I don't understand this "convention season" that people refer to. Here in Chicago, we have sci-fi conventions year-round! Another kicks off tomorrow: Capricon 33. This 4-day event takes place in the Northern 'burbs- Wheeling, to be exact.
Capricon embraces every branch of geekery. There will be general panels on everything from Doctor Who to watercolor painting. Writing workshops will be offered on historical research, world breaking, humor, and more. Attendees can even donate old electronics for kids to destroy- FOR SCIENCE!
I recommend using Thursday to get acquainted with the layout. For the rest of the weekend, here are my picks for can't-miss panels...
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8th:
Science Reporting Sucks Rocks - As a science museum employee, I find the portrayal of science in the mainstream very important. Sadly, world issues like climate change, medicine, and robotics often get sensationalized. This panel will delve into US science literacy, the media's motives, and what (if anything) we can do. (11:30 AM, Botanic Garden A)
How Heroes Have Changed - Historically, comic books have taken on issues like race, gender, and sexuality with mixed success. Some superheroes have been adapting for decades. Others disappear before they ever find a following. What's the formula for staying edgy, relevant, but respectful? Discuss! (2:30 PM, Botanic Garden B)
Fake Geek Girls - Ah, the anger of the Internet. The current wave of "fake geek girl" negativity was started by professional comic creators- ouch! The accusations are mainly that girls read comics, watch sci-fi, and dress up at conventions for attention. I'm a cosplayer and geek blogger (obviously), and often get pop quizzed by dudes. I find it hard to believe that women would spend such huge money and energy without loving the source material, and whose business is it, anyway?! ...Sorry, ranting. I'm hoping this panel will present both sides in an unbiased and productive way. (4:00 PM, Botanic Garden A)
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9th:
Klingon Christmas Carol - The infamous Klingon Christmas Carol by Commedia Beauregard has become a Chicago geek tradition. I've written about it before. This weekend, one of the guys behind the show will lead an in-depth talk on its production. I'm particularly interested in the transition from Dickens's English to the fictional Klingon language. (1:00 PM, Willow)
Will e-Books Change the Way We Write? - I love the smell and feel of real books, but e-readers are cool, too! ...Aside from the whole data-mining thing. I recently heard a story on NPR about e-reader data helping authors write "better" stories. I wonder- does "better" mean more popular with the masses? Less creative? Or truly more innovative and awesome? I'm going to do my best to attend this one! (4PM, Birch A)
Why Aren't People Sick of Zombies and Vampires Yet? - OK, this might not be the best panel for me as I'm on-record as anti-Twilight. I also find The Walking Dead too terrifying to watch. I must admit, though- I'm fascinated by these creatures' staying power. I can't even fathom that the movie Warm Bodies was even made, let alone that people liked it! Whattttt...?! This panel will determine whether there are stories left for vampires and zombies, or if the undead genre deserves to be, well, dead. (7:00 PM, Willow)
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10th:
Collection Intervention: How Much Time and Money is Too Much? - Yyyyup. I've put more money than I care to admit into screen-accurate Rose Tyler clothing. I'll have more action figures than my future children. I'm not alone. Here, a panel of avid collectors will talk about their personal limits. (10AM, Botanic Garden B)
Heroine Abuse - Yes, that's heroinE. This one will be all about lady characters and why they so often end up as damsels in distress. The description promises exploration into female authors as well as primordial instincts. With some scientific backing, this panel could really shine! (10AM, River AB)
Of course, Capricon attendees can expect the usual dealers, concerts, gaming, food, and parties. More information on all of those can be found HERE. I will be around on Saturday; see you there, readers!
(Capricon 33. Thursday, February 7th-Sunday, February 10th. Westin Chicago North Shore, 601 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling. $15-40.)
If you're going to Capricon, post below!!
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