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Panels

There are two days packed with panels running from 10AM – 4PM. Enjoy Q&A session with special guests, insightful conversations with local experts and influencers, and gossip sessions where we gush about our favorite shows, authors, and genres. Discuss, dissect, and gossip to your heart’s content at RoberCon.

DOWNLOAD SCHEDULE

 

Saturday

10AM

No Mac & Cheese on the Other Side: A Look at Existence After Death

PANEL ROOM 01 / Carousel Theater (first floor of museum)

Presenters: James “Anvil” Milligan, Alonnie Milligan

Alonnie and Anvil of the S.P.E.C.T.E.R.S. Foundation will reveal and review evidence collected locally that goes beyond just knocks and whistles. See and hear electronic voice phenomena, photos, videos and more that will challenge your opinions about life after death.

Beach City’s Final Blast: ‘Steven Universe’ Says Goodbye

PANEL ROOM 02 / Planetarium (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Julie Bartolotto, Tommy Williams, Abigail Mayglothling, Drew Gruenberg, Jeremy Benson

Calling all Steven Universe Fans! Join us to discuss the show and the new movie coming out In September. Other topics will include the redemption of the Great Diamond Authority, who else will or will not get redemption, favorite songs and favorite moments. At the end of the panel, we will sing the Steven Universe theme song!

‘The Whisperer in Darkness’: Lovecraft Meets Science Fiction

PANEL ROOM 03 / Activity Lab (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Dan Harms (moderator), Peter Hower, Keri Hyde, Doug Bush, Ted Nappi

Aliens from Pluto from other worlds coming down to Earth to mine and perform experiments … in a story from 1930? Join us in an exploration of a key work of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft that has inspired stories, musical pieces and movies.

Oh Boy: 30 Years of ‘Quantum Leap’

PANEL ROOM 04 / Mansion Ballroom (top floor of mansion)

Presenters: Alecia O’Neill (moderator), Joe Picalila, Joshua Palmatier, Lisa Stuckey, Heather Kriesel

In 1989, a new kind of time-travel show first aired, following the adventures of Dr. Sam Beckett and his hologramatic observer, Al Calavicci, as Sam “leaped” from life to life trying to make right what once went wrong. Over five seasons and 97 episodes, Quantum Leap told stories across the latter half of the 20th century, filled with drama, kindness and humanity. At this panel, talk about your favorite episodes and characters from this iconic series.

11AM

Live Podcast Recording: Ocho Duro Parlay Hour

PANEL ROOM 01 / Carousel Theater (first floor of museum)

Presenters: Ken Maney, Padawan J, Coach Duffy, Brian Rhodes, Jonathan Musok

After Avengers: Endgame shattered box-office records, Marvel is gearing up for their next phase of its cinematic universe with Phase 4 films and Disney+ TV shows on the horizon. Can they keep the crown of reigning comic entertainment champs, or is their time at the top over? The ODPH panel breaks down future projects and possible contenders in this special RoberCon podcast recording.

Still Catchin’ ’Em All: Moving Forward In A Pokémon World

PANEL ROOM 02 / Planetarium (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Jo Tokarcik (moderator), Drew Gruenberg, Jesse Buchler, Seamus Haggerty, Sam Smith, Jonathan Green

This discussion on Pokémon will focus more on two series within the fandom: the latest chronicles in Alola during “Pokémon: Sun and Moon” and the differences between the animation style of the game format of the video games compared to prior animes/games, and theories regarding the upcoming Pokémon: Sword and Shield games. Discussions on the new starters and possible Eeveelutions will be included.

Meet the Editors: Learn How to Sell Your Short Stories

PANEL ROOM 03 / Activity Lab (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Crystal Sarakas (moderator), Joshua Palmatier, David B. Coe 

Three of the editors from the small press Zombies Need Brains will talk about their editing process and answer your questions about writing, self-editing and making that sale. Feel free to bring up to two pages of your work-in-progress to read out loud, and our editors will give their feedback. 

