Guest of Honour: Nalo Hopkinson
Nalo Hopkinson, born in Jamaica, has lived in Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana and for the past 30 years in Canada. She is the author of four novels and a short story collection (Brown Girl in the Ring, Midnight Robber, The Salt Roads, The New Moon's Arms, Skin Folk). She is the editor of fiction anthologies Whispers From the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction, and Mojo: Conjure Stories. She is the co-editor of fiction anthologies So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction (with Uppinder Mehan) and Tesseracts Nine (with Geoff Ryman).
Hopkinson's work has received Honourable Mention in Cuba's "Casa de las Americas" literary prize. She is a recipient of the Warner Aspect First Novel Award, the Ontario Arts Council Foundation Award for emerging writers, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the Locus Award for Best New Writer, the World Fantasy Award, the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, the Aurora Award, and the Gaylactic Spectrum Award.
Artist Guest of Honour: Samantha Haney Press
Samantha Haney Press has always known she was different from other girls. The urges began to strike her at a young, tender age, and caused tension betwixt her and her peers, when her parents finally consulted a "How to Talk to Your Child About Art" pamphlet and they had the Talk. Once enlightened, Sam was able to indulge her creative tendencies, and she pursed a professional creative career with zeal.
As a student at Northern Illinois University, her work was selected by the Society of Illustrators for inclusion in their NYC gallery's exhibition of student work, and she was published in Steampunk Magazine. Ultimately, Sam graduated with a BFA in Illustration from NIU while organizing her class' senior portfolio gallery show.
Her work has been displayed in Midwest-area conventions for the last decade, and she recently ran the 2012 CapriCon art show. She currently serves as art director of both Eggplant Literary Productions and Grand Guignol Games. While still fond of 2-D illustrating, her current work takes that eye for precision and gift for fantasy beyond the page - no, really, like, popping right off of it via 3-D papercrafts and book sculptures.
Illustrious Grand Master: Melissa Scott
Melissa Scott studied history at Harvard College and Brandeis University, and earned her PhD. in comparative history. She published her first novel in 1984, and has since written some two dozen science fiction and fantasy works, including three co-authored with her partner, Lisa A. Barnett. Scott's work is known for the elaborate and well-constructed settings. While many of her protagonists are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, this is perfectly integrated into the rest of the story and is rarely a major focus of the story. Shadow Man, alone among Scott's works, focuses explicitly on issues of sexuality and gender. She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction in 1986, and has won several Lambda Literary Awards.
Musical Guests of Honour: Clam Chowder
Clam Chowder is a small musical group in Maryland, USA, which plays an eclectic collection of British and American folk songs, sea shanties, unusual songs from all sources, original material, and anything else that has opportunities for close harmony. The group has played in venues ranging from the Washington DC Folk Festival to the World Science Fiction Convention.
Special Guest: Katherine Kurtz
Born in Florida, Katherine Kurtz attended the University of Miami and, later, UCLA. She went on to work as a designer for the Los Angeles Police Academy. Her best-known work, the Deryni series, ranks near the top of modern fantasy fiction. Ms Kurtz lives in a gothic revival house in County Wicklow, Ireland, with her husband, author Scott MacMillan.
Danielle Ackley-McPhail has worked both sides of the publishing industry for over sixteen years. Currently, she is a project editor and promotions manager for Dark Quest Books. Her published works include the urban fantasies, Yesterday's Dreams, Tomorrow's Memories, and The Halfling's Court: A Bad-Ass Faerie Tale, and the non-fiction writers guide, The Literary Handyman. She has edited the Bad-Ass Faeries anthology series, and Dragon's Lure, and has contributed to numerous other anthologies and collections. To learn more about her work, visit www.sidhenadaire.com, www.literaryhandyman.com, or www.badassfaeries.com.
D.H. Aire has walked the ramparts of the Old City of Jerusalem and traveled an escape tunnel out of a Crusader fortress Richard the Lionheart called home, experiences that found expression in his debut sci fi/fantasy novel Highmage's Plight (Malachite Quills Publishing, March 2012).
