VCON 41 has ended
Welcome to the VCON 41 Online Schedule!

VCON is the oldest general-interest science fiction, fantasy, and games convention in Canada and the Pacific Northwest. This 100% volunteer fan-organized convention has promoted the interests of science fiction and fantasy culture in Vancouver BC and its environs since 1971, offering events and exhibits focused on a variety of Science Fiction and Fantasy fandom interest areas such as literature, art, media, music, costumes, comics, tabletop games, electronic games, etc. For more detailed information visit our website: www.vcon.ca.

VCON 41 will be held Sep 30 - Oct 2, 2016, at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford hotel. The convention’s main theme is "Muppets, Puppets & Marionettes" with a secondary theme of "The Small Press Cabal".

Please take a moment to check out the "Sponsor" tab to see who has helped support this year’s event.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2016: The schedule is now as "final" as it ever gets! Which means that, yes, there will probably still be changes here and there, but generally only to resolve when we’ve accidentally placed one panelist on two panels at the same time, or if a panelist has to cancel.)

-Jenni Merrifield, VCON 41 Programming Coordinator
avatar for Stephanie Johanson

Stephanie Johanson

Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine
co-owner, assistant editor, art director...
Victoria, British Columbia
VCON 41 Art Director Guest of Honour

Stephanie Johanson is the art director, assistant editor, on-staff artist, and co-owner of Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine. How the heck do you start up a science fiction magazine?

The idea came to Stephanie around 4:00 AM one Sunday morning in 2003. Excitedly she woke up her husband. “Why don’t we start up a science fiction magazine?”“Oh, that sounds interesting,” Karl mumbled. “I’ll think about it in the morning,” and rolled over and went back to sleep.

You’d think further discussion over coffee at breakfast would introduce sanity to the concept. Not at all. Before they knew it they were taking courses in bookkeeping, marketing, and promotion. They made the mistake of asking other Canadian magazine publishers for advice. They received plenty of advice. Despite all the warnings and cautionary tales, they went ahead with their project anyway.

Initially they chose the traditional route, namely hard copy print production with distribution by mail (subscription) and book stores. This involves a lot of record keeping, not to mention continually rising printing costs. Currently they are leaning more and more toward digital distribution.

To date they have produced 26 issues, averaging three issues a year whenever possible. In addition to wading through the fiction slush pile, Stephanie chooses the cover art. On occasion, she provides the cover art herself.

Being a West Coast artist, her trademark signature is a landscape with an unobtrusive fantasy element which takes a keen eye to spot. For example, her cover for Neo-opsis #15 illustrates what appears to be a typical Vancouver Island shoreline, till you take a closer look. A detailed look reveals a mermaid grasping a rock to hold herself out of the surf while glaring at the painter.

Another work of hers is an interior view of a massive cave which opens on to the ocean. Only careful study reveals a dragon lurking in the shadow of a boulder. This is typical of her work. She loves to paint from nature but chooses to accent the natural with elements of the supernatural since, after all, myth and legend historically has often been inspired by unusually hallowed and hauntingly beautiful landscapes.

Though most of her art has focused on natural fantasy, Stephanie is proud to consider herself a “science fiction activist” which is to say, someone who actively advocates and promotes the creative nature of the science fiction and fantasy genre in all its aspects (remarkably similar to the mandate of VCON itself, in fact).

Another major aspect of Stephanie’s art is soapstone carving. Occasionally she teaches courses in this demanding art form which she has thoroughly mastered. Her ability to convert a lump of rock into a living sculpture with free flowing form which strikes the observer as perfectly natural is extraordinary. Beautiful carvings they be.

Samples of her artwork can be found at the magazine website www.neo-opsis.ca/art

My Panelists Sessions

Friday, September 30

12:00 PDT

15:00 PDT

16:00 PDT

17:00 PDT

20:00 PDT

Saturday, October 1

17:30 PDT

19:00 PDT

Sunday, October 2

10:00 PDT

17:00 PDT


My Moderators Sessions

Friday, September 30

12:00 PDT