Get a Shift On: The New Face of ‘Doctor Who’ 

PANEL ROOM 04 / Mansion Ballroom (top floor of mansion)

Presenters: Chris Kocher (moderator), Adrienne Wise, Matt Gaska, Jana Kucera, Heather Kriesel

For Series 11 of the revived Doctor Who, Chris Chibnall took over the controls as showrunner and Jodie Whittaker debuted as the first woman Doctor. How did they do? Did the 10 episodes compare favorably to what came before? And what would we like to see in Series 12 next year? 

NOON

Live Podcast Recording: 3 Fat Nerds

PANEL ROOM 01 / Carousel Theater (first floor of museum)

Presenters: Rich Coryell, Ron Howe, Derek Collins, Mike Ciotoli

Want to talk about all things nerdy? Rich, Ron and #BigNattyCool Derek talk about movies, TV shows, games, comics, pop culture and more. Is your favorite fandom #CertifiedNerd? Only one way to find out – by attending this special RoberCon podcast recording.

Rod Serling’s Life and Legacy: Q&A with Biographer Nicholas Parisi

PANEL ROOM 02 / Planetarium (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Nicholas Parisi, Chris Kocher (moderator)

In his book Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination (released in October by the University Press of Mississippi), author Nicholas Parisi offers the first deep dive into to the legendary writer’s entire career. Beyond The Twilight Zone, Binghamton’s favorite son offered a rich body of television work over three decades. Parisi will discuss the biography and what he learned about Serling’s legacy during his years of research.

Roll for Initiative: 45 Years of Dungeons & Dragons

PANEL ROOM 03 / Activity Lab (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Dan Harms (moderator), Kat D’Andrea, Seamus Haggerty, Gretchen Roesch, Alex Jablonski, Eric Fernadez

How did a tiny Wisconsin company change the world of tabletop gaming forever? We’ll explore the history and cultural impact of the world’s most famous roleplaying game. Double-check your equipment and bring your party!

On the ‘Edge’: ‘Star Wars’ Stories Beyond the Skywalker Saga

PANEL ROOM 04 / Mansion Ballroom (top floor of mansion)

Presenters: Jana Kucera, Matt Gaska (moderators), Kirstin Clinton, David “Doc” Rasey

Rogue One started a catalyst for even more exciting and new stories for Star Wars. The new Disney+ streaming service is already promoting The Mandalorian, the still-to-be-titled Cassian Andor series and an Obi-Wan Kenobi series (with Ewan McGregor!). We also have the Disney parks’ world of Batuu and the stories that go along with the new Galaxy’s Edge attractions. We’ll look at these exciting new worlds and discuss our hopes for what’s to come.

1PM

Author Guest of Honor: A Conversation with David B. Coe

PANEL ROOM 01 / Carousel Theater (first floor of museum)

Presenters: David B. Coe, Joshua Palmatier (moderator)

David B. Coe (who also writes as D.B. Jackson) is the award-winning author of more than 20 novels and many short stories, including the Islevale Chronicles and the Thieftaker Chronicles. He co-founded and regularly contributes to the Magical Words group blog (magicalwords.net), a site devoted to discussions of the craft and business of writing fantasy, and he is co-author of How to Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion

Planetarium Show: ‘Sunstruck’

PANEL ROOM 02 / Planetarium (second floor of museum)

Roberson’s newest planetarium show, Sunstruck, premieres at RoberCon 2019! Discover how the sun came to support life, how it threatens life as we know it, and how its energy will one day fade away. 

Straight Outta Westeros: ‘Game of Thrones’ Ends, But What’s Next?

PANEL ROOM 03 / Activity Lab (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Andrew Haggerty (moderator), Adrienne Wise, Kirstin Clinton, Paul Benkovitz

HBO’s Game of Thrones has come to an end, and it’s safe to say that the fandom is totally at a loss in coming up with any complaints. Total satisfaction all around. (Right?) Let’s set sail for what’s West of Westeros, take aim at what was what in Season 8, and join us for righteous screeds and melancholy sighs. Remember, we’re promised more books, and at least one prequel is in production!

