Panels by Panelist

Panel Listings

PanelistDayStart TimeEnd TimeRoomTitleDescriptionAll Panelists
A. A. JankiewiczFriday10:00 PM11:00 PMAuroraGoT - did it end well?Game of Thrones - did it end well? Who should have ruled instead?David Clink (m), James Bambury, Jen Frankel, A.A. Jankiewicz, , Jeff Beeler
A. A. JankiewiczSaturday10:00 AM11:00 AMMarkham APublishing 101Are you ready to take your manuscript to the next level? Wondering what path is right for you? Do you know your path but navigating it feels like the rapids before going head-long over a waterfall? Join us as we walk you through traditional publishing, self-publishing, and being a hybrid author. Come with your questions and finally get some answers.MJ Moores (m), Vanessa Ricci-Thode, A. A. Jankiewicz, Maaja Wentz, Beverly Bambury, Donald Montgomery
A. A. JankiewiczSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMVaughan WestWorldbuilding 201All fiction is speculative. Panelists will discuss the process and fundamentals of realistic world-building, including how and when to combine imagined with real setting details for best effect.Arlene F. Marks, Ed Greenwood, A.A. Jankeweicz, Luke Maynard, J.M. Tibbott
A. A. JankiewiczSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMAuroraHow to Write a Series Without Losing Your Way (or your mind)Publishers love it when authors propose a series of books. But there's more to it than just writing one novel after another. This is a discussion about the nuts and bolts, the pitfalls and the rewards of diving into series fiction, provided by those who have been there (or still are).Arlene F. Marks (m), Julie Czerneda, Tanya Huff, Janet Kellough, A. A. Jankiewicz
A. A. JankiewiczSaturday6:00 PM7:00 PMMarkham BThe Art of WorldbuildingDo you like to create? Creating fictional properties can seem like an overwhelming task. Do you begin from the small village or city and work your way out, or do you think of the grand schemes of the universe that govern your world and work your way all the way down to the very house your characters will start in? Learn a few tips on making your worlds make sense.Thomas Gofton (m), Karl Schroeder, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, A.A. Jankiewicz, Sarah WaterRaven, Amanda Sun
A. A. JankiewiczSaturday9:00 PM11:00 PM1080Brave New Girls (A.A. Jankiewicz & Lisa Toohey)A. A. Jankiewicz
A.A. JankiewiczSunday12:00 PM12:30 PMButtonvilleReading: A.A. JankiewiczA. A. Jankiewicz
Adam ShaftoeFriday9:00 PM10:00 PMAuroraStar Wars, the Final MovieStar Wars Episode IX - Can the beloved saga conclude in a way that will satisfy fans?Adam Shaftoe (m), Kari Maaren, Luke Maynard, James Bambury, Melissa Small
Adam ShaftoeFriday11:00 PM12:00 AMAuroraJames and Adam NanoConLate Night Comedy, with James and AdamJames Bambury, Adam Shaftoe
Adam ShaftoeSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMAuroraTo Boldly Make Discovery in the ExpanseStar Trek lives on, in two contrasting seasons of Discovery and (to a degree), The Orville. The Expanse, meanwhile, takes a starkly different view of future space exploration, one more in keeping with contemporary SF writing. What do the differing approaches bring to our understanding of SF and our own possible futures?



JD DeLuzio (m), Eric Choi, Adam Shaftoe, David Clink, Paul Roberts, Gillian Clinton
Adam ShaftoeSaturday10:00 PM11:00 PMOakville2019 - is this the peak?2019 - is this the peak, with so many series coming to an end this year? Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Marvel's MCU, Big Bang TheoryAdam Shaftoe (m), Elizabeth Hirst
Alan PollardSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMVaughanMorva Bowman and Alan Pollard ConcertMorva and Alan perform an eclectic mix of classic and not so classic filk mixed with some folk tunes. Music written by artists across Canada, the US and the UK. Subjects include Valentina Tereshkova, fairy tale daughters, Bletchley Park, Arthurian legend, and sirens. (Not all in one song, sadly!) And we love it when people sing along!Morva Bowman, Alan Pollard
Alan PollardSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughanEarth to the Moon - 50th AnniversaryThis month we look back fifty years to the day mankind first reached the moon, walked on its surface, and returned safely to Earth.  Our multimedia presentation tells the story of manned space exploration in the West through narration, iconic images, and classic original songs.  Presented by an ensemble of performers.Judith Hayman, Howard Scrmgeour, Devin Melanson, Christie de Souza, Stone Dragons, Faithful Sidekicks, Morva Bowman and Alan Pollard, Janet Julian
Alan PollardSunday2:00 PM4:00 PMKingStory and Song: Songs Inspired by Genre AuthorsAuthors will do short readings of their own or other works followed by a song inspired by that story, novel or poem, performed by the song-writer.Sue Jeffers (M), Phil Mills, Judith Hayman, Tom Jeffers, Jane Garthson, Morva Bowman, Alan Pollard, Tanya Huff, James Alan Gardner, others tbd
Amanda SunFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham AKeeping a Canadian identity in an American worldHow to keep your Canadian identity as a writer in an American market. Should you let some things go and fight for others?Stephanie Bardy (m), MJ Moores, Robert J. Sawyer, Tanya Huff, Amanda Sun, Douglas Smith
Amanda SunSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMMarkham ASci-Fi and Fantasy for Young AdultsThe Katniss Everdeens. The Beatrice Priors. The Meg Murrys. Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy has had its fair share of strong female leads (as well as some poorly written ones, of course). We all know the girl who's "not like everyone else" and is the chosen one to save the day. But why has it been in mostly dystopian or paranormal fiction? And why is there almost always a romance? Come join us as we discuss feminism and YA SFF. We'll talk about what trends we've seen in the past, and how, if at all, we believe the YA genre is progressing in its female-lead SFF stories. Rebecca Diem (m), Avi Silver, Cathy Hird, Melissa Small, Kari Maaren, Amanda Sun
Amanda SunSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughan WestGet an editor!It can be hard to accept an editor's comments. Why do authors need those outside eyes? Why do authors find it hard to follow editors' suggestions. Panelists will talk about their strategies for interpreting the comments of editors.Cathy Hird (m), James Alan Gardner, Kit Daven, Mike Rimar, Elizabeth Hirst, Amanda Sun
Amanda SunSaturday4:00 PM6:00 PMAuroraTales from the PlexisJulie Czerneda, Roger Czerneda, Tanya Huff
Amanda SunSaturday6:00 PM7:00 PMMarkham BThe Art of WorldbuildingDo you like to create? Creating fictional properties can seem like an overwhelming task. Do you begin from the small village or city and work your way out, or do you think of the grand schemes of the universe that govern your world and work your way all the way down to the very house your characters will start in? Learn a few tips on making your worlds make sense.Thomas Gofton (m), Karl Schroeder, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, A.A. Jankieweicz, Sarah WaterRaven, Amanda Sun
Amanda SunSunday10:00 AM11:00 AMOakridgesHow to Solve Writers' BlockDiscussion by panel on times they have been stymied by writers block, how long it lasted, what they did to ease it, and what they plan on doing in the future to avoid it.M. J. Moores (m), Amanda Sun, Douglas Smith, Karina Sumner-Smith, Maaja Wentz,
Amanda SunSunday3:00 PM4:00 PMAuroraI Hate Common: Exploring Language in Spec FicTired of monolingual fantasy empires? Want to show off the diversity of your multi-species space colony? This panel will discuss the ways language and linguistics can be used to enrich worldbuilding and create interesting conflict in everything from novels to TTRPG campaigns. We'll spend time both on language as a plot device and on tips for creating your own fictional languages!Sienna Tristen (m). Cameron S. Currie, Amanda Sun, Luke Maynard
Andre LievenSaturday9:00 PM10:00 PMOakvilleThe DC Cinematic Universe: What Works and What Doesn'tA discussion of the DC movies to date, with thoughts on what has worked, what has not, ideas on how the parts that didn't work could have been made better, and what story opportunities could have thus been opened up. Andre Lieven (m), David Clink, James Bambury, Luke Maynard, Fingers Delaurus
Arlene F. MarksFriday9:00 PM10:00 PMMarkham ASeriously, I Want to be Taken SeriouslyThere is humourous science fiction and there is serious science fiction. But what if you don't want to write either Hitchiker's Guide to the Universe or 1984, but something in between? How do you add humour and comic relief to a basically serious novel? How do you make them laugh while still being taken seriously? Should you even try to blend humour with a serious subject?Jane Ann McLachlan (m), James Alan Gardner, Arlene Marks, Jen Frankel
Arlene F. MarksSaturday10:00 AM11:00 AMButtonvilleReading: Arlene Marks & J.M. TibbottArlene Marks & J.M. Tibbott
Arlene F. MarksSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMVaughan WestResearch before you WriteDiscussion of the value of research and where to go to find almost anything you need.Arlene F. Marks (m), Tanya Huff, Elizabeth Hirst, Beverly Bambury, Janet Kellough, Tony Pi
Arlene F. MarksSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMVaughan WestWorldbuilding 201All fiction is speculative. Panelists will discuss the process and fundamentals of realistic world-building, including how and when to combine imagined with real setting details for best effect.Arlene F. Marks, Ed Greenwood, A.A. Jankeweicz, Luke Maynard, J.M. Tibbott
Arlene F. MarksSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMAuroraHow to Write a Series Without Losing Your Way (or your mind)Publishers love it when authors propose a series of books. But there's more to it than just writing one novel after another. This is a discussion about the nuts and bolts, the pitfalls and the rewards of diving into series fiction, provided by those who have been there (or still are).Arlene F. Marks (m), Julie Czerneda, Tanya Huff, Janet Kellough, A. A. Jankiewicz
Arlene F. MarksSaturday4:00 PM5:00 PMMarkham BMi Setting, Su SettingOne author setting a story in another author's established universe is not a new idea. Edgar Rice Burroughs and Otis Adalbert Kline were doing it at the turn of the twentieth century. Their incursions into each other's space were the farthest thing from fan fiction; nowadays, things are a lot friendlier. Authors with experience at writing in shared settings will discuss the ins and outs of this unique kind of collaboration, as well as its pitfalls and etiquette.Ed Greenwood (m), Avi Silver, Sienna Tristen, J.M. Tibbott, Arlene F. Marks
Arlene F. MarksSaturday5:00 PM6:00 PMMarkham BTroubleshooting Your ManuscriptYou only get one chance to make a good first impression. Before submitting that manuscript to a prospective agent or editor, make sure it's the best that it can be, using these revision, editing and proofreading tips from a panel of authors and editors.Arlene F. Marks (m), Herb Kauderur, Vanessa Ricci-Thode
Arlene F. MarksSunday10:00 AM11:00 AMAuroraHow to Give Your Story LegsStories travel on two legs, just as we do. In this workshop, led by a veteran writing instructor, participants will learn how to coordinate conflict and suspense to create the texture and dramatic tension that editors are looking for.Arlene F. Marks
Arlene F. MarksSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMMarkham BEye of the Tiger, Hide of the RhinoA sharing of strategies for dealing with rejection in all its forms, including bad reviews, form letter "no, thanks" from publishers, and unsupportive friends and family members.Arlene F. Marks (m), Jane Ann McLachlan, J.M. Tibbott, Kit Daven, Douglas Smith, Karina Sumner-Smith
Arlene F. MarksSunday2:00 PM3:00 PMOakridgesDocumenting AliensReaders and viewers want to see fully-fleshed, believable alien characters in their speculative fiction, including in main roles. But protagonists have to be relatable. How can you create a realistic, sympathetic alien protagonist who won't come across as a human in a costume? Attend this panel discussion and find out. Arlene F. Marks (m), Jane Ann McLachlan, Costi Gurgu, JD DeLuzio, Catherine Fitzsimmons, Donald Montgomery
Avi SilverSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMMarkham ASci-Fi and Fantasy for Young AdultsThe Katniss Everdeens. The Beatrice Priors. The Meg Murrys. Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy has had its fair share of strong female leads (as well as some poorly written ones, of course). We all know the girl who's "not like everyone else" and is the chosen one to save the day. But why has it been in mostly dystopian or paranormal fiction? And why is there almost always a romance? Come join us as we discuss feminism and YA SFF. We'll talk about what trends we've seen in the past, and how, if at all, we believe the YA genre is progressing in its female-lead SFF stories. Rebecca Diem (m), Avi Silver, Cathy Hird, Melissa Small, Kari Maaren, Amanda Sun
Avi SilverSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMOakridgesSpeculative Gender: How Heteronormativity is Holding Back Your FictionWhen creating a story, writers often dive into worldbuilding through language, religion, fashion, etc. but fail to explore an exciting opportunity—gender systems! What if sex and gender weren’t societally correlated? What if being trans wasn’t automatically stigmatized? What if your human civilization (not just your aliens!) had nonbinary gender roles? On this panel, we will explore the benefits of expanding your worldbuilding beyond binary notions of gender, and how doing so can elevate your spec fic.Sienna Tristen (m), Avi Silver, Derwin Mak, Jen Frankel
Avi SilverSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMVaughan WestIndie Author Marketing 101Congratulations, you've published a book! Now, it's time to put on your "boss" hat and tell the "art director" to scram. Gain some insight on how small press and self-published authors are able to help bolster their income with tips and tricks of the trade.MJ Moores (m) , Sarah WaterRaven, Avi Silver, Beverly Bambury, Kit Daven, Marilyn Klieber, Rebecca Diem
Avi SilverSaturday4:00 PM5:00 PMMarkham BMi Setting, Su SettingOne author setting a story in another author's established universe is not a new idea. Edgar Rice Burroughs and Otis Adalbert Kline were doing it at the turn of the twentieth century. Their incursions into each other's space were the farthest thing from fan fiction; nowadays, things are a lot friendlier. Authors with experience at writing in shared settings will discuss the ins and outs of this unique kind of collaboration, as well as its pitfalls and etiquette.Ed Greenwood (m), Avi Silver, Sienna Tristen, J.M. Tibbott, Arlene F. Marks
Avi SilverSaturday6:00 PM8:00 PM1080Two Dark Moons (The Shale Project)Avi Silver
Avi SilverSaturday8:00 PM9:00 PMMarkham BWriting Animals in Speculative FictionEverybody focuses on the human characters in a story, but animal characters can add an extra layer to the narrative. Animal characters can add humour, heart and much-needed tension to a story, and help tap into new potential audiences. Join our panel of authors as they discuss their treatment of animals in their stories, and their approach to writing them well. Elizabeth Hirst (m), Avi Silver, Catherine Fitzsimmons
Avi SilverSunday2:00 PM3:00 PMAuroraMental Health and FandomSunday afternoon discussion about mental illness challenges and how science fiction helps or hinders coping with them.Patrick McDonald (m), Avi Silver, Vanessa Ricci-Thode
Beverly BamburySaturday10:00 AM11:00 AMMarkham APublishing 101Are you ready to take your manuscript to the next level? Wondering what path is right for you? Do you know your path but navigating it feels like the rapids before going head-long over a waterfall? Join us as we walk you through traditional publishing, self-publishing, and being a hybrid author. Come with your questions and finally get some answers.MJ Moores (m), Vanessa Ricci-Thode, A. A. Jankiewicz, Maaja Wentz, Beverly Bambury, Donald Montgomery
Beverly BamburySaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMVaughan WestResearch before you WriteDiscussion of the value of research and where to go to find almost anything you need.Arlene F. Marks (m), Tanya Huff, Elizabeth Hirst, Beverly Bambury, Janet Kellough, Tony Pi
Beverly BamburySaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMVaughan WestIndie Author Marketing 101Congratulations, you've published a book! Now, it's time to put on your "boss" hat and tell the "art director" to scram. Gain some insight on how small press and self-published authors are able to help bolster their income with tips and tricks of the trade.MJ Moores (m) , Sarah WaterRaven, Avi Silver, Beverly Bambury, Kit Daven, Marilyn Klieber, Rebecca Diem
Beverly BamburySaturday4:00 PM5:00 PMMarkham AThe Business of being a WriterSo you are starting out as a writer. Can you deduct those expenses from your taxes? Do you have to register a business name? What about getting paid from another country? How do I.... ? Should I... ? Can I.... ? Our panelists are here to help answer your questions!Larry Hancock (m), Robert J. Sawyer, Janet Kellough, Beverly Bambury
Beverly BamburySaturday6:00 PM7:00 PMOakridgesHow to publish a beautiful novel with a limited budgetSelf-publishing has more credibility and more advantages than ever. But we've all seen disasters with hideous covers and terrible formatting. How do you create a professional-looking book when you don't have the budget to hire a design team? Learn tips and tricks to make a book that looks just as good on the shelf as a book by a major imprint.Catherine Fitzsimmons (m), Cameron S. Currie, MJ Moores, Maaja Wentz, Beverly Bambury