Diana Bastine has had her first young adult fantasy novel, The Source, published this year by Helm Publishing. She also knits altar cloths and blankets for cat carriers. She has finished the sequel to The Source and has a third volume planned, along with a steampunk novel and an adaptation of her unpublished screenplay, among other writing projects.
Roxanne Bland is a genre-bending author of paranormal fantasy, science fiction and romance. Her motto: Reality is highly overrated.
Margaret L. Carter specializes in vampires, having been marked for life by reading Dracula at the age of twelve. In addition to her horror, fantasy, and paranormal romance fiction, she has had several books and articles published on the supernatural in literature. Her vampire novel Dark Changeling won an EPPIE Award in the Horror category in 2000.
Meriah L. Crawford is a writer, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and a private investigator. Meriah's published work includes short stories about crime, vampires, demons, magic, vengeance, and 1920s conspiracies, as well as a variety of non-fiction writing, and a poem about semi-colons.
Celia S. Friedman is a best-selling author of fantasy and science fiction, as well as an accomplished costume designer. Critics have acclaimed her complex and compelling characters, richly textured worlds, and keen insight into the shadows and twists of human nature. She has published eight science fiction and fantasy novels to date, including the acclaimed Coldfire Trilogy. Her works have been translated into German, French, Italian, Dutch, Russian, and Polish.
Nebula Award winner Esther Friesner is the author of thirty-seven novels and over one hundred eighty-five short stories, in addition to being the editor of ten popular anthologies. She is also a published poet and a produced playwright. Her works have appeared in the U.S., the U.K., Japan, Germany, Russia, France, Poland and Italy. Her latest novels include Sphinx's Princess and Sphinx's Queen (Random House), Threads and Flames (Viking/Penguin), and she is presently working on a two-book series about Japan's 3rd century Queen Himiko — Spirit's Princess and Spirit's Bride — for Random House.
Halla. Born in Washington, DC and living in nearby Maryland all her life, Halla spent her childhood surrounded by farms being replaced by suburbs, reading avidly, and visiting museums as often as possible. She has been drawing, painting, sculpting and crafting as long as she can remember. Halla has been active in fandom and doing fannish art for over 30 years and still does it more for love than money.
Elektra Hammond has worked in the back end of publishing as a copyeditor and proofreader since the late-90s, working in fiction and non-fiction for both large and small press. Currently, she continues to freelance, is a fiction editor for buzzymag.com, and is acquisitions editor for Sparkito Press, an imprint of Dark Quest Books. Her first published story, The Case of the Duchess's Dog, appears in the anthology In An Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk.
Nancy Janda. A long-time resident of the East Coast art circles, Nancy is a versatile artist, playing in many different mediums as the spirit moves her. She prefers challenges to rote routine; mastery is a call to try something new. She's more likely to attempt a something new and foreign than settle for repeating the past. To date she's experimented in ink and graphite illustration and pastiche, sculpture, glass etching, gemstone carving, stained glass, fibercrafts, origami and more. If it fires her imagination, it will move her hands. Like the dragons and firelizards that she draws so well, she's attracted by the bright and shiny. She's geeky enough to be cool, smart enough to know when to tone down the geek. And she loves to teach, giving classes in various art forms at Darkovercon and other conventions for the past ten years or so. Best of all she's a good listener, too, as well as a good talker. Watch out or you could find yourself charmed by this tall gryphon of a lady.
Heather Rose Jones has published a connected series of stories about shapechangers in MZB's Sword and Sorceress anthology series, as well as a stand-alone story The Treasures of Britain which draws on the same medieval Welsh literature that provided the data for her PhD thesis. Her other professional publications are scattered eclectically across the fields of biotech, onomastics, clothing history, and linguistics. Despite ambitions to see some of her longer fiction projects in print, she is content to make a living as a discrepancy investigator in the pharmaceutical industry.
Rahul Kanakia is a science fiction writer who has sold stories to Clarkesworld, the Intergalactic Medicine Show, Apex, Nature, and Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. He currently lives in Baltimore, where he is enrolled in the Master of the Fine Arts program in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. He also serves as a First Reader for Strange Horizons.
