Philcon Panel Participant Biographies
Award-winning author Danielle Ackley-McPhail has worked both sides of the publishing industry for longer than she cares to admit. In 2014 she joined forces with husband Mike McPhail and friend Greg Schauer to form her own publishing house, eSpec Books (www.especbooks.com).
Her published works include five urban fantasy novels, a young adult Steampunk novel co-written with Day Al-Mohamed. She is also the author of the solo collections A Legacy of Stars, Consigned to the Sea, Flash in the Can, and Transcendence, the non-fiction writers’ guide, The Literary Handyman, and is the senior editor of the Bad-Ass Faeries anthology series, Dragon’s Lure, and In an Iron Cage. Her short stories are included in numerous other anthologies and collections.
She is a member of Broad Universe, a writer’s organization focusing on promoting the works of women authors in the speculative genres.
She can be found on Facebook and Twitter (DMcPhail, eSpecBooks, and TheHornieLady). To learn more about her work, visit www.sidhenadaire.com or www.especbooks.com.
Day Al-Mohamed is author of the Young Adult novel, “Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn.” Editor for the anthology, “Trust & Treachery” and a regular host for Idobi Radio's "Geek Girl Riot". In addition to speculative fiction, she also writes comics and film scripts.
Her latest novella, “The Labyrinth’s Archivist” came out in July from Falstaff Books. She is an active member of Women in Film and Video, a graduate of the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop, and a 2015 Documentary Fellow with Docs in Progress. However, she is most proud of being invited to present a storytelling workshop at the White House in February 2016.
Al-Mohamed has worked as a policy advisory, lobbyist, and political analyst for more than 15 years on national issues relating to education, employment, technology, health care, and International development. She loves public policy, history, and drinks far too much tea.
An active SFWA member, Ken's short fiction has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Interzone, Daily Science Fiction, Intergalactic Medicine Show, BuzzyMag, Abyss & Apex, Perihelion and others. He is the author of eleven published novels with two more on the way. Best known for his arctic fantasy series ALAANA'S WAY, his current project is an alternate history/fantasy THE LADY CHANGELING TRILOGY. Please visit www.KenAltabef.com
Walter first developed an interest in Japanese animation with the premiere of "Star Blazers" in 1979 on WTAF TV 29 in Philadelphia, after already succumbing to science fiction in general. He attempted to catch a movie version of this series at Philcon 1984, but missed it and instead was introduced to the amazing work of Hayao Miyazaki in "Lupin III Castle Cagliostro".
Walter's education is in physics and after graduate school worked on trajectory server software for the Space Shuttle Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas. He is currently back in the Northeast working with orbital GPS satellite software.
Walter's interest in anime and history have dovetailed in his recent anime DVD credit, co-authoring the "Hidden History" feature along with Philcon co-panelist Robert Fenelon, on the extremely popular "Axis Powers Hetalia" DVD from Funimation.
Maria is an author, editor, and artist who lives in the greater Philadelphia region. She is currently the Senior Editor at 2Nimble & AnewPress. She is particularly passionate about fiction and enjoys urban fantasy and space operas, as well as other genre-straddling stories. Her first book, Vampire, Hunter, is published by AnewPress, and a variety of her fan fiction and artwork can be found online for free. Her new YA Scifi/Fantasy trilogy, The Blades of the Dead Gods Saga, comes out this fall starting with The Blade That Sings.
Ellen Asher edited the Science Fiction Book Club for 34 years 3 months and 20 days, thus achieving her life's ambition of beating John Campbell's record as the person with the longest tenure in the same science fiction job. Now that she has retired, she amuses herself by riding horses, taking ballet classes, traveling (mostly to the UK), and reading only books she actually enjoys. Her hobbies are growing things in flower pots on the window sill and not watching television.
In 2001 she was the recipient of NESFA's Skylark Award, of which she is still inordinately proud. In 2007 she received a World Fantasy Award in the category Special Award: Professional for her work with the SFBC. Shortly thereafter she was made a Fellow of NESFA. In 2009 she received a second World Fantasy Award, this time for Lifetime Achievement. And in April 2009, she became, in a minuscule way, a published author with a short essay in Nebula Awards Showcase 2009, edited by Ellen Datlow.
John Ashmead has a BA in physics from Harvard, summa cum laude, and a masters in physics from Princeton. For several years he was an assistant editor for Asimov's SF Magazine.
Since then he has worked as a software and database developer, working in the medical, legal, advertising, financial, scientific, and other areas, with clients ranging from a perinatal laboratory to a cemetery (his company slogan is cradle to grave programming). He currently supports a leading optical switch manufacturer (your web pages & email travel over switches he helped build).
John has stayed part of the science fiction community. He has given talks at NASA, and at Philcon, Balticon, Capclave, and other science fiction conventions on Time Travel, Invisibility, Star Gates, Parallel Universes, and related topics. Recently he co-edited (with Darrell Schweitzer) Tales from the Miskatonic University: what evils lurk in the dark reaches of the Dewey Decimal System?
And he is also finishing up a Ph.D. dissertation in physics, Time Dispersion in Quantum Mechanics. He presented this at the 2018 conference of the IARD (International Association for Relativistic Dynamics). His web site is www.timeandquantummechanics.com. His lifetime goal is to build a really practical time machine.
Lisa Ashton is a SF/Fantasy/Historical costumer living in Harpers Ferry, WV. At Philcon 2010 she and Sandy Swank won BIS with "The Letter", a re-creation of the famous Civil War letter written by Sullivan Ballou to his wife Sarah early in the war. She has also done a humorous but historically accurate re-creation of Lizzie Borden. In the past year she was part of "Mystic Legacy", winning BIS at Balticon, as well as "Midnight in Manhattan", and "1825 Fur Trapper Mountain Man" winning Overall Best in Master Class, both at CC37 in Danvers, Mass. She had her first solo gallery show in October of 2018 in Charles Town, WV.
She founded Miss Lizzy's Traveling Historical Fashion Show, and collects antique photographs and tintypes, as well as authentic garments and material culture from the Victorian era.
She is a Physician Assistant in mundane life, and is actively quilting and beading. She has two adult children, Tommy and Celia, and now a grandson, Jonathon.
Eric Avedissian is an award-winning journalist and writer with a penchant for the weird, macabre, and fantastic. His published works include the science fiction/pulp roleplaying game Ravaged Earth and short stories in Aphotic Realm and Outposts of Beyond. His novella Gargoyles & Absinthe will be published in 2020 by Aurelia Leo. He lives in New Jersey where his hobbies include reading, hiking the pinelands, and battling writer's block.
David M. Axler
Dave Axler is a long-time convention fan who's been a Philcon regular since the early seventies, when he came to his first Philcon to interview GoH John Brunner for local radio station WXPN. In the years since then, he has written an M.A. thesis entitled "'Fandom Is A Way of Life': A Folkloristic Ethnography of Science Fiction Fandom;" designed the weather system for TSR's "Greyhawk" campaign; arranged for Frank Herbert to be a speaker at Philadelphia's first Earth Day celebration; ushered at six Hugo Awards Ceremonies; served as DJ for three consecutive Disclave "Senior Prom" dances; was awarded the coveted "Stud Muffin" ribbon by the 1996 Los Angeles Worldcon Committee; and is known as "Lord DaveAx" in the Brotherhood Without Banners. In so-called real life, he is a retired bit-herder; a collector of books, music, and art; a member of the Zipper Club; and an avid oenophile. He also hosts the infamous annual "Alphabetical Hallowe'en Party."
Charles Barouch has been writing professionally as a journalist since the late 80's. He's also a fiction writer, a technologist, and a professional editor. You can find his available works at: http://hdwp.com/r/cdb/
Jim Beall (BS-Math, MBA, PE) has been a nuclear engineer for over 40 years, a war gamer for over 50, and an avid reader of science fiction for even longer. His experience in nuclear engineering and power systems began as a naval officer, shortly after surviving one of Admiral Rickover’s infamous interviews, aboard USS Long Beach (CGN-9). Assignments at the USNRC include reactor inspector, inspection team leader, safety analyst, and reactor policy assistant to three different Presidential-appointed different USNRC Commissioners while earning the agency’s Meritorious and Distinguished Service awards.
Coauthor of Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (JBIS) paper, "Ecological Engineering Considerations for ISU's Worldship Project." Baen Books (baen.com) has published eight of his non-fiction articles.
Alan F. Beck has been an artist, designer and illustrator for over 30 years doing work for many major corporations including book covers and magazine illustrations. His work has been exhibited in art shows and Science Fiction/Fantasy conventions all across the country. He has won numerous awards and honors including two Chesley award nominations and a HUGO award nomination, and received a "Body of Work" Award at LA Con IV WorldCon Art Show, Anaheim, CA. Alan's work tends to be realistic and surrealistic in nature, often whimsical and humorous. His paintings and prints can be found in collections in the US, Canada and Europe. He has recently published a children's book "The Adventures of Nogard and Jackpot" and is creator of the "Mouseopolitan Museum of Art". His artwork and concepts are produced using acrylics, watercolor, pastels, 3-D modeling and image manipulation programs. His art can be found in Space and Time magazine, The Fantasy Art Bible, assorted e-zines and various book covers.
Chris is a professional digital marketer who has been active in fandom since 1984. He has sat on panels related to tabletop RPGs, anime and digital marketing at Metatopia, Lunacon and other events. He ran the Lunacon anime program from 2010 to 2012 and in 2014. He is a Pathfinder Society Venture Agent and will be running society gaming this year at Philcon! Chris is the social media manager for Kerberos Games.
Panel Geeks consists of two Philadelphia-area sisters/the co-founders of Nijicon(The convention that bridges the gap between yaoi fans and the LGBTQ+ community).
This dynamic duo LOVES all things geeky and have decided to take their talents hosting panels on the road. Panel Geeks focuses on adding diversity programming to any convention, club, geeky event while maintaining the fun and engagement. They also create fun games and trivia to discuss serious issues as well as seriously geek-out over their favorite series. So, whether you want to add panels about characters/creators of color, discussions about LGBTQ+ representation, or simply need an Inuyasha fan panel, they are your PANEL GEEKS!
Earl was a product engineer on devices for the blind and deafblind individuals for 26 years. He is currently working on production and q.c. test for Data Display Systems, a producer of point-of-sales systems and in-store advertising devices and systems. As lead technician he participates in the production side of operations. At present he is president of The Philadelphia Space Alliance which incorporates a number of organizations whose members support our societies’ expansion into, and exploration of, Space. We participated in The Science Carnival (part of the Science Festival) in Philadelphia in May. On July 20 we did the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing at the Franklin Institute! We may have an international Space Week event in October, but the V.P., Mitch Gordon is still working on it. After that event we're at Philcon!
