Torcon 3 Preliminary Program Descriptions

Program descriptions* * Program participants* * Wednesday & Thursday* * Friday* * Saturday* * Sunday* * Monday

1953: The Year of the First Hugo

1953 yielded a bumber crop of science fiction, including Asimov's Second Foundation, Clarke's Childhood's End, Bester's The Demolished Man, Bradbury's Farenheit 451, Pohl and Kornbluth's The Space Merchants and Sturgeon's More than Human. This is also the year in which Marion Zimmer Bradley and Anne McCaffrey both started publishing. A look at a year that produced many of today's classics.

1973: The John W. Campbell Award

A look back at how the Campbell Award was founded and presented at Torcon 2 in 1973.

Alien Sexuality

Alien sex is frequently depicted as being exactly the same as human sex, only with differences in superficial biology. But what if the Venerians are notjust us with bad haircuts and bigger, say, ears? How might alien beings enjoy sex? Assuming 'enjoy' is the right word.

And Now the News

A discussion of how the news of fandom is collected and dispersed. How has this changed from the time File 77 debuted in 1978 and its twenty-fifth anniversary, especially with the advent of the internet? Is there still a need for print news-zines or is their news out of date before it is published?

Artificial Intelligence or Artificial Sentience?

AI or AS -- what's the difference? Can we have one without the other? Which would we prefer? Perhaps we should be questing instead for Artificial Stupidity, the ability to get the expected result most of the time with limited resources...

Bodhran Workshop 1

All the same instruments we hated in rhythm band, come to a new life when they accompany something as fun as filk. Meet some new instruments and learn how to make something as simple as a rhythm egg into a cool accompaniment.

Books vs Movies: Should they be Compared?

Are the two types of media even comparable? Given the advances in media, can CD-based literary efforts really be compared to more traditional literature?

Building an Alien - Interactive Panel

An audience participation event. With the guidance of a moderator, audience members come up with the ideas for what they breath, how many eyes, and the rest of the details and our panel of artists will see if they can figure out what it looks like.

Canadian Space Society

1953 yielded a bumber crop of science fiction, including Asimov's 'Second Foundation,' Clarke's 'Childhood's End,' Bester's 'The Demolished Man,' Bradbury's 'Farenheit 451,' Pohl and Kornbluth's 'The Space Merchants' and 'Sturgeon's More than Human'. This is also the year in which Marion Zimmer Bradley and Anne McCaffrey both started publishing. A look at a year that produced many of today's classics.

China Mieville and Kim Stanley Robinson in Conversation

A conversation between these two famos authors.

Chuck Jones: A Tribute

An appreciation of animation dircetor Chuck Jones' life and work

Columbia Remembrance & Space Celebration

A memorial for a lost ship and crew. A celebration of our belief in the space program and its contribution to humanity. We'll present a cycle of songs that recall the space program's progress and look to it's future. Performers' have been selected to present songs, but everyone is welcome to join in the singing. This event was created for FilKONtario in March and is repeated here by request.

Convention Costuming:A Visual History

A slide show and visual trip down memory lane. See what costuming was like is the beginning; how it grew, and find inspiration for your place in its future.

Costuming Photography

A photograph of your costume lives forever. Come and learn how to help the photographers give your costume a taste of immortality. A must attend panel for both costumers and photographers BEFORE the Masquerade.

Death Of Person Versus Death Of Personality

A recurring science-fictional (and indeed fantastic) idea is that of the death of personality while the body endures -- whether as punishment, by accident, or choice. This contrasts with both extropian ideas of immortality through personality upload, and the 'Star Trek' model of teleportation, in which the body dies but the personality endures. What are the relative values of your person and your personality? Does one dominate the other morally? What range of opinions on this subject is acceptable, productive, and socially supportable?

Developing Your Convention's Web Site

A workshop illustrating some of the common questions that your website should cover, and some of the deisgn and navigation issues you need to consider.

Discworld 101

A discussion ofTerry Pratchett's Discworld series.

Experience SF

A presentation on the Museum being built in Seattle, Washington.

Fame Outside Fandom

Although those within fandom had long known of Bloch's genius, he was discovered outside the field in 1960 when a minor filmmaker named Hitchcock turned his novel, Psycho, into a film. Panelists discuss how success, however major or brief, outside the field affects authors who matured in the science fiction 'ghetto.'

Fan Funds Auction

Auctions to raise money for the three fan funds: Transatlantic, Down Under, and Canadian Unity Fan Funds.

Faster Than Light

A discussion about the radio show 'Faster Than Light,' and/or about science fiction and fantasy on radio in general (or lack thereof).

Filk for Non-Filkers

A kind and gentle introduction to the art of filk music, with a combination of discussion and music.

Friday Night Dance

A dance presentation by Ravenar will precede the Show Us Your Dream Costume Dance that begins at 9:pm. (Cash bar)

Gender Biases Among SF Magazine Editors, Publishers and Reviewers

A recent article in the SFWA Bulletin asks the question: Since the US population is 5.9% women, according to the 2 Census, why was the percentage of short stories by women in the Big Three (Asimov',F & SF and Analog) no more than 29% in 21? How do we account for the underrepresentation of women in our genre?

Genre-Bending: The Rise of the Crossover Novel

A number of the most successful SF works of the past decade have been genre-mixing crossover novels: creations that blend SF themes and settings with elements from spy thrillers, murder mysteries, romances, and other genres outside the realm of traditional SF. In some ways these writers recall the ferment of SF's Golden Age (Asimov's 'Caves of Steel,' for example, was a detective story). In other ways, they represent a radically new trend in SF. What inspires these crossover novels? What non-SF works are their authors reading? How does the crossover square with SF traditions -- and what new possibilities does it open up for SF in the future?

Getting Started in Anime

Anime surrounds us.It is one of the major media forces around us. More and more people join the ranks of Anime fandom every day. Interested in this art form, but uncertain where to start? Come and find out where and how.

Has Science Fiction Failed as a Fiction of Science?

After Vernor Vinge's 'Across Realtime' saga popularized the notion, other science fiction writers looked into the Singularity -- and blinked. To date, very few other authors have written stories that encompass the notion. Why? Is the idea simply out of fashion, or somehow out of reach?

Heinlein 101 - All you ever wanted to know about Heinlein but were afraid to ask

An omnibus overview and survey of the themes, writing techniques, literary forms, and character types of Heinlein's works. The who, when, where, what, and, most important, why of reading Robert A. Heinlein. General introduction to Heinlein's writing covering various zigs in his career and the groups of different works: pre-war, juveniles, post stories, future history, 'Stranger...' and the novels of the 6's, and the final 'World as Myth' books

After Vernor Vinge's 'Across Realtime' saga popularized the notion, other science fiction writers looked into the Singularity -- and blinked. To date, very few other authors have written stories that encompass the notion. Why? Is the idea simply out of fashion, or somehow out of reach?

Heinlein, Stranger than Stranger, Four Decades after the Hugo

An audience participation survey of the Hugo award winning novel 'Stranger in a Strange Land.'

Heinlein's Juveniles -- 'Just Plain Kids, Superkids, or Sociopathic Monsters?'

An audience participation omnibus overview and survey of the themes, writing techniques, literary forms and character types, their purpose and impact used in the juvenile stories of Heinlein's works, with discussion of their suitability for K-12 education or their introduction to adolescent readers.

Heinlein's Take on Law and Lawyers: The Year We Hanged All the Lawyers

An audience participation survey of the themes, roles and character types, their purpose and impact relating to lawyers and law used in Heinlein's works. Law, legal beagles, and trials pop up over and over in Heinlein's fiction. Is he fascinated with the subject because he thinks of lawyers and the law as guardians of civilization? He created a utopia by hanging them all. Let's talk about this professional satirist's and subversive's take on law and lawyers. Caution! Count your cards! Hands on wallets! Some of these Panelists are lawyers! You Have Been Warned!

Heinlein's Women -- 'Just Like the Girl Who Married Dear Old Dad'

Audience participation is welcome in the discussion of female character types, their purpose and impact in Heinlein's works.


How Good Do you have to be to Make it as a Professional Writer or Illustrator?

Are professionals really professional in the fields of writing and illustrating? Just how much practice must one do before being published? The experts tell their tales of rejections, dejections and triumphant returns.

How to Be Funny

A (mostly) serious discussion about the art of writing and performing comedy by filkers who having mastered the art of being humorous, funny, hilarious.

Hymnal Sing

A venerable style from the East Coast, complete with "hymnals" of filk songs. Crack the filk books, mark the page and warm up the pipes to sing together!

Is This Your First Worldcon?

Are you new to fandom and Worldcons? Stop by with your questions and we'll introduce you to fandom.

Is This Your First Worldcon?

Are you new to fandom and Worldcons? Stop by with your questions and we'll introduce you to fandom.

Jungledesertcitywaterforestworld: A Cautionary Tale for Worldbuilders

A slide/lecture designed as an antidote for the tendency of some writers to depict homogeneous 'jungle worlds' or 'desert worlds.' Despite what you see in Harry Harrison, or Frank Herbert, or that author you read last week, to the best of our (theoretical) knowledge, real planets rarely (never?) have the same old scenery rolling from pole to equator to pole. We illustrate how varied our own small planet is -- and how much more varied others might be.

Klingon: The Fast Growing Language in the Galaxy

A talk about this fascinating language by one of the world's foremost authorities on Klingonese.

Launch of the Book: Space Inc.

A launch celebration including a mass autographing of this anthology which features many Canadian talents.

Mass Book Signing for STARS: Original Stories Based on the Songs of Janis Ian

A mass booksigning for Janis Ian's STARS volume, hosted by DAW Books and Penguin Canada.

Middle Eastern Dancing Costumes & Belly Dancing

A short performance, followed by instruction and advice from some of Fandom's finest Belly dancers.

Minneapolis, er, make that, Toronto in 1973

A look back at the campaign for the right to host the 1973 Worldcon.

Odyssey Writing Workshop Presentation

A presentation describing Odyssey, one of the top SF & F/H workshops in North America. Director Jeanne Cavelos, a former senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell and winner of the World Fantasy Award, explains the workings of the program, and the pros and cons of workshops in general. Graduates of the program discuss their experiences.

Open Filk -- Chaos

A venerable style from the East Coast, complete with "hymnals" of filk songs. Crack the filk books, mark the page and warm up the pipes to sing together!

Paint vs Pixels

Are traditional illustration media still a viable option? Or are they being replaced on magazine and book covers by a tide of digital art, to conform to publishers' production requirements? Let's asses the current state of the (SF & F/H) art as we fight the battle of the brushstroke against the byte.

Percussion Workshop (no drums!)

All the same instruments we hated in rhythm band, come to a new life when they accompany something as fun as filk. Meet some new instruments and learn how to make something as simple as a rhythm egg into a cool accompaniment.


Performers' Circle Written Word

A companion to "Chapter and Verse" this session continues with more songs based on literary sources:Novels, stories, etc.

Philip K Dick

A discussion of the work of Philip K. Dick (1928-1982). Dick was born in Chicago and lived most of his life in California. Between 1952 and his 1982 death in Santa Ana, California, he wrote 36 novels and five short story collections.

Prix Aurora Awards Reception

All Torcon3 members are invited to meet and mingle with the Canadian Aurora award nominees. (Light refreshments and cash bar.)

Remembering Isaac Asimov

A retrospective of Issac Asimov's, the man as well as his works. How he changed science-fiction and his indelible mark on the genre.