Black Heroes Matter: Why Representation in Media & Arts is Important

PANEL ROOM 04 / Mansion Ballroom (top floor of mansion)

Presenters: Kymel Yard (moderator), Brian Daniel, Dominic Davy, Jacinda Daniel, Sheldon Sneed

Historically, science fiction and fantasy have served as the playgrounds for the white male imagination, but the importance of diverse characters and storytellers cannot be overlooked. Today’s characters better reflect the multitudes of people in our society or take classic characters and revamping them through different racial, gender, sexual identity lenses, which allows storytellers who connect and relate to them take them in new directions. This panel will discuss how telling stories with characters of color, LGBTQIA+ characters and female characters written and developed by writers, artists and creatives who look and live like them enhance our culture as a whole.

2PM

J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World: The Waiting Years 

PANEL ROOM 01 / Carousel Theater (first floor of museum)

Presenters: Amy Hogan, (moderator), Gretchen Roesch, Nicole Olmsted, Allie Kamel, Stephanie Bailey

Here we are again. With Warner Brothers’ announcement that the next Fantastic Beasts film won’t hit the big screen for another three years, fans of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World now find themselves in a very familiar place we like to call “the waiting years.” On this panel, staff members of MuggleNet.com will revert back to what us fans have done every time there’s been a gap between books or movies: Combing through any scrap of news, rehashing what we already know, and a whole lot of speculation about the future.

WSKG Presents: The Best of the Rod Serling Film Festival (MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN)

PANEL ROOM 02 / Planetarium (second floor of museum)

Students from around the country submit their short films to the annual Rod Serling Film Festival, in honor of the legendary creator of The Twilight Zone and Binghamton’s favorite son. See what youthful imagination can produce in this collection of the winners from recent years.

Special thanks to WSKG for sponsoring the planetarium programming this year! Find more information about the Rod Serling Film Festival at www.wskg.org/filmfest.

Tolkien Booth: Speak, Friend, and Enter

PANEL ROOM 03 / Activity Lab (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Elaine Casella (moderator), Mary Rakas, Eric Swan, Kathy Moore

Journey with us over hill and under hill, exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s life, film adaptation, the effect of language on his life and works, trivia, riddles and your Tolkien-related interests. Suilaid!  (Greetings!)

Love You 3000: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and the Future of the MCU

PANEL ROOM 04 / Mansion Ballroom (top floor of mansion)

Presenters: Paul D. Smith (moderator), Marley Laskaris, Anthony Borrelli, Hildy Mica, Adrienne Wise, Rose Davis

“Every journey has an end.” Join us for a lively discussion on the movie that brought Marvel’s Infinity Saga to a close. What is next for our heroes? What should we expect in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Gird yourself for spoilers as we unpack the top-grossing film in history.

3PM

Quick Draw Returns: Improv with Pen and Paper

PANEL ROOM 01 / Carousel Theater (first floor of museum)

Presenters: Russell Swanger, Eric Maruscak, Chris Kocher (moderator)

Our panel of artists will sketch quick (and witty) cartoons based on moderator and audience suggestions. Audience members will watch the artists start with a blank paper and finish with a final cartoon because their work will be projected on the screen. Think of it as cartooning improvisation. Artists will be Russell Swanger (a.k.a. “Russ the Big Guy”) and Eric Maruscak (cartoonist and nationally-renown chalk artist with clients such as Lucasfilm, Nintendo and Crunchyroll).

Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted: History in ‘Assassin’s Creed’

PANEL ROOM 02 / Planetarium (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Jo Tokarcik (moderator), Andrew Campbell, Kymel Yard

The games and movie within the Assassin’s Creed series and the historical timeframes covered allow rubbing elbows with historical figures – and seriously, who wouldn’t want to be friends with Leonardo da Vinci or George Washington? This panel also will discuss the use of the games and movie as supplemental study material for a history course.

How to Build Your Own World: Editors and Authors Share Advice

PANEL ROOM 03 / Activity Lab (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Nancy Holzner (moderator), David B. Coe, Joshua Palmatier, C.W. Briar, Deborah Blake 

Our authors and editors will talk about worldbuilding – what is it? How important is it to your story? Do you really have to know every single little thing about your world? And where’s the line between having too much world in your story – or not enough? 

