Program Schedule

Welcome to SFContario
Friday 5 PM, Solarium
Panelists will talk about the elements of SF cons in general and SFContario in particular. Is this your first con? Then this is the place to get the scoop. Learn how to get the most out of your con.
Diane Lacey, Marah Searle-Kovacevic, Alex von Thorn

Opening Ceremonies
Friday, 6 PM, Gardenview
Diane Lacey (b), David Cheater, Lawrence M. Schoen, Gunnar Wentz

Reading: Timothy Carter
Friday 6:30 PM (30 minutes), Parkview
Timothy Carter

Building Fandom and Community
Friday 7 PM; Gardenview
Fandom is a many-legged thing that spans generations and genres. It’s become more than a little fragmented over the years, but we are all still part of a larger whole. What have we lost with the fragmenting of fandom? How can its niche groups engage with the wider fan community while still honoring and protecting what makes them unique?
A.A. Jankiewicz, Seren Kwasniewski-Burke, Diane Lacey(M), Alex von Thorn

All Holmes, all the time
Friday 7 PM; Parkview
What is it about the character of Sherlock Holmes that has such appeal to fans? From the original stories to two current TV adaptations that take Holmes to other eras, there seems to be something integral in the depiction of Holmes that fills a need in the audience. Is it because he’s cerebral? His sequestered lifestyle? Benedict Cumberbatch? Why the continued interest?
David Clink, Ira Nayman, Marah Searle-Kovacevic(M), Maaja Wentz

Concert—Cognitive Dissonants
Friday 8 PM, Solarium
Peggi Warner-Lalonde’s pick up band. For SFContario, Sally Headford and Ken Lalonde will join Peggi for an eclectic concert of both old and new songs.
Peggi Warner-Lalonde, Sally Headford, Len Lalonde

Concert—Kraken Not Stirred
Friday 9 PM, Solarium
Kraken spans various genres, writing songs about all manner of nerdy pursuits. If you grok songs about science fiction, fantasy, computers, conventions, and general weirdness, come to the concert on Friday night!
Mike Bryant

Open Filk
Friday 9 PM, Solarium


Mars Hates Humans!
Saturday 10 AM; Gardenview
How do we survive the cosmic radiation on the way to Mars? What needs to be there before a human mission arrives? What work needs to be done to keep a landing group alive? Do we need to build infrastructure in Earth or Mars orbit, or on the Moon, to make a journey possible? Who will pay for a mission, and what return do they get? Is there anything to accomplish there other than planting a flag? Is there a reason to stay, and is there a way to survive long-term if we have a reason? What’s the time frame on making a Mars mission, or colony, practical?
Eric Choi, David Stephenson, Alex von Thorn(M)

Creating Languages
Saturday 10 AM; Solarium
Many SF/F worlds have their own languages, Elvish and Klingon being two examples. From etymology to grammar to culture, there are many characteristics to consider. How do you craft languages that make sense? How does a language reflect the identities of its speakers? How do we make our languages and vocabularies believable?
Alyx Dellamonica, Shirley Meier, Lawrence M. Schoen

Reading: Allan Weiss
Saturday 10:30 PM (30 minutes), Parkview
Allan Weiss

Eating Grandma: the Mechanics of Consumption in Madeline Ashby’s vN
Saturday 11 AM; Gardenview
A presentation by Clare Wall on the themes of consumption and food in Madeline Ashby’s vN and their function within a critical posthuman politics drawing meaningful attention to the social politics of food and consumption in Western culture and the ways it intersects with gender, race, and the politics of self and other.
Clare Wall

Editors Are Not the Enemy
Saturday 11 AM; Parkview
Editors and Author-editors discuss the role of editors and authors as partners in the creative process, how to identify a good editor, why you need an editor, and more.
Erik Buchanan, Timothy Carter, Cathy Hird(M), Rati Mehotra

Eating and Ethics
Saturday 11 AM; Solarium
What is the ethical scope of our food choices? Is buying local really better than buying imported food? Are Vegans better for the environment? How do things like socioeconomic status, mental health, and disability intersect with the ethics of food consumption?
Charlotte Ashley (M), Alyx Dellamonica, Lawrence M. Schoen, Gunnar Wentz

Politics in Canadian SF
Saturday 12 PM; Gardenview
Since its beginnings, Canadian SF has dealt with political themes: relations with the United States and Great Britain, relations within the country between English and French, forms of government, and so on. How have these questions been dealt with in Canadian SF during the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries? What common themes can be found? In this presentation, Prof. Allan Weiss looks at both universal and very Canadian political questions in the history of Canadian fantastic literature.
Allan Weiss

