Rivets & Robots: Weirdnesday Blog Post JordanCon 9 Wrapup

Welcome back everyone! This is going to be a longer one, where we recap JordanCon 9 and talk about JordanCon 10 and where the Rivets & Robots track will be going. We will also talk about the blog itself and some of the new changes we will be making. Okay enough of the fancy intro speak, let’s get down to the heart of this beast.

JordanCon9

Well I am hoping all of you had as good a time as I did this year. It was a real joy engaging in conversations with our guest panelists and the members in the panels. We had a great deal of engagement on both sides of the table and it feels like we are building a real core group of SF fans coming to the con. That is fantastic! Keep coming and keep telling your friends to join you so we can grow even more. I was very pleased with the turnout and enthusiasm.

Feedback

The feedback has been great. Feedback at the con itself definitely was mostly positive and showed where those attending the panels wanted to go. Feedback from the app helped me see where some panel descriptions may have been confusing and how I need to clear that up moving forward. There has also been a decided theme of more “Hard SF!” in the feedback I received at the con and from one person (who will remain nameless) who says we need to talk more about space. So yes, JCon10 will have more space talk.

Panels

All the panels were fun, even the panels which had small attendance. Our guests of honor, Charles E. Gannon and Stephen Hickman, were both fantastic on their panels. In fact all of our panelists were fantastic. I want to thank all of you who participated in the programming as panelists because every single one of you brought it. I am honored and pleased you decided to participate in the Rivets & Robots track.

I want to mention just a few panels you might have missed that in my mind where excellent examples of what R&R tries to do as a track.
-Wheel of End Times - Alan and Theresa were fantastic and knowledgable. Our yearly panel on the Wheel of Time in a SF context hit some new places this year.
-Weapons of the Future- I think we managed to send folks home more worried about nanites and bio warfare than we did lasers and atom bombs. Mission achieved.
-Sunday with the Sith - Audience participation, especially from our younger attendees, was fantastic. Theories flew around like X-Wings over the Death Star and everyone had a great time.

Fandom Smackdown & General Fun

We had a smaller turnout for the Fandom Smackdown this year, but those who did show up had a great time. Team Deadpool won the competition over Team Batman by 1 point. The highlight may have been the “Act it Out” scene between Loki and Tony Stark. Pure Gold.

JordanCon 10

So what do we want to do with the track next year? I would love to hear more of your ideas and suggestions. Post on the JordanCon group or drop me a line at sciencefiction@jordancon.org or keep leaving feedback on the app. All of those are great ways to be heard.

Based on our feedback over the last couple years, two things are clear: Keep doing the Hard SF and add more Space! So next year we will see about adding another pure science panel, though my preference would be to create something interactive. We will definitely add more space talk and more up to date information on current space projects, especially as how they reflect on our Science Fiction.

This year our Saturday theme will be British Invasion. We might get a visit from everyone’s favorite British / Not British alien physician in a panel (or 2?). We will talk about the contributions of British SF to the overall body of SF works, both literary and cinematic.

Fandom Smackdown will be coming back to Friday night, and this year we will have a pretty interesting duo of Fandoms. If you read SF you will likely know them well. The only hints I will give are to read these two books: On Basilisk Station (David Weber) and Shards of Honor (Lois McMaster Bujold). That might give you a hint.

Those are just some of the content we have lined up for next year.

This Blog

So the Weirdnesday Blog has been a bit of an experiment launched prior to JordanCon9 in an effort to bolster interest in the convention as a whole and the Rivets & Robots track in particular. Those goals are still the same now and moving forward. At the moment the biggest changes planned are simply to add more content, more topical and interactive content, and perhaps broaden the scope a bit. If you read the blog (and I know you do because, science) then give us feedback on what you might like to see.

We want to keep a schedule of once every other week, but if possible the blog will be posted more often.