Mentalist Robb Riddel: Cosplay Hypno Hero Empowerment

PANEL ROOM 04 / Mansion Ballroom (top floor of mansion)

Presenter: Robb Riddel

Take your cosplay activities to the next level! Hypnotist and modern oracle Robb Riddel will give a talk about how the techniques of esoteric Buddhism and hypnosis can turn cosplay into a powerful force for self-transformation. The introductory talk will be followed by a demonstration of Robb’s “Hypno Hero Empowerment” process. As “The Mind Reader,” Robb uses a deep awareness of the subtle energetic patterns of mind and body to produce apparent psychic phenomena. As “The Hypnotist,” he leads others into heightened states of awareness and receptivity that can change their present and future reality. As “The Modern Oracle,” he has integrated traditional fortune telling with modern artifacts and sensibilities to provide a fun, creative way to explore our own minds and life choices.

4PM

The Bear Challenge VI: Bears Bears Bears Bears Bears! 

PANEL ROOM 01 / Carousel Theater (first floor of museum)

Presenters: Daniel Schwartz (moderator), Angela Schwartz, Jennifer Royce, Jacob Thompson

Nate Chen, Russell Swanger

The interactive sensation returns to RoberCon, more ursine and challenging than ever! Audience members submit Bear Facts (“Bear knows kung fu,” “Bear is a hopeless romantic,” etc.) and our team of trained panelists determines which bear gets to advance and receive more facts! There can only be one! Bear! Featuring live drawings of all the bear action by Russell Swanger (a.k.a. Russ the Big Guy).

 

Planetarium Show: ‘Mayan Archaeoastronomy’

PANEL ROOM 02 / Planetarium (second floor of museum)

Mayan Archaeoastronomy: Observers of the Universe is a unique intertwining of science and mythology to take the viewer on a poetic journey through how the Mayans have viewed and understood the universe throughout their history.

Swallowing the Red Pill: 20 Years of ‘The Matrix’

PANEL ROOM 03 / Activity Lab (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Kymel Yard (moderator), Paul Benkovitz, David “Doc” Rasey, Xavier Blank

Two decades ago, the Wachowskis wrote and directed a film that shifted the cultural axis with its innovative take on artificial intelligence, virtual reality and humanity’s place in a world run by machines. It also remade the landscape for special effects, especially the slow-motion rendering of “bullet time” that has been copied by dozens of action movies since. This panel will discuss favorite moments from the film, how it boosted Keanu Reeves’ career, and whether the two sequels lived up to the original. We’ll also talk about the recent announcement of The Matrix 4 and what we’d like to see if the movie is made.

Geeks on Fleek: A Sci-Fi / Fantasy Drag Show

PANEL ROOM 04 / Mansion Ballroom (top floor of mansion)

Performers: Jet Aime (emcee), Psi Kotik, Camden Summers, Steele Rodd, Matt Ernal, Kentai

Join local drag performers and cosplayers as we celebrate all things nerdy with a science fiction / fantasy-themed drag show. Expect hot music, cool costumes and fun!

Sunday

10AM

Exoplanet Discoveries: Where Science Fiction Meets Science Fact

PANEL ROOM 01 / Carousel Theater (first floor of museum)

Presenter: Patrick Manley

We may not fully see it at this point, but we have entered a golden age of astronomy. Exoplanet discoveries and identification have ushered in a whole new era of science and astronomical discovery. Science fiction has long imagined both human favorable planets and ones that are extremely hostile to our being. Exoplanet research is finding both of these as well in the real physical universe. Check out the intersection of these imaginative existences and discover what we have found, what we will pursue and how we will identify habitable planets beyond our own solar system.

The Magnificent Seven: Class Begins at ‘Umbrella Academy’

PANEL ROOM 02 / Planetarium (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Sarah Hower (moderator), Julia West, Gary Dewey, Lisa Stuckey, Spencer McLain

On Oct. 1, 1989, 43 women around the world give birth simultaneously, despite none of them showing any sign of pregnancy until labor began. Seven of the children are adopted by eccentric billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves and turned into a superhero team each with unique powers.  Join us to discuss the Netflix series and comic book written by Gerard Way.