Matt Black is a fan, just like you, except that he is a glutton for punishment. His love of Star Trek led to managing regional fan clubs and planning national fandom events. His love of Star Wars led to film school and running conventions with Galactic Entertainment. Matt's latest love, that for the space western Firefly/Serenity, has immersed him in the Browncoat (Firefly fan) community. As a member of the Pennsylvania Browncoats (www.pabrowncoats.com), he has organized several "shindigs" including a Bedlam Bards concert, multiple Serenity charity screenings for Equality Now, the 2007 Browncoat Ball in Philadelphia, PA, the 2017 Browncoat Ball in Gettysburg, PA, and the 2019 Browncoat Ball in Las Vegas, NV. When it comes to organizing fandom events, Matt Black is a repeat offender. We repeat, he will offend again.
Convinced they were born a nerd, Zee has worn many hats in their time as a lover of all things fandom. Emulating J.R.R Tolkien himself and creating their own language in high school. Having done professional blogging, and after 12 years of cosplaying in the Steampunk and Pop Culture scenes, they’ve experienced much of what fandom has to offer, for better and worse. They’ve been a shop-assistant and sales rep for Gartisan Works, a steampunk props and accessories company, and had a brief yet formative period writing for Feminerdity, a site focused on feminine struggles and impact in pop culture. Over the past three years of working with Steam-Funk Studios, they've moved from the core writing pool to Senior Staff, greatly expanding The Living MultiVerse's fictional canon whilst significantly contributing to the academic content of The Unconventional's studies in 'Fanthropology.'
Marilyn 'Mattie' Brahen
Marilyn "Mattie" Brahen has published fiction in magazines and anthologies in America and Great Britain. Her 2003 first novel, CLAIMING HER, and its 2009 sequel, REFORMING HELL, received good reviews. A third mystery novel, BABY BOY BLUE, was published in 2011 and resold to Linford Mystery Library in Great Britain in 2014. Mattie has had reviews in the New York Review of Science Fiction, and essays in the NEIL GAIMAN READER. She also enjoys photography, art and is a singer-songwriter-guitarist. Her first collection of her short stories is being published, and will be available hopefully in time for Philcon. She lives with her husband, editor and author Darrell Schweitzer, and their two cats, Tolkien and Lillyput, in Northeast Philadelphia.
a jack of all trades, and master of some. A graduate from Loyola University Maryland, where he studied Psychology, he is a scientist of the mind. An avid gamer & roleplayer, Zach has taken that passion to the realm of Professional Wrestling, combining his creativity & martial arts experience, under the nom de guerre “Zachary Snow”. Last but not least, he’s the featured lyricist in the Hip Hop duo, “Cloudwalker”.
He rounds out the Steam-Funk Studios cast of performers, in addition to his audio production duties behind the organized Roundtables for The Unconventional. He was also a playtester for SFS’ multiplatform fiction, The Living Multiverse, and a model for the same, for years.
Brandon Budda is a Philadelphia local podcast host and science fiction aficionado. He has a background in English and Philosophy. He is co-founder of Claytemple media and co-host of the Gene Wolfe Literary Podcast and Eldersign: A Weird Fiction Podcast. . Brandon is also a veteran of the U.S. Army. When he’s not reading for the podcast, Brandon spends his time writing and watching British detective shows. You can find Brandon on Twitter at @bebudda.
From a distant galaxy 573 years ago came Willard. He is a loyal follower of the Kyle. Willard is Children Driving Robots' expert on Doctor Who, Star Trek and he has hundreds of anime in his home. He shares this home with the lovely Jazz, their cats and their comic book collection. Willard also enjoys classic horror movies and saying inappropriate things. Come join him at Children Driving Robots panels.
Stephanie Burke, known to friends and readers as Flash, has a warped sense of humor and she isn't afraid to let it show. From pregnant men to six-foot cockroaches, she's covered the of the weird, the unusual, and the just plain strange. Stephanie is the co-founder of the charity organization Write 4 Hope where she is hoping to help make a difference, not just talk about it...though talking is what she does best. Visit her website at www.theflashcat.net and be sure to join Flash's Flame Keeper loop at Yahoo Groups -- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FlameKeeper/join. or her facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TheFlashCat
Tobias Cabral is a clinical psychologist, whose private practice (Serenity Psychology Services) is located in Langhorne, PA. He completed his undergraduate work at New York University and his Doctoral studies at Widener University's Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology.
A lifetime fan of Speculative Fiction as well as an aviation and space enthusiast, Dr Cabral has endeavored to incorporate these interests into his practice. He strives to create a "fan-friendly" environment for clients who may be accustomed to the negative judgments and misunderstandings of 'mundanes,' and so to help them harness the boundless imagination and hope and creativity of thought which SF embodies.
Dr. Cabral is the author of the Hard SF space exploration novella, "Night Music," as well as the short story "A Night's Work," available on the Kindle and Nook platforms.
Dr. Cabral has also teamed up with old friend and fellow psychologist, Joe Cautilli, and several other scribes (including Joe's daughter and writing partner, with whom he published the "Zombies Vs. Robots" series) on a number of linked, world-sharing Cyberpunk stories, novellas, and novels. In August, 2018, the Post-Cyberpunk detective novella, "Mechanical Error" became his first (other than self-) published work of fiction.
James L. Cambias
James Cambias was born and raised in New Orleans. He studied the History of Science at the University of Chicago. He worked briefly for two book publishers, but has been a full-time writer since 1991. His published work includes more than a dozen roleplaying supplements, and 16 short stories -- mostly in F&SF or anthologies. His first novel A Darkling Sea was published by Tor in 2014. His most recent novel is Arkad's World, from Baen Books, and his fantasy-noir novel The Intiate will appear in February 2020. He lives in western Massachusetts, where he writes, plays roleplaying games, and cooks. Since 2004 Mr. Cambias has been a partner in Zygote Games, a company specializing in science-based card and board games. As with most writers, the most interesting things in his life happen inside his head.
Fantasy / SF fan and gamer for over thirty years, IT professional, and military veteran. Major interests are swords & sorcery, sword & planet, space opera, military sci fi, dystopian sci fi, Lovecraftian horror, and the intersections between literature, film, TV and gaming in fantasy and science fiction.
Creative writer, editor, videographer, and Assistant Troupe Manager for Steam-Funk Studios. Introduced to Tolkien by her father and classic science fiction shows by her grandfather, Ms. Capecea’s family has always cultivated her vivid imagination. That being her most valued asset, she has funneled it into creative writing and costume production. Passionate for fashion design with nerdy flair, Courtney creates wearables based on anime, music, and movies. Courtney is currently working on a series of urban fantasy short stories, while developing her photography and videography skills, as half of Steam-Funk Studios’ in-house film crew. Having begun writing with the company in August, 2016, then being promoted to editorial staff, she has contributed phenomenally to both their in-house fiction development for The Living MultiVerse, as well as to the pool of assets for the pending magazine, The Unconventional.
D.L. Carter was decanted from her incubation pod in the outback of Australia many decades ago. This terrifying event was closely followed by shrieks of "there, there it goes. Hit it with a brick!" These valiant attempts to correct the existence of D.L. were, unfortunately, unsuccessful and she now resides in New Jersey, US., in a box with her toys, two human beings and three cats. Amazon Bestselling author of Regency and Paranormal novels including Ridiculous and is author of The Changing Magic series and soon to come World Wide Witches Research Association and Pinochle Club trilogy.
Jeffrey A. Carver
Jeffrey A. Carver is the author of eighteen science fiction novels, including—just published!— The Reefs of Time and Crucible of Time. With this two-part novel, Carver returns to his signature series, The Chaos Chronicles. Equally popular are his Star Rigger stories, including the Nebula-finalist Eternity’s End—and Battlestar Galactica, a novelization of the critically acclaimed miniseries. His work takes him to the borderland of hard SF and space opera; his greatest love remains character, story, and a healthy sense of wonder.
Carver is a member of SFWA, and the highly regarded author cooperative Book View Café. He has taught writing in many settings, from educational television to Odyssey to MIT to his own workshops. Visit Carver and his blog at starrigger.net, or his free guide for aspiring authors of all ages at writesf.com.
A native of Huron, Ohio, he lives with his family in the Boston area.
Laura is the Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Mini Maker Faire (philly.makerfaire.com) and an artist. Her prints, photographs, and bookbinding work can be found at https://laurachenault.com
Vikki Ciaffone has been reading and writing since a freakishly young age. She is a freelance editor and writer, and has worked for Spencer Hill Press. She knows a little bit about an astonishing number of largely irrelevant things. In her spare time, she plays craps with the Fates and the Norns for shiny but useless trinkets.
Neil Clarke (neil-clarke.com) is the editor of the Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning Clarkesworld Magazine and several anthologies, including the Best Science Fiction of the Year series. He has been a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Editor (Short Form) seven times, won the Chesley Award for Best Art Director three times, and received the Solstice Award from SFWA in 2019. He currently lives in NJ with his wife and two sons.
By day, Gil works as a data scientist at DuPont, working not only with big data, but AR/VR, and other emerging technologies. By night, he works as an event promoter and DJ, both with his own company, Storykeeper Events, and as a coproducer of the Philadelphia Renaissance Faire. He is also known as “The Original Philly Jesus”.
Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space opera, Crossline, the zany SF/F backpacking comedy series Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, editor of the SF anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem, and co-author of Murder in Montague Falls, all with Crazy 8 Press.
Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself.
Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, Altered States of the Union, Camelot 13, TV Gods 2, They Keep Killing Glenn, Brave New Girls, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, and Footprints in the Stars.
For more on Russ and his books, visit russcolchamiro.com, follow him as @AuthorDudeRuss, and 'like' his Facebook author page. Russ encourages you to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Russ is repped by The Zack Company.
Byron Connell likes to help run masquerades rather than entering them. Entering once a decade is about right! Since being part of the Torcon III best-in-show entry, when he enters, he does so in the Master division. He is a member of the Sick Pups (NJ-NY Costumers Guild), the Armed Costumers Guild, and the SLUTs (St. Louis Ubiquitous Tailoring Society), making him an Armed SLUT Puppy! Byron is a past International Costumers Guild President, which honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a founder and past president of LASTSFA (Latham, Albany, Schenectady, Troy Science Fiction Association). He likes hard SF, alternate history, alternate worlds, and fantasy. He was Archon 25 Costuming Guest of Honor, Albacon 2005 co-Fan Guest of Honor, and Lunacon 2006 Fan Guest of Honor. Byron has run masquerades at Costume-Cons and ran the Philcon masquerade for three years. He directed the masquerades at Anticipation and Chicon 7. He was chair of Albacon 2016.
