Schedule 2023

Note: This page is an archive from COSine 2023 (January 20-22, 2023). Check the main COSine page to find details about the next COSine!



Friday, Jan 20

3-4pm: Main Events
Adding Diversity to Your Writing
The real world has a rich mixture of peoples. Does your fiction? Our panelists will discuss how to enrich your fiction while also avoiding some of the pitfalls of doing it badly.
Hutcheson (M), Kilman, Dornbusch, Wells
3-4pm: Cripple Creek
Living in a Surveillance Society
Depending on where you live, there may well be multiple cameras watching you–just for your own safety, obviously. You also may have invited Alexa or Siri into your house to listen to everything you say–purely for your convenience, of course. And you carry a super-computer around in your pocket that tracks your every move and reports it to advertisers so they can sell things to you better. Feeling safe?
Barili (M), Rice, Henderson, Stith
3-4pm: Front Range
Heinlein’s Impact on Sci-Fi
It’s COSine, so you know there has to be a Heinlein panel! Heinlein, the “dean of sci-fi,” was one of the most prominent sci-fi writers of his generation. Now, more than 30 years after his last work (excluding a few posthumous publications), our panelists discuss the impact of Heinlein on today’s writers and their work.
Gaffen (M), Berger, Brodski, Felice, Brazee
4-5pm: Main Events
Fantastic Beasts and How to Write Them
It weighs 30 tons, has wings, and breathes fire. If you write it wrong, it’s going to torch your car. Our panelists discuss the dos and don’ts of writing fantastic beasts, and the best ways of fire-proofing your possessions.
Fantastic (M), Bigelow, Bille, Qwordy
4-5pm: Cripple Creek
Are Self-Driving Cars Really Just Around the Corner?
And if they are just around the corner, will they come and pick us up? It seemed like self-driving cars were really close, but after numerous accidents and problems, it seems like companies were a bit overly optimistic. Our panelists will discuss the technical and philosophical challenges of self-driving cars.
L. Gunderson (M), Henderson, J. Gunderson, Gibbons
4-5pm: Front Range
Best and Worst MacGuffins
Have you ever been watching and enjoying a movie and then they suddenly pull out, from nowhere, a robot made of unobtanium that just happens to sing in exactly the right frequency to make the attacking space-bats explode? Our panelists will discuss some of the worst MacGuffins that have ever graced screen and page.
Frensley (M), Boyes, Teffeau, Patten
4-5pm: Lobby Nook
Lights and Electronics for Costumers
Back in the day, adding any sort of electronic effect to a costume was really tough, but now there are tons of options for lighting up, or otherwise electrifying, your costume. Our panelists will talk about what’s possible now and provide tips and tricks.
Rice (M), C. Orndorff, A. Mayer
4-5pm: Art Show
Painting Make and Take
Karen Jordan has painted pens and I have rocks, tiles, and pieces of wood. While she has examples of past projects, overall, the idea is to make something that you’d like to keep, gift, or hide. With paint pens, there is no mixing, shading, or coloring of backgrounds. We request a $1.00 fee per item (rock/tile/wood) to offset the cost of materials for your painting. Limit of 12 painters.
Jordan (M)
5-6pm: Main Events
Care and Feeding of Minor Characters
They hold the horses, direct the hero to the treasure and sit in the back of bars drinking whiskey. But if they are two-dimensional, they can pull your readers out of their stories. Our panelists will discuss how to write minor characters that are believable.
Kessler (M), Barili, Patten, Seagren, Meredith
5-6pm: Cripple Creek
History of Science
From Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt to Newton to today, our conception of science has changed and evolved. Our panel will talk about that history, its impact on the world and where science is going.
Klimek (M), Rice, Bille, Courtney Willis
5-6pm: Front Range
Movies Nothing Like Their Books
You loved the book and were excited to see the movie–but, wait, surely that’s not right? Did the movie-makers even read the book? Our panelists talk about movies that are supposedly based on books, but seem to have nothing in common with them.