Unstuck in Time: Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ at 50

PANEL ROOM 03 / Activity Lab (second floor of museum)

Presenters: James Mica (moderator), Donna Schwartz, Cat McDonald, Heather Kriesel

Kurt Vonnegut’s 1969 novel Slaughterhouse-Five caught the imagination of a generation trapped in the contradictions of the Vietnam War. Fifty years later, we will ask about its contemporary significance and whether some of its major plot points have aged well in the intervening decades. Should it still be required book for high school readers?  Is it too sexist for the current era?

Through the Wormhole: 20 Years of ‘Farscape’

PANEL ROOM 04 / Mansion Ballroom (top floor of mansion)

Presenters: Chris Kocher (moderator), Kat D’Andrea, Jamie FitzGerald, Paul Benkovitz, Gretchen Roesch

The crew of Moya – including human astronaut John Crichton and Peacekeeper Aeryn Sun – fought and loved across the universe for four seasons. Look back at the series’ best moments, strangest characters and weirdest situations. 

11AM

To Hell and Back: ‘Good Omens’ Finally Gets to Television 

PANEL ROOM 01 / Carousel Theater (first floor of museum)

Presenters: Mary Donnelly (moderator), Cat McDonald, Annie McNulty, Kat D’Andrea, Jacob Thompson, Clarissa Ryan

In 1990, Neil Gaiman (at the beginning of his career) and Terry Pratchett (well established in his) co-authored the much-loved cult novel Good Omens, a tale of prophecy, angels, demons and the Antichrist. In 2019, Amazon Prime and the BBC broadcast a miniseries based on the novel. In this panel, we will discuss the cinematic interpretation of the novel: its strengths, weaknesses, innovations, and the surprise controversy it inspired.

Planetarium Show: ‘The Sun: Our Living Star’

PANEL ROOM 02 / Planetarium (second floor of museum)

The sun has shown on our world for 4.5 billion years. Discover the secrets of our star in this planetarium show and experience never-before-seen images of the sun’s violent surface in immersive full-dome format.

Write What You Don’t Know: How to Use Research and Imagination

PANEL ROOM 03 / Activity Lab (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Nancy Holzner (moderator), David B. Coe, Deborah Blake, Joshua Palmatier

One of the most often given (and wildly misinterpreted) pieces of writing advice is to “write what you know.” But what do you do when you want to write a story about something you don’t know? Join our authors to talk about how to tap into the unknown, whether it’s a deep dive into research, some old fashioned (non-creepy) people watching, or simple conversation. 

Disco Fever: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Looks to the Past and Future

PANEL ROOM 04 / Mansion Ballroom (top floor of mansion)

Presenters: Lisa Stuckey (moderator), Jamie FitzGerald, Thea Whirlwindhorse, Maryse Quinn

Love it, hate it or somewhere in between, Discovery has taken the Star Trek franchise to strange new worlds and filled in some of the show’s back story. At this panel, we’ll discuss what we liked and what we didn’t like from the first two seasons. Also: What are our hopes for Season 3? Will we see more of Captain Pike, Mr. Spock or Number One? And is the show sustainable in the long term?

NOON

The World is Flat: The Humor and Heart of Pratchett’s ‘Discworld’

PANEL ROOM 01 / Carousel Theater (first floor of museum)

Presenters: Jacob Thompson (moderator), Mary Donnelly, Rose Davis, Sam McMullen, Mike McMullen

Over dozens of books, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series evolved from a parody of fantasy fiction to a multifaceted satire seen through the eyes of wizards, witches, city guards and a universe of others. The panel is a look back through the books, movies and other works which built the Discworld over Pratchett’s decades of work.

