Activities in the House of Lords (TRMN) - Becoming a Peer and duties as such.


Alien invasion of Earth - How likely is it?   What would be the motive for it?  How might we resist it?


Alien races -  How probable is their existence?  How can they be made plausible?  What are some good examples from SF literature?


Alternate history “change points” - What historical turning points can give rise to interesting alternate timelines.  How plausible are the changes and the consequences that flow from them?


The Author Dating Game - 6 authors enter, 1 walks away - cage match to the death! Ok, not really.  2 rounds of the “dating game” - where readers get to question different characters and find out which one they want to “date.”


Baen Roadshow- Baen Books wants you to know what’s coming up in their pipeline! Drop in for info, a meet’n’greet, and some sweet Baen swag!


Before Honor was Joy - Leadership from strong women - A discussion on the impact of Joy Bright Hancock, one of the first women to enlist in the Navy in WWI and who continued to impact the Navy with the creation of the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service).  Her impact was so great that the Navy continues to honor her through the annual CAPT Joy Bright Hancock Award for inspirational leadership.   The award honors women with visionary leadership and whose ideals and dedication have fostered a positive working environment while reinforcing and furthering integration of women into the Navy.  Like the fictional character Honor Harrington, Joy Hancock was instrumental in the service and she led during critical times of war for the United States.  This panel will discuss leadership, compare some of the leadership challenges that both Joy Hancock and Honor Harrington faced and discuss how elements of their leadership styles can be utilized today.


Boarding Action- A Boarding Action is used in wartime to seize a vessel without destroying it, or to remove its cargo (people or goods) before it is destroyed. Now you get to try this out but with Nerf Guns. All supplies required to participate will be on hand though bringing eye protection is recommended.


Brain interfacing: From pinplants to the Terminal Man – what are brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and can a human brain truly interface with a computer?  Will computers someday read thoughts or even download whole personalities?  How is SF influenced by real-life science, and how is that science influenced by SF?




Care and Feeding of Authors - The role that wives, significant others, family and friends have in caring for the writers that we love so that they can focus on creating the stories that we love.


Chaos of Creation: Balancing World Building With Story - Sometimes you create a world so vast, you can’t possibly fit it all in a readable story. How, then, do you decide what to keep? We’ll discuss how to write a fascinating world while keeping readers engaged through plot and character.


Chris Kennedy Publishing—The Year Ahead - It doesn’t matter what you like in a book, Chris Kennedy Publishing probably has something for you! From bestselling sci-fi to thrillers to epic fantasy, we’ve got it all! Come see what will be released in the coming months… and maybe win a free book for the effort.


Collaborating with an Author - Writing by oneself is a journey, but collaborating with an author is a whole other kind of adventure! We’ll discuss the perks and challenges that come about when two heads come together (sometimes literally).


Conflict Resolution for Non-Profits - If you have human beings you are going to have conflict.  The keys to a successful resolution of that conflict are varied and depend greatly on the parties involved and circumstances.  With volunteers in a non-profit club, it is even more important to resolve conflict successfully in order to retain and maintain membership.  Conflict resolution requires emotional intelligence, compassion and quick thinking.  This panel will discuss such tips, tactics, techniques and procedures for effective conflict resolution.


Crafting Time Travel Rulesets - Time travel writing is fraught with paradoxes and endless potential for plot holes. We’ll discuss how to design a time travel system that doesn’t break your universe.


Creating Realistic Military Science Fiction - What is realistic or unrealistic about the creation of future warfare scenarios?  Very little has been created (especially in computer games) by people with education and/or experience in real warfare.  How will warfare change in the future?  Has it really changed in the last 5,000 years since man began organized conflict on a societal basis?  Technology isn’t combat theory or systems, so how much impact will advances in technology have.  Note: the combat systems of the early Honor Harrington books were the same as the British Navy in the Napoleonic wars.


Creating Moral Conflict in Your Writing - This panel would discuss the issue of moral conflict in fantasy, science fiction, and horror. The first area explored would be in defining and recognizing moral conflict in current culture. The discussion would then move to advice and techniques on creating moral conflict in one’s own work.


Dating game but with Books (NSFW) – Everyone remembers the old show “The Dating Game” what happens when you ask the Authors of our favorite books to act as their characters and to try and win a date with our lucky contestant.


Developing Characters Beyond a Single Dimension - Learn how to take the characters you create and develop them into beings that your reader will care about and how this process drives the story forward.  Ask questions of our expert panel about specific characters and challenges you face.