Cameron S. CurrieSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMOakridgesHe don't know talkin' good like usNot every character speaks like an Oxford scholar, and accents and other quirks of dialogue help bring a character to life. But is it y'all or ya'll? How do you write a Scottish brogue that doesn't need translation? Even when you're breaking the grammar rules, there are conventions to follow. Learn to write dialogue that sounds natural and is also clear to read.Catherine Fitzsimmons (m), Cameron S. Currie, James Alan Gardner, Elizabeth Hirst, Tony Pi
Cameron S. CurrieSaturday6:00 PM7:00 PMOakridgesHow to publish a beautiful novel with a limited budgetSelf-publishing has more credibility and more advantages than ever. But we've all seen disasters with hideous covers and terrible formatting. How do you create a professional-looking book when you don't have the budget to hire a design team? Learn tips and tricks to make a book that looks just as good on the shelf as a book by a major imprint.Catherine Fitzsimmons (m), Cameron S. Currie, MJ Moores, Maaja Wentz, Beverly Bambury
Cameron S. CurrieSaturday7:00 PM8:00 PMOakridgesHow villainous is the villain: pencil-thin moustaches and black hatsWhat is the difference between a cartoonish villain and one who is a real challenge for the hero, a real threat to the world, and a real treat to read?Cameron S. Currie (m), Jen Frankel, James Alan Gardner, Ika Mudzar, Matt Moore
Cameron S. CurrieSunday12:30 PM1:00 PMButtonvilleReading: Cameron S. CurrieCameron S. Currie
Cameron S. CurrieSunday3:00 PM4:00 PMAuroraI Hate Common: Exploring Language in Spec FicTired of monolingual fantasy empires? Want to show off the diversity of your multi-species space colony? This panel will discuss the ways language and linguistics can be used to enrich worldbuilding and create interesting conflict in everything from novels to TTRPG campaigns. We'll spend time both on language as a plot device and on tips for creating your own fictional languages!Sienna Tristen (m). Cameron S. Currie, Amanda Sun, Luke Maynard
Caro SolesSunday11:00 AM12:00 PMOakridgesCrowdfunding StrategiesSo you want to fund your film, book, game or invention? Come to this panel and hear the tricks, tips, downfalls and reality of making your next level maneuver in crowdfunding. Learn about the different platforms, styles and methods to help you gain maximum success.Thomas Gofton (m), Caro Soles
Catherine FitzsimmonsSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMVaughan EastWriting fight scenesThere's nothing more exciting to read than a well-executed fight scene, but nothing more mood-killing tha a badly written one. How do you write a good one? Where do you start, and stop? How do you make it both more interesting and believable? We'll break down the elements of a good fight scene in this panel and share examples of great ones. Catherine Fitzsimmons (m), Herb Kauderer, Jen Frankel, Mike Rimar, Ian Keeling
Catherine FitzsimmonsSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMOakridgesHe don't know talkin' good like usNot every character speaks like an Oxford scholar, and accents and other quirks of dialogue help bring a character to life. But is it y'all or ya'll? How do you write a Scottish brogue that doesn't need translation? Even when you're breaking the grammar rules, there are conventions to follow. Learn to write dialogue that sounds natural and is also clear to read.Catherine Fitzsimmons (m), Cameron S. Currie, James Alan Gardner, Elizabeth Hirst, Tony Pi
Catherine FitzsimmonsSaturday6:00 PM7:00 PMOakridgesHow to publish a beautiful novel with a limited budgetSelf-publishing has more credibility and more advantages than ever. But we've all seen disasters with hideous covers and terrible formatting. How do you create a professional-looking book when you don't have the budget to hire a design team? Learn tips and tricks to make a book that looks just as good on the shelf as a book by a major imprint.Catherine Fitzsimmons (m), Cameron S. Currie, MJ Moores, Maaja Wentz, Beverly Bambury
Catherine FitzsimmonsSaturday8:00 PM9:00 PMMarkham BWriting Animals in Speculative FictionEverybody focuses on the human characters in a story, but animal characters can add an extra layer to the narrative. Animal characters can add humour, heart and much-needed tension to a story, and help tap into new potential audiences. Join our panel of authors as they discuss their treatment of animals in their stories, and their approach to writing them well. Elizabeth Hirst (m), Avi Silver, Catherine Fitzsimmons
Catherine FitzsimmonsSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMAuroraCreating Extraordinary CreaturesDiscussion of the tips for designing creatures, finding names, modeling after our own fauna, using imagination, and finalizing creating a mystery around them.Ed Greenwood (m), Julie Czerneda, James Alan Gardner, Costi Gurgu, Catherine Fitzsimmons, Sarah WaterRaven
Catherine FitzsimmonsSunday1:30 PM2:00 PMButtonvilleReading: Catherine FitzsimmonsCatherine Fitzsimmons
Catherine FitzsimmonsSunday2:00 PM3:00 PMOakridgesDocumenting AliensReaders and viewers want to see fully-fleshed, believable alien characters in their speculative fiction, including in main roles. But protagonists have to be relatable. How can you create a realistic, sympathetic alien protagonist who won't come across as a human in a costume? Attend this panel discussion and find out. Arlene F. Marks (m), Jane Ann McLachlan, Costi Gurgu, JD DeLuzio, Catherine Fitzsimmons, Donald Montgomery
Cathy HirdFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMAuroraPagans, Heathens and Polytheists, Oh My!Non-monotheist religions have been around since before humans began to write 5600 years ago. In the Western world, within literature and media, more and more there is a move to incorporate these myths, deities and practices, as well as invent others. What makes these belief structures so appealing to write about or even discover as a spiritual path? How to ensure that your writing rings true to these ancient, and often misrepresented faiths? Moira Scott (m), Evan Dales, Sarah WaterRaven, Cathy Hird, Derwin Mak
Cathy HirdSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMMarkham ASci-Fi and Fantasy for Young AdultsThe Katniss Everdeens. The Beatrice Priors. The Meg Murrys. Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy has had its fair share of strong female leads (as well as some poorly written ones, of course). We all know the girl who's "not like everyone else" and is the chosen one to save the day. But why has it been in mostly dystopian or paranormal fiction? And why is there almost always a romance? Come join us as we discuss feminism and YA SFF. We'll talk about what trends we've seen in the past, and how, if at all, we believe the YA genre is progressing in its female-lead SFF stories. Rebecca Diem (m), Avi Silver, Cathy Hird, Melissa Small, Kari Maaren, Amanda Sun
Cathy HirdSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughan WestGet an editor!It can be hard to accept an editor's comments. Why do authors need those outside eyes? Why do authors find it hard to follow editors' suggestions. Panelists will talk about their strategies for interpreting the comments of editors.Cathy Hird (m), James Alan Gardner, Kit Daven, Mike Rimar, Elizabeth Hirst, Amanda Sun
Cathy HirdSaturday3:00 PM4:00 PMOakvilleSixties Sci-fiThis panel will talk about the best and worst of science fiction writing and television. What we go back to read and watch; what we avoid like the plague; what we both love and hate.Cathy Hird (m), David Clink, Herb Kauderer, Derwin Mak, Jeff Beeler
Cathy HirdSaturday7:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham BWriting About the Middle AgesOne common thread across the range of speculative fiction is the use of medieval, or medieval-like, settings. From fantasy to paranormal to historical fantasy and historical realism to time-travel science fiction, authors of speculative fiction have been drawn to write about or place their stories in this time period. What about the Middle (or Dark) Ages appeals to writers of all types of speculative fiction? How can we "get it right" - or is getting it right even necessary?Jane Ann McLachlan (m), Cathy Hird, Herb Kauderer, Luke Maynard
Cathy HirdSaturday9:00 PM10:00 PMAuroraWho gets to go?With space tourism on the horizon for the richest, who do writers imagine will be the first colonists? Some writers imagine new colonies as a way to deal with overpopulation on Earth. Some imagine countries on Earth sending their people into the stars. How do writers answer this question? What do we think may actually happen? Cathy Hird (m), Herb Kauderer
Chris ClarkeSaturday7:00 PM7:30 PMVaughanChris Clarke ConcertChris has been writing music for 15 years and will be performing his own original music including songs inspired by the fantastic works of CS Lewis, Vampire and Zombie movies, D&D Adventures and one or two less geeky songs! He combines social awareness and humour with solid vocals and pick & slap rhythm for a fun and folky listener's experience.Chris Clarke
Chris WarrilowFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham BWeapons in SFWeapons in the world of SciFi have fantastic properties and ingenious designs, such as the Star Fleet Phaser, the Klingon Bat'leth, the Star Wars light saber and Logan's Run Sandman Pistol. How are these weapons used, in combat or as part of the story? Are they possible in this world?Chris Warrilow (m)
Christie de SouzaSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughanEarth to the Moon - 50th AnniversaryThis month we look back fifty years to the day mankind first reached the moon, walked on its surface, and returned safely to Earth.  Our multimedia presentation tells the story of manned space exploration in the West through narration, iconic images, and classic original songs.  Presented by an ensemble of performers.Judith Hayman, Howard Scrmgeour, Devin Melanson, Christie de Souza, Stone Dragons, Faithful Sidekicks, Morva Bowman and Alan Pollard, Janet Julian
Christina CarrFriday6:00 PM7:00 PMMarkham BSteampunk. Future PastInto Murdoch Mysteries, Jules Verne or Wild Wild West? Well come on over to this information presentation of making Steampunk Gadgets, costume pieces and meet our Mechanical pup, MUT. We will go over painting techniques, mechanics and the joys of stuffing yourself into a corset.Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Christina CarrFriday8:00 PM9:00 PMMarkham BTranslating a costume from the pages of a bookBring with you your favourite book and the passage(s) that best describes the character you are trying to recreate and we will assist you in suggesting materials, interpreting colours and recommending techniques. DO the graphic novel thing or comic book and there is just something that looks impossible? Bring that instead and make sure you pre bookmark 2-4 pages that show the costume the most. We have years experience trying to interpret artist renderings and director/Props head descriptions to produce what they are after. Allow us to make some suggestions that may clear your head a little. Due to limit in time we will ask you to sign in when you arrive. First come, first looked at. And please be curious to the others in the room by focussing and taking notes (or recording) so that we can move ahead.Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Christina CarrFriday9:00 PM10:00 PMMarkham BDon't Poke the LionLife when you've been in the entertainment industry since childhood and are going through Perimenopause, can get interesting enough, but add being a geek and a maker, you have an unusually strong mess. Time to get this out there. If you miss me here, find me on Facebook as Don't Poke the LionChristina Carr
Christina CarrSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMMarkham BProduction to CosplayFrom Stargate to Legends of Tomorrow's ATOM armour; Cyclop's Visor to Diggle's Helmet; Total Recall 2070 recall devices to Cody Banks modified iPod.... Come get a grasp as to how it was done on set to how you could do it for yourself. Whether you're replicating or are planning a career, best place to start is in your home and your heart. Select samples of both ‘homemade’ and production items will be presented.Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Christina CarrSaturday5:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham AMasquerade Green RoomJody Rodier (m), Lossien, Dayna the Sloth, Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Christina CarrSaturday8:30 PM9:30 PMMarkham AMasqueradeJody Rodier (m), Lossien, Dayna the Sloth, Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Christina CarrSunday11:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham BSurviving the Entertainment IndustryFor two people who never thought they’d still be doing this, they are still doing this. Come spend some time with CarrHunger as they take you through the stories that brought them into this lifestyle, their realities in this field and how they have gone through some of the best and the worse and come out the other side. Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Christina CarrSunday2:00 PM3:00 PMVaughanWings and ThingsWhether you are a cosplayer, prop maker or just want to impress this Hallowe'en, come learn the ins and outs of making wings, crowns, fake metal items, costume pieces and various other items to complete your next costume.Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Cliff GoldmanSaturday10:00 PM2:00 AMVaughanDanceSaturday Night DanceDSoL - Th'Elf, J-Man and DJ Dan
Cody CrainSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMKingCreating Communities Through PodcastingSo you either listen to podcasts, or host one yourself. Good, that means you're human. Podcasts are an exciting media platform, that give a voice to anyone who wants it. This panel will discuss how to get the most out of your podcasts by taking advantage of the ever-expanding podcast communities. Hosted by members of "The Sonar Network", Toronto's podcast collective.Michael Mongiardi, Cody Crain
Costi GurguSaturday1:00 PM1:30 PMButtonvilleReading: Costi GurguCosti Gurgu
Costi GurguSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMAuroraCreating Extraordinary CreaturesDiscussion of the tips for designing creatures, finding names, modeling after our own fauna, using imagination, and finalizing creating a mystery around them.Ed Greenwood (m), Julie Czerneda, James Alan Gardner, Costi Gurgu, Catherine Fitzsimmons, Sarah WaterRaven
Costi GurguSunday2:00 PM3:00 PMOakridgesDocumenting AliensReaders and viewers want to see fully-fleshed, believable alien characters in their speculative fiction, including in main roles. But protagonists have to be relatable. How can you create a realistic, sympathetic alien protagonist who won't come across as a human in a costume? Attend this panel discussion and find out. Arlene F. Marks (m), Jane Ann McLachlan, Costi Gurgu, JD DeLuzio, Catherine Fitzsimmons, Donald Montgomery
D Larry HancockSaturday8:00 PM9:00 PMOakvilleGraphic NovelThe popularity of the Graphic Novel is on the rise, but how does it compare to traditional novels?D Larry Hancock (m), Kari Maaren, Sarah WaterRaven, Lar deSouza
Danar BeacockSaturday10:00 PM2:00 AMVaughanDanceSaturday Night DanceDSoL - Th'Elf, J-Man and DJ Dan
Dayna the SlothFriday6:00 PM7:00 PMVaughan WestOpening CeremoniesMeet this year's guests of Honour and learn more about the fun things planned for this weekend. Hosted by the Ad Astra Chair, James Bade, and assorted ConCom.James Bade (m), Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Dayna the SlothFriday8:00 PM10:00 PM1073 (ConSuite)Walking Tacos - GoH Meet and GreetPlease visit our ConSuite for an infamous Walking Taco. Guests of Honour are invited to pop in during this time.Guest of Honour drop-in : Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Dayna the SlothSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMMarkham BIntroduction to Cosplay ArmorDayna the Sloth (m)
Dayna the SlothSaturday5:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham AMasquerade Green RoomJody Rodier (m), Lossien, Dayna the Sloth, Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Dayna the SlothSaturday8:30 PM9:30 PMVaughanMasqueradeJody Rodier (m), Lossien, Dayna the Sloth, Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Dayna the SlothSunday10:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham AGOH BrunchJoin Ad Astra's guests for Sunday morning Brunch. Tickets should be purchased online, but check with Registration Desk for limited onsite tickets.Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
David ClinkFriday10:00 PM11:00 PMAuroraGoT - did it end well?Game of Thrones - did it end well? Who should have ruled instead?David Clink (m), James Bambury, Jen Frankel, A.A. Jankiewicz, , Jeff Beeler
David ClinkSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMMarkham AThe Word PanelWords. They can portray a panoply of emotions. They can engage our imaginations. They can express complex ideas. They are what we use to communicate with each other, and they have power. The panel will explore how writers use words, choose words and, sometimes, abuse words. It is sure to be a panel not to be missed, snubbed, passed over, overlooked, unseen, or disregarded.David Clink (m), Ira Nayman, Robert J. Sawyer, Tanya Huff
David ClinkSaturday3:00 PM4:00 PMOakvilleSixties Sci-fiThis panel will talk about the best and worst of science fiction writing and television. What we go back to read and watch; what we avoid like the plague; what we both love and hate.Cathy Hird (m), David Clink, Herb Kauderer, Derwin Mak, Jeff Beeler
