Not going to lie, when I first read the description for Refill Your Hearts: Fandom Librarians Recommend Stories to Get You Through the Bad Times, I was a little skeptical. The panel was meant to be a group of fannish librarians providing personalized reading and viewing recommendations for the audience. According to the description, they would focus on uplifting fanfiction, online and self-published fiction, webcomics, tv shows, movies, and other media created by and centered on women; queer, trans-, and nonbinary people; people of color; neurodiverse people; and other marginalized groups. As someone who has read fanfiction for over sixteen years, I was specifically doubtful that the panelists would have read enough fanfiction in enough fandoms to make useful recommendations to the audience. I did love the idea that they might have a couple story suggestions that would fit my preferences, though, and I wanted to see how the panel would play out, so I gave it a try.
I have been more than a little bit obsessed with romance novels, erotica, and romantic fanfiction for most of my life. It started with sneakily checking out books from the library and skim-reading to get to the “good parts,” then moved on to scouring Archive of Our Own, Fanfiction.net, and other glorious sites for all of my slash fic needs, no matter how niche (Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini, anyone?), and now, at long last, I can finally say that I am a proud sex nerd and devourer of all things romance and sexuality.
Given this extensive history, I think it’s safe to say that I couldn’t have been more excited to sit in on this year’s GeekGirlCon panel A Geek Girl’s Right to Erotica. This panel was the first live episode of the certifiably awesome Podice Rippers podcast, hosted by Natalie Warner and Lainey Seaton. When not podcasting “at length and girth” about romance novels, Natalie and Lainey are a cyber-security technical writer and an account manager, respectively. Together, they host a podcast that is an incredibly funny and thoroughly geeky exploration of all things romance, smut, and erotica.
Image Description: podcast hosts and panelists Natalie Warner and Lainey Seaton sitting at their panel table at GeekGirlCon ’17. Source: Twitter
One of my favorite things about gaming is that it is transformative: you get to become someone (or something) else: you can be a warrior mouse, an anthropomorphic mushroom, a dragon, or anything else that the game setting allows for.
You can also become a new friend to someone who shares the same passions for games that you do.
There are plenty of stories about players creating groups to play together, forming real-life relationships, or whose lives evolve because of the game and the people they’ve met playing it. This year, at GeekGirlCon, I got to sit in on a panel with Featured Contributor Elaine Chase, who has a direct hand in influencing people’s lives in this way.
As a pop-culture geek, I’m all about the suspension of disbelief. Give me mythical creatures, interdimensional travel, and fireball explosions in the vacuum of space—I prefer creativity to realism. But I also enjoy digging into whether or not fictional realities play by their own rules, and GeekGirlCon ‘17’s “The Science of Wonder Woman” panel did not disappoint.
“The Science of Wonder Woman” was a fantastic discussion of the Wonder Woman film from a scientific perspective. The panelists included astronomer and physics professor Dr. Nicole Gugliucci, forensic chemist and GGC DIY Science Zone project manager Dr. Raychelle Burke, and science writer R.K. Pendergrass.
GeekGirl 2017 has come and gone. It was a weekend of laugher, tears, a pinch of nostalgia, and an enormous amount of fun. As I’ve spent the last week recuperating, I’ve seen an influx online of happy memories, pictures, articles, and thoughts about the weekend. Words of wisdom caught during panels, big smiles after seeing a particularly great cosplay, and shared pride over the community that we’ve built together, we’re all going through a bit of emotional catharsis.
Here are but a few of our favorite moments from the weekend on Twitter and Instagram, recaps and articles on blogs and in the news:
One of the hardest things about GeekGirlCon is that point on Sunday night when you realize that the con is coming to its inevitable conclusion. It’s such a bittersweet moment, but it’s also a good time to reflect on the cultural phenomenon that is GeekGirlCon.
Cosplayers and attendees at GeekGirlcon’s kickoff party play trivia based on their fandom of choice.
More than 12,000 people are expected to celebrate a weekend dedicated to empowering women, girls, and non-binary geeks to pursue their passions—whether they love science and technology, comics, literature, gaming, or anything else.
And tonight, we surrounded ourselves with the soft glow of retro machines and sounds of modern robotics at the Living Computer Museum to kick things off for GeekGirlCon 2017.
