ApolloCon 2011
Programming Descriptions

Got an idea for something YOU'D like to see at ApolloCon 2011? Send it to our Programming Director.

29 Ways to Stay Creative
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Participants- TBA A viral video based on someone's blog, outlined 29 ways to stay creative. Great for all creative types, writers and artists alike. Our panelists talk about why these ideas went viral and how we can apply them to our efforts to create. Check out the video ahead of time at: http://vimeo.com/24302498.
 
A Room of One's Own
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Participants- TBA How to create your own space. What other creative people do to have their own place to think and work in. Tips and ideas for making an area to express yourself in whether you have a lot of square footage like a spare room or borrowed space like a coffee shop table. Sometimes its just about learning how to get in the zone.
 
Analog Soul in the Digital World
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Participants- TBA Progress is a wonderful thing, but there are times when you long for the past. Some writers still use pen and ink, and many music-philes will always prefer vinyl. Our panelists discuss the ways we cling to the past, and how much of that clinginess is from true preference and how much is sentimentality.
 
Architecture of the Future
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Participants- TBA Apple just announced a new state of the art headquarters, eerily looking like a spaceship. What other cool buildings are in the near future? What will buildings of the far future look like?
 
Arduino Workshop - Basic Circuits and Programming
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Participants- TBA Last year, we built Arduinos from components, this year we program them. Bring the Arduino you built last year, or any Arduino or clone you have, and ApolloCon's resident geek and one of the co-hosts of 90.1 KPFT's Technology Bytes will show you how to build some simple circuits and program your Arduino to drive them. The workshop includes a parts kit, program code, circuit diagrams and reference materials. Limited Attendance. There will be a Materials Fee of $25. No Soldering Required. BRING YOUR OWN LAPTOP, ARDUINO, AND USB CABLE. There will be a few extra Arduinos you can borrow/purchase.
 
Beer and Books
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Participants- TBA When you're reading your favorite book what should you be hopped up on? Your favorite brew of course! A tasting/panel hybrid with beers for trying and a discussion of which ones would go nicely with your favorite characters. Seating is limited; sign up in Con Ops Saturday morning.
 
Casting Call: Who do you want to play your favorite characters?
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Participants- TBA If your favorite book was made into a movie, what actors would you cast as the main characters? Who would direct? Our panelists pick their own favorites and then take suggestions from the audience!
 
Chain Maille 101
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Participants- TBA In this class, you will make your very own piece of chain maille and will see examples of hand-made chain maille and other armour. Bringing two pairs of pliers is highly recommended, but extra pliers will be available. Enough links will be available for at least ten people to make a 4x4 inch piece of maille. Children are welcome if they bring a parent.
 
Circle of Bookish Friends
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Participants- TBA In our fast-paced society where so much of our social interaction occurs in 140 characters or less, we sometimes need to slow down and appreciate the simple joys of talking about a good book with a circle of friends. From Oprah's Book Club to your local group discussing the latest trends in science fiction, book groups are on the rise. Our panelists discuss the joys and pains of starting a book group and letting literature soothe our soul and strengthen our bonds with our fellow fans.
 
Clothing Cultures: Cats in Hats
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Participants- TBA Our panelists discuss the hat, the cap, the chapeau, and why we love them so.
 
Cons Over Texas
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Participants- TBA Texas con runners discuss local fan conventions. Where to find them and what they're all about?
 
Cthulhu 101: Miskatonic University
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Participants- TBA An overview of the Lovecraftian mythos. What to read and what games to play!
 
Darkness in YA: Depravity or Reality?
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Participants- TBA A recent Wall Street Journal article about darkness in YA today has sparked a heated discussion throughout the community of readers and writers. Panelists weigh in on the debate.
 
Dirty Jobs, Science Fiction Style
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Participants- TBA The more gross or random the better. Panelists come up with weird jobs for characters to have in space or in a magical land. Audience participation encouraged.The more gross or random the better. Panelists come up with weird jobs for characters to have in space or in a magical land. Audience participation encouraged.
 
Draw and Jaw
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Participants- TBA Bring your pencils and note books. Hang out and sketch away with writers and artists alike. No need for artistic ability, just the inclination to talk your favorite books and movies while doodling! Bring your pencils and note books. Hang out and sketch away with writers and artists alike. No need for artistic ability, just the inclination to talk your favorite books and movies while doodling!
 
