Upcoming Appearance: COSine 2015, 23-25 January

Mon, 2015-01-19

John E. Stith will be attending the COSine SF convention in Colorado Springs during the weekend of 23-25 January 2015.

He will be at these events:

Friday 4pm panel: Does Science Fiction Need to Lighten Up? (moderator is Connie Willis)

Friday 7pm: Opening Ceremonies

Saturday 4pm panel: Back to the Moon (Moderator is Thea Hutcheson)

Saturday 5pm: Author Reception and Autographing

Sunday 11am panel: Robert Heinlein, The Man, the Myth, the Legend (Stith is the moderator)


The con's programming page is: http://firstfridayfandom.org/cosine/programming.html

Complete con schedule is below:

COSine 2015 Program Schedule

Friday January 23


Does Science Fiction Need to Lighten Up?

Has the genre become too serious and pretentious in recent years? Where are the space operas and rip-roaring adventure yarns of the past? How about humorous novels? Do many authors feel they are philosophers and teachers rather than storytellers? Or has science fiction grown up, and moved into the realm of serious literature?

Panelists: Travis Heermann,Sarah Hoyt, Kevin Ikenberry, Dina Leacock, John Stith, Connie Willis (M)

Audio Books, Podcasts, and Radio Plays

You don’t need words printed on paper to tell a story. With the increasing popularity of audio books and radio plays, you can listen to almost any book you like. Can any book be brought to audio, or do some really require the impact of the written word? Does it matter if it is published first in print or audio? Are fully cast radio plays better than a straight reading of the book?

Panelists: Donald Hammond, Paul Lell, Nathan Lowell, Robin Monogue (M), Henry Snider, Daniel Willis



Invented Languages in Fantasy & Science Fiction

Making up an entire language seems like a tremendous amount of work just to support a novel or TV series, yet it started with Tolkien and has been followed by many authors since. Is it worth creating a language for your book? How do you introduce it to the readers, who naturally cannot understand it?

Panelists: W.J. Cherf (M), Wil McCarthy, Ronnie Seagren, Henry Snider, Hollie Snider


Media Reboots: Breathing New Life into Old Shows

With TV and movie writers rarely able to think up new ideas, the reboot of an old popular TV show or movie has become increasingly popular. Which ones have worked or failed? What would you do if given the chance to reboot an old show? Which series or movie is ripe for rebooting?

Panelists: David Boop, Jessica Brawner, Nikki Hohl, Thea Hutcheson, Cary Quinn (M)


Science Education in America

Schools try to teach the fundamentals of science to everyone, yet many people see it as irrelevant, or uninteresting due to the memorization of facts and formulas. Retention of the information is poor. Is the increasing volume of new scientific knowledge making it harder to cram the information into a semester? Are we weeding out the most creative people due to the historical approach taken by traditional science education?

Panelists: Rebecca Lickiss, Nathan Lowell, Mem Morman (M), Courtney Willis, Shelly Wright

Applying Modern Morals to Speculative Fiction

Past societies had very different views on morality than we do today. Are authentic prejudices and unfair justice systems too hard for modern readers to swallow, or do they add depth and flavor to your alternate history or medieval fantasy? What about aliens – can an alien morality be introduced so that it seems natural and comprehensible to the reader?

Panelists: Dana Bell (M), Marie DesJardin, Paul Lell, Kal Spriggs, Connie Willis


So You're an Artist: Now What?

Join artists in the Art Show as they discuss the business side of the art world. It isn’t enough to say you’re an artist; you need to get people to buy your art!



Opening Ceremonies

Followed by ice cream sundaes in the Con Suite



Video and Films

Schedule to be announced at the convention


SF Trivia Game!

Win fabulous prizes!



