Here’s the program! As usual, there may well still be changes, so keep checking this page – the most up-to-date-version will be here (the printed one might not be).  The program was last updated May 31st 2019.

17.00 Welcome
Kisu & Hanna kick this show on the road!

17.30 Steampunk and colonialism – Amal El-Mohtar, Cheryl Morgan
Steampunk is often closely linked to colonialism, and for a good reason. A dialogue about the relationship between the two and other problematic issues within steampunk genre.

19.00 Why do we hate good books and love bad ones?

21.00 Geek Culture Quiz – Åcon edition – Mikko Seppänen
Tired of those boring ordinary pub quizes? Then you are in luck as the most over-produced pub quiz ever comes to Åcon!  Geek Culture Quiz will have questions from science fiction, fantasy and horror genres and will cover media from literature to games. So how much Geek Knowledge do you really possess? (Not actually held in the pub)

12.00 Book recommendations
Read anything good recently? Come and share!

13.30 Archive of our Own –  Sanna Bo Claumarch, Katarina Norrgård
Archive of our Own is a finalist for a Hugo – a first such finalist ever. But what is AoO, and why is it important for fandom?

15.00 GoH speech & reading
Guest of Honor Amal El-Mohtar speaks! And reads!

16.30 Sense and science fictionality –  Amal El-Mohtar, Vesa Sisättö, Carolina Gomez Lagerlöf, Ian Sales (M)
We see, hear, smell, touch – but how are these senses depicted in science fiction and fantasy? Too often the descriptions focus on showing, not the other senses. And what about the senses we mere humans might not have at all? The panelists discuss their favorite uses of senses in literature.

17.30 Break
Go outside! Move! Have a drink! Maybe eat something?

19.30 Åcon X – how did we get here?? Ben Roimola, JukkaHoo, Karo Leikomaa (M)
The first suspects reveal the secrets behind the phenomenon which has become Åcon!

21.00 Speculative poetry – Amal El-Mohtar, Karolina Fedyk (M), Sara Norja
The panelists discuss their views on speculative poetry, its roots and future, the current controversies, and offer the audience samples of what it means in reality.

22.30 Non-English speculative fiction – Regina Kanyu Wang, Sarianna Silvonen, Johan Anglemark (M)
The panelists discuss how speculative fiction written outside the Anglo-American field might be different – what should be translated into other languages, what has already been?

10.00 Excursions/free time/sleeping in!

10.00 Bus to the church tour leaves from the hotel
13.15ish Bus from the church tour returns
13.35 Taxis to the brewery leave from the hotel
16.00 Taxis from the brewery return

17.30 Cartoons!!  Amal El-Mohtar, Nahal Ghanbari, Sanna Bo Claumarch, Frida Otterhag, Jukka Särkijärvi (M)
Children’s cartoons are having a revival – one that appeals to more adult viewers as well! The panelists discuss their favorites (Steven Universe, She-ra, Voltron etc.)

19.30 What to watch 2019?  Mikko Seppänen, Elisa Wiik
So many things to watch, so little time. Worry not! Our self-appointed experts Mikko Seppänen and Elisa Wiik are back to give you their take on the best and worst genre series from the 2018-2019 television season.

21.00 Never Mind the Buzzaldrins – JukkaHoo
You know what this is about. If not, come and see!

22.30 Book of the Night – led by Sari Polvinen

Discussion about the Book of the Night (R. A. MacAvoy’s Tea with the Black Dragon). Everybody’s welcome to join in (although there will, inevitably, be spoilers!)

12.00 More recommendations (comics, films, tv-series)
There’s more to life than reading books (hard to believe, but there you go)! Recommend other stuff!

13.30 Åcon’s Academic Track
* Karolina Fedyk: Among cognitive functions, working memory serves as our mental workspace – and plays a major role in selecting information, decision-making and creativity. We know that there’s substantial variability in working memory, but what drives those individual differences? Can we use our experiences to enhance working memory? If not, could brain stimulation help? Spoilers: it depends. But please come and listen to this short lecture anyway.

 * Elisa Wiik: Expanding science fiction worlds – games, transmedia and motivations
Transmedia storytelling spreads a certain storyworld from one medium to several: what might have started in a game, continues in a comic, a novel or a TV-series. But what is it that draws people to consume these complex storyworlds? Defiance (Trion Worlds 2013) and Quantum Break (Remedy Entertainment 2016) are used as case examples to explore this.

* Karo Leikomaa: Digital Game-based Learning is a buzzword in education and some digital games are already used in primary education. However, the potential has not been widely utilised in adult or further education. Could for example topics of gender identity be taught to teacher students using games?

15.00 Cheryl talks about Janelle Monáe –  Cheryl Morgan

16.30 Fairy tales – Amal El-Mohtar, Sari Polvinen, Nahal Ghanbari, Ian Sales, Johan Anglemark (M)
Fairy tales have long been used as a basis for other genres of literature, but their appeal is still strong – provided they are used with imagination. The panelists discuss why fairy tales are so eternal and how and where they have been used well in recent SF literature.

17.30 Break
Eat!! Eat!! Eat!!

19.30 Readings in English & other languages – Sara Norja, Regina Kanyu Wang
Many authors write in their native languages, but also have their writing translated into English – or they write in several native languages to start out with. Authors read pieces of their work in both their English and another language

21.00 Hell in a handbasket (and back again?) –  Amal El-Mohtar, Johan Jönsson, Katarina Norrgård, Tommy Persson, Kisu Leikomaa (M)
Dystopian literature has been trendy for a good while now, and the world seems to be getting worse. Might there be room for more utopian literature already, or is dystopia our key to working out the problems in the real world? Is writing utopias even possible?

22.30 William Shatner Karaoke
Come try your skills at the most science fictional karaoke there is!

10.30 Fluffy gripe session

If you have any program ideas or wish to be part of the program, please contact us via email (acon (at) or leave a comment here!

The Book of the Night

How about a classic novel published 36 years ago? One that was both a Nebula and Hugo nominee? A novel that gave her author the John W. Campbell Award for the Best New Writer (not a Hugo) in 1984?

Our Book of the Night for this years Åcon in R. A. MacAvoy’s Tea with the Black Dragon.

Bring your own tea oolong…