Program Participants

DAFYDD ABHUGH was born in a log cabin, which he himself had built shortly before. His father was the biggest liar in the whole county, and Abhugh can out-lie his father. All of his story ideas come from Hymie Manush’s Beanstalk Plot-o-torium, five ideas for $23.05 (good ideas extra). Age-wise, Abhugh is twice as old as he was when he was half as old as he is now. Twenty-two skidee.


BRETT ACHORN is an Associate Technical Supervisor at Walt Disney Animation Studios, currently working on Moana.  His previous credits include Big Hero 6, Tangled, and Bolt, and while working at Warner Brothers, Iron Giant.  When he isn’t working on animation, he enjoys anime, photography, and long walks in virtual parks.

DAVID AGRANOFF is the wonderland award nominated author of three novels and two short story collections. The second collection Amazing Punk Stories is due out summer 2015 from cult publisher Eraserhead Press. His novels include The Vegan Revolution…With Zombies, Hunting the Moon Tribe, and Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich. He is founder of Save Our Bolts the popular non-profit organization committed to keeping the NFL in San Diego,CA. A vegan for over two decades he has long been a voice for Animal Liberation and environmental causes.

STEVEN-ELLIOT ALTMAN is a bestselling author, screenwriter, graphic novelist and videogame writer. His games include the MMO 9Dragons and the latest facebook sensation Pearl’s Peril. Steve’s novels include Captain America is Dead, Zen in the Art of Slaying Vampires, Batman: Fear Itself, The Killswitch Review, The Irregulars, and Deprivers, currently in development as a television series for MarVista Entertainment.


PETER ATKINS is the author of the novels Morningstar, Big Thunder, and Moontown and the screenplays Hellraiser II, Hellraiser III, Hellraiser:Bloodline, and Wishmaster. His most recent book, Rumours of the Marvellous, a collection of his short fiction, was a finalist for the British Fantasy Award


STAN BARAUSKAS is a Mechanical Engineer who has worked on the Atlas Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, Space Shuttle Orbiter Auxiliary Power Unit Subsystem & the Space Launch System Thrust Vector Control System. His expertise has earned him the “Astronaut Outstanding Achievement Snoopy Award, Engineer of the Year Nominee Award and Distinguished Alumnus Award. Stan’s activities include Director: Aerospace Legacy Foundation, Director: Youth Motivation Task Force, Endeavour Space Shuttle Host, Docent at the Columbia Memorial Space Center and much more. He also enjoys Hiking, Skiing and Traveling.


ARABELLA BENSON is a costumer, a crafter, a talker and a sometime trouble maker.  Her reach has been known to exceed her grasp, but she rarely lets reality rain on her parade.  If she isn’t sewing, reading or cooking she is probably sitting at her computer playing World of Warcraft, or out in the garden with her chickens. You can try and figure out how her brain works on her website.

MARC BIAGI can be seen and heard all over the world from his voice work in numerous video games including Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, and Anomaly Defenders, and on-camera as a quirky physicist in ORiGiN: Beyond The impact. He’s also a longtime gamer and fan and has been active in fandom, well, forever.


MARIE BRENNAN is an anthropologist and folklorist who shamelessly pillages her academic fields for material.  She is currently misapplying her professors’ hard work to the Victorian adventure series The Memoirs of Lady Trent; the first book of that series, A Natural History of Dragons, was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. She is also the author of the doppelanger duology of Warrior and Witch, the urban fantasy Lies and Prophecy, the Onyx Court historical fantasy series, and more than forty short stories.

DAVID BRIN scientist, tech speaker/consultant, and author. Existance his new novel is about survival in the near future. A film by Kevin Costner was based on The Postman. His 16 novels, including NY Times Bestsellers/Hugo Award winners, have been translated into more than twenty languages.   Earth, foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and the world wide web. David appears frequently on shows such as Nova and The Universe and Life After People, speaking about science and future trends. His non-fiction book The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Freedom and Privacy? won the American Library Association Freedom of Speech Award.


JASON V. BROCK a double Bram Stoker Award Finalist, has been widely published in magazines, online, comics, and anthologies such as Butcher Knives & Body Counts, Weird Fiction Review, S. T. Joshi’s Black Wings series, Like Water for Quarks, Fangoria, and many others. He is currently completing several novels, and is the editor-in-chief of a website and digest called [NameL3ss]. Brock served as coeditor/contributor to the award-winning Cycatrix Press anthologies The Bleeding Edgeand The Devil’s Coattails with William F. Nolan (Logan’s Run).

KIPLEIGH BROWN best known as engineer Jane Taylor in “Star Trek: Enterprise,” and lead role of Hoyle in Entertainment One’s “Yesterday Was a Lie.”  She plays the recurring role of Barbara Smith in the Original Series — in “Star Trek Continues.” Other TV and film credits include “R.U.R.: Genesis,” Disney’s “The Suite Life,” “Relative Strangers”, and the Sundance film “Design.”  Kipleigh also writes for and performs in Top Story! Weekly, a topical sketch comedy show .  She was recently named one of the “Hot Leading Ladies” of film by “Film Fetish” and awarded Best Fantasy Actress at the Shockerfest International Film Festival.

JAMES M. BUSBY is a Space Flight Historian and is on the BOD of Aerospace Legacy Foundation. His career includes moderating the Rockwell Int. Speakers Bureau, exhibit consultant and Museum Assistant at the California Science Center, where he received an honorary Doctorate in Space Science History. He worked at XCOR as the assistant media director, co-founded the Organization to Support Space Exploration and worked at the Space Frontier Foundation on space policy when it was based in California. He has written book reviews for the AAS magazine Space Times and worked on films as a space consultant and actor.

CHRIS BUTLER is an internationally published science, nature and maritime artist.  He is a senior artist, animator, and exhibit designer at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.  Chris has been a noted lecturer on astronomical subjects for more than 30 years at many venues, including aboard Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2.  Chris is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a recipient of the Blair Medal for Service to Astronomy. A minor planet has been named in his honor by the International Astronomical Union.

TIM “C-SQUIARE” CASSIDY-CURTIS is a rocket scientist. With a degree in Aerospace Engineering, Tim has participated in two launches of the Space Shuttle, and several launches using expendable boosters. He has also published in peer-reviewed journals, professional magazines, and science fiction periodicals. Tim has published more than once in NOVA, The Magazine of Science Fiction and is a featured writer in all of the Quantum Vision publications. He is also a Solar System Ambassador. F-CURTISinally, Tim is a Lieutenant Colonel in the California State Military Reserves.

