13th Amendment Day
Dec
6
12:00 AM00:00

13th Amendment Day

Ratified on December 6th, 1865, the 13th Amendment slavery and involuntary servitude - however, Black Codes, white supremacist violence, red lining, and other factors have worked to prevent persons of color from having equal status in the United States. The 13th Amendment, though, was the first of the Reconstruction Amendments that began to transform the United States from "half slave and half free" (as Abraham Lincoln put it) to one where constitutional guarantees would apply to all citizens.

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Election Day!
Nov
6
7:00 AM07:00
Last Day to Register to Vote in Advance in Minnesota
Nov
5
8:00 AM08:00

Last Day to Register to Vote in Advance in Minnesota

Register in advance by October 17 to save time on Election Day.

Who can vote in Minnesota

You must be:

  • A U.S. citizen

  • At least 18 years old on Election Day

  • A resident of Minnesota for 20 days

  • Finished with all parts of any felony sentence

You can vote while under guardianship unless a judge specifically has revoked your right to vote.

You cannot vote if a court has ruled that you are legally incompetent.

You can still register on election day!

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CONvergence 2018
Jul
5
to Jul 8

CONvergence 2018

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

"The Orville Fan Panel" - DoubleTree Edina
Friday, July 6 • 12:30 - 13:30
Panelists: Michael Zecca (mod), Jeanne Mealy, Laura Okagaki-Vraspir, Walter Parker, Justin Grays


"When is Star Trek Space Opera?" - DoubleTree Atrium 4
Friday, July 6 • 20:30 - 21:30
Space Opera is a subgenre of science fiction and sometimes Star Trek falls into that subgenre, but very often it does not. So when is Star Trek Space Opera, anyway?
Panelists: Alexis Nordling (mod), Taylor Cisco, Justin Grays


"Polyamory 101" - DoubleTree Atrium 2
Saturday, July 7 • 20:30 - 21:30
Configurations, lexicons, myths, and resources. Polyamory means “many loves” - but there is not just one way to be poly. Come discuss polyamory, what it means, and ways to navigate more than one love.
Panelists: Carl Z., John H. (mod), Kelso R., Justin Grays, Kerry P.


"Avoiding Tokenism In Literature" - DoubleTree Bloomington
Sunday, July 8 • 15:30 - 16:30
Creating actual diversity requires a great effort to avoid unintentionally tokenizing your characters. Tokenism, even when unintentional, is what leads to adding "diversity" for the sake of diversity. How do we engender true diversity in our literature?
Panelists: Tamora Pierce, Justin Grays, Kerry Peterson, Jei Herald-Zamora

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MarsCon 2018 "Robots, Rayguns & Rockets The 3 R's of Sci-Fi"
Mar
2
to Mar 4

MarsCon 2018 "Robots, Rayguns & Rockets The 3 R's of Sci-Fi"

  • Hilton Minneapolis/St Paul Airport/Mall of America (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Avoiding the Tokenism in Comics and Sci Fi Cultures — Friday 06:00 pm
3 Eagle's Nest - Re(a)d Mars

Creating actual diversity requires a great effort to avoiding unintentionally tokenizing your characters. Tokenism, even when unintentional, is what leads to adding "diversity" for the sake of diversity. How do we engender true diversity in sci fi and comics?
With: Justin Grays,  Rob Callahan, S.N. Arly, Tyler Tork, mod.