Robots Learn to Shoot: The Use of Robots in a Military Role

Asimov's First Law is looking unlikelier by the day. Soon automatons may well be given the ability to kill humans independently. Should we pull this particular techno-social-political trigger? If so, can Colossus and Guardian, Joshua, Solo, or the T-3 and Skynet be far behind?

Royal Astronomical Society

A talk about the Royal Astronomical Society.

Science & Song

A presentation of filk songs based on some aspect of SF or space, followed by discussion of the science fact within the song, from a scientist's point of view.

Science Fiction on Stage

An alternate-history stage drama about science, 'Copenhagen,' won the 2 Tony Award. New works and adaptations of fantasy and SF are appearing more and more on stages in New York, Chicago, and London. Which are especially worth attending or reading? How well can SF, the literature of imagination, be translated to live theatre?

SFC: Wrap-up panel: Where do you go from here?

A panel of publishers, librarians, and educators discuss how to find good SF resources (print, film, people), how to get them into schools, and how to promote their use. There will be an opportunity for question/answer from both tracks.

Small Press & Semi-Pro

Are semiprozines and small presses leading the way in publishing works that are more experimental than mainstream publishers and magazines? They may notswamp the mass market, but what role do these zines and publishers play in developing trends among thought leaders?

Soviet Space Disasters

A behind the scenes look at the space program of the former Soviet Union, including some of their more notable successes and their previously secret and hidden space disasters.

Spread Your Wings And Learn To Fly

...or at least give the impression of flight. Wings are a dream that almost every costumer has had at one time or another. Come and learn from those that have 'flown' before.

The Chesley Awards: A Retrospective

A look at the Chesley Awards.

The Future of War

Attrition warfare with men and machines is fast becoming as obsolete as smokestack industry. If the ultimate goal of war is to destroy your enemy's will to resist, what shall we have at our disposal to wage war in the future?

The Heinlein Society -- Annual Corporate Meeting

Annual corporate meeting, with reports of the board of directors and officers to the membership. The meeting is open to members of the Society as well as to any interested members of the public.

Theme Filk: Food & Drink

A companion to our space celebration because there are just SO many wonderful songs about space and the space program, real or imagined.

Theme Filk: Zoological

Animals and beast, real or otherwise, mythical, magical, alien or pets. We love to sing about them!

Titanium Anodizing Your Props

Anodizing titanium adds color for unique fantasy daggers and swords. Simple coloring and more advanced techniques will be demonstrated.

Tools Of The Trade: I've Got Scissors and a Needle; What More Do I Need?

A 'Show-and-Tell' where the experts show you what's in their kit beside sewing supplies, duct tape, wire cutters, etc.

Using Real Locations in an Unreal Book

Authors discuss using actual settings in science fictional and fantastic writing.

Video Conference with Chris Hadfield

A video telconference with Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield.

Voice Workshop

All of us get sloppy in intonation, placement and projection. This is a review for some and an introduction for others.

Why we love Harry Potter and Hate Draco Malfoy

Audience interacts with Panelists aout what their like and dislike about the Harry Potter novels.

Workshop: Introduction to Alien Languages

A workshop in which the 'Panelists' introduce participants to principles of creating alien languages for use in science fiction.

Writing Your First Novel

Are you starting to think about writing a novel? Are you stuck in the middle of one? Are you struggling to make the jump from writing short stories to writing novels? Are you wondering if you have what it takes to finish your first novel ... or how to fix that problem-ridden draft thats sitting on your hard drive? Come hear what established novelists have to say about the challenges that face first time novelists and veterans alike. This is the place to bring your questions!

Sunburst/Tiptree Auction

Awards like the Sunburst and Tiptree require money to fund their prizes. This auction is a little bit of fundraising and a lot of entertainment.Extreme Auctioneer, Ellen Klages, internationally notorious for her auctions, will be presiding. Anything might happen, anything. She's even been known to take off parts of her costume and sell them to the highest bidder. You just never know.

Instaband: Meet Your Band

Band assignments will be posted in the Saskatchewan Room at 17 Friday. Bands will select their song(s)

Alternate Curveballs: Baseball in SF/F

Baseball in science fiction or fantasy as plot device, characterization element, steriotype or just for fun.

Harmony Workshop

Basics of adding harmony to melody, when, why and how.

Baubles, Bangles, And Beads

Beading and bead weaving. Glitz is the name of the game for a number of costumers, and non-costumers. Necklaces, bracelets, hair accessories; beading a costume. Come, see, and learn.

The Mechanics of Costuming

Bicycle cables, motors, springs, pneumatics, and other simple approaches to animating costumes.

Eros and the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous

Bill and Guy talk about the NASA mission (NEAR) to visit asteroid Eros and, ultimately, landed.

Hands On Science???

Biology, chemistry, and physics are explored through a series of hands-on activities.

Broad Universe Rapid-Fire Reading

Broad Universe describes itself as 'a group of women and men dedicated to celebrating and promoting the work of women writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.' Ten group members read short selections from their current and forthcoming fiction in the hopes of doing just that.

Canada Council Reading

Canada Council Reading

Soft Sculpture Costuming

Carving a 6' block of foam into a costume is one method, but does notallow for errors. Come learn a different approach by building up layers of foam, then carving out the details.

Dangers of Accelerated Genetic Manipulation

Centuries of dog breeding have produced countless non-viables (pit bulls with breathing troubles, golden retrievers and German shepherds with bad hips, etc.). A little-regarded news story a few weeks back predicted that, for similar reasons, bananas will totally disappear from supermarket shelves within a decade. What makes us think accelerating genetic manipulation (by playing directly with DNA) will lead to better results for plants, animals -- or humans?

Student SF&F Awards Ceremony

Ceremony for the annual Student SF & F Awards Contest, co-sponsored by Torcon 3 and Baltimore Worldcon Inc. (The folks who gave us the 1998 Worldcon, and Bucconeer). Join us in honouring the best authors and artists of science fiction and fantasy's next generation. After the awards, watch [] for details on this year's winners and next year's contest.

Singularity for Dummies

Certain thinkers look forward to a sudden, radical change in human reality, occurring within a human lifespan, caused by progress in artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and related fields. What are they talking about? Why has it been called the Singularity? And is it, as Bruce Sterling has suggested, the Rapture for geeks?

Discrimination In SF

Characters are often depicted as having discriminatory beliefs; this is natural and normal as part of character-building. However, discriminatory themes are generally regarded as having gone the way of the dodo. Is this, in fact, the case, or are there still works being written today that most modern readers would immediately categorize as being unacceptable because of the themes presented?

Buffy: The Triumph of Characterization

Characters in Buffy changed and grew throughout the series. Why is this so rare? Why did it work in Buffy? Should it work elsewhere?

A Question of Scale

Classic science fiction often depicts ultratechnologies existing on a massive scale. But the closer they get to reality, the smaller their manifestations seem to become. Does the future of humanity involve Dyson spheres and the reshaping of galaxies, or will we inhabit virtual worlds at the level of the quantum foam? Is the mastery of one scale a necessary step toward conquering the other?

The Iron Poet

Come and challenge our Iron Poets to create a poem (in full view) containing the secret ingredient. Audience participation is encouraged! Host: Sandra (Kaga) Kasturi, Iron Poet Sonnet: Joe Haldeman, Iron Poet Heroic Couplet: Geoffrey A. Landis, Iron Poet Limerick: Darrell Schweitzer, Judge: Richard Chwedyk

What To Expect When Attending Your First Worldcon Masquerade

Come and find out from the experts how Worldcon Masquerades differ from your typical local and regional Masquerades and why you need to line up early for a good seat.

So You'd Like to be Involved with Torcon

Come join in on the fun! Get a behind the scens glimpse of the exciting action in running a Worldcon.

Old New Voices: The John W. Campbell Award Winners, Thirty Years Later

Come join our august group of Panelists as they discuss the John W. Campbell Award and the impact it made on them and their career.

Poetry Slam

Come join the action as poets compete against one another in a brutal example of survival of the fittest. Well, maybe notso brutal. Open to all comers! Get up on stage & show us what you've got! Warning: 9 minutes of full-frontal poetry!

Open Crafts and Gaming for kids

Come join your friends and learn a new game or make a craft while your parent enjoy the convention

Open Crafts and Gaming for kids

Come join your friends and learn a new game or make a craft while your parent enjoy the convention

Practical Fantasy: Costuming For The Hall

Comfort, attention to detail, practicality, and Panache - there's a real art to designing and making a good hall costume, It's one thing to look wonderful, it's another thing altogether when you can't easily use the elevator, the stairs, or for that matter, the bathroom.

The Year in Review: Computer Technology

Computer Technology changes so rapidly, even the experts must work to keep pace. Come hear about the new, the exciting, and where all of this could lead.

When Is Big Suddenly tooBig?

Costume presentations are getting larger, with more people, and bigger props. This is leading to a number of concerns. Do large presentations have an unfair advantage over single costumes? Do larger presentations mean smaller Masquerades? This will be a 'debate,' with questions and answers afterwards. All weapons must be checked at the door.

Telephone Storytelling

Create a collaborative tall tale with other kids your age

Should I Run for a Fan Fund?

Current and former Fan fund winners answer question like, how do you run as a Fan Fund candidate? What did they do on their trips? What should they bring along? How to administer the funds? What is the best way to publish your report?

Design: The Glue Holding Our Dreams to Our Reality

Design, particularly as it pertains to future technology and products - is the means by which we turn our dreams into reality. It extends from the pure arts to the intensively scientific. This talk will consider how design is more than just a kind of knowledge held by experts. We will look at how design can be done by almost anyone, for almost anything.

Is Fandom Losing its Collective Memory?

Devoted to a genre obsessed with the future, we are rooted in our past. Our knowledge (and our joy) is in the minutiae -- but we risk losing memories only the earliest fans possess, as First Fandom departs for the Grey Heavens ... How may we preserve the wisdom as well as the spirit of early fandom?

The BDP Hugo Split...Will It Prevail?

Did the BDP (Best Dramatic Presentation) Hugo Split work the first time around? (In other words, will Buffy fans finally be sated?) How about next year?

Wanted: The Privatisation of Space

Didn't D. D. Harriman make a more interesting hero than Neil Armstrong? Would maybe commercial exploration of space provide a more desirable future as far as fans are concerned. Will governments ever truly abandon space? And what about the collapse of the Russian program and the pervasive sleepyness at NASA versus recent developments such as SeaLaunch and the X PRIZE competition?

Apocalyptic SF

Discussion about this hot topic in scientific, religious, and sf circles, with a long and important history

How Others See Us

Do you dread reading the reportage of your hometown paper or TV station about a local science fiction convention? Do they interview the distinguished author of a new work of insightful, challenging speculative fiction, or just the guy who lives in his parents' basement and shows up wearing Spock ears? If, as we suspect, the latter, what can we do about that?

The Right To Stupidty

Do you have the right to remain stupid, even when the technology exists to 'cure' you? Do you have the right to insist that your offspring be no smarter than the vagaries of sex provide? Do you have the right to modify the intelligence of your offspring downwards to ensure they will not stand out and make things difficult for themselves, or prove an embarrassment to you? Most importantly, do the answers to these questions change if the technology exists to improve significantly upon the design, in the mental domain, of the human individual?

Archetypes and Fairy Tales

Does all good or great fantasy take root in the fairy tales of our or earlier peoples' youth? To the extent that a fantasy work doesn't resonate from a strong cultural meme, will it be less successful? And what advice would we offer to a Jung fantasy writer ...