Blending Noir Into Speculative Fiction
Saturday 12 PM; Parkview
What if Philip Marlowe roamed the mean streets of Minas Tirith? What if two strangers met on the Luna City tube? What if R. Daneel Olivaw was hunting the Maltese Falcon? This panel will discuss specific aspects and moments you can add to your story that will give your fantasy or science fiction story the feel of Double Indemnity or the Big Sleep.
Beverly Bambury(M), Shirley Meier, Maaja Wentz

Fantasy and Science
Saturday 12 PM; Solarium
What can the scientific method lend to fantasy? Does the presence of gods and magic exclude the need for science? Whether it leads to technology, or just a scientific understanding of the setting and magic, what can the practice of science add to fantasy?
Erik Buchanan(M), Cenk Gokce, A.A. Jankiewicz, Rati Mehrotra

No Capes!
Saturday 1 PM; Gardenview
If you’re going to save the world do you need to do so in style? How much practicality are authors, artists, and filmmakers willing to sacrifice so their characters look? Are outfits getting any more realistic? Do they need to? What tools and gear should they bring and where can they store them so as not to ruin the look? How do writers keep things real without forsaking fashion?
Seren Kwasniewski-Burke, David Cheater(M), Herb Kauderer

Plot Complications
Saturday 1 PM; Parkview
Characters in a story are attempting to solve a problem. In the best stories, their attempts go horribly awry. Who can forget the moment when the Crew of the Enterprise, attempting to defeat the Borg, is faced with the announcement from their beloved Captain–“I am Locutus of Borg.” And the course of the story is changed. Or, when Boromir falls to the lure of the Ring and tries to take it, splitting up the Fellowship and changing everyone’s paths. Panelists and audience are invited to present their own favorite heart-stopping moment from books and film.
Timothy Carter; David Clink, Alyx Dellamonica (M), Cathy Hird

Music of Fandom
Saturday 1 PM; Solarium
Do you have a fandom? Do you like music? Did you know that there may be groups out there singing songs about your fandom? We’ll discuss some of the different types of Finnish music out there, and where to find it.
Sally Headford (m), Ken Lalonde, Kari Maaren, Peggi Warner-Lalonde

How to Remember EVERYTHING!
Saturday 2 PM; Gardenview
Mnemonics and You! Come hear SFContario 8 Author Guest of Honour explain how memory works and how to enhance yours.
Lawrence M. Schoen

Reading: Charlotte Ashley
Saturday 2 PM (30 minutes), Parkview
Charlotte Ashley

That’s what I do: I drink and I know things
Saturday 2 PM; Solarium
Tyrion Lannister, everybody’s favorite underdog. Why do we love him so? Join us for an hour of adoration for Westero’s beloved misanthrope.
David Clink (M), A.A Jankiewicz; Marah Searle-Kovacevic; Alex von Thorn

Reading: Rati Mehrotra
Saturday 2:30 PM (30 minutes), Parkview
Rati Mehrotra

How to Overthink Your Way Out of Writing
Saturday 3 PM; Gardenview;
Theodore Sturgeon famously taught “Ask the next question.” Beginning writers everywhere are advised to ask “What if…?” as they develop their story. With a little research and some extra caffeine you too can come up with such a plethora of possibilities that your story becomes a dense jungle with no clear path–impenetrable and neverending. As denizens of the Digital Age, with its abundance of information and surfeit of attention span, we have never been in a better position to over-complicate our stories–and our lives!
Charlotte Ashley, Ira Nayman, Kelly Robson (M)

Reading: Maaja Wentz
Saturday 3 PM (30 minutes), Parkview
Maaja Wentz

QUILTBAG in the media
Saturday 3 PM; Solarium
Our media may be starting to feature more characters and situations from the queer/questioning, undecided, intersex, lesbian, transgender/transsexual, bisexual, allied/asexual, gay/genderqueer (QUILTBAG) perspective, but there’s still a long way to go. How do we move from tokenism to full inclusion?
David Cheater, Alyx Dellamonica, Seren Kwasniewski-Burke(M)

Reading: Erik Choi
Saturday 3:30 PM (30 minutes), Parkview
Erik Choi

Humour In Science Fiction and Fantasy
Saturday 4PM, Gardenview
As the old saying goes, dying is easy, comedy is hard. Panelists discuss humor in science fiction, including past and present examples, the difficulty of writing humor, the contributions of humorists to the field and more.
David Cheater, Joe Mahoney, Shirley Meier, Ira Nayman, Allan Weiss (M)