KATER CHEEK has published short fiction, novels, and book reviews. She is a graduate of Clarion San Diego, class of 2007. Cheek has a BA in Linguistics, a brown belt in karate, and a garden that doesn’t yield nearly as much as she would like. She’s also a multi-media artist with over twenty years of experience. When not writing, she throws pots, practices aikido, binds books, and plays with molten glass.

TERA LYNN CHILDS is the award-winning and bestselling young adult author of the mythology-based Oh. My. Gods. series, the Forgive My Fins mermaid romance series, the kick-butt monster-hunting Sweet Venom trilogy, and the Darkly Fae series. She is co-writing the Hero Agenda series with Tracy Deebs. Her works have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on multiple state library reading lists. A lifelong nomad, she currently lives in Las Vegas and spends her time writing wherever she can find a comfy chair and a steady stream of caffeinated beverages.

BARBARA CLARK’s interest in fantasy and science fiction has been the basis for her award winning paranormal romantic adventure series, “Sons of Earth and Wind.” These stories feature ordinary people with extraordinary gifts. For example, in book 7, JADE DREAMS, the heroine’s gift to set emotions in metal and gems has put her life in danger. Writing as April Reid, her stories are more sensual and feature shape shifters, dragons, and other sentient beings on distant planets. She writes under both pseudonyms for Amber Quill Press, LLC (

PETER CLINES was the inspiration for both the epic poem Beowulf and the motion picture Raiders of the Lost Ark, and is single-handedly responsible for repelling the Martian Invasion of 1938 that occurred in Grovers Mills, New Jersey. He’s the author of the sci-fi thriller The Fold, the Ex-Heroes series (including the upcoming Ex-Isle), and the acclaimed –14–. His other works include The Junkie Quatrain, The Eerie Adventures of the Lycanthrope Robinson Crusoe (with Daniel Defoe and H.P. Lovecraft), numerous short stories (including the ongoing “Carter and Kraft” series), and countless articles about the film and television industry.

DANIEL CORTOPASSI is a visual artist/illustrator and musician.  Daniel is known for his fantasy, science fiction, and cat art.


ELWIN COTMAN a native of Pittsburgh, PA, and a performance artist, educator, activist, and the author of two collections of fantasy short stories. He has toured across North America doing readings, and has performed at venues such as Bluestockings, Artomatic, Quimby’s, TerPoets, and the Interdisciplinary Writers Workshop. He currently lives in Oakland, CA, and is at work on his first novel.

LILLIAN CSERNICA‘s fiction has appeared in Fantastic Stories, These Vampires Don’t Sparkle, and DAW’S The Year’s Best Horror Stories XXI and XXII. Her Christmas ghost story “The Family Spirit” appeared in Weird Tales #322 and “Maeve” appeared in #333. New steampunk stories are forthcoming in 12 Hours Later and Alterna-TEAS. Lillian reviews short horror fiction for TangentOnline.

GALEN DARA likes monsters, mystics, and dead things. She has created art for Uncanny Magazine, 47North publishing, Fireside Magazine, Lightpseed, Lackington’s, Resurrection House, and Ragnorok Publishing. She has been nominated for the Hugo and the World Fantasy Award. When Galen is not working on a project you can find her on the edge of the Sonoran Desert, climbing mountains and hanging out with a loving assortment of human and animal companions. Follow her on twitter @galendara

SUE DAWE works on a variety of themes with different media, she is best known for her fantasy airbrushed designs, which have appeared in magazines and on back-to school products, posters, greeting cards, games, and Franklin Mint plates. Sue enjoys fantasy and period costume design, and teaching painting at San Diego Miramar College. She frequently attends science-fiction conventions, where she has been known, on occasion, to participate in late night high jinks.

JOHN DECHANCIE is a well-known writer of science fiction and fantasy, most famous for his SF trilogy beginning with STARRIGGER (Ace Books, 1983–available in Kindle edition) and the fantasy series that starts with CASTLE PERILOUS and runs now to 9 books. The newest one, THE PIRATES OF PERILOUS (Borderlands Press, trade paper), has just been released. He has a background in television and film, and once worked for “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” and briefly for director George Romero. He lives in Los Angeles.

DENISE DUMARS is an author and professor who also helms Rev. Dee’s Apothecary, a New Orleans-Style Botanica, which can be found at She is currently shopping around a Gothic novel that she co-wrote with Corrine DeWinter. Her poetry column appears in each issue of Star*Line, the Journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Info on her writing and teaching can be found on her website.

GREG VAN EEKHOUT’s novels include California Bones, Pacific Fire, Norse Code, and the novels for middle-grade readers, Kid vs. Squid and The Boy at the End of the World. His work has been nominated for the Nebula, Locus, and Andre Norton awards. He lives in San Diego.

SCOTT FARRELL is the director of the Chivalry Today Educational Program, and head instructor at Swords Of Chivalry historical sword combat program. He is a contributing author to the books Superman vs. Batman And Philosophy (Open Court, forthcoming 2016), Martial Arts And Philosophy (Open Court, 2012), and Living A Life Of Value (VOW Press, 2008). Farrell is also a contributor to the anthologies Krampusnacht (World Weaver Press, 2014) and Steampunk Shakespeare (Doctor Fantastique Books, 2012). His freelance writing has appeared in the New York Times, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Blog, Costco Connection, Military History Quarterly, and hundreds of other publications.

LAURA BRODIAN FREAS is a voiceover artist and longtime classical music personality on radio stations in Los Angeles. She attended Indiana University’s School of Fine Arts and at the California Art Institute. Her cover and interior artwork has been published by TSR, The Easton Press, Analog Magazine of Science Fiction/Fact, Weird Tales, and Marion Zimmer Bradley’sFantasy Magazine. Laura was co-recipient [with Frank Kelly Freas] of The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists [ASFA]’s Chesley Award for Best Cover of the Year. She is a former Director-at-Large of Costumer’s Guild West. In 2012 she married Steven Beraha.