The Leather Turn On

Does black leather turn you on? Did you really like Mrs. Peel's leather jumpsuits? What about simple things like leather gauntlets and harness? Whatever your interest in costuming with leather, stop by, learn a few things, and exchange leather dreams.

Humour in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Does humour have a place in science fiction and fantasy? Where? When? Is it ever inappropriate? When does it go toofar? When notfar enough? (For example, where are all the political satires we used to see?) Why isn't there even more of it?

Preamble to Video Conference with Chris Hadfield

Doors open at 45 minutes before the start. Questions will be taken from the audience to be considered to ask Chris Hadfield.

Enterprise CC: 2067:

Dr. David Stephenson, noted Canadian space physicist and con stalwart, speaks on interplanetary craft to be developed by 267.

If This Goes On: A look at USA 2008

Dynastic presidencies; homeland so-called security; suspension of constitutional rights whenever the word 'war' is invoked -- the war on some drugs, the war on terror ... Where is American society headed, and how can it be stopped from getting there? A wholly unbiased discussion.

Fantasy Economics

Economists might insist that fantasy economics should follow the same principles as any other economics. (Not for nothing is it called the Dismal Science.) But the impact of a cornucopia, a Midas, or a simple unionised talking horse would surely cause some muddle in the markets. Would the economics of a fantasy world really be that of medieval England? Would it differ only in detail, or in large-scale structure?

Guest of Honour Interview

Editor and Author Gardner Dozois interviews George R. R. Martin about his life as a fan, an author, and a screenwriter.

Never Say You Took a Creative Writing Course!

Editors talk about what notto mention in the cover letter with your manuscript. Why it's a mistake to include such vital information as 'I took a creative writing course,' or 'My grandmother liked it,' or 'It's just like the last Harlan ... only different,' or of course our favourite: 'If you don't publish this your stupid.'

Quantum Dots and Programmable Matter

Electronic devices are rapidly shrinking to the nanometer scale, where quantum mechanics dominates and particles become waves. Here, the distinction between chemistry, mechanics, and electronics begins to blur. Case in point: the quantum dot, a device capable of trapping electrons in a space so small that they form 'artificial atoms' whose size and shape and charge can be controlled in real time. Historically, the properties of matter are determined at the time of manufacture, through careful mixing and processing. But now we find ourselves at the dawn of a new age, where substances exist whose optical, electrical, magnetic, and even mechanical properties can be adjusted at the flip of a bit. Engineer/Journalist/Novelist Wil McCarthy explores the social and technological implications of this 'programmable matter.'

Fantasy Culture Design

Even more than science fiction scribes, fantasists tend to put great effort into designing novel cultures, determining how they work, and considering how they might interact with each other. Panelists will discuss their favourite exotic cultures from fantasy literature, and see if any general principles can be adduced for the creation of interesting and novel human cultures.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Serious Literature?

Even people who don't watch the show know about her anti-evil activities. The show has definitely attained a niche in the popular culture. But some feel that Buffy's a lot better than that. Let's talk about what makes our Sunnyvale Slayer an epic character in serious literature.

Sculpted Costumes: From Body Shaping To Body Armour

Ever see those incredible costumes that look as if they were sculpted, notsewn? Come and learn from the experts.

Magnetic Poetry

Everyone who wants to participate will be given a tin sheet and a handful of random words (with 2 or three blanks) and let the madness begin. This will require a host, a judge and cheesie prizes.

SPACE: The Imagination Station

Everything you want to know about Canada's alternative to the Sci-Fi Channel. As real North Americans already know, SPACE: The Imagination Station is a national, 24-hour, English-language SF specialty channel that's the best part of many Canadian cable packages. We'll discuss the channel's stellar mix of science fiction, science fact, speculation, and fantasy, delivered in a mix of movies, documentaries, and series both current and classic, plus several original programs. Come find out what's now approaching us from SPACE.

Fannish Ghetto

Fandom comprises dozens of subgroups. While wandering the halls or even perusing this guide, you may note references to 'gay fen,' 'Furry fans,' 'gamers,' 'filkers,' 'costumers,' 'fanzine fans,' or 'SMOFs.' Are these identifications sometimes made in a manner that can be construed as discriminatory? Are we becoming so balkanized that it's impossible to keep a foot in multiple fandoms? Do some groups of fans look down on other groups of fans? Why would we accept this when so many of us oppose discrimination in our mundane lives?

Worldbuilding: Worlds that Are, Worlds that Have Been and Worlds that May Yet Be

Fantasy and science fiction are both genres in which writers create imaginary worlds so they can talk about our real world. Worldbuilding techniques range from close extrapolation to alternate history to wild flights of fantasy, but the best F/SF is always set in worlds rich enough and believable enough for readers to move into. How do working SF & F writers create their imagined worlds? How do they give them breadth, depth, and substance? Is the process of imagining fantastic worlds different from the science fiction writer's process of extrapolation, and if so, how? Why do some imagined worlds (Tolkien's for instance) seem to age so well, while others quickly grow dated? What rules, if any, help keep imaginary worlds or visionary futures plausible for real-world readers?

Writing Ethical Fantasy

Fantasy often tells stories with a covert or overt moral agenda. For instance, you'd think absolute power would corrupt absolutely. Yet mighty magicians are often portrayed as spreading sweetness and light rather than dark clouds of lordship. And fantasy is packed with dragons defanged and demons dethroned, lost powers restored and lost princes repatriated, and true love triumphant ... Regarding ethical fantasy, will our panel reach a similarly happy conclusion?

Design of Non-Humans in Fantasy

Fantasy, unlike science fiction, tends to focus on psychological rather than merely physiological notions of alienness. Traditional descriptions of the Fey mindset, for example, diverge markedly from the human norm. But given stories positing the existence of the divine and the reality of magic, do these go far enough? And what of the psychology of more minor dark beings such as trolls and sirens, often left completely unexplored?

Feedback Session

Feedback on how the convention went, what went right, and what went wrong.

History of Filk

Filk didn't start in the 9's or 8's but way back before we ever even thought about recording it. A few folks who were there in the fifties and sixties talk about their experiences.

Writing Literary Filk

Filk inspired by a literary source has some special techniques. You don't want to just retell the story. So, what do you do.

Open Filk -- Cats Cradle

Filk is notjust a North American phenomenon but enjoined around the world. There are filk communities in the UK, Australia and Germany, and filkers from just about everywhere. Songs with an international flair.

Performers' Circle International

Filk is notjust a North American phenomenon but enjoined around the world. There are filk communities in the UK, Australia and Germany, and filkers from just about everywhere. Songs with an international flair.

Performers' Circle Storytelling

Filk isn't always the sharing of song. Sometimes we tell stories with all the same zest and flare. Four talented storytellers are here to capture your attention.

Theme Filk: Golden Oldies

Filk music has been around for a long while. Here are songs that stand the test of time (nothing newer than 199, and older is better).

Open Filk -- Chaos

Filk music is the stepchild of folk music. Here are pieces from the other side that resonate with the filk community.

Performers' Circle Folk

Filk music is the stepchild of folk music. Here are pieces from the other side that resonate with the filk community.

Morning Sing: Ecumenifilk

Filk songs of faith and belief. No insults to any faith allowed.

Open Filk -- Poker Chip

Filk songs of faith and belief. No insults to any faith allowed.

The Computerization of, Well, Everything

Finance, industry, the military (soon to include authorization to pull the metaphorical trigger), car engines, voting machines (don't get us started), watches, artificial limbs, scooters, vacuum cleaners. Does rampant computerization ever stop? What will be left for puny humans to do?

The Renaissance of the Age of Pulp Fiction

Find out from those who lived through the early days of pulp fiction magazines what that colorful period meant to the world. And now what impact this still has on today's world in movies and in its literature.

What's New at Tesseract Books

Find out what's new at Tesseract Books and what's still great about the great backlist of Canada's premier publisher of SF.

Costuming 101

For people who want to costume, and have little or no experience costuming. Come find the answers to your costuming questions.

Getting The Blinkies To Blink

For those of you with an interest in tech. A workshop/demo/discussion on getting the lights to light and stay lit...or how to get them to blink on and off and on and off and on and...


For your Thursday evening entertainment, a group of poets, storytellers and musicians entertain in a casual environment. Hosts: Judith Hayman and Carolyn Clink

Book Discussion: Chicks In Chainmail

Four Chicks In Chainmail anthologies have now been published, and a fifth will soon arrive in bookstores. Do these books set the cause of feminist SF back, or does the fact that they are parodies excuse them from any obligation to feminism?

Friday Night Shabbat service

Friday night Shabbat services on Friday, August 29. All are welcome.

Theme Filk: Space

From "37 Ale" to "Sex and Chocolate" songs about edibles and drinkables

Marketing Poetry in the New Millennium

From broadsheets to hypertext: the changing markets for speculative poetry. How to use the internet to research poetry markets. The pros and cons of selling to webzines, selling to magazines, and giving the suckers away.

Heinlein: Lost, Strayed, Misplaced, and Found Again

From the author's even earlier efforts than the 'lost' novel, Heinlein's so-called opus no. 1, 'For Us the Living --' through obscurely published essays and addresses on science-fiction writing of the 194s and 5s, the so-called 'stinkers,' stories that supposedly were never republished, and, even, lately discovered letters to authors, such as the fabled extensive critiques of the first draft of Pournelle's and Niven's 'The Mote in God's Eye,' and others, there exists a body of Heinlein work that should be rediscovered, republished and examined.

Building a World Class Science Fiction Collection

From the Spaced Out Libary to the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy comes the tale of the building of a mighty collection to rival all collections. Come learn from the experts what it took to gather, organize and store the great collection.

Forensics for the 21st Century

Future of forensics, what's new with the lab scandals in the US, will they affect other countries. What's new with the DNA exonerations, fingerprint challenges, etc.

Gods or Monsters? Humans of the 24th Century

Genetic engineering. Cyborg implants. Surgery and developmental modification. All these and more can alter the human form, and consequent capabilities -- almost beyond recognition. What will humans be like as the next four centuries progress? What will they choose to be?

Clash of Science Fiction and Fantasy in Canada

Genre science fiction and fantasy are relatively new phenomena in French-speaking Canada. The initial popularity of science fiction has given way to a resurgence of fantasy and horror, practiced by authors old and new. The past, present, and possible futures of these genres will be discussed.

Readings: A Feast for Crows

George R.R. Martin reads from the fourth installment of his latest series.

Readings: A Feast for Crows

George R.R. Martin reads from the fourth installment of his latest series.

Farscape The Best Science Fiction Show Ever?

Great stories, writing, characters, acting, effects, and direction made this deep-space action drama awe-inspiring, unique, and possibly the best that modern media science fiction has to offer. Why is it gone? Why can't other shows achieve this quality? Will it be back?

Hollywood: Beauty and the Beast

Guest of Honour GRR Martin discusses the television series "Beauty and the Beast.'

Hollywood: Doorways

Guest of Honour GRR Martin discusses the television series "Doorways."

Hollywood: The Twilight Zone

Guest of Honour GRR Martin discusses the television series "The Twilight Zone."

Guitar Workshop

Hang out with the guitarists and learn some ideas to make your guitar styling more interesting.

Fandom Through the Eyes of Harry Warner, Jr.

