Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dragon*Con 2012: Part II -- Fan Tracks

Hello Beardies!

In my last post about Dragon*Con, I discussed attending authors.  With only one day left until the big day, I want to discuss one of the greatest features of the convention: Fan Tracks.  The events covered within the tracks include panels, seminars, workshops, film previews/showings, gaming, auctions, et cetera.  They are extensive, and nearly every aspect of Speculative Fiction is covered; whatever you're into, you'll most likely find it at Dragon*Con!

Fan Tracks
(All information below borrowed or summarized from Dragon*Con's Official Webpage)

  • Alternate History: Whether you're a steampunk, retrofuturist, anachronist, or all of the above, this is the track for you!  In its fourth year, the Alternate History Track features everything from a Gadgeteer's Showcase, parties at the Aether Lounge, author panels featuring S.M. Sterling and Gail Carriger, and even screenings of a series of short films.
  • American Sci-Fi Classics: Join such names as Richard Hatch, Virginia Hey, and Rose McGowan as they take you back to a simpler time.  Visit this track's page to stay up to date!
  • American Science Fiction and Fantasy Media: This track is a must for fans of Science Fiction and Fantasy in TV and Film.  Events include guest panels and film showings at the Sci-Fi Saturday Night Drive-In.  Tons of shows are covered--new titles such as Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, and Lost Girl, as well as older favorites such as Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, and Sanctuary.  Confirmed guests include, among others, Adam Baldwin, Colin Ferguson, Jamie Paglia, Ryan Robbins, and Aaron Ashmore. You can find more information on this track by visiting their page, or by following them on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Animation Programming: From early silent cartoons to today's digital/computer masterpieces, this track has you covered.  Special events, panels, and featured guests such as Ed Asner, Billy West, Mike Reiss, and more.
  • Anime-Manga Programming: Anime viewing rooms (from vault classics to latest releases), industry experts, and star voice actors are all included in this track.  Among the other events is the Cosplay Contest (co-hosted by the Animation Track) and the popular "Dub Your Own Hentai."
  • Anne Caffrey's Worlds: The official Anne and Todd McCaffrey fan track at Dragon*Con, Anne McCaffrey's Worlds (commonly known as Weyrfest) is the place to be to discuss and explore Anne McCaffrey’s famous and fabulous universes! Get together with your fandom pals and dicker over the details of dragons. For the latest news and information about the upcoming year, visit their blog, or check out their website!
  • Apocalypse Rising: The year is 2012... Need more be said? This year more than most, be you an unbeliever or the undead, this track is the place to be! The last stop between you and oblivion, come get your fill of survival skills, zombie combat anecdotes, and apocalyptic lore before time runs out.  So gear up, bug out, and and prepare yourself for the Apocalypse Rising.  Visit their website for more information.
  • British SF Media: Britain has inspired every aspect of American modern culture. It has opened the gates to media innovation since it's BBC worldwide radio shows during WWII. In becoming the first country with a national television network, genres and fans were born! Dragon*Con's BritTrack programming continues with this exploration of every facet, fad, and pop culture idiom of everything British for con-goers.

    The BritTrack programming is broad and diverse, spreading across every medium (film, TV, comics, music, and literature) the Brit's have to offer.  Stop by and get sucked into the world of BritTrack! Meet a huge fandom whose passions include: Doctor Who, TorchwoodBeing Human, Primeval, Red Dwarf, Monty Python, and other cultural legacies of the UK. There is so much and not enough time to cover it all!  All are welcome; our staff is here to make sure you're having fun, laughing hard, and safe from all Daleks!

    For additional information on the BritTrack, News Groups, BritTrack Local Outings (Including our Annual Picnic), and Current news visit their website.  Follow the track on Facebook or Join
    our Yahoo Group via their website for chats year round on all things British!
  • Costuming: What goes into the costumes, props, and makeup you love and how can you do it yourself? Go to the Costuming Track and find out. They will be discussing everything from corsets to armor, medieval to futuristic, apparel to props, make up to mechanics, and more. Beginner costumers, semi-pros and everyone in between will find something here.  Stop by to enjoy the back-of-the-room "mini-exhibit" or attend any one of the costuming contest events.