DANA FREDSTI is an ex B-movie actress with a background in theatrical combat (a skill she utilized in Army of Darkness as a sword-fighting Deadite and fight captain). Through seven plus years of volunteering at EFBC/FCC, Dana’s been kissed by tigers, and had her thumb sucked by an ocelot with nursing issues. She’s addicted to bad movies and any book or film, good or bad, which include zombies. She’s the author of the Ashley Parker series, touted as Buffy meets the Walking Dead, and the zombie noir novella, A Man’s Gotta Eat What a Man’s Gotta Eat

KEVIN GERARD lives in San Diego, California, with two feline friends, Jesse the WonderCat and Little Man. When not writing or teaching statistics at Cal State San Marcos, he enjoys walking the grounds at the San Diego Zoo, hitting the waves at Cardiff State Beach, and hanging with his brother, nieces and nephews at the local Pizza Port. He also enjoys playing Halo on the internet; look for him in the rocket games as one of the characters from Diego’s Dragon or Conor and the Crossworlds.

ELIZABETH “LACE” GILLIGAN is the author of the first two Gypsy Silk novels: Magic’s Silken Snare and The Silken Shroudreleased by DAW and the third book in the series, Sovereign Silk is at her publishers. She is currently working on the fourth book in the series, Silken Devotions. Besides her novels, ElizaBeth has had her short stories published in a dozen or so anthologies, and Black Gate Magazine. ElizaBeth is an established journalist, winning a William Randolph Hearst Award in her freshman year of college. She edits for SkyWarrior Books and creating anthologies. Her first up is AlternaTEAS.

LYNN GOLD has been involved with fandom for more than three decades. She has thrown many successful bid and non-bid parties, run music tracks at Westercons, BayCon, Silicon, and Con-Volution, and is heavily involved with Consonance, the San Francisco Bay Area’s filk convention. She writes off-the-wall songs that she has performed at many Westercons and Worldcons, knows how to play many instruments (albeit badly), writes elaborate choral arrangements and orchestrations on her computer, and sings (usually on key).  She is Lead Information Developer at Lenovo, and she does radio and TV news and traffic reporting whenever she can get gigs.


IGOR GOLDKIND Poet, Comics writer, Producer’s latest book IS SHE AVAILABLE? from Chameleon Publishing.  He shifted goal line in enhanced eBook publishing.  Igor Goldkind was the Science Fiction Coordinator for the San Diego Comics Con back in the early 70’s. Years later he working for Titan Books and devised the “graphic novel” genre as a way to promote Watchmen, Dark Knight and the early works of Neil Gaiman.  His interests remain in alien anthropology, Speculative Realism and the merging of human and computational systems into the computational society


CODY GOODFELLOW has written five novels and three collections––his latest is Strategies Against Nature (King Shot Press, 2015). He wrote, co-produced and scored the short Lovecraftian hygiene film Stay At Home Dad, which can be viewed on YouTube. He is also a director of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival–San Pedro, and cofounder of Perilous Press, an occasional micropublisher of modern cosmic horror.


BOB GOUNLEY is a project systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  He worked on the Dawn mission prior to its launch (2007).  More recently (2012) Bob worked on the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission that mapped the Moon’s gravity field.  He was a Flight Director for Deep Space 1, a mission that flight-tested the ion propulsion system used for Dawn, and Deputy Engineering Team Chief for the Galileo mission to Jupiter.  Bob received NASA’s Exceptional Service and Exceptional Achievement Awards.  Bob served on the BOD’s for the National Space Society and is past-president of OASIS, the organization’s Los Angeles chapter.

JEAN GRAHAM’s fiction appears in the anthologies Dying to Live, Arcane 2, The Time of the Vampires, Fantastical Visions I & II and Under the Rose; in the on-line magazines Coyote Wild and Firefox News; and in the print magazine Renard’s Menagerie. Links to these and other appearances may be found on her website.

  1. KEVIN GRAZIER is a former JPL rocket scientist, who is now a, more or less, full-time writer. He has pilot scripts circulating in Hollywood, and his most recent book, “Hollyweird Science” will be released soon (with the sequel due next year). He is also currently the science advisor on the Syfy Channel series “Defiance”.


JUDE-MARIE GREEN has sold stories to markets including Penumbra, Perihelion, Buzzy Mag, and The Colored Lens.  She has edited for online magazines Abyss & Apex, Noctem Aeternus, and 10Flash Quarterly.  She won the 2013 Speculative Literature Foundation’s Older Writers’ Grant and attended Clarion West in 2010.  For more information please visit her occasionally-updated website.

SCOTT TRACY GRIFFIN is the author of Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration (Titan Books, 2012), the only authorized illustrated history of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ immortal literary character, and 2013 Locus Award Finalist for Best Art Book. An internationally recognized authority on Burroughs and his creative legacy, Griffin’s career highlights include working as an editorial contributor to film industry magazines, scripting the UFS Tarzan Sunday comic strip, and serving as a consultant and on-camera expert for numerous documentaries and news programs.

GINN HALE lives with her lovely wife and two indolent cats in the Pacific Northwest. She spends the many rainy days tinkering with devices and words. Her first novel, Wicked Gentlemen, won the Spectrum Award for best novel. Her most recent publications include the Lord of the White Hell, Champion of the Scarlet Wolf, The Rifter trilogy: The Shattered Gates, The Holy Road and His Sacred Bones, as well as the novella Things Unseen and Deadly, from the Irregulars Anthology.

JAMES HANRAHAN is an “elder geek”, having started tinkering with electronics in grade school and computer programming in high school (yes, with punched cards). Although not a costumer himself (though this should change soon!) he has helped many costumers and prop builders add “blinkies” and other effects to their projects. When not working at his day job, he dabbles in video and sound production and is a licensed ham radio operator (yes, people still do that). He’s currently working on projects involving the new inexpensive microcontrollers like Arduinos.

SAMANTHA HENDERSON lives in Covina, California by way of England, South Africa, Illinois and Oregon. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit and Weird Tales as well as Bourbon Penn, and reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Science Fiction, Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded, Steampunk Revolutions and the Mammoth Book of Steampunk. She is the co-winner of the 2010 Rhysling Award for speculative poetry, and is the author of the Forgotten Realms novel Dawnbringer.