Harry Warner, Jr. chronicled the early history of science fiction fandom in his books All Our Yesterdays and A Wealth of Fable. He was more than just a chronicler, however, he was also a fan, active in fanzines and letter columns. Despite being something of an hermit, his death left a vacuum for myriad friends who knew him, yet had never met him. Come talk and learn about his influence on fandom, fanzines, and science fiction.

How The Future Feels

Historical 'feel' is a multidimensional thing, with cultural, social, psychological, linguistic, artistic, technical, and geographic components. Writers who set their stories in the past can pursue multiple research techniques to produce a sense of authenticity. With a story set in the future, what can be done to get that same feel? Which writers do this best, and how is it accomplished?

Turning Comics into Movies

Hollywood possess an excruciatingly annoying habit of changing otherwise perfect comic book plots into an amalgamation for the movie. Why can't they just shot the old plot? Of if they choose to create a whole new story, why must they, well, Hollywoodize the romance, the characters, the ending, and on and on? Somehow, after 'Blade' was released, filmmakers discovered how to make movies-taken-from-comics notsuck. But what can they do to make more of them masterpieces?

Creating Believable Aliens in Believeable Worlds: What to Consider

How can we construct a non-human being with real character? What authors particularly 'give good alien'? Is it the case that the closer we get to a true alien, the more incomprehensible -- and often the more uninteresting -- it becomes to most readers?But surely we should do more than just stick tentacles on Tom Sawyer.

But for the Dinosaur Killer

How close were dinosaurs to intelligence? Shoud we expect to see the saurian form elsewhere? Is there a typical treatment of saurian intelligence and is it justified?

Masquerade Wrap Up

How did we do? What can we do better in the future? Come discuss last night's Masquerade with its (tired, but we hope, triumphant) organizers.

Advice for Aspiring/New Writers

How do you get an agent? What are your rights, what makes a manuscripts? How notto be a PITA? How do you sell the second book?

Believable Relationships

How does one write relationships beyond the 'norm' or outsid the writer's experiences?

Imaging Planets

How long will it be until we see pictures of a blue/green planet orbiting a distant star? What techniques are currently being used to find planets? What will we be using soon? What do the planets we've found so far tell us about the universe?

Is the Cost of this Event Deductible?

How much of your Worldcon trip expenses is deductible? How much of the other money you spend is considered an expense in the eyes of your local tax collector? Find out how to get the most out of your writing income.

Getting Started In Anime Costuming

How to get started in Anime Costuming, known to its dedicated fans as Cosplay. Learn about Anime costuming and how it is influenced by Japanese culture.

The Future of Kids Books

How will children's literature evolve? What will kids be reading in 1 years? In 25 years? In 1? What specific works will endure? What new trends will ripen? Will the usual needs for structure and excitement, moral lessons and anarchy, serious information and pure silliness ever really change?

Design an Alien Species

Humans are gregarious, Cooperative, tribal, and omnivorous, among many other attributes. All of these are up for reassessment in constructing fictional aliens and their societies. Let's try some and see how.

Baen Travelling Slide Show (with Door Prizes!)

I present a selection of the best of Baen upcoming cover art and discuss books and artwork while entertaining questions from the audience.

Science Fiction: An Idea Continuum notDivide

Ideas born of science fiction were once considered 'fringe,' but are now much closer to the mainstream. Does SF & F really make us explore social taboos and become more open to technology? How has the study of SF & F changed social appreciation of the topic?

What if: Canada had a Different Neighbour than the USA?

If Canada had a neighbour that was notthe United States, would Canada be any different? Richer, more powerful, more listened to? Is our proximity to the United States a blessing in disguise? Or would Canada's socialist economy work better without the constant brain drain going south? What if Canada had attained nationhood BEFORE the USA? Where would the USA be without us?

Genetically Engineered Pets

If squids were furry, lived on land, and made a happy trilling sound, would they make good pets? We'll soon be in a position to find out, and this raises many social and ethical questions. We already produce tailless and hairless cats, as well as dogs ranging from the size of large rats to that of small horses. There are glowing rabbits growing in our labs. Where might this lead? Is it fair to birds to produce flying cats? Is it fair to dogs to teach them to solve crosswords? Is it fair to animal rights activists to produce living fur coats?

The Future of Time Travel

If time travel will ever be invented, why haven't we noticed yet? Did the shortage of recognizable crononaught at the Apollo 11 launch, the Kennedy assasination, or the first Hugo banquet suggest the thing's impossible, or merely that there are strictures on the pasts of futures in which time travel will have been invented? What are those strictures? Models of the consistency of looped timelines make varying predictions about observable phenomena and how to observe them.

ROC Presents

I'm submitting this panel because I know that Laura Anne Gilman is in Italy and ROC always does a panel, but its currently notincluded.

To Top It All Off

In days gone by, a lady was considered naked if she was not wearing a hat. For most costumers, it's the same. From Captain Hook to Gandalf the Grey, everyone needs a hat. Discover how easy it is to make a classy hat.

Born or Bitten: Biological vs. Supernatural Vampires

In folklore, it's a transmissible curse...but some vampire fiction puts biology in the clothing of the fantastic, featuring a separate species at the top of the food chain. (George R.R. Martin's 'Fevre Dream' is one such work.) With most assumptions of vampire fiction radically changed, it's almost a whole different genre.

Transparency and Privacy in an Era of Terrorism

In its 'war on terrorism,' the US government wants more and more information on everyone, you and me and the man behind the tree. Is a society where everyone can know everything about everybody else truly our best protection? Especially when it's one where the government can gather limitless information while itself remaining largely immune to surveillance? Should there be limits on everyone's data-collecting capabilities?

Writing the Extraordinary Realistically

In literature and television, extraordinary subject matter is almost invariably met with disbelief. Yet in real life, experiences of fairly odd things -- and reports of even odder ones -- are commonplace, raising barely an eyebrow in many circles. How does a writer let the reader understand that truth really is stranger than fiction? How can one present the exceptional of reality?

The Multiple Implications of Teleportation on Society

In many models of teleportation, the transported individual is destroyed and reconstructed as part of the process. What are the social, legal, and religious ramifications of this tempting technology? How would society deal with the possibility of accidental duplication of its citizens? With a routine technology of death and resurrection? Should backups be kept? And if so, what are the mutual legal exposures of a person's various 'versions'?

Design a Truly Alien Alien

In science fiction TV, aliens typically resemble humans with rubber face masks and behavioural patterns less bizarre than some members of your own family. In extreme cases, we may be presented with creatures that, while nothuman, are clearly inspired by terrestrial life-forms such as insects or octopi. Yet it is statistically ludicrous that actual aliens would be so utterly familiar. The Panelists will be asked to stretch their imaginations and conceive of the most inhuman, least earthly aliens they can.

Should Parents of an Unborn Child have the Right to Refuse Fetal Improvement

In the near future, it will be possible to screen the unborn for undesirable traits, and perhaps modify such traits in the womb. Do the parents of an 'abnormal' or 'maladjusted' child have the right to refuse this modification? What if state imposed it?

Anime Influences in North American Media

In the twenty-first century media permeates our lives and culture. We cannot escape it. Anime is a large part of this. From video games to television to comic books to clothing, Anime is a major influence on how we view things, how we think, and how we dress. Why?

Readings by Penguin Authors

Includes 'The Darkness That Comes Before' by R. Scott Bakker and 'A Telling Of Stars' by Caitlin Sweet.

Can SF be Co-Opted?

Increasingly, corporations and other organisations are looking at any and all vehicles to push their agenda (making money, spreading a message, etc.). Is SF immune to this? If not, can something be done to stop it? Should SF somehow go on the offensive, perhaps even consciously push its own priorities?

Does Alternate History need a Science Fiction Element?

Is an alternate history most effective when it involves a science fictional element (e.g., giving automatic weapons to the Confederates, or scheduling an alien invasion at a pivotal point in time), or is it just as interesting to craft an alternate history that hinges purely on a change in the historical timeline? And if you write the latter, is it still science fiction or simply what historians are now calling 'counterfactuals'?

What Do You Read Passionately Besides SF

Is cross-genre reading all that popular? Can an author of one genre rightly expect his/her readers to follow when the author switches genres? What, as a fan, do you like to read? Do you read outside that genre? As an author, do you write outside that genre?

The Myth of Fannish Uniqueness

Is fandom truly unique? Why do we distinguish ourselves from non-fans by calling them 'mundane'? How do we differ from readers of mysteries, westerns, romance novels? Once, reading SF & F set you apart. How have changes in the rest of the world collided with our fast-held belief that fans are Slans? In many ways, we've won. Why aren't we happier about it?

Does the Scientific Method Make Science Work?

Is it the idealized scientific method that makes science successful? Or is it the meat-grinder of peer review and backstabbing that's responsible for the loftier heights of scientific achievement? Well, what's the last experiment you conducted using only the scientific method? We bring tales of how science actually works, up close and really personal.

Fantasy in a Medieval Setting: Why?

Is there a reason why fantasy novels must take place in a medieval English countryside? Why nota story where magic is discovered in 1925?

Costuming with Your Child

Is your child forever playing dress-up with your fabric collection? Come to our discussion of what to do next to create and show off your enwst costume. How about the local Masquerade?

It's a Book, It's a Game, It's...

It's a fairly well-known fact that the Wild Cards universe started as a superhero role-playing campaign. Then it spawned 'GURPS: Wild Cards,' coming full circle. Authors who've been through the experience discuss making books out of gaming (such as Stephen Brust's 'Dragaera' series) and games out of books ('GURPS: Vorkosigan' comes out soon).

Five Living Generations: The Social Effects of Longevity

It's becoming more common for celebrities and elderly relatives to have a hundredth birthday, or for people to work for sixty or seventy years. How does this affect families, retirement, marketing, economics, work, politics, etc. (This is nota panel about medical technology.)

Comic Books: Serious Art Form or Literature?

It's hard to deny that comic books have been the vehicles of serious art, both visual and verbal. Have they yet graduated to the status of an art form in their own right? Or are they, like advertising, just a business that stands ready to exploit whatever talent it lays hands on -- and that is occasionally exploited in its turn by great and canny contributors?

The Judges Are Watching

It's notenough to simply please the audience; you have to please the judges! The audience is out there; the judges are close enough to see your shoes. Find out what judges look for in a presentation.

I've Written a Story, Now What?

It's notenough to write a great story; now you have to find someone to publish it. This panel is for beginning writers who want to learn about the process of submitting their work to editors and agents, and making that first sale. Panelists will share tips based on personal experience, and debate the pros and cons of various career jumpstarting strategies.

Oz and Alice

It's over a hundred years since 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' (19) was written, and even longer for 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' (1865). But we still seem to be coming up with new adaptations and interpretations for both. What explains their lasting appeal?

John Clute's Encyclopedia of SF is 10 years old.

John Clute and Peter Nicholls' work ' The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction' has passed its first decade as arguably the field's most important reference work. How have its accuracy, judgment, and usefulness held up? Will it ever be surpassed? (Or has it been already, by Clute and Grant's 1997 tome 'The Encyclopedia of Fantasy'?)

Regency Ball

John Hertz, fandom's inimitable expert on the Regency era, will once again host the Regency Ball. Everyone is invited to join John as he shows you how to dance Regency-style! This is a participatory event - so feel free to join in, two left feet and all!

Opening Ceremony and Guest of Honour Reception

Join fellow con-goers as we welcome our guests of honour and officially open Torcon3. Reception will be followed by a concert by Canada's own inimitable Spider Robinson. (Light refreshments and cash bar)

Book Launch of Hybrids

Join Robert Sawyer as he launches his latest creation, Hybrids.

