A hand holding an orange-colored drink in the foreground, with the striking architecture of the silent green Kulturquartier in the background

Androids, Books, Crowdfunding, Deutsch (probably far too much German, tbh), Exobiology, Future Fiction, Gendered Language, Horror, International Fiction, Journeys into possible futures, Kaiju, Laßwitz, Man versus Machine, Forever Nerd, Space Opera, Perry Rhodan, Queer SciFi, Realism, From Scientific Detective to Science Fiction, Translation, Urban Fantasy, a Variety of Workshops, Whales, ToXic Love, DYstopian SF Movies of the 70s, Zombies …

So, what will be on offer at MetropolCon?

In December we told you about some of our program highlights – keynotes, the PAN reading extravaganza, live music, the Kurd Laßwitz award, PAN & SFCD general meetings – and today we want to give you a bit more insight into the variety that awaits you. Where to begin?

We are planning a talk and two panels on Artificial Intelligence, one focusing on the future of work and society, the other on art and the changing concept of what art even is. This will be followed by a panel on the representation of androids in contemporary SF novels and films.

Other speakers will talk about utopias, question the significance of SF for forecasting the future, the relationship between man and machine, or compare the different images of the future growing up in East and West Germany.

They present us with the development of our eating habits, report on the attempt to decode the language of whales, discuss women and nonbinary people in science fiction, questions of quality and quantity in anthologies, the Ghost in the Shell franchise, or magic realism. They ask how much reality is allowed in fantasy, and cover topics as diverse as crowdfunding, space-age design, Star Trek physics, or anti-Semitism and gaming.  

They introduce the diversity of SFF podcasts in Germany, explain to us how dubbing for TV and cinema works, or whether writing for film and television is fun. In workshops, they show us how to do author readings, how to draw an alien (yes, there’s at least one workshop suitable for kids and teens, too!), or the many ways you could write in gender-sensitive ways.

Speaking of workshops: we have English-language writing workshops in the program and, of course, discussion panels in English. These will cover topics such as urban fantasy, Afrofuturism, speculative fiction in different countries, translation, astrobiology, and Czech SF. Mary Robinette Kowal will invite you to the Time Travelers’ Salon and T.L. Huchu will talk shop with Ju Honisch.

We do admit however that we would have liked to offer more program items in English. Chalk it down to the usual issues – finances, availability … but mainly finances. We hope to make coming to Berlin worthwhile for you anyway, because:

Wait, there’s more …

In the Cinema Room with its cozy bean bags, there are audio plays and a picture show about the beauty of the universe, as well as music to unwind and relax, plus scheduled “quiet hours” for those who need a break due to sensory overload.

Our Dealers’ Room offers plenty of space for discovery and excessive book buying. We’ll have signing tables with designated slots for your favorite authors. There will be publishers, self-published authors, comics, art, merchandise, and games. Speaking of games: We’ll also have a Games area with several gaming tables. There, new RPG projects will be presented, you can play demo rounds and much more.

Art, props, and inventions that don’t even exist yet will also be exhibited in the dealers’ and exhibition area. We have a convention bookstore on offer as well, organized by the Berlin bookstore Otherland.    

Last but not least, our venue also has a bar where meet & greets, an introductory session for con newbies, and other casual program items will take place. In the afternoon, the bar becomes a social space and a meeting point for relaxed conversations and inspiring encounters – or simply for the beer in the evening.

On Thursday and Friday, the main program will finish around 9.30 p.m., out of consideration for the neighborhood residents. But underground, the bar, cinema (and the smoking room with its own ventilation system) will remain open till late. Expect casual conversation, drinks, and some late-night talks.

MetropolCon ends on Saturday around 4.30 p.m., so there’s still enough time for Berlin nightlife, Sunday excursions or sightseeing.

We are currently still working on the giant puzzle of assigning content, rooms, and times. The list of contents mentioned here is therefore naturally still subject to change. The full program will be published as soon as everything is finalized. We will also send out the cancellations for all proposals that unfortunately couldn’t be included this time, as soon as the program is complete. At this point, we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who submitted contributions or shared their ideas with us!