Jul 9 – Jul 10 all-day

San Diego Comic Con
Jul 21 – Jul 23 all-day
WorldCon @ Kansas City Convention Center
Aug 18 all-day

Panel: Why I Write Short Stories
Thursday, 3:00pm, 2504B

Most authors agree that short stories don’t pay the bills, but authors who are known for writing novels frequently turn their attention to the shorter forms. If it isn’t for the money, why do they spend their time and energy writing short stories?

With James Patrick Kelly (M), Mary Robinette Kowal, David D. Levine, Mr. Bishop O’Connell, Charlie Jane Anders

Solo Presentation: The Intersection of Puppetry and Science Fiction
Thursday, 4:00pm, 3501D

Much like science fiction and fantasy, puppetry is often seen as a childhood interest. Mary Robinette Kowal, professional puppeteer and Hugo award­-winning author, talks about what the speculative fiction community can learn from the world of puppetry.

WorldCon @ Kansas City Convention Center
Aug 19 all-day

Magazine Group Reading: Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine
Friday, 1:00pm, 2504B

Our Magazine Group Reading Series continues with a special group reading that features authors from Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine.

With Sheila Williams (M), James Patrick Kelly, Mary Robinette Kowal, Steve Rasnic Tem, Connie Willis, Robert Reed

Panel: Nifty Narrative Tricks
Friday, 4:00pm, 2502A

Authors share some of their tricks for drawing the reader in, imparting knowledge, and making sure they write a compelling and engaging story.

With Elizabeth Bear (M), Steven Gould, James Patrick Kelly, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jo Walton

Literary Beer: Neil Clarke, Mary Robinette Kowal
Friday, 8:00pm, Literary Beer Space

WorldCon @ Kansas City Convention Center
Aug 20 all-day

Stroll with the Stars: Farm to Table
Saturday, 8:30am, Marriott Lobby

Before the city temperatures rise and the humidity takes over join us for a stroll of the The City Market where you can buy fresh fruit, vegatables and baked goods at KC Tradition. We will be a group of fans, authors, artists and editors having a very leisurely walk and good conversation. The route is a mile and suitable for all abilities and as the pace will be pleasant it is expected to take a little less than an hour.

With Jeff Orth (M), Dr. Lawrence M. Schoen, Julia Rios, Mary Robinette Kowal, Cat Rambo, Tex Thompson, Esther Friesner, Eva L. Elasigue, Carol Wolf, Perrianne Lurie, Dr. Geoffrey A. Landis, Dr. Mary A. Turzillo Ph. D., Jennie Goloboy

Panel: Audiobooks — Going Behind the Scenes
Saturday, 3:00pm, 2204

Audiobooks are wonderful things, but how are they made? The panellists discuss adaptation, choosing the right voice, how audiobooks are produced and what it takes to do this, and a load of things you’d never even considered!

With Gabrielle de Cuir (M), John G. Hemry, Stefan Rudnicki, Mary Robinette Kowal, Kate Baker

Autographing: Jeanette Epps, Sheila Finch, Mary Robinette Kowal, Stan Love, Bogi Takács, Jo Walton
Saturday, 4:00pm, Autographing Space

WorldCon @ Kansas City Convention Center
Aug 21 all-day

Panel: Austen and Shelley
Sunday, 1:00pm, 2504B

A look at the roots of science fiction and fantasy in the works of Jane Austen and Mary Shelley. While Shelley’s Frankenstein is an obvious predecessor to science fiction and horror, Austen’s literature has also had a tremendous influence on modern authors.

With Mary Robinette Kowal (M), Jack Campell Jr., Heather Rose Jones, L. Rowyn

Panel: Kindness in SF&F Literature
Sunday, 3:00pm, 2207

A discussion about books like The Goblin Emperor, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and the Imperial Radch series, which actively choose to focus on well-meaning people who are trying their best to be decent to one another under trying circumstances.

With Mary Robinette Kowal (M), Adam-Troy Castro, Alison Wilgus, Lucy Synk

Boswell Books with Ada Palmer
Aug 31 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

A mini science fiction convention with Mary Robinette Kowal, author of Ghost Talkers and Ada Palmer, author of Too Like the Lightning
Wednesday, August 31, 7:00 pm, at Boswell
Join two beacons of the science fiction and fantasy world, Ada Palmer and Mary Robinette Kowal, for a spirited conversation about their new books, writing, and who knows what else? It’s like having a science fiction and fantasy convention back in Milwaukee, only a really tiny one. Boswell-con, anyone?