A Callahan Sing-a-Long

Join Spider and Jeanne Robinson for a Sing-a-Long in Torcon's recreation of Callahan's Bar (or perhaps Lady Sally's). This informal setting will include filk, folk, rock, and any other songs that the assemblage decides to sing

Junkyard Poets

Join the action as two teams try to assemble a poem from scrap. Audience participation is encouraged!

Filk Bitch Panel

Join the organizers of filk in many places to talk about what you did or didn't like and what we can do better or differently in the future, so improve the filk tracks at Worldcon, regional cons and even filk cons.

Why did Firefly Fail and Angel Succeed?

Joss Whedon's Mutant Enemy Television has spawned two very successful shows ('Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel'), but his latest creative effort, the Western-in-space called 'Firefly,' has just been declared extinct. What is it about the Angel/Buffy-verse that made for better TV than the world of 'Firefly'?

Are Universities Obsolete?

Kids are teaching technology to their parents and their grandparents. This trend is outpacing the ability of educational systems to invent, adapt, and adopt technology before those being educated have moved on to other inventions. Unless it can retain and indeed strengthen its position as a generator of new knowledge, the university's relevance to the future of our society must be questioned. (And we've got just the Panelists to do it!)

Stump the Scientists - Interactive Panel

Kids ask questions the experts may notbe able to answer

Growing Up in Fandom

Kids speak up, describe what they like and dislike about sf conventions.

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut would certainly be recognized as one of the most popular living science fiction writers, if he called his work SF. Where do 'The Sirens of Titan,' 'Slaughterhouse-Five,' 'Cat's Cradle,' 'Galapagos,' and other items in the Vonnegutian oeuvre fall in the history of science fiction? Do you consider his stuff SF? Why doesn't he?

Scientific Mistake as a Plot Hook

Large segments of the readership may have trained themselves to suspend their disbelief in matters of science. They develop subtle strategies: encountering an error in scientific reasoning or fact, they simply add it to their 'Ignore' file. The skillful and rigorous writer may plant such errors in the culture or beliefs of her characters as a clue to the reader that all is not, in fact, as it seems ...

Everquest Companion Book Launch

Launch of the book, The Everquest Companion.

SFC: Fiction from the Science Writing Workshop

Learn how to guide students through their own science fictional exploration of the world starting from scientific concepts, current issues, and even illustrations. Warning: wonder is likely.

Breaking In

Learn what everyone should know before submitting that first manuscript. Aimed at beginning writers, Panelists will answer questions about writing and marketing your work.

Good Plot or Good Science: Don't Make Me Choose!

Let's discuss why books and movies with revolutionary scientific ideas often offer stock plots and cardboard characters ... while works that are fun to read or watch toooften make critical science errors. How can we get storytellers and moviemakers to chew gum and write at the same time?

Fannish Inquisition I Information From the Two 2006 World Science Fiction Convention Bids

Los Angeles and Kansas City are both bidding to host the 2006 Worldcon. Come hear what each bid has to offer and think about whether it's tooearly to choose sides in the Burrito/Barbecue Wars.

Jules Verne and the 'Journey Through the Impossible'

Lost for more than a century, 'le Voyage a travers l'impossible' (the 'Journey Through the Impossible') was the closest of Jules Verne's books to science fiction as it is now recognised, and one of his most important works. This year, sees the first publication of the work in English translation. Panelists will include experts on Verne's work and those most intimately associated with the preparation of this edition: the translator, the publisher, and the directors of the North American Jules Verne Society.

Masks and Mime

Make a mask and create a character to act out without using sound.

Artificial Life Forms and Their Rights

Mankind may be on the verge of creating new types of life not seen before on the planet. What are the implications? Should these life-forms be treated differently from 'natural' life? Can life now be patented?

R&D in Magic

Many fans have experience in real-world technology research and development, yet somehow this aspect of a fantasy world is almost universally neglected. In most models, new magic must come from somewhere and there must logically be a process behind it. Would it resemble the process of science? Are spells humanly divined, granted by the gods, or discovered among the random mumblings of powerful yet deeply insane Extreme Wizards?

Censor This!

Many of us can't remember the days before the Motion Picture Association of America started rating films, or the Comics Code Authority began doing the same to comics. The Entertainment Software Ratings Board now similarly vets video games. Do these organizations provide a valuable public service, or are they unnecessarily censoring the movies, comics, and games we buy? Why are books notsubjected to the same standards -- or are they? Is censorship ever justified, and if so, why? When does it go toofar?

Poetry Within a Book

Many writers place poems (or snippets) within their larger works, especially novels. Do these poems enhance or detract from the original work?

Masquerade Competition

Masquerade Competition, including a special feature presentation 'A Salute to Canadian Costuming,' and a special prize of $5 donated by Bantam Dell Publishing Group for best costume inspired by the works of Torcon3 Guest of Honour George R. R. Martin.

Taking Fabric Where It Has Never Gone Before: Manipulating Fabrics For Fun, Not Profit

Master Costumer Jacqui Ward gives you a hands on presentation on how to make something one dimensional (fabric) into 3-D designs. Quilting, applique, beading, embroidery, and layering are just a few of the techniques used.

LA vs KC

Mike Glyer chaired the Los Angeles Worldcon in 1996. Twenty years earlier, Ken Keller chaired the Worldcon in Kansas City. These two friends talk about how chairing a Worldcon changed over two decades and may even engage in a discussion of the current strengths of each city as they vie against each other to host the Worldcon in 26.

A Quarter-Century of File 770

Mike Glyer hosts a retrospective look at his fanzine, File 77, including slides of his favorite covers, comments by the artists, and articles which he views as high points of publishing.

The Death of Money

Money is a tool to ration limited wealth. With AI and robotics the potential exists for infinite wealth. How will this affect the existence of money, and what sort of society might emerge as a result? What sort of society do we want to create? How do we create it?

Canada Council Reading

Montreal Writers

The Fine Folks of

More of a mixer than a panel, since the audience will be encouraged to get up and mingle. I have buttons from and hopefully some other items to share. It's a great and growing community.

What Do You Mean, You Don't Stock The Staff Of Saruman?

Most costumes need props of one type or another, whether it's fans, guns, picture frames, or magic mirrors. notevery store sells them, and you need to customize them even if you can buy them. Find out tips on turning your $5. axe into the 'real' thing.

XiChang - Inside China's Spaceport

Most North Americans are familiar with the US Space Program, NASA, etc., but some, notably Candadians, have become experts in non-US Space Programs. On a recent tour of China, Hugh S. Gregory lead a select group of Westerners, who were granted permission to make a behind the scenes, hands on visit to four of China's Space Scientific Institutes, notnormally open to Westerners. He has brought back details on their ancient astronomy past, present space research and future manned spaceflight plans... and some really, really neat photos.

Believable Evil

Most people would define themselves as 'good,' or at least 'not evil'. That being the case, how does one write Evil characters?

The Pegasus Awards

Nominees are in but do you know them? Are the same people nominated every year? How did you hear about that song/songwriter/performer? Filk music's awards are changing with influences like the web and MP3's. Have your say, and hear what others think.

Noreascon 4 Art Retrospective

Noreascon 4, the 24 Worldcon, is planning a retrospective exhibit of the greatest and most memorable art from the period 1953 to 1975. Come and discuss what art we ought to be exhibiting and help us figure out where we might borrow it. You can contribute towards making this a turely memorable exhibit.

On the Tales (and Tails) of Lovecraft

Not only did H.P. Lovecraft influence our GoHst of Honor, but he also had a direct influence, and correspondence, with numerous other authors who went on to make a name for themselves in horror, fantasy, and science fiction. What set Lovecraft apart from the other authors whose work filled out the pulps. Why did he develop a cult following during his life and why did it continue to burgeon after his death. Is he still an influence on the field after all this time?

Design Issues of Star Systems

Notions of what are and are notlikely shapes for solar systems have changed throughout the history of science and science fiction, and never more rapidly than at the present as empirical data finally arrive on the satellites of nearby stars. Panelists will discuss notions of what other star systems will look like: the most common, the most humanly useful, and the most exotic or abstractly interesting.

Theme Filk: Rock

Okay, it's only sort of filk and sometimes notfilk at all. It's rock. You know:Rock.

Big Girls and Boys' Toys: women in post-cyberpunk hard and military sf

One of the major trends in contemporary sf is the presence of women writers who have been visibly influenced by the cyberpunk movement. These writers are mixing and matching traditionally masculine genres (hard sf, hardboiled detective fiction, military sf, cyberpunk, spy thrillers) to create stories that don't fit neatly into traditional sf categories. What's going on here? And what do these writers have to say about the future of sf in the post-cyberpunk era?

Open Filk -- Guitar Free

One of the most respected of Canadian musicians, Stan's music is always popular in the filk community. Our own 'Decadent' Dave Clement hosts a circle presenting Stan's music.

Performers' Circle Honouring Stan Rogers

One of the most respected of Canadian musicians, Stan's music is always popular in the filk community. Our own 'Decadent' Dave Clement hosts a circle presenting Stan's music.

Exploring the Alien Through Poetry.

One of the ST:TNG plots looked at an alien (but human-looking) culture whose communication was completely in metaphor, making exact translation (without knowledge of the metaphorical meaning) impossible. Many SF & F authors have shown us worlds where humans would be unable to understand the 'art' forms of the 'alien.' Would we know it if we saw it? What might be the poetic forms of silicon-based life forms, or those who breathe methane?

Electronic Books - What do READERS Need?

Our own genre extols the virtures of easily accessing electronic information, but the reality falls far short. What's missing? What's needed? What are the roadblocks?

Writing a Good Science Fiction or Fantasy Story

Our Panelists discuss the important characteristics of what makes a good science fiction/fantasy story.

The Economics and Sociology of Abundance

Over centuries and millennia, humankind has grown steadily richer. Eventually we will be so rich we can have anything we want for the asking. Or maybe notquite. How will this culture of plenty affect human motives and interactions? Are the motives we see in today's SF believable in an ultra-wealthy far-future setting?

Dying is Easy, Comedy is Hard

Over the decades, since SF has come into its own, the percentage of really funny books is low in relation to the overall number of new titles. What is it that makes writing humor so very difficult? Why is it easier to evoke the darker emotions of the human condition than to get a reader to laugh? What makes for really good comedy?

Allegories - A Staple Of SF

Over the years, authors have often chosen to write their stories as science fiction or fantasy in order to hide subversive ideas which would otherwise never see print. Today's readers and audiences are, however, a lot more educated - or are they? Is it still necessary to hide ideas about discrimination in stories about mutant super heroes or young men having sex with each other while dressed in wolf pelts? Do writers still have to use alien characters in order to espouse alien philosophies?

The Liar's Panel

Panelists, under the moderation of Guest of Honor Mike Glyer, attempt to come up with the most outrageous prevarications in an ongoing quest to amuse the members and best their fellows.

Methodology behind the Top 10 SF Films of the 20th Century

Panelist discussion of the survey, film clip review of top 1 and audience commentary.

Top 10 SF Films of the 20th Century

Panelist discussion of the survey, film clip review of top 1 and audience commentary.

Celtic Knotwork 101

Panelist will demonstrate how to draw celtic knots and instruct the basics to the audience. The audience will be given opportunities to practice techniques.

SF vs Fantasy Erotica: Who Has the Best Sex?