S.P. HENDRICK is the author of two acclaimed fantasy series, The Glastonbury Chronicles and Tales Of The Dearg-Sidhe. Her current stand-alone fantasy novel, Raven’s Daughter concerns a red-haired bladeswoman, a bard, with a mysterious past, and the dangerous journey they must share. In the works is a deck of Tarot cards based on Celtic mythology, British folklore, and the worlds and characters she has created. Ms. Hendrick holds a degree in English and lives in the San Fernando Valley with her husband Jay T. Mayer, entirely too many cats, and thirty-six overflowing bookcases. Facebook page

KEITH HENSON has a BSEE from the UofArizona in the 1960’s. He worked at Burr-Brown Research, now part of TI, then formed his own company, Analog Precision, Inc. In 1975, Keith and his then wife, Carolyn, founded the L5 Society to spread Dr. O’Neill’s concepts. He became active in Alcor, helping to freeze 20 patients and learning to do cardiac bypass.  About the same time, Keith and his second wife, Arel Lucas, wrote about memes and contributed to the early lexicon of memetics. Keith has remained active in the area of space development.

HENRY HERZ writes fantasy and science fiction for children. His debut traditionally published picture book, MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES, was published by Pelican in January 2015. WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY and LITTLE RED CUTTLEFISH will follow in 2016.


NANCY HOLDER a multiple-award winning, New York Times bestselling San Diego author. In addition to adult and young adult horror and dark fantasy, she writes licensed “tie-in” material for book series, movies/TV shows such as Crimson Peak, Beauty and the Beast, Teen Wolf, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, etc. She teaches in the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing Program (University of Southern Maine) and writes and edits comic books, graphic novels, and pulp fiction for Moonstone Books. On sale now The Rules, a teen thriller. Demons of the Hellmouth, written with Rupert Giles, will debut in September.


PAUL HONSINGER is the author of the best-selling “Man of War” Trilogy, the third volume of which has an issue date of June 30, 2015, as well as the novella Deadly Nightshade, which is a “Man of War” prequel. Before becoming a writer, Paul practiced law for 20 years, as well as selling Pontiac cars and GMC pickups, teaching debate, logic, and government, and counselling teenagers. His first novel, To Honor You Call Us was one of 16 nominees for the Goodreads Best Science Fiction Novel of 2014.

ANASTASIA HUNTER started devouring books at a very young age thanks to her mother running the library at her elementary school. After graduation from high school, she attended her first convention and now has a long-standing love affair with all things geek and pop-culture related. When she is not working (aka volunteering) on various conventions, Anastasia loves to read, costume, and watch movies with her family and friends. Monday thru Friday she practices the ancient art of eminent domain for the State of California’s Dept. of Transportation is Chair of Gaslight Gathering, a San Diego Steampunk Convention.


CALVIN W. JOHNSON is a professor of physics at SDSU and has had over a dozen SF/F stories published, in venues including Analog and Asimov’s. His short story “Exit, Interrupted” was selected for The Year’s Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction 6. He has a fondness for very small particles and very large matrices.

HEATHER ROSE JONES is the author of Daughter of Mystery and The Mystic Marriage: a historic fantasy series set in an alternate early 19th century. Her short fiction includes stories in the Sword and Sorceress anthology series, and most recently a queer take on the medieval Welsh Mabinogi, published by She produces a blog, The Lesbian Historic Motif Project, for authors interested in writing historically-based queer characters. Heather has a PhD from U.C. Berkele ROSE y in Linguistics and works as a discrepancy investigator for a biotech pharmaceutical company.

THOMAS KHAMIS is Associate Producer on this year’s Rondo award winning DVD “Uncle Forry’s Ackermansions”. He worked 2 years on Walt Lee’s update on the Reference Guide to Fantastic Films and is perhaps most proud of initiating the 1999 Clifton’s Caffeteria reunion of Forry, Ray Bradbury, and Ray Harryhausen.


KIRSTEN IMANI KASAI is the author of three novels: Ice Song, Tattoo and Private Pleasures; a short fiction/poetry collection Rhapsody in Snakeskin and a poetry chapbook The Atmospheric Mysteries of a Steaming Corpse. Her fiction, poetry, essays and photography have appeared in numerous publications, including Existere Journal of Arts & Literature, Bucovina Literara (Romania), Drunk Monkeys, AOL Black Voices, Pretty Owl Poetry, Body Parts Magazine and more. Kirsten is the co-founder and editor of Body Parts Magazine, a journal of provocative horror, spec fiction and erotica. She earned her MFA from Antioch University and lives in California with her family.

KATHARINE KERR lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, and a vagrant skunk. Although she spent her childhood in a Great Lakes industrial city, she became a confirmed Californian at age nine, when her family relocated here. She’s the author of the Deverry series of epic fantasies, the Nola O’Grady series of light-hearted urban fantasy, and a few science fiction works, mostly notably SNARE. She’s currently at work on too many projects at once, including a new Deverry novel and the final book in her “Runemaster” occult trilogy.

JAMES KERWIN In addition to numerous grand jury prizes, Kerwin’s filmmaking has earned the Geekie, Accolade, Telly, Axiem, Panavision Grant, and Norris Screenwriting Award. He was named “Best Director” and “Best Screenwriter” by NY Visionfest for the 2009 scifi noir film YESTERDAY WAS A LIE, his feature debut from Entertainment One. Kerwin was listed among the LA Times’ “Faces to Watch,” and honored twice in Back Stage’s “Best of the Year” list for his work at Noah Wyle’s Blank Theatre. He currently serves as story editor on the multi-award-winning series STAR TREK CONTINUES, for which he also writes and directs.

LISA KESSLER is an Amazon Best Selling author of dark paranormal fiction. She’s a two-time San Diego Book Award winner for Best SciFi-Fantasy-Horror as well as Best Romance. She currently writes the Night Series and the Moon Series for Entangled Publishing. Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award. Lisa teaches writing courses at San Diego Writer’s Ink as well as online writing classes, and is a frequent speaker at national reader conventions.

EYTAN KOLLIN writes novels with his brother Dani and wrote the Unincorporated Series published by Tor. They have been nominated multiple times and won the Prometheus Award once. Although they have been published in deep thought, hard SF Eytan and Dani just finished a novel that is Steampunk YA. They are also published in the latest 5 X 5 anthology with Wordfire Press and will have a compilation of short stories called ‘Grim Tales of the Brothers Kollin’ later this year. Eytan is working on his first solo novel, ‘Balancers’ and may have a publisher nibbling at it.