Fire off! The Science Fiction/Fantasy Cannon
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Participants- TBA Panelists will discuss what they consider the seminal works of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Those influential works that paved the way and where to start if you want catch up on SF/F history.
 
Geek Girls in Popular Culture
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Participants- TBA The rise of the geek girl. The blogosphere has helped show the world that girls like sci fi/fantasy too. And in fact we're really awesome fans! Our lady panelists talk about this particular phenomenon in fandom.
 
Geek Scene:  Houston
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Participants- TBA Our local panelists discuss the fannish-friendly businesses in Houston, from the best bookstores to the coffee houses with the fastest wi-fi. If you've been looking for a new hangout or specialty store, come hear what our native geeks have to say.
 
Inspiration Station
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Participants- TBA Where do we get our ideas from? Where can we draw inspiration from? Not limited to writers. Costumers, artists, critics, and many more discuss how they come up with their next project. Where they look when that road block hits them.
 
Iron Artist
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Participants- TBA Our favorite artists go head to head with different mediums and a mystery ingredient!
 
Just Right!: The Possibility of Class M Planets
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Participants- TBA It may be a fictional classification, but the search for a Goldilocks planet is real. What requirements are there for a planet to be habitable? Is a habitable zone plausible? Would other factors cause them to be unlivable? Could suitable plants be found outside "The Zone"?
 
Nerd Sheep No More
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Participants- TBA Many fans struggle to explain their geeky ways to friends and loved ones. But in the end, we're not so different, and many times our non-fan friends can be converted. Our panelists discuss how they've managed to integrate their fannish life and their mundane life, and their missionary efforts in the mundane community.
 
No WEMs Allowed: Multiculturalism Steampunk
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Participants- TBA Does steampunk always have to involve white european males? What about women heroes? What about native americans? What about Eastern countries? Discussion of the sometimes one sided nature of steampunk and suggestions for great books that explore the less popular but more unique areas.
 
Not So Happily Ever After
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Participants- TBA Thanks to Walt Disney, most people think of fairy tales as sweet and charming tales of true love. When you dig a little deeper, however, you see just how often the villain wins, the prince isn't so charming, and the princess ends up in a worse spot than when she started. What were these original tales meant to tell us? And why have we ignored those lessons in favor of the Pink Princess-ification we now see?
 
Out of the Basement: Fan Stereotypes
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Participants- TBA Shattering the Fan Cliche'. Even with speculative fiction dominating the best seller lists and movie box office, our culture still seems to cling to the idea that all fans fit into a narrow definition (read: we all live in basements with no job). Our panelists discuss the roots of these mis-perceptions, and why society seems to cling to them.
 
Reading To Do List: What's On Your List?
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Participants- TBA Who can keep up with every book published in the last year? Not I. Our panelists help you out by talking about the books they've been reading recently to add to your to-read list.
 
Reboot, Reuse, Recycle
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Participants- TBA The lag time between new incarnations of old properties is shrinking to nearly nothing. Been just three years since the disappointing third film in a superhero franchise? Just hire a new actor and director. It'll be FRESH! While certain re-imaginings bring a wholly new perspective to the subject, often times it feels like Hollywood is just being lazy. Our panelists discuss which ones work, and which ones should just be relegated to the compost pile.
 
Researching Things That Don't Exist
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Participants- TBA Where to find good background for your fantasy stories. How to integrate mythology with originality. Our panelists discuss how to research made up topics to make up your own!Where to find good background for your fantasy stories. How to integrate mythology with originality. Our panelists discuss how to research made up topics to make up your own!
 
Sci Fi Fantasy That Isn't British or American
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Participants- TBA There is a large tradition of other culture's sicence fiction and fantasy. It has even helped inspire other more familiar stories. Grimm's Fairytales sound familiar? We by the Russian Zamyatin inspired Orwell's 1984. A discussion of international science fiction and fantasy you should be reading.
 
Science Fiction/Fantasy - ADA Approved!
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Participants- TBA In a world where science and magic know no bounds, disabilities can become hidden strengths. Often in our favorite books heroes are made of the outcasts and downtrodden! From Sherlock Holmes to Percy Jackson, panelists discuss how flaws can be strengths.
 
SF Coup d'état: Who Would You Vote For?
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Participants- TBA What if our favorite science fiction/fantasy characters ran the government? Professor X for President, Gandalf as Secretary of State, Ender Wiggins in Secretary of Defense… Who would you have run our government? How would it be different? Light hearted speculation will abound.
 