Panelists compare and contrast their favourite sex scenes and erotic materials from the two genres in an attempt to establish once and for all who has it best.

Exploring the Matrix

Panelists discuss this collection of essays about the universe of the Matrix series of Movies.

Workshop: Creating Two Alien Languages (Green)

Participants split up into two teams and design a language.

Workshop: Creating Two Alien Languages (Purple)

Participants split up into two teams and design a language.

Science Fiction in the Classroom (SFC): Keynote Address

Participants then choose between a Language Arts Focus or a Science Focus

You Can't Change Human Nature

People have said this for centuries. But soon technology will exist that could potentially make this a lie. Can we agree on what changes we should make? Should we do it at all? Can we avoid it?

The Future of Filk

Performers, songwriters, and recordings are all 'raising the bar' on what filk is. Is commercialism an issue? Is it becoming toomain stream? A discussion of the trends that we are seeing.

So, You Want to Run a Filk Track?

Practical tips as well as war stories from the filk trenches. How to make a successful filk track in a tiny, medium or big con.

Lord Acton and Speculative Fiction: Warnings about Power in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Presentation of an academic paper.

The Earth is Big and We are Small. Should We Be Afraid?

Proponents of the Gaea hypothesis have been heard to contend that the earth takes care of itself, and therefore is capable of healing what ecological damage humans might do. This fails to account for the very real possibility that the healing process involves removing the disease vector, i.e.humanity. How realistic is this possibility? How much can we irritate the Earth before it decides to scratch?

Klingon Foreheads, Dog Faces, And Magma Demons, Oh My!

Prosthetic makeup can be as simple as Elf and Vulcan ears, and Klingon foreheads, or as complex as complete transformations. Come and see how it's done. WARNING: LATEX ALLERGY ALERT!

I Want My Queer TV

Queer characters in television tend to be restricted to the world of sitcoms and soap operas. With the exception of Willow, Tara and Ivanova, LGBT characters in science fiction are almost unheard of. We have been clamouring for years for a gay character on Star Trek. Why are most television producers so squeamish about including our community in a genre that is supposed to be breaking barriers?

Adding FX to Your Props

Ray guns, blasters and light sabers: just special FX? Strobes, sound, LEDs, and neon can make those props come alive.

Spider Robinson (Reading)

Reading by our Toastmaster, Spider Robinson

Beanstalk! Are We Ready to Build One?

Recent developments in carbon fibres have opened up the realistic possibility that we could actually build a space elevator with current technology. Is this for real?

57 Queen Amidalas, 101 Mr. Spocks, And 27 Harry Potters

Recreation costumes are usually well received but what happens when you're the 13th Dr. Who in the Masquerade? Learn what to avoid, and how to make your reproduction different.

Day Jobs for Writers -- Journalist, Freelance Technical/Science Writer or Professor Track?

Remember the good old days when you had to hide your SF & Ffrom your English teacher? English teachers are now writing the stuff. Is all that respectability squeezing the life out of SF? Is becoming a professor to support your SF habit like cutting your hair in the early 7's after coming down from that great rush of we're-all-gonna-change-the-world rock and roll?

O'Neill: Long Lost Dream?

Remember those glorious visions of giant space habitats, compete with lakes and forests? Whatever happened to that idea? Where has the dream gone?

Imbibing Engrams

Research in designer drugs is only just beginning. What are the prospects for the construction of drugs, or beverages, that place you into well-defined psychological states, whether happiness, sexual arousal, receptiveness to learning, or cosmic awareness? Recent research suggests that this idea is notentirely silly. But could it ever reach the point of skipping over the more tedious parts of learning, for example?


Right alongside the buzz about 'nanotechnology' is the field of 'spintronics,' dedicated to harnessing the spin of the electron instead of merely its charge. Unlike some of the fantastic claims made for nanotech, spintronics is actually a working technology that has delivered some amazing advances and promises to do even more. Learn more about this field that is dependent on magnetically engineering materials at the atomic level.

Science Demo

Science - Demos/Experiments for kids.

Rocket Science

Science - Kids Create Rockets

Where in the Universe are we?

Science - Kids Presentation. Where, exactly, in the unvierse are we? Would a road map help?

How do we Think and See

Science - Presentation for Kids

How Is SF/F Analyzed

Science fiction and fantasy have become more respectable in recent years. Is SF & F now accepted within the academic community, or merely tolerated as just another crackpot, fringe genre?

SFC: Bringing Science to Life through SF

Science fiction can do so much more than provide examples of bad science from the movies. It can reveal how real science happens, who is involved, who might be affected, and turn what can seem a block of unfathomable knowledge into a vibrant, human activity -- full of creativity and consequence. Join this panel of educators who use the power of fiction to inspire and teach their students

SFC: Reading, Writing, & Literacy through SF

Science fiction is a gold mine for language arts teachers, from its building blocks of imaginative storytelling and the communication of ideas, to the way SF explores social issues and concerns of relevance to students. Join this panel of editors, authors, educators, and librarians as they discuss science fiction as literature, including where to look for those great student-ready stories.

The Integration of Science and Religion in SF&F

Science Fiction is often seen as the literature of the humanist, the rationalist and the skeptic. Yet as we look at the underpinnings of the physical universe, even theoratical physicists can see the possibility of the hand of God underlying out physical exisctence. How do authors integrate religion and science? Can it only be done in fantasy settings?

Killer Asteroids

Science Presentation - Astronomy for Kids. Can astroids kill?

Environmental Pseudoscience?

Scientifically speaking, the ecological debate is far from clear cut. There is general agreement that the ecology is being damaged, but to what extent and by what practices is highly debatable. Panelists will examine the science expounded by both sides of the argument to determine their relative merits.

Fannish Inquisition II Information from the 2005 NASFiC Bids

Seattle and Charlotte are bidding for the 25 NASFiC. Others are bidding for Worldcons after 26. Come hear what each bid has to offer.


Several ceremonies are planned at this time.

Chapter and Verse

SF fandom exists because we so love the literature that reading is notenough; we need to discuss it with other fans. When the fan is also artist, the discussion takes the form of another artistic expression; a painting, book cover, movie or a kind of music named 'Filk.' Such 'conversations' between artists have existed in all genres since Man first committed Art, and are worthy, themselves, of fannish attention. This panel brings writers and songwriters face-to-face to read excerpts, perform music inspired by the excerpts, and discuss their themes, motivations and the creative process. Come eavesdrop!

Shotokan Karate Workshop

Shotokan Karate Workshop. This will be an ACTIVE workshop for beginners and intermediates. No prior experience required. Fans will be asked to participate. Attendees will learn simple martial arts moves, and some martial arts secrets, will slowly perform a basic sequence, and may even break a sweat. Hope to see you there!

Angel: Waiting in the Wings

Showing of the Hugo Nominee: Angel: Waiting in the Wings

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Conversations with Dead People

Showing of the Hugo Nominee: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Conversations with Dead People

Enterprise: A Night in Sick Bay

Showing of the Hugo Nominee: Enterprise: A Night in Sick Bay

Enterprise: Carbon Creek

Showing of the Hugo Nominee: Enterprise: Carbon Creek

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Showing of the Hugo Nominee: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Showing of the Hugo Nominee: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Minority Report

Showing of the Hugo Nominee: Minority Report


Showing of the Hugo Nominee: Spiderman

Spirited Away

Showing of the Hugo Nominee: Spirited Away

Winner, Hugo Long Form

Showing of the Winner of the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

Winner, Hugo Short Form

Showing of the Winner of the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

Instaband Signup

Sign up for this fun event. If you've ever wanted to be in a band, this is your chance. If you've always wanted to perform (but not alone) step right up. Participants will be assigned a group and some space will be set aside for rehearsals. You have three days to come up with a song arrangement or two.   Presentations will be on Monday afternoon at the Instaband Concert.

Kinderfilk - Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts and Other Silly Songs

Silly Song Concert/Singalong with kids

Morning Sing: Rise Up Singing

Singing before noon? Impossible. Come on and give it a try. (Friday)

Travel as a Research Method

So here you are in Toronto; can you use the trip to stimulate your work? What are the ups and downs of tourism-as-research? What do you miss? What does it add?


So you want to make a CD? Some initial steps in planning a recording.

Fantasy Backgrounds: Prefab or Custom?

Some fantasy relies on a historical base to give it the right feel, some on established myth, some on durable and evolved private mythology, and some on trappings cut from new cloth. Different kinds of stories seem to differ in their adaptability to each of these approaches, which combinations work best, and why? What features of a tale interact significantly with this choice?

Theme Filk: Fantasy

Some from the realms of magic and other speculative universes.

Recording - Playing with Equipment

Some hands on play (supervised of course) with the gear. Find out how to connect it, how to power it, good things and bad things to do with it. Why do things work the way they do?

Heroines in Anime

Some people claim that there are no heroines in Anime, that the females are there simply as eye candy, in need of recusing? Is this true? Or are there female Anime heroes capable of kicking ass on an equal footing with the guys?

Theme Filk: Media

Songs based in television and movies, from Star Trek to Buffy.

Morning Sing: Oh, What a Beautiful Morning

Songs for the early risers you know who you are! (Saturday)

Performers' Circle Humour

Songs twisted and goofy and wonderfully silly. Come and have a laugh on us.

The Robinsons In Concert

Spider and Jeanne Robinson show off their non-literary talents as they perform their vast repertoire of songs for the Torcon attendees

Small Arms for Writers

Sure, your troops look cool with 3 kg of gatling gun and pistols that will stop a rhino. But are these things really useful in a story context? And what exactly do you call these things?

Historical Fantasy

Take a little fantasy (or a lot), then graft in onto a well researched historical background. Voila historical fantasy. Nothing changes, but everything does as familiar historical figures find mystery and magic in their world, or legends are retold in their 'real' settings.

Market to Small Press Publications

Talk about what small press publications are loking for and trends in the small press field.

Learning Theory from Fiction

Teaching through Science Fiction. What does SF & F literature have to offer? Is it a good way to detail and discuss social taboos? What other methods might work better? When and how could SF & F be used as a teaching tool. What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Feedback Session

Tell the Torcon committee what they are doing wrong, as well as what they are doing right.

50th Anniverary of ACE Books

The 5th anniversary of ACE Books! What is in ACE's future?

Filk Hall Fame

The accolades for those whose achievements have lasting value to the filk community. What is the Hall of Fame and how to people get into it? How to make a nomination, how the selection process works.

Meet the Science Fiction Poetry Association

The annual meeting of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. This is nota closed meeting, but is open to all interested in learning more about the SFPA.

Golden Duck Awards for Excellence in Children's Science Fiction

The Awards (cash) for the best in Children's Science Fiction Published in 22.

How To Run A Masquerade Green Room

The Care & Feeding of Costumers & Judges. The Masquerade Green Room is the place where costumers gather before going on stage. This is a panel for those of you who wish to run Green Rooms or want to find out exactly what a Green Room is and why you need to be there an hour or more before the Masquerade.

Working Together, Married Together

The collaborative process is difficult enough when it involves two friends. Is it any easier when the collaborators share every aspect of each other's lives? Husband-Wife writing teams talk about how they compartmentalize their lives and works.