Let’s Rocket: Why Americans Love ‘Power Rangers’ and Otaku Shows 

PANEL ROOM 02 / Planetarium (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Drew Gruenberg (moderator), Brian Daniel, Tom Craven

Talk about Power Rangers and its Japanese counterpart Super Sentai, as well as Kamen Rider and other live action Otaku shows. We’ll discuss favorite seasons of any of those shows, thoughts about how the American versions are adapted from the Japanese versions, and what we hope to see in future seasons.

Live Podcast Recording: God Mode Unlocked

PANEL ROOM 03 / Activity Lab (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Ryan Reynolds, Matt Bronson

Join Broome County’s dynamic podcasting duo of Mayor Ryan Reynolds and Matt Bronson to give RoberCon a healthy dose of video-game discussion.

Higher, Further, Faster: ‘Captain Marvel’ Leads the Way for Women

PANEL ROOM 04 / Mansion Ballroom (top floor of mansion)

Presenters: Crystal Sarakas (moderator), Carinne Vizvary, Jennifer Crow, Hildy Mica

Captain Marvel punched her way into our hearts this year (even if she was totally underused in Avengers: Endgame). What did we love about the movie? Was there anything we didn’t like? And has Captain Marvel helped shatter the glass ceiling when it comes to movies with women leading the fight? 

1PM

Farewell, Winchesters: ‘Supernatural’ Prepares for Final Season 

PANEL ROOM 01 / Carousel Theater (first floor of museum)

Presenters: Sarah Hower, Kirstin Clinton, Sara Benedict, Kevin Lucia, Spencer McLain

For their entire lives, the Winchester Brothers have been fighting things that the rest of the world doesn’t want to believe exist. They have battled everything from vampires and werewolves to demons and angels. We will revisit the entire Supernatural series and discuss what we would like to see in the show’s 15th and final season. 

Good News, Everyone: 20 Years of ‘Futurama’

PANEL ROOM 02 / Planetarium (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Chris Kocher (moderator), Drew Gruenberg, Amanda Butler, David “Doc” Rasey, Gary Dewey

In 1999, pizza delivery boy Philip J. Fry fell into a cryogenic freezer and woke up 1,000 years later. There he met an assortment of oddballs, such as Bender, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg, Leela, Amy, Hermes and the dozens of others who inhabit creator Matt Groening’s futuristic world. Over seven seasons (and two cancellations), Futurama skewered nearly every sci-fi cliché. Let’s talk about favorite episodes, characters and why the Seymour episode still makes us cry. (Every. Single. Time.)

Small But Mighty: Short Stories That Blew Us Away (And How To Write Them)

PANEL ROOM 03 / Activity Lab (second floor of museum)

Presenters:  Joshua Palmatier (moderator), David B. Coe, Clarissa Ryan, Brian Hugenbruch, Nancy Holzner

We live in a golden age of science fiction and fantasy literature, especially shorter works. What are some of the short stories that rocked our world? What are some of the critical differences in writing short fiction versus long? Good advice? Bad advice? Let’s discuss! 

Skywalker Rises: ‘Star Wars’ Concludes Epic Tale in Episode IX

PANEL ROOM 04 / Mansion Ballroom (top floor of mansion)

Presenters: Anthony Borrelli (moderator), Tom Henderson, Allen Archie, Jana Kucera, Matt Gaska 

Nine films and three trilogies all come to a conclusion when Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is released in December. What happens to Rey, Poe, Finn and Kylo Ren? What do we think this final chapter of the saga will explore with its story? Will our lingering questions be answered? What did we like about the sequel trilogy and what didn’t measure up?

2PM

DC Heroes Unite: ‘Crisis’ Comes to the ‘Arrowverse’

PANEL ROOM 01 / Carousel Theater (first floor of museum)

Presenters: Anthony Borrelli (moderator), Adrienne Wise, Ken Maney, Brian Rhodes

This year is sure to be the biggest one yet for the CW’s “Arrowverse” superhero shows, as its flagship series Arrow bids farewell with its final season, leading up to the mega-crossover event “Crisis on Infinite Earths” and the debut of the Batwoman solo series. We’ve already learned of a few special appearances, including Brandon Routh playing the Kingdom Come Superman for the crossover, but let’s speculate about how this “Crisis” will impact the Arrowverse and what we’d like to see happen. Who will survive, who will get lost in the fight? We’ll also talk about how much the CW superhero shows have evolved since Arrow began.