    They are currently accepting your votes on which costuming topics you would like to see in 2012.  Visit their website to cast your vote, and while you're there, you will also find their schedule, resources, and more.
  • Electronic Frontiers Forums: Worried about freedom of speech, privacy, and your rights on line? So are we! Now in it's fourteenth year, Electronic Frontiers Forums covers your rights on the Internet and the latest trends in online media.  Topics include online privacy, security, freedom of expression, intellectual property, online activism, social networking, online publishing, and multi-player gaming.  For the latest schedule updates, please visit their website, Follow them on Twitter, or contact them via email.
  • Filk: Originally a misprint of the word 'Folk,' the tradition continues.  Filk is the music of science  fiction, fantasy, and horror fandom.
  • Horror & Dark Fantasy: Horror & Dark Fantasy is Dragon*Con’s home for monsters, malice, and the macabre! Their programming spans from the nightmarish visions of Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft to the dark side of cinema, television, and music. Features include actor and author panels, musician interviews, horror movie discussions, and other surprises.  For more information check out the Horror & Dark Fantasy website.
  • Independent Film & Festival: The Film Track is your source for all things cinematic. Do you want to learn to make a film? Their seminars and panels will cover all aspects of filmmaking from writing and directing to distribution at both an introductory and intermediate level. Want to be a producer?  They've got you covered.  Special effects?  They'll tell you how.  Need to learn about hardware?  They'll be covering cameras, storage, and so much more.  They will even have a panel on all the legal aspects of filmmaking you need to know.  For the film lover, they'll be discussing cult films, the latest genre blockbusters, fan films, and finding the best short films of the last twenty years.  Find more information and updates visit their website.
  • Kaleidoscope Track: Do you enjoy Disney, Disney XD, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network? Kaleidoscope Track is just for you. This programming is for the 9-13 year old fans but include parents and kids at heart! Parental involvement is required in all activities for any person under the age of 16. Our programming will include shows like iCarly, Victorious, Level Up, Wizards of Waverly Place, Phineas and Ferb, House of Anubis, Shake it Up!, Dude What Would Happen, Destroy Build Destroy and much more. Kaleidoscope is excited to welcome special guests: Daniel Samonas (Wizards of Waverly Place) and Kenton Duty (Shake it Up!). They will also host panels featuring Tim Russ (iCarly) and Garry Chalk (BTR).  Check out their website for more information.
  • Paranormal: Do you have a secret passion for things that you just can't explain? If you have more questions than answers and want to satisfy that urge to explain the unexplained come check out the always changing and ever popular Paranormal Track.  The Paranormal Track is devoted to bringing you the latest and greatest information about all things paranormal at Dragon*Con! For more information on the Track including guests, programming, events, and recent news, check out their website!
  • Podcasting: The podcasting genre offers audiences a world rich in Science Fiction, Fantasy and original Speculative Fiction audio and video programming content that is continually evolving each and every day.  By now, everyone knows what a podcast is; the new challenge facing podcasters is continuing to push the boundaries of portable media. Today's podcasters create entire worlds tailored to fit in your pocket, involving listeners in ways of which traditional media never dreamed.
  • Puppetry <NEW!>: From The Muppets to Star Wars, from The Never Ending Story to Team America: World Police, puppets have always been a part of of our geek culture. Puppetry has finally found it’s home at Dragon*Con. The brand new Puppetry Track will offer panels on puppeteering and puppet building. They will have famous puppeteer guests from TV and film. We will have live puppetry performances for both children and adults. There will be even more great events with Dragon*Con’s very own Puppet Ambassadors Bob and Carl The Sci-Fi Janitors. The Puppetry Track will give you an all new appreciation for this incredible art form that is as old as mankind.  For more information, please visit their website.
