It has been a huge convention season for Chicago, and it's not over yet. This weekend, I'll be attending Chicon 7, a.k.a. The World Science Fiction Convention, a.k.a. Worldcon. It has 3 names; it MUST be big!
Worldcon jumps around the globe each year. The Hyatt Regency Chicago is the 2012 hub, but the convention will be taking full advantage of Chi-town. Events are scheduled at the Adler Planetarium, Wrigley Field, and in the city streets.
The gem of the Worldcon is the Hugo Awards. Since 1955, the Hugos have celebrated the best in sci-fi and fantasy books, TV shows, movies, comics... the list goes on. However, there's much more to see this weekend- the Promethus Awards, Sidewise Awards, Seiun Awards, Golden Duck Awa-
...What? You want more than geeky award ceremonies? Fine. Here are a few of my top picks:
THURSDAY, August 30th
Designing Spacecraft - Did you know that your personal laptop has more computing power than NASA had when designing the moon landers? Truth. What's your excuse, then? Discover online resources, design your own ships, and fly them. Mars needs you. (12PM, Columbus E-F.)
Food in Fantasy and Sci-Fi - The meals described in The Hunger Games and A Song of Ice and Fire are drool-worthy. However, do authors like Suzanne Collins and George R. R. Martin play by their own rules when writing about food? Grab your Star Wars Cookbook and find out. (1:30 PM, Wright.)
FRIDAY, August 31st
Designing Fantasy Animals and Monsters - I can draw people, but not minotaurs, chimeras, or even unicorns. I need help. This panel will teach realistic monster creation from biological roots. Awesome! Maybe afterwards, my art will look less like Trogdor. (10AM, Addams.)
Iron Chef: Flash Fiction - In this riff on the famous Japanese cooking show, contestants will have 5 minutes to write short stories. Of course, there will be a "secret ingredient." I hope it's avocado, but I bet it's something like vampires. Or hieroglyphics. Or economic depression. Or... (12PM, Grand Suite 3.)
SATURDAY, September 1st
George R. R. Martin Interview - Self-explanatory. Game of Thrones fans shouldn't miss it. (12PM, Columbus E-F.)
Curiosity: The Mars Science Laboratory - Given that Curiosity is sending us new information (and horrible songs by will.i.am) every day, this panel will be super-current. Discuss the latest from the red planet, as well as implications. (1:30 PM, Columbus K-L.)
SUNDAY, September 2nd
Firefly Reboot - No, no, no, the beloved sci-fi Western by Joss Whedon isn't coming back. It has been 10 years since Firefly's cancellation. The actors are older, special effects are better, and some characters are downright dead. Discuss what a 2012 Firefly reboot would be like. Spoiler alert: not as good as the original. (10:30 AM, Buckingham.)
Chicago's Uniquely Quiet Fandom - Compared to sci-fi fandom on the coasts, our fair city is downright sleepy. We certainly aren't short on geeks, so what's the issue? I recommend this panel for locals, as it could result in new friendships, organizations, or even conventions. (12PM, San Francisco... ironically.)
Other hot programming topics include gender, writing/publishing, and filking. For those of us missing Dragon*Con, several programs will be streaming from Atlanta. There's also a rich children's track, making Worldcon a family destination.
The downside? Price. A weekend pass will set you back $230, with day passes ranging from $40 to $70. Is it worth it? I'll let you know!
Worldcon/Chicon 7. August 30th-September 3rd. Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr. $40-$230+