Open Filk -- Chaos

The commonest style in the Midwest. A free for all, where anyone can jump in. There may be a host or filk ghod/dess to ensure fair play. We're Canadian: we just naturally take turns and have polite chaos

Schools of the 21st Century: What Schools Should Teach

The core skill for future-proofing is learning itself. Do you agree or disagree with the following quotes? 'The mind is nota vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.' --Plutarch 'The illiterate of the 21st century will notbe those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.' --Alvin Toffler

Computing Interfaces, The Next Step

The cranial jack is a standard of cyberpunk, but are direct interfaces really the way to go? On a physical level, what are the pros and cons of having your brain directly connected to a computer? What are the issues involved with enduring cognitive interfaces?

The DaVinci project (X-Prize entry)

The da Vinci Project is Canada's first entry in the X PRIZE Competition and is in a quest for the first manned, non-government private/commercial space flight.

Doctor Who Fortieth Anniversary

The Doctor Who Information Network presents a series of panels and presentations on the British Television Series, Doctor Who.

Bodhran Workshop 2

The elegant underlay of a skilled percussionist is a welcome decoration to music. From our masters' voices to your ears, more advance ideas on how to make it work.

Feminist SF - Is It Outdated?

The feminist movement is, arguably, no longer the force it was in the 197s. Do we still need science fiction that identifies itself as feminist? Has society progressed to the point where it is outdated? How would some of the feminist classics be received if they were to be published in today's society?

Beyond the First Draft

The first draft is done. Your new novel is revolutionary, groundbreaking and will change the world! Now what?

A United Africa

The first true moves to emulate the European Union (EU) with a similar union (AU) in Africa have now been made. What is the long-term future for a unified Africa? Will it aid the development of democracies, or will the influences of countries like Libya and Zimbabwe bring it all to ruin? Can the over 5 African countries ever get past the many religious, cultural, tribal and national differences?

Meet the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer Finalists

The five finalists for the JWC award and a moderate. This is a discussion of how the finalists for the JWC award made their professional debuts. What kind of backgrounds do they have? Where did they submit work? To what do they attribute their success? This is of interest to writers who would like to make a professional debut some day.

The Flight of Buran - The Russian Space Shuttle

The Flight Of Buran - The Russian Space Shuttle A behind the scenes look at the previously secret planning, development and testing of the Soviet Space Shuttle Buran and the Energia Rocket, including rare footage of atmospheric tests with strapped on afterburning jet engines.

The Filk/Folk Process

The folk process morphs a traditional ballad through many small changes and continues to do so to reach the form in which it reaches us. It happens in filk too. It's the process of the listeners making a song 'their own'.

Using the Folklore of Canada in Fiction

The folklore of Canada seems to surface only rarely in fiction, though there is a wealth of traditions, and a healthy menagerie of fantastical beings, to be found here. What material is there, and how does it interrelate? What is most relevant to the Canadian and international audiences? And in what ways can it (and should it) be used?

Meet The Gaylactic Network

The Gaylactic Network is an affiliation of clubs for LGBT fans and their friends. Come find out more about this organization, its affiliate clubs and its activities, as well as how to form an LGBT fan club in your own hometown.

This is a Space (Exploration) Program?

The last ten years has seen less manned exploration of space than the first 3 years did of its history. A recent report stated that NASA funding levels kept at 196s levels would be $1b, notthe humble (many say pathetic) $15b it currently gets. Is this intentional? Are we gearing up towards a great outburst of manned exploration, or will it continue to be moribund? Can this be changed, and how? And who should be running the show? Bureaucrats? Politicians? Engineers? Scientists? Private enterprise? SF Geeks?

Adaptations: notFaithful Enough or tooFaithful

The Lord of the Rings' has shown that fidelity to the original can successfully transport a complex fantasy to the screen. Why has this nothappened more frequently? Does it require only megabucks, a caring producer, and a reverent creative team? And by the way, can an adaptation be toofaithful?

Team Banzai

The members of this panel are scientists and authors eager to tackle any topic no matter how difficult or impossible in creative and often humorous ways. The audience will have the opportunity to broach topics or ask questions after which an interactive and free-flowing discussion will take place involving panelists and audience participants. Speculation and creativity will be encouraged over accuracy to emphasize the creative process inherent to SF.

Open Filk -- Chaos

The most common style in the Midwest. A free for all, where anyone can jump in. There may be a host or filk ghod/dess to ensure fair play. We're Canadian: we just naturally take turns and have polite chaos.

Online, Snailmail, Face-to-Face Writers Groups

The Panelists describe the pros and cons of different kinds of writing groups and talk about the group they belong to.

Science Fiction Film Literacy in One Easy Panel

The Panelists will examine the history of Sci-Fi film from beginning to end, including the creamy middle. Each Panelist should come up with a list of ten 'Must Sees' before hand to be given to the audience.

Pegasus Nominees Concert (2 hours)

The Pegasus Nominations for best song, songwriters and performers in filk music have been released. Here's a presentation of the nominated works.

Globalization and Anti-Americanism

The popular concept of Globalization is commonly of homogenization of many facets of life: choice of music, food, clothing are increasingly become less varied, and seemingly more American. Is anti-Americanism an outgrowth of the growing tide of Anti-Globalization, or are the two unrelated? As SF is mainly an American phenomenon, could there be a backlash against the genre?

Evolution for the Enthusiast

The process of evolution involves convolving carefully husbanded diversity with a chaotically and opportunistically explored environment, with the added complication that the environment is itself no less malleable to the gene than the physical carrier we call the body. This differs so much from the popular view of directed evolutionary development towards superior forms that it is hard even to compare the two. Yet public policy tends to be informed by the latter, and much bad press for evolution has ensued. How can we instill in people a more accurate notion of how evolution works, and in consequence how the natural world will respond to our actions and policies? Given a better understanding, how should our policies be different?

Core the Movie

The producer talks about the some of the values and philosophies that went into the making of 'The Core'.

Performance Workshop

The pros work at performance to make it look that relaxed and easy -- and interesting. You can do it too. Here are some ideas to really sell that song.

Interstellar Propulsion: Reality or Fiction?

The reality of interstellar travel versus the fiction we all love will be discussed by SF authors and the manager of NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technologies Project (whose job is to develop new propulsion technologies for exploration of the solar system and beyond!)

Hazards of Space

The recent Columbia tragedy has focused attention yet again on whether space travel is safe. What are the hazards of travelling to or from space? Is simply traversing the area outside of Earth's atmosphere itself a hazard? What is necessary to protect against any of these hazards. Who decides what is acceptable risk?

Romancing the Philosopher's Stone

The romance of philosophy and science may be lost on the layman, but never on the enthusiast - come hear fellow space afficiandos speak about the things they love.

So, You Want to be An Artist ...

The route to take in order to be a professional artist. Where do you start? What sources should an artist begin with? How does one begin down that path to fame, glory and riches? What art sells (for the artist), and why? Can a 'non-commercial' piece sell?

The Science Fiction Oral History Association

The Science Fiction Oral History Association (SFOHA) is a non-profit organization that maintains an archive of audio and video recordings of historic people and events related to science fiction. Come hear what they're about.

Conversations with Isaac Asimov

The Science Fiction Oral History Association brings us Dr. Isaac Asimov, through the magic of recorded audio.

The Spectrum Awards

The Spectrum Awards are given out annually by the Gaylactic Network. Come find out which works of 22 have been recognized for their excellence in presenting LGBT themes and characters.

Sunburst Secrets Revealed

The Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is a prized and juried award. Panelists discuss how to enter, and what it means when you win.

Alien Languages: First Contact

The two teams from the previous apply their new found knowledge and attempt a first conract using this languages.

A Multi-User Shared Hallucination With Royalties

The Wild Cards series wasn't the first ever shared-universe literary project, but it is the most prolific and successful. Come listen to some of its creators discuss the experience of writing in a universe where you can borrow each other's characters (like fanfic), and the things you do with them become part of canon (unlike fanfic), and if there's a blank spot, you can build something there and it will show up in other people's stories later (like MUSHing).

Introduction to the WSFS Business Meeting

The Worldcon business meeting can be intimidating for newcomers. The panels provides an introduction to why the business meeting is important and how it works. We'll also talk about some of the topics that will be covered at the meeting.

Anime Genres

There are different genres with Anime: Fantasy, Science Fiction, The single hero, The quest, Groups, The future, The past, and High tech. Find out exactly what some of these genres are and what typifies each one.

Why People Believe Weird Things

There are more scientists today than there have ever been before, and they have given us the greatest civilisation that we've yet been able to detect. Why, then, the apparent rise of pseudo-science? Panelists will look at various pseudo-sciences and pseudo-scientific beliefs and the means by which they are proclaimed; and the question will be raised as to what, if anything, can be done about the problem.

Etiquette in the Filk Room

There are things that are done and things that are not done. If you're new and wonder how to get a turn, or experienced and want to teach, join us for a discussion about being a polite participant in a filk circle.

Internet Social Enabler or Disabler

There are those who say that the Internet makes people stay indoors and nottalk to their neighbours, and there are those who say that it gives them the opportunity to talk to their neighbours even when they live thousands of miles away. Is there a contradiction? Is there a problem? Perhaps those we hear of who disappear into online games to the extent that they are fired from their real-world jobs just need to find employment where they live - in the online community - like any other responsible adult

Is it Censorship When You Clean Up a Book for Children?

There is a trend to clean all potentially upsetting material from books and republish them for children and young adult readers. Is this censorship? Should the books carry a warning label that it is an edited or abridged version of another work? Would you allow your work to be changed for the new audience? The panel would discuss the trends in children and young adult literature to 'clean' adult books of any possible objectionable material (harsh/foul language and sex for examples) before republishing in a YA edition.

Protein Chauvinism: Refusing to Recognise Computer Viruses as a Valid Lifeform?

There seems to be a 'protein chauvinism' amongst people. We are willing to concede life to protein viruses but notto computer viruses, nor to robots with better 'situational intelligence' than several parasitic wasps.

Redefining Disease

There will come a time when cancer, heart disease and even aging will no longer kill us. What sources of suffering will still remain. Will they be biological in nature?

Parody Workshop

There's parody and then there's parody that's cleverly constructed, involves word play and draws on the original material for both style and meaning.  Some basics from the acknowledged master.

Heinlein Society Awards Dinner

This inaugural Annual Heinlein Awards Dinner will be held at Badali's Restaurant, 156 Front Street West (one block from Torcon3). This judged presentation is made for excellence in writing science fact or fiction. A cocktail reception commences at 6 PM, sharp! Seating at 6:3 PM; the awards conclude at 8:15 PM, followed by an audio-visual presentation including the interview of Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein by Walter Cronkite on July 2, 1969, hours after man's first small step on the Moon. Tickets may be purchased at The Heinlein Society's fan table on or at its S.I.G. meeting at 1 PM, Friday, August 29, in the Royal York, British Columbia room for $75 each. A limited number, at $1 each, may be available at the door.

Libertarian Futurist Society Prometheus Awards Ceremony

This is the annual LFS awards ceremony where the Prometheus Best Novel and the Hall of Fame awards are presented.

What Are You Going To Do The Next Time?

This is the question that strikes terror in to the hearts of many a costumer. You went out there and they liked you. Now, you hear them asking you: 'What are you doing next time?' Come and find out ways to get over your fears and get it done.

Three Novellists Read Their Poetry

This is to raise the profile of genre poetry with authors who should be able to fill chairs.

Music Theory 101 (2 hours)

This panel has been presented to rave reviews at other cons. Highly recommended as an easy but thorough introduction to the how's and why's of music.

Online Writer's Groups -- What to Expect of Online Critique Forums

This panel would discuss the world of on-line writing workshops. What should be expected of an on-line workshop? What makes an on-line group work effectively to help a writer improve? When should you join one and when should you avoid them? Discuss the good, the bad, the ugly of using an on-line writing workshop when you don't have a local critiquing group.