Dale (M), Stith, Lawrence, Smythe
5-6pm: Lobby Nook
Kids’ Arts and Crafts
Kids can come by and do some fun arts and crafts.
Wood (M)
6-7:30pm: Main Events
Opening Ceremonies
The official opening of the convention! Come meet our guests for the first time, and hear the latest news. Followed by a liquid-nitrogen ice-cream social!
7-8pm: Cripple Creek
Avoiding Info Dumps
Your world is complicated and there’s a lot for your readers to know. You’d love to tie them to a chair, Clockwork-Orange style, and force them to watch a PowerPoint with the details. But, it turns out, that’s no longer allowed (PowerPoint has been condemned as cruel and unusual in many countries). So, how do you get the information to your readers without them getting bored?
Bigelow (M), McCarthy, Boyes, J. Ward, Meredith
7-8pm: Front Range
Monty Python and the Holy Panel
We are the panelists who say NI! Join our panelists as they talk all things Python. Shrubbery optional.
Chrissinger (M), Klimek, Angel, Fontaine
7-8pm: Lobby Nook
Storytelling for Kids & Adults
Master storyteller Danyda Feldman will entertain kids and adults with stories from her vast repertoire.
D. Feldman (M)
8-10pm: Main Events
SF & Horror Trivia
Find a partner and test your knowledge of all the things we love–Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and general Fannish trivia. Six teams of 2 will compete for fabulous prizes (better even than Rice-a-Roni!).
Harvey(M), Wood
8-11:30pm: Cripple Creek
Friday Night at the Movies
Various shorts and interesting videos.

8-11:30pm: Front Range
Friday Open Filking
Come to sing and play or just to listen…
8-9:30pm: Gaming
Settlers of Catan – Fri
I’ll trade you two sheep for a brick and a nice bottle of wine.
McQuown (M)

Saturday, Jan 21

9-10am: Front Range
The Future of Television/Media
If you are old enough, you might remember a time when you could count the number of tv channels on one hand, even after an unfortunate logging accident. Now, there are so many different channels and streaming services that it’s impossible to keep up. Our panelists try to prophesy the future of television and media?
Kilman (M), M. Ward, Kessler, Dale
9-10am: Art Show
Coloring for Kids & Adults
It’s fun. It’s soothing. It’s colorful.
Angel (M)
10-11am: Main Events
Bad Writing Advice
The best way to get an agent’s attention is to visit their home and paste pages of your manuscript to their window. You should only write at midnight after drinking eight cups of coffee. Dialog tags are for losers. Never edit your work–that’s what editors are for. Editors love submissions on hot-pink paper with all the text in comic-sans. Note: One of the previous statements is wrong, but you’ll have to come to the panel to find out which one! There may also be a serious discussion about bad advice that appears good.
Knight (M), Dornbusch, Stith, Connie Willis
10-11am: Cripple Creek
It’s Not Hoarding if it’s Crafts
You have a lot of projects, and those projects need stuff. The project you are working on now needs sequins. No problem, you have a ton of them–although, the last time you saw them they were all over the cat, and the cat has disappeared behind your collection of interesting bits of metal you’ve been meaning to use. But you can’t get rid of anything because every single piece of it sparks joy! Our panelists talk about the travails of being crafters and collectors, and how to deal with their stuff.
Angel (M), Seagren, Wood, Courtney Willis
10-11am: Front Range
Movies that Went Wrong
It sounded so good when you saw the ad, you sit down expecting to be entertained, but then something happens that just doesn’t make sense, or is just too stupid and the movie just dives ever further down from there. Our panelists talk about the movies that just blew it.
Coyle (M), Chrissinger, Rapplean, D. Beetem
10-11am: Lobby Nook
Recording Audiobooks
A significant portion of people now listen to books instead of reading them, and if you want them to experience your work, you need to make it available as an audiobook. Our panelists will talk about how to approach creating audiobooks.