A graduate of Hunter College and LSE, Hakira uses her background in history and political science to analyse all sorts of popular culture phenomena. She taught herself Elvish when she was bored in high school, but has since forgotten much of it. You can usually find her talking about social issues in steampunk, the historical context behind the Lord of the Rings, the importance of fan fiction in exploring literature, and how amazing cookies taste. She lives in New York.
Todd Dashoff started in Fandom in 1974 and hasn't looked back. He has held numerous offices in the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and chaired three Philcons, as well as the 2001 World Science Fiction Convention (The Millennium Philcon). He understands that these conventions feature something called "programming", but he regards that as a myth, having never be able to see any at the conventions he has attended/worked.
Entertainment journalist and author Randee Dawn is based in Brooklyn, but has never said “fugghedaboudit.” Her articles can be found in Variety, The Los Angeles Times and Emmy Magazine. Her darker, sometimes funnier fiction has been published in anthologies including Children of a Different Sky; Where We May Wag and Magic for Beginners, and in the podcast Well-Told Tales. She is the co-author of The Law & Order: SVU Unofficial Companion and the co-editor of the forthcoming speculative fiction anthology about The Beatles, Across the Universe. More at randeedawn.com.
Julie Ann Dawson
Julie Ann Dawson is an author, editor, publisher, RPG designer, and advocate for writers who may occasionally require the services of someone with access to Force Lightning (and in case it was not obvious, a bit of a geek).
In 2002 she started her own publishing company, Bards and Sages. The company produces both speculative fiction and roleplaying games.
In 2009, she launched the Bards and Sages Quarterly, a literary journal of speculative fiction. Since 2012, she has served as a judge for the IBPA's Benjamin Franklin Awards.
Ef Deal publishes fantasy, SF, and horror, mostly in small doses. Her work has been published in Eternity Online, The Fortean Bureau, Flashshots: Daily Genre Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Silver Blade Magazine.
Keith R.A. DeCandido
Keith R.A. DeCandido has been writing fiction for 25 years now, including more than 50 novels, and a ton of short fiction and comics, both in licensed universes from Alien to Zorro and in his own worlds in the fictional cities of Cliff's End and Super City and the somewhat real locales of New York and Key West. He also writes about pop culture for Tor.com. Learn more online at DeCandido.net.
With four Nebula Awards and two Hugo Awards behind him, Samuel R. Delany became a Grandmaster of Science Fiction in 2014.
His novels include BABEL-17, THE EINSTEIN INTERSECTION, NOVA, DHALGREN, STARS IN MY POCKET LIKE GRAINS OF SAND, the four-volume Return to Nevèrÿon, and his most recent SF novel, THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE NEST OF SPIDERS. DARK REFLECTIONS won him the 2008 Stonewall Book Award. A year before, he was the subject of a documentary, The Polymath. He is the editor of THE MAGIC: TEN TALES BY ROGER ZELAZNY. LETTERS FROM AMHERST has just appeared, as has VOYAGE, ORESTES! A SURVIVING NOVEL FRAGMENT. Two new nonfiction volumes will come out next year. You’ll find all this on his website: https://www.samueldelany.com
All of his friends call him Chip, and you should, too. He lives in Philadelphia with his life-partner, Dennis Rickett.
Jonathan Dinman earned his AB degree in Philosophy from Oberlin College, and his Ph.D. in Immunology and Infectious Diseases from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. After a post-doc at the National Institutes of Health, he started his laboratory at the Rutgers Medical School, and moved to the University of Maryland, where hs is currently a Professor at- and Chair of- the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics. He has authored over 100 peer reviewed research papers, is on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Nucleic Acids Research, and is a permanent member of the NIH MGA Study Section.
Barna William Donovan
Barna William Donovan is a professor of communication and media studies at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, New Jersey. His first novel, CONFIRMATION: INVESTIGATIONS OF THE UNEXPLAINED, was published by World Castle Publishing in July 2018. He is also the author of three nonfiction books on film and audiences. His commentaries on conspiracy theories, film, television, science fiction, and popular culture has been quoted in media like Forbes, Variety, the BBC, The Daily Journalist, Yahoo News, LiveScience, MSNBC, CBS News, and he has been a guest on TV programs like “Science and U,” “Fresh Outlook,” and “One on One With Steve Adubato” and he has been interviewed about films on “The Projection Booth Podcast.”
Ty Drago is the author of the critically acclaimed UNDERTAKERS series for middle grade. The first book, RISE OF THE CORPSES, has been adapted for the big screen by Jeffrey Reddick of FINAL DESTINATION FAME.
His latest book, a steampunk superhero novel title TORQ was released through Sparrow's End Publishing in October, 2018.
Ty's short stories have appeared in numerous publications, both print and online, including SPACE AND TIME, HAUNTS, AFTER HOURS, PANDORA and MIDNIGHT ZOO. He was also honored to be the Grand Master in Fortress Publishing's anthology YESTERDAY, I WILL. On the novel front, his first SF/Mystery, PHOBOS, was published by Tor Books in 2004.
For nearly twenty years, Ty has also been the editor/publisher of ALLEGORY (www.allegoryezine.com), one of the premier online paying markets for online SF, Fantasy and Horror.
He makes his home in Cherry Hill, NJ, with his wife Helene.
Oz Drummond writes linked short stories in science fiction and fantasy universes. She has been in Analog and reprinted in Russian by IF. She's also the Comptroller for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).
Bruce has been a long time gamer and an SFF reader for even longer. His writing career has actually achieved negative time flow.
Gary Ehrlich stalks the hallways of Northeast conventions and assorted filk conventions. In mundania he is a mild-mannered structural engineer for a major trade association, representing them on material design standards committees and at building code hearings. Gary is a three-time chair of Conterpoint, the DC area's incarnation of NEFilk, the Floating Northeast Filk Con, has filled other roles for Conterpoint and for 1997's Second Concerto, and is currently Balticon's Director of Filk and Other Musical Mayhem. In April 2012 Gary was inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame for his contributions to the filk community.
Gary appears on five collections of convention recordings: "How Many of them Can We Make Die?" (Conterpoint '96), "The Filk Was Great..." (Conterpoint '00), and "Millennium Pandemonium, Volume 1" (MilPhil '01) by Kludge Audio, and USB Productions' "Triskaidekafilkia" (FilKONtario 13) and "Filk Heroes" (FilKOntario 14).
Amy Fass has been filking since before she knew what filk was. Having read science fiction since her age was in the single digits, she went to her first SF convention in 1976, got involved in filk starting around the mid-90s, and has been on filk, science, and costuming programming for the last few years. She plays non-filk music too and performs in the Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, singing and playing recorder and crumhorn. Amy enjoys nonsense (well, the literary kind) and is working on a recitation of The Hunting of the Snark with the voices of all the speaking characters. She is one hell of a good science/medical (and occasionally science fiction) editor, whose home office has a view of the George Washington Bridge.
Overworked fan, voracious reader, I've been reading science fiction from about age 4 (and still own all of the books I've purchased). When I'm not busy working as an attorney, you can often find me working on conventions here and there.
Aaron Feldman is a mechanical engineer, longtime fan, gamer, fic writer, vidder, and amateur post-modernist.
Robert Fenelon walked into a room party at Philcon 1981 and was introduced to the wonderful world of VHS tape trading, Japanese pen-pals and Anime. RF spent the next four decades sharing that experience by writing, editing and publishing about anime, and showing anime at convention video rooms and film programs. And of course, by speaking at panels, like the several here speaking over this weekend. Come check out, we show clips that highlight what we are talking about.
Tony suffers from photophobia caused by prolonged servitude in the Philcon film room, which he had run for over 15 years. He is an avid fan of the science fiction and horror film genres, specializing in British, Asian, and Zombie films. When not watching movies, he can be found behind his camera, where his work has appeared in a such publications as Philadelphia Magazine, CSO, and Die Welt.
Carl Fink has worked for conventions on and off since 1979. He was the founding chair of LI-CON, a convention based on Long Island, in New York. He has also worked for several Worldcons.
In real life he is an Instructional Designer, after periods as a science teacher, programmer, systems administrator, and marketer. Oh, and did he mention the freelance computer journalism? He's currently pursuing a Masters in Learning Technologies.
Katrina S. Forest
Katrina S. Forest is a Clarion West alumna and a member of SFWA. She runs the recently re-launched Urban Fantasy Magazine and released her first middle grade book, My Best Friend Runs Venus, this June. You can learn more about her work at KatrinaSForest.com.
GREGORY FROST is the award-winning author of eight novels (including SHADOWBRIDGE, LORD TOPHET, FITCHER'S BRIDES) and sixty-plus short works of the fantastic, including dark thrillers, historical fantasy and science fiction. His Asimov's collaboration, with Philadelphia author Michael Swanwick, on "Lock Up Your Chickens and Daughters, H'ard and Andy Are Come to Town," won the Asimov's Magazine Readers' Award. He has fiction coming out shortly in the anthology Across the Universe, and in the revived Weird Tales magazine.
Phil Giunta’s novels include the paranormal mysteries Testing the Prisoner, By Your Side, and Like Mother, Like Daughters. His short stories appear in such anthologies as A Plague of Shadows, Beach Nights, Beach Pulp, the ReDeus mythology series, and the Middle of Eternity speculative fiction series, which he created and edited for Firebringer Press. As a member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, Phil also penned stories and essays for Write Here, Write Now, The Write Connections, and Rewriting the Past, three of the group’s annual anthologies.
Phil is currently working on the second draft of a science fiction novel while plotting his triumphant escape from the pressures of corporate America where he has been imprisoned for over twenty-five years. Visit Phil’s website at: www.philgiunta.com.
Marc is an avid Filker, and helps out yearly on Philcon's filk track.
Brian T. Graening-Price
Brian T. Price was hooked on japanese animation at an early age after his exposure to "Battle Of The Planets" in the first grade. But it wasn't until a chance meeting in New York City circa 1987 that he learned about organized anime fandom in the form of the Animation/Fantasy Association.