Scotch Tasting: BYOS
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Participants- TBA The S is for Scotch [Whisky]; the BYO should be obvious: Bring your favorite single malt and let us have a wee taste. Seating is limited, so sign up in Con Ops well in advance.
 
Scotch Tasting: Getting High with Single Malts
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Participants- TBA Aye, we're talking elevation here. We'll be starting with the highest distillery in the Scottish Highlands--Dalwhinnie--and working our way down the mountains. Seating is limited; sign up in Con Ops Saturday morning.
 
Supernatural Horror: Heaven vs. Hell
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Participants- TBA Fantasy and Horror often speculate about Angels, Demons, personifications of the fight between Good and Evil. But who's good, who's evil? Is God absent? Are Angels away good? Demons always bad? A look at literature and media that questions our ideas about the beyond.
 
The 12-Step Program For Writing
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Participants- TBA Writing is the only habit that needs a 12-step program to start it instead of kicking it. A light hearted examination of the fictional Writers Anonymous and what it takes to keep at it day in and day out.
 
The Art of Tasting Cheese
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Participants- TBA Come try some fancy cheese! Learn all about the finer points of curds and wey. Seating is limited; Sign up at Con Ops in advance.
 
The Geometry of Angst
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Participants- TBA Poor Pythagoras. Little did he know that the concept of the triangle would be used to torture fictional characters for millennia to come. Why is the love triangle such a stubborn cliche'? Do characters really have no other motivations in life? How can writers move beyond simplistic views of love and motivation to craft characters who have agendas that move beyond 'which one do I choose?'
 
The Next Generation: How Do We Raise Tomorrow's Fans
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Participants- TBA Passing paperbacks in the hall, introducing them to the classics. Being a nerd seems to be cool these days, but is that only true of Gen Y? How can we help Generation Z foster their nerd power and survive the bullying we all went through? Not just a panel for parents, but also adults who've ever seen "that kid" get picked on remembered what it felt like. How can we be that force that helped us through it?
 
To Infinity, and Beyond?: The Future of the Space Program
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Participants- TBA Space enthusiasts and NASA scientists tell us just what's going on with the space program. Where will we go next? What big project is on the horizon? And just when will we live on the moon?
 
Urban Fantasy: Accepting Your Inner Freak
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Participants- TBA Panelists discuss the trend in Urban Fantasy of main characters being outcasts who come to terms with their powers and perhaps help others accept their inner freak. Many of the heroes are even outcasts among their own paranormal society.
 
What are They Up To Now?
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Participants- TBA The Maker DIY Tech movement has continued to grow since we looked at it in 2009. Come see what cool new/old tech Makers are cobbling together in their workshops.
 
What's in a Genre? Critical Studies in Science Fiction
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Participants- TBA With a rise in academic interest in popular culture, "genre fiction" is seeing a resurgence in critical attention. Recently a British university even started offering a PhD in Comic Books! Panelists explore questions of: where has this field been? And where will it go in the future?
 
Who Owns the Internet?
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Participants- TBA Our panelists discuss the concept of Net Neutrality and its impact on the way we experience the web.
 
World in a Box, Just Add Water
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Participants- TBA Panelists share their ways of creating fictional worlds. Landscape, society, even solar systems need to be believable. That brings up the question, how do you make an imaginary world believable? Come find out.
 
Writing is a Muscle: It Needs Exercise Too
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Participants- TBA Writers share their favorite exercises that help get the juices flowing. Just the thing for when the well of inspiration is running dry. Share your go to pick me ups as well.
 
YA Heroines:  The Joys of Having a Spine
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Participants- TBA There's this 'heroine'. You know the one. She subsumes all of her own interests and desires just to get the boy to notice her. A boy who may or may not sparkle and in real life might be the subject of a restraining order. But is this weak-willed girl someone we want our daughters and nieces to see as a role model? Our panelists discuss the good, the bad, and the whiny in today's YA heroines. Which ones do we want our daughters and nieces to admire? And which ones do we want to be when WE grow up?
 
Zombies, Vampires and Werewolves, Oh my?
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Participants- TBA What the big deal? Why are we obessed with part human monsters? Do we see a part of our own humanity in them? A discussion of the fascination with these myths, also why they aren't new trends, just old ones revised. Do they take on different forms based on society's current issues?
 
Programming and guests subject to change without notice

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