D. Feldman (M), Heermann, Gaffen, Jordan, Haspil
10-11am: Art Show
Robot Making Make & Take with Kyle Crutcher
Come join us as we build our own little robots! Tools and materials will be provided though we request a $4 fee to cover the cost of materials. After assembling and painting our robots we will have a unique memento of Cosine 2023 to take home! Limit of 12 robot builders.
Crutcher (M)
11am-Noon: Main Events
An Hour with Martha Wells
Spend an hour with our Guest of Honor Martha Wells, award-winning author of The Murderbot Diaries, Books of the Raksura, the upcoming Witch King, and many more.
Wells (M)
11am-Noon: Cripple Creek
An Introduction to the Royal Manticoran Navy
David Weber is an award-winning author. He created a universe of rich detail in a military sci-fi setting. At the center of it is his main character Honor Harrington. The Royal Manticore Navy will explore why Honor is such a compelling character in an equally compelling story, and affectionately call the setting the Honorverse.
Darbe (M)
11am-Noon: Front Range
To Describe or Not to Describe
It is so tempting to not put a description for this panel! Our panelists will discuss how much description you should (or should not) provide for your characters and settings.
Patten (M), Haspil, Seagren, Lawrence
11am-Noon: Lobby Nook
Costuming When You Can’t Sew
You can picture it in your mind’s eye, and you know that an expert tailor could make it, but you can barely thread a needle. What do you do?
M. Ward (M), Angel, T. Orndorff, D. Feldman
Noon-1pm: Main Events
Public vs. Private Space Exploration
It used to be that only governments had the resources to launch items and people into space, but in the last several years, private companies have joined the space race, launching satellites and providing supplies to ISS, with much loftier goals in mind. Our panelists will discuss the ramifications of this shift.
McCarthy (M), Brodski, Henderson
Noon-1pm: Cripple Creek
How Does the Book Business Really Work?
At some deep, visceral level, would-be authors picture their published life much like it appears in Romancing the Stone and The Lost City, although deeper still, we probably think it is much more like Throw Momma from the Train. Our panelists know firsthand the real scoop and will tell you what the book biz really looks like.
Chrissinger (M), Connie Willis, Wells, Brazee
Noon-1pm: Front Range
Museum Nerds
Our panelists love museums and spend a lot of time in them. Several of them work in museums. Come find out if the stuff inside really comes to life every night.
R. Beetem (M), Klimek, Coyle, D. Feldman
Noon-1pm: Lobby Nook
What Makes a Book a Classic
Sometimes you read a book and know instantly that it is destined to be a classic. Other times you are surprised to discover that a work is considered a classic and have to re-evaluate your own opinion. What is it that makes a book a classic and will our panelists manage to use the word ineffable in their answers?
A. Mayer (M), Kilman, S. Johnson, J. Ward
Noon-1pm: Art Show
An Hour with Kyle Crutcher
Meet our artist Guest of Honor, retro-futurist potter and Ambassador to the Monoptozoids.
Crutcher (M)
Noon-1pm: Gaming
Azul – Sat
All in all you’re just another tile on the wall!
McQuown (M)
1-2pm: Main Events
All the Questions You Ever Wanted to Ask Connie Willis–with Answers. Maybe.
The panel with possibly the longest title ever, it is almost silly to have a description. Our Special Guest, SFWA Grandmaster Connie Willis, will take questions from the audience on (almost) any topic. Whether and how she answers the questions is entirely up to her!
Connie Willis (M)
1-2pm: Cripple Creek
Trust Issues (on-line)
If it’s on the internet, it must be true, right? How do you know who and what sources to trust? Can you trust anything?
M. Ward (M), Teffeau, Dale, McQuown
1-2pm: Front Range
Sci-fi Mystery
Our panelists will talk about combining the mystery genre with sci-fi and fantasy works.
Stith (M), Boop, Boyes, Felice
1-2pm: Lobby Nook
Into the Multiverse
The multiverse exists, and each one has a different Spiderman. And a Flash. And, if Everything, Everywhere All At Once is to be believed, doing things like chewing gum you found under your desk is the key to travelling between worlds. Our panel talks about the multiverse/parallel worlds in movies and books.