Within a handful of years Brian became a founding member of the Atlantic Anime Alliance, staffing Chibicon (the east coast's first anime conference) and ANIMEast '94 & '95. In recent years he indoctrinated into public speaking on panel discussions by publisher and fellow anime pundit Robert Fenelon. He now speaks on panels about anime and other sci-fi & fantasy related topics at conventions up and down the East Coast.
John Grant is author of some eighty books, of which about twenty-five are fiction. His "book-length fiction" Dragonhenge, illustrated by Bob Eggleton, was shortlisted for a Hugo Award in 2003; its successor was The Stardragons. His most recent story collection is Tell No Lies (2014).
In nonfiction, he has coedited (with John Clute) The Encyclopedia of Fantasy and written The Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's Animated Characters (three editions) and A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir, the largest encyclopedia of the subject published to date. His loose-knit series begun with Discarded Science and continued with Corrupted Science, Bogus Science and Denying Science has earned much acclaim; an expanded edition of Corrupted Science appeared in spring 2018. Two recent YA nonfiction books are Debunk It! and Eureka!: 50 Scientists who Shaped Human History.
As John Grant he has received two Hugo Awards, the World Fantasy Award, the Locus Award, and various others. Under his real name, Paul Barnett, he has written a few books and for a number of years ran the world-famous fantasy-artbook imprint Paper Tiger, for this work earning a Chesley Award and a World Fantasy Award nomination. He operates the website Noirish.
April Grey's short stories can be found in various anthologies, both in print and on-line. Her collections of short stories, The Fairy Cake Bake Shoppe, and I'll Love You Forever are also available through Amazon. She is the editor of Hell's Garden: Bad, Mad and Ghostly Gardeners; Hell's Grannies: Kickass Tales of the Crone; Hell's Kitties and Other Beastly Beasts; Hell's Bells: 15 Tales of Wicked Tunes, Mad Musicians and Cursed Instruments; Hell's Heart: Twisted Tales of Amour Fou; as well as being a co-editor for New York State of Fright. She is also the author of three urban fantasies: Finding Perdita, Chasing the Trickster and St. Nick's Favor.
She is a member of Broad Universe and HWA.
Marc has been in fandom since the 70's and part of Filk since almost immediately after coming to his first Con. While he waited to the early 80's to write his first filk, he's got a few credits here and there. With his wife, Marc is active in supporting the arts..especially the Art Shows of what conventions he attends.
Marc and his wife are also avid members of the SCA and players of the Traveller RPG. In the mundane world, Marc is a computer geek like sooooo many of you, and those into filk noted he long ago moved his songbook to an IPad.
So say "hi", sit in the filk room and sing along!
Sally Wiener Grotta
Sally Wiener Grotta’s books include The Winter Boy (a Locus Magazine’s 2015 Recommended Read) and Jo Joe (a Jewish Book Council Network book). Her hundreds of stories, columns and essays have appeared in scores of publications. Her far-ranging experiences as a journalist to all corners of the world flavor her tales with a sense of wonder, otherliness and common sense. A popular speaker, Sally has a reputation for stimulating meaningful discussions about creativity, storytelling, and workshops on crossing our current tribal divides. Sally is co-curator of the Galactic Philadelphia author reading series and co-chair of The Authors Guild Philadelphia Chapter. (SallyWienerGrotta.com)
Professional Emcee, Author, Game Developer. Former Wizards of the Coast employee. Entering the realm of fandom from a prior background in Financial Operations and Business Management, he delights in bringing proven expertise to these geeky endeavors. President & CEO of Steam-Funk Studios and founder of the 'Living Multiverse' brand with its six related performance troupes, nationwide. A veteran emcee and keynote speaker at many events across the country, Savan has had a hand in many projects, from Standup Comedy, LARP Production and some RPG products to the launch of the new online magazine, as Editor-in-Chief of a study in 'Fanthropology' dubbed "The Unconventional".
Carol is writer of cyberpunk and horror, as well as the editor of Writerpunk Press, which produces anthologies of cyberpunk, biopunk, steampunk and other punk genre stories. www.punkwriters.com
Elektra Hammond emulates her multi-sided idol Buckaroo Banzai by going in several directions at once. She’s been involved in publishing since the 1990s—now she writes, concocts anthologies & edits science fiction for various and sundry. When not freelancing or appearing at science fiction conventions, she travels the world judging cat shows. Elektra is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and an associate member of SFWA. She lives in Delaware with her husband, Mike, and more than the usual allotment of felines.
You can find her on Facebook (Elektra Hammond), Twitter (elektraUM), LiveJournal (elektra_h), g+ (Elektra Hammond), and building her website at http://www.untilmidnight.com.
Russell J. Handelman
Russell Handelman has written both fiction and nonfiction. He lives next to a swamp in Connecticut.
Author, Poet, and Publisher Michael H. Hanson created the ongoing SHA'DAA shared-world anthology series published by Moondream Press (an imprint of Copper Dog Publishing). In 2017, Michael's short story "C.H.A.D." appeared in the Eric S. Brown edited anthology "C.H.U.D. LIVES!” and his short story "Rock and Road" appears in the recently published Roger Zelazny tribute anthology "SHADOWS AND REFLECTIONS." Michael also has stories in several of Janet Morris's Heroes in Hell (HIH) anthology volumes, and has four collections of poetry published. He has had over 100 of his short stories published in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
Eric Hardenbrook is a fan, an author and an artist, generally in that order but not always. Eric's most recent work is being published in the Defending the Future series from E-spec books. He has been part of the team running the Watch The Skies science fiction and fantasy group and publishing the Watch The Skies fanzine for the past seventeen years. When not working on a project or spending time with his amazing wife and daughter he enjoys the occasional video game or board games and is an old school role player. Find him at The Pretend Blog (www.ehardenbrook.com)
Joseph "Cosplay Joe" Haughey is a musician in the geek performing arts, specializing in songs related to science fiction and anime (Japanese animation). He also does panels ranging from Anime Music Videos and anime opening and closing themes to various sci-fi topics like Back to the Future, and time travel in general.
Glenn Hauman has been called a "young Turk of publishing" by the New York Observer and a "Silicon Alley Veteran" by Crain's New York Business. He has been a featured speaker on the future of publishing at numerous industry trade shows. He's missed out on being an Internet millionaire five times and counting, but hey-- he's not in this for the money, but for the power and prestige. He's currently "The Big Guy" at ComicMix, a partner in Crazy 8 Press (http://www.crazy8press.com), and a winning defendant in the landmark case Seuss v. ComicMix.
His main job nowadays is working for ComicMix Pro Services, which does everything comic creators don't want to deal with or know how to do themselves.
In what's left of his spare time, he enjoys writing for Star Trek and X-Men books, challenging unconstitutional laws in court, banging his head into chandeliers, and writing autobiographies in third person. You can find out more at http://www.glennhauman.com and at ComicMix at http://www.comicmix.com.
Orenthal V. Hawkins is an IT professional and a self-described Super Geek and Ultra Nerd. Or is that Ultra Geek and Super Nerd? Anyway...
He is also adorkable, geektastic & delightfully nerdy. He is also 100% original and not a reboot. From B-movies to anime, from Old Time Radio to the Golden Age of Television, comic books and the film adaptations of same, if it has anything to do with pop culture he has an opinion on it. And as an IT professional for almost 30 years, he's also got a few choice opinions about gadgets and technology.
His essays on widowhood, pop culture and a variety of topics can be found at multimediumrare.com and you can find him on Twitter, he's @odorkable.
Head of the Fiction department at the central branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and is in charge of the Science Fiction and Fantasy section. Lifelong nerd and onetime rabid Star Trek fan.
Brent was raised and educated in the central time zone, but he has been working for the federal government in DC for the last 15 years. He is a fan of speculative fiction in all formats and spends perhaps too much time thinking about tabletop games. He is the co-host of Claytemple Media's Hanging Out With the Dream King: A Neil Gaiman Podcast.
Sara Henya is a Philadelphia based singer-songwriter and harpist whose music has a distinct fantasy feel. Her music branches the mainstream and the fantastic, so you can find Sara and her band playing in bars and music venues just as often as conventions. Philcon is her home con, and she's excited to finally share her music at Philcon after retiring last year from running the registration table for 7 years.
You can find Sara's music on www.sarahenya.com
Lisa Hertel is an artist from a long line of artists. She specializes in clay and watercolors, but dabbles in many other media; her works are often the products of this cross-pollinization. Her recent materials include encaustics (wax painting) and alcohol inks. In her spare time, she helps run science fiction conventions. She has a studio in Haverhill, MA. See her work at www.cogitation.org, or her Instagram Cogitation_Zone.
Karen Heuler’s stories have appeared in over 100 literary and speculative magazines and anthologies, from Conjunctions to Clarkesworld to Weird Tales, as well as a number of Best Of anthologies. She has published five novels and three story collections with university and small presses, and her collection The Inner City was chosen for Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2013 list. Another collection will be published by Tartarus Books this fall. She has received an O. Henry award, been shortlisted for a Pushcart prize, for the Iowa short fiction award, the Bellwether award and the Shirley Jackson award for short fiction. Her stories and books often feature women facing strange circumstances on this world and others. Find her at karenheuler.com, befriend her at /karenheuler on FB, or follow her on Twitter (@karenheuler), which she neglects shamefully. She lives in New York City with a large dog and two codependent cats.
A founding member of the DC-based panel troupe "Winning The War On Pants", James "Shep" Hicks has presented panels on a variety of topics within the anime fandom.
Christopher Hinz is the author of seven novels. "Liege-Killer" won the Compton Crook Award for best first novel and earned a nomination for the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer. A graphic novel adaptation of "Liege-Killer" was published in June. He has written screenplays and scripted comics for DC and Marvel. His latest novel, "Starship Alchemon," will be launched at PhilCon 2019, a few days before it hits stores. "Duchamp Versus Einstein," a novelette co-written with Etan Ilfeld, was published in October.
Marc Histand has been involved in the publishing industry since 2014. Starting as a data entry specialist, and moving through each field in the industry, he’s been given the opportunity to see how every aspect of publishing functions.
Before starting his career in publishing, Marc has managed several large-scale businesses in various other industries and kept the balance of operations and sales running smoothly, while increasing efficiency.
Marc is a Philadelphia native and continues to enjoy the fast-paced, city life but there’s nothing like a good book to take a break from the buzz of the city and really relax and unwind, so he chose to move into publishing to always be around books and the outstanding authors and publishers that bring books to life.
For more information on Marc, feel free to visit and follow him on LinkedIn.
