Androids are Hot (and not just because their fans broke):  Humans. Westworld. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Androids (robots in human form) are hot on television these days. What are the most interesting shows on the theme? What do they tell us about androids? What do they tell us about us?

  • Saturday 3:00 PM – Oakridges : Adam Shaftoe-Durrant, David Clink, Alexandra Renwick

Are Generation Starships Ethically Bad?  The general argument is that generation starships are ethically negative because it makes decision for future generations that they will have no voice in and will have placed them in an environment that they had no choice in.  Is this ethical issue a simple one centered on voice and choice, or is it more complicated?

  • Friday 6:00 PM – Aurora:  Eric Choi, Julie Czerneda, Steve Stirling, Michael Martineck, Selena Middleton

Biologists on Aliens:  Tired of rubber-headed movie aliens? Finding a distinct lack of imagination in the aliens you read about? Just on Earth, we’re overflowing with strange life forms, like extremophiles, saprophytes, parasites, symbiotes, macro viruses and all sorts of other things. And hard SF writers are inventing aliens that are utterly unfilmable. Biologists will discuss their favourite aliens, aliens they’ve invented, and aliens they’d still like to see.

  • Saturday 4:00 PM – Richmond A: Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, Derek Künsken, Geoff Hart

Books as Seductive Physical Objects What is it about some books which simply beg you to pick them up; preen when you read the promo info on the jackets, purr when you skim a few pages and radiate delight when you buy them?  Equally, what is it about some books which snarl at you if you even glance their way?

  • Saturday 2:00 PM – Richmond A: Peter Halasz, Ed Greenwood, Bob Knowlton, Alexandra Renwick, Chris Szego

Celebration of Ian Wilson:  Friends celebrate the life of former Ad Astra chair and bon vivant Ian Wilson

  • Saturday 5:00 PM – ConSuite

DC vs Marvel:  DC and Marvel are both churning out TV series and movies. There have been some excellent story lines and crossovers, yet many changes to the characters.  What is working for DC and Marvel?

  • Saturday 9:00 PM – Oakridges:  Michael Martineck, David Clink, Sarah  WaterRaven, Timothy Carter

Demystifying Visual Effects:  A look into the post production world from the talented artists at Toronto’s own Jennifer Maillet from Spin VFX, this panel will go through the process from script to screen of how visual effects are created for feature film and Television.

  • Saturday 1:00 PM – Richmond A: Jennifer Maillet

Disrupting the Narrative:  Science fiction and fantasy has the potential to transform our worldview. The inclusion of alternate perspectives and diverse characters help us to re-examine the past, present or future, in our universe or beyond. Inserting new experiences into old narratives shows the limitless potential of stories to inspire us.  This panel will look at stories that shake up our perspective, from Steampunk and alternate history to dystopian fantasy.

  • Sunday 11:00 AM – Richmond CD: Rebecca Diem, Charlotte Ashley, Eli K.P. William, Cathy Hird, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, Carolyn Charron

Does Genre Fiction Matter?:  The world continues to get warmer. There are major armed conflicts raging on the globe. All this despite decades of science fiction warning us off these paths. We haven’t nuked ourselves yet and communism isn’t a red blossom on our fields of grain, but is genre fiction having an impact? Does it have consequence?

  • Friday 9:00 PM – Richmond A:  Julie Czerneda, Anne Bishop, Gregory Wilson, Nicholas Eames, Matthew Bin, Neil Jamieson-Williams

Ecology for World Building:  Worlds need to be populated from the ground up.  How do you fill a new world with an ecology that fits the scene?

  • Saturday 10:00 AM – Richmond A:  Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, Julie Czerneda, Kristen Britain, Geoff Hart, Derek Künsken, Sarah  WaterRaven

Fantasy from Trilogies to Television Series:  Fantasy in the 1970’s and earlier was usually a stand alone book or a trilogy at the most.  Now it’s a megaseries of books often with a movie or television tie-in.  Once the little sibling of science fiction fantasy now dwarfs its sibling.  How did this happen? 

  • Sunday 2:00 PM – Oakridges: Jeff Beeler, Brandon Draga, Nicholas Eames, A.A. Jankiewicz, Matt Moore

Fractured Fairy Tales:  New interest in fairy tales and their subversion.  Given the plethora of fairy tales in novels (Land of Stories) and shows (Once upon a time) what are the best to recommend and what are our tropes that are now needed to be changed (e.g. are the misunderstood villains old hat)?