MICHAEL KURLAND writes fantasy, sf, and mysteries with equal hubris.  He has received two Edgar scrolls and an American Book Award nomination.  Among his works are Star Griffin, Tomorrow Knight, The Infernal Device, The Last President (With S.W. Barton), Ten Little Wizards, and The Unicorn Girl.  His books have been translated into Chinese, Czech, Danish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and some alphabet full of little pothooks and curlicues.  Kurland presently lives in a Secular Humanist Hermitage in a secluded bay south of San Francisco, where he kills and skins his own vegetables.

TABITHA LADIN has always loved drawing and painting animals both real and imagined. After going to school for Graphic Design she did freelance work. Later she worked as a colorist and color editor for Malibu Comics. She moved back to Arizona and worked for eight years as an interface designer and graphic designer for a financial software company. Now Tabitha has decided to return to her true passion; fantasy art. Working in acrylic paints she brings to life in brilliant color all the fantastic creatures that reside in her imagination. She has also published several fantasy themed coloring books.

BRIDGET LANDRY a chemist and planetary scientist, trained as an engineer, and has worked in spacecraft operations for more than 25 years.  She worked on the Hubble Space Telescope, the joint US-French oceanographic Earth-orbiter Topex, the Mars Pathfinder project, the Cassini mission to Saturn, the Dawn mission at the asteroid Vesta, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. She is on the sequencing team for Mars Odyssey, the Phoenix lander and Curiosity. Ms. Landry also takes great interest in the advancement of women in technical fields. She is a Master Level costumer and won Masquerade awards from the local to WorldCon level.

DAVID D. LEVINE is the author of novel Arabella of Mars (Tor 2016) and over fifty SF and fantasy stories. His story “Tk’Tk’Tk” won the Hugo, and he has been shortlisted for awards including the Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, and Sturgeon. Stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF, multiple Year’s Best anthologies, and his award-winning collection Space Magic.

ALLISON LONSDALE had been involved in San Diego fandom since the 1990s. She helped found and run Conjecture, ran the San Diego SF&F Meetup for ten years, and works on publication and distribution of the San Diego Fandom Index. She also composes and performs geeky music, and plays old-school paper-and-dice role-playing games. She was in the playtesting campaigns for GURPS Steampunk and GURPS Supers (4th Edition).

WILLIAM R. LUND Actor/Writer and founding member of San Diego Comic Con,has had numerous acting roles on stage and screen. Stage includes Zorba, Death of a Salesman, M*A*S*H, Phantom, Arsenic and Old Lace, and as Chief Bromden in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Screen includes Perry Mason and the Case of the Poisoned Pen, Diagnosis Murder, Switchback, and Western/Horror short film Man Without a Saddle. In addition to articles in Fangoria and Conicscene, among others, he’s currently writing a biography on Richard Widmark.

BRADFORD LYAU has attended SF conventions for 40+ years, being a panelist for 25+ years.  A former educator, he works for two start-up companies and is a political consultant.  He still publishes academic articles on American, British, and European SF.  Lyau is a historian by training (BA, UC-Berkeley; MA, PhD, University of Chicago).  His book analyzing French science fiction, The Anticipation Novelists of 1950s French Science Fiction:  Stepchildren of Voltaire, has received very positive reviews from leading academic SF journals.  Presently he is editing an anthology about SF from non-English language countries; a British university press has shown positive interest.

SANDY MANNING teaches high school math in the bush of Alaska. She understands and lives in a place with changeable weather and extreme cold. She also is familiar with and presents on integrating technology in the classroom, does historical and other types of costuming and is working on several interactive and regular books.

LYNN MAUDLN grew up in L.A. surrounded by physics and music; she started writing songs at 12. She has performed venues throughout the southland & toured with a Christian rock’n’roll band in the UK. Lynn worked as an editor for Capitol Records, produced a low-budget feature film, optioned Willis’ Doomsday Book. Lynn found fandom in the early 80s and served 20 years on the MythSoc’s board of directors, is currently their steward for Mythcons; was committee for the Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Centenary Celebrations (Oxford 1992 and Wheaton 1998, respectively); she also worked Chicon V, ConFrancisco, and L.A. Con III.


  1. SARAH MILKOVICH is a planetary geologist and science systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A space exploration enthusiast since childhood, she is delighted to be working on the Mars 2020 Rover. Her job focuses on the interactions between scientists, instrument operators, and spacecraft engineers. Sarah previously worked on Mars Science Laboratory (the Curiosity rover), the Mars Phoenix lander, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft at Saturn, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, where she was the investigation scientist for the HiRISE camera. She has won JPL and NASA team awards for her efforts to return the best possible science within spacecraft engineering constraints.


DEIRDRE SAOIRSE MOEN is a writer, software engineer, and graphic artist from Menlo Park, California. Travel is her drug of choice.


KATE MORGENSTERN has tried most techniques for fabric manipulation. A Master costumer, she makes science fiction, fantasy and historical costumes—sometimes all together! Co-founder of the Association for Costumers, Related Oddities, Ninjas and Yak Merchants, she tries to live their motto, “Doing Our Part To Make Your Life A Little More Surreal.”


WILL MORTON born in WV, he now lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife Yvonne.  He is a retired electrical engineer with 16 years’ experience working on the Space Shuttle program.  Will now teaches electronics part-time and is active as a stand-up comedian.  His story “Parallel Universe” was included in Third Flatiron’s Lost Worlds anthology.  Will’s stories have also appeared in anthologies published by Pill Hill Press and Spencer Hill Press. Visit him at his website

MIKE SHEPHERD MOSCOE latest book in the National Best Selling Kris Longknife science fiction saga, Kris Longknife – Tenacious, came from Ace last October.  Look for Unrelenting this October.  Vicky Peterwald – Survivor came out in June ‘15.  Rebel is turned in for June ‘16 and will finish up the trilogy.  (Really, a trilogy with only three books.) . All are available at  Mike is also an independent publisher, bringing out e-books of several collections of his award nominated short stories as well as the out-of-print Lost Millennium Trilogy.  He regularly publishes novellas in Kris’s world.