Valerie spends far too much time thinking about grammar and imagining a better future, which explains a lot about her love for Star Trek (as well as her disappointment with Hoshi Sato’s character). After finishing a doctorate in Italian Renaissance Literature at NYU, she turned her attention to two very important causes: podcasting, and attempting to stop Colonel Green from inciting World War III. To help with the latter, she recently completed a Master of Social Work at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Unsurprisingly, she scored very highly in compassion and diplomacy on the Kobayashi Maru.
Valerie is also the co-host of Lower Decks: A Star Trek Discovery Podcast as well as the creative mind behind the Instagram account, Plants in Star Trek.
W. Randy Hoffman
W. Randy Hoffman has been in fandom for 27 years and in filk for 23. He has recorded five albums, the most recent one as part of "Partners in K'RHyme," his duo with the late Kira. Since 1995 he has run the music track at Confluence in Pittsburgh. In Mundania, he edits documentation for business-intelligence software deployed by the U.S. Department of State.
Anastasia has been sewing and costuming since she was 10 years old and started participating in convention since 2006. Anastasia started in recreation costumes and has expanded to original costumes. Anastasia has been participating in Masquerades since she was 14 years old and has been a Master Level costumer for 5 years now. She spends her October working at Haunted Overload and creating costumes for the spooky event.
Heidi Hooper is the dryer lint Lady -- Believe it or Not! Her unusual art is featured in Ripley's Believe it or Not Museums all over the world and in their books. She's also a two time winner of the prestigious Niche award, as has been the Artist Guest of Honor at Albacon and Heliosphere. You may have also recently seen her on ABC TV's "To Tell The Truth" where she showed off her dryer lint art to celebrities like Mel Brooks.
Heidi has a Bachelors in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University and Master's in Metalsmithing from the Massachusetts College of Art. Her work has been seen in many galleries across the country (including A Mano in nearby New Hope) and can be viewed on her web page at www.heidihooper.com.
Heidi has won many costuming awards for her metal armor pieces, including a Best Craftsman award at the Worldcon level. She has been a masquerade judge at Worldcon, Balticon, and Ravencon.
Kirsten is a longtime costumer who enjoys playing with textiles and colors SO MUCH that she went back to college in her forties for fashion design. Her senior collection featured stenciling, dying, bleaching and color removal as well as hand weaving and knitting. She likes combining techniques and considers herself a mixed media textile artists.
Amy Howard Wilson
Best know as the voice of Nova in Seasons 1 & 2 of the one and only "Star Blazers", and Miranda in "The Irresponsible Captain Tylor" OVA. I met my hubby Dave in Atlanta (at a con, of course!) in 1998 and we were married on October 14, 2000. For the last 17 years, we've been living in Virginia, and for the last 12, sharing our home with 5 fab felines.
In 2002, I formed Studio V.O.I.C.E., a family friendly, full service audio recording company. My current project is narrating/producing "Hollins Heir", the first in a trilogy by L.G. Ransom. Please visit my website www.amysvoices.com .
Six years of computer programming started my professional career, followed by 28 years as an intelligence analyst, systems engineer, and program analyst. I’m a vocal Space Exploitation Advocate, read hard-SF whenever I have time, give blood five times a year (199 pints & counting!), run & drink (at the same time!) with Hash House Harrier groups, and judge at several Science Fairs every year. At PhilCon, you’re likely to see me hanging out in my Lunar-kilt if I’m not setting up/tearing down the Art Show or on a science-oriented panel.
Heather E. Hutsell is an authoress of two novellas, twelve novels, and three somewhat disturbing short story collections. Her works cover the spectrum of fantasy and include absurdist fiction, dystopian tales, Steampunk mystery series The Case Files, and vampire and werewolf romantic horror. She has also done script writing for two historical documentaries, is a professional costume designer and seamstress, and is currently pursuing a degree in English.
Muriel Hykes (AKA Dr. Mom) At Philcon, and elsewhere in East Coast fandom, she participates in panels on nutrition, allergies, education, ADHD, learning disabilities, computers, and the future of just about everything (isn't that what SF is really about?) She and her rocket-scientist, filker, pilot husband live on a hilltop just north of Williamsport, PA with two remnants of their seven recombinant DNA experiments.
As Mistress Baroness Scheherazade Al-Zahira, The former co-ruler of the SCA Barony of Bhakail as Scheherazade Jackson she teaches Eastern Belly Dance,Teaching classes on Damascus in the Middle ages, organizes Toys-for-Tots collections,writer of prose, and generally works to create an orderly universe.
Melissa James is a member of Watson's Tin Box, a Maryland-based Sherlock Holmes club. She is also one of The Denebian Slime Devils, a Baltimore-based filk group that's been writing and performing sci-fi, media and pop-culture song parodies since the late 1970's. The group also consists of Regina DeSimone, Cathy Dougherty, Denise Masters, and Kathy Scrimger. Melissa and Kathy were recently profiled in The Fandom Fifty,edited by Diane Lee Baron. The book features people active in Maryland science fiction conventions.
Victoria Janssen reviews for Publishers Weekly. Her most recent novel is The Duke and the Pirate Queen, fantasy erotica from Harlequin (2010). Her major historical research interest is World War One, which is reflected in some of her fiction. Her second novel, The Moonlight Mistress (2009), an erotic historical set during that period.
Janssen has sold over thirty short stories, many of them genre, including stories in Sex in the System (Tan, ed.), So Fey (Berman, ed.), and Periphery (Jamneck, ed.). Her most recent story, "Still Marching," appears in Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year Volume 3. For a full list of her publications, please visit her website at victoriajanssen.com.
Other interests include fanfiction, fan studies, comics, choral singing, and fighting the patriarchy. You can follow her on twitter @victoriajanssen.
Carol Johnson is has an editing and additional design credit in the Ravenloft product Children of the Night: Vampires. She was Production Editor and graphic designer at Hogshead Publishing from 2000-2003, which included SLA Industries, Warhammer Fantasy RPG, Nobilis (GWB), among others. Additionally she contributed written content to Realms of Sorcery. She has freelance credits for editing, writing, and graphic design from 2007 to the present with Pelgrane Press and Design Mechanism. She has a recent writing credit for the LARP, A Grandiose Disaster by NDP Designs.
Leslie Johnston has been costuming since the 1970s, making both fantasy and historical competition and hall costumes. She has won many awards at many masquerades over the years, including at Balticon, BayCon, Costume-Con, Westercon, and Worldcon. She loves to learn new techniques with every costume she builds, and particularly enjoys working with unusual materials.
Ben's interests include Anime, STEM, promoting DIY/Maker culture, and promoting agricultural awareness.
Anna Kashina's writing draws on her diverse backgrounds as a Russian-born scientist, a competitive ballroom dancer, and a fan of martial arts, history, and folklore. She is the author of the award-winning “Majat Code” series featuring adventure fantasy, medieval politics, assassins, and romance. She lives in the US Northeast, where she combines her career in biomedical research and her passion for writing.
Nicholas Kaufmann is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated, Thriller Award-nominated, Shirley Jackson Award-nominated, and Dragon Award-nominated author of nine books in the horror, fantasy, and adventure genres, including CHASING THE DRAGON (ChiZine Publications), DYING IS MY BUSINESS (St. Martin's Press), and the bestselling 100 FATHOMS BELOW with Steven L. Kent (Blackstone Publishing). His short fiction has appeared in CEMETERY DANCE, BLACK STATIC, NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE, INTERZONE, and others. In addition to his own original work, he has written for such properties as ZOMBIES VS. ROBOTS and THE ROCKETEER. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and two ridiculous cats.
Living Historian, Co-Owner of Big Bear Trading Company, Troupe Manager for Steam-Funk Studios, and Office Manager at The Nerdy Duo Productions. Recruited in April of 2013, Ms.Kennedy is a veteran performance director for Steam-Funk Studios, having co-written and produced portions of the firm's stable of content at events spanning the continental United States. As a Historian, Ms. Kennedy has taught adults and children alike to find Inspiration and wonder in the Events of the past, as well as lending her insights for content for The Unconventiona and many aspects of The Living MultiVerse.
William costumes at the Master Level and has been a member of the costuming community for a life time and did not officially begin costuming until 2010. When William is not costuming he is a Clinical out Reach Social worker working with at risk youth and young adults. William also owns a private business Full Mooon Creations where he specializes in pagan altar cloths and Embroidered Wonderment.
Daniel M. Kimmel is the 2018 recipient of the Skylark Award from the New England Science Ficion Association. A veteran film critic, he was a Hugo finalist for "Jar Jar Binks Must Die." He is the author of a number of short stories, as well as Compton Crook finalist for "Shh! It's a Secret." His latest novel is "Father of the Bride of Frankenstein."
Kim Kindya is a freelance editor, writer, and content manager. She currently has been doing editing work for manga publisher Seven Seas Entertainment. She has also worked at the SoHo ArtHouse digital art gallery in New York City, where she organized the successful AniMiniCon SoHo anime convention for 3 years. She has been a producer at Simon and Schuster Interactive on various digital products, such as the "The Star Trek Encyclopedia," "Farscape: The Game," and the original game "Darkened Skye." She has reviewed SF and fantasy bookw for Publishers Weekly and has had published X-Men short stories, a Powerpuff Girls "Choose-Your-Own-Adventure" book for kids, and Looney Tunes books for Scholastic. She is a Master-level costumer and has competed at Philcon, Lunacon, WorldCon and Costume-Con.
30 years ago at Philcon 1980 - Tess Kissinger met Bob Walters, and the rest, as they say, is history. Actually, paleontology. Tess and Bob are two of the most famous dinosaur artists in the world. Recently they were chosen by the US National Park Service to paint the 80 foot long mural at Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado. They continue working for Dinosaur National Monument creating mini-murals of the life in the various formations at the Monument as it formerly existed. They also have a very popular family dinosaur book "Discovering Dinosaurs" available in Barnes
Judge Drunk sure is a panelist with Children Driving Robots, and when you go to a Children Driving Robots panel, stonks.jpg
Anastasia Klimchynskaya is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge at the University of Chicago. Her current book project focuses on articulating how the new technoscientific paradigm brought about by industrialization gave rise to the literary form of science fiction. She has presented on science fiction, AI, Star Trek, fandom history, and transmedia storytelling at various conferences and conventions, including Star Trek: Mission NYC, Escape Velocity, and Science in Public, and recently taught a course titled "Living in a Science Fiction World," which used sci-fi to tackle contemporary sociopolitical, legal, and technological issues. She has been on the Philcon programming committee since 2015, and is currently Deputy Head of Programming.
