Programming

programming at ICON
Megan Lara, Lar DeSouza and Daniel Mohr at ICON 39.
image by Terri M. LeBlanc

 ICON 44 Programming Schedule*

*Subject to change at anytime

Download a copy of the schedule (Updated on 10/25/2019)

  • THURS ALL DAY

    • Shop at the Barnes and Noble in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Thursday, October 31 and help us raise money for Mindbridge to fund future conventions. Our fundraising goal is $1500. Don’t live in the area? Download the coupon for details about making a purchase online!
  • THURS 4:30 PM

  • THURS 6:00 PM

  • THURS 6 PM TO 8 PM

  • FRI 5 PM

    • Name: Hall Costume Contest
      • Type: Interactive
  • FRI 6 PM

    • Name: Volunteering at ICON
      • Description: Volunteering can get you free membership, free merchandise, or con bucks to use in the dealer’s room and art show. Help out and get stuff! It’s a win/win proposition. Find out more at this panel.
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Elm
  • FRI 7 PM

    • Name: Karaoke
      • Type: Interactive
      • Room: Waterloo
    • Name: Opening Ceremonies
      • Type: Show
      • Room: Oak
  • FRI 9 PM

    • Name: Paradise ICON (pre-registration required)
      • Room: Boardroom 214
    • Name: ConSuite Grand Opening
      • Description: Join the ConSuite Gods and Goddesses for the unveiling of the Rainbow cake at ConSuite’s Grand Opening. Taste the Rainbow!
      • Type: Presentation
      • Room: ConSuite
    • Name: Wylde Nept
      • Description: Wylde Nept is a cast of colorful characters that specialize in charging up a crowd with raucous pub tunes from all over the Celtic and sea-faring world. Whether playing tunes of rebellion, mirthful ballads, sea chanteys, popular originals, or just good, old-fashioned drinking songs, the goal is always to give the crowd a rollicking evening of friends, music, and merriment.
      • Type: Show
      • Room: Rosewood
    • Name: Open Filking – Friday
      • Description: Fill the room with song and filk to your heart’s content!
      • Type: Interactive
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: DAGOBAH Readers Group
      • Description: Join the DAGOBAH monthly readers group as they discuss the books they’ve recently read. Be prepared to discuss the SF, fantasy and horror books you’ve read and would like to recommend. Audience participation is welcome!!!
      • Type: Presentation
      • Room: Oak
  • FRI 10 PM

    • Name: Adult Gaming / Cards Against Humanity
      • Type: Adult, Gaming
      • Room: Boardroom 234
  • FRI 11 PM

    • Name: Kinkster Roundtable & Social Hour
      • Description: Kinkster roundtable & social hour: This panel is for ages 18+. Come and chat with other kinksters. Novices & experienced players are all welcome. We’ll have some conversation starters to get us going. Discuss your local scene, events, and venues, and experiences.
      • Type: Adult
      • Room: Oak
    • Name: The Unknown Panel
      • Description: What are we going to discuss? Who knows? Come and find out.Type: Panel
      • Room: Chestnut
  • FRI/SAT 12 AM

    • Name: FetLife FUNdamentals
      • Description: This panel is for ages 18+. Are you new to FetLife, or just not very active? Let’s talk about how to set up your profile, add photos, navigate and join groups, observe common etiquette points, and find local events
      • Type: Adult
      • Room: Oak
  • SAT 9 AM

    • Name: Pathfinder Society – Slaver’s End
      • Description: Event: #10-21 Slaver’s End  ( Levels 5 to 9 ) The Society’s no stranger to treachery, and one of its most despicable betrayals came at the hands of the disgraced venture-captain Phlegos Dulm. He’s escaped the Society’s justice, but Venture-Captain Wulessa Yuul has joined forces with Karisa Starsight of the Liberty’s Edge faction to track down the perfidious poisoner and bring him to justice. However, the PCs will need to tread carefully as they help corner Phlegos. Not only is he a cunning foe who knows many of the Society’s secrets, but he’s found new allies whose hatred for the Society runs deep and whose lust for vengeance may prove a greater threat than Phlegos’s treacherous cunning.
      • Type: Gaming
      • Room: Aspen/Birch Table 1
    • Name: Author Reading: Cassie Leigh
      • Description: Cassie Leigh shares passages from her work.
      • Type: Author Reading
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: What Makes Room Parties Successful?
      • Description: Do you plan on hosting a room party?  Want some tips and tricks to make it really successful?  From themes and ambiance, to food and drinks, come learn from our guest of honor, and master of room parties, Mystie Hollaman!
      • Room: Cedar Rapids Room
    • Name: Beginner’s Guide to Crochet
      • Description: Have you been crocheting for a while?  Interested in getting started? From scarves to blankets.
      • Room: Waterloo
    • Name: Author Reading: Beth Hudson Wheeler
      • Type: Author Reading
      • Contact: None
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: Self Publishing & Illustration
      • Description: Come listen to our Guest of Honor, Misty Palek, explain her journey in Self Publishing, and adventures in Illustration!
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Feminism, Gender Identity, and the History of the Tiptree Award
      • Description: The Tiptree Award focuses on gender and its exploration in speculative fiction. Come and listen to the history of how has that focus changed in the decades since the award was founded.
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Oak
  • SAT 10 AM