ALFRED NASH is the Lead Engineer and Study Facilitator for the Advanced Projects Design Team (Team-X) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He also works as a professional track cycling race announcer for local, national, and international events.  Nash was a Bronze Medalist at the 2013 National Beard and Moustache Championships.  He earned a B.S. in physics from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California Santa Barbara, and is the father of a science fiction author.

AMY K. NICHOLS is the author of YA science fiction novels Now That You’re Here and While You Were Gone, published by Knopf. She holds a master’s in literature and studied medieval paleography before switching her focus to writing fiction. Insatiably curious, Amy dabbles in art, studies karate, tries to understand quantum physics, and has a long list of things to do before she dies. She lives with her family outside Phoenix, AZ. In the evenings, she enjoys counting bats and naming stars. Sometimes she names the bats.

LISANNE NORMAN born in Glasgow, Scotland could not find enough books she liked to read so, at 8 years of age she starting writing. In 1980 Lisanne moved to Norfolk, England, a year after joining The Vikings!, the largest British re-enactment society in Britain. The more Lisanne traveled and experienced, the richer she would find the reservoir of creativity for her writing creating worlds where Warriors, Magic and Science all coexist. She currently is working on her latest novel “Shades of Gray” which is the last in the series.

RON OAKES is the Chair of Westercon 68 and Conjecture 13, and has chaired Conjecture twice before as well as having chaired DucKon in the Chicago area twice. He is also involved in Worldcons, currently working for both seated Worldcons, as well as past Worldcons and bids. He lives with his wife and four cats, is a software developer for Qualcomm, and is trying to improve himself by learning piano and Tai Chi.


JOHN W. OLIVER is a writer, artist and podcaster. His most recent fiction can be found on, and he is a co-host of Comics Squee.


MATT PALLAMARY’s Spirit Matters details his work with shamanic plant medicines. It took first place in the San Diego Book Awards and was a National Best Book Awards Finalist. A Short Walk to the Other Side written as a tribute to Ray Bradbury was a USA Best Book Awards Finalist and an International Book Awards Finalist. Land Without Evil won a San Diego Book Award and was adapted into a stage and sky show performed by an Austin Texas aerial group. The making of the show was the subject of a PBS series that garnered an EMMY nomination.

GORDON PERMANN a retired Navy Helicopter Rescue Swimmer, awarded “Sailor of the Year” during service as a Designated Naval Courier – he traveled to 31 countries and five continents. He has spent over 30 years on the staff at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, assisting authors in research projects and identifying obscure flying machines – currently, he is a Docent and acts as an artifact expert in the Curatorial Department. Gordon gives presentations to local groups and schools on airships, the Space Race, and Cold War history. He lives in San Diego with his wife, two children, and an Otaku.


JENNA M. PITMAN’s short stories have appeared in a variety of anthologies and magazines. In the past she worked in animal behavior and video game testing. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she moved to Los Angeles in 2013 where hiking is possible year round. She loves dogs, cats, horses, lions, tigers, bears, Halloween, podcasts, and making cupcakes.

EYLAT POLINER has been making chocolate for the past 10 years.  She had a chocolate business called Gotta Have Chocolate Now, which made your name, your logo and your design in chocolate.  Eylat has studied the history of chocolate, where it’s made and has a fanstitation of why different worlds and even within our own why chocolate is not available to everyone.


STEPHEN POTTS teaches Literature at UCSD. For the past thirty-plus years he has published fiction, criticism, editorials, and reviews. Current projects include co-editing with David Brin an anthology of stories and essays. His media appearances include participation in the 2002 Bravo documentary Page to Screen: Lord of the Rings.


TIM PRATT’s fiction has won a Hugo Award, and he’s been a finalist for Sturgeon, Stoker, World Fantasy, Mythopoeic, and Nebula Awards. His books include three short story collections; contemporary fantasy novels The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl, Briarpatch, Heirs of Grace, and The Deep Woods; steampunk novel The Constantine Affliction (as T. Aaron Payton); various roleplaying game fantasy novels; and, as T.A. Pratt, eight books in an urban fantasy series about sorcerer Marla Mason. He occasionally edits ‘zines and anthologies, and is a senior editor for Locus magazine.

SHAUNA ROBERTS writes science fiction, fantasy, romance, and historical fiction. She is a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop and now serves on the Clarion Foundation Board of Directors. In 2011 she won the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Older Writers’ Grant. Shauna teaches occasionally in the University of California at Riverside’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Hadley Rille Books published her novel Like Mayflies in a Stream in 2009 and will publish her fantasy novel with romantic elements Ice Magic, Fire Magic in August 2015. Shauna self-published Claimed by the Enemy, a historical novel with romantic elements, in 2014.

KEVIN ROCHE has been making costumes since he was 8 (and has the photographic evidence to prove it!). He was honored with the International Costumers Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. His Doctor Who-inspired “Tiki Dalek” costume took the Internet by storm and has been exhibited on two continents. In his secret identity as a research scientist at IBM’s Almaden Research Center, he’s hard at work wrangling giant robot vacuum chambers and electrons in the growing field of spintronics. Kevin is also the creator of Thinbot, the gold-medal winner in the robotic bartending event at Robogames.


MICHAELA ROESSNER has published four novels, and shorter works in publications including Asimov’s, F&SF, OMNI, Room Magazine and assorted anthologies. Her novel Walkabout Woman won the Crawford and John W. Campbell awards for Best First Novel. She’s had pieces short-listed for the Calvino Prize, Tiptree Award, Mythopoeic Award, and Millennium Publishing contest. She has an MFA degree in Creative Writing from Stonecoast and another MFA in Painting from Lone Mountain College and teaches for the Popular Fiction concentration at Western State Colorado University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program and Speculative Fiction online writing courses for NYC’s Gotham Writers’ Workshop.

DAVID ROSS is a freelance journalist and the editor of the Escondido and Valley Center Times Advocate, community newspapers. He is the author of two science fiction novels: The Eighth Rank and The Argus Gambit. He contributes to Global Gaming Business, a gaming industry trade publication. A resident of Palomar Mountain, Ross is knowledgeable on San Diego’s backcountry and has written articles on tourism in Julian, Palomar Mountain and the San Diego Wild Animal Park. He recently earned his master’s degree in military history from Norwich University. He is working on another science fiction novel, entitled Cranium.