David ClinkSaturday9:00 PM10:00 PMOakvilleThe DC Cinematic Universe: What Works and What Doesn'tA discussion of the DC movies to date, with thoughts on what has worked, what has not, ideas on how the parts that didn't work could have been made better, and what story opportunities could have thus been opened up. Andre Lieven (m), David Clink, James Bambury, Luke Maynard, Fingers Delaurus
David StephensonFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMOakvilleTomorrow we fry.A discussion about the coming climate upheaval and how to survive it with a smile, while consuming beer at a dollar a can. David Stephenson, Paul Roberts, Karl Schroeder, Jeff Beeler
David StephensonFriday8:00 PM9:00 PMAuroraWhat Happened to Space TourismIt's been 15 years since Spaceship One first flew to space. At the time, commercial civilian tourist flights to space were only "a couple of years away" and still not a single paying passenger has been flown. What happened, what's going to happen and why.Eric Choi (m), Paul Roberts, David Stephenson, Gillian Clinton
David StephensonSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMAuroraFermi's Paradox by the authorThe phrase "Fermi's Paradox" was first printed under my name in 1977. Why can't we detect the activities of intelligent aliens in the galaxy? I will review the past and continuing quest to understand our place in the universe.David Stephenson
David StephensonSaturday7:00 PM8:00 PMAuroraWhat's New in New Space?20 year ago the was a rush of new companies planning to "do space differently". Some have prospered, some have not. What's the current state of the new space industry and what ahs happened to some of the old companies of this new industry?Eric Choi (m), David Stephenson, Gillian Clinton, Paul Roberts, Karl Schroeder
Derwin MakFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMAuroraPagans, Heathens and Polytheists, Oh My!Non-monotheist religions have been around since before humans began to write 5600 years ago. In the Western world, within literature and media, more and more there is a move to incorporate these myths, deities and practices, as well as invent others. What makes these belief structures so appealing to write about or even discover as a spiritual path? How to ensure that your writing rings true to these ancient, and often misrepresented faiths? Moira Scott (m), Evan Dales, Sarah WaterRaven, Cathy Hird, Derwin Mak
Derwin MakSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMOakridgesSpeculative Gender: How Heteronormativity is Holding Back Your FictionWhen creating a story, writers often dive into worldbuilding through language, religion, fashion, etc. but fail to explore an exciting opportunity—gender systems! What if sex and gender weren’t societally correlated? What if being trans wasn’t automatically stigmatized? What if your human civilization (not just your aliens!) had nonbinary gender roles? On this panel, we will explore the benefits of expanding your worldbuilding beyond binary notions of gender, and how doing so can elevate your spec fic.Sienna Tristen (m), Avi Silver, Derwin Mak, Jen Frankel
Derwin MakSaturday3:00 PM4:00 PMOakvilleSixties Sci-fiThis panel will talk about the best and worst of science fiction writing and television. What we go back to read and watch; what we avoid like the plague; what we both love and hate.Cathy Hird (m), David Clink, Herb Kauderer, Derwin Mak, Jeff Beeler
Derwin MakSunday1:00 PM1:30 PMButtonvilleReading: Derwin MakDerwin Mak
Devin MelansonFriday8:00 PM9:00 PMVaughanDevin Melanson and Friends ConcertDevin's secret alter ego is as a singer/songwriter/producer up in the hills of Ontario.  He will be sharing both his original Filk songs, as well as a standard song or two from the genre.  Expect songs about his favourite topics: dragons, technology, Emilia Airhart, board games, and other geeky pursuits. This concert is not scheduled* to contain any heavy metal music, and he will limit himself to just 18 strings.  *Schedule subject to change.Devin Melanson and Friends Concert
Devin MelansonSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMKingSound Engineering: Home recording tips and tricksThe home recording enthusiast usually has two constraints when trying to capture a great performance: - We are always on a budget for gear - We are always on a budget for time Come join a panel of successful of home "Pretend-Gineers" as they share their tips and tricks to getting the most sound out of the least space and bank account. Hardware, software, and techniques will be presented for the composing/recording/mixing/mastering process. We sincerely hope you can steal some useful ideas!Devin Melanson (m), Eric Distad, Tom Jeffers, Ken Lalonde, Rand Bellavia
Devin MelansonSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMKingSound Engineering: Setting up a recording spaceYour audio message may be music, podcast, voice over, or narration. And your fans want to hear this message... but not necessarily the dog, laundry machine, or the neighbour's stereo. A panel of home recording enthusiasts discuss and demonstrate their favourite ways to create a recording space. They will share strategies from "Mild to Wild" when it comes to setting up your little corner of audio creation!Tom Jeffers (m), Devin Melanson, Eric Distad, Phil Mills
Devin MelansonSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughanEarth to the Moon - 50th AnniversaryThis month we look back fifty years to the day mankind first reached the moon, walked on its surface, and returned safely to Earth.  Our multimedia presentation tells the story of manned space exploration in the West through narration, iconic images, and classic original songs.  Presented by an ensemble of performers.Judith Hayman, Howard Scrmgeour, Devin Melanson, Christie de Souza, Stone Dragons, Faithful Sidekicks, Morva Bowman and Alan Pollard, Janet Julian
Doc MorganFriday9:00 PM11:00 PM1062Steampunk Gaming EveningCome join the Toronto Steampunk Society for an evening of Steampunk Gaming. You will have the opportunity to play the Abney Park game “Terror of the Skies”, Steampunk Munchkin, Edison, Ticket to Ride, and a few surprises as members dig through their gaming chests and bring out some of their Steamy favourites. Come on out and enjoy a fun evening while terrorizing the skies or building your own railroad empire.TSS: Doc Morgan, Todd Clark
Doc MorganSaturday3:00 PM5:00 PM1062Steampunk Tesla Charity TeaFancy a lovely spot of tea apart from the delightful hubbub of the main con? Come and join the Toronto Steampunk Society and guests for the Tesla Charity Tea in support of Autism Ontario. There will be readings, games, the ever popular Tea Duelling, a raffle, and polite conversation. And, of course, there will be tea, sample a selection of outstanding teas generously supplied by Galaxy Teas. All this for a suggested charity donation of at least $5. Steampunk attire is optional. TSS: Doc Morgan, Todd Clark
Doc MorganSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMOakridgesReasons to NOT Buy a 3D PrinterA tongue in cheek look at some of the common misunderstandings about 3D printing, the basics of the technology, and what these amazing devices can and cannot do for you. The panel will include a live 3D printing demonstration, examples of 3D printed items and will leave plenty of time for your questions.Doc Morgan (m)
Doc MorganSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMMarkham BSteampunk Culture and FictionMost of us have heard the term “Steampunk”, but many do not know much about the origins of the genre nor the range and depth of Steampunk culture The panel start with a general introduction to Steampunk and will include an interactive session with the audience exploring Steampunk literature.Doc Morgan, Todd Clark
Donald MontgomerySaturday10:00 AM11:00 AMMarkham APublishing 101Are you ready to take your manuscript to the next level? Wondering what path is right for you? Do you know your path but navigating it feels like the rapids before going head-long over a waterfall? Join us as we walk you through traditional publishing, self-publishing, and being a hybrid author. Come with your questions and finally get some answers.MJ Moores (m), Vanessa Ricci-Thode, A. A. Jankiewicz, Maaja Wentz, Beverly Bambury, Donald Montgomery
Donald MontgomerySaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham AAppealing to an Aging ReadershipScience fiction used to be the fiction of young, inquiring, future-minded readers. But now more and more those younger readers interested in speculative fiction are slipping away to fantasy and paranormal fiction. Looking out an a con, we see more and more 'mature' faces. How can we write to this loyal audience? What ideas, themes, plots and characters appeal to them?Jane Ann McLachlan (m), Vanessa Ricci-Thode, Donald Montgomery
Donald MontgomerySaturday4:00 PM6:00 PMAuroraTales from the PlexisJulie Czerneda, Roger Czerneda, Tanya Huff
Donald MontgomerySunday2:00 PM3:00 PMOakridgesDocumenting AliensReaders and viewers want to see fully-fleshed, believable alien characters in their speculative fiction, including in main roles. But protagonists have to be relatable. How can you create a realistic, sympathetic alien protagonist who won't come across as a human in a costume? Attend this panel discussion and find out. Arlene F. Marks (m), Jane Ann McLachlan, Costi Gurgu, JD DeLuzio, Catherine Fitzsimmons, Donald Montgomery
Douglas SmithFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham AKeeping a Canadian identity in an American worldHow to keep your Canadian identity as a writer in an American market. Should you let some things go and fight for others?Stephanie Bardy (m), MJ Moores, Robert J. Sawyer, Tanya Huff, Amanda Sun, Douglas Smith
Douglas SmithFriday8:00 PM9:00 PMMarkham AHow to Edit like a ProDiscussion of all of the tips and tricks of editing your manuscript so that your final professional editor has a clean and clear manuscript to work from. Discuss the savings of time, frustration and , of course, money.J.M. Tibbott (m), Julie Czerneda, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, Sienna Tristan, MJ Moores, Douglas Smith
Douglas SmithSaturday1:30 PM2:00 PMButtonvilleReading: Douglas SmithDouglas Smith
Douglas SmithSunday10:00 AM11:00 AMOakridgesHow to Solve Writers' BlockDiscussion by panel on times they have been stymied by writers block, how long it lasted, what they did to ease it, and what they plan on doing in the future to avoid it.M. J. Moores (m), Amanda Sun, Douglas Smith, Karina Sumner-Smith, Maaja Wentz,
Douglas SmithSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMMarkham BEye of the Tiger, Hide of the RhinoA sharing of strategies for dealing with rejection in all its forms, including bad reviews, form letter "no, thanks" from publishers, and unsupportive friends and family members.Arlene F. Marks (m), Jane Ann McLachlan, J.M. Tibbott, Kit Daven, Douglas Smith, Karina Sumner-Smith
Ed GreenwoodFriday6:00 PM7:00 PMVaughan WestOpening CeremoniesMeet this year's guests of Honour and learn more about the fun things planned for this weekend. Hosted by the Ad Astra Chair, James Bade, and assorted ConCom.James Bade (m), Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Ed GreenwoodFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMButtonvilleReading / Autograph - Ed GreenwoodEd Greenwood
Ed GreenwoodFriday8:00 PM10:00 PM1073 (ConSuite)Walking Tacos - GoH Meet and GreetPlease visit our ConSuite for an infamous Walking Taco. Guests of Honour are invited to pop in during this time.Guest of Honour drop-in : Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Ed GreenwoodSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMVaughan WestWorldbuilding 201All fiction is speculative. Panelists will discuss the process and fundamentals of realistic world-building, including how and when to combine imagined with real setting details for best effect.Arlene F. Marks, Ed Greenwood, A.A. Jankeweicz, Luke Maynard, J.M. Tibbott
Ed GreenwoodSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughan EastPast GoH Hour - Ed GreenwoodAutographs to follow - Vaughan EastEd Greenwood
Ed GreenwoodSaturday4:00 PM5:00 PMMarkham BMi Setting, Su SettingOne author setting a story in another author's established universe is not a new idea. Edgar Rice Burroughs and Otis Adalbert Kline were doing it at the turn of the twentieth century. Their incursions into each other's space were the farthest thing from fan fiction; nowadays, things are a lot friendlier. Authors with experience at writing in shared settings will discuss the ins and outs of this unique kind of collaboration, as well as its pitfalls and etiquette.Ed Greenwood (m), Avi Silver, Sienna Tristen, J.M. Tibbott, Arlene F. Marks
Ed GreenwoodSunday10:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham AGOH BrunchJoin Ad Astra's guests for Sunday morning Brunch. Tickets should be purchased online, but check with Registration Desk for limited onsite tickets.Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Ed GreenwoodSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMAuroraCreating Extraordinary CreaturesDiscussion of the tips for designing creatures, finding names, modeling after our own fauna, using imagination, and finalizing creating a mystery around them.Ed Greenwood (m), Julie Czerneda, James Alan Gardner, Costi Gurgu, Catherine Fitzsimmons, Sarah WaterRaven
Elizabeth HirstSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMVaughan WestResearch before you WriteDiscussion of the value of research and where to go to find almost anything you need.Arlene F. Marks (m), Tanya Huff, Elizabeth Hirst, Beverly Bambury, Janet Kellough, Tony Pi
Elizabeth HirstSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughan WestGet an editor!It can be hard to accept an editor's comments. Why do authors need those outside eyes? Why do authors find it hard to follow editors' suggestions. Panelists will talk about their strategies for interpreting the comments of editors.Cathy Hird (m), James Alan Gardner, Kit Daven, Mike Rimar, Elizabeth Hirst, Amanda Sun
Elizabeth HirstSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMOakridgesHe don't know talkin' good like usNot every character speaks like an Oxford scholar, and accents and other quirks of dialogue help bring a character to life. But is it y'all or ya'll? How do you write a Scottish brogue that doesn't need translation? Even when you're breaking the grammar rules, there are conventions to follow. Learn to write dialogue that sounds natural and is also clear to read.Catherine Fitzsimmons (m), Cameron S. Currie, James Alan Gardner, Elizabeth Hirst, Tony Pi
Elizabeth HirstSaturday8:00 PM9:00 PMMarkham BWriting Animals in Speculative FictionEverybody focuses on the human characters in a story, but animal characters can add an extra layer to the narrative. Animal characters can add humour, heart and much-needed tension to a story, and help tap into new potential audiences. Join our panel of authors as they discuss their treatment of animals in their stories, and their approach to writing them well. Elizabeth Hirst (m), Avi Silver, Catherine Fitzsimmons
Elizabeth HirstSaturday10:00 PM11:00 PMOakville2019 - is this the peak?2019 - is this the peak, with so many series coming to an end this year? Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Marvel's MCU, Big Bang TheoryAdam Shaftoe (m), Elizabeth Hirst
Elizabeth HirstSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMOakville
Empowering Marginalized People Through HorrorHorror hasn't always had the best track record with representation or marginalized groups, and there are many examples of careless stories that contribute to racism, sexism and stigma against mental illness, among other issues. However, horror has also always had a thread of resistance running through it, from the first horror author, Mary Shelley, and her depiction of the monstrous implications of parenthood. A panel of diverse authors and fans will talk about how horror can amplify its tradition of resistance while avoiding tropes that are harmful to marginalized people, as well as looking at the ways that horror can bring hope to people experiencing adverse life circumstances or oppression. Elizabeth Hirst
Eric ChoiFriday6:00 PM7:00 PMVaughan WestOpening CeremoniesMeet this year's guests of Honour and learn more about the fun things planned for this weekend. Hosted by the Ad Astra Chair, James Bade, and assorted ConCom.James Bade (m), Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Eric ChoiFriday8:00 PM10:00 PM1073 (ConSuite)Walking Tacos - GoH Meet and GreetPlease visit our ConSuite for an infamous Walking Taco. Guests of Honour are invited to pop in during this time.Guest of Honour drop-in : Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Eric ChoiFriday8:00 PM9:00 PMOakvilleWhat Happened to Space TourismIt's been 15 years since Spaceship One first flew to space. At the time, commercial civilian tourist flights to space were only "a couple of years away" and still not a single paying passenger has been flown. What happened, what's going to happen and why.Eric Choi (m), Paul Roberts, David Stephenson, Gillian Clinton
Eric ChoiSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham BWe're Not AloneUp to date information and discussion about life beyond our planet. Reference article in March issue of National Geographic by Jamie Shreeve. How close are we to receiving definitive proof?Eric Choi (m), Gillian Clinton, Julie Czerneda, Karl Schroeder
Eric ChoiSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMAuroraTo Boldly Make Discovery in the ExpanseStar Trek lives on, in two contrasting seasons of Discovery and (to a degree), The Orville. The Expanse, meanwhile, takes a starkly different view of future space exploration, one more in keeping with contemporary SF writing. What do the differing approaches bring to our understanding of SF and our own possible futures?



