Imagining Revolutionary Worlds
Friday, February 28, 2:00-3:00pm, S503
Description: What does it mean for stories to feature new worlds and possibilities, rather than glorified replicas of a past or present we already know? A panel of scifi/fantasy authors dive into what it takes to create revolutionary visions and why it matters to have stories that inspire us to imagine worlds beyond the boundaries of our own experiences and realities.
I’ll be joined by panelists:
Maurice Broaddus: A community organizer and teacher, his work has appeared in magazines like Lightspeed Magazine, Weird Tales, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Asimov’s, Cemetery Dance, Uncanny Magazine, with some of his stories having been collected in The Voices of Martyrs. His books include the urban fantasy trilogy, The Knights of Breton Court, the steampunk novella, Buffalo Soldier, the steampunk novel, Pimp My Airship, and the middle grade detective novel, The Usual Suspects. As an editor, he’s worked on Dark Faith, Dark Faith: Invocations, Streets of Shadows, People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror, and Apex Magazine. Learn more at MauriceBroaddus.com.
Nino Cipri: Nino Cipri is a queer and trans/nonbinary writer, editor, and educator. They are a graduate of the 2014 Clarion Writers’ Workshop, and earned their MFA in fiction from the University of Kansas in 2019. A multidisciplinary artist, Nino has also written plays, screenplays, and radio features; performed as a dancer, actor, and puppeteer; and worked as a stagehand, bookseller, bike mechanic, and labor organizer.
Ada Palmer: Ada Palmer’s Terra Ignota series (Tor Books) explores a future of borderless nations and globally commixing populations. The first volume Too Like the Lightning was a Best Novel Hugo finalist, and won the Compton Crook Award, while Ada received the Campbell Award. She teaches history at the University of Chicago, studying the Renaissance, Enlightenment, heresy, atheism, and censorship. She composes music including the Viking mythology cycle Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok, and performs with the group Sassafrass. She studies anime/manga, especially Osamu Tezuka, post-WWII manga and feminist manga, and consults for anime and manga publishers. She blogs at ExUrbe.com.
Gabriel D Vidrine: Gabriel D Vidrine is a transmasculine writer, dancer, scientist, and software engineer. They’ve written multiple essays and have published their first novel, On a Summer Night with Nine Star Press, as well as winning “Editor’s Choice” in The Dark Crystal prequel competition. They manage to squeeze in writing between dancing with Raks Geek, traveling the country to teach belly dance, and the day job.
Suzanne Walker: Suzanne Walker is a Chicago-based writer and editor. She is co-creator of the graphic novel Mooncakes (Lion Forge, October 2019) with artist Wendy Xu. Her short fiction has been published in Clarkesworld, and she has published nonfiction articles with Uncanny Magazine, StarTrek.com, Women Write About Comics, and the anthology Barriers and Belonging: Personal Narratives of Disability. She has spoken at numerous conventions on a variety of topics ranging from disability representation in sci-fi/fantasy to the importance of fair compensation for marginalized SF/F creators. You can find her posting pictures of her cat and occasionally yelling about baseball on Twitter: @suzusaur.
These Geeks Fight Fascism
Friday, February 28, 4:30-5:30pm, S405B
Description: Bigotry should have no place in fandom, but that hasn’t stopped various hate movements from taking root in our spaces. So what can fans do to combat hate and bigotry in this current political climate? Professionals from across geek media will talk about how we can protect fandom spaces while also celebrating the geeky things we love.
I’ll be joined by panelists:
Meha Ahmad: Meha Ahmad is a producer for WBEZ’s The Morning Shift. Before making the switch to radio and coming to WBEZ, Meha worked for the international news outlet Al Jazeera in Washington, D.C. as a news and field producer. There she covered everything from arts and entertainment to U.S. foreign policy to race relations in America. After five years of covering Washington politics, Meha joined the Morning Shift team to help foster conversations that affect her hometown.
Keidra Chaney: Keidra Chaney is the co-founder and publisher of pop culture web publication The Learned Fangirl which has amplified marginalized voices in fandom critical writing and scholarship since 2008. She has written about pop culture, fan culture and social technology issues for Chicago Sun Times, Paste, Bitch Media, The Organization for Transformative Works, and Uncanny Magazine. She has been interviewed about media and pop culture for Chicago Public Radio, WGN Radio – Chicago and KPCC Radio – Southern California, and spoken at conferences including Pop Culture Association of the South Annual Conference, Experience Music Project Pop Conference, Experience Music Project Pop Conference, and the Media in Transition conference at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mariella Colon: Mariella Colon is a librarian in the Adult Services department of the Chicago Public Library. Born in Chicago, she grew up in a large family in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. She is a co-chair of the Games Team, a group of library staff focused on utilizing design thinking to appeal to an emerging adult audience. She also launched the Community Cinema project, a program that helps libraries highlight films starring people of color. She is an avid reader, film watcher, traveler and gamer.
Karlyn Meyer: Karlyn Meyer is a former singer-songwriter with a career in legal education. You can find her writing in Lady Science, Uncanny Magazine, legal publications, and small video games. She spends her dwindling free time as a community organizer, volunteer, and speaker. Other passions include friendship and learning new things with her endlessly curious kid. She tweets @karlyn_darlin.
Dawn Xiana Moon: Dawn Xiana Moon is the Founder/Director of Raks Geek, a nerd-themed bellydance and fire company that’s been featured on MSN, UK Channel 4 TV, and more. She herself was just named “Best Stage Performer” and “Best Dancer” by the Chicago Reader, as well as runner-up for “Best Singer-Songwriter.” She is also a UX designer and writer.
Since both my panels are on Friday, I’m looking forward to having all of Saturday and Sunday to wander the con and catch up with friends and colleagues! Looking forward to see everyone there!