Guests of Honor

Additional guest announcements for Philcon 2021 will be published soon!

Max Gladstone

Principal Speaker

Max Gladstone - photo by Ellen Datlow

I write books and games—most notably the Craft Sequence, tales of wizards in pinstriped suits and gods with shareholders’ committees. Campbell Award nominee 2013, 2014.

Max Gladstone has been thrown from a horse in Mongolia and nominated for the Hugo, John W Campbell, and Lambda Awards. Max’s most recent novels are the intergalactic adventure Empress of Forever, and, with Amal El-Mohtar, the time travel epistolary spy-vs-spy novella This is How You Lose the Time War. Max is also the author of the Hugo-nominated Craft Sequence, starting with Three Parts Dead and most recently continuing in Ruin of Angels, as well as the lead writer for the fantasy procedural series Bookburners.

Max regularly consults as a narrative and game designer and world builder, and has written games, comics, and interactive television. His nonfiction appears on Max studied Chan poetry and late Ming dynasty fiction at Yale, and lived and taught for two years in rural Anhui province.

Photo by Ellen Datlow.

Romas Kukalis

Artist Guest of Honor

Romas Kukalis

Romas graduated with honors from Paier College of Art in New Haven, Connecticut.  Directly after graduation, he went to work for many book and magazine publishers and advertising agencies in New York City.  Romas has illustrated a variety of subjects for such diverse clients as TV Guide, Readers Digest, Red Herring, Omni, Marvel Comics, the D.C. Comics Batman Masters Series, Union Carbide, Seagrams, Hasbro, The Bradford Exchange, The Danbury Mint.  Romas has been featured in Science Fiction Age and Advertising Age magazine and on the Central Connecticut State University Pioneers television series featured on Connecticut PBS.  Some of Romas’s best known sci-fi and fantasy covers include Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series, Anne McCaffrey’s The Rowan series, and the wildly popular Chronicles specialty books related to Scholastic Books’ Animorphs series.

He is currently working on SuperEgo, a graphic novel project with his wife, Allison Barrows. Returning to a childhood love of comics and superheroes and the freedom of schedule is the ultimate fantasy.

Fran Wilde

Special Guest

Fran Wilde

Two-time Nebula winner Fran Wilde writes science fiction and fantasy for adults and kids, with seven books, so far, that embrace worlds unique (Updraft, The Gemworld) and portal (Riverland, The Ship of Stolen Words), plus numerous short stories appearing in Asimov’s,, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer, Nature, Uncanny, and multiple Year’s Best anthologies. Her work has been a finalist for six Nebulas, three Hugos, a World Fantasy Award, and three Locus Awards, named a 2019 NPR Favorite Book (Riverland), and won several awards. Among her latest stories are the novelette "Unseelie Brothers, Ltd." at Uncanny Magazine, and "Seed Star," at Asimov's.  Fran directs the Genre Fiction MFA concentration at Western Colorado University and writes nonfiction for NPR, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. 

Sara Henya

Musical Guest

Sarah Henya

Sara Henya is a singer-songwriter and harpist based in Philadelphia, PA. Her music can best be described as Fantasy-Pop, combining the fun of pop music and the ethereal sound of the harp. Sara incorporates imaginative, fairy-like visuals that allow her audience to interact with her otherworldly character. Her melodic and complex artistry echoes the complex nature of her lived experiences with Tourette Syndrome, using music to transport into the enchanted sceneries detailed in her many tattoos.