We’re here! Well, not quite, but with just a few days left until #GGC17, I’m in full-on excited freakout mode, and I hope you are too. We’ve got our schedules, our apps, and we’re ready to have an amazing Con weekend.
If only we could be this calm and collected going into the Con
Over the past few weeks we’ve been giving you a preview of the amazing panels we have coming up, divided into all the themes we geeks are most passionate about. We’ve covered Social Justice, Diversity and Inclusivity, GGC After Dark, Pop Culture, Fandom, and Gaming. But as if all of that wasn’t enough to get you completely psyched for this weekend, let me introduce you to a group of panels that I am personally counting down the hours for: the STEM panels!
The original computers
Did you know that the first computers weren’t wires or blinking lights, but women? From the first computer program to sending men to the moon, women were technological leaders. So why is it so hard to find safe work environments and equal salaries for women in technology? Moderated by Asia al-Massari, the panel From Note G to NASA: Women in Coding and Programming invites you to join self-described lady-coders, Amanda End, Allison Borngesser, and Amy Wibowo, to discover what being a coder is all about!
Bugs are awesome, especially this adorable and efficient ladybug
Whether you’re squeamish around creepy crawlies or a full-on bug fanatic, the panel Different Isn’t Bad: What Bugs Can Teach Us About Being Brave will open your eyes to all the unexpected and amazing things that bugs can teach us. Meet The Bug Chicks, Kristie Riddick and Jessica Honaker, entomologists using bugs to talk about social issues like prejudice, racism, sexism, and feelings of isolation, while simultaneously teaching about insects, spiders, and their relatives. They make videos and talk with young people all over the world, inspiring bravery and open-mindedness. You’re sure to find your inner bugdork here!
Footage of me on my way to the Droid-building panel
Last but certainly not least, the panel Droid Building 101: Make Your Own Astromech!, moderated by Christine Cato, will discuss the methods used by members of the BB-8 Builders Club and Astromech builders club to create their own BB-8 and Astromech droids. The panel will include a brief history of the two clubs, the materials they used to make their droids, and a peek into how to make your own!
I, for one, am extremely ready to learn more about all things coders, bugs, and droids. I hope to see you at these incredible panels, as well as all the others we have scheduled this weekend!
This year our theme is Geeky Anniversaries! 2017 is a big year in geekdom—Harry Potter is turning 20, Sailor Moon is turning 25, and Star Wars is turning 40. To celebrate, we’ll be hosting a contest to determine which of the three is the ultimate fandom. Guests can pick their favorite fandom and complete activities to earn points for their team. Read about how to earn points here.
Saturday, Sept. 30 – Oct. 1: GeekGirlCon
Starts at 9 a.m. Saturday morning — Washington State Convention Center
At our two-day convention on September 30 and October 1, 2017, GeekGirlCon sets up an inclusive environment in the heart of downtown Seattle to celebrate every geek and honor the legacy of women contributing to science and technology; comics, arts, and literature; gameplay and game design; and beyond. If you’ve never been to GeekGirlCon—or perhaps you’re still reveling from last year’s fun and curious about what’s to come—click here to read what you can expect.
It’s official. There’s exactly one week left until #GGC17! I don’t know about you, but I can barely contain my excitement. I’m so excited, in fact, that when I’m not busy working on final touches for the con with the rest of the GeekGirlCon staff, I’ve distracted myself with one of my geeky hobbies of choice: gaming.
Who doesn’t love Overwatch? As a Mercy main, I was giddy to find out that Lucie Pohl was going to be one of our Featured Contributors. In the panel Can’t Nerf This! Diversity in Overwatch, we’ll discuss Blizzard’s revolutionary cast of characters, and how Overwatch has taken historic leaps in introducing more diversity and inclusion to gaming.
Felicia Day in Supernatural
Over the last few years, esports have taken off and more and more women are wanting to get involved–and nothing’s stopping you from joining in! Women in Esports: How to Get Involved in Competitive Gaming will explore how to get involved. Panelists Morgan Romine, Lilian Chen, and Emily Sun will talk about finding or creating new opportunities in Competitive Gaming, whether competing, hosting, or commentating, and much more.
These are but a few of the panels in our amazing lineup. Make sure to check out our full schedule, and we’ll see you next week!