  • Sunday 12:00 PM -Richmond CD: Stephanie Cooper, Lesley Donaldson, Alyxandra Harvey, Alisse Lee Goldenberg, Kari Maaren, Nicole Lavigne

Greatest Unmade Science Fiction Movies of All Time:  More movies are proposed, written, developed and even filmed than ever make it into theatres. Several of these unmade and unreleased science fiction movies have become stories unto themselves for their particular journeys through “development hell.” Come and hear about such unseen films as Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune, David Cronenberg’s Totall Recall, David Fincher’s Rendezvous with Rama, and Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four. What did we miss out on with these movies not happening?

  • Friday 8:00 PM – Richmond A: James Bambury, Beverly Bambury

Mars as a Science Fiction Setting:  From War of the Worlds to the Mars movies of the early 21st Century we have been using Mars as a fictional setting.  Why is this?  What are some common characteristics of Mars stories.

  • Sunday 12:00 PM – Aurora:  Jeff Beeler, Eric Choi, Robert J. Sawyer

P.I.C. Publishing Presents:  Come and chat with the Italianos to find out more about their upcoming projects: the CD From Skull Tavern, The Starving Queen novel, and a One-Act Play chapbook called The Narrowing. Chillin’ with some reading and music.

  • Saturday 2:00 PM – Oakridges: Dean Italiano, Giasone Italiano

Reading the Revolution:  A generation raised on Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, and other tales of dystopian science fiction is uniquely positioned to deal with a world in which long-held global alliances seem posed to break down and the threat of nuclear war is  dangerously close to making the leap from fiction to fact.  What happens when real life becomes stranger than fiction? How does fandom shape our politics and political activism?

  • Saturday 7:00 PM -Aurora:  Rebecca Diem, Leah Bobet, Alyxandra Harvey, L.E.  Sterling , Amanda Sun, Selena Middleton

Revisiting John Carpenter:  John Carpenter’s films have always had an audience in fandom, but recent years have seen a critical reappraisal of his work. In the words of Guillermo del Toro: “Carpenter creates masterpiece after masterpiece and they are often ignored.”  Films like Halloween and The Thing are definitive horror films, but are they more relevant to cinema as a whole than previously thought? What other works of Carpenter deserve a closer viewing?

  • Friday 9:00 PM – Richmond B: James Bambury, Beverly Bambury, David Clink, Matt Moore

Smiling with Ruth:  Friends celebrate the life of former Ad Astra panelist, author Ruth Stuart

  • Sunday 1 pm Richmond A:  Anne Bishop, Kristen Britain, Julie Czerneda

Star Trek in Real Life:  We all know the flip phone was originally designed for Star Fleet, but what other modern inventions have been modeled after technologies envisioned by Star Trek?

  • Saturday 8:00 PM – Oakridges:  Eric Choi, Gillian Clinton, Paul Roberts

Star Wars – without Carrie Fisher – what will the future hold?  The tragic loss of Carrie Fisher affected Star Wars fans across the world.  This panel pays tribute to a great lady and a beloved princess.  And speculates  on what the Star Wars universe might look like without her.

  • Sunday 2:00 PM  -Richmond B:  Amy De Ruyte, Rebecca Diem, Kari Maaren, Stephanie Cooper

Starting Them Young:  Sci-Fi and Fantasy Picture Books:  Nearly everyone who is a fan of genre will look to things like Narnia, the Hobbit, Redwall, or Ender’s Game as their introduction to SF/F, but how much earlier could one be introduced to such things? How do you define what makes a picture book scif-fi or fantasy? What are some examples, classic or new, that illustrate this?

  • Saturday 2:00 PM – Newmarket: Brandon Draga, Charlotte Ashley, Deanna Laver, Alisse Lee Goldenberg, Carolyn Charron

The Border of Magic and Science:  Magic operates within rules. Technology has its rules. But in speculative fiction the lines get blurred as unfamiliar tech looks like magic, and engineered tools use rules of physics beyond the ones we have (so far) defined. This panel will explore the borderline, discussing the best, and worst, examples of the way technology gets stretched.

  • Sunday 3:00 PM – Aurora:  Cathy Hird, Brandon Sanderson, Geoff Hart, A.A. Jankiewicz, Neil Jamieson-Williams

The British Food Panel:  Jammie dodgers, Jaffa cakes, jelly babies, custard with fish fingers, bridies: you’ve seen and read the characters in Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Outlander, and various other science fiction and fantasy stories eat this stuff. Our panelists will explain and describe the pleasures of much-maligned British cuisine.