    • Name: Fan Chat: Star Trek Discovery
      • Description: Discussion of Star Trek Discovery season 2: What do you think about the themes of spirituality, rebirth, breaking the rules, family, etc. Thoughts about the series overall, the canon of Star Trek, and seeing old characters in new forms.
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: Nerdivination
      • Description: Divination with a Fannish twist. Klingon runestones, CCG tarot, button oracles, libromancy. join me as we explore various genre related divination techniques.
      • Room: Cedar Rapids Room
    • Name: Crochet Cthulu
      • Description: Come make a new friend. Eldritch horror in adorable form.
      • Room: Waterloo
    • Name: Secrets of Steel or Just Another Sword Petting Zoo?
      • Description: Come join a discussion of the basic discussion of alloys involved in sword making and how that affects the economics of sales.
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: What Does Nonbinary Mean?
      • Description: According to Wikipedia, Non-Binary is a catch-all term for gender identities and sexualities that are not exclusively binary (male-female or heterosexual-homosexual).  However, that description does not do the entire subject justice. Come and discuss some commonly accepted terms and concepts in the non-binary world. This weekend there will be several panels that cover subjects in this domain, be as educated as possible for them!
      • Room: Oak
    • Name: Rusty Hevelin Archive/Memorabilia Collection Update
      • Description: Update on the Rusty Hevelin Collection at the University of Iowa.
      • Type: Presentation
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Author/Artist Meet & Greet
      • Description: Come and meet the Authors & Artists attending ICON!
      • Type: Interactive
      • Room: Rosewood
  • SAT 11 AM

    • Name: Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center Bloodmobile
      • Room: Parking lot of the hotel
    • Name: The Highly Anticipated Return Of Wylde Nept’s Awfully Brilliant (Mostly Awful) Hour Of Strange But True Band Secrets, Volume 2.
      • Description: Really, the title says it all.  Come listen to the secrets Wylde Nept will share with us!
      • Room: Cedar Rapids Room
    • Name: Non-Binary Representation in Steampunk
      • Description: A discussion of how non-binary could present in a steampunk setting, including how to think about character design, costuming, and discussion of androgyny with masculine and feminine elements. Also a discussion about how issues of race and cultural appropriation could be considered.
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: Costume: Stage Costume vs Hall Costume
      • Description: We’ll discuss several aspects of costuming for Masquerades/Cosplays versus a Hall costume including the 5 foot rule, comfort, makeup, lighting and environment.
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Rehearsal – Companions Play
      • Room: Oak
    • Name: Closed Mindbridge Meeting
      • Room: Waterloo
    • Name: Legos with Pygmy
      • Description: Let the Pygmy help you become a Master Lego Builder!
      • Type: Interactive
      • Room: Boardroom 234
  • SAT 12 PM

    • Name: Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center Bloodmobile
      • Room: Parking lot of the hotel
    • Name: Chris Cornell Memorial
      • Description: A memorial to a dear friend, Chris Cornell, a long time contributor to Paradise ICON.
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Dice and Slice – Dungeons and Dragons Cake Reveal
      • Description: Come and see the Dungeons and Dragons cake reveal!  It will be a critical hit!
      • Room: ConSuite
    • Name: Open Mindbridge Meeting – Membership Not Required
      • Description: Open Meeting of the Mindbridge Foundation, the organization which sponsors ICON, Gamicon, and AnimeIowa.
      • Room: Waterloo
  • SAT 1 PM