DAVID SANDNER is a writer of the weird and fantastic, moving between popular genres: science fiction, fantasy, mystery and horror. He is an English Professor at CSU, Fullerton teaching creative writing, popular genre literatures, and romanticism. Sandner’s creative and scholarly work has been published in leading magazines, journals, anthologies, and collections. He is the author and editor of scholarly books and is marketing a historical novel, The Triumph of Death, a mystery with Mary Shelley as its protagonist. Sandner is organizing a conference on the writer Philip K. Dick, whose papers reside in CSUF’s Special Collections, for Spring 2016.

ISABEL SCHECHTER has been a fan since childhood and active in fandom for almost 20 years. As the special events manager for a science museum, she is free to reveal her geekiness at work and not suffer any negative consequences. Isabel is Latina by birth, Jewish by choice, vegetarian by conscience, and uppity as necessary. Isabel has written about the environment, faith and religion in sf and fandom, and race and representation in sf and fandom, and has had essays published in WisCon Chronicles and Invisible: An Anthology of Representation in SF/F (edited by Jim C. Hines).


TERRENCE SEJNOWSKI is a pioneer in computational neuroscience and his goal is to understand the principles that link brain to behavior. He is an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and holds the Francis Crick Chair at The Salk Institute.  Sejnowski is the President of the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) Foundation, the premier conference on machine learning and neural computation.  Sejnowski is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering.  He was instrumental in shaping the BRAIN Initiative that was announced by the White House in 2013.

ERIC SHANOWER is the award-winning cartoonist of the graphic novel series Age of Bronze, which retells the Trojan War. He wrote the graphic novel Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, drawn by Gabriel Rodriguez. With Skottie Young, he adapted L. Frank Baum’s Oz books to New York Times best selling graphic novels. Shanower’s past comics work includes his own Oz graphic novel series and art for An Accidental Death by Ed Brubaker, The Elsewhere Prince by Moebius and R-JM Lofficier, and Harlan Ellison’s Dream Corridor. He has illustrated for television, magazines, and children’s books. He lives in San Diego.

ROBERT SHEAFFER is one of the leading skeptical investigators of UFOs, a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (formerly CSICOP).  He was a founding director and past Chairman of the Bay Area Skeptics, a local skeptics’ group in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the author of Psychic Vibrations, UFO Sightings, and is a regular columnist for The Skeptical Inquirer. He will be speaking at The Amazing Meeting in Las Vegas this July. Sheaffer covers the latest developments on the UFO scene on his Blog

SHERWOOD SMITH studied in Europe before earning a Masters in history. She worked as a governess, a bartender, an electrical supply verifier, and wore various hats in the film industry before turning to teaching for 20 years. First book published in 1986. To date she’s published over forty books, nominated for several awards, including the Nebula, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and an Anne Lindbergh Honor Book.

WILLIAM H. STODDARD has written more than 20 GURPS supplements for Steve Jackson Games, beginning with GURPS Steampunk in 2000. He is president of the Libertarian Futurist Society, which gives annual awards for pro-freedom science fiction and fantasy.

JEFFERSON SWYCAFFER is a local writer of SF and fantasy, an energetic fanboy and exponent of furry fandom. He has authored books including Become the Hunted and Web of Futures.

JANET TAIT is the author of Cast into Darkness, an Amazon bestseller in Urban Fantasy. A former VP of Comic-Con, she was a guest at Comic-Con in 2009 and an inaugural judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. She is currently President of the San Diego chapter of the Romance Writers of America and is also a member of SFWA.

LINDA THOMAS-SUNDSTROM is an award-winning author of 25 paranormal and urban fantasy novels and novellas, with books from Kensington, Amazon Montlake, and Nocturne. She is a teacher by day and a writer by night, lives on a ranch in the west, speaks at venues like Comic-con and World Fantasy, and more than anything loves to write.

GENE TURNBOW and SUSAN FOX are the founders and operators of Krypton Radio, the world’s most popular sci-fi and fantasy themed radio station. Broadcasting on the Internet since 2009, Krypton Radio is heard around the clock by tens of thousands of listeners a month, in 135 countries. With combined experience of more than 40 years in the motion picture industry, Gene and Susan are versed in nearly every aspect of motion picture and television production, with special emphasis on practical and digital effects and animation,


WENDY VAN CAMP is the writer behind No Wasted Ink, a blog about the craft of writing, featuring author interviews, book reviews, and Scifaiku poetry. She makes her home in Southern California with her husband. Wendy enjoys travel, bicycling, gourmet cooking and gemology. Her articles, short stories and poetry have appeared in literary and science fiction magazines such as “Shadows Express”, “Luna Station Quarterly”, “Serendipity”, and “Far Horizons”. Her first Amazon book is a regency romance entitled: “The Curate’s Brother: A Jane Austen Variation of Persuasion”.

JASON VANHEE was born and grew up in Seattle, Washington. Raised by a single mother who left him free to explore his imagination, he began to write almost as soon as he could read. His work most often encompasses the speculative fiction that was his reading mainstay in his younger life. Jason lives in Seattle still with his husband Adam. His first published novel, Engines of the Broken World, was released by Henry Holt in 2013.


VERNOR VINGE’s science fiction has won five Hugos. His latest novel is a direct sequel to A Fire Upon the Deep, titled The Children of the Sky, both published by Tor Books


ERIK VIRRE M.D. Ph.D. is a Professor in the UCSD Departments of Neurosciences, Surgery and Cognitive Science. He has carried out work in a broad range of areas including neurophysiology, military medicine, human space flight, laser technology and ethics. At the UCSD Arthur C Clarke Center for Human Imagination, Dr Viirre is a Scholar-in-Residence. There he is developing human interaction technologies for medical and scientific research. Since January 1, 2013 Dr. Viirre has been the Medical and Technical Director of the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE and the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE. He oversees the technical and judging aspects of the prize programs worth over $12.2 Million.

THOMAS VOORHIES received a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. He’s a Los Angeles writer and painter, and co-author of the Quarantine novel trilogy. Quarantine: The Loners, was a Booklist 2012 Editors’ Choice. For more information, go to

KATHERINE WADEY born into a military family, Katherine got to ride all over parts of the USA before she was old enough to really appreciate the wonders outside over the hazards of the siblings in the back seat of the Studebaker. (There are stories involved…) Books and art supplies became available when her dad retired from the service. Then, in rapid order, she was introduced to LASFS, fandom in general, the SCA, Renn Faires, Game Cons, and a plethora of fascinating people. She is currently working on two canvases, a couple of drawings, a diorama, and a maquette.