Reading: Lawrence M. Schoen
Saturday 4 PM (30 minutes), Parkview
Lawrence M. Schoen

Food in Fiction
Saturday 4 PM; Solarium
Stories that make you go, “Nom!” How do you describe food to express mood or set the scene? Join our panelists as they dish on the culinary delights that tantalize us in fiction, from regional teas to kingly feasts. What works? What doesn’t? And what should you know about a food-centric scene.
Charlotte Ashley (M), Erik Buchanan, Eric Choi, Cathy Hird, Gunnar Wentz

Reading: Kelly Robson
Saturday 4:30 PM (30 minutes), Parkview
Kelly Robson

Science Fiction’s Checkered Past
Saturday 5 PM; Gardenview
A discussion of the writers who started the field and those who helped make it “respectable”.
Cathy Hird, Allan Weiss

Creativity in Music
Saturday 5 PM, Solarium
Have you ever thought you might like to write songs? Have you wondered where inspiration comes from? Are you looking for others who like to write music? We will talk about getting started, courting the muse, seeking collaboration, and other topics of interest. Bring your questions and join in the discussion.
Sally Headford, Kari Maaren, Peggi Warner-Lalonde (m)

Indie Publishing 101
Saturday 6 PM; Gardenview
There’s a right way to publish, and a wrong way. Write-and-release is the wrong way. Going independent should be handled as seriously as running a small-press publishing house, albeit with a streamlined acquisitions department! The panelists break it down for you, step-by-step — from starting the business to planning, production and publication.
Beverly Bambury, A.A. Jankiewicz

Hot Sauce Tasting

Saturday 6 PM, Con Suite
Gunnar Wentz

Reading: Erik Buchanan
Saturday 6:30 PM (30 minutes), Parkview
Erik Buchanan

Hitting The Wall: How Not to Crash and Burn Before Publishing Your Story
Saturday 6 PM, Solarium;
From great idea to market-ready story. How to save headaches, heartaches, and $$$ while avoiding the Author Imposter Syndrome.
Timothy Carter (m), Herb Kauderer, Joe Mahoney

Ask Beverly Bambury
Saturday 7 PM; Gardenview
Book publicist, Beverly Bambury, responds to any questions you have about marketing and publicity. An open discussion on what works and what doesn’t.
Beverly Bambury

It Was (just a little more than) 20 Years Ago Today
Saturday 7 PM; Parkview
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published on June 27, 1997 changing the face of children’s. Let’s talk about the effect the Harry Potter series has had on our genre.
David Cheater, Rati Mehrotra, Maaja Wentz (M)

Concert—Kari Maaren
Friday 8 PM, Solarium
Kari Maaren
Kari plays an awesome ukulele and writes hilariously geeky songs. She’s also a visual artist with her very own web comic. (From an interview on The Search for Geek)

Song Circle
Saturday 9 PM, Solarium
Come and share your favourite geeky/nerdy songs! Everyone is welcome.


Chemistry: The Neglected Science?
Sunday 11 AM; Gardenview
“Hard” science fiction stories often revolve around discoveries in either physics or biology. Fewer stories focus on chemistry — and many even take the field for granted. Is chemistry overlooked in science fiction?
David Cheater (M), Cenk Gokce; Shirley Meier

I see no way in which that could possibly go wrong
Sunday 11 AM; Solarium
Flying cars, electronic tattoos, teleportation – what new technologies are on the horizon, and what societal implications do we need to be aware of.
Herb Kauderer(M), A.A. Jankiewicz, David Stephenson, Clare Wall

Reading: Alyx Dellamonica
Sunday 11 AM (30 minutes), Parkview
Alyx Dellamonica

Reading: Ira Nayman
Sunday 11:30 AM (30 minutes), Parkview
Ira Nayman

Scary Toronto
It’s not just a popular Science Fiction setting, many horror stories are also set in our fair city. Tanya Huff’s Victoria Nelson series and Garfield Reese-Stevens short story Tear Down, to name just two. What is it that suits Toronto to this genre. How can we be so polite, and so frightening?
Timothy Carter, Allen Weiss
Sunday 12 PM; Solarium

Starport Toronto
Sunday 12 PM; Gardenview
Three popular television series set on starships–Star Trek Discovery, Dark Matter, and Killjoys, have been filmed in the Toronto area (four if you count People of Earth). What do we see on Canandian shows we don’t see from other producing countries? Are viewers confused seeing actors on different shows? What are our favorite Canadian SF shows, current or in past years, that we want our friends to watch with us?
David Cheater, David Clink(M), Marah Searle-Kovacevic, Alex von Thorn