Does science fiction have a built in political bias? - Science fiction has been political since its birth. HG Wells was a vocal socialist, 1984 is constantly invoked as a warning against various political parties, and dystopian fiction often magnifies current social and political trends warn of the disaster awaiting us if we don’t change paths. But while both the right and the left have infused politics into the genre, are there underlying assumptions that cause an overall conservative or liberal slant?


The Evolution of Writing Science Fiction- Join our Guest of Honor and our Special guests as they discuss how writing Sci-Fi has changed over the years and how they think it will change in the coming yers.


Genre Blending: Scifi, Fantasy and More - Mixing science fiction and fantasy with other genres like mystery and westerns can give you a genre cocktail that is great...or very, very bad. Some authors have been hugely successful, while others have crashed and burned. Our experts tell you how to get it just right.


How much Handwavium? - When world-building, how much do you try to explain?



The Importance of the Merchant Marine in Weber books - Discussion about the importance of the merchant marine in various David Weber and other author’s universes.


Intersection of Gaming and Writing - Gaming and writing are both acts of storytelling. While they are quite different, there are still several areas of overlap. How do they intersect, and how can you leverage those strengths in your writing and/or at your game table?


Interstellar travel - Is it possible?  What kind of propulsion might be used?  What forms might it take?


Jump, Jive, and Write - A Discussion of Music as Creative Inspiration - The great philosopher, Plato, once said that “music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” Come hear a panel of authors discuss their musical influences growing up, as well as the songs, artists, and themes that drive their writing today.


Killer Serial Killers: Get away from cliches & create memorable murderers & mayhem - With an M.A. in Forensic Psychology, I can speak to the scientific & developmental sides of serial killers. As a fan, I can geek out with everyone over Dexter and similar great characters. As a writer with a book coming out in 2019, I can help other writers pick great details and build great characters.

Komei Jyuku Demonstration - The North Carolina branch of the Komei Jyuku is focused on the instruction of classic Japanese Samurai combat arts.  Most notably the widely practiced style of iai (sword drawing): “Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu” meaning “Peerless, Direct Transmission, True-Faith Style.” Laying claim to an unbroken history of approximately 450 years. This make it the second oldest extant martial art form in Japan.  The NCKJ will be showing combative drills, sparring, mock combat, and target cutting.  Also onsite to answer questions (theoretical and historical) and sword parts and assembly.
Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu (MJER) is known as the most widely practiced style of Iai (sword drawing) in Japan, it is also one of the oldest living forms of Japanese martial arts, dating back 450 years.  The founder of Eishin-Ryu was Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto Shigenobu, who lived between 1546 and 1621 in present day Kanagawa prefecture in Japan.
This particular style is called Yamauchi-ha and is headed by the 21st Soke, Komei Sekiguchi Sensei.  Sekiguchi Sensei has said that his iai is based on respect, beauty and personal spirit. Through strict practice you will learn respect for discipline, your sword, and other people. Respect, beauty, and personal spirit should be a key part of anyone’s life regardless of what era he may live in.
We should not look at how we are different from each other and we should not differentiate between nationalities. Iai can be a common bond between all people of all ages. One should never pass up the opportunity to meet and learn from someone new.
While sword techniques are not likely to be used for self defense, the principles taught may be performed with or without a sword.  The historical practitioners of this art, the Tosa clan, were frequently called upon to act as law enforcement or bodyguards.  As a result all techniques are of the philosophy that violence is only a last resort and include many debilitating non-lethal variations.


Leadership in a Non-Profit Organization - Some would say that one of the hardest areas to be a leader is in a non-profit, volunteer organization.  Officers face the problem of having positional power that does not actually have any power unless the members of the organization grant that power.   Any organization will have formal and informal leaders.  How do the formal leaders ensure that the informal leaders are communicating the same messages, intent and vision as the formal leaders?  The panel will be a discussion of leadership tactics and topics as the panel members explore some of the pitfalls and the best practices of leadership in non-profit organizations.


Messiest Ways to Kill the Undead: -  Liquid nitrogen?  Tanning charms?  Giant snowblowers?  Our audience joins with panelists in coming up with the silliest, craziest, messiest ways to deal with that dungeon full of undead!


Peacemakers - 1 versus the Galaxy - are they enough?


Plotting Workshop. This is a workshop, which I conduct without a panel, a kind of interactive lecture. I can handle up to thirty participants, but I seldom have that many. I would like an announcement at Registration, but I would prefer to not have a sign-up sheet, as I said above. The workshop runs for two hours, there is no follow-up, and there must be tables on which people can write. Participants must show up on time. I discuss about eighteen points which a beginning writer should think about when creating a plot for a story of any length, ask them to write their ideas down for each point, then tell us what they have come up with, and discuss each in turn Other participants may contribute to this discussion. This has proven very successful and popular at previous conventions for the last ten years or so.