WSKG Presents: The Best of the Rod Serling Film Festival (MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN)

PANEL ROOM 02 / Planetarium (second floor of museum)

Students from around the country submit their short films to the annual Rod Serling Film Festival, in honor of the legendary creator of The Twilight Zone and Binghamton’s favorite son. See what youthful imagination can produce in this collection of the winners from recent years.

Special thanks to WSKG for sponsoring the planetarium programming this year! Find more information about the Rod Serling Film Festival at www.wskg.org/filmfest.

‘Alita: Battle Angel’: Sleeper Hit or Cult Classic?

PANEL ROOM 03 / Activity Lab (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Jamie FitzGerald (moderator), David “Doc” Rasey, Lisa Stuckey, Michael Shew, Brian Daniel

James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez introduced audiences to the post-apocalyptic world of Yukito Kushiro’s Gunnm, a cyberpunk manga that began in the 1990s. Alita: Battle Angel was almost universally loved by those who saw it, but failed to reach true blockbuster box office numbers. When all is said and done, will this be the sleeper hit of 2019 that spawns a new film franchise, or will it become a cult classic where the people who love it absolutely adore it and everyone else wonders why?

Cosplay Contest: Youth Division

PANEL ROOM 04 / Mansion Ballroom (top floor of mansion)

Host: Justin G. Schroeder

Judges: Jana Kucera, Matt Gaska, Kirstin Clinton, Marley Laskaris

Watch youths 14 and under compete with their peers as we judge the best costumes and award spectacularly geeky prizes. Contestants must register by 12 p.m. Sunday in Visitors’ Center and report to the Ballroom Annex by 1:30 p.m. for check-in.

3PM

Voices from Beyond: Exploring Electronic Voice Phenomena

PANEL ROOM 01 / Carousel Theater (first floor of museum)

Presenters: Craig DeLap (moderator), Fred Cashman, Samantha Morris

Members of the local group Phantom Visions Paranormal will discuss electronic voice phenomena they have recorded and explain why they are the easiest way to prove the paranormal. They also will share pictures, videos and stories from their investigations. 

Boldly Going for Laughs: ‘The Orville’ Heads to New Season … and Hulu

PANEL ROOM 02 / Planetarium (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Lisa Stuckey (moderator), James Mica, Peter Hower, David “Doc” Rasey

The Orville is moving from Fox to Hulu for its third season. Is this a good move? How will it affect viewership? Let’s discuss the implications of this move as well as the best of Season 2 and what we would like to see in Season 3. Is Dolly Parton truly the voice of a revolution?

Let’s Hang Out at the Mall: ‘Stranger Things’ Meets the Mind Flayer

PANEL ROOM 03 / Activity Lab (second floor of museum)

Presenters: Chris Kocher (moderator), Adrienne Wise, C.W. Briar, John Brhel, Jacky Qin

Prepare to have your mind flayed as we head back to Hawkins for Season 3 of Stranger Things. We’ll talk about all the happenings at Starcourt Mall and the Russian invasion, and we’ll unseal our prediction for the show made at last year’s RoberCon. Did we get anything right? 

Cosplay Contest: Adult and Expert Divisions

PANEL ROOM 04 / Mansion Ballroom (top floor of mansion)

Host: Justin G. Schroeder

Judges: Jana Kucera, Matt Gaska, Kirstin Clinton, Marley Laskaris

Amateur and expert cosplayers ages 15 and up will strut their stuff to compete for fabulously geeky prizes. Contestants must register by 12 p.m. Sunday in Visitors’ Center and report to the Ballroom Annex by 2:30 p.m. for check-in. 

4PM

Planetarium Show: ‘Rock on Demand’

PANEL ROOM 02 / Planetarium (second floor of museum)

Rock on Demand features classic rock music set to dazzling laser imagery and full-dome CG. Listen to your favorite classic rock while watching visually stunning graphics, like a laser rock show!