JD DeLuzio (m), Eric Choi, Adam Shaftoe, Paul Roberts, Gillian Clinton
Eric ChoiSaturday7:00 PM8:00 PMAuroraWhat's New in New Space?20 year ago the was a rush of new companies planning to "do space differently". Some have prospered, some have not. What's the current state of the new space industry and what ahs happened to some of the old companies of this new industry?Eric Choi (m), David Stephenson, Gillian Clinton, Paul Roberts, Karl Schroeder
Eric ChoiSaturday8:00 PM9:00 PMAuroraAnd what would your Space TV Franchise look like?This panel will start with a general discussion, and then open up to the possibilities of various panelist and audience member's ideas for an SF franchise.JD DeLuzio (m), Eric Choi, Ira Nayman Fingers Delaurus, Jeff Beeler
Eric ChoiSunday10:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham AGOH BrunchJoin Ad Astra's guests for Sunday morning Brunch. Tickets should be purchased online, but check with Registration Desk for limited onsite tickets.Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Eric ChoiSunday2:00 PM3:00 PMMarkham APast GoH Hour - Eric ChoiAutographs to follow - Markham B
Eric Choi
Eric DistadFriday9:00 PM10:00 PMVaughanFaithful Sidekicks ConcertThe Faithful Sidekicks are the Filk/Geek Pop duo of Eric and Jen Distad. They write and perform an eclectic mix of original catchy songs about the geeky stuff they love from comedic pop songs like "Han Solo For President" to love songs written in SQL Code, and everything in between. They've been delighting audiences at Sci-Fi Conventions, Coffee Shops, and Clubs around the US and parts beyond since 2014. They have released two CDs, the most recent being "Achievement Unlocked".Eric & Jen Distad
Eric DistadSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMKingSound Engineering: Home recording tips and tricksThe home recording enthusiast usually has two constraints when trying to capture a great performance: - We are always on a budget for gear - We are always on a budget for time Come join a panel of successful of home "Pretend-Gineers" as they share their tips and tricks to getting the most sound out of the least space and bank account. Hardware, software, and techniques will be presented for the composing/recording/mixing/mastering process. We sincerely hope you can steal some useful ideas!Devin Melanson (m), Eric Distad, Tom Jeffers, Ken Lalonde, Rand Bellavia
Eric DistadSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMKingSound Engineering: Setting up a recording spaceYour audio message may be music, podcast, voice over, or narration. And your fans want to hear this message... but not necessarily the dog, laundry machine, or the neighbour's stereo. A panel of home recording enthusiasts discuss and demonstrate their favourite ways to create a recording space. They will share strategies from "Mild to Wild" when it comes to setting up your little corner of audio creation!Tom Jeffers (m), Devin Melanson, Eric Distad, Phil Mills
Eric DistadSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMKingWriters: Learn to Love the DeadlineDeadlines can be ominous and intimidating, but they can also be a tool to give your creativity and productivity a boost.  In this session we'll talk about the use of constraints to breed creativity and how timed writing challenges like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and FAWM (February Album Writing Month) can help you practice the art of writing and can make Deadlines a useful tool.Eric Distad (m), Kari Maaren, Phil Mills (+ 1-2 prose or poetry writer(s))
Erin BellaviaFriday10:00 PM11:00 PMVaughanVia Bella ConcertRand and Erin Bellavia will perform songs from their album The Way Of Beauty, dealing with fandoms such as The Princess Bride, A Wrinkle in Time, Seanan McGuire’s October Daye novels, Star Trek, and Agent Peggy Carter.  You might also hear a few of their “deconstructed” covers of popular songs.  (Okay, you’ll hear three.)  Feel the soft rock fury of Via Bella!Rand & Erin Bellavia
Erin BellaviaSaturday10:30 PM3:00 AMKingOpen FilkJoin a relaxed circle of people making music and laughing together. Bring songs or instruments or just come to listen. Circles are the heart of the filk community and where lasting friendships begin.Erin Bellavia & Jen Distad hosting (first hour)
Evan DalesFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMAuroraPagans, Heathens and Polytheists, Oh My!Non-monotheist religions have been around since before humans began to write 5600 years ago. In the Western world, within literature and media, more and more there is a move to incorporate these myths, deities and practices, as well as invent others. What makes these belief structures so appealing to write about or even discover as a spiritual path? How to ensure that your writing rings true to these ancient, and often misrepresented faiths? Moira Scott (m), Evan Dales, Sarah WaterRaven, Cathy Hird, Derwin Mak
Evan DalesSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMOakvilleHistory of WitchcraftWitches and witchcraft have been portrayed as a negative, harmful, or scary characters in writing, art, stage and screen through the centuries. From Goya to Shakespeare, to the Wizard of Oz, and modern paranormal novels, television and movies. Come learn where Witchcraft comes from, what it is, and why the Witch has become vilified over the centuries.Moira Scott (m), Stephanie Bardy, Evan Dales, Karen Dales
Faithful SidekicksSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughanEarth to the Moon - 50th AnniversaryThis month we look back fifty years to the day mankind first reached the moon, walked on its surface, and returned safely to Earth.  Our multimedia presentation tells the story of manned space exploration in the West through narration, iconic images, and classic original songs.  Presented by an ensemble of performers.Judith Hayman, Howard Scrmgeour, Devin Melanson, Christie de Souza, Stone Dragons, Faithful Sidekicks, Morva Bowman and Alan Pollard, Janet Julian
Fingers DelaurusSaturday8:00 PM9:00 PMAuroraAnd what would your Space TV Franchise look like?This panel will start with a general discussion, and then open up to the possibilities of various panelist and audience member's ideas for an SF franchise.JD DeLuzio (m), Eric Choi, Ira Nayman, Fingers Delaurus, Jeff Beeler
Fingers DelaurusSaturday9:00 PM10:00 PMOakvilleThe DC Cinematic Universe: What Works and What Doesn'tA discussion of the DC movies to date, with thoughts on what has worked, what has not, ideas on how the parts that didn't work could have been made better, and what story opportunities could have thus been opened up. Andre Lieven (m), David Clink, James Bambury, Luke Maynard, Fingers Delaurus
Gillian ClintonFriday8:00 PM9:00 PMOakvilleWhat Happened to Space TourismIt's been 15 years since Spaceship One first flew to space. At the time, commercial civilian tourist flights to space were only "a couple of years away" and still not a single paying passenger has been flown. What happened, what's going to happen and why.Eric Choi (m), Paul Roberts, David Stephenson, Gillian Clinton
Gillian ClintonSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham BWe're Not AloneUp to date information and discussion about life beyond our planet. Reference article in March issue of National Geographic by Jamie Shreeve. How close are we to receiving definitive proof?Eric Choi (m), Gillian Clinton, Julie Czerneda, Karl Schroeder
Gillian ClintonSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMAuroraTo Boldly Make Discovery in the ExpanseStar Trek lives on, in two contrasting seasons of Discovery and (to a degree), The Orville. The Expanse, meanwhile, takes a starkly different view of future space exploration, one more in keeping with contemporary SF writing. What do the differing approaches bring to our understanding of SF and our own possible futures?



JD DeLuzio (m), Eric Choi, Adam Shaftoe, Paul Roberts, Gillian Clinton
Gillian ClintonSaturday7:00 PM8:00 PMAuroraWhat's New in New Space?20 year ago the was a rush of new companies planning to "do space differently". Some have prospered, some have not. What's the current state of the new space industry and what ahs happened to some of the old companies of this new industry?Eric Choi (m), David Stephenson, Gillian Clinton, Paul Roberts, Karl Schroeder
Herb KaudererSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMVaughan EastWriting fight scenesThere's nothing more exciting to read than a well-executed fight scene, but nothing more mood-killing tha a badly written one. How do you write a good one? Where do you start, and stop? How do you make it both more interesting and believable? We'll break down the elements of a good fight scene in this panel and share examples of great ones. Catherine Fitzsimmons (m), Herb Kauderer, Jen Frankel, Mike Rimar, Ian Keeling
Herb KaudererSaturday3:00 PM4:00 PMOakvilleSixties Sci-fiThis panel will talk about the best and worst of science fiction writing and television. What we go back to read and watch; what we avoid like the plague; what we both love and hate.Cathy Hird (m), David Clink, Herb Kauderer, Derwin Mak, Jeff Beeler
Herb KaudererSaturday5:00 PM6:00 PMMarkham BTroubleshooting Your ManuscriptYou only get one chance to make a good first impression. Before submitting that manuscript to a prospective agent or editor, make sure it's the best that it can be, using these revision, editing and proofreading tips from a panel of authors and editors.Arlene F. Marks (m), Herb Kauderer, Vanessa Ricci-Thode
Herb KaudererSaturday7:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham BWriting About the Middle AgesOne common thread across the range of speculative fiction is the use of medieval, or medieval-like, settings. From fantasy to paranormal to historical fantasy and historical realism to time-travel science fiction, authors of speculative fiction have been drawn to write about or place their stories in this time period. What about the Middle (or Dark) Ages appeals to writers of all types of speculative fiction? How can we "get it right" - or is getting it right even necessary?Jane Ann McLachlan (m), Cathy Hird, Herb Kauderer, Luke Maynard
Herb KaudererSaturday9:00 PM10:00 PMAuroraWho gets to go?With space tourism on the horizon for the richest, who do writers imagine will be the first colonists? Some writers imagine new colonies as a way to deal with overpopulation on Earth. Some imagine countries on Earth sending their people into the stars. How do writers answer this question? What do we think may actually happen? Cathy Hird (m), Herb Kauderer
Howard ScrimgeourSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughanEarth to the Moon - 50th AnniversaryThis month we look back fifty years to the day mankind first reached the moon, walked on its surface, and returned safely to Earth.  Our multimedia presentation tells the story of manned space exploration in the West through narration, iconic images, and classic original songs.  Presented by an ensemble of performers.Judith Hayman, Howard Scrimgeour, Devin Melanson, Christie de Souza, Stone Dragons, Faithful Sidekicks, Morva Bowman and Alan Pollard, Janet Julian
Ian KeelingSaturday12:00 PM12:30 PMButtonvilleReading: Ian KeelingIan Keeling
Ian KeelingSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMVaughan EastWriting fight scenesThere's nothing more exciting to read than a well-executed fight scene, but nothing more mood-killing tha a badly written one. How do you write a good one? Where do you start, and stop? How do you make it both more interesting and believable? We'll break down the elements of a good fight scene in this panel and share examples of great ones. Catherine Fitzsimmons (m), Herb Kauderer, Jen Frankel, Mike Rimar, Ian Keeling
Ika Koeck (Mudzar)Saturday4:00 PM6:00 PMAuroraTales from the PlexisJulie Czerneda, Roger Czerneda, Tanya Huff
Ika Koeck (Mudzar)Saturday7:00 PM8:00 PMOakridgesHow villainous is the villain: pencil-thin moustaches and black hatsWhat is the difference between a cartoonish villain and one who is a real challenge for the hero, a real threat to the world, and a real treat to read?Cameron S. Currie (m), Jen Frankel, James Alan Gardner,Ika Koeck (Mudzar), Matt Moore
Ira NaymanSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMMarkham AThe Word PanelWords. They can portray a panoply of emotions. They can engage our imaginations. They can express complex ideas. They are what we use to communicate with each other, and they have power. The panel will explore how writers use words, choose words and, sometimes, abuse words. It is sure to be a panel not to be missed, snubbed, passed over, overlooked, unseen, or disregarded.David Clink (m), Ira Nayman, Robert J. Sawyer, Tanya Huff
Ira NaymanSaturday8:00 PM9:00 PMAuroraAnd what would your Space TV Franchise look like?This panel will start with a general discussion, and then open up to the possibilities of various panelist and audience member's ideas for an SF franchise.JD DeLuzio (m), Eric Choi, Ira Nayman, Fingers Delaurus, Jeff Beeler
J.M. TibbottFriday8:00 PM9:00 PMMarkham AHow to Edit like a ProDiscussion of all of the tips and tricks of editing your manuscript so that your final professional editor has a clean and clear manuscript to work from. Discuss the savings of time, frustration and , of course, money.J.M. Tibbott (m), Julie Czerneda, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, Sienna Tristan, MJ Moores, Douglas Smith
J.M. TibbottSaturday10:00 AM11:00 AMButtonvilleReading: Arlene Marks & J.M. TibbottArlene Marks & J.M. Tibbott
J.M. TibbottSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMVaughan WestWorldbuilding 201All fiction is speculative. Panelists will discuss the process and fundamentals of realistic world-building, including how and when to combine imagined with real setting details for best effect.Arlene F. Marks, Ed Greenwood, A.A. Jankeweicz, Luke Maynard, J.M. Tibbott
J.M. TibbottSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMVaughan WestIndie Author Marketing 101Congratulations, you've published a book! Now, it's time to put on your "boss" hat and tell the "art director" to scram. Gain some insight on how small press and self-published authors are able to help bolster their income with tips and tricks of the trade.MJ Moores (m) , Sarah WaterRaven, Avi Silver, Beverly Bambury, Kit Daven, J.M. Tibbott, Rebecca Diem
J.M. TibbottSaturday4:00 PM5:00 PMMarkham BMi Setting, Su SettingOne author setting a story in another author's established universe is not a new idea. Edgar Rice Burroughs and Otis Adalbert Kline were doing it at the turn of the twentieth century. Their incursions into each other's space were the farthest thing from fan fiction; nowadays, things are a lot friendlier. Authors with experience at writing in shared settings will discuss the ins and outs of this unique kind of collaboration, as well as its pitfalls and etiquette.Ed Greenwood (m), Avi Silver, Sienna Tristen, J.M. Tibbott, Arlene F. Marks
J.M. TibbottSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMMarkham BEye of the Tiger, Hide of the RhinoA sharing of strategies for dealing with rejection in all its forms, including bad reviews, form letter "no, thanks" from publishers, and unsupportive friends and family members.Arlene F. Marks (m), Jane Ann McLachlan, J.M. Tibbott, Kit Daven, Douglas Smith, Karina Sumner-Smith
James Alan GardnerFriday9:00 PM10:00 PMMarkham ASeriously, I Want to be Taken SeriouslyThere is humourous science fiction and there is serious science fiction. But what if you don't want to write either Hitchiker's Guide to the Universe or 1984, but something in between? How do you add humour and comic relief to a basically serious novel? How do you make them laugh while still being taken seriously? Should you even try to blend humour with a serious subject?Jane Ann McLachlan (m), James Alan Gardner, Arlene Marks, Jen Frankel
James Alan GardnerSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughan WestGet an editor!It can be hard to accept an editor's comments. Why do authors need those outside eyes? Why do authors find it hard to follow editors' suggestions. Panelists will talk about their strategies for interpreting the comments of editors.Cathy Hird (m), James Alan Gardner, Kit Daven, Mike Rimar, Elizabeth Hirst, Amanda Sun
James Alan GardnerSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMOakridgesHe don't know talkin' good like usNot every character speaks like an Oxford scholar, and accents and other quirks of dialogue help bring a character to life. But is it y'all or ya'll? How do you write a Scottish brogue that doesn't need translation? Even when you're breaking the grammar rules, there are conventions to follow. Learn to write dialogue that sounds natural and is also clear to read.Catherine Fitzsimmons (m), Cameron S. Currie, James Alan Gardner, Elizabeth Hirst, Tony Pi
James Alan GardnerSaturday7:00 PM8:00 PMOakridgesHow villainous is the villain: pencil-thin moustaches and black hatsWhat is the difference between a cartoonish villain and one who is a real challenge for the hero, a real threat to the world, and a real treat to read?Cameron S. Currie (m), Jen Frankel, James Alan Gardner,Ika Koeck (Mudzar), Matt Moore
James Alan GardnerSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMAuroraCreating Extraordinary CreaturesDiscussion of the tips for designing creatures, finding names, modeling after our own fauna, using imagination, and finalizing creating a mystery around them.Ed Greenwood (m), Julie Czerneda, James Alan Gardner, Costi Gurgu, Catherine Fitzsimmons, Sarah WaterRaven
James Alan GardnerSunday2:00 PM4:00 PMKingStory and Song: Songs Inspired by Genre AuthorsAuthors will do short readings of their own or other works followed by a song inspired by that story, novel or poem, performed by the song-writer.Sue Jeffers (M), Phil Mills, Judith Hayman, Tom Jeffers, Jane Garthson, Morva Bowman, Alan Pollard, Tanya Huff, James Alan Gardner, others tbd
James BadeFriday6:00 PM7:00 PMVaughan WestOpening CeremoniesMeet this year's guests of Honour and learn more about the fun things planned for this weekend. Hosted by the Ad Astra Chair, James Bade, and assorted ConCom.James Bade (m), Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
James BadeSunday4:00 PM5:00 PMMarkham AClosing Ceremonies and Feedback PanelAd Astra 2019 closes - share your feedback with the Ad Astra ConComJames Bade (m), Ad Astra ConCom
James BamburyFriday9:00 PM10:00 PMAuroraStar Wars, the Final MovieStar Wars Episode IX - Can the beloved saga conclude in a way that will satisfy fans?Adam Shaftoe (m), Kari Maaren, Luke Maynard, James Bambury, Melissa Small
James BamburyFriday10:00 PM11:00 PMAuroraGoT - did it end well?Game of Thrones - did it end well? Who should have ruled instead?David Clink (m), James Bambury, Jen Frankel, A.A. Jankiewicz, , Jeff Beeler
James BamburyFriday11:00 PM12:00 AMAuroraJames and Adam NanoConLate Night Comedy, with James and AdamJames Bambury, Adam Shaftoe
James BamburySaturday9:00 PM10:00 PMOakvilleThe DC Cinematic Universe: What Works and What Doesn'tA discussion of the DC movies to date, with thoughts on what has worked, what has not, ideas on how the parts that didn't work could have been made better, and what story opportunities could have thus been opened up. Andre Lieven (m), David Clink, James Bambury, Luke Maynard Fingers Delaurus
Jane Ann McLachlanFriday9:00 PM10:00 PMMarkham ASeriously, I Want to be Taken SeriouslyThere is humourous science fiction and there is serious science fiction. But what if you don't want to write either Hitchiker's Guide to the Universe or 1984, but something in between? How do you add humour and comic relief to a basically serious novel? How do you make them laugh while still being taken seriously? Should you even try to blend humour with a serious subject?Jane Ann McLachlan (m), James Alan Gardner, Arlene Marks, Jen Frankel
Jane Ann McLachlanSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham AAppealing to an Aging ReadershipScience fiction used to be the fiction of young, inquiring, future-minded readers. But now more and more those younger readers interested in speculative fiction are slipping away to fantasy and paranormal fiction. Looking out an a con, we see more and more 'mature' faces. How can we write to this loyal audience? What ideas, themes, plots and characters appeal to them?Jane Ann McLachlan (m), Vanessa Ricci-Thode, Donald Montgomery
Jane Ann McLachlanSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMMarkham ATheme: How to Keep Your Readers Thinking About Your Story After They've Read It.A story with universal themes resonates with readers long after they've finished reading the last page. Those are the stories readers talk about, recommend to their friends, and which make them look up the next book by that author. In this workshop you will learn how to identify the natural themes in your story idea and how to develop those themes throughout your story using plot, echo, figures of speech and imagery.Jane Ann McLachlan
Jane Ann McLachlanSaturday3:00 PM4:00 PMMarkham AWhat You Need to Know Before You Start WritingA story idea has a natural energy to it. It calls to you, it energizes you, until you have to write it. But too often, in the writing, that energy and enthusiasm fades. How do you keep that energy alive, powering your writing?
In this workshop you will learn how to spend more time exploring your idea before you begin to write. Specifically, you will learn the five things you need to know about your story before you start writing, and how to apply each of them to your story.
