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Programming, speculative fiction, science, technology
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ArmadilloCon 2009: Stump the Panel

P1070075 Steve Wilson and a robotic squirrel

Panelists at this event are supposed to come up with mundane and science-fictional uses for objects supplied by the audience. They can also use objects they brought themselves. This year's team is C. J. Mills, Steve Wilson, and Chris Roberson. You may never look the same way again at a neti pot, metallic squirrel, or a USB hub.

Stump the Panel: ArmadilloCon 2008

P1010628 Rhonda Eudaly with a nail file

On "Stump the Panel" the panelists are supposed to come up with mundane and science-fictional uses for objects supplied by the audience. Indeed, in Rhonda Eudaly's, S. Andrew Swann's, and Lou Antonelli's imagination things like a pen, a nail file, and a box of Tictacs become something completely different. Especially the nail file. Rhonda had to restrain her imagination regarding this object, because there were children in the audience. :-)

Here is an article about an older "Stump the Panel" at the ArmadilloCon 2006, featuring James P. Hogan's inimitable wit.

Pictures from ArmadilloCon 2008 are available in my photo gallery.

Interactive Fantasy World Building: Armadillocon 2004 panel

P518 Cat Conrad and his hemomancy drawing on the worldbuilding planet at ArmadilloCon 2004

The official summary "Our panelists pull out all their knowledge and create a world before your very eyes, with assistance from R. Cat Conrad on the white board." as it turned out, misrepresented the format of the panel.

Panelists: Gloria Oliver (moderator), Mark Finn, Rie Sheridan, Caroline Spector, Rachel Caine, R. Cat Conrad

Mark Finn. I thought we were going to have to build a world.

A panelist. No, no, make them work!

So it was the audience that built the fantasy world, not the panelists. The latter provided feedback in a form of wisecracks (Mark Finn), by coaxing the audience to think through the issues involved in building a fantasy world (Gloria Oliver) and seek out plot devices that would turn the raw fantasy product into an actual story material (Caroline Spector).

One thing the audience didn't need was to be prodded into activity. The topic was selected cleverly or fortuitously enough to send the audience's imagination into overdrive.

If you want to know what story ideas and themes the audience came up with without reading their entire thought process, click here for the summary.

Pictures from Armadillocon 2004 are available in my photo gallery.

Stump the Panel: an ArmadilloCon 2006 panel

CIMG3762 Kurt Baty with a swiss tool

Summary: The panelists are supposed to make up a science-fictional or a fantasy use for a random object. The objects are chosen by the audience. Some of them are a bit mysterious: their everyday function is not apparent.

Panelists: Bradley Denton, Scott Bobo (moderator), Jessica Reisman, Kurt Baty, James P. Hogan