opera book covers, think again. When space artists work with astronomers and engineers, unseen worlds and unrealized missions can be brought to life. But what sort of details do space artists need? How accurate can a space artist be in the first place? And does it ever make sense to be inaccurate for the sake of visualization?
Lilith Dawn (M), Joy Alyssa Day
NOW Can We Have Flying Cars?
The lack of flying cars has been a staple at SF Cons for decades; the promised future that never arrives. But that looks like it might change. No, really, we mean it this time! Well, maybe. Come see what you might see in a sky near you, before the decade is done.
Brian D. Oberquell (M), Bill Gruner, Mike Brennan
Laser Tag/Nerf Free Play
9 p.m.–2 a.m.
Free Play will open with Laser Tag for the first half of the session, switching to Nerf for the last half. Rules for each session will be posted. Underage players must have a parent present to play. Equipment is provided at the play area.
Concert – Betsy Tinney
Betsy Tinney is a Northwest cellist who performs regularly with Vixy & Tony, Tricky Pixie, SJ Tucker, Heather Dale, and many others. She also performs solo, does session work, and teaches. Betsy was the recipient of the 2012 Pegasus Award for best performer. Her website is www.betsytinney.com.
Dr. Owl (M), Betsy Tinney
Friends of Bill W.
Concert – Shubzilla and Bill Beats
Shubzilla and Bill Beats began working together in 2011. Originally rivals in past Vocalist/Producer Challenges, Shubz and Bill chose to join forces to work together regularly. Starting off with the single “Wonderful World” for Bill Beats for President Vol.1, their EPs “Dinner and A Movie” and “BOOMERS” have been exceptional products of their collaboration. They have Emerald City Comic-Con, MAGfest 2018, The Day Jobs Mini-Tour: West Coast Edition under their belts, along with performances at Norwescon, the PAX West Nerdcore Showcase, and many others. With Shubzilla’s frank and aggressive lyrics and Bill Beats’ penchant for samples and bass-heavy compositions, they do not disappoint.
Dr. Owl (M)
Concert – Death*Star
Death*Star returns to Norwescon; not with a bang, but with a whimper. Enjoy new tracks, old favorites, and of course, self-deprecation. Described as “definitely one of the bands playing,” at MagWest and “not the worst act of the festival” by Nerdapalooza, these hefty, half-in-the-bag humbugs banter, rhyme, and mostly shuffle around awkwardly to excellent crafted instrumentals by Bill Beats. Death*Star, at Norwescon, again, because they’re already there, and they’re already drunk.
Dr. Owl (M)