Jane Ann McLachlan
Jane Ann McLachlanSaturday7:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham BWriting About the Middle AgesOne common thread across the range of speculative fiction is the use of medieval, or medieval-like, settings. From fantasy to paranormal to historical fantasy and historical realism to time-travel science fiction, authors of speculative fiction have been drawn to write about or place their stories in this time period. What about the Middle (or Dark) Ages appeals to writers of all types of speculative fiction? How can we "get it right" - or is getting it right even necessary?Jane Ann McLachlan (m), Cathy Hird, Herb Kauderer, Luke Maynard
Jane Ann McLachlanSunday11:00 AM12:00 PMAuroraMaintaining Tension & Suspense through Moral DilemmaMoral dilemmas engage readers. Understanding what makes for a gripping ethical dilemma and the different approaches to resolving them can add depth and complexity to your characters and your story. In this presentation you will learn what an ethical dilemma is, how to create one that is complex and difficult to resolve, diverse approaches to resolving a dilemma and how to show your character's attempt to find the most ethical solution to his/her dilemma, one that will ring true for your readers.

Jane Ann McLachlan
Jane Ann McLachlanSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMMarkham BEye of the Tiger, Hide of the RhinoA sharing of strategies for dealing with rejection in all its forms, including bad reviews, form letter "no, thanks" from publishers, and unsupportive friends and family members.Arlene F. Marks (m), Jane Ann McLachlan, J.M. Tibbott, Kit Daven, Douglas Smith, Karina Sumner-Smith
Jane Ann McLachlanSunday2:00 PM3:00 PMOakridgesDocumenting AliensReaders and viewers want to see fully-fleshed, believable alien characters in their speculative fiction, including in main roles. But protagonists have to be relatable. How can you create a realistic, sympathetic alien protagonist who won't come across as a human in a costume? Attend this panel discussion and find out. Arlene F. Marks (m), Jane Ann McLachlan, Costi Gurgu, JD DeLuzio, Catherine Fitzsimmons, Donald Montgomery
Jane GarthsonSaturday9:30 PM10:30 PMKingWomen of Filk:Local filkers (male and female) each perform a few of their favourite songs written by female filkersJanet Julian (m), Peggi Warner-Lalonde, Phil Mils, Jane Garthson
Jane GarthsonSunday2:00 PM4:00 PMKingStory and Song: Songs Inspired by Genre AuthorsAuthors will do short readings of their own or other works followed by a song inspired by that story, novel or poem, performed by the song-writer.Sue Jeffers (M), Phil Mills, Judith Hayman, Tom Jeffers, Jane Garthson, Morva Bowman, Alan Pollard, Tanya Huff, James Alan Gardner, others tbd
Janet JulianSaturday9:30 PM10:30 PMKingWomen of Filk:Local filkers (male and female) each perform a few of their favourite songs written by female filkersJanet Julian (m), Peggi Warner-Lalonde, Phil Mils, Jane Garthson
Janet JulianSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughanEarth to the Moon - 50th AnniversaryThis month we look back fifty years to the day mankind first reached the moon, walked on its surface, and returned safely to Earth.  Our multimedia presentation tells the story of manned space exploration in the West through narration, iconic images, and classic original songs.  Presented by an ensemble of performers.Judith Hayman, Howard Scrmgeour, Devin Melanson, Christie de Souza, Stone Dragons, Faithful Sidekicks, Morva Bowman and Alan Pollard, Janet Julian
Janet KelloughSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMVaughan WestResearch before you WriteDiscussion of the value of research and where to go to find almost anything you need.Arlene F. Marks (m), Tanya Huff, Elizabeth Hirst, Beverly Bambury, Janet Kellough, Tony Pi
Janet KelloughSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMAuroraHow to Write a Series Without Losing Your Way (or your mind)Publishers love it when authors propose a series of books. But there's more to it than just writing one novel after another. This is a discussion about the nuts and bolts, the pitfalls and the rewards of diving into series fiction, provided by those who have been there (or still are).Arlene F. Marks (m), Julie Czerneda, Tanya Huff, Janet Kellough, A. A. Jankiewicz
Janet KelloughSaturday4:00 PM5:00 PMMarkham AThe Business of being a WriterSo you are starting out as a writer. Can you deduct those expenses from your taxes? Do you have to register a business name? What about getting paid from another country? How do I.... ? Should I... ? Can I.... ? Our panelists are here to help answer your questions!Larry Hancock (m), Robert J. Sawyer, Janet Kellough, Beverly Bambury
JD DeLuzioSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMAuroraTo Boldly Make Discovery in the ExpanseStar Trek lives on, in two contrasting seasons of Discovery and (to a degree), The Orville. The Expanse, meanwhile, takes a starkly different view of future space exploration, one more in keeping with contemporary SF writing. What do the differing approaches bring to our understanding of SF and our own possible futures?



JD DeLuzio (m), Eric Choi, Adam Shaftoe, Paul Roberts, Gillian Clinton
JD DeLuzioSaturday4:00 PM5:00 PMOakvilleSub/Urban Folklore and e-MythologyA pair of twelve-year-old girls stab a friend as a sacrifice to a meme. A man tries to liberate children that a ludicrous conspiracy theory tells him are held in a pizza parlor's non-existent basement. El chupacabra appears in horror movies while the New Jersey Devil challenges Marvel's Fantastic Four in comic books.
Online and sub/urban lore are the new Brothers Grimm, and it's clear that the processes that produce folklore and religion have not stopped. What are the roots, benefits, and dangers of sub/urban and online lore? And how can the products of modern folklore enrich science fiction and fantasy?
JD DeLuzio (m), Melissa Small
JD DeLuzioSaturday8:00 PM9:00 PMAuroraAnd what would your Space TV Franchise look like?This panel will start with a general discussion, and then open up to the possibilities of various panelist and audience member's ideas for an SF franchise.JD DeLuzio (m), Eric Choi, Ira Nayman Fingers Delaurus, Jeff Beeler
JD DeLuzioSunday2:00 PM3:00 PMOakridgesDocumenting AliensReaders and viewers want to see fully-fleshed, believable alien characters in their speculative fiction, including in main roles. But protagonists have to be relatable. How can you create a realistic, sympathetic alien protagonist who won't come across as a human in a costume? Attend this panel discussion and find out. Arlene F. Marks (m), Jane Ann McLachlan, Costi Gurgu, JD DeLuzio, Catherine Fitzsimmons, Donald Montgomery
Jeff BeelerFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMOakvilleTomorrow we fry.A discussion about the coming climate upheaval and how to survive it with a smile, while consuming beer at a dollar a can. David Stephenson, Paul Roberts, Karl Schroeder, Jeff Beeler
Jeff BeelerFriday10:00 PM11:00 PMAuroraGoT - did it end well?Game of Thrones - did it end well? Who should have ruled instead?David Clink (m), James Bambury, Jen Frankel, A.A. Jankiewicz, , Jeff Beeler
Jeff BeelerSaturday3:00 PM4:00 PMOakvilleSixties Sci-fiThis panel will talk about the best and worst of science fiction writing and television. What we go back to read and watch; what we avoid like the plague; what we both love and hate.Cathy Hird (m), David Clink, Herb Kauderer, Derwin Mak, Jeff Beeler
Jeff BeelerSaturday8:00 PM9:00 PMAuroraAnd what would your Space TV Franchise look like?This panel will start with a general discussion, and then open up to the possibilities of various panelist and audience member's ideas for an SF franchise.JD DeLuzio (m), Eric Choi, Ira Nayman Fingers Delaurus, Jeff Beeler
Jen DistadFriday9:00 PM10:00 PMVaughanFaithful Sidekicks ConcertThe Faithful Sidekicks are the Filk/Geek Pop duo of Eric and Jen Distad. They write and perform an eclectic mix of original catchy songs about the geeky stuff they love from comedic pop songs like "Han Solo For President" to love songs written in SQL Code, and everything in between. They've been delighting audiences at Sci-Fi Conventions, Coffee Shops, and Clubs around the US and parts beyond since 2014. They have released two CDs, the most recent being "Achievement Unlocked".Eric & Jen Distad
Jen DistadSaturday10:30 PM3:00 AMKingOpen FilkJoin a relaxed circle of people making music and laughing together. Bring songs or instruments or just come to listen. Circles are the heart of the filk community and where lasting friendships begin.Erin Bellavia & Jen Distad hosting (first hour)
Jen FrankelFriday9:00 PM10:00 PMMarkham ASeriously, I Want to be Taken SeriouslyThere is humourous science fiction and there is serious science fiction. But what if you don't want to write either Hitchiker's Guide to the Universe or 1984, but something in between? How do you add humour and comic relief to a basically serious novel? How do you make them laugh while still being taken seriously? Should you even try to blend humour with a serious subject?Jane Ann McLachlan (m), James Alan Gardner, Arlene Marks, Jen Frankel
Jen FrankelFriday10:00 PM11:00 PMAuroraGoT - did it end well?Game of Thrones - did it end well? Who should have ruled instead?David Clink (m), James Bambury, Jen Frankel, A.A. Jankiewicz, , Jeff Beeler
Jen FrankelSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMVaughan EastWriting fight scenesThere's nothing more exciting to read than a well-executed fight scene, but nothing more mood-killing tha a badly written one. How do you write a good one? Where do you start, and stop? How do you make it both more interesting and believable? We'll break down the elements of a good fight scene in this panel and share examples of great ones. Catherine Fitzsimmons (m), Herb Kauderer, Jen Frankel, Mike Rimar, Ian Keeling
Jen FrankelSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMOakridgesSpeculative Gender: How Heteronormativity is Holding Back Your FictionWhen creating a story, writers often dive into worldbuilding through language, religion, fashion, etc. but fail to explore an exciting opportunity—gender systems! What if sex and gender weren’t societally correlated? What if being trans wasn’t automatically stigmatized? What if your human civilization (not just your aliens!) had nonbinary gender roles? On this panel, we will explore the benefits of expanding your worldbuilding beyond binary notions of gender, and how doing so can elevate your spec fic.Sienna Tristen (m), Avi Silver, Derwin Mak, Jen Frankel
Jen FrankelSaturday7:00 PM8:00 PMOakridgesHow villainous is the villain: pencil-thin moustaches and black hatsWhat is the difference between a cartoonish villain and one who is a real challenge for the hero, a real threat to the world, and a real treat to read?Cameron S. Currie (m), Jen Frankel, James Alan Gardner,Ika Koeck (Mudzar), Matt Moore
Jen FrankelSunday3:00 PM4:00 PMMarkham BThe Horrific TouchThe horror genre has changed a lot in the last hundred years, leaving us with the works of some great masters such as Poe, Hitchcock, King, Koontz, Rice, etc. But what makes effective horror? What are the tropes that need to fall away to the past, and what new ideas need to come into the dark light? Karen Dales (m). Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, Matt Moore, Jen Frankel
Jody RodierSaturday5:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham AMasquerade Green RoomJody Rodier (m), Lossien, Dayna the Sloth, Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Jody RodierSaturday8:30 PM9:30 PMVaughanMasqueradeJody Rodier (m), Lossien, Dayna the Sloth, Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Jody RodierSaturday10:00 PM2:00 AMVaughanDanceSaturday Night DanceDSoL - Th'Elf, J-Man and DJ Dan
Judith HaymanSaturday4:00 PM5:00 PMVaughan EastJudith Hayman ConcertJudith is a singer-songwriter, with two albums released.  Her concert will include songs based on SF&F book and media, the space program and possibly cats.  Expect songs based on several authors and genre inspirations.Judith Hayman
Judith HaymanSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughanEarth to the Moon - 50th AnniversaryThis month we look back fifty years to the day mankind first reached the moon, walked on its surface, and returned safely to Earth.  Our multimedia presentation tells the story of manned space exploration in the West through narration, iconic images, and classic original songs.  Presented by an ensemble of performers.Judith Hayman, Howard Scrmgeour, Devin Melanson, Christie de Souza, Stone Dragons, Faithful Sidekicks, Morva Bowman and Alan Pollard, Janet Julian
Judith HaymanSunday2:00 PM4:00 PMKingStory and Song: Songs Inspired by Genre AuthorsAuthors will do short readings of their own or other works followed by a song inspired by that story, novel or poem, performed by the song-writer.Sue Jeffers (M), Phil Mills, Judith Hayman, Tom Jeffers, Jane Garthson, Morva Bowman, Alan Pollard, Tanya Huff, James Alan Gardner, others tbd
Julie CzernedaFriday6:00 PM7:00 PMVaughan WestOpening CeremoniesMeet this year's guests of Honour and learn more about the fun things planned for this weekend. Hosted by the Ad Astra Chair, James Bade, and assorted ConCom.James Bade (m), Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Julie CzernedaFriday8:00 PM10:00 PM1073 (ConSuite)Walking Tacos - GoH Meet and GreetPlease visit our ConSuite for an infamous Walking Taco. Guests of Honour are invited to pop in during this time.Guest of Honour drop-in : Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Julie CzernedaFriday8:00 PM9:00 PMMarkham AHow to Edit like a ProDiscussion of all of the tips and tricks of editing your manuscript so that your final professional editor has a clean and clear manuscript to work from. Discuss the savings of time, frustration and , of course, money.J.M. Tibbott (m), Julie Czerneda, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, Sienna Tristan, MJ Moores, Douglas Smith
Julie CzernedaSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham BWe're Not AloneUp to date information and discussion about life beyond our planet. Reference article in March issue of National Geographic by Jamie Shreeve. How close are we to receiving definitive proof?Eric Choi (m), Gillian Clinton, Julie Czerneda, Karl Schroeder
Julie CzernedaSaturday12:00 PM2:00 PM1080Julie Czerneda Pizza Party – Private
Julie CzernedaSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMAuroraHow to Write a Series Without Losing Your Way (or your mind)Publishers love it when authors propose a series of books. But there's more to it than just writing one novel after another. This is a discussion about the nuts and bolts, the pitfalls and the rewards of diving into series fiction, provided by those who have been there (or still are).Arlene F. Marks (m), Julie Czerneda, Tanya Huff, Janet Kellough, A. A. Jankiewicz
Julie CzernedaSaturday4:00 PM6:00 PMAuroraTales from the PlexisJulie Czerneda, Roger Czerneda, Tanya Huff
Julie CzernedaSunday10:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham AGOH BrunchJoin Ad Astra's guests for Sunday morning Brunch. Tickets should be purchased online, but check with Registration Desk for limited onsite tickets.Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Julie CzernedaSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMAuroraCreating Extraordinary CreaturesDiscussion of the tips for designing creatures, finding names, modeling after our own fauna, using imagination, and finalizing creating a mystery around them.Ed Greenwood (m), Julie Czerneda, James Alan Gardner, Costi Gurgu, Catherine Fitzsimmons, Sarah WaterRaven
Julie CzernedaSunday3:00 PM4:00 PMMarkham APast GoH Hour - Julie CzernedaAutographs to follow - Markham BJulie Czerneda
Karen DalesFriday9:00 PM11:00 PM1080Canadian Dreadful (Dark Dragon Publishing)
Karen DalesSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMOakvilleHistory of WitchcraftWitches and witchcraft have been portrayed as a negative, harmful, or scary characters in writing, art, stage and screen through the centuries. From Goya to Shakespeare, to the Wizard of Oz, and modern paranormal novels, television and movies. Come learn where Witchcraft comes from, what it is, and why the Witch has become vilified over the centuries.Moira Scott (m), Stephanie Bardy, Evan Dales, Karen Dales
Karen DalesSunday3:00 PM4:00 PMMarkham BThe Horrific TouchThe horror genre has changed a lot in the last hundred years, leaving us with the works of some great masters such as Poe, Hitchcock, King, Koontz, Rice, etc. But what makes effective horror? What are the tropes that need to fall away to the past, and what new ideas need to come into the dark light? Karen Dales (m). Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, Matt Moore, Jen Frankel
Kari MaarenFriday9:00 PM10:00 PMAuroraStar Wars, the Final MovieStar Wars Episode IX - Can the beloved saga conclude in a way that will satisfy fans?Adam Shaftoe (m), Kari Maaren, Luke Maynard, James Bambury, Melissa Small
Kari MaarenFriday11:00 PM3:00 AMKingOpen FilkJoin a relaxed circle of people making music and laughing together. Bring songs or instruments or just come to listen. Circles are the heart of the filk community and where lasting friendships begin.Sue Jeffers & Kari Maaren hosting (first hour)
Kari MaarenSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMMarkham ASci-Fi and Fantasy for Young AdultsThe Katniss Everdeens. The Beatrice Priors. The Meg Murrys. Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy has had its fair share of strong female leads (as well as some poorly written ones, of course). We all know the girl who's "not like everyone else" and is the chosen one to save the day. But why has it been in mostly dystopian or paranormal fiction? And why is there almost always a romance? Come join us as we discuss feminism and YA SFF. We'll talk about what trends we've seen in the past, and how, if at all, we believe the YA genre is progressing in its female-lead SFF stories. Rebecca Diem (m), Avi Silver, Cathy Hird, Melissa Small, Kari Maaren, Amanda Sun