The Eye of Argon

A group reading of a very bad novella


Saturday, January 24


Guest of Honor Interview with Nathan Lowell



The Lost Art of Editing

In the early days of science fiction and fantasy, novels were rarely much over 200 pages, and had to be edited down to that size by their authors. Now with newer typesetting technology, it seems that the sky is the limit. Did the difficult task of pruning a book for length make for better novels, or was good material left on the cutting room floor? Are today’s verbose novels richer and more fleshed out, or would they benefit from being tightened up?

Panelists: Kent Bloom (M), W.J. Cherf, Henry Snider, Hollie Snider, Shelly Wright

Writing from an Alien Perspective

Aliens are, well…alien. How do you write from the perspective of a non-human intelligence? How do you communicate the worldview and thought patterns of an alien species to the reader? What are the potential pitfalls? How do you keep it believable?

Panelists: Dana Bell, David Boop, Cynthia Felice, Thea Hutcheson, Kevin Ikenberry, Wil McCarthy (M)


The Current State of Cybernetics

We aren’t quite at the level of the bionic man, but with medical and technological advances, cybernetic implants and prosthetics are becoming increasingly possible. What is the current state of the art? What has been actually tested, and what do we expect to see in the near future? What are the ethical implications of cybernetics?

Panelists: Donald Hammond (M), Dan Hoyt, Rebecca Lickiss, Wil McCarthy, Robin Monogue


Electronic publication has exploded in recent years, moving far beyond the realm of the vanity press. What are the benefits and drawbacks of publishing your books electronically? How do you handle copyrights, editing, publicity, sales, and inventory? Is traditional publishing adding enough value to justify the percentage of sales it takes vs. electronic publishing?

Panelists: Travis Heermann, Kevin Ikenberry, Paul Lell, Nathan Lowell, Daniel Willis (M)


Repercussions of Magic

Presume magic exists. Now what? How would magic affect the technology, government, legal system, and educational system of your society? Can magic create enough food for everyone? Can it cure plagues? Can it defeat a non-magical army? What are the consequences of such power?

Panelists: Cynthia Felice, Carol Hightshoe, Sarah Hoyt (M), Hollie Snider, Kal Spriggs, Melanie Unruh

Why is Current Young Adult Fiction so Dystopian?

Many of the recent popular young adult series have been about dystopian societies. Is there some reason for this, or is it a matter of copying what sells? Are kids disillusioned with our society today? Is it just teenage rebellion in a literary form?

Panelists: Dana Bell, Carolyn Kay, Ronnie Seagren, Shelly Wright (M)


British Science Fiction: Books and Media

Doctor Who and its spinoff Torchwood have been very popular in the US for many years. What British SF is worth reading or watching? Does it differ from American science fiction at all?

Panelists: Jessica Brawner (M), Nikki Hohl, Dina Leacock, Paul Lell, Cary Quinn

The Latest Developments in Programmable Matter

Join Science Guest Wil McCarthy for his lecture on programmable matter. What is it, and how close to realization is this concept?



Which Classics Stand the Test of Time?

Which classics of science fiction or fantasy still read as well today as they did when they were first written? Have our expectations of what makes a good novel changed over the years? Are some of the classics too dated to resonate with today’s readers?

Panelists: Jack Heneghan, Travis Heermann, Sarah Hoyt, Joe Sokola (M), Daniel Willis

Meet Wordfire Press

Join Kevin Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, and other Wordfire Press authors to learn more about independent publisher Wordfire Press. They republish out of print books, as well as discovering new authors.



Back to the Moon

China and Russia have both talked about plans for manned missions to the moon. Is it worth going back? Is there any benefit to establishing a moon base? Should the US get in on the action, or have we been there and done that already? How would today’s trip to the moon differ from the ones back in the 60s and 70s?

Panelists: Donald Hammond, Thea Hutcheson (M), Rebecca Lickiss, Wil McCarthy, John Stith


Bella, Katniss, or Hermione: Female Characters in F&SF

What do you love or hate about female characters in popular F&SF novels? What makes a female character memorable? Is it different for male characters? Do male authors struggle to write believable heroines?