    • Name: Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center Bloodmobile
      • Room: Parking lot of the hotel
    • Name: Cheating for Charity
      • Description: Come join the Gamicon Team as they raise money for the Stead Family Children’s Hospital through Extra-Life.org. We will have a list of games available through the game library with proscribed “cheats”. Each cheat has an associated suggested donation which will be given to the charity. We may also have a few silent auction items. Have fun for a great cause! 100% of the money will go to the kids!
      • Room: Aspen/Birch Table 2
    • Name: Krewe du Mieux: A Parade of Fantasy (And Science Fiction) Proportions
      • Description: A parade celebrating fantasy and science fiction.  Come and enjoy the festivities!
      • Room: Hall
    • Name: Author Reading: Rachel Aukes
      • Description: Rachel Aukes shares passages from her work.
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: Fan Chat: Steven Universe
      • Description: Come chat about all things Steven Universe!
      • Room: Waterloo
    • Name: Pass Four Productions – Acting Group
      • Description: Please join us to enjoy this comedy entertainment theater performing group, specializing in stage combat and sword fighting.  This year there will be a game show theme, with a comedic twist on Robyn Hood told in noire style.
      • Room: Rosewood
    • Name: Are You Sure That Will Fit?
      • Description: It’s great that the commercial pattern makers are getting on the Cosplay bandwagon, but do those patterns really fit? We will talk about techniques to alter commercial patterns for different body types, including sizing up and down, what is ease and why is it important and manipulating the pattern so you can create the look you want.
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: A Guide to Pronouns and Why They Matter
      • Description: A discussion of gender, pronouns, and why pronouns matter. This is a topic that Science Fiction has been exploring for decades — since the publication of  Left Hand of Darkness and Suzette Hayden Elgin’s creation of Láadan. Why does it matter what pronoun you use? Can you just solve the problem by using “they” for everyone?
      • Room: Oak
    • Name: Humor Backstage
      • Description: Come listen to, or share stories of humorous things to happen behind the scenes of theatrical productions. Mistakes, odd occurrences, and the like. A spoken version of a DVD blooper reel.
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: Artemis Simulator
      • Description: Ever wanted to explore the stars?  Have you dreamed of service on a ship like the Enterprise? Then come and try your hand at piloting the Artemis.  In this Spaceship Bridge Simulator, you and five of your friends assume the jobs of Captain, Helm, Science, Communication, Engineering, and Weapons.  Together, you operate your ship and defend the sector from evil aliens. All are welcome to participate or simply to watch the game. NEW THIS YEAR: A bigger room, with more space (pun intended) to play and watch! Sign up for a 30 minute session near Registration!
      • Room: Cedar Rapids Room
  • SAT 1 PM to 4 PM

    • Name: Feast of Legends: The Wendy’s RPGSaturday 1pm-4pm in the Tabletop game room.
      • Description: Queen Wendy, first of her name, breaker of fast food chains, defender of all things fresh, never frozen, has been the ruler of Freshtovia since 1969, and defends the realm from treacherous evils of those who practice the dark art of frozen beef. The realm of Beef’s Keep is in much conflict. Throughout the nations of Beef’s Keep, leaders continually disrespect their citizens by taking the easy way out. There are many dark, cold places in this world. But not in Freshtovia, the home of your players — it’s the lone beacon of hope in these desperate times. The Creepy King With the Paper Crown has locked himself away in Creepingvale. He keeps his supplies of beef frozen, and then casts the icy pucks into the fires of the mountains. The Ice Jester of the United Clown Nations has continued to disrupt the land by freezing any beef he can get his hands on. He has sent his corner of the land into collective darkness, fearfully referred to as The Deep Freeze. And these are just Freshtovia’s neighbors. You will encounter many people throughout your journeys and hear tell of the goings-on throughout the lands. Prepare yourselves, adventurers. The fight for fresh beef lies in your hands.
      • Room: the Tabletop game room, lead by Jon Maakestad
  • SAT 2 PM

    • Name: Meet the Artists
      • Description: Come and meet the Artists behind the artwork, including our Artist Guests of Honor!
      • Room: Waterfall-Terrace
    • Name: Author Reading: Tales of Fedran: Stories From the World of D. Moonfire
      • Description: D. Moonfire has focused on a single setting for nine years now, writing overlapping stories that brush against each other with side characters of one story potentially have an entire novel of their own. Come and talk about the world, hear a few snippets of how they link, and maybe an excerpt of his upcoming novel, Flight of the Scions.
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: Tea Scout Sing-a-long – Troupe 42
      • Description: Iowa Tea Scout Troupe 42 sing-a-long. Tea Scouts are a group of steampunk aficionados who gather together for adventure, comradery, philanthropy and tea. We will be discussing Tea Scouts and sing Tea Scout songs. This is open to all species and genders. The ability to carry a tune is not required.
      • Room: Waterloo
    • Name: An Author’s Press Kit
      • Description: Do I need a press kit? What should be in my authors press kit? Who should I send it to?
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: Whose Con Is It Anyway?
      • Description: Join our brave improv actors for a fannish version of the TV show Whose Line is Anyway? See them thrown into unfamiliar scenes, left with nothing but their wits to devise sketches on the spot. Audience participation is expected… nay, required.
      • Room: Rosewood
    • Name: What If?  Imaging a Different World Through Alternate Histories
      • Description: Philip K. Dick theorized that if Franklin D. Roosevelt was assassinated in 1933, the Nazis would have colonized the moon by the 1960s.  Meanwhile, Edward Morris predicted that if the Beatles had broken up in 1966, it would have resulted in Ronald Reagan’s assassination in 1985… by John Lennon.  Come discuss other alternate points in history and what would be different today as a result.
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Bringing Powerful Women to Screens Big and Small
      • Description: Movies and Television are hardly sexism-free these days, but there’s no denying this is a great time for females on TV and Movies.  Come discuss your favorite characters you’ve seen recently, and who are you looking forward to next?
      • Room: Oak
  • SAT 3 PM