Brian Koscienski is one half of Fortress Publishing, Inc. Fortress is an unholy dichotomy between the blistering writing style of Brian, who resembles Sasquatch with mange, and the dynamic gothic world of Chris Pisano, the last known Cro-Magnon man. When angry villagers wield-ing torches and pitchforks aren't chasing them, Brian and Chris make the world a better place through stories, comics, novels, magazines, and even bawdy haiku. Feel free to ask them about their novels "The Shattered Visage Lies" published by Post Mortem Press and "The Devil's Grasp" published by Sunbury Press.
Diane Kovalcin is a long-time costumer, competing in both Science Fiction and Historical masquerades, a quilter and fan fiction writer. She also loves Star Wars and the BBC tv show Merlin - just ask her (or better yet, don't ask as she won't shut up about it).
Laura was born into a nerdy family, and was cursed at her birth to forever love fandom, costumes, and shiny things. The curse still holds true to this day.
Dr. Lawrence Kramer has had a lifelong interest in science, sparked at a young age by avidly reading science fiction. He worked in the pharmaceutical industry followed by a career as a programmer analyst for a Fortune 500 financial company. However, the lure of science was too great to resist, and Larry went back to school and earned his PhD at Rutgers University where he taught genetics and published original research looking at proteins involved in allowing synapses to become stronger or weaker. He has also taught at Drew University, and currently loves teaching and mentoring students in biology courses at Raritan Valley, a nationally recognized community college in NJ. A frequent guest at science fiction conventions, he has spoken on topics including scientific accuracy in fiction, science education, gene testing, genetic engineering, ethics/trends in biology, antibiotic resistant bacterial strains, and occasionally on some of his favorite books and media.
Chris is a sci-fi author best known for the kid's novel The Intergalactic Adventures of the Rainy River Bees. The sequel, Revenge on the Rainy River Bees! comes out November 2019. He's also designed & published multiple board games as co-owner of Masquerade Games.
By day, Chris is a career railroader, voracious reader, and occasional plucker of banjos. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, daughter, and two cats. Learn more about him at chriskreuter.com or RainyRiverBees.com
Mandah K. Law
Mandah is a local Philadelphia multi-talented artist. She is known for her artwork, special effects makeup, costuming, motivational paneling and voiceover.
She has been bringing informative and funny interactive panels to east coast conventions focusing on voice acting, FX makeup, costuming, and creative inspiration. When she's not entertaining you on a panel, she's entertaining you on stage in theatre performances, on set applying gore makeup or in the artist alley at various conventions.
Some of her favorite things include video games, comic books (Marvel, DC, Image), anime, stuffed alpacas, sushi and jokes. Is a huge fan of the Fallout video game series, a lover of Jim Henson's fabrication work and a huge horror movie fan.
Diane Arrelle, the pen name of South Jersey writer Dina Leacock, has sold more than 250 short stories and has three published books including Just A Drop In The Cup, a collection of short-short stories and her newest collection of horror stories, Seasons On The Dark Side, .
She is proud to be one of the founding members as well as the second president of the Garden State Horror Writers and is currently on the board of the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference.
Retired from being director of a municipal senior citizen center, she is co-owner a small publishing company, Jersey Pines Ink LLC. She resides with her husband and her new cat on the edge of the Pine Barrens (home of the Jersey Devil).
Linda J. Lee
Linda J. Lee is the Director of Instructional Design at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she helps faculty use technology in their courses. She also teaches online and face-to-face Folklore courses for Penn’s School of Liberal and Professional Studies, including Introduction to Folklore, American Folklore, Fairy Tales, and Folklore & the Supernatural.
Evelyn Leeper became addicted to science fiction with THE WONDERFUL FLIGHT TO THE MUSHROOM PLANET. She discovered fandom when then-future husband Mark signed her up for the UMass SF Society in 1968. In 1978 they founded the Bell Labs SF Club and their own (soon) weekly fanzine, which has gone through several title changes until it settled down as the MT VOID (pronounced "Empty Void") which has just published issue #2092! She has been nominated for the Hugo for Best Fan Writer twelve times for her convention reports, travelogues, and book reviews, and was a judge for the Sidewise Awards for alternate history from 1995 to 2014.
Paul Levinson, PhD, is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in NYC. His science fiction novels include The Consciousness Plague, The Pixel Eye, and the Sierra Water trilogy: The Plot To Save Socrates, Unburning Alexandria, and Chronica. His stories and novels have been nominated for Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, Edgar, Prometheus, and Audie Awards.
His nonfiction books, including McLuhan in an Age of Social Media, Fake News in Real Context, and Cyber War and Peace, have been translated into twelve languages. He co-edited Touching the Face of the Cosmos: On the Intersection of Space Travel and Religion in 2016. He appears on numerous TV and radio programs, and his 1972 LP, Twice Upon a Rhyme, was re-issued in 2010. He was President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, 1998-2001. He reviews television in his InfiniteRegress.tv blog, and was listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education's "Top 10 Academic Twitterers" in 2009.
Andre Lieven has been involved with SF conventions for [mumbly, mumbly]years and still loves it as much as in the beginning. His interests start with hard SF from Asimov and Clarke and range out to his old childhood favourites of Star Trek and Thunderbirds. All that lead to connecting with his interests in political science, history, military and aerospace technology and policy, and space flight. He has participated in working in most parts of SF conventions and speaks on panels at various conventions with Worldcon included on both points.
Gordon Linzner is the author of three published novels and dozens of short stories, former publisher and editor in chief of the oldest extant small press science fiction magazine, SPACE AND TIME. He is also a copy editor, New York City tour guide, story teller, sound technician, and front man for the Saboteur Tiger blues/oldies band. His most recent stories appear in the anthologies Footprints in the Stars, The Mountains of Madness Revealed, and the forthcoming Across the Universe.
Stephanie Lucas is a lifelong fan of speculative fiction, gaming, and most things geeky.
Raised by wolves in the wilds of New Jersey, Bryan never grew up. Crawling out of the wilds, he was forced to drive a robot against his will. Now, he attends conventions and talks about video games. Sometimes he even plays them!
Lynati is a freelance writer, artist, costumer, and event organizer in the Philadelphia area who is currently serving a fifth year as the head of Philcon's programming division. Ask not for whom the eels toll.
A classically trained musician, music producer, writer, philosopher, and philanthropist. Ms. Lynch is a skilled tradesperson and electrician during the week. On weekends, she’s an accomplished cosplayer and public speaker. Kyla can be found as "TheChozoBard" on Facebook and Instagram. A proud member of the Red Fork Empire artistic fraternity for years, Ms. Lynch has been a writer for Steam-Funk Studios since May of 2018. During this time, she has contributed worthy segments to both The Living MultiVerse, and The Unconventional.
Mark Mandel has been a fan all his life and an active filker since the early nineties. His filk nickname would be "The Filker with No Nickname", if anyone besides him used it. At cons and other fannish events he is often accompanied by his familiar, a small red-and-white dragon named Loiosh. In the mundane world he is a linguist (language scientist), retired from the University of Pennsylvania. He has lived in Philadelphia since 2002, after 20 years in the Boston area. As a linguist in fandom he sometimes calls himself "Dr. Whom: Consulting Linguist, Grammarian, Orthoëpist, and Philological Busybody".
Part of Doomtastic, a panel group dedicated to making fun and positive spaces for fan discussions, they’re always up for a conversation about anime, manga, science-fiction, comics or fantasy (depending on who you grab)- but be warned you may be lucky to get away with your eardrums intact.
Sara is a Philadelphia local with an infatuation for scifi literature. Specializing in social media marketing for self published authors, she brings a unique view to marketing your book and reaching new audiences.
I'm a long time fan of SF/F, and my first convention was Philcon 1968. I've been reading the genre for over 50 years. Professionally, I've been a graphic designer, structural and ornamental metal worker, museum exhibit builder/maintainer, solar energy analyst, jr. financial analyst, and systems, network and telecom administrator. I tell people I'm still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. In fandom, I've worked on cons for over 40 years, and have done most jobs including Chair. I normally do Publications or deal with the hotel, and often both at once. I'm currently Philcon's Hotel Liaison.
G.L. McDorman writes horror and fantasy, and is lucky to have already achieved his life's ambition of having his name appear next to H.P. Lovecraft in a table of contents. Several of Glenn's speculative-fiction short stories and novellas will be published in 2019, and he is hard at work on a fantasy novel exploring a colonial North America that might have been. Glenn is also an avid fan of speculative fiction, and he hosts a number of SF podcasts: Elder Sign: A Weird Fiction Podcast; The Gene Wolfe Literary Podcast; Hanging Out With the Dream King: A Neil Gaiman Podcast; and Lower Decks, a Star Trek podcast.
Gary McGath is a software engineer, a filker, and the author of Tomorrow's Songs Today: The History of Filk Music.
Jon McGoran is the author of Spliced, a near-future YA science fiction thriller from Holiday House Books that Kirkus calls, “Timely, thrilling, and more than a little scary.” He is currently working on books 2 and 3 in the series. He is also the author of the acclaimed ecological thrillers Drift, Deadout, and Dust Up, from Tor/Forge Books, and The Dead Ring, based on the hit TV show, The Blacklist. Writing as D. H. Dublin, he is the author of the forensic thrillers Body Trace, Blood Poison and Freezer Burn, from Penguin Books. When not writing fiction he works as a freelance writer, editor, and story consultant. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and a founding member of the Philadelphia Liars Club, as well as cohost of The Liars Club Oddcast. Find him at on Twitter at @JonMcGoran, at facebook.com/jonmcgoran/ or at www.jonmcgoran.com.
Author and graphic artist Mike McPhail is member of the Military Writers Society of America. He is dedicated to helping his fellow service members (and deserving civilians) in their efforts to become authors, as well as supporting related organization in their efforts to help those "who have given their all for us." www.milscifi.com
He is best known as the editor and illustrator of the award-winning Defending The Future (DTF) series of military science fiction anthologies. www.defendingthefuture.com
In 2015 he added the title of publisher to his character sheet as co-owner of eSpec Books LLC.
Dr. Valerie J. Mikles
Dr. Valerie J. Mikles is a PhD astronomer who defected from academia to work on weather satellites for NOAA. While developing her sci-fi novels, she wrote and produced a series of comedic films about asexuals surviving the hypersexual world, inspired by her own journey. In 2017, she began publishing her New Dawn novel series, and is here celebrating the release of her newest book "The Confluence."