  • Robotics and Maker Fan Track: This year the Robotics track will be expanding to encompass the Maker Movement and subjects therein. It will be very exciting with lots of new material, from homemade jet engines to remote controlled shopping carts. If you fancy yourself an inventor or just want to meet some, this is the place for you!  For more information, please visit their website.
  • Science Track: Genetic engineers. Particle physicists. Crime-scene detectives. People who make things go BOOM. Mad scientists and evil geniuses.  Enormous throbbing brains.  This track brings you the people who turn science fiction into science facts.  Oh, and some dangerous lunatics, too!  Check out their website for more information.
  • Sci-Fi & Fantasy Literature: Dragon*Con's SF and Fantasy Literature track offers the fan of the written work all manner of things to entice and enrich them.  Discussions of popular works, question and answer sessions with authors, scholarly discussions and plain old fun stuff like trivia. Publishers show off upcoming works and authors, and fans talk about what they do and don't like. Make new friends and meet old friends--both human and literary.  For more information, check out their website here!
  • Silk Road--Asian Cinema & Culture: The Silk Road was more than a trade route connecting Asia to Europe--it was also a source for cultural exchange. Not only were spices, silk, china and ivory traded, but music, dance, science, customs and religion were also shared. This tracks tour of the Silk Road will include martial arts, history, costuming, dances and music of the silk road. Learn Origami and kumihimo. Join discussions on mythology, the fusing of European and Asian culture in science-fiction and Oriental-ism in the Victorian era. Travel with them, not in a caravan or on a ship, but through the past, present and future of the Silk Road.  For more information, check out their website!
  • Skeptic Track: Skeptrack will, once again, feature a compliment of live entertainment and topical discussion panels for the throngs of science lovers, free thinkers, and skeptics who come each year to keep the flame of critical thought alive in the midst of one of the coolest events in the world. You can find out more about all the incredible people that are coming, and to monitor updates and other information leading up to the event at the Skeptrack website.
  • Space Track: 'Space’ today encompasses almost the full spectrum of sciences and engineering. Astronomy? Cosmology? Sending humans into space? Those are still relevant, but now there’s also AstroPhysics, Exo-Biology, Exo-Geology, specialized photography, Astro-Navigation, Aero-engineering, propulsion technology, Astro-Chemistry, human physiology, adaptive techniques for anything and everything humans need to live off other planets... and the list goes on. The scope of Space is as vast as the universe itself. This track invites you to bring your dreams and hopes of space and they'll tell you how they could become the realities of our future. Visit their website for more information on what's going to be offered at this year's show!
  • Stargate Multiverse: Following all aspects of the immensely popular Stargate franchise, the Stargate Multiverse Track is back in 2012!  For more info please check out their website.
  • Star Wars: 2012 has already been an exciting year for Star Wars fans with the 3D re-release of The Phantom Menace, The Clone Wars heating up, and the release of The Old Republic--all of which will be discussed at this year's track. Decompress after Celebration VI with your old favs like our wonderful fangroups the 501st, the Rebel Legion, The Jedi Assembly, and the Mandolorian Mercs, the ultra-popular Costume Contest, the TaunTaun and Pod Races, Lightspeed Dating, SuperFan's Trivia Contest, Shauncastic's Adult Themes Panel, and, of course, The Last Party on Alderaan--bigger and better this year in the Sheraton Capital Ballroom. Find them in the Marriott, online, on Facebook, or on Twitter.  May the Force be with you, always.
  • Tolkiens Middle Earth: With The Hobbit movie coming in December, this year’s track will deal with gearing up for this long awaited film--with The One Ring Fansite leading the way. Follow this track for an insider’s look at the Hobbit movies. Once again, they will have their Tolkien/Lewis panel as well. Don’t forget about the costuming panels and join the many scholars in their presentations on the works of JRR Tolkien. Friday night, there will be “An Evening in Bree” with music by Emeral Rose. Don’t forget about the costume competition during the intermission at this event. Stop by to show off your costume for all to see.  Please check out their website for more information!  May your journey be safe.
