Worldcon program typically has 650-800 program items that comprise a varied selection of panels, lectures, discussion groups, Kaffeeklatsches and literary beers, readings, demos, workshops, autographings, special events, live entertainment, family activities, and more. Topics include everything from science fiction, fantasy, and horror to comics, writing, reading, music, and gaming.
Chicon 8’s Academic program will pull together a diverse set of scholars from the humanities, social sciences, and adjacent disciplines to launch an exploration of SF/F/H’s fascination with the new, different, unusual, and wondrous. Through a combination of presentations and panel discussions with scholars, we’ll discuss the themes of exploration and the novum as they manifest in genre today (and comparisons to the past) with an eye toward contemporary works of film, literature, comics, and art and/or the fan communities which celebrate them.
Anime and Manga
East Asian animation has had an unmistakable impact on fiction throughout the world. The unique visual stylings, literary conventions, and musical composition from the region reflect a blending of the rich cultural history from the region with cultural influences from other parts of the world. Join us as we celebrate and discover the rich history of anime from Japan and other Asian countries.
Presentations, demos, and discussions that feature speculative art and artistic topics related to the speculative art community.
Chicon 8’s Children’s program will be a combination of entertaining and informational panels that will feature different facets of fandom. Our goal is to create an inclusive and fun area for children ages 6 to 12! With a combination of panels, workshops, and arts/crafts this will be an area that will have something for everyone. Join us in Children’s Program for an exciting and enjoyable time!
Comics and Graphic Novels
Chicon 8’s Comics program will be a celebration of all things in the area of comic books, graphic novels and sequential storytelling. Expect to have your senses ravaged by an exploration of the genre from the Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, Modern Age and Independent Comics Industry. If you’re new to the genre and only really know it by the fierce pace by which it hits a screen near you then fear not, you shall not be left in the cold! We expect to bring you everything from panels and discussions to working suits of mech armor (depending on both the laws of time travel and importing of potentially dangerous technology). Let’s Go!!!!
Costuming and Cosplay
Whether you dress for travel through time, space, or fantastical worlds, Chicon 8’s Costuming and Cosplay program welcomes you! If you are stepping into your first super suit or a masquerade master, prepare to dig in with fellow costumers and cosplayers on new skills, dream creations, and lessons learned. Discussions will feature topics that touch on topics from across the costuming and cosplay community, from photography to shopping recommendations to sewing tips and tricks. Come join us!
Fandom and Fan History
Items that explore the past, present, and future of the speculative community and the works, creators, and fans who have added their voices and vision to science fiction and fantasy.
Items that look at how fans adapt and build on existing works in speculative fiction, such as fanfic, vids and fan art.
Filk and Music
Chicon’s Music and Filk program will explore music as it is reflected in fandom, speculative fiction and beyond. Filk, Nerdcore, Wizard Rock, and Mythpunk are just a few of the musical genres that will be represented. The program will explore music in speculative fiction, film, and performance. There will be concerts and workshops, discussions, and more that feature the musical heartbeat and lyrical imagination of fandom.
You like to play games, right? Then you are in luck. We have games to play. We have big games and small games. Long games and quick games. We have card games and dice games, board games and tables to host role-playing games. We’ll have games scheduled throughout the convention hosted by folks who want to share their love of gaming with you. We will also have a great library of games for you to choose from, just add players. And don’t forget that we’re always happy to (try to) help you learn something new.
Let’s play together! Chicon 8’s Gaming program will feature panels and workshops on all flavors of games, such as board/card games, tabletop roleplaying games, and video games. We will have a wide range of topics such as “Beginning GMing: Tips and Tricks” and “Your Grandma’s a Gamer, Too.” We’ll cover accessibility in games, how to create inclusive and safe gaming events, and great talks on Livestreaming 101. New to games and need recommendations? We’ll have that, too! Plus, we plan on featuring individuals who make and publish your favorite games!
Spanish Language /Español
Immersive discussions that feature Spanish and Latino speculative works and fandom; some items conducted entirely in Spanish.
Immersive discussions that feature Polish speculative works and fandom; some items conducted entirely in Polish.
Items that explore the depth and breadth of speculative fiction, its creators, and the influences that have built the genre over time—including a look toward the future.
Discussion items, presentations and hands-on workshops covering hands-on creating, crafting, hacking, and tinkering.
Items that cover movies, television, audio, and other non-written word forms of speculative fiction.
Informal discussion gatherings for groups with shared interest and/or affinity, such as POC, LGBTQ+, parents, etc.
Science and Technology
Items that discuss real world science and technology. This includes both hard science fields like physics and astronomy and soft sciences like sociology and psychology.
Items about the society in which fans live and which shapes our fiction. This content area will offer diverse and inclusive perspectives that shape thoughts, impact actions, and create change in the larger world around them.
We will have sessions that discuss speculative fiction in theater.
Writing and the Business of Writing
We will have discussion items, presentations, and workshops addressing the practical aspects of writing, from character development and worldbuilding to marketing and agents.
We will have hands-on workshops about everything from handcrafts to world building.
Chicon 8’s Podcast program will cover everything from panels on podcasting for beginners, deep dives on podcast skills and history, to live audience podcast recordings.
Seventy-five years after the 1947 Worldcon, we celebrate the works of 1946 that would have been eligible if the Hugo Award had been in existence, with a series of panels, talks, and exhibits about the best of 1946’s speculative fiction and fandom.
Chicon 8 will be providing panels, performances, readings, workshops, and more around the clock content on Airmeet. There will be program items streamed out from the in-person convention and exclusive online-only content including fully virtual panels. Captioning will be provided and most content will be available to replay after it has completed.