    • Name: Pathfinder Society – Corpses in Karlsgard
      • Description: Event: #10-19 Corpses in Karlsgard ( Levels 5 to 9 ) The great Linnorm King Sveinn Blood-Eagle prepares for his final voyage to legendary Vallenhall, but all is not right in his kingdom. As Sveinn’s unworthy children battle over the soon-to-be-vacant throne, Kalsgard’s gnomes find themselves beset by a rash of sudden deaths. While these deaths appear to be caused by the Bleaching, a dread affliction that saps the life and light from gnomes who succumb to ennui, a gnome Pathfinder and priestess of Nivi Rhombodazzle believes that something more is afoot. She’s recruited the PCs to uncover the affliction’s origins in a city where mighty Ulfen warriors are on the verge of war.
      • Room: Aspen/Birch Table 1
    • Name: Pitch Practice – Selling Your Book
      • Description: Yay! You’ve written a book! Now you need to sell it. Sell it?! Whether you have some ideas or no idea where to start, this interactive workshop allows you to work among your peers to create that perfect pitch.
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: Fan Chat: The Orville
      • Description: Orville is not Star Trek, but it could be it’s irreverent second cousin.  Come chat about the other show all the Trekies are talking about.
      • Room: Waterloo
    • Name: Author Reading – Pat Murphy
      • Description: Pat Murphy shares passages from her work.
      • Room: Rosewood
    • Name: Finding the “Write” Community
      • Description: Writing is weird.  By the very nature of the craft, we have to write alone, but we’re not writing for ourselves.  We need other people to bounce ideas off of. We need to engage with other writers’ work, and other writers.  C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien met Tuesdays at a pub. Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope were two members of a writing club together.  Even H.P. Lovecraft put together a group of writers. Come talk and find other like-minded writers to work with, or find out how to set up a community if none exist in your area.  Also, learn about online writing communities.
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: Non-Binary in Costuming
      • Description: Costuming can be a gateway or an escape hatch for discovering new facets of one’s self or trying on different identities. Come explore some of these concepts, including gender-reversal (i.e. crossplay) costumes, dressing in a gender other yours, as well as many others.
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Companions: A Science Fiction Play
      • Description: 5 Iowa actors perform a staged reading of Companions, a play about characters isolated on various space stations, who try to use technology to make a connection with each other, and then face a threat to the survival of the human race. Afterwards, the playwright and actors will be available for questions.
      • Room: Oak
    • Name: Art in About an Hour (or two)
      • Description: This is a chance for Con Attendees to see artists at work. In this program artists sit and create a piece of work in an hour or two.  Attendees will get a chance to own these works at the charity auction.
      • Type: Interactive
      • Room: Waterfall-Terrace
  • SAT 4 PM

    • Name: Author Reading: Blake Hausladen & Deanna Sjolander – Plus a Movie!
      • Description: Blake Hausladen and Deanna Sjolander shares passages from their work.  Plus Blake will show a movie made of his work.
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: Cholula Cap Sculptures
      • Description: Children’s Programming, come build a sculpture using Cholula bottle wood caps.
      • Room: Waterloo
    • Name: Transgender Rights and Storytelling
      • Description: Learn about the rights of transgender people and the discrimination they face. Current events often have an impact on the stories we tell and how we tell them, so understanding these events can be crucial for writing fiction that critically examines them and distills them into an intriguing and interesting tale to capture your readers.
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: To the Moon and Beyond: How Science Has Changed Science Fiction Through the Years
      • Description: Science fiction has shown itself as an outlet for predicting the future.  But watch and read enough sci-fi from different eras, and you might notice a generational difference in how we told these stories.  The difference isn’t just in science and technology. Science fiction from the golden age in the ’50s and ’60s seems to have an optimistic angle on the future.  More recent science fiction seems to be a little more dystopia and bleak. Why?
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Guest of Honor Interviews
      • Description: Our toastmaster, Susan Liebhart, will interview our Guests of Honor. Come hear what they reveal!
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Rosewood
  • SAT 5 PM