Kari MaarenSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMKingWriters: Learn to Love the DeadlineDeadlines can be ominous and intimidating, but they can also be a tool to give your creativity and productivity a boost.  In this session we'll talk about the use of constraints to breed creativity and how timed writing challenges like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and FAWM (February Album Writing Month) can help you practice the art of writing and can make Deadlines a useful tool.Eric Distad (m), Kari Maaren, Phil Mills (+ 1-2 prose or poetry writer(s))
Kari MaarenSaturday8:00 PM9:00 PMOakvilleGraphic NovelThe popularity of the Graphic Novel is on the rise, but how does it compare to traditional novels?D Larry Hancock (m), Kari Maaren, Sarah WaterRaven, Lar deSouza
Karina Sumner-SmithSaturday4:00 PM6:00 PMAuroraTales from the PlexisJulie Czerneda, Roger Czerneda, Tanya Huff
Karina Sumner-SmithSunday10:00 AM11:00 AMOakridgesHow to Solve Writers' BlockDiscussion by panel on times they have been stymied by writers block, how long it lasted, what they did to ease it, and what they plan on doing in the future to avoid it.M. J. Moores (m), Amanda Sun, Douglas Smith, Karina Sumner-Smith, Maaja Wentz,
Karina Sumner-SmithSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMMarkham BEye of the Tiger, Hide of the RhinoA sharing of strategies for dealing with rejection in all its forms, including bad reviews, form letter "no, thanks" from publishers, and unsupportive friends and family members.Arlene F. Marks (m), Jane Ann McLachlan, J.M. Tibbott, Kit Daven, Douglas Smith, Karina Sumner-Smith
Karina Sumner-SmithSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMAuroraHow to Write a SynopsisFor most writers the synopsis is harder than writing the book. How does one conquer the monster and get the step closer to publication or agent representation?Mike Rimar (m), Robert J. Sawyer, Karina Sumner-Smith, Matt Moore
Karl SchroederFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMOakvilleTomorrow we fry.A discussion about the coming climate upheaval and how to survive it with a smile, while consuming beer at a dollar a can. David Stephenson, Paul Roberts, Karl Schroeder, Jeff Beeler
Karl SchroederSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham BWe're Not AloneUp to date information and discussion about life beyond our planet. Reference article in March issue of National Geographic by Jamie Shreeve. How close are we to receiving definitive proof?Eric Choi (m), Gillian Clinton, Julie Czerneda, Karl Schroeder
Karl SchroederSaturday6:00 PM7:00 PMMarkham BThe Art of WorldbuildingDo you like to create? Creating fictional properties can seem like an overwhelming task. Do you begin from the small village or city and work your way out, or do you think of the grand schemes of the universe that govern your world and work your way all the way down to the very house your characters will start in? Learn a few tips on making your worlds make sense.Thomas Gofton (m), Karl Schroeder, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, A.A. Jankieweicz, Sarah WaterRaven, Amanda Sun
Karl SchroederSaturday7:00 PM8:00 PMAuroraWhat's New in New Space?20 year ago the was a rush of new companies planning to "do space differently". Some have prospered, some have not. What's the current state of the new space industry and what ahs happened to some of the old companies of this new industry?Eric Choi (m), David Stephenson, Gillian Clinton, Paul Roberts, Karl Schroeder
Karl SchroederSunday2:00 PM2:30 PMButtonvilleReading: Karl SchroederKarl Schroeder
Ken LalondeSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMKingSound Engineering: Home recording tips and tricksThe home recording enthusiast usually has two constraints when trying to capture a great performance: - We are always on a budget for gear - We are always on a budget for time Come join a panel of successful of home "Pretend-Gineers" as they share their tips and tricks to getting the most sound out of the least space and bank account. Hardware, software, and techniques will be presented for the composing/recording/mixing/mastering process. We sincerely hope you can steal some useful ideas!Devin Melanson (m), Eric Distad, Tom Jeffers, Ken Lalonde, Rand Bellavia
Kit DavenSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughan WestGet an editor!It can be hard to accept an editor's comments. Why do authors need those outside eyes? Why do authors find it hard to follow editors' suggestions. Panelists will talk about their strategies for interpreting the comments of editors.Cathy Hird (m), James Alan Gardner, Kit Daven, Mike Rimar, Elizabeth Hirst, Amanda Sun
Kit DavenSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMVaughan WestIndie Author Marketing 101Congratulations, you've published a book! Now, it's time to put on your "boss" hat and tell the "art director" to scram. Gain some insight on how small press and self-published authors are able to help bolster their income with tips and tricks of the trade.MJ Moores (m) , Sarah WaterRaven, Avi Silver, Beverly Bambury, Kit Daven, Marilyn Klieber, Rebecca Diem
Kit DavenSaturday3:00 PM5:00 PM1080The Starry Rise (Kit Daven)
Kit DavenSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMMarkham BEye of the Tiger, Hide of the RhinoA sharing of strategies for dealing with rejection in all its forms, including bad reviews, form letter "no, thanks" from publishers, and unsupportive friends and family members.Arlene F. Marks (m), Jane Ann McLachlan, J.M. Tibbott, Kit Daven, Douglas Smith, Karina Sumner-Smith
Lar deSouzaFriday6:00 PM7:00 PMVaughan WestOpening CeremoniesMeet this year's guests of Honour and learn more about the fun things planned for this weekend. Hosted by the Ad Astra Chair, James Bade, and assorted ConCom.James Bade (m), Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Lar deSouzaFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMVaughanGoH Hour - Lar deSouzaAutographs to follow - HallwayLar deSouza
Lar deSouzaFriday8:00 PM10:00 PM1073 (ConSuite)Walking Tacos - GoH Meet and GreetPlease visit our ConSuite for an infamous Walking Taco. Guests of Honour are invited to pop in during this time.Guest of Honour drop-in : Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Lar deSouzaSaturday8:00 PM9:00 PMOakvilleGraphic NovelThe popularity of the Graphic Novel is on the rise, but how does it compare to traditional novels?D Larry Hancock (m), Kari Maaren, Sarah WaterRaven, Lar deSouza
Lar deSouzaSunday10:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham AGOH BrunchJoin Ad Astra's guests for Sunday morning Brunch. Tickets should be purchased online, but check with Registration Desk for limited onsite tickets.Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Larry HancockSaturday4:00 PM5:00 PMMarkham AThe Business of being a WriterSo you are starting out as a writer. Can you deduct those expenses from your taxes? Do you have to register a business name? What about getting paid from another country? How do I.... ? Should I... ? Can I.... ? Our panelists are here to help answer your questions!Larry Hancock (m), Robert J. Sawyer, Janet Kellough, Beverly Bambury
LossienFriday6:00 PM7:00 PMVaughan WestOpening CeremoniesMeet this year's guests of Honour and learn more about the fun things planned for this weekend. Hosted by the Ad Astra Chair, James Bade, and assorted ConCom.James Bade (m), Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
LossienFriday8:00 PM10:00 PM1073 (ConSuite)Walking Tacos - GoH Meet and GreetPlease visit our ConSuite for an infamous Walking Taco. Guests of Honour are invited to pop in during this time.Guest of Honour drop-in : Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
LossienSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMMarkham BStage Presentation (and What Not To Do)Lossien (m)
LossienSaturday3:00 PM4:00 PMMarkham BCosplay 101/An Introduction to CosplayLossien (m)
LossienSaturday5:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham AMasquerade Green RoomJody Rodier (m), Lossien, Dayna the Sloth, Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
LossienSaturday8:30 PM9:30 PMVaughanMasqueradeJody Rodier (m), Lossien, Dayna the Sloth, Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
LossienSunday10:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham AGOH BrunchJoin Ad Astra's guests for Sunday morning Brunch. Tickets should be purchased online, but check with Registration Desk for limited onsite tickets.Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
LossienSunday3:00 PM4:00 PMOakridgesWorking With Knits: Tips and TricksLossien (m)
Luke MaynardFriday9:00 PM10:00 PMAuroraStar Wars, the Final MovieStar Wars Episode IX - Can the beloved saga conclude in a way that will satisfy fans?Adam Shaftoe (m), Kari Maaren, Luke Maynard, James Bambury, Melissa Small
Luke MaynardSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMVaughan WestWorldbuilding 201All fiction is speculative. Panelists will discuss the process and fundamentals of realistic world-building, including how and when to combine imagined with real setting details for best effect.Arlene F. Marks, Ed Greenwood, A.A. Jankeweicz, Luke Maynard, J.M. Tibbott
Luke MaynardSaturday6:00 PM8:00 PM1062A Home Amng the Stars (Kay Hwkins) & The Season of the Plough (Luke Maynard)
Luke MaynardSaturday7:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham BWriting About the Middle AgesOne common thread across the range of speculative fiction is the use of medieval, or medieval-like, settings. From fantasy to paranormal to historical fantasy and historical realism to time-travel science fiction, authors of speculative fiction have been drawn to write about or place their stories in this time period. What about the Middle (or Dark) Ages appeals to writers of all types of speculative fiction? How can we "get it right" - or is getting it right even necessary?Jane Ann McLachlan (m), Cathy Hird, Herb Kauderer, Luke Maynard
Luke MaynardSaturday9:00 PM10:00 PMOakvilleThe DC Cinematic Universe: What Works and What Doesn'tA discussion of the DC movies to date, with thoughts on what has worked, what has not, ideas on how the parts that didn't work could have been made better, and what story opportunities could have thus been opened up. Andre Lieven (m), David Clink, James Bambury, Luke Maynard, Fingers Delaurus
Luke MaynardSunday2:30 PM3:00 PMButtonvilleReading: Luke MaynardLuke Maynard
Luke MaynardSunday3:00 PM4:00 PMAuroraI Hate Common: Exploring Language in Spec FicTired of monolingual fantasy empires? Want to show off the diversity of your multi-species space colony? This panel will discuss the ways language and linguistics can be used to enrich worldbuilding and create interesting conflict in everything from novels to TTRPG campaigns. We'll spend time both on language as a plot device and on tips for creating your own fictional languages!Sienna Tristen (m). Cameron S. Currie, Amanda Sun, Luke Maynard
Maaja WentzSaturday10:00 AM11:00 AMMarkham APublishing 101Are you ready to take your manuscript to the next level? Wondering what path is right for you? Do you know your path but navigating it feels like the rapids before going head-long over a waterfall? Join us as we walk you through traditional publishing, self-publishing, and being a hybrid author. Come with your questions and finally get some answers.MJ Moores (m), Vanessa Ricci-Thode, A. A. Jankiewicz, Maaja Wentz, Beverly Bambury, Donald Montgomery
Maaja WentzSaturday6:00 PM7:00 PMOakridgesHow to publish a beautiful novel with a limited budgetSelf-publishing has more credibility and more advantages than ever. But we've all seen disasters with hideous covers and terrible formatting. How do you create a professional-looking book when you don't have the budget to hire a design team? Learn tips and tricks to make a book that looks just as good on the shelf as a book by a major imprint.Catherine Fitzsimmons (m), Cameron S. Currie, MJ Moores, Maaja Wentz, Beverly Bambury
Maaja WentzSunday10:00 AM11:00 AMOakridgesHow to Solve Writers' BlockDiscussion by panel on times they have been stymied by writers block, how long it lasted, what they did to ease it, and what they plan on doing in the future to avoid it.M. J. Moores (m), Amanda Sun, Douglas Smith, Karina Sumner-Smith, Maaja Wentz,
Martin HungerFriday6:00 PM7:00 PMMarkham BSteampunk. Future PastInto Murdoch Mysteries, Jules Verne or Wild Wild West? Well come on over to this information presentation of making Steampunk Gadgets, costume pieces and meet our Mechanical pup, MUT. We will go over painting techniques, mechanics and the joys of stuffing yourself into a corset.Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Martin HungerFriday8:00 PM9:00 PMMarkham BTranslating a costume from the pages of a bookBring with you your favourite book and the passage(s) that best describes the character you are trying to recreate and we will assist you in suggesting materials, interpreting colours and recommending techniques. DO the graphic novel thing or comic book and there is just something that looks impossible? Bring that instead and make sure you pre bookmark 2-4 pages that show the costume the most. We have years experience trying to interpret artist renderings and director/Props head descriptions to produce what they are after. Allow us to make some suggestions that may clear your head a little. Due to limit in time we will ask you to sign in when you arrive. First come, first looked at. And please be curious to the others in the room by focussing and taking notes (or recording) so that we can move ahead.Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Martin HungerSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMMarkham BProduction to CosplayFrom Stargate to Legends of Tomorrow's ATOM armour; Cyclop's Visor to Diggle's Helmet; Total Recall 2070 recall devices to Cody Banks modified iPod.... Come get a grasp as to how it was done on set to how you could do it for yourself. Whether you're replicating or are planning a career, best place to start is in your home and your heart. Select samples of both ‘homemade’ and production items will be presented.Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Martin HungerSaturday5:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham AMasquerade Green RoomJody Rodier (m), Lossien, Dayna the Sloth, Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Martin HungerSaturday8:30 PM9:30 PMMarkham AMasqueradeJody Rodier (m), Lossien, Dayna the Sloth, Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Martin HungerSunday11:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham BSurviving the Entertainment IndustryFor two people who never thought they’d still be doing this, they are still doing this. Come spend some time with CarrHunger as they take you through the stories that brought them into this lifestyle, their realities in this field and how they have gone through some of the best and the worse and come out the other side. Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Martin HungerSunday2:00 PM3:00 PMVaughanWings and ThingsWhether you are a cosplayer, prop maker or just want to impress this Hallowe'en, come learn the ins and outs of making wings, crowns, fake metal items, costume pieces and various other items to complete your next costume.Christina Carr, Martin Hunger
Matt MooreSaturday12:30 PM1:00 PMButtonvilleReading: Matt MooreMatt Moore
Matt MooreSaturday7:00 PM8:00 PMOakridgesHow villainous is the villain: pencil-thin moustaches and black hatsWhat is the difference between a cartoonish villain and one who is a real challenge for the hero, a real threat to the world, and a real treat to read?Cameron S. Currie (m), Jen Frankel, James Alan Gardner,Ika Koeck (Mudzar), Matt Moore
Matt MooreSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMAuroraHow to Write a SynopsisFor most writers the synopsis is harder than writing the book. How does one conquer the monster and get the step closer to publication or agent representation?Mike Rimar (m), Robert J. Sawyer, Karina Sumner-Smith, Matt Moore
Matt MooreSunday3:00 PM4:00 PMMarkham BThe Horrific TouchThe horror genre has changed a lot in the last hundred years, leaving us with the works of some great masters such as Poe, Hitchcock, King, Koontz, Rice, etc. But what makes effective horror? What are the tropes that need to fall away to the past, and what new ideas need to come into the dark light? Karen Dales (m). Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, Matt Moore, Jen Frankel
Melissa SmallFriday9:00 PM10:00 PMAuroraStar Wars, the Final MovieStar Wars Episode IX - Can the beloved saga conclude in a way that will satisfy fans?Adam Shaftoe (m), Kari Maaren, Luke Maynard, James Bambury, Melissa Small
Melissa SmallSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMMarkham ASci-Fi and Fantasy for Young AdultsThe Katniss Everdeens. The Beatrice Priors. The Meg Murrys. Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy has had its fair share of strong female leads (as well as some poorly written ones, of course). We all know the girl who's "not like everyone else" and is the chosen one to save the day. But why has it been in mostly dystopian or paranormal fiction? And why is there almost always a romance? Come join us as we discuss feminism and YA SFF. We'll talk about what trends we've seen in the past, and how, if at all, we believe the YA genre is progressing in its female-lead SFF stories. Rebecca Diem (m), Avi Silver, Cathy Hird, Melissa Small, Kari Maaren, Amanda Sun
Melissa SmallSaturday4:00 PM5:00 PMOakvilleSub/Urban Folklore and e-MythologyA pair of twelve-year-old girls stab a friend as a sacrifice to a meme. A man tries to liberate children that a ludicrous conspiracy theory tells him are held in a pizza parlor's non-existent basement. El chupacabra appears in horror movies while the New Jersey Devil challenges Marvel's Fantastic Four in comic books.
Online and sub/urban lore are the new Brothers Grimm, and it's clear that the processes that produce folklore and religion have not stopped. What are the roots, benefits, and dangers of sub/urban and online lore? And how can the products of modern folklore enrich science fiction and fantasy?