Gaffen (M), Frensley, Rapplean, Salas
2-3pm: Main Events
An Hour with The Gundersons
Drs. Louise and Jim Gunderson have been working on artificial intelligence and robots for decades. They will be talking about their work and the field in general. They have not promised that they won’t show up with a killer robot. It says something about our convention that if they had promised, the audience would likely be larger.
L. Gunderson, J. Gunderson
2-3pm: Cripple Creek
Short Stories / Anthologies
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about writing for, selling to, and publishing anthologies.
Knight (M), Boop, L. Johnson, Lawrence, Dorchak
2-3pm: Front Range
Adding Romance to Your SF&F
Your characters spot each other across a crowded space-battle. Their eyes meet over the heads of their battle-unicorns. Will it go any further? Our panelists discuss the hows and whys of adding a bit of romance to your stories.
Teffeau (M), Hutcheson, Vecka, Williscroft
2-3pm: Lobby Nook
The Gig Economy
If you are in the creative fields or just don’t fit in or can’t find a job with regular hours, the gig economy promises a path where you can make a living being your own boss. Our panelists discuss whether or not this is realistic and how to make a living as a gigger.
J. Ward (M), Kessler, Boyes, Fontaine, Smythe
2-3pm: Art Show
Sumi-e Painting Make & Take
Sumi-e (sumi = black ink; e = painting) workshop! Watch Robert Hay make a painting, then use some of his materials to make your own painting. We request a $1 fee to offset the cost of materials for your painting. Limit of 5 painters.
R. Hay (M)
3-4pm: Main Events
Writing When Life Intervenes
Write every day, they say. Even when you have to work ten hours and pick up the kids and take the cat to the vet and the dog to the cinema, and you don’t have an office so have to write while balanced on the washing machine. Or something like that. Our panelists discuss how to move forward with your writing even when the world seems to have other ideas.
Klimek (M), Friesen, Hutcheson, Boop
3-4pm: Cripple Creek
Astronomy in the Age of Satellites
Satellites like Hubble and James Webb have let us see further than we ever have before, but at the same time SpaceX and others are launching swarms of satellites to increase internet availability or measure things on Earth. When there are tens of thousands of satellites in orbit, Earth-based astronomy may be irreparably harmed.
Courtney Willis (M), Felice, Rapplean
3-4pm: Front Range
Fan Fiction
You love the world and you love the characters and you really wish that the author would have written more. Well, maybe the author didn’t, but many others have jumped in to fill the gaps. Join our panelists to discuss the world of fan-fiction.
Frensley (M), Brodski, L. Johnson, R. Beetem, D. Beetem
3-4pm: Lobby Nook
Sci-Fi Pictionary
You can picture it, but can you draw it? Audience-member teams compete. Prizes.
Harvey (M)
3-4pm: Gaming
Ticket to Ride
She’s got a ticket to ride, and she don’t care…that you just cut off her only route to Las Vegas. A fun and simple rail-building game.
4-5pm: Main Events
Martha Wells Interview
Guest of Honor Martha Wells will be interviewed about her works and her world-view.
Coyle (M), Wells
4-5pm: Cripple Creek
Telepathy in Fiction
Faster than texting, telepathy is a great way to talk to your friends. But how far into your mind would you want them to go? Our panelists discuss telepathy in books and films, and the pros and cons of being a telepath.
McQuown (M), Kilman, Patten, Fantastic
4-5pm: Front Range
A-Z of Self-Publishing
In theory it’s simple–you just write eighty-thousand words or so (easy, right?) then upload it to the Internet and wait for the checks to start rolling in. But, sadly, it turns out that it is not quite that straightforward. Based on the name of the panel, it sounds like there might be somewhere around 26 steps. Our panelists will go through the whole process.
Knight (M), Heermann, Dorchak, Wilker, Vecka
4-5pm: Lobby Nook
Star Wars Loteria
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far way, the Mexican lottery/bingo picture game was converted into a Star Wars version. Prizes!