  • Trek Track: This year, Star Trek: The Next Generation celebrates their 25th anniversary. From Next Gen, the track is happy to have Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes and Patrick Stewart in attendance. The third "Miss Star Trek Universe" Pageant will once again showcase a wonderful variety of female species. Besides all of the fabulous Trek actors, they are also excited to have author David Gerrold, responsible for the original series episode, “The Trouble With Tribbles,” one of the most popular Trek episodes of all time!  Check out the Trek Track website for more information.
  • Whedon Universe: Sunnydale has been destroyed. Wolfram and Hart is no more. The Alliance has been exposed. The Rossum Coporation has destroyed our world and OH MY GOD! They killed Penny! Don't Panic. Everything is 5 by 5 and it's up to the Whedon Track to expose the truth and tell the world just how incredibly awesome the works of Joss Whedon are. The Track's Scoobies work hard all year long to bring you the best in guest Q & A's, discussion panels, games, live musical performances and much more all centered around your favorite Whedon Universe shows and writings. The Whedon Universe - Your full service Whedon fan track. GRRR! ARRGH!!  Please take the time to check out the Whedon Track website for updates!
  • Wheel of Time: 2012 is the 12th year of the Robert Jordan track at Dragon*Con. The hot topics this year will include discussion of Towers of Midnight, and speculation on what might happen in A Memory of Light, the final Wheel of Time novel. They'll also be looking at the future of the franchise, from eBooks, to movie rights, to graphic novels and more. They are joined this year by Attending Professional Maria Simons, one of the continuity editors for the series.  Check out the track's website for more information!
  • Writers' Track: You can bet that, among others, you will most likely find me following this track!! Come one, come all…Writers' Track is the place to be if your ambition is to become a published writer in any genre. They take on all comers…comics, gamers, novelists, screenwriters…and more. For more information, you can visit their website.
  • XTrack: XTrack concerns shows that focus on the paranormal with a hint of government conspiracy and Big-Brother'ish oversight. Think X-Files, Millenium, The Lone Gunmen and Fringe. They also focus on those shows that show paranormal activities with government involvement as a positive thing. In that realm, think of Warehouse 13 and Medium. And finally, we like talking about the shows that are all about the epic battle of good versus evil, with paranormal help, of course. In this case, Supernatural is our discussion point. This track is beyone excited to have Gillian Anderson at this year's show!  Also, check out the XTrack website for more information.
  • Young Adult Literature: If Elizabeth was attending this year, I am sure I'd need a crowbar to pry her from this track!  If you are young — or just young at heart — be sure to come by and check out the Young Adult Literature track! Our programming focuses on the worlds of Young Adult SF & Fantasy, and will feature both literary and media guests.

    The Young Adult Literature track will feature a wide variety of panel-type discussions with some of your favorite authors, as well as an array of interactive programming, such as a late night photo scavenger hunt, a YA Lit costume contest, and the game "Are You A Deatheater?" And, of course, we will once again dance the night away at our Yule Ball, held on the Sunday night of the convention.

    So whether your interest is in Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, C.S. Lewis or Percy Jackson, the YA Lit track is the track to visit in 2012.  Please check out the track's website for links to all of their social networking sites and the most up-to-date information.

I truly do apologize for the length of this post, but there was a ton of information to cover.  I hope to see you all around Dragon*Con!  If you see me, don't hesitate to say "Hello!"

Happy Scribing!


  1. *sob* I am soooo jealous! So many goodies. If I was there, I think my head would explode. :D

    Well, whoever is going, have an amazing time!

    1. It would have been awesome if you would have been able to make it... Maybe next year?!?

  2. It is truly evil that I got my weekend off--AFTER it was too late for me to get to Atlanta. Next year, I'll apply for the time off in January.


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