    • Name: Night of the Living Cake – Zombie Cake Reveal
      • Description: Does the cake taste like brains?  Or will it taste your brains? Come find out!
      • Room: ConSuite
  • SAT 6 PM

    • Name: Game: Dixit
      • Description: Come play Dixit a beautifully illustrated game where you try and identify which illustrated card the storyteller used as inspiration.
      • Room: Aspen/Birch Table 2
    • Name: Author Reading: Adam Whitlatch
      • Description: Adam Whitlatch shares passages from his work.
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: Fan Chat: She-Ra
      • Description: Come talk about the new Netflix series, She-Ra
      • Room: Waterloo
    • Name: Geek Parenting
      • Description: Come listen to a fellow geeky parents on advice and tales of raising kids and sharing our passions and hobbies with them, as well as helping them to foster their own passions as well.
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Paradise ICON Reading
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: Cosplay Aid
      • Description: For those last minute costume props and finishing touches, go see what our cosplay group has. They can help add that special something you needed, as well as help out with that makeup technique for the hard or soft look.
      • Type: Interactive
      • Room: Hall
    • Name: Art & Charity Auction
      • Room: Oak
    • Name: Violet Realm
      • Description: The Violet Room of the The Writers’ Rooms is meeting at ICON! Science fiction & fantasy writers are invited to join Director Erin Casey for an hour to discuss character creation for novels and games.
      • Type: Interactive
      • Room: Cedar Rapids Room
  • SAT 7 PM

    • Name: Author Reading: Lettie Prell
      • Description: Lettie Prell shares passages from her work.
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: Ultimate Showdown – A Science Fiction Battle Royale
      • Description: Battle royale sci-fi style.Characters from science fiction randomly selected and matched like in a basketball tournament. Audience members debate/discuss who wins in single elimination contest until there is only one character standing. Who will be the champion?
      • Room: Cedar Rapids Room
    • Name: Secrets of Being a Full-Time Writer/Artist
      • Description: You’ve made the decision to pursue a career as an author or artist, now you have to figure out how you pay your bills with the works you create. Making money as an author or artist means that you have to create what people want to buy, or that you need to educate them to want to buy what you create.  Come listen to other authors and artists tell their stories of making the move to full-time, what they learned, what sacrifices they had to make, and how they made it.
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: Worldbuilding 101
      • Description: In writing literature or creating a roleplaying campaign, one of the first things to create is the world the story takes place in.  Let’s talk about topics from city names to slang, races to magic systems, and even establishing how the history of the world influences the present.  Let us help you with ideas to create your own world.
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Masquerade
      • Description: Fans and guests alike come in their very best costumes for your viewing pleasure and amazement.
      • Type: Interactive
      • Room: Rosewood
  • SAT 8 PM

    • Name: Game: Unlock!
      • Description: Unlock is a cooperative card game modeled after escape rooms. Can you escape?
      • Room: Aspen/Birch Table 1
    • Name: Moonfire’s Writing Workshop
      • Description: Four writers have the opportunity to have their first chapters critiqued and discussed in a small group setting. Advanced registration is required to submit chapters before the convention and give enough time to give each piece the attention it deserves.
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: Airbrush Space Odyssey
      • Description: Watch Shawn work his magic with his airbrush as he creates one of his space paintings.
      • Room: Rosewood
    • Name: VISION of Machine Learning – Skynet or C-3PO
      • Description: In today’s world, Machine Learning is everywhere, and its presence is only increasing.  Whether it is the dawn of self driving cars, natural language recognition, or automated surveillance, we see it more every day.  The biggest question that remains, will it result in helpful androids, or an enslaving skynet? Let’s find out together!
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Tales from the Gazebo
      • Description: Gather around and share your best tales of gaming adventures. Audience participation encouraged.
      • Type: fan-chat
      • Room: Cedar Rapids Room
    • Name: Karaoke Saturday
      • Room: Waterloo
  • SAT 9 PM

    • Name: The Iron Nerd Games
      • Description: Who will be this years champion? Come complete against your fellow nerds. During this Nerd-triatholon  test your might in the lightsaber duel, your wits in grueling trivia contest, and your ingenuity making a costume from household supplies. Only one will reign supreme!!!
      • Room: Cedar Rapids Room
    • Name: “Dad Joke” Face-Off
      • Description: This panel is for ages 18+.  Do “Dad” jokes make you groan? Prepare your best ones and face off against other masters of the art, or come and listen to the skilled joke-slingers face off against one another.  Be prepared for side-splitting laughter and an eye rolling good time. Gender and parental status not required for participation.
      • Room: Rosewood
    • Name: B-Movies You May Not Have Heard Of, But Should Watch
      • Description: Originally, B movies were created as a companion to a main attraction in a double feature.  Since then, the term has gone on to mean nearly any low budget film. Nearly everyone has heard of some, such as Army of Darkness, but come and listen to our Guest of Honor Mystie Hollaman tell us some her favorite B movies that you probably haven’t seen yet, but you really should.
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: Open Filking – Saturday
      • Description: Fill the room with song and filk to your heart’s content!
      • Type: Interactive
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Round Robin
      • Description: A communal story, made up on the spot!
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Oak
  • SAT 10 PM