R. Beetem (M)
4-5pm: Art Show
No Sew Stuffed Animals Make & Take
Brenna Deutchman helps you choose a whale or dinosaur and stuff and decorate your own plushie. They are pre-sewn for you so you cut with scissors and tie knots, then decorate with a glue gun or needle and thread. We ask for a $15 fee per stuffed animal to offset the cost of materials.
Deutchman (M)
5-6:30pm: Atrium
Author Reception & Mass Autographing
All of our authors will gather in the atrium to sign books and meet with fans. There will be a refreshment buffet and a cash bar. We will also do the drawing for our charity raffle (must be present to win).
7-9:30pm: Main Events
Snow Wonder by/with Connie Willis
In 2003, Connie Willis’s story, Just Like the Ones We Used to Know, appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction. In 2005, it was made into a CBS movie with the title Snow Wonder, with a cast that included Mary Tyler Moore! For the very first time, Connie will be watching the movie with a group, and will talk about how it differs from the story and answering questions.
Connie Willis (M)
7-8pm: Front Range
One Song to the Tune of Another
The music is from one place, the words from another. Our panelists (and audience members) see if they can bring the two together. Prizes.
Harvey (M), S. Johnson, Rice, Wood
7-9pm: Gaming
Catan Tournament
Test your Catan prowess against all comers. Prizes!
McQuown (M)
8-11:30pm: Front Range
Saturday Open Filking
Come to sing and play or just to listen…
9:30-11:30pm: Cripple Creek
Saturday Night at the Movies
Various shorts and interesting videos.

10-11pm: Gaming
Ultimate Werewolf
Are you just a lowly peasant, or are you hiding something–like claws and an insatiable appetite for villagers? Simple to play, but hard to keep a straight face…
R. Beetem (M)

Sunday, Jan 22

9-10am: Art Show
Coloring for Kids & Adults
Coloring. For kids. And adults. We’ll supply stuff to color and the stuff to color with. You know, coloring. It’s fun.
D. Feldman (M)
10-11am: Main Events
Remembering the Titanic
It’s been 110 years and the Titanic is still fascinating people. Our panelists will discuss the ship, its passengers, and why its story has resonated through the years.
Connie Willis (M), Frensley, Dorchak
10-11am: Cripple Creek
What Should We Do on the Moon?
NASA’s Artemis project recently launched Artemis 1 to circle the moon and return, part of a plan to return people to the moon. Japan, South Korea, Russia, India and the UAE all have planned missions to the moon. With all this interest, the next obvious question is what do we do when we get there? Our panelists will discuss some of the things that going back to the moon will accomplish.
McCarthy (M), Felice, Courtney Willis, A. Mayer
10-11am: Front Range
Writing Guns
Do you know the difference between a clip and a magazine? How far away can you hit something with a handgun or a rifle? Do your characters know? More than most topics, gun people will notice your mistakes and will be pulled out of the story when something isn’t right. Our panelists will provide some guidance and resources to help you write guns properly.
Dornbusch (M), Salas, Haspil, Friesen, Smythe
10-11am: Lobby Nook
The Alien Dating Game
Contestants (from the audience) have to choose a date from a motley collection of aliens and creatures (after guessing what type of alien they are). There will be prizes!
Harvey (M), S. Johnson, Coyle, Rice
11am-Noon: Main Events
Animals in Fiction
Real or imaginary, main characters or just chewing up the scenery, we often remember the animals in stories better than the humans who are there to feed them. Our panelists discuss their favorite literary animals (that would be animals in literature, not animals that write literature–probably) and their enduring influence.
Barili (M), L. Johnson, Salas, J. Ward, D. Beetem
11am-Noon: Cripple Creek
Writing Space (as in “The Final Frontier”)
In space, no one can hear you scream. Unless you put your helmet next to theirs first. Our panelists will discuss the dos and don’ts of writing believable space settings.