Sailing the Seas of Safehold- The Imperial Charisian Navy from the Safehold series advances by leaps in bounds throughout the series. Join David Weber, a Naval Historian and the first mate on a tall ship as they discuss the techniques used in the books and how fast the technology advanced compared to the real world.


Science and Medicine in the Honorverse -  Honor Harrington is a genetically enhanced, cybernetically repaired human of the future.  What is the current state of the medical art in repairing and enhancing humans for space colonies?  What are the ethical dilemmas in enhancing ourselves, and at what point do we stop being truly human?


Science for the Writer - How accurate should the science be in the SF? We all love warp drive and transporters, but they just are practical with what we currently know about the science.  Does that mean all limits are off?  Or do we (as authors and scientists) owe it to our readers to keep the science realistic?  Where and how do we get the real science (and how can it make the story better)?


Self-Publishing for Shy People - For many aspiring authors, being an introvert is almost synonymous with being a writer…but unfortunately, that doesn’t sell books. We’ll discuss how to get the word out about your writing when all you want to do is hide behind your favorite notebook.


Shared Worlds — writing in someone else’s universe. Collaborative: stories or series novels in one writer’s world. Novelizations: based on movies or TV shows, usually assigned. Pastiche: pseudo Sherlock Holmes, satires of Lovecraft, any kind of fan fiction.


Space POGs - Creating support characters who positions.


Star Wars: Before and After the Emperor Mouse - how the changes effected the universe


Surviving the Apocalypse -   A common SF/F trope is the plucky apocalypse survivor, but in reality, it’s a dark future.  How do our favorite fictional characters survive, and how can you prepare in real life?


Swing, Trooper, Trooper - A Discussion of Sports in Genre - From Harry Potter to Starship Troopers and Star Trek TNG, sports competition has existed in many forms throughout genre history. Come hear a panel of authors discuss their experiences writing sports in the imaginary world while defending their allegiances for college and pro sport in the real one.

Third Fleet Monthly Leadership Forum: Four Horsemen - Normally held online via Discord, Third Fleet’s Monthly Leadership Forums examine magazine articles, books, and movies/television episodes where leadership concepts feature prominently.  In honor of the first FantaSci, we’re looking to do something a little in person and have a live discussion.  For this panel, we’ll be discussing the first four books of the Four Horsemen series: “Cartwright’s Cavaliers,” “Asbaran Solutions,” “Winged Hussars,” and “The Golden Horde,” alternatively by Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy.  It has been suggested that the leaders of the four primary mercenary countries all have distinctive leadership styles worthy of discussion.  Join us for this forum and add your thoughts!


Thrawn vs Harrington- Both are a tactical genesis in their respective universes but who is better? Join Timothy Zahn and David Weber as they discuss what inspired them to make their characters and what in their opinion makes then the master of tactics fans love.


Weber Vow Renewal Reception – You are hereby invited to attend the Vow Renewal Reception of David Weber & Sharon Rice-Weber. This is an informal affair which will highlight the love that David and Sharon have for one another and those who find joy being part of their lives.


What is the 501st / Rebel Legion and How to join the Legions - This Panel would act as an introduction to members of the community about what the 501st Legion and the Rebel Legion are, what we do, and how to join.


Writing Believable Military Science Fiction” (or “How to Not Suck at Mil Scifi”) -  Ever picked up a military scifi book and lost your suspension of disbelief within a page or two because it was so very, very wrong? Want to learn how to get it right? Come talk with the experts on how they nail their military scifi and write books that readers can’t put down.


Writing by the Seat of Your Pants - Pantsers unite! Some writers like to chart their story’s course and follow it to the letter. We are not those writers. We’ll discuss tips for writers who want to wander…without getting lost.


Writing Young Adult in a Gritty universe!


Writers’ Workshop - This is a workshop, with a total panel of four, including me and sometimes my daughter Darcy. The workshop runs for two hours, with a follow up hour the next day. There will be tables on which people can write, I can easily handle twelve writers/participants, but sometimes admit more. I give the participants/writers a brief exercise, some time to write, then I and the panel discuss each exercise, “helping them to understand what they have done well and where they can improve.” The follow-up is for participants only, and is for a second draft. This has proven very successful at previous conventions for the last thirty years or so.