Panelists: Dana Bell, Marie DesJardin (M), Carol Hightshoe, Dan Hoyt, Hollie Snider, Kal Spriggs


Author Reception and Autographing

Have a drink and hobnob with attending authors. Bring your books for them to sign!


2015: It’s the Future

In the 1989 movie, Back to the Future Part II, Marty travels forward 30 years from 1985 to 2015. It’s the future now! We’ll take a look at scenes from the movie and see what tech we have today, what we could have if we wanted to, and what remains the province of science fiction.

Panelists: Travis Heermann, Rebecca Lickiss, Ted Monogue (M), Connie Willis, Courtney Willis

Flash Fiction: The Short Short Story

Can you tell a complete story in just a couple pages of text? How does this format challenge writers? Is flash fiction long enough to satisfy readers?

Panelists: David Boop (M), Marie DesJardin, Dina Leacock, Henry Snider, Daniel Willis, Shelly Wright



Presentation: Things I Wish Some Pro Had Told Me When I Was First Starting Out

Kevin Anderson and Rebecca Moesta will give a talk, followed by questions and discussion.


Meet Fiction Foundry

Join Henry Snider, Kevin Ikenberry, and other Fiction Foundry authors to learn more about the help they provide to authors.


Video and Films

A specific schedule will be published at the convention


Sunday, January 25


Robert Heinlein: The Man, the Myth, the Legend

Is Robert Heinlein still relevant to today’s readers? Do we understand him better now than when some of his controversial viewpoints were first published in his books and stories? William Patterson published the second part of Robert A. Heinlein’s authorized biography this past year. Does it lend any insight into this science fiction great?

Panelists: Jack Heneghan, Mary Morman, Ronnie Seagren, John Stith (M), Connie Willis



National novel writing month happens in November every year, and is a challenge to write a novel of 50,000 words in a month. It has its own website and participants from around the world. What is it like to participate in? Do books written for NaNoWriMo get published? Does it help with motivation? How much support is offered once you have finished writing?

Panelists: Jessica Brawner, Thea Hutcheson, Kevin Ikenberry, Nathan Lowell,Sheila McClune (M), Shelly Wright


Using Science Fiction Tech to Solve Crimes

There’s plenty of tech right out of science fiction seen in various TV crime shows such as CSI. What is real and what exists only in the fevered imaginations of the scriptwriters? What kinds of technology should (or could) we invent to help solve crimes? What is the most egregious misuse of technology you have seen on a TV crime show?

Panelists: Donald Hammond, Nikki Hohl (M), Wil McCarthy, Connnie Willis

Supernatural Colorado: A New Anthology

Join Carol Hightshoe, Dana Bell, and David Boop to learn more about their new anthology, which will be published the weekend of COSine.


Crowd Funding

Crowd funding is all the rage right now, both for artistic and technological projects. How well does it work? How do you promote your campaign? What happens if the project was more challenging than you expected and the money runs out?

Panelists: Marie DesJardin, Travis Heermann (M), Kevin Ikenberry, Ted Monogue


Ask Dr. Science

Join Dr. Courtney Willis as he demonstrates some cool science!



You Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction!

There is a long history of mixing genres in speculative fiction. Does adding fantasy elements stretch belief in your science-based world? What about blending in other genres such as horror, mystery, or romance? Does it create a problem for anyone other than the bookstores?

Panelists: Sarah Hoyt, Paul Lell (M), Nathan Lowell, Henry Snider, Connie Willis


Research for Fiction Writers

How do you go about researching background for a novel? What do you need to know, but the reader doesn’t? How much of an expert do you need to become?

Panelists: Dana Bell, David Boop, W.J. Cherf, Hollie Snider, Kal Spriggs, Daniel Willis (M)



Closing Ceremonies

After which, for anyone not interested in helping with tear down, Kent Bloom will perform interpretive dance while Terry Adams sings a selection of her favorite romantic ballads. ;-)


Dead Dog Party

in the Con Suite after tear-down.