Having just completed her Glamourist Histories cycle, Chicago’s Mary Robinette Kowal offers up Ghost Talkers, a just-released novel featuring the mysterious spirit corps and their heroic work in World War I. Ginger Stuyvesant, an American heiress living in London during World War I, is engaged to Captain Benjamin Hartshorne, an intelligence officer. Ginger is a medium for the Spirit Corps, a special Spiritualist force. Each soldier heading for the front is conditioned to report to the mediums of the Spirit Corps when they die so the Corps can pass instant information about troop movements to military intelligence. When Ginger, one of the Corps, discovers a traitor, the top brass thinks she’s imagining things. But she most definitely is not.

From Ada Palmer, we present the first book of Terra Ignota, a four-book political SF epic set in a human future of extraordinary originality. Palmer has created a hard-won uptopian world built on technologically created abundance and the complex and mandatory systems of labelling all public writing and speech, with normal gender distinctions now distinctly taboo, and economic and cultural competition carefully managed by central planners. In this world is Mycroft Canner, a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. He meets Carlyle Foster, a sensayer – a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away. But there’s another player in this story, a young boy, who could destabilize the system with his strange power to animate objects. As Hugo and Nebula winner Jo Walton writes of Too Like the Lightning: “Lots of books can knock you over and leave you reeling and dazzled when you’re fifteen, but it takes something special to do the same thing to you at fifty.”

About the authors: Mary Robinette Kowal is the 2008 recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, a multiple Hugo winner, and a frequent finalist for the Nebula and Locus Awards. A professional puppeteer and voice actor, she spent five years touring nationally with puppet theaters. She lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and nine manual typewriters.

Ada Palmer is a professor in the history department of the University of Chicago, specializing in Renaissance history and the history of ideas. Her first nonfiction book, Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance, was published in 2014 by Harvard University Press. She is also a composer of folk and Renaissance-tinged a capella music, most of which she performs with the group Sassafrass. She writes about history for a popular audience at and about SF and fantasy-related matters at

WXR cruise @ Oasis of the Seas
Sep 17 – Sep 24 all-day

NerdCon Stories
Oct 14 – Oct 15 all-day


From the moment we could speak, we’ve been telling each other stories.

And since then, our stories have defined and created us. Every human society that wants to behave different first has to change the stories they tell. The story was — and remains — the key to the marvel of human progress. Stories in songs, in books, on the stage, around the campfire. Stories drove the evolution of human language and fostered the massive burst of creation that accompanied it. We celebrate our culture all the time, but we don’t do a great job of just praising the institution of the story.

Last year, with the help of 40 special guests, and a few thousand adventurous lovers of narrative, we created NerdCon: Stories, a two day conference of connection, content, instruction, and hilarity. The feel of the event was electric, the consensus was that it was maybe the best thing ever.

Now we would like to do it again, and even cooler. This time we’ll have a larger room for booths, activities, and signings. Two new ballrooms for panels and Q&As, and a bunch of small rooms for workshops and more intimate conversations.

And to reflect the diversity of ways humans tell stories this year, we’ll have over 60 special guests including authors, actors, artists, narrators, podcasters, puppeteers, comedians, dancers, directors, screenwriters, game designers, radio hosts, musicians, comic writers, and cartoonists. All of these people will come together to discuss and celebrate the institution of the story. This simple human thing that creates us and defines us.

We are made of stories. Come celebrate them at NerdCon: Stories 2016.


– Panels, workshops, discussions & more
– Signings with Featured Guests
– Interactive storytelling art projects
– Live podcasts (including Improvised Star Trek & Unattended Consequences)
– Story Circle
– Live Superfight
– Lots of music (including Paul & Storm and Dessa)
– An expo hall with vendors & activities
– A board game zone
– Opportunities for live attendee storytelling
– A live performance by Rives
– Featured Guest Kaffeeklatsches (Featured Guests will hang out with small groups of attendees and have a grand old time chatting about anything & everything)

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Surrey International Writers’ Conference
Oct 21 – Oct 23 all-day

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