How to Fail Gracefully — Friday 09:00 pm
2 Cardinal Perch - Free Mars

The panel from CVG 2017 is back! Everybody makes mistakes sometimes. Maybe you've worded something poorly or were misinformed on a topic. Maybe you just didn't think a decision through and something went the wrong way. It happens. But how we react in these situations is what matters most.
With: Rachel Cleveland, Kyle Andrew, Michelle Chmura, Jennifer Jones, Justin Grays


Polyamory: Perceptions and Realities — Friday 10:00 pm
2 Cardinal Perch - Free Mars

In society and in the media, a number of myths have revolved around polyamory. Though polyamory is becoming more generally accepted, the media shows it as a white phenomenon. Explore and discuss how the polyamorous experience is portrayed and how it differs from reality.
With: Kyle Andrew, Justin Grays


The Prime Directive as Liberal Eurocentric Superiority — Saturday 12:00 pm
Room 1117 - Krushenko's

Starfleet's Prime Directive is evidence that Borg, Dominion, & Klingons are not the only ethnocentric civilizations in Star Trek. Let's talk about how and why deciding what's best for another culture is problematic regardless of intentions, even in space.
With: Justin Grays, Stephanie Stensland


Gem Watch — Saturday 02:00 pm
2 Cardinal Perch - Free Mars

Discussion of the recent episodes of Steven Universe. What are your theories about events on Homeworld? What will this bring to Beach City?
With: Kathryn Sullivan, mod.; Justin Grays


Star Trek — Saturday 03:00 pm
2 Cardinal Perch - Free Mars

A talk about the last 52 years of Star Trek, 6 Shows, and the 13 movies. Yes there will be spoilers for Star Trek Discovery.
With: Tony Artym, Elizabeth Erickson, Justin Grays, Joan Marie Verba, Stephanie Stensland


Cleavage Optional: Gender, Cosplay, and Genderbending Cosplay — Saturday 04:00 pm
1 Blue Heron - Masquerade Lounge

How is the cosplay experience different for women and men? Why is genderbent cosplay so popular? What fans aren't doing it and what characters aren't being genderbent? What does this mean for trans and non-binary characters and fans?
With: Bridget Landry, Justin Grays, Kris Heding


Race and Culture in the Honorverse — Saturday 05:00 pm
3 Eagle’s Nest - Re(a)d Mars

David Weber's Honor Harrington series presents a very diverse gambit of humans in a far future when race does not seem to matter as much as politics. Juxtaposed against our own realities, how does this fundamentally affect our perception of the Honorverse?
With: Justin Grays, Stephanie Stensland


Androids, AI, And Gender Theory — Sunday 1:00 pm
3 Eagle's Nest - Re(a)d Mars

Androids & AI in sci-fi disrupt the idea of a gender binary and play with gender fluidity in a way that implies gender is not essential or passive but a construct in which one must actively participate. How do these narratives translate to other contexts.
With: Michelle Chmura, mod.; Justin Grays, Naomi Kritzer, Lyda Morehouse


Artificial People in Science Fiction — Sunday 2:00 pm
3 Eagle's Nest - Re(a)d Mars

This is about biological people, enhanced or otherwise, who are not conceived and gestated in the normal way. From "Frankenstein" through "Rossman's Universal Robots," "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" and "Friday" this has been the topic of many classic, and not so classic, science fiction stories. Why are authors drawn to this idea? Is there any real word reason for artificial people?
With: G. David Nordley, mod.; Justin Grays, Naomi Kritzer, Lyda Morehouse, Kathryn Sullivan


If you can, please help me continue to get out to conventions and sit on panels. Preparing for each panel takes a lot of work, ranging from studying and understanding a subject to maintaining this website and preparing researched content. As little as $1/month will help me get into a position where I can prepare and create quality content for everyone. To this end, I am on Patreon, a membership platform service to help facilitate the relationship between patrons and creators.
I know that it's not always possible to sponsor someone on a monthly basis. If you would help me with a one time donation, please feel free to use PayPal, SquareCash, or Vemno. Producing content takes time and effort, and any support would be most appreciated. Your donations help me cover expenses and eventually will let me be able to create quality content full-time.

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13th Amendment Day
Dec
6
12:00 AM00:00

13th Amendment Day

Ratified on December 6th, 1865, the 13th Amendment slavery and involuntary servitude - however, Black Codes, white supremacist violence, red lining, and other factors have worked to prevent persons of color from having equal status in the United States. The 13th Amendment, though, was the first of the Reconstruction Amendments that began to transform the United States from "half slave and half free" (as Abraham Lincoln put it) to one where constitutional guarantees would apply to all citizens.

