Penguicon is my favorite convention. For those of you who have only heard of media SF cons (meet the stars of your favorite show!) or comic cons (meet stars, cosplay), volunteer-run SF/Fantasy cons are an entirely different experience, and I haven’t heard of any other conventions quite like Penguicon. It started out as a hybrid SF/Fantasy and Linux/Open-Source convention, but it’s expanded since then. I will write more about it in a later post.
This year, I decided to be a more active participant, and I suggested several programs through their tuxtrax system. Then I suggested a few more. By the time I was done, I think I had more than 14 hours of suggested programming! Not everything I suggested was something I could do- some I thought would be fun if they could find someone to do them. After the dust settled, the following were on the schedule:
Retro Roots Anime: Perfect Overload Lovely Superbash! Drop in for a magical mishmash of menacing mecha, obnoxious aliens, daring detectives, bumbling baka, romance, thrills, and gratuitous destruction! Discover ancient (crudely-animated) treasures for the first time, or relive the heartwarming nostalgia of the years when none of your friends knew what this Japanese animation style was! We’ll sample some great series, and show highlights of notable movies as well. Cutoff is 1989- the year Tezuka Osamu (Astroboy, Kimba etc) died. “Seriously? The God Cannon Is A Beauty’s Keyword To Escape!” “Target! Locku On!”
Level up with HabitRPG – Learn about & share tips for HabitRPG, an open-source habit building program that treats your life like a Role Playing Game. After a brief intro for newbies, participants will share how they’ve used HabitRPG to have fun, develop better habits, Get Things Done, and gamify their lives.
Hand Drumming for Beginners – Hand drumming for beginners focusing on Middle Eastern and drumming for dancers. Bring a drum. Extra drums may be available. (Someone else is leading this, but I suggested it. 🙂 )
Friendship at the Speed of Sound – Meeting people can be difficult and sometimes impossible to do as an adult. This is especially true if you find social settings overwhelming. Come to this panel to meet other attendees in a informal setting. Find people with similar interests to hang with while you are at the con. Conversation starters will be provided.
Story Structure: What Is It, and Can It Make Your Writing Zoom? – Got a story that doesn’t move, or just seems a bit flat? Can’t figure out what comes next, or how to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion? Maybe it needs some structure! What’s the story type- Milieu, Idea, Character, or Event? Will a Three-Act arrangement give it some shape, or would the Hollywood Formula make more sense? We’ll look at different story structures, using movies we’ve probably all seen as examples.
Polytheist Religions for Writers – Which writers do a good job weaving ‘the gods’ into their stories? How did different polytheist cultures interact? What features of historical (or current) polytheist religions can we use to enrich our worlds and generate plot points?
I’m particularly proud of the last two, in the literature track. So far, fellow author Ericka Kahler will be helping on both of them, and if we’re lucky some other authors will pitch in.
There are 390-or-so events this year for Penguicon, which is stunning for a Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday morning timespan! There are tracks for Action / Adventure, After Dark, Anime, Costuming, DIY, Eco, Film, Food, Gaming, Life, Lit, Music, Penguicon Events, Science, Tech, Videogaming, and Webcomics. There are over twenty hours of programming in the Food track!
If you can be in the Detroit area on April 24-26, this is a unique chance to have fun and try all sorts of different things in one place!