JD DeLuzio (m), Melissa Small
Michael MongiardiSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMKingCreating Communities Through PodcastingSo you either listen to podcasts, or host one yourself. Good, that means you're human. Podcasts are an exciting media platform, that give a voice to anyone who wants it. This panel will discuss how to get the most out of your podcasts by taking advantage of the ever-expanding podcast communities. Hosted by members of "The Sonar Network", Toronto's podcast collective.Michael Mongiardi, Cody Crain
Mike RimarSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMVaughan EastWriting fight scenesThere's nothing more exciting to read than a well-executed fight scene, but nothing more mood-killing tha a badly written one. How do you write a good one? Where do you start, and stop? How do you make it both more interesting and believable? We'll break down the elements of a good fight scene in this panel and share examples of great ones. Catherine Fitzsimmons (m), Herb Kauderer, Jen Frankel, Mike Rimar, Ian Keeling
Mike RimarSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughan WestGet an editor!It can be hard to accept an editor's comments. Why do authors need those outside eyes? Why do authors find it hard to follow editors' suggestions. Panelists will talk about their strategies for interpreting the comments of editors.Cathy Hird (m), James Alan Gardner, Kit Daven, Mike Rimar, Elizabeth Hirst, Amanda Sun
Mike RimarSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMAuroraHow to Write a SynopsisFor most writers the synopsis is harder than writing the book. How does one conquer the monster and get the step closer to publication or agent representation?Mike Rimar (m), Robert J. Sawyer, Karina Sumner-Smith, Matt Moore
MJ MooresFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham AKeeping a Canadian identity in an American worldHow to keep your Canadian identity as a writer in an American market. Should you let some things go and fight for others?Stephanie Bardy (m), MJ Moores, Robert J. Sawyer, Tanya Huff, Amanda Sun, Douglas Smith
MJ MooresFriday8:00 PM9:00 PMMarkham AHow to Edit like a ProDiscussion of all of the tips and tricks of editing your manuscript so that your final professional editor has a clean and clear manuscript to work from. Discuss the savings of time, frustration and , of course, money.J.M. Tibbott (m), Julie Czerneda, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, Sienna Tristan, MJ Moores, Douglas Smith
MJ MooresSaturday10:00 AM11:00 AMMarkham APublishing 101Are you ready to take your manuscript to the next level? Wondering what path is right for you? Do you know your path but navigating it feels like the rapids before going head-long over a waterfall? Join us as we walk you through traditional publishing, self-publishing, and being a hybrid author. Come with your questions and finally get some answers.MJ Moores (m), Vanessa Ricci-Thode, A. A. Jankiewicz, Maaja Wentz, Beverly Bambury, Donald Montgomery
MJ MooresSaturday6:00 PM7:00 PMOakridgesHow to publish a beautiful novel with a limited budgetSelf-publishing has more credibility and more advantages than ever. But we've all seen disasters with hideous covers and terrible formatting. How do you create a professional-looking book when you don't have the budget to hire a design team? Learn tips and tricks to make a book that looks just as good on the shelf as a book by a major imprint.Catherine Fitzsimmons (m), Cameron S. Currie, MJ Moores, Maaja Wentz, Beverly Bambury
MJ MooresSunday10:00 AM11:00 AMOakridgesHow to Solve Writers' BlockDiscussion by panel on times they have been stymied by writers block, how long it lasted, what they did to ease it, and what they plan on doing in the future to avoid it.MJ Moores (m), Amanda Sun, Douglas Smith, Karina Sumner-Smith, Maaja Wentz,
MJ MooresSunday11:30 AM12:00 PMButtonvilleReading: Melissa (MJ) MooresMelissa (MJ) Moores
MJ MooresSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMVaughan WestIndie Author Marketing 101Congratulations, you've published a book! Now, it's time to put on your "boss" hat and tell the "art director" to scram. Gain some insight on how small press and self-published authors are able to help bolster their income with tips and tricks of the trade.MJ Moores (m) , Sarah WaterRaven, Avi Silver, Beverly Bambury, Kit Daven, Marilyn Klieber, Rebecca Diem
Moira ScottFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMAuroraPagans, Heathens and Polytheists, Oh My!Non-monotheist religions have been around since before humans began to write 5600 years ago. In the Western world, within literature and media, more and more there is a move to incorporate these myths, deities and practices, as well as invent others. What makes these belief structures so appealing to write about or even discover as a spiritual path? How to ensure that your writing rings true to these ancient, and often misrepresented faiths? Moira Scott (m), Evan Dales, Sarah WaterRaven, Cathy Hird, Derwin Mak
Moira ScottSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMOakvilleHistory of WitchcraftWitches and witchcraft have been portrayed as a negative, harmful, or scary characters in writing, art, stage and screen through the centuries. From Goya to Shakespeare, to the Wizard of Oz, and modern paranormal novels, television and movies. Come learn where Witchcraft comes from, what it is, and why the Witch has become vilified over the centuries.Moira Scott (m), Stephanie Bardy, Evan Dales, Karen Dales
Morva BowmanSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMVaughanMorva Bowman and Alan Pollard ConcertMorva and Alan perform an eclectic mix of classic and not so classic filk mixed with some folk tunes. Music written by artists across Canada, the US and the UK. Subjects include Valentina Tereshkova, fairy tale daughters, Bletchley Park, Arthurian legend, and sirens. (Not all in one song, sadly!) And we love it when people sing along!Morva Bowman, Alan Pollard
Morva BowmanSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughanEarth to the Moon - 50th AnniversaryThis month we look back fifty years to the day mankind first reached the moon, walked on its surface, and returned safely to Earth.  Our multimedia presentation tells the story of manned space exploration in the West through narration, iconic images, and classic original songs.  Presented by an ensemble of performers.Judith Hayman, Howard Scrmgeour, Devin Melanson, Christie de Souza, Stone Dragons, Faithful Sidekicks, Morva Bowman and Alan Pollard, Janet Julian
Morva BowmanSunday2:00 PM4:00 PMKingStory and Song: Songs Inspired by Genre AuthorsAuthors will do short readings of their own or other works followed by a song inspired by that story, novel or poem, performed by the song-writer.Sue Jeffers (M), Phil Mills, Judith Hayman, Tom Jeffers, Jane Garthson, Morva Bowman, Alan Pollard, Tanya Huff, James Alan Gardner, others tbd
Patrick McDonaldFriday9:00 PM11:00 PMSheraton ParketteParking lot astronomyFriday and Saturday night, round 9:30PM, weather permitting. Solar viewing around 11:30 AM, weather permitting. Patrick McDonald
Patrick McDonaldSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMOakvilleDoes Spock's Home Planet Exist?The multiple starsystem 40 Eridani was the basis for Spock's "home". Recently a "superearth" planet has been found to be orbiting the orange dwarf star. Possibilities abound!Patrick McDonald (m)
Patrick McDonaldSaturday9:00 PM11:00 PMSheraton ParketteParking lot astronomyFriday and Saturday night, round 9:30PM, weather permitting. Solar viewing around 11:30 AM, weather permitting. Patrick McDonald
Patrick McDonaldSunday2:00 PM3:00 PMAuroraMental Health and FandomSunday afternoon discussion about mental illness challenges and how science fiction helps or hinders coping with them.Patrick McDonald (m), Avi Silver, Vanessa Ricci-Thode
Paul RobertsFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMOakvilleTomorrow we fry.A discussion about the coming climate upheaval and how to survive it with a smile, while consuming beer at a dollar a can. David Stephenson, Paul Roberts, Karl Schroeder, Jeff Beeler
Paul RobertsFriday8:00 PM9:00 PMOakvilleWhat Happened to Space TourismIt's been 15 years since Spaceship One first flew to space. At the time, commercial civilian tourist flights to space were only "a couple of years away" and still not a single paying passenger has been flown. What happened, what's going to happen and why.Eric Choi (m), Paul Roberts, David Stephenson, Gillian Clinton
Paul RobertsSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMAuroraTo Boldly Make Discovery in the ExpanseStar Trek lives on, in two contrasting seasons of Discovery and (to a degree), The Orville. The Expanse, meanwhile, takes a starkly different view of future space exploration, one more in keeping with contemporary SF writing. What do the differing approaches bring to our understanding of SF and our own possible futures?



JD DeLuzio (m), Eric Choi, Adam Shaftoe, Paul Roberts, Gillian Clinton
Paul RobertsSaturday7:00 PM8:00 PMAuroraWhat's New in New Space?20 year ago the was a rush of new companies planning to "do space differently". Some have prospered, some have not. What's the current state of the new space industry and what ahs happened to some of the old companies of this new industry?Eric Choi (m), David Stephenson, Gillian Clinton, Paul Roberts, Karl Schroeder
Paul RobertsSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMMarkham AAGMAnnual General Meeting of the Ad Astra Science Fiction SocietyPaul Roberts (m), Ad Astra Board of Directors
Peggi Warner-LalondeSaturday9:30 PM10:30 PMKingWomen of Filk:Local filkers (male and female) each perform a few of their favourite songs written by female filkersJanet Julian (m), Peggi Warner-Lalonde, Phil Mils, Jane Garthson
Phil MillsSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMKingSound Engineering: Setting up a recording spaceYour audio message may be music, podcast, voice over, or narration. And your fans want to hear this message... but not necessarily the dog, laundry machine, or the neighbour's stereo. A panel of home recording enthusiasts discuss and demonstrate their favourite ways to create a recording space. They will share strategies from "Mild to Wild" when it comes to setting up your little corner of audio creation!Tom Jeffers (m), Devin Melanson, Eric Distad, Phil Mills
Phil MillsSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMKingWriters: Learn to Love the DeadlineDeadlines can be ominous and intimidating, but they can also be a tool to give your creativity and productivity a boost.  In this session we'll talk about the use of constraints to breed creativity and how timed writing challenges like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and FAWM (February Album Writing Month) can help you practice the art of writing and can make Deadlines a useful tool.Eric Distad (m), Kari Maaren, Phil Mills
Phil MillsSaturday9:30 PM10:30 PMKingWomen of Filk:Local filkers (male and female) each perform a few of their favourite songs written by female filkersJanet Julian (m), Peggi Warner-Lalonde, Phil Mills, Jane Garthson
Phil MillsSunday2:00 PM4:00 PMKingStory and Song: Songs Inspired by Genre AuthorsAuthors will do short readings of their own or other works followed by a song inspired by that story, novel or poem, performed by the song-writer.Sue Jeffers (M), Phil Mills, Judith Hayman, Tom Jeffers, Jane Garthson, Morva Bowman, Alan Pollard, Tanya Huff, James Alan Gardner, others tbd
Rand BellaviaFriday10:00 PM11:00 PMVaughanVia Bella ConcertRand and Erin Bellavia will perform songs from their album The Way Of Beauty, dealing with fandoms such as The Princess Bride, A Wrinkle in Time, Seanan McGuire’s October Daye novels, Star Trek, and Agent Peggy Carter.  You might also hear a few of their “deconstructed” covers of popular songs.  (Okay, you’ll hear three.)  Feel the soft rock fury of Via Bella!Rand & Erin Bellavia
Rand BellaviaSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMKingSound Engineering: Home recording tips and tricksThe home recording enthusiast usually has two constraints when trying to capture a great performance: - We are always on a budget for gear - We are always on a budget for time Come join a panel of successful of home "Pretend-Gineers" as they share their tips and tricks to getting the most sound out of the least space and bank account. Hardware, software, and techniques will be presented for the composing/recording/mixing/mastering process. We sincerely hope you can steal some useful ideas!Devin Melanson (m), Eric Distad, Tom Jeffers, Ken Lalonde, Rand Bellavia
Rebecca DiemSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMMarkham ASci-Fi and Fantasy for Young AdultsThe Katniss Everdeens. The Beatrice Priors. The Meg Murrys. Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy has had its fair share of strong female leads (as well as some poorly written ones, of course). We all know the girl who's "not like everyone else" and is the chosen one to save the day. But why has it been in mostly dystopian or paranormal fiction? And why is there almost always a romance? Come join us as we discuss feminism and YA SFF. We'll talk about what trends we've seen in the past, and how, if at all, we believe the YA genre is progressing in its female-lead SFF stories. Rebecca Diem (m), Avi Silver, Cathy Hird, Melissa Small, Kari Maaren, Amanda Sun
Rebecca DiemSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMVaughan WestIndie Author Marketing 101Congratulations, you've published a book! Now, it's time to put on your "boss" hat and tell the "art director" to scram. Gain some insight on how small press and self-published authors are able to help bolster their income with tips and tricks of the trade.MJ Moores (m) , Sarah WaterRaven, Avi Silver, Beverly Bambury, Kit Daven, Marilyn Klieber, Rebecca Diem
Robert J. SawyerFriday6:00 PM7:00 PMVaughan WestOpening CeremoniesMeet this year's guests of Honour and learn more about the fun things planned for this weekend. Hosted by the Ad Astra Chair, James Bade, and assorted ConCom.James Bade (m), Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Robert J. SawyerFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham AKeeping a Canadian identity in an American worldHow to keep your Canadian identity as a writer in an American market. Should you let some things go and fight for others?Stephanie Bardy (m), MJ Moores, Robert J. Sawyer, Tanya Huff, Amanda Sun, Douglas Smith
Robert J. SawyerFriday8:00 PM10:00 PM1073 (ConSuite)Walking Tacos - GoH Meet and GreetPlease visit our ConSuite for an infamous Walking Taco. Guests of Honour are invited to pop in during this time.Guest of Honour drop-in : Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Robert J. SawyerSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMMarkham AThe Word PanelWords. They can portray a panoply of emotions. They can engage our imaginations. They can express complex ideas. They are what we use to communicate with each other, and they have power. The panel will explore how writers use words, choose words and, sometimes, abuse words. It is sure to be a panel not to be missed, snubbed, passed over, overlooked, unseen, or disregarded.David Clink (m), Ira Nayman, Robert J. Sawyer, Tanya Huff
Robert J. SawyerSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMVaughan EastPast GoH Hour - Robert J. SawyerAutographs to follow - Vaughan EastRobert J. Sawyer
Robert J. SawyerSaturday4:00 PM5:00 PMMarkham AThe Business of being a WriterSo you are starting out as a writer. Can you deduct those expenses from your taxes? Do you have to register a business name? What about getting paid from another country? How do I.... ? Should I... ? Can I.... ? Our panelists are here to help answer your questions!Larry Hancock (m), Robert J. Sawyer, Janet Kellough, Beverly Bambury
Robert J. SawyerSunday10:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham AGOH BrunchJoin Ad Astra's guests for Sunday morning Brunch. Tickets should be purchased online, but check with Registration Desk for limited onsite tickets.Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Robert J. SawyerSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMAuroraHow to Write a SynopsisFor most writers the synopsis is harder than writing the book. How does one conquer the monster and get the step closer to publication or agent representation?Mike Rimar (m), Robert J. Sawyer, Karina Sumner-Smith, Matt Moore
Robert J. SawyerSunday2:00 PM3:00 PMMarkham AReading / Autograph - Rob SawyerRobert J. Sawyer
Sarah WaterRavenFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMAuroraPagans, Heathens and Polytheists, Oh My!Non-monotheist religions have been around since before humans began to write 5600 years ago. In the Western world, within literature and media, more and more there is a move to incorporate these myths, deities and practices, as well as invent others. What makes these belief structures so appealing to write about or even discover as a spiritual path? How to ensure that your writing rings true to these ancient, and often misrepresented faiths? Moira Scott (m), Evan Dales, Sarah WaterRaven, Cathy Hird, Derwin Mak
Sarah WaterRavenSaturday10:00 AM11:00 AMAuroraApps for AuthorsTapas, Radish, Wattpad; publishing is changing again! The average Canadian spends two hours a day on their phone or tablet. Get up to speed on the latest publishing apps for writers and readers. Sarah WaterRaven
Sarah WaterRavenSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMVaughan WestIndie Author Marketing 101Congratulations, you've published a book! Now, it's time to put on your "boss" hat and tell the "art director" to scram. Gain some insight on how small press and self-published authors are able to help bolster their income with tips and tricks of the trade.MJ Moores (m) , Sarah WaterRaven, Avi Silver, Beverly Bambury, Kit Daven, Marilyn Klieber, Rebecca Diem
Sarah WaterRavenSaturday6:00 PM7:00 PMMarkham BThe Art of WorldbuildingDo you like to create? Creating fictional properties can seem like an overwhelming task. Do you begin from the small village or city and work your way out, or do you think of the grand schemes of the universe that govern your world and work your way all the way down to the very house your characters will start in? Learn a few tips on making your worlds make sense.Thomas Gofton (m), Karl Schroeder, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, A.A. Jankieweicz, Sarah WaterRaven, Amanda Sun
Sarah WaterRavenSaturday8:00 PM9:00 PMOakvilleGraphic NovelThe popularity of the Graphic Novel is on the rise, but how does it compare to traditional novels?D Larry Hancock (m), Kari Maaren, Sarah WaterRaven, Lar deSouza
Sarah WaterRavenSunday12:00 PM1:00 PMAuroraCreating Extraordinary CreaturesDiscussion of the tips for designing creatures, finding names, modeling after our own fauna, using imagination, and finalizing creating a mystery around them.Ed Greenwood (m), Julie Czerneda, James Alan Gardner, Costi Gurgu, Catherine Fitzsimmons, Sarah WaterRaven
