Orycon 36 is Almost Here!

It’s hard to believe another Orycon is upon us! It only feels like a couple of months since Orycon 35, but it really has been almost a year, and Orycon 36 is just around the corner again! (11-7-14 thru 11-9-14)

For the uninitiated, Orycon is the premier Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror and all things Geek convention for Portland, Oregon, and surrounding communities. Going into its thirty-sixth year, the con hosts a great vendors room, panels on everything from writing to fandom interests, workshops, a costume ball and an entire hotel floor dedicated to nothing but parties and hospitality rooms.

I started going to Orycon when it was in its teen years—when I was around nineteen—and then drifted away from the con for many years, due to the usual rigors of life. But I have fond memories of wild parties, great costumes, con sex and finding a group of like-minded geeks to bond with. Ahhh, the stories I could tell from those days. But what happens at Orycon stays at Orycon.

 It’s also hard to believe that this will be my fifth year at the con as a professional writer and my second year appearing on panels as a pro. This will also be my fourth year attending with the writing group I cofounded, Northwest Independent Writers Association (NIWA). We’ve had a successful booth in the vendors room the past three years and will have a host of local authors and their books at our table again this year.

One of the fun things we’ve done there as a group is host our annual NIWA Anthology launch party. These parties have been wildly successful, offering attendees a chance to meet local authors, purchase books, eat free food and down copious amounts of free booze in a comfortable, energetic party atmosphere. This year we’ll be launching the 2014 Anthology titled, Underground. The cool thing about these amazing parties? You don’t have to register or attend the convention to come to the party. Yep, that’s right. You just need to bring your ID and a smile. The NIWA party starts around 7pm and goes into the wee hours of the morning. Just head up to the fifteenth floor and you’ll find us.

This year I’ve got a packed schedule, and by Saturday night, I will need a cigar, a strong drink and I’ll be ready to parrrr-tayyy! Below is my con schedule. Times and room locations are to the left. Panelists are at the bottom, below the description. The panel moderators are indicated by an asterisk and bold print. Also below, you’ll find a link to all the info you need to check out Orycon 36, taking place at the Lloyd Center Double Tree Hotel.

I know I’ll see some of you at Orycon 36! Let the madness begin!

 The Official Orycon 36 Website!

Mike’s Panel Schedule

Fri Nov 7 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Morrison Room

Steampunk! Explain It!

How much Steam is required in Steampunk? Is alternative history a must? Is it fantasy, or SF, and/or a lifestyle?

Tom Whitmore, (*)Stephen Couchman, Mike Chinakos, Janet Borkowski

Sat Nov 8 10:00 am to 11:00 am
Hamilton Room

Book Burning

Should you ever burn books because of a moral principle, or is it appropriate as a form of protest or to protect people from certain kinds of information? What if it`s a religious text? The history and modern context of a controversial, often inflammatory (sorry) subject.

A.M. Brosius, Theresa (Darklady) Reed, (*)Frog Jones, Mike Chinakos

Sat Nov 8 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Art Show Room
Next to Vendors Room

Autograph Session 1

Get your books (or whatever) signed by your favorite writers!

Phyllis Irene Radford, Todd McCaffrey, Mike Chinakos, Bob Brown, William F. Nolan, Susan R. Matthews

Sat Nov 8 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Group 1 Weird West Fantasy Novel Excerpt

Closed One-on-One Critiques with Mary Rosenblum, Mike Chinakos and writer Alan Smith for novel White Steam and Black Grease.

Mary Rosenblum, Mike Chinakos

Sat Nov 8 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Idaho Room

Freaking Me Out, Not Grossing Me Out

Are intense descriptions of bloody death and torture really necessary to scare the pants off your audience? Discussion on how to terrify without all the gory details.

(*)Mike Chinakos, Jennifer Brozek, Andrew S. Fuller, Wendy N. Wagner, Paul Groendes

Sat Nov 8 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Idaho Room

Anachronistic Morality in Fiction

Does the audience really need to see our ethos portrayed by the Romans?

Doug Odell, Kristin Landon, Mike Chinakos, (*)Susan R. Matthews, G. David Nordley

Sat Nov 8 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Morrison Room

Fantasy vs. Science Fiction

Which is superior? Must we choose or can we have both at once? Discuss.

(*)Tom Whitmore, Joan Gaustad, Mike Chinakos, Jennifer Brozek

Sat Nov 8 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm (this may possibly be adjusted to 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm)
Washington Room

NIWA Meet, Greet, & Tastings

Members and friends of the Northwest Independent Writers Association welcome you to join this friendly, mutually supportive regional group of writers and editors, for fun, to further your own professional pursuits or to discover new paper or audiobooks for your collection.

(*)Mike Chinakos and other NIWA members

Sun Nov 9 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Hawthorne Room

Women Role Models in Science Fiction

Are there any good female role models in science fiction? Or are they still relegated to being damsels in distress? A discussion of both weak and strong female science fiction characters across all media.

(*)Wendy N. Wagner, A.M. Brosius, Keffy R. M. Kehrli, Mike Chinakos