Had things worked out differently, Bernie Mojzes might have been a song & dance man. Fortunately, he can't dance, so instead, he writes and edits. His fiction has appeared in "Betwixt Magazine," "Daily Science Fiction," and "Crossed Genres," among others. He co-edited and published "Unlikely Story" (formerly "The Journal of Unlikely Entomology"), which can be found at www.unlikely-story.com. For additional out-of-date information, go to www.kappamaki.com.
K. L. Morris has been published in The Flexible Persona, Body Parts, and Shimmer. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and was an honorable mention for Ellen Datlow's Best of the Year Horror Anthology. She works as a freelance academic editor, copyeditor, developmental editor, and adjunct professor. She has an MFA from Lesley University and is active in the Phoenix Fiction Writers. She's currently querying her first novel and getting friendly with rejection.
Christine Norris is the author of several novels and short stories for young adults, including the Library of Athena series and the YA historical fantasy, A CURSE OF ASH AND IRON (Curiosity Quills), as well as several short stories. She hides her author self behind her secret identity of mild-mannered School Media Specialist. She also cares for her family of one husband-creature, a son-animal, a canine named Elvis (he thinks he's the King) and two small felines who are secretly agents of Chaos. She is represented by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Literary Agency.
This is Christine's eleventy billionth Philcon appearance, and she is very happy to return.
To learn more about Christine Norris, please visit http://www.christine-norris.com, Like her page on FB or follower her @cnorrisauthor on Twitter
Shannon O'Shea is a speculative fiction writer from Phoenixville, PA. She has presented at The Pennsylvania Writers Conference and the King's College Creative Writing Conference. Her work can also be found in The Flexible Persona.
Christopher D. Ochs
Christopher D. Ochs' foray into writing began in 2014 with his epic fantasy "Pindlebryth of Lenland: The Five Artifacts." His short stories have been published in several anthologies and websites, the latest in the Bethlehem Writers Group collection of the paranormal, "Untethered," a Finalist in Killer Nashville's 2019 Silver Falchion. His latest work is a collection of mirthful macabre short stories in "If I Can't Sleep, You Can't Sleep."
If all that weren't enough to keep him busy, C.D.Ochs is active in several groups spanning writing and storytelling, and anime fandom ("Voice of OTAKON").
Carl Paolino is a veteran of the entertainment industry. As a producer, director, screenwriter, and production designer, his credits include feature films, television series, music videos, Broadway shows, and television commercials. His animated productions include: MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch, and Celebrity Face-Off. He also wrote and directed the feature film, The Sickness, and The Halloween Pranksta, with co-producer Mark Hamill, of Star Wars fame. His Young Adult novels include Penny Dreadful and the Poisonberry Fortune, and The Secret of the Cybersapiens. His new horror novel series is titled, Virgin Falls: Worst Vacation Ever, and the second book in the series is titled, Virgin Falls: The Return of the Woodsman. He is a member of the Horror Writer's Association, and a professor at School of Visual Arts in Manhattan where he teaches Stop-Motion Animation, Makeup FX, and Body Casting as an Art Form.
Eric Parmer has a degree in English Literature with a focus on all the weird stuff that English Literature really shouldn't cover. Russian Fairy Tales. Vampires. Slavic Sci-Fi. You know. The classics.
Dan Persons has been knocking about the genre media beat for, oh, a good handful of years, now. He presently contributes reviews and articles to tor.com and is house critic for the radio show Hour of the Wolf on WBAI 99.5FM in New York, and previously was editor of Cinefantastique and Animefantastique, as well as producer of news updates for The Monster Channel. He is also founder of Anime Philadelphia, a program to encourage theatrical screenings of Japanese animation. And you should taste his One Alarm Chili! Wow!
Jazz is the newest member of Children Driving Robots having only been a follower of the Kyle for the last three years. That was when she was permitted by Kyle to marry Willard. Together they have two cats Chloe and Grey Skull. She doesn’t like talking about herself though, if she did like it she would know how to use SnapChat. Talk to her about things she enjoys; a good place to start would be the panels she is on with Children Driving Robots.
KT is an intimacy specialist and author of supernatural adult fiction. Find out more about her at www.ktpinto.com
Dr. Prego is a naturopathic doctor from Long Island and a past recipient of the NYANP's Physician of the Year award. He is an adjunct professor of Biology at Molly College, NCC, and LIU. A longtime fan of science fiction, he enjoys discussing xenobiology, health in space, fusions of biology and technology, how natural ways of healing fit in a sci-fi/high-tech world, and many other topics both science and non-science related. He was the New York Delegate to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, after spending time as a board member of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Dr. Prego has given talks, written articles, and been a show guest, discussing naturopathic medicine, children's health, and other health-related topics. He spent over a decade as a volunteer EMT, and has interests in acting/shadowcasting, gaming, burner culture, and more.
Tom Purdom's first published story appeared in the August, 1957 issue of a magazine called Fantastic Universe His latest can be found in the November-December issue of Asimov's, now on sale. His contributions to the science fiction scene include novels, short stories and novelettes, magazine articles, book reviews, two terms as vice president of SFWA , three years as Eastern Regional Director of SFWA, and approximately fifteen years of volunteer work for the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and Philcon. In the last twenty-eight years, he has produced a series of short stories and novelettes that has appeared in Asimov's, Jim Baen's Universe, and anthologies such as the year's best series edited by Gardner Dozois and David Hartwell. Fantastic Books has published two collections of his stories: Lovers and Fighters, Starships and Dragons and Romance on Four Worlds, A Casanova Quartet. He lives in center city Philadelphia where he devotes himself to a continuous round of concerts, social events, and other urban pleasures.
I'm a long time fan (since 1966) and artist. At conventions I've exhibited paintings, drawings and stained glass windows. I've acted and sang in fan-musicals, been on many panels and have also moderated quite a few.
Outside of fandom, I've created commercial displays for department stores and display houses, and done illustrations for newspapers.
Then there's the twenty years as a professional artist and community liaison for the Baltimore City housing department.
I've been in two horror films, one as a featured player. (Lines, baby, Lines!) I also do general commission pieces and volunteer art work.
Dr. Rebecca Robare has a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience and has worked as a college professor, camp counselor, science writer, library book-shelver, dishwasher, brain wave recorder, and cognitive simulation builder, and statistical analyst. She currently works as a research analyst and science writer for ECRI Institute. She is always willing to consider changing careers for a well-paid sinecure, however.
How to make a Rock Robertson. Mix two Adventure genomes (predominantly endurance-selected North African with a splash of European), decant in Asia and inoculate through Global Travel, ensuring at least four continents of pathogenic exposure. Introduce a disdain for blind Authority, while inculcating curiosity, Equanimity, loyalty, physicality and a Relentless pursuit of practical knowledge. Surround with literally peerless family and friend love and affection, seasoned with hardship, triumph and gratitude. Currently consulting in IT and Rapid Prototyping for a multinational, like something out of a science fiction novel... Also a former President of PSFS, and a former Chair of Philcon.
Roberta Rogow has been involved in Fandom since 1973 as a Filker, Costumer, Fanzine writer and editor, and Artist (specializing in needlework). She has written historical mysteries, and Alternate History, but her most recent book, Lorr and Disorder, is a noir-ish mystery, "V.I. Warshawski on the other side of the sky". Roberta is a retired Children's Librarian, now living in New Jersey.
Robert C. Roman
Robert C Roman is an author of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Steam Punk, Space Opera, Superheroes, and Paranormal Romance. Robert has taken a long and winding path to get where he is today. Finally growing tired of life of adventure, Robert settled down with the Ur-Goth and began spawning and writing. Both have borne fascinating, humorous, and occasionally, horrifying fruit. He tells stories, plays games, and raises children and Hell (in that order). Robert has been a staff writer for Steam-Funk Studios since November of 2014, to the benefit of many of their collective projects.
Aaron Rosenberg is an award-winning novelist, children's book author, and game designer. His novels include the best-selling DuckBob SF comedy series, the Relicant Chronicles epic fantasy series, the Dread Remora space-opera series, and, with David Niall Wilson, the O.C.L.T. occult thriller series. His tie-in work contains novels for Star Trek, Warhammer, World of WarCraft, Exalted, Mutants & Masterminds, and Eureka. He is the co-creator of the ReDeus series, and one of the founders of Crazy 8 Press. Aaron lives in New York with his family. You can follow him online at gryphonrose.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/gryphonrose, and on Twitter @gryphonrose.
Member of the original Star Trek Convention Committee. Originated the idea along with Devra Langsam in 1971. Honorary lifetime member of Lunarians. Chaired the 1983 Lunacon as well as worked on many Lunacon committees. Earned both a Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Physics, and a minor in Math. Science teacher for 20 years. Currently retired.
Chuck Rothman has been writing SF & Fantasy since 1982, with stories in Analog, F&SF, Asimov's, Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Daily SF, Flash Fiction Online, and in anthologies including Temporally Out of Order, Futuredaze, and Unidentified Funny Objects.
His novel Staroamer's Fate and its sequel, Syron's Fate, are available from Fantastic Books. He lives in Schenectady.
Eric Rutledge is a librarian who runs readers advisories as well as programming on a variety of topics. He is a member of Doomtastic, a Baltimore-area group dedicated to making fun and positive spaces for discussions of anime, manga, comics, fantasy, and science fiction.
Mike Ryan is a Twitch streamer (https://twitch.tv/toanstation) using playing games a vehicle to talk about games. He has been a fan of science fiction ever since the age of six. His love of the genre has expanded to include tabletop games, video games and anime.
Carol has worked over 40 years in many aspects of costuming from creating/fabricating to teaching, judging, and masquerade directing.
She competes in the master division and received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Costumers Guild. She is a medical massage therapist but also works with lots of rhinestones that can be seen on TLC's "My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding" and in a new book titled Bling: the Uncommon Crystal Couture World of Sandra Celli. Be sure to check out her work in the ArtShow.
Sarah's costuming journey runs in a straight line from reenactment to LARPing to the convention costuming circuit. She likes to work on a new skill or try a new material for every new con season, and recently leveled up to the Master division.
To date, I've produced 4 media fanfiction zines and 2 filk CDs, with more of each in the works.I took over Tales from the White Hart, an sf bookstore, from Sue Wheeler in 1977, and ran it for 17 years, marrying Leo Sands, my favorite customer, about 2 years after the shop reopened under my management.
