VCON 39 has ended
Welcome to the VCON 39 Programming Schedule.

Every year, VCON’s crack Programming team assembles three days jam-packed with the best in panels, workshops, and events to keep you in geek nirvana. We hope that you are as excited by the panels, discussions, workshops and presentations we have on offer this year as we are!

NOTE: This schedule is still subject to change. Please check back regularly. :-)
avatar for Karl Johanson

Karl Johanson

Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine
Victoria, BC
VCON 41 Editor Guest of Honour

Karl Johanson is not just an exceptional editor of a marvelous magazine, he is—behind his unassuming exterior—a mad genius whose team is, against all logic, constantly pulling off these completely astounding projects.

During the 1990s, Karl co-edited the Canadian SF newsletter, Under the Ozone Hole with John Herbert. The UTOH team, which included Stephanie Johanson as illustrator and Monica Spencer as proofreader, racked up an astonishing four Aurora Awards during its run. By providing news, reviews, and eclectic (often satirical) content, UTOH was one of the key factors in developing a cohesive national Canadian fandom.

In 1994 Karl applied to work at Sanctuary Woods Multimedia, because why not ask? While chatting with the general manager, Karl happened to mention that one of his hobbies was spotting science flaws in SF shows such as Star Trek, and trying to justify them during the commercials. He had the job before he got home: turned out part of the job was to ‘science up’ the ideas of head writer, Lee Sheldon’s (whose writing credits include work on Star Trek: The Next Generation) so they were scientifically valid—or at least plausible. (Karl still regularly runs amusing and informative “Justify the Science Flaw” panels at conventions, some of which can be seen at his YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/karljohanson42.)

After Sanctuary Woods, Karl worked for Disney Interactive. The studio’s manager referred to Karl as a Swiss Army Knife because Karl could do whatever he needed done at the moment. Much of what Karl did was fact check educational computer games.

When Disney Interactive’s studio in Victoria closed, Karl and wife Stephanie missed working on creative projects, so they decided to start Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine and it is as editor of Neo-opsis that Karl is Editor Guest at the convention.

Neo-opsis focuses on Canadian writers, and frequently features work by Canadian superstars such as Spider Robinson, Dave Duncan and Matthew Hughes, but includes fiction from all over the world. Neo-opsis has also helped launch the careers of dozens of emergent writers; indeed, one of the distinguishing characteristics of Neo-opsis is their persistent efforts to provide constructive feedback on submissions, which—as any acquisition editor will tell you—is above and beyond the job description. Neo-opsis includes SF convention and book reviews and Karl’s regular science column—which is unlike any other science column, ever.

Not only a fan favourite, Neo-opsis also manages to attract readers new to SF&F. If you are not already familiar with the magazine, I urge you to pick it up: it’s good to hold something impossible in your hands.

And if you haven’t talked to Karl yet, let us assure you that he is completely approachable. He’s easy-going, upbeat, and thoughtful public speaker, and an entertaining raconteur. He loves science and science fiction and has a wide-ranging knowledge that makes him the Swiss-Army Knife of panelists. And he is, of course, one hell of an editor.