Reading: A.A. Jankiewicz
Sunday 12:00 PM (30 minutes), Parkview
A.A. Jankiewicz

Where do we go from here?
Sunday 12 PM; Solarium
Speculative fiction speculates, it’s all there in the name. In today’s rapidly changing climate – cultural, political, and scientific – where should we be pointing next? How can current SFF keep pace with the current developments, and still prepare the way to the future?
Lawrence M. Schoen, Kelly Robson, Clare Wall (M)

Star Trek: The Next Iteration
Sunday 1 PM; Gardenview
How about them Klingons? Does Star Trek Discovery feel like a lead-in to classic Star Trek? Are new gadgets and technologies too new? Is a little retcon good for us? Are they trying too hard? Will fans be loyal to the new series? Is anybody not a fan? Let’s discuss where the series is boldly going, and where we think the first season might end up.
Lawrence M. Schoen, Marah Searle-Kovacevic, David Clink

From Fan to Pro
Sunday 1 PM, Parkview
Many of science fiction and fantasy’s authors have come out of fandom. What’s the transition like? How does a fan with professional aspirations take the first step?
Sephora Hosein, Herb Kauderer, Joe Mahoney(m)

Quatloos and Credits and Latinum, Oh My!
Sunday 1 PM; Solarium
Economics is frequently overlooked in SF. Do adventurers simply live on nuts and berries and what they can kill? What do they pay with when they visit an inn or buy a drink? How is trade carried out, particularly between species? Is there still a struggle for resources or has science advanced to the point where anything can be fabricated?
Alyx Dellamonica, Cenk Gokce(M), Kelly Robson

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate!
Sunday 2 PM, Con Suite
Gunnar Wentz

What the Wattpad? For Readers and Writers
Sunday 2 PM; Gardenview
With a monthly audience of 60 million readers and over 400 million stories across every genre, Wattpad bills itself as the world’s largest community of readers and writers. On Wattpad, novels and stories are serialized by chapter and enjoyed for free, mostly on mobile devices. Fan fiction is popular, but so are novels by established and emerging authors in science fiction, fantasy, mystery/thriller, young adult, horror, and romance. Some Wattpad stars have gone on to sell movie rights and get publishing deals. Others have used Wattpad to publicize indie published books or to earn revenue directly from sponsors. Come find out what makes Wattpad, headquartered in Toronto, a unique way to read and write. Attendees who bring a digital device will be able to set up an account during the presentation and explore features of the Wattpad app or website. Interested writers can learn how to grow their Wattpad audience, how to use Wattpad stats for measuring reader engagement and demographics, as well as how to get their stories featured by Wattpad HQ.
Maaja Wentz

Time, Time, Everywhere is Time
Sunday 2 PM, Solarium
12 Monkeys, Travelers, Timeless, Legends of Tomorrow, Frequency, The Flash, Dirk Gently; we have had a spate of time-travel shows in recent years. Does time travel really work as a framework for storytelling? Are there any new ideas or just shuffling the trope deck? Can “paradox” mean anything beyond handwaving to avoid the deux-ex-machina problem of solving every problem before it starts? Why would the universe care about events above the subatomic level? Is anyone in Ford’s Theater not a time traveler?
Ira Nayman, Alex von Thorn (M), Allan Weiss

Reading: Joe Mahoney
Sunday 2:30 PM (30 minutes), Parkview
Joe Mahoney

Coming Soon: The flying, electric, robot, transpod.
Sunday 3PM, Gardenview
Pizza and people may be soon flying over cities in pilot-less, electrically powered vehicles that look like something out of 1950’s S.F.
This presentation will review the plans and prototypes that companies are developing as technologies and money converge, and the problems that they will have to solve if they are to turn S.F. into reality!
David Stephenson

“Aaaaaaaaassssssssssss You …………. Wishhhhhhhhh”
Sunday 3 PM; Solarium
An audience participation panel where the moderator will give a line from a SF& F movie, and the audience is invited to guess the movie and other details. And, since turnabout is fair play, the audience is invited to stump the panelists. An old favorite returns to SFContario.
Timothy Carter, David Clink(M), Sephora Hosein

Closing Ceremony
Sunday 4 PM, Gardenview

General Meeting
Sunday 5 PM, Gardenview
The fall general meeting of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Society of Upper Canada, the governing entity of SFContario. All members are invited to participate. Directors and officrs will be elected at this meeting.
Cathering Crockett, Diane Lacey, Marah Searle-Kovacevic, Alex von Thorn (m), Debra Yeung