Lawrence M. Schoen
Lawrence M. Schoen holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, is a past Campbell, Hugo, and Nebula, nominee, twice won the Cóyotl award for best novel, founded the Klingon Language Institute, and occasionally does work as a hypnotherapist specializing in authors’ issues.
His science fiction includes many light and humorous adventures of a space-faring stage hypnotist and his alien animal companion. Other works take a very different tone, exploring aspects of determinism and free will, generally redefining the continua between life and death. Sometimes he blurs the funny and the serious. Lawrence lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his wife and their dog.
Darrell Schweitzer's books include three novels, THE WHITE ISLE, THE SHATTERED GODDESS, THE MASK OF THE SORCERER, and THE DRAGON HOUSE, plus nine short-story collections, the most recent of which is a volume of Lovecraftian stories, AWAITING STRANGE GODS, published by Fedogan & Bremer. His work, both fiction and non-fiction, has appeared in publications as varied as POSTSCRIPTS, INTERZONE, REALMS OF FANTASY, and ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE.
is joining Philcon's Filk Track this year!
Miriam Seidel is a writer and librettist. Her novel, The Speed of Clouds (New Door Books, 2018), takes place in the world of sci-fi fandom, and “creates a new and compelling science fictional universe” (Space Station Mir). She also wrote the libretto for Violet Fire, an opera about visionary inventor Nikola Tesla, performed in Belgrade, New York, and Philadelphia, and a sci-fi radio play for New American Radio. She’s written for the Philadelphia Inquirer and other publications, and her writing has won multiple fellowships from the PA Council on the Arts. Miriam has been a guest speaker at PSFS and Galactic Philadelphia. Fun fact: she plays the theremin. More at http://miriamseidel.com.
Heather Shaw is a writer, editor, bookkeeper, sewist, and lindy hopper living in Berkeley, CA with her husband and 12-year-old son, River. She’s had short fiction published in Strange Horizons, The Year’s Best Fantasy, Escape Pod, PodCastle, and other nice places. She has been the fiction editor at the erotica zine Fishnet, the speculative fiction zine Flytrap, and the pro-SF zine, Persistent Visions. She’s been a featured author at the SF in SF Reading series in San Francisco and read her poetry in front of disgruntled grunge concert-goers at Lollapalooza back when it was a thing. She is currently working on a one-act modern feminist adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, which will have a staged reading in San Francisco in November of 2020.
Dr. H. Paul Shuch
Dr. SETI is the name of the blatant exhibitionist who inhabits the body of noted author and educator Dr. H. Paul Shuch. A cross between Tom Lehrer and Carl Sagan, it is said that Dr. SETI sings like Sagan and lectures like Lehrer. Armed with a laptop computer and an acoustical guitar, Dr. SETI travels the world, making the search for life in space accessible to audiences as diverse as humanity itself.
A retired academic, Prof. Shuch serves the nonprofit, membership-supported SETI League as Executive Director Emeritus, coordinating its science mission and delivering hundreds of Dr. SETI (R) presentations since 1994, to thousands of enthusiasts, in dozens of countries on six continents.
Alex Shvartsman is a writer, translator and anthologist. Over 100 of his short stories have appeared in Nature, Analog, Strange Horizons, IGMS, and many other 'zines and anthologies. He's the winner of 2014 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction and the two-time finalist for the Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Fiction. His debut novel, Eridani's Crown, was published in 2019.
Alex is the editor of Unidentified Funny Objects, an annual anthology series of humorous SF/F, as well as several other anthologies, and Future Science Fiction Digest, which can be found at www.future-sf.com. His published fiction is linked at www.alexshvartsman.com
Back after several years, Susan Shwartz's most recent books are a reprint of WHITE WING (with Shariann Lewitt , writing as Gordon Kendall) and THE SUBVERSIVE JOB HUNGER'S HAND BOOK. She is also responsible for HOSTILE TAKEOVER (Tor) and the VULCAN SOUL trilogy (with the late Josepha Sherman; SECOND CHANCES, a retelling of LORD JIM; a collection of short fiction called SUPPOSE THEY GAVE A PEACE and Other Stories, SHARDS OF EMPIRE (Tor) and CROSS AND CRESCENT (Tor), set in Byzantium; along with the STAR TREK novels (written with Josepha Sherman) VULCAN'S FORGE and VULCAN'S HEART.
Others of her works include THE GRAIL OF HEARTS, a revisionist retelling of Wagner's PARSIFAL, and over 70 pieces of short fiction. She has been nominated for the Hugo twice, the Nebula five times, the Edgar and World Fantasy Award once, and has won the HOMer, an award for science fiction given by Compuserve.
A fan since 1965, Joe Siclari started reading science fiction a decade earlier with Murray Leinster’s Forgotten Planet. Joe has been active in almost every aspect of fandom: he published over 100 fanzines, plus many convention publications, started several SF clubs and founded conventions including SMOFcon, Tropicon and FanHistoricon. Joe chaired MagiCon, the 50th Worldcon in 1992, and has worked on over 250 other conventions. In 2005, Joe was elected as DUFF delegate, and in 2016, he & his wife, Edie Stern, were recipients of the fannish Big Heart Award.
Joe has a long-time SF interest is fan history. He has written about fandom for S-F reference books; co-edited the Hugo nominated Worldcon Guest of Honor Speeches with Mike Resnick and published Harry Warner’s A Wealth of Fable. Since 1994 he has chaired the FANAC Fan History Project which has put over 100,000 pages of photos, articles, fanzines and memorabilia online at FANAC.org and FANCYCLOPEDIA.org plus a Fan History Channel on YouTube.
Hildy Silverman was the Editor-in-chief of Space and Time Magazine for 12 years. She is a short fiction author whose recent publications include, "My Dear Wa'ats" (2018, Baker Street Irregulars II: The Game's Afoot, Ventrella & Maberry, eds.), "The Lady of the Lakes" (2018, Camelot 13, French and Thomas, eds.), and "Sidekicked" (2019, Release the Virgins, Ventrella, ed.). Her nonfiction articles have appeared in numerous legal and medical professional journals and blogs. In the mundane world, she is the Digital Marketing Manager for Oticon Medical US.
Jack of all trades but master of none, Mark is a long-time SF fan, gamer (board and rpg), autodidact, and voracious reader of history.
John Skylar, Ph.D. is an infectious disease scientist, medical writer, and writer of both fiction and nonfiction. His work has appeared in Strange Bedfellows (Bundoran Press 2014), The Future Embodied (Simian Publishing 2014), Perihelion SF, Mashable, and The Huffington Post. He lives in New York along with his wife and their ramen soup.
Jay Smith is an award-winning audio dramatist, author, and podcast producer. He is the creator and writer of the online zombie horror series HG World, pulp adventure serial Hidden Harbor Mysteries, and the upcoming weird western series The Road to Renascence. His books include the geek noir thriller The Resurrection Pact and The Diary of Jill Woodbine: an LGBTQ coming-of-age New Adult novel about life and love in the zombie apocalypse. Jay holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing and is very open to opportunities that will help pay back those student loans. www.JaySmithAudio.com.
Dame Dahlia is a cosplayer from Central Pennsylvania and is an active member of the Central Pennsylvania Heroes Coalition and the Philadelphia Avengers which are cosplay groups that does community service to local children’s hospitals and other organizations in Pennsylvania. I am an advocate for civil rights and equality. I believe in cos-positivity and that cosplay and costuming should be embraced by anyone who puts a costume together.
Kristyn is happy to return to Philcon to present her thoughts on anime, gaming, fantasy, sci-fi, con-running, and all things geek. In addition to heading the Anime Track at Philcon, she is the External Communications Director for Zenkaikon, a local anime and sci-fi convention. Her hobbies include watching anime; reading manga, fantasy, and science fiction novels; and playing her half elf druid on EverQuest 2.
Tim is a long time fan of science fiction and anime. He is sits on the Board of Directors and is the Treasurer of Zenkaikon (another local anime and science fiction convention). He has read all of the science fiction novels by Asimov and Clarke, and numerous other series. He is an avid fan of Babylon 5 (having watched the series at least five times, and a follower of alt.tv.bablyon5). He has watched over a hundred anime series from the classics (such as Space Battleship Yamoto, Bubblegum Crisis, Cowboy Bepop) to the modern (such as Attack on Titan, Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex, Sword Art Online, and many others).
Tim has participated in panels at Philcon for the last eight years, and is currently co-chairing the Philcon Anime track with his wife, Kristyn for the seventh year.
In the real world, Tim has his Masters degree in Computer Science from Drexel University. He currently works as a software engineer.
Mary Spila is not your stereotypical, mild-mannered librarian. She is an active member in the Society for Creative Anachronism. The spins her own yard, knits, and does tablet weaving. She reads everything within visual range. Current favorites are mixed genre fiction, History, and anything else that catches her eye.
Luke Stelmaszek is a graduate of duCret School of Art where he received a Commercial Art Certificate. He studied under the guidance of book and magazine illustrator Peter Caras, and later fantasy illustrator William O' Connor. While at duCret, Luke entered many art shows where he won several awards. His winning works were displayed at the Swain's Art Gallery in Plainfield, New Jersey. Right now he is working on his illustrations, graphic novel, and commissions including attending upcoming conventions for 2020. Luke is also an artist for the Kaiju Assault card game, and an art developer for model kits by Kaiju Modeler. You can check out his websites at www.kaijuillustrator.com, KaijuIllustrator on Etsy store, and @kaiju_illustrator on Instagram.
David R. Stokes was born and raised in Austin, TX, but now lives in Scotland where he runs a small press, Guardbridge Books. He publishes science fiction and fantasy, often with a multi-cultural or international flavor. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in Astronomy, a Ph.D. in History from the University of St Andrews, and has studied a little bit of everything else in between. A real Renaissance man living 500 years after the Renaissance.
Ann Stolinsky is a Pennsylvania-based word and game expert. She is the founder and owner of Gontza Games, an independent board and card game company. Two of her children's card games are currently in the marketplace: “Pass the Grogger!”; and “Christmas Cards.” Her website is www.gontzagames.com.
She is also a partner in Gemini Wordsmiths, a full-service copyediting and content creating company. The partners also recently founded Celestial Echo Press, which anticipates its inaugural anthology to be published before the end of 2019. (Information on submissions can be found on their Facebook group.)
Her most short stories can be found in Tales from the Canyons of the Damned, two Clarendon House anthologies, Curiosities magazine, Running Wild Press's Vol I Anthology of Stories, With Painted Words, as well as the story narrated on the Gallery of Curiosities website and a poