Program Schedule


Click to access the complete program schedule! 

We are using Konopas for our mobile program guide. This open-source webpage based app can be used in most browsers and devices, and works even if you are offline. Program and participant data will be kept updated as final changes and corrections are made. Check it out and plan your con!

Note: Artists/Authors Alley Appearances have been scheduled separately and do not appear in the program guide.

If you’d like a pdf version of the program instead, please click here.

Note: The Internal ConBustion newsletter has edditions for Saturday, Friday Evening, Friday Morning, and Thursday. The Publications page links to these and other handy printable info.

Note: Programming updates (Pink Sheets) are available for Saturday, Friday, and Thursday.

With nearly 400 unique panels, workshops, demos, talks and readings, you will have no problem staying busy at Detcon1! Don’t forget that Detcon1 is a four-day convention, which means that there will be a full day of programming on Friday. Things get underway on Thursday at 3 pm and finish up at 3 pm on Sunday. See the overall event schedule here.

A few program highlights:


The Art of John Picacio
Hugo Award-winning artist John Picacio presents a slideshow and Q&A, revealing the making of his latest cover and product artworks, including his new Loteria card art for Lone Boy.

Future of Art and Artists in SF/F
Traditional and digital publishing are constantly and rapidly evolving in SF/F. Publishers disappear and merge. Smaller ones arise. What are the implications for the visual arts in SF/F? Can artists make a living or are they migrating for their livelihoods? Pro artists discuss how they’ve evolved with the latest changes in publishing, creating revenue streams and art opportunities.

You Want to Make Art But…
Introduction by our experts to drawing and cartooning in a workshop. Bring your willingness to explore your potential to express yourself on paper.


Leveling Up as a Costumer
So you’ve made a couple costumes. You can follow a commercial pattern. Maybe you’ve entered a masquerade or two—but you want to improve your score and maybe move up to the next entry class. In this panel, experienced costumers will discuss techniques that can help you bring your costuming to the next level, and recommend resources you can use to continue improving your craft.

Dressing a Fictional World
Clothes don’t just make the (wo)man—they also make the character, their society, and their physical world. In this panel, experienced costumers team up with writers to build a world and determine how characters in it would dress, based on their physical, social, and personal background


Note: panels in our Detention track are updates of or inspired by those run at Detention, the World Science Fiction Convention held in Detroit in 1959.

A Renaissance for Science Fiction
Panelists will discuss the theme of Poul Anderson’s Detention Guest of Honor Speech: authors should create “not merely clever variations on a theme, but stories which are about people and about science and about history and about art and about philosophy and about the way a mountain looks at twilight when the stars are just coming forth. That kind of science fiction is entertaining.”

Science Fiction and the Space Age
At the time of Detention in 1959, the space age had barely started with the launch of Sputnik in 1957. But Science Fiction had already been around for decades. It’s now 2014, and this weekend marks the 45th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. How has our changing relationship with space influenced the genre since 1959?

Fan Interest

Fanwriting in the Age of the Blog
Once upon a time, fanzines thrived as the dominant venue for fan writing and communication. But in the Internet era, fanzines share the floor with an increasingly dizzying array of mutant digital formats: blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and websites. What is the future of fan-created content? Should fanwriting vary with its medium?

Geeky Parenting 101
What is life REALLY like after younglings? Can you still be a geek? Do you have to become a soccer parent? How do you teach your geeky ideals to children who are surrounded by mundane influences? Come to this panel to have your questions about parenting answered.

The Fans Who Built the Internet
Science fiction fans have been part of the internet from its earliest beginnings, and Michigan fandom figured strongly in what it might have been. Fans recount net history, the Xanadu Project, and what happened next.

Annals of Michifandom
From the Slan Shack and the propeller beanie to Detcon1, Michigan fans have contributed mightily to fannish history and lore. Join us for some rollicking multimedia time travel through fandom Michigan-style.

Real Geek Girls
The notion that there’s such a thing as a “fake geek girl” is so ridiculous we’re not even going to waste time discussing it. Instead, panelists and audience members alike are invited to talk about their favorite geeky women: cosplayers, gamers, comics fans, bloggers, and more.


The Nuts and Bolts of Making Video Games
Special Guest Jon Davis shows us the nuts and bolts of how video games are made, with examples and screenshots taken from games he has worked on, including Titanfall, showing how the various game development disciplines contribute to the final visuals, audio, and game play

The Other Worldbuilding Panel: Gaming
Our panelists discuss worldbuilding techniques for video games, focusing on how stories are developed and told for interactive software titles.


Is There Still Life in the Undead?
Vampires, ghosts and zombies have been a mainstay in popular culture for years. Is their popularity waning or is there still life left among the undead? Our panelists discuss the cyclical nature of undead & supernatural fictions, and how modern content creators have changed the traditional notions of these characters to keep interest alive.

Dystopias Across Time and Space
Dystopias are a specialized type of SF, the ultimate in cautionary tales, the answer to “if this goes on…” What themes do dystopias explore, and what cultural/economic trends tend to produce dystopias? What elements are particularly prominent in current dystopian fictions, compared to those of the past? What do they say about now?

Hard SF Without the Cold Equations
Nothing against Tom Godwin or his most famous story, but we’ll point to other works when discussing hard SF, including questions such as: Where is the line between space opera and hard SF? Must hard SF focus on physics and astronomy? Does hard SF have a particular political alignment?

Reading Octavia Butler
If you’ve never read Octavia Butler, where should you start? Our panelists share their favorites and discuss the influence her work had on the genre and on social justice movements.

Sexuality and SFF
Science fiction and fantasy are genres with great opportunities to explore ideas and concepts without the constraints of current reality. How have these genres explored the complex and multifaceted subject of human sexuality?

Afrofuturism and Literature
First coined by Mark Dery in 1993, the term Afrofuturism is applied to a cultural and literary movement of the black diaspora which uses technology, science, and science fiction to explore the black experience. Our panelists discuss trends and themes in Afrofuturism, and recommend their favorite works.

The Bad Guys
Reputedly as fun to write as they are to read, villains drive conflict and offer a mirror reflecting a special view of our protagonists. Our panel discusses their favorite villains, whether drawn from their own work or the creation of others, and tell us what we love about their villain and why.

Iron Author Detroit!
Watch four authors compete for the title of Iron Author Detroit! Witness their efforts at turning the Mystery Ingredient Word into an SF/F short story in five minutes or less. Judge the resulting tales through the magic of the Audience Applause-O-Meter. Who will reign supreme?


Women in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
The Marvel Cinematic Universe and its associated television titles are full of highly competent, talented women who move in a world of men. Women regularly save the day, from Black Widow in Avengers to Pepper Potts in the Iron Man franchise. How does Marvel excel at putting women on screen in superhero movies? Where could they show improvement? Panelists will discuss issues of presentation, diversity, and cultural expectations as they examine the many marvelous women of the MCU.

Going from Book to Movie: Adaptation
Why does Hollywood have trouble translating books, comics, etc. into movies & TV shows? Is it inherent in the original texts or in the process/constraints of adaptation? Which have succeeded and which have failed? What would we like to see adapted?

Zombie Culture
Our panel discusses the current popularity of zombies, and the many varieties now in vogue. Are there any others that the media hasn’t explored? Why have zombies caught the mainstream now? And why go on a Zombie Walk?


Physics, Mechanics, & Logistics of Flying Cars
What would it be like if we DID have flying cars? What are the physical, technical, logistical, legal, and cultural factors we would need to consider? Are flying cars like cars or are they like planes? What will really make cars fly?

Dr. Chuck Dezelah, who works in a Michigan nanotechnology firm, discusses real-life nanotechnology applications, and how you may be using them without even knowing you are

Vehicles: Past, Present, Future
Horses, steam, electric, gas and diesel, then back to electric again. What about hydrogen? Flux capacitors? Where’s my flying car? Where do trains fit in?

The Personal Replicator
With the introduction of 3-D printers, we’re well on our way to Star Trek’s replicator. Before long, we’ll have access to the alchemist’s dream: the ability to manipulate molecules. What are the implications for the world economy? Do we face the possibility of wiping out poverty? What about intellectual property? We will have to answer these questions, and many more, much sooner than you think.


Designing Fictional Spacecraft
If your story or artwork includes spacecraft, it’s a whole other kettle of fish. Our panelists discuss aspects of designing non-existent spacecraft, such as applying current and historic shipbuilding and spacecraft-building practices to future designs, keeping designs realistic, making the ship suit its mission, and considerations beyond engines and weapons

Econ 101 of Self-Publishing
The media is filled with news about self-publishing, but to do it properly, there is a price to pay! This panel will touch on a series of topics and give an estimate of how much things can cost: 1) The difference between traditional and self-publishing, 2) Why an editor is important, 3) How to commission artwork, 4) What copyright is, 5) Marketing Ideas, and 6) The difference in creating e-books versus print books

What Am I Looking For?
Agents and editors talk about the sorts of projects that interest them individually and answer general publishing questions.

The Very First Thing: Story Titles
How do writers choose story titles? What makes a good title? Who gets to decide what the title will be? And which comes first, the story or the title?