    • Name: Fan Chat: Stranger Things
      • Description: Come and discuss all about Stranger Things, and what you thought about the final season.
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: Designing Magic Systems – A Case Study of Avatar the Last Airbender
      • Description: One of the things that seperates fantasy from other genres is magic. Often a unique magic system is what can seperate one fantasy story apart from another.  In this panel, we will delve into how several different magic systems work and what made the Avatar series one of the most successful examples.
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: HBO’s Game of Thrones, What Did You Think?
      • Description: HBO’s Game of Thrones naturally has to make some changes from the books when adapting them to a television show.  That’s the nature of the medium. However, as the final season aired, several fans voiced concerns of how the show differed from the plot of the novels.  Come talk about what you thought, both about the books and the show. How would you have done it differently?
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Cedar Rapids Room
    • Name: Identifying with “The Other”
      • Description: Science fiction has always been about the “here and now” of the time, and the fight for representation in media has existed since the beginning of the genre. So what happens when you’ve been othered by society to this degree? You start identifying with the outcasts—robots, aliens, and monsters!  From Mary Shelley to Guillermo del Toro, join us for a discussion on the historical and modern day representation hidden between the lines of SciFi for decades, and explore the human love affair with The Others of fiction in a society that still rejects the real life otherness.
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Oak
  • SAT 11 PM

    • Name: Art After Dark
      • Description: 18+ only.  An autumnal celebration of beautifully evocative and erotic artwork.  Some content will be adult oriented.
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: Wolfie’s Wisdom
      • Description: Wolfie is one half of a podcast that gives advice to listeners and now is your chance to ask for his advice in person.  He will answer your questions on Sci-Fi, his favorite TV shows, relationships, acts he can’t have printed here, and anything else you want to ask.  He will answer all questions. If no one asks anything he will just talk about anything he feels like. 18+
      • Room: Cedar Rapids Room
    • Name: Hor-RIFF-ic
      • Description: Do you appreciate off-the-wall cheesy riffing of classic horror movies?  Join us for a sampler platter of several of your favorites.
      • Type: Presentation
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: SF/F Erotic Read-Aloud
      • Description: Are you ready for another Tingler? Will Ann. L. Probe be heard once again? What Moonfire writing will light up the evening? Join us for another scintillating hour of classic SF/F literature to find out. Attendees need to be 18+. Audience participation is likely. You have been warned.
      • Type: Interactive
      • Room: Rosewood
  • SAT/SUN 12 AM

    • Name: BDSM 101
      • Description: BDSM 101: This panel is for ages 18+. We welcome novices and those who are curious about the world of kink but may not have much real-life experience… yet. What is BDSM, and how is it different than abuse? Is it safe? What kinds of things do kinky people do? What’s the difference between a dominant and a top? What’s a switch? Am I a bottom, or a sub… or do I just enjoy sensation play?
      • Type: Adult
      • Room: Oak
    • Name: Adult Gaming/Cards Against Humanity – Saturday
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: Chocolate Ceremony
      • Description: Chocolate: Revered by the Mayans, Adored by Con Goers. Join us for the “ancient” traditional ICON Pagan Chocolate Ceremony. Pay homage to chocolate in many of its decadent forms. Yum-yum!
      • Type: Interactive
      • Room: Rosewood
  • SAT/SUN 1 AM

    • Name: BDSM 102
      • Description: BDSM 102: This panel is for ages 18+. In this continuation of the previous hour’s panel, we’ll dig into topics like how to find other kinksters and events, event etiquette, how to negotiate a scene, safety basics for playtime, resources for learning more, and online vs. real life.
      • Room: Oak
  • SUN 9 AM