The Frank Kelly Freas Retrospective Slide Show With Commentary

This slideshow spotlights the five decade career if artist Frank Kelly Freas with commentary by Kelly, other artists, and authors whose work has been graced by Kelly's covers and interior illustrations.

Live Thog's Masterclass

Thog's Masterclass is the department of Dave Langford's sf newsletter 'Ansible' which showcases 'differently good' lines from SF & F -- the literary equivalent of a blooper reel. Dave's solo 'Live Thog' presentation has brought fear, loathing and giggles to British, US, and Australian cons,And now makes its Canadian debut.

Religion In SF

Though their pursuits are notmutually exclusive, religion and speculative fiction are almost complete anathema to one another. When religion is depicted in SF, more often than notit is ridiculed as superstition, derided as a pursuit of less advanced minds. Why is this kind of discrimination acceptable? Why are there notmore proudly religious characters in SF?

SFC: Science from the Fiction Workshop

To solve the problem posed in a science fiction short story, participants will design, build, and test a working prototype vehicle. All materials and testing equipment will be supplied. Caution: fun is inevitable!

If They Drew It, I Can Do It!

Translating images from the movies, television, anime, manga, book covers, etc. into costumes. Come and hear some of those who have done it.

Mike Glyer and Connie Willis

Turning the tables, Torcon's Fan Guest of Honor interviews various science fiction professional throughout the course of the con.

Mike Glyer and Stephen M. Stirling

Turning the tables, Torcon's Fan Guest of Honor interviews various science fiction professional throughout the course of the con.

Conversation with George and Howard

Two old friends get together to have a chat.

Upcoming Eos titles--Fall 2003

Upcoming Eos SF & F titles for Fall 23, including new books by Sheri S. Tepper, Lois McMaster Bujold, Dave Duncan, and more.

Book Discussion: The Left Hand Of Darkness

Ursula K. LeGuins novel is one of the most-studied and analyzed novels in our genre. How does Gethan society relate to ours? Is it a critique or a metaphor? Does it have any relevance to our world today? It has often been charged that this novel is actually homophobic or androcentric is it? Or are its critics looking for something to complain about?

Readings From Beyond the Grave

Various authors read from Robert Bloch's short stories and novels and discuss the selection they have chosen to read.

Jumping the Species Barrier: SARS and it's Implications

Viruses and their uncanny ability to survive in a wide variety of hosts. Jumping the species barrier is notuncommon, so why does it now seem more prevalent? Is it time to start panicking yet?

Synopses for Dummies (and Smart People Too)

Walk into a roomful of authors and say 'synopsis'. See how many of even the most experienced writers cringe at the thought of this most hated of literary tasks. And if it scares them, what about the rest of us? How do you whittle down a 4 page (1K word) novel into 3-5 pages? One page? A paragraph? A sentenc? They must be joking, right? Nope. This panel focuses on current techniques and the best tips to give new and experienced authors alike the tools they need to conquer their synopsis-phobia.

15 People On A Postage Stamp Stage - What Do We Do Now?

Want to be part of a megagroup? Find out what you need to start one, and design an effective presentation.

Cliches in Military SF

We've all seen the young recruit who doesn't know why he's fighting, and the general who loves war. But do they really exist? And why do we so love exploding spaceships?

Genetic Engineering in Agriculture

What are the moral, ecological and economic implications of monoclonal agriculture, cloning, and transgenic technology? How can we derive the benefits of these techniques while limiting our exposure to their pitfalls?

Cartoonist Jam

What do you get when you lock talented cartoonists in a room with World-con attendees? Come see and find out. Watch the cartoonists jam to your suggestions. Call out a word, phrase or situation and watch the cartoonists turn it into an image worth keeping.

Photoshop is notthe Artist: Creating Good Computer Art

What do you really need to create good computer art and what the computer applications contribute to the art?

Getting a TV Series on the Air

What does it take to turn an idea into a successful TV show? Panelists dscuss their experiences in getting a new genre series off the ground and on the air.

Classic Fanzines

What fanzines of the past are memorable and or seminal to the development of fanzine fandom.

Worldcon Bidding 101

What goes into bidding for a worldcon? How does the bidding process and voting work? Come hear explanations and horror stories from recent and current bid members.

Book Production

What happens after your manuscript has been accepted by a publishing company? How do your words go from manuscript to bound book. What can an author can do (and shouldn't do) to help make the end product worthy of his/her byline.

Nature of Sentience

What is sentience? What is its relationship to intelligence, to free will? Is it in any sense an objective phenomenon, or is it an article of faith?

Who Defines 'Classic'

What is the concept of 'classic' ? Who defines it? And how does it apply to SF & F? Does it even apply? Is there 'classic' mass media SF? How did this concept evolve into what it has become today?

The Mars Society

What is the Mars Society? A discussion by its members.

Race In SF: Black, White, Asian Or Just Human?

What is the point in depicting humans as belonging to one or another of what today's society classifies as races? Shouldn't SF writers strive, in the neutral case, to make all of their human characters just that - members of the human race - without reference to the colour of their skin? But sometimes, of course, race is the point. When race is depicted, is it done well? Or do writers toooften resort to stereotype?

From the Ground Up: Building Fantastic Ecosystems

What kind of world would produce a gryphon? How about giant killer plants? How would you go about designing a plausible landscape and other lifeforms for your alien or fantastic creatures?

Well Constructed Universes

What makes some universes more believable than others?

The Publishers' and Editors' Views on 'What Sells?'

What sells? A view from publishers and ediors? Come hear the experts speak.

What's New at Tor

What's new at Tor. A 11-minute AV presentation.

What's New at DAW

What's upcoming at DAW.

What's New at Del Rey

What's upcoming at Del Rey, including exciting new projects from Harry Turtledove, Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter, Elizabeth Moon, Alan Dean Foster, Peter Hamilton, Howard Hendrix, China Mieville, and Greg Bear.

What's New at Warner Aspect

What's upcoming at Warner.

We Have Met The Alien, And He Is Us

When aliens finally land on Earth, will we treat them the way we have historically treated all minority groups throughout history, driving them into ghettos and marginalizing them in society as depicted in the film and TV series 'Alien Nation'? Will we end up fighting a war against them, prompted by xenophobia? Or will our better natures prevail?

The Economics of Innovation

When the true cost of implementation is considered vs. other options, sometimes what seems like a brilliant idea really isn't. This panel will try, once and for all, to drive a stake in the heart of the so-called 'solar power satellite,' but will also discuss what advances or breakthroughs are needed for other ideas to become economically feasible.

Songwriting - Intro

Where do you start? A simple introduction to Songwriting, beginning with how to structure a song and getting started on lyrics. Learn how to make something as simple as a rhythm egg into a cool accompaniment

Filk Copyright Issues

Whether it's writing, art or filk SF has issues around the protection of intellectual property. A discussion from several angles, and hopefully from several countries.

Luddites of Fandom?

Why do some fans persist in doing things the old-fashioned way? Publishing fanzines on paper, maybe even using mimeographs, instead of on the Web. Is there anything valuable in using obsolete technology to communicate in such a slow medium?

Importance of Small Press Magazines

Why is small press with low payment rates important to professional careers.

Reviews: the Good, the Bad, the Vicious

Why should SF be reviewed? What makes a good review? Should writers read their own reviews? Difference between a review and a critique?

Beauty in the Near and Far Future

Will the advent of nanotechnology and other high technologies change the way we perceive beauty? Especially if nanotech can quickly and painlessly change your appearance almost at whim.

Dead Beaver Filk

Winding up the filk track

Direct Computer - Brain Interface

Wiring ourselves by direct linkage of our existing neural structures to the computing infrastructure is a staple of Cyberpunk literature. When and how should we do this? Is it even wise or safe? Is it really all it's cracked up to be?

The B5 Story Arc: Success or Failure

With Babylon 5 we saw, for the first time in North American television, a multi-year story arc, fully planned ahead and executed with attention to details. Was it as successful as generally thought?

Alternative Currencies and Trading Systems: The Future of Money

With the near future advent of quick, simple and portable encryption systems many of the technical barriers to a full electronic consumer economy will be eliminated. How will this affect our future? Can a non-electronic economy trade with an electronic one? Can it even survive the onslaught?

What Every Pro Should Know About Fandom

Without fandom, there would be no Worldcon, no Hugo Awards. While you may be able to be a successful SF or fantasy writer without any contact with fandom, once you immerse yourself in this milieu there are definite do's and don'ts, particularly if you'd like to participate in convention programming, be invited to be a guest of honor, and win fan-awarded prizes. Find out what they are from people who know.

Tall Technical Tales

Working in science isn't all cold and caculating. Sometimes things go wrong in the most dramatic and hilarious ways. Hear the Panelists stories, and then bring aloong your own.

Moebius Play

World premiere theatrical presentation of E. Michael Blake's 'The Reply from Extraterrestrial Intelligence.' (Suitable for all ages.)

Upcoming Worldcons Q&Amp;A and Job Fair

Worldcons run on volunteers. We are eager to get new volunteers to help out. Here's your chance to be recruited for a future Worldcon.

Morning Poetry Exercises (5)

Write a Haiku by noon, or start that Pantoum. Our wonderful instructors will teach a specific poetic form and you get to try it out. No experience necessary! Today's Class: Alexandra Honigsberg will teach Terza Rima.

Research 101

Writers must know what they are writing about: or do they? How much research is enough? Must you know and identify your target audience (hard science/trek/fantasy) first? Is there a minimum amount of science an SF author needs to know.

Writing for Children

Writing SF & F for children. How does this differ, and how should it be different? Is Lemmony Snicket the future or should we stick to the popular omtimistic view of Harry Potter? What lessons can we impart in children's literature without making it adult?

Songwriting - Intermediate

You have some lyrics and some ideas. Now what? Some ideas on making music and words go together.

Open Filk -- Domino

You thought filk was only a decade or two old? Here's music from the fifties, sixties and seventies. (Pre-198 filk)

Found Parts

Your alien needs a pressure helmet. You need a gun that looks like a gun, but won't set off metal detectors, and costs less than $5.. Talk to the people who turned Recycling in to an art form.

Face Painting For The Stage

Your costume is perfect. It can be seen from the back of the stage, but you can't. Get tips and suggestions from those that have been doing this successfully, for years.

Concert: Judith Hayman / Paul Kwinn

Your song from the heart needs a little buffing. Come work with a master songwriter to remove the trite and introduce the small touches that make your lyrics unique.

Polishing Your Lyrics

Your song from the heart needs a little buffing. Come work with a master songwriter to remove the trite and introduce the small touches that make your lyrics unique.

What to Do About Bad Writing Habits

You're a writer. It's what you do. The words have to get out of you somehow, and the ideas need to keep flowing. But are there specific habits that all writers can share to make the process easier? When is organization, structure, constancy useful, and when can they hinder?

So, You're Gonna Enter Your First Worldcon Masquerade?

You've competed at small local conventions and the regionals. Are you ready for the Big Time? Come and find out how to make certain that you are. This covers things like Registration, Green Room, and Tech.

Book Discussion: Zulu Heart

Zulu Heart is Steven Barnes' latest novel, an alternate history story in which Egypt and Ethiopia colonized the New World using European slave labour. Discuss Barnes' unique vision of an alternate Earth, in which African culture reigns supreme

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