McCarthy (M), Henderson, Rapplean, Wilker
11am-12:30pm: Front Range
Instant Slush Pile (live review)
This is a live feedback panel. If you are interested, bring a printed-out page (no more than 300 words) for review. It should be completely anonymous (don’t include your name anywhere on the manuscript). You can turn in the manuscript at registration or at the beginning of the panel. Manuscripts will be shuffled and then read out loud. The editors will indicate whether or not they would buy this story, and you will get a quick critique of the work. Authors can choose to reveal themselves or not.
Berger (M), Bigelow, Friesen, Qwordy
11am-Noon: Lobby Nook
SFF Marry, Merge, Murder
The return of this popular (and not-entirely safe-for-work) panel. We randomly present some well known characters. The audience decides whether to take them home, have them done away with (and how), or, ahem, explore other options. Prizes.
Harvey (M), Coyle, Wood, Chrissinger
11am-Noon: Art Show
Polarized Pendants Make & Take
Produce a Personal Polarized Pendant with Geeky Toys Jill Mayer – What do polarized sunglasses, computer screens, 3D movies, and polarized pendants have in common? Come learn about polarized light and create your own pendant or computer bling. $6 materials fee (extra materials available to purchase). Bring polarized sunglasses if you have them. Limited to 10 Geeky Artists. Geeky Observers are welcome.
J. Mayer (M)
11am-Noon: Gaming
Azul – Sun
All in all you’re just another tile on the wall!
McQuown (M)
Noon-1pm: Main Events
AI Image Generation
In the last couple of years, text-to-image generators have exploded onto the scene. Systems like DALL-E & Midjourney let you type a description of a scene and generate an image in a selected style. Sometimes the results are exactly what you want and sometimes they are funny or just creepy. But you know that they are only going to get better. Our panelists will discuss how these systems work, the legal issues of using generated-images, and the potential impact on artists.
S. Johnson (M), Gonsoulin, L. Gunderson, Williscroft, Gibbons
Noon-1pm: Cripple Creek
Self-Publishing on a Budget
How much does it really cost to self-publish a book? Our panelists will talk about where you can save money–and where you can’t.
Knight (M), Hutcheson, Vecka, Wilker, Brazee
12:30-2pm: Lobby Nook
Resin Casting – Make & Take will be hosting a resin casting make and take workshop here at Cosine. During this workshop you will be choosing from a selection of supplied premade molds to use for pouring your own finished piece. They will show you how to decorate the piece and share their experiences so that you can be comfortable using the demonstrated techniques. Supplies will be provided but donations to help cover costs will be welcome.  Participation will be limited to 20 people.  Children 14 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
T. Orndorff (M), C. Orndorff
1-2pm: Main Events
Build-Your-Own Murderbot
What happens when you take the mind behind the MurderBot and add in a couple of PhD AI/robotics experts? We’ll explore murder-bots as literature, art and science.A. Feldman (M), Wells, L. Gunderson, J. Gunderson
1-2pm: Cripple Creek
The truth is out there. And, possibly, so is the Loch Ness Monster, the Yeti and the Chupacabra. Our panelists will tell you what’s new (or really old) in the world of cryptozoology.
Berger (M), Bille, Qwordy, Meredith
1-2pm: Front Range
Covers That Don’t Look Self-Published
Self-publishing has made huge inroads in the publishing world, but there is still a “look” some self-published books have that can turn off potential readers. Our panelists will discuss how to avoid that look and create compelling covers.
Friesen (M), Gaffen, Kessler, Bigelow, Williscroft
2-3pm: Main Events
Novel Writing for Short Story Writers
Writing a few thousand words is great, but suddenly you have to write 80-90 thousand. How? Our panelists will talk about transitioning from short to long-form fiction.
Dornbusch (M), Berger, Lawrence, A. Mayer
2-3pm: Cripple Creek
It used to just be sailors that had tattoos, but now it seems like the weird people are the ones that don’t have one. Our panelists will discuss the art of tattoos and also their place in society.
M. Ward (M), Dale, Barili, Fantastic
3-3:30pm: Main Events
Closing Ceremonies
Come say goodbye to COSine 2023 and our guests.