    • Name: Author Reading – Nancy Jane Moore
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: Fan Chat: Warehouse 13
      • Description: Come and talk about Warehouse 13.  What other artifacts could still be out there?
      • Room: Waterloo
    • Name: Author Reading – M.L. Williams
      • Description: M.L. Williams shares passages from his work.
      • Room: Rosewood
    • Name: The Value of Romance in Science Fiction and Fantasy
      • Description: Let’s go beyond bodice rippers.  Romance isn’t just a genre, it is an important element that helps readers of all genres relate better to the story, focusing on something we all innately crave – love.  Often romance is missing, or just a footnote, in both science fiction and fantasy. Come discuss why romance is not just important, but essential.
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Oak
    • Name: What are Sensitivity Readers? (And Why Authors Should Use Them?)
      • Description: Sensitivity readers are a subset of beta readers who review unpublished manuscripts with the express purpose of spotting cultural inaccuracies, representation issues, bias, sterotypes, or problematic language.  Come learn more about using sensitivity readers, and why they are important. Most importantly, how to treat sensitivity readers once you begin using them!
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Anubis to Zeus, Nonbinary Characters in Mythology
      • Description: Across Greek, Egyptian, Native American, and several other mythologies, gods and other major characters have been portrayed as genderless or multigendered, with some even having the ability to change on a whim.  Nonbinary figures were not only common, but even prolific, in our species’ previous civilizations, let’s talk about it!
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: Pancakes with Deadpool
      • Description: Do you know what smells like victory? Is it Donuts with Drax? Crepes with Cable? Waffles with Wolverine? No it’s Pancakes with Deapool! Help us eat them before he fills the whole Consuite!  8:00-10:00 am in the ConSuite.
      • Type: Interactive
      • Room: ConSuite
  • SUN 10 AM

    • Name: Game: Unlock! Sunday
      • Description: Unlock is a cooperative card game modeled after escape rooms. Can you escape?
      • Room: Aspen/Birch Table 1
    • Name: Author Reading: K.B. Bogen
      • Description: K.B. Bogen shares passages from her work.
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: SCP Foundation – Secure Contain Protect
      • Description: Mankind has existing for nearly a quarter of a million years, but only the last 4,000 have been of significance.  Before that, we huddled in caves around fires, fearful of things we didn’t understand. We explained what we didn’t know as ‘gods’ or ‘demons’, and we begged them to spare us or prayed for salvation.  In time, these beings dwindled while humanity prospered, yet they still persist. While mankind dwells in the light, The S.C.P. Foundation stands in the darkness to fight. We Secure, We Contain, We Protect.  Would you like to know more?
      • Room: Waterloo
    • Name: Fencing for Writers – Swordplay Discussion and Demonstration
      • Description: A discussion and demonstration of basic swordplay; why historical sword fights were different from stage combat, sport fencing and other martial arts; what a fight scene does in terms of the story you’re writing or filming; And why you don’t need to know everything.
      • Room: Rosewood
    • Name: Weapon Design – A Case Study of RWBY
      • Description: In the world of Remnant, the setting of RWBY (a series created by Rooster Teeth), huntsman and huntresses create unique weapons to protect their world from monsters known as Grimm.  The characters and weapons in RWBY are unique in a way most of us have never seen before. Let’s discuss them and why they are so unique in a world filled with guns and swords? What other worlds have similarly unique weapon design?
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: What Are You Making? Creations and Constructions
      • Description: Regardless whether your chosen medium is plush, hardwood or anything just as cool, come share your latest geeky project, share ideas, and get inspired by your fellow creators.
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Do Nonbinary Androids Dream of Genderless Sheep?
      • Description: When humans create android “life” consisting of electronic circuitry and silicon, they frequently seem compelled to assign it a gender, or at least gender-specific features.  How does their expressed gender traits influence their ability to pass a Turing Test? Does it help them fit into human society? How do you think androids feel about it?
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Oak
  • SUN 11 AM

    • Name: Author Reading: Paula Helm Murray
      • Description: Paula Helm Murray shares passages from her work.
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: Fan Chat: Welcome to Nightvale
      • Description: Come talk about all things Nightvale!
      • Room: Waterloo
    • Name: Animal, AI, and Other Companions
      • Description: Sometimes the pets, or robot companions, are the whole reason to read a book.  Lets talk about our favorite companions, what goes into writing a great companion, and how to keep them from taking over the story.
      • Room: Rosewood
    • Name: Costumer’s/Cosplayer’s Share Chat Roundtable
      • Description: Whether you are a novice or expert costumer, come and discuss techniques and ideas towards building your next awesome costume!
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: Finding/Creating Representation in Fanfiction
      • Description: Not everyone is the same.  We are all different colors, genders, sexuality, and abilities (to name just a few).  Fanfiction is a place where you can find someone just like you, not just a background character.  Where a character just like you is the star, is awesome, and might even have sex.
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Dungeon Master Workshop
      • Description: Want to be a Dungeon Master?  Are you already a DM, but could use some help with your campaign?  Maybe you’re a DM and you love the idea of helping others. Maybe you’re just curious?  If you answered yes to any of these, this gathering is for you! We will host and help with the following: Basics of being a DM, Preparing for a game, Tips and Tricks behind the screen, building your campaign, constructing a world, and any other questions you may have.
      • Room: Oak
  • SUN 12 PM