Sienna TristenFriday8:00 PM9:00 PMMarkham AHow to Edit like a ProDiscussion of all of the tips and tricks of editing your manuscript so that your final professional editor has a clean and clear manuscript to work from. Discuss the savings of time, frustration and , of course, money.J.M. Tibbott (m), Julie Czerneda, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, Sienna Tristen, MJ Moores, Douglas Smith
Sienna TristenSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMOakridgesSpeculative Gender: How Heteronormativity is Holding Back Your FictionWhen creating a story, writers often dive into worldbuilding through language, religion, fashion, etc. but fail to explore an exciting opportunity—gender systems! What if sex and gender weren’t societally correlated? What if being trans wasn’t automatically stigmatized? What if your human civilization (not just your aliens!) had nonbinary gender roles? On this panel, we will explore the benefits of expanding your worldbuilding beyond binary notions of gender, and how doing so can elevate your spec fic.Sienna Tristen (m), Avi Silver, Derwin Mak, Jen Frankel
Sienna TristenSaturday4:00 PM5:00 PMMarkham BMi Setting, Su SettingOne author setting a story in another author's established universe is not a new idea. Edgar Rice Burroughs and Otis Adalbert Kline were doing it at the turn of the twentieth century. Their incursions into each other's space were the farthest thing from fan fiction; nowadays, things are a lot friendlier. Authors with experience at writing in shared settings will discuss the ins and outs of this unique kind of collaboration, as well as its pitfalls and etiquette.Ed Greenwood (m), Avi Silver, Sienna Tristen, J.M. Tibbott, Arlene F. Marks
Sienna TristenSunday3:00 PM4:00 PMAuroraI Hate Common: Exploring Language in Spec FicTired of monolingual fantasy empires? Want to show off the diversity of your multi-species space colony? This panel will discuss the ways language and linguistics can be used to enrich worldbuilding and create interesting conflict in everything from novels to TTRPG campaigns. We'll spend time both on language as a plot device and on tips for creating your own fictional languages!Sienna Tristen (m). Cameron S. Currie, Amanda Sun, Luke Maynard
Stephanie BardyFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham AKeeping a Canadian identity in an American worldHow to keep your Canadian identity as a writer in an American market. Should you let some things go and fight for others?Stephanie Bardy (m), MJ Moores, Robert J. Sawyer, Tanya Huff, Amanda Sun, Douglas Smith
Stephanie BardySaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMOakvilleHistory of WitchcraftWitches and witchcraft have been portrayed as a negative, harmful, or scary characters in writing, art, stage and screen through the centuries. From Goya to Shakespeare, to the Wizard of Oz, and modern paranormal novels, television and movies. Come learn where Witchcraft comes from, what it is, and why the Witch has become vilified over the centuries.Moira Scott (m), Stephanie Bardy, Evan Dales, Karen Dales
Stephanie Bedwell-GrimeSunday3:00 PM4:00 PMMarkham BThe Horrific TouchThe horror genre has changed a lot in the last hundred years, leaving us with the works of some great masters such as Poe, Hitchcock, King, Koontz, Rice, etc. But what makes effective horror? What are the tropes that need to fall away to the past, and what new ideas need to come into the dark light? Karen Dales (m). Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, Matt Moore, Jen Frankel
Sue JeffersFriday6:00 PM7:00 PMVaughan WestOpening CeremoniesMeet this year's guests of Honour and learn more about the fun things planned for this weekend. Hosted by the Ad Astra Chair, James Bade, and assorted ConCom.James Bade (m), Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Sue JeffersFriday11:00 PM3:00 AMKingOpen FilkJoin a relaxed circle of people making music and laughing together. Bring songs or instruments or just come to listen. Circles are the heart of the filk community and where lasting friendships begin.Sue Jeffers & Kari Maaren hosting (first hour)
Sue JeffersSaturday7:30 PM8:30 PMVaughanStone Dragons GoH ConcertThe Stone Dragons hail from Toronto and have been performing all over the world their brand of science fiction, fantasy, fun songs and on-stage banter. They have won numerous awards, been guests at a number of filk conventions and have a debut CD called “Dream of Flying” that they released a few years ago. We are so looking forward to being guests at AdAstra and sharing our music.Tom Jeffers, Sue Jeffers
Sue JeffersSunday10:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham AGOH BrunchJoin Ad Astra's guests for Sunday morning Brunch. Tickets should be purchased online, but check with Registration Desk for limited onsite tickets.Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Sue JeffersSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughanEarth to the Moon - 50th AnniversaryThis month we look back fifty years to the day mankind first reached the moon, walked on its surface, and returned safely to Earth.  Our multimedia presentation tells the story of manned space exploration in the West through narration, iconic images, and classic original songs.  Presented by an ensemble of performers.Judith Hayman, Howard Scrmgeour, Devin Melanson, Christie de Souza, Stone Dragons, Faithful Sidekicks, Morva Bowman and Alan Pollard, Janet Julian
Sue JeffersSunday2:00 PM4:00 PMKingStory and Song: Songs Inspired by Genre AuthorsAuthors will do short readings of their own or other works followed by a song inspired by that story, novel or poem, performed by the song-writer.Sue Jeffers (M), Phil Mills, Judith Hayman, Tom Jeffers, Jane Garthson, Morva Bowman, Alan Pollard, Tanya Huff, James Alan Gardner, others tbd
Tanya HuffFriday6:00 PM7:00 PMVaughan WestOpening CeremoniesMeet this year's guests of Honour and learn more about the fun things planned for this weekend. Hosted by the Ad Astra Chair, James Bade, and assorted ConCom.James Bade (m), Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Tanya HuffFriday7:00 PM8:00 PMMarkham AKeeping a Canadian identity in an American worldHow to keep your Canadian identity as a writer in an American market. Should you let some things go and fight for others?Stephanie Bardy (m), MJ Moores, Robert J. Sawyer, Tanya Huff, Amanda Sun, Douglas Smith
Tanya HuffFriday8:00 PM10:00 PM1073 (ConSuite)Walking Tacos - GoH Meet and GreetPlease visit our ConSuite for an infamous Walking Taco. Guests of Honour are invited to pop in during this time.Guest of Honour drop-in : Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Tanya HuffSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMVaughan WestResearch before you WriteDiscussion of the value of research and where to go to find almost anything you need.Arlene F. Marks (m), Tanya Huff, Elizabeth Hirst, Beverly Bambury, Janet Kellough, Tony Pi
Tanya HuffSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMMarkham AThe Word PanelWords. They can portray a panoply of emotions. They can engage our imaginations. They can express complex ideas. They are what we use to communicate with each other, and they have power. The panel will explore how writers use words, choose words and, sometimes, abuse words. It is sure to be a panel not to be missed, snubbed, passed over, overlooked, unseen, or disregarded.David Clink (m), Ira Nayman, Robert J. Sawyer, Tanya Huff
Tanya HuffSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMAuroraHow to Write a Series Without Losing Your Way (or your mind)Publishers love it when authors propose a series of books. But there's more to it than just writing one novel after another. This is a discussion about the nuts and bolts, the pitfalls and the rewards of diving into series fiction, provided by those who have been there (or still are).Arlene F. Marks (m), Julie Czerneda, Tanya Huff, Janet Kellough, A. A. Jankiewicz
Tanya HuffSaturday3:00 PM4:00 PMVaughan EastGoH Hour - Tanya HuffAutographs to follow - Vaughan EastTanya Huff
Tanya HuffSaturday4:00 PM6:00 PMAuroraTales from the PlexisJulie Czerneda, Roger Czerneda, Tanya Huff
Tanya HuffSunday10:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham AGOH BrunchJoin Ad Astra's guests for Sunday morning Brunch. Tickets should be purchased online, but check with Registration Desk for limited onsite tickets.Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Tanya HuffSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMMarkham AReading / Autograph - Tanya HuffTanya Huff
Tanya HuffSunday2:00 PM4:00 PMKingStory and Song: Songs Inspired by Genre AuthorsAuthors will do short readings of their own or other works followed by a song inspired by that story, novel or poem, performed by the song-writer.Sue Jeffers (M), Phil Mills, Judith Hayman, Tom Jeffers, Jane Garthson, Morva Bowman, Alan Pollard, Tanya Huff, James Alan Gardner, others tbd
Thomas GoftonSaturday5:00 PM6:00 PMOakridgesFilm/Youtube and More!Thinking about making a short film, a web series, feature or documentary? Want to learn how to grow your YouTube channel? Need some advice on where to start, how to finish and everything in between? This panel is designed for filmmakers of all levels that want to learn anything and everything about the process of indie and professional narrative film making.Thomas Gofton
Thomas GoftonSaturday6:00 PM7:00 PMMarkham BThe Art of WorldbuildingDo you like to create? Creating fictional properties can seem like an overwhelming task. Do you begin from the small village or city and work your way out, or do you think of the grand schemes of the universe that govern your world and work your way all the way down to the very house your characters will start in? Learn a few tips on making your worlds make sense.Thomas Gofton (m), Karl Schroeder, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, A.A. Jankieweicz, Sarah WaterRaven, Amanda Sun
Thomas GoftonSunday11:00 AM12:00 PMOakridgesCrowdfunding StrategiesSo you want to fund your film, book, game or invention? Come to this panel and hear the tricks, tips, downfalls and reality of making your next level maneuver in crowdfunding. Learn about the different platforms, styles and methods to help you gain maximum success.Thomas Gofton (m), Caro Soles
Todd ClarkFriday9:00 PM11:00 PM1062Steampunk Gaming EveningCome join the Toronto Steampunk Society for an evening of Steampunk Gaming. You will have the opportunity to play the Abney Park game “Terror of the Skies”, Steampunk Munchkin, Edison, Ticket to Ride, and a few surprises as members dig through their gaming chests and bring out some of their Steamy favourites. Come on out and enjoy a fun evening while terrorizing the skies or building your own railroad empire.TSS: Doc Morgan, Todd Clark
Todd ClarkSaturday3:00 PM5:00 PM1062Steampunk Tesla Charity TeaFancy a lovely spot of tea apart from the delightful hubbub of the main con? Come and join the Toronto Steampunk Society and guests for the Tesla Charity Tea in support of Autism Ontario. There will be readings, games, the ever popular Tea Duelling, a raffle, and polite conversation. And, of course, there will be tea, sample a selection of outstanding teas generously supplied by Galaxy Teas. All this for a suggested charity donation of at least $5. Steampunk attire is optional. TSS: Doc Morgan, Todd Clark
Todd ClarkSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMMarkham BSteampunk Culture and FictionMost of us have heard the term “Steampunk”, but many do not know much about the origins of the genre nor the range and depth of Steampunk culture The panel start with a general introduction to Steampunk and will include an interactive session with the audience exploring Steampunk literature.Doc Morgan, Todd Clark
Tom JeffersFriday6:00 PM7:00 PMVaughan WestOpening CeremoniesMeet this year's guests of Honour and learn more about the fun things planned for this weekend. Hosted by the Ad Astra Chair, James Bade, and assorted ConCom.James Bade (m), Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Tom JeffersSaturday12:00 PM1:00 PMKingSound Engineering: Home recording tips and tricksThe home recording enthusiast usually has two constraints when trying to capture a great performance: - We are always on a budget for gear - We are always on a budget for time Come join a panel of successful of home "Pretend-Gineers" as they share their tips and tricks to getting the most sound out of the least space and bank account. Hardware, software, and techniques will be presented for the composing/recording/mixing/mastering process. We sincerely hope you can steal some useful ideas!Devin Melanson (m), Eric Distad, Tom Jeffers, Ken Lalonde, Rand Bellavia
Tom JeffersSaturday1:00 PM2:00 PMKingSound Engineering: Setting up a recording spaceYour audio message may be music, podcast, voice over, or narration. And your fans want to hear this message... but not necessarily the dog, laundry machine, or the neighbour's stereo. A panel of home recording enthusiasts discuss and demonstrate their favourite ways to create a recording space. They will share strategies from "Mild to Wild" when it comes to setting up your little corner of audio creation!Tom Jeffers (m), Devin Melanson, Eric Distad, Phil Mills
Tom JeffersSaturday7:30 PM8:30 PMVaughanStone Dragons GoH ConcertThe Stone Dragons hail from Toronto and have been performing all over the world their brand of science fiction, fantasy, fun songs and on-stage banter. They have won numerous awards, been guests at a number of filk conventions and have a debut CD called “Dream of Flying” that they released a few years ago. We are so looking forward to being guests at AdAstra and sharing our music.Tom Jeffers, Sue Jeffers
Tom JeffersSunday10:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham AGOH BrunchJoin Ad Astra's guests for Sunday morning Brunch. Tickets should be purchased online, but check with Registration Desk for limited onsite tickets.Tanya Huff, Lar deSouza, Stone Dragons, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, Eric Choi, Lossien, Dayna the Sloth
Tom JeffersSunday1:00 PM2:00 PMVaughanEarth to the Moon - 50th AnniversaryThis month we look back fifty years to the day mankind first reached the moon, walked on its surface, and returned safely to Earth.  Our multimedia presentation tells the story of manned space exploration in the West through narration, iconic images, and classic original songs.  Presented by an ensemble of performers.Judith Hayman, Howard Scrmgeour, Devin Melanson, Christie de Souza, Stone Dragons, Faithful Sidekicks, Morva Bowman and Alan Pollard, Janet Julian
Tom JeffersSunday2:00 PM4:00 PMKingStory and Song: Songs Inspired by Genre AuthorsAuthors will do short readings of their own or other works followed by a song inspired by that story, novel or poem, performed by the song-writer.Sue Jeffers (M), Phil Mills, Judith Hayman, Tom Jeffers, Jane Garthson, Morva Bowman, Alan Pollard, Tanya Huff, James Alan Gardner, others tbd
Tony PiSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMVaughan WestResearch before you WriteDiscussion of the value of research and where to go to find almost anything you need.Arlene F. Marks (m), Tanya Huff, Elizabeth Hirst, Beverly Bambury, Janet Kellough, Tony Pi
Tony PiSaturday2:00 PM3:00 PMOakridgesHe don't know talkin' good like usNot every character speaks like an Oxford scholar, and accents and other quirks of dialogue help bring a character to life. But is it y'all or ya'll? How do you write a Scottish brogue that doesn't need translation? Even when you're breaking the grammar rules, there are conventions to follow. Learn to write dialogue that sounds natural and is also clear to read.Catherine Fitzsimmons (m), Cameron S. Currie, James Alan Gardner, Elizabeth Hirst, Tony Pi
Vanessa Ricci-ThodeFriday8:00 PM9:00 PMMarkham AHow to Edit like a ProDiscussion of all of the tips and tricks of editing your manuscript so that your final professional editor has a clean and clear manuscript to work from. Discuss the savings of time, frustration and , of course, money.J.M. Tibbott (m), Julie Czerneda, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, Sienna Tristan, MJ Moores, Douglas Smith
Vanessa Ricci-ThodeSaturday10:00 AM11:00 AMMarkham APublishing 101Are you ready to take your manuscript to the next level? Wondering what path is right for you? Do you know your path but navigating it feels like the rapids before going head-long over a waterfall? Join us as we walk you through traditional publishing, self-publishing, and being a hybrid author. Come with your questions and finally get some answers.MJ Moores (m), Vanessa Ricci-Thode, A. A. Jankiewicz, Maaja Wentz, Beverly Bambury, Donald Montgomery
Vanessa Ricci-ThodeSaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMMarkham AAppealing to an Aging ReadershipScience fiction used to be the fiction of young, inquiring, future-minded readers. But now more and more those younger readers interested in speculative fiction are slipping away to fantasy and paranormal fiction. Looking out an a con, we see more and more 'mature' faces. How can we write to this loyal audience? What ideas, themes, plots and characters appeal to them?Jane Ann McLachlan (m), Vanessa Ricci-Thode, Donald Montgomery
Vanessa Ricci-ThodeSaturday5:00 PM6:00 PMMarkham BTroubleshooting Your ManuscriptYou only get one chance to make a good first impression. Before submitting that manuscript to a prospective agent or editor, make sure it's the best that it can be, using these revision, editing and proofreading tips from a panel of authors and editors.Arlene F. Marks (m), Herb Kauderur, Vanessa Ricci-Thode
Vanessa Ricci-ThodeSaturday6:00 PM7:00 PMMarkham BThe Art of WorldbuildingDo you like to create? Creating fictional properties can seem like an overwhelming task. Do you begin from the small village or city and work your way out, or do you think of the grand schemes of the universe that govern your world and work your way all the way down to the very house your characters will start in? Learn a few tips on making your worlds make sense.Thomas Gofton (m), Karl Schroeder, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, A.A. Jankieweicz, Sarah WaterRaven, Amanda Sun
Vanessa Ricci-ThodeSunday2:00 PM3:00 PMAuroraMental Health and FandomSunday afternoon discussion about mental illness challenges and how science fiction helps or hinders coping with them.Patrick McDonald (m), Avi Silver, Vanessa Ricci-Thode
Yaroslav SokolskyyFriday8:00 PM9:00 PMAuroraBlood Bank 101: The ABOs of Transfusion MedicineDo you know your blood type? What do those letters mean? Everyday, numerous patients are transfused with donated blood. Find out more about who gets what type of blood and why, the laboratory testing involved in those decisions, and the importance of blood donations.Yaroslav Sokolskyy
Yaroslav SokolskyySaturday11:00 AM12:00 PMAuroraAntibiotic-Resistant Organisms - Not as Fictional as We'd LikeIn science fiction, the idea of incurable disease isn't new, but most frighteningly it's becoming more "science" and less "fiction". Highly antibiotic-resistant bacteria (often referred to as superbugs) are a topic of great concern today, with the WHO announcing it as a major threat to global health. This presentation would cover MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), VRE (Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus), and CPO (Carbapenemase-producing organisms)Yaroslav Sokolskyy
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