View Event →
Last Day to Register to Vote in Advance in Minnesota
Oct
17
8:00 AM08:00

Last Day to Register to Vote in Advance in Minnesota

http://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/register-to-vote/

Register in advance by October 17 to save time on Election Day.

Who can vote in Minnesota

You must be:

You can vote while under guardianship unless a judge specifically has revoked your right to vote.

You cannot vote if a court has ruled that you are legally incompetent.

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CONvergence 2017 "To Infinity & Beyond"
Jul
6
to Jul 9

CONvergence 2017 "To Infinity & Beyond"

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

"Speculative Fiction Against Colonialism" - Sheraton Ames
Thursday, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Colonialism pervades much of speculative fiction. But post-colonial literary movements rejecting this worldview, including Afrofuturism and Indigenous futurism, are gaining more steam in the genre. We will examine these works and their significance. Panelists: Gabriela Santiago, Rob Callahan (mod), Justin Grays


"Avoiding Tokenism in Comics & Sci Fi Characters" - DoubleTree Plaza 1
Thursday, 10:00pm - 11:00pm
Creating actual diversity requires a great effort to avoid unintentionally tokenizing your characters. Tokenism, even when unintentional, is what leads to adding "diversity" for the sake of diversity. How do we engender true diversity in Sci Fi/Comics? Panelists: Justin Grays, Nat Morse-Noland(mod), Kerry Peterson, Jim Soos, Ian Truitner


"Diversity, Class Systems, and Equality in Science Fiction" - DoubleTree Bloomington
Friday, 12:30pm - 1:30pm
When writing sci-fi, the world shifts. Examples of acceptable democratic societies or functional systems in real life are sometimes reversed or broken down. Is this simply not trying hard enough? Shock value? Does diversity matter in a sci-fi setting? Panelists: Lana Rosario (mod), Emilie Peck, Justin Grays, Peregrine JohnsonGregory Parks


"50 Shades of Blackface" - DoubleTree Atrium 7
Friday, 8:30pm - 9:30pm
The desire for realism is high in the cosplay community, but when does it go to far? Is it okay to change skin tone to emulate a character of a different race? Is it necessary? What is the difference between looking like another race and another species? Panelists: Justin Grays, Stephanie Stensland (mod), Sarah Molasky, Morgan Strickland, Charlene Holm


"Androids, AI, And Gender Theory" - DoubleTree Plaza 3
Saturday, 10:00pm - 11:00pm
Androids & AI in sci-fi disrupt the idea of a gender binary and play with gender fluidity in a way that implies gender is not essential or passive but a construct in which one must actively participate. How do these narratives translate to other contexts Panelists: Jamie Riedesel (mod), Susan Willson, Nat Morse-Noland, Justin Grays


"Steven Universe as Queer Space Opera" - DoubleTree Edina
Sunday, 9:30am - 10:30am
We will explore how the alternative relationship styles and structures, as well as the growth and character development in Steven Universe work to queer the traditional concepts of Space Opera. Panelists: Justin Grays (mod), Ryan AlexanderBri Donovan, Jesse Haller, Lara Richardson

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May
26
to May 28

MantiCon 2017

  • Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Mall of America (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

"Diversity in Stories" - HAWK
Friday, 2:30PM - 3:30PM
Science Fiction and Fantasy stories tend to have a cis-het white male narrative. Let's talk about some stories that buck that narrative.


"TRMN 101" - OWL
Saturday, 8:30PM - 9:30PM
Are you new to Honor Harrington and TRMN? This Panel will help show you how the whole program works, How the organization is set up...


"So You Want the White Beret?" - OWL
Sunday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Setting up a Chapter in the TRMN; what new CO's need to know. This panel will cover use of TRMN resources such as the...

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