DAVID WAGNER a Local writer/actor is one of the creative forces behind ORiGiN: Beyond The impact. After spending most of his career focused on live theater, he’s shifted his focus toward the small screen, and BTI has given him a chance to test himself in that realm.


FRANK WALLS is an artist and sculptor that works in the book and game publishing industries. He has created numerous illustrations and designs for clients such as Wizards of the Coast, Fantasy Flight Games, Dark Regions Press, Shock Totem Press, and many others. He works digitally, traditionally, and in ceramics. In addition to his freelance work he teaches Digital Art and Design classes, and spends his spare time designing board and video games.

ELIZABETH WATASIN is the author of the Gothic steampunk series The Dark Victorian, The Elle Black Penny Dreads, and the creator/artist of the indie comics series Charm School, which was nominated for a Gaylactic Spectrum Award. She lives in Los Angeles with her black cat named Draw, busy bringing readers uncanny heroines in shilling shockers, sci fi noir, and adventuress tales.

Follow the news of her latest projects at A-Girl Studio.

CHRIS A. WEBER with his wife/partner Karen Willson, wrote over 50 television animation episodes for Disney, Filmation, Hanna-Barbera and others. Chris has written poetry, a worldwide syndicated comic strip, comic books, educational media, technical guides, magazine articles, and filk music. His M.A. in Communication Arts, Television is from Loyola-Marymount.

DAN WELLS is a New York Times bestselling author is best known for his post-apocalyptic teen series Partials, and his thriller series I Am Not A Serial Killer, soon to be a movie starring Christopher Lloyd. His other novels include The Hollow City, about schizophrenia, and A Night of Blacker Darkness, which will debut as a stage play in October 2015. He cohosts a Hugo-winning podcast for aspiring writers called Writing Excuses, and edited the anthology Altered Perceptions to raise awareness of mental illness. Dan lives in Utah with his wife, 5 children, and more than 350 boardgames.

GARY WESTFAHL is the author, editor, or co-editor of 24 books about science fiction and fantasy, including Science Fiction Quotations: From the Inner Mind to the Outer Limits (2005) and the three-volume Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy (2005); he has also published hundreds of articles, reviews, and reference book entries. His most recent works are The Spacesuit Film: A History, 1918-1969 (2012), A Sense-of-Wonderful Century: Explorations of Science Fiction and Fantasy Films (2012), William Gibson (2013), and A Day in a Working Life: 300 Trades and Professions through History (2015).

GLEN WHITMAN is a Professor of Economics at CSUN, whose work has been published in such journals as the UCLA Law Review, the Journal of Legal Studies, and the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.  His research includes game theory, healthcare policy, slippery slopes, and government paternalism.  As a screenwriter, he has written for the Fox series Fringe and the El Rey series Matador.  In Glen’s two careers, the intersection is filled by a book (coedited with James Dow) entitled The Economics of the Undead: Zombies, Vampires, and the Dismal Science, which was recently featured on the Freakonomics Radio podcast.

FRED WIEHE is a member of the Horror Writers Association. He’s the author of a collection of short stories, six novels, and numerous short stories appearing in anthologies, magazines, and e-zines. His novel Aleric: Monster Hunter became a 2012 Amazon Bestseller. His collection of short stories Holiday Madness: 13 Dark Tales for Halloween, Christmas, & All Occasions became his publisher’s 2010 #1 Bestseller. Fred’s new YA (ages 13-17+) novel Fright House was released on April 1, 2015 from Damnation Books. He’s now working on The Collected Nightmares (short stories) and The Uglies (feature-length script).

GERRY WILLIAMS is a filmmaker with 16 feature films to his credit as Director of Photography and produces corporate/industrial films and commercials. He is a human spaceflight advocate and is a founding member of The Mars Society – San Diego and the San Diego Space Society.  He publishes the and hosts a monthly Mars Movie Night. He also hosts the monthly San Diego Vintage Sci-Fi movie night.

KAREN WILLSON began writing with freelance interviews for Starlog Magazine. Karen later worked as a Production Manager (for Magic Lantern special effects) and as an Overseas Production Manager (Comworld Productions).  With her writing partner and husband, Chris Weber, Karen penned over 50 animated children’s television episodes and developed the series Dink the Dinosaur for Ruby Spears and CBS.  Karen published six nonfiction advice books for girls (the Talking About… series) for Prima Publishing.  She now works as Director of IT and Communications for Mission San Luis Rey Parish and teaches Computer Science and Technology at Old Mission Montessori School.


MICHAEL UNDERWOOD is a professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies at San Diego State University and directs the RWS Fellows Program. The original Star Trek series and “The Lord of the Rings” developed both a fan and academic interest in science fiction and fantasy. He wrote a master’s thesis on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, presented conference papers, and published a collaborative article on Tolkien.


JANINE ELLEN YOUNG is the author of Cinderblock, a Carrollian high-fantasy masquerading as a cyberpunk novel, and The Bridge, a first contact novel masquerading as an eschatological romance. She is currently working on short e-books for Fantastic Fiction, and two fantasy series. She has taught science fiction literature, children’s literature and Shakespeare at Santa Monica College, and is a scholar of tarot cards. Thanks to Cinderblock, she was a guest speaker at the Mt. Saint Antonio’s Writer’s Conference. Janine lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband, DC/Vertigo comics author, Doselle Young.

ALVARO ZINOS-AMARO is the co-author, with Robert Silverberg, of When The Blue Shift Comes, and is working on the non-fiction volume Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg (forthcoming 2016). Alvaro’s short fiction and Rhysling-nominated poetry have appeared in Analog, Nature, Galaxy’s Edge, Apex, The Journal of Unlikely Entomology, Buzzy Magazine, Neon, Farrago’s Wainscot, Bahamut and various anthologies. Alvaro’s non-fiction has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Strange Horizons and elsewhere. Alvaro currently conducts interviews for Clarkesworld, has a science fiction book review column at Intergalactic Medicine Show, and edits the roundtable blog for Locus.”