Debra Killeen is the author of the award-winning fantasy series The Myrridian Cycle. Volume 4, Priestess Awakening, was released this spring, with the final volume, Kingdom in the Balance, due out in 2011. Debra is currently at work on other writing projects including a trilogy taking place in the Myrridian universe, a paranormal mystery series, and an urban fantasy novel for middle-grade readers.
Timothy Liebe is the "Dreaded Spouse-Creature" of bestselling fantasy author Tamora Pierce, and co-author of Marvel's WHITE TIGER comic.
Scott MacMillan (occasionally known as Mr. Katherine Kurtz) was educated at the University of Southern California and the American Film Institute. He has been a film-maker, an award-winning editor of Western fiction, a world-class black-powder shootist, a mounted police officer, a novelist, a screenwriter, a reserve army officer, a vintage car enthusiast, an expert on antique arms and armour, and an avid student of heraldry, military history, crumbling castles, chivalry, and Scottish and Irish heritage. While living in Ireland, he served as a Herald of Arms in the Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland, and comments regularly on the forum at www.xmarksthescot.com. Now that he and Katherine are mostly settled in their new home in Virginia, readers might look forward to the long-awaited third Nazi Vampire book in the not-too-distant future. Meanwhile, Scott is developing several film and TV projects.
Mike McPhail is the author and anthologist of the military science fiction series Defending The Future, published by Dark Quest Books. He is the creator of the Alliance Archives (All'Arc) series and its related Martial Role-Playing Game (MRPG), a manual-based, percentile system, that realistically portrays the consequences of warfare.
Alanna Morland is the author of Leopard Lord and Shackle and Sword, now sadly out of print, as well as a short story in Sword and Sorceress XXII. After living in multiple states and two foreign countries (thank you, Uncle Sam!), Alanna and her husband live in Maryland for now, near their daughters, sons-in-law, 5 grandchildren and a varying cast of family pets.
Tamora Pierce is a bestselling author of fantasy books for teenagers. Her books, known for their teenaged girl warriors and wizards, have received critical acclaim and a strong fanbase. She is now a #1 New York Times bestselling author and has written over twenty-five books.
Sarah Pinsker is a Baltimore-based singer, songwriter and author. She has three albums on various indie labels and a fourth forthcoming. Her short stories have been published in Daily Science Fiction, Nine, Every Day Fiction, Emprise Review and other publications. She won the MWA's 2012 Great Beginnings Novel Contest.
Warren Rochelle lives in Fredericksburg, VA, where he teaches English at the University of Mary Washington. He has published three novels: The Wild Boy (2001), Harvest of Changelings (2007), and The Called (2010)--all by Golden Gryphon Press. In addition, he has published several short stories, some poetry and academic criticism on genre fiction.
Don Sakers was launched the same month as Sputnik One, so it was perhaps inevitable that he should become a science fiction writer. A Navy brat by birth, he spent his childhood in such far-off lands as Japan, Scotland, Hawaii, and California. In California, rather like a latter-day Mowgli, he was raised by dogs.
Hannah Shapero is also known as "Pyracantha," a professional artist living in the Washington, DC area. She has done lots of different kinds of art, especially science fiction, fantasy, and architecture.
Vonnie Winslow Crist is author of the new Young Adult high fantasy from Mockingbird Lane Press: The Enchanted Skean — Book I of The Chronicles of Lifthrasir, author-illustrator of 2 new speculative short story collections: Owl Light and The Greener Forest and 2 eShorts: For the Good of the Settlement and Blame it on the Trees from Cold Moon Press. Her paintings can be seen on recent covers of: Bards & Sages, Illumen, Aiofe's Kiss, and Scifaikuest. For more info, check out her website: http://vonniewinslowcrist.com and blog: http://vonniewinslowcrist.wordpress.com
Phoebe Wray has two sf, futurist, dystopian novels in print and ebook: Jemma7729 and the sequel J2 (just released from Dark Quest), stories in 3 anthologies, poetry lots of places,and supports herself teaching Theatre History at The Boston Conservatory.
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