  • Saturday 11:00 AM – Newmarket: Derwin Mak, Lee Harris, David Stephenson

The Ed Greenwood Group (TEGG) – What’s new?  Join author, master world-builder, and now publisher, Ed Greenwood and his colleagues as they chat about the TEGG Transmedia Difference, the philosophy behind the organization, the many many story settings and how you too can come be a part of it. All attendees may enter a draw for a series of TEGG prize packages

  • Saturday 11:00 am  Aurora:  Ed Greenwood, Suzanne Church, Brandon Crilly, Arlene Marks

The End of the World As We’ve Known It:  Apocalyptic SF has become one of the most popular forms of the fantastic in recent years. How has the end of the world been conceived over the past many decades? How have those visions changed as our hopes and fears have evolved?

  • Sunday 11:00 AM – Oakridges:  Heather Spears, Allan Weiss

The Expanse –  grand science fiction at its best:  One of the best science fiction shows on television is made right here in Toronto.  What makes it so good?  How is it different from the books?

  • Friday 9:00 PM – Aurora:  Jeff Beeler, Eric Choi, Gillian Clinton, Adam Shaftoe-Durrant

The “H” Word – We’re not saying “horror” anymore?  Publishers describe novels as a “supernatural thriller” or “novel of terror”, but is no one saying “horror” anymore?  Did the 80s heyday, and eventual burn-out, of horror novels ruin the term? Or maybe the onslaught of remakes of 80s horror film? Why aren’t we saying “horror” anymore?

  • Saturday  6:00 PM – Aurora:  Matt Moore, Anne Bishop, Beverly Bambury, Dean Italiano, Jen Frankel

The Life & Times of Degrassi’s Ms. Karen Avery:  Meet Michelle Goodeve (AKA: Degrassi Jr. High’s “Ms. Avery”).  She has many stories to tell about her experiences in the Degrassi world and how she “evolved” into a screenwriter, story editor and pilot.

  • Saturday 12:00 PM – Richmond A: Michelle Goodeve, Robert J. Sawyer

The Western: Why is it still a thing?  The American “frontier” has long since been closed. The myths of the West have long since been busted. Yet if the successes of Westworld, Logan, and the Magnificent Seven remake are any indication, there is still an appetite in the English-speaking world for the themes and motifs of the Western. This panel will explore why adaptations and homages to the Western continue to resonate in a post-colonial world.

  • Saturday 11:00 AM – Richmond B:  Adam Shaftoe-Durrant, Anne Bishop, David Clink, Matt Moore, Christina Vasilevski 

The YA Revolution: Reinventing Sci-Fi/Fantasy for a new generation:  For the past several years, sci-fi/fantasy has enjoyed a renewed popularity in mainstream culture, as Y/A writers reinvent the genre for younger audiences. This panel will consider the contemporary phenomenon of Y/A sci-fi/fantasy: its history, its hallmarks, as well as some of the reasons for its newfound popularity. The future of sci-fi/fantasy will also be considered, as panelists speculate on the impact of this literary movement on the genre. 

  • Saturday 12:00 PM – Richmond B: L.E.  Sterling, Rebecca Diem, Alyxandra Harvey, A.A. Jankiewicz, Deanna Laver, Amanda Sun

Unsettling the Reader and Creating Fear in Horror:  Works of horror necessarily disturb their readers with feelings of unease, revulsion, and fear. Easy to say, hard to do. What do horror authors do to create the negative emotions their readers are seeking?

  • Saturday 11:00 AM – Richmond A: Derek Künsken, Jon Oliver, Alexandra Renwick, Matt Moore

Weapons of SF:  Weapons in the world of SciFi have fantastic properties and ingenious designs, such as the Star Fleet’s Phaser,  the Klingon Bat’leth, the Star War’s Light Saber and Logan’s Run Sandman pistol.  How do are these weapons used, in combat or as part of the story?  Are they possible in our world?

  • Saturday 1:00 PM – Newmarket: Chris Warrillow, James Bambury, David Stephenson

What are Old Heroes Supposed to Do, Die?  Even while the population ages, most speculative fiction features young, fully abled protagonists. What happens after our favorite characters turn 50? Can aging mages, spacefarers and warriors still have adventures, find love, make a difference and change their lives forever?

  • Sunday 12:00 PM – Newmarket: Arlene Marks, David Clink, Nicholas Eames, Alexandra Renwick, Mike Rimar, Hayden Trenholm

When Did We Stop Being Funny?:  Examination of the use of humour in genre writing; specifically, why humour seems to be embraced by genre aimed at younger audiences (Including YA) and less so by genre aimed at adults.

  • Friday 7:00 PM – Aurora: Hayden Trenholm, Jen Frankel, Nicholas Eames, Mike Rimar, Jane Ann McLachlan