    • Name: Of Two Minds – Puppeteer Workshop
      • Description: Come and talk about the basics of puppeteering, and character creation.
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: Fan Chat: Good Omens
      • Description: Can we tempt you to come and discuss your thoughts with fellow fans of Good Omens?  We sure hope so!
      • Room: Waterloo
    • Name: Author Reading: Erin Casey
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: 20 Years Since the Launch of Farscape
      • Description: Farscape premiered March, 19, 1999, just over twenty years ago. Let’s relive our fond memories of the series: the plot lines, the characters, the technology, the aliens,a the mini-series.
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: How to be Inclusive
      • Description: The world is changing, and the only constant is the speed at which it continues to change.  We all deal with individuals who are different, both in what we keep to ourselves as well as what we show to the world.  There is too much exclusivity in the world, and we as fans, geeks, or whatever we call ourselves, have a responsibility to make others feel welcome and included.  Come and discuss ways of doing so, whether it be at a gaming table, a convention, or out in the world.
      • Room: Oak
    • Name: Bulwer-Lytton Contest
      • Description: Sir Edward Bulwar-Lytton was known for his ultraviolet prose: come write the worst opening sentence to a novel your fevered brain (or sleep-deprivation) can provide!
      • Type: Interactive
      • Room: Rosewood
  • SUN 1 PM

    • Name: Author Reading: Wayne Borean
      • Description: Wayne Borean shares passages from his work.
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Prompt Workshop
      • Description: Come write with us using visual prompts and other tricks to spark new ideas and stories. This is a guided free write.
      • Room: Boardroom 234
    • Name: What Do You Mean I Can’t Just Throw It In The Washer?
      • Description: A 101 class on the basic care and maintenance of  that costume you have built. We will discuss cleaning options and no nos.
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: Author Discussion – Writing Outside Personal Demographics
      • Description: Every author needs to write outside their own demographics to a degree when creating characters, but how far is too far? Is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed? Come discuss your thoughts and discover new tips and tricks for writing diverse characters.
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Oak
    • Name: How did we do?
      • Description: Loved it, hated it?  How did you like ICON 44? Come share your thoughts with us so we can make ICON 45 even better!
      • Type: Panel
      • Panelists: Gregg Partmentier, ‘Evil’ John, Shawn Johnson, Jessica Penticoff, Tony Penticoff
      • Room: Waterloo
    • Name: Vogon Poetry Contest
      • Description: The Vogons are known for writing the third worst poetry in the galaxy: can you do worse?
      • Type: Interactive
      • Room: Rosewood
  • SUN 2 PM

    • Name: Author Reading: Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl
      • Description: Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl shares passages from their work.
      • Room: Elm
    • Name: Fan Chat: RWBY
      • Description: Come and talk about all things RWBY!
      • Room: Waterloo
    • Name: DAGOBAH Galaxy Bowl
      • Description: Join DAGOBAH for their version of KVFD High School Quiz Bowl. Put together a group of friends or enemies to compete as a team in this all things scifi and fantasy quiz show. There will be fabulous prizes!
      • Room: Rosewood
    • Name: Nerds, Neckbeards, and Nonbinary – Why Gaming is a Refuge
      • Description: Gaming is a refuge to all, especially to those who have felt excluded at some point in other areas of life.  We all want to feel welcome and invited, and as gamers, we often strive to make sure that is the case. Game companies have also come on board to help facilitate more welcoming gaming as time has gone on.  Come explore the commonalities between games of all types, as well as point of conflict that still exist.
      • Room: Chestnut
    • Name: Avengers Endgame is Passed, What Now?
      • Description: Built on the foundation laid by the 21 films that came before it, Avengers: Endgame is a lovely send off for the original heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  If the MCU was looking for a strong ending, well, they found it. But where exactly does the MCU go from here? Come talk about what you liked and disliked most about the MCU so far, and where you think it is going!
      • Type: Panel
      • Room: Oak
  • SUN 3 PM

    • Name: Closing Ceremonies
      • Room: Rosewood

Most of our panels and workshops come from ideas submitted by our membership. We encourage everyone to submit ideas. You do not have to moderate or be a part of the panel or workshop to submit an idea.  Without your ideas for panels and workshops, ICON would be stale and boring. We are always looking to bring new things to ICON.

Programming suggestions for the upcoming convention are accepted between the beginning of January and the end of June each year.