Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is going for the iconic and the blockbuster in the roll-up to his first Silicon Valley Comic Con. Star Trek‘s William Shatner and The Martian author Andy Weir are among the panelists announced today for the inaugural geek-fest in the heart of technology land. Not connected to the long running San Diego Comic Con, Silicon Valley Comic Con runs March 18-20 at the San Jose Convention Center and will focus on technology, gaming, comics, virtual reality and all things pop culture.
Here is the list of panels:
POP CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT
An Evening With William Shatner
From Star Trek’s Captain Kirk to Boston Legal’s Denny Krane, there are few actors that are more iconic on the screen or in person. Mr. Shatner will be reflecting back on fifty years of Star Trek, and hosting a Q&A session to talk about his career (past, present and future). More details to follow.
Ask Adam Savage
Adam Savage: MythBusters
Ever since MythBusters’ final season was announced last fall, Adam has received tens of thousands of
questions from fans. After the MythBusters finale airs on March 2 (just two weeks before SVCC), he’s
guessing you’ll have more. For one hour, Adam will answer your questions on everything from his past
(which includes not only MythBusters but also Star Wars), to his present, to his future.
Con Man: The Fan Revolt 14 Years in the Making
Alan Tudyk’s dream show based on his global convention experiences seemed impossible with the
compromises Hollywood demanded. Instead he went directly to fans; with more than over 46,000
responses coming to a record-breaking $3.2 million raised on Indiegogo, Con Man was officially born.
With Season 1 a smash hit on Vimeo and Season 2 in the works, we’ll talk Con Man and the crazy ride that made his dream project a reality.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Let’s Go To Mars!
Andy Weir: Author of The Martian
Bobak Ferdowski: NASA Systems Engineer
Adam Savage: MythBusters
Sending rovers was just the first step — NASA is developing the capabilities needed to send humans to
Mars in the 2030s. But safely crossing ~140 million miles of space won’t be easy. Join Andy Weir, author of The Martian, Adam Savage, host of Discovery Channel’s MythBusters, and Bobak Ferdowski, a
systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as they talk about what life on Mars — and truly
science-ing the s**t out of the Red Planet — may actually look like.
Space Exploration: Moving Towards Reusability & Beyond Chemical Rockets
Laetitia Garriott de Cayeux: Co-founder, Escape Dynamics Inc.
Radical breakthroughs are promising to redefine space access and space exploration. Laetitia will take
you on a journey to explore the next big leaps – including full reusability and new forms of propulsion
beyond chemical rockets for both launch and in-space travel – New Space (the private spaceflight
industry) is bringing onto the space roadmap for lower cost space flight and wider space access!
Superbabies vs A.I.
Astro Teller: Currently oversees [X Labs], Alphabet’s moonshot factory
Danielle Teller: Author of Sacred Cows: The Truth About Divorce and Marriage
Imagine a world where parents order their baby’s eye color and IQ off a menu, and then doctors reach
into their embryos’ DNA to program their destinies. Famed computer scientist Astro Teller has imagined
this future, and he sees the HORROR of eugenics: X-Men and a planet entirely populated by the sort of
kids who beat him up in middle school, all rolled into one. His wife thinks he’s full of crap. Danielle Teller is a brilliant physician-scientist who understands that the REAL THREAT to humanity is artificial intelligence. Humans are creating super intelligent computers that will eventually destroy us all, no matter what sort of Asimovian instructions we try to give them. Watch the Tellers duke it out over the biggest threat to humankind in Superbabies vs A.I.!
Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space
Janna Levin: Theoretical Astrophysicist/Author
In 1916, Einstein became the first to predict the existence of gravitational waves: the ringing sounds of Spacetime generated by astrophysical calamities, like black hole collisions. Come listen to Janna Levin, one of the world’s most eminent theoretical astrophysicists and award-winning author, along with a few of her astro friends from Caltech discuss black holes, gravitational waves and the sounds of spacetime.
Marvel’s Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and the Quantum Realm
Spyridon Michalakis: Quantum Physicist/Caltech
The third phase of the Marvel Cinematic universe will introduce Doctor Strange, a new superhero with
powers that border on magic. If magic exists, its source is in the quantum realm. Come listen to Spiros
Michalakis, physics consultant on Ant-Man and director/researcher at Caltech Institute for Quantum
Information and Matter, as he describes how the laws of physics and the very notions of space, time and
energy may emerge from the more fundamental concept of quantum entanglement, the thread that weaves the quantum realm together.
Convergence of Technology and Social Media in Comics
Bret Blevins / Tim Blevins
Emmy Award winning animator and comic book artist, Bret Blevins, and comic book writer, Tim Blevins,
will discuss the evolution of the comic industry and the recent impact of technology on it. The comic
industry has been slow to embrace technological innovation. Most comic book product extension has
involved transitioning comic characters to alternate media forms such as film, television, video games
and merchandise. Recent technology innovations and models, such as mobile computing, content
streaming and social media present interesting opportunities to expand and rejuvenate the comic book
experience. Bret and Tim will present an example of a new model for an interactive user experience in
the context of comics and comic art in social media and mobile computing. The audience will be encouraged to participate in the creation and evolution of this new type of “social comic.”
Masters of Webcomics
Host: Chuck Whelon
Masters of Webcomics is a podcast featuring in-depth interviews with webcomicers of the past, who are
either still making them now, or who have gone on to diverse careers in the arts. Host Chuck Whelon
will conduct a Q&A with the panel about what it takes to make a webcomic, what you can get out of it, and how making one can form a great foundation to a career in the creative arts.
The Art of Creating Languages for Sci-Fi and Fantasy
David J. Peterson: language creator for Game of Thrones, Defiance and author of The Art of Language Invention
Britton Watkins: Klingon language coach for Star Trek Into Darkness, director of upcoming Conlanging
Josh Feldman: director of Senn, co-producer for Conlanging
Join David J. Peterson (language creator for the TV shows “Game of Thrones” and “Defiance,” and author of “The Art of Language Invention”), Britton Watkins (Klingon language coach for “Star Trek into Darkness” and director of the upcoming feature documentary “’Conlanging”’) and Josh Feldman (Britton’s producing partner and director of the sci-fi feature “Senn”) for a behind-the-scenes look into the art of crafting languages. They’ll also reveal a never-before-seen 20 minute sneak peek of their new film “Conlanging” which features interviews with Jason Momoa (best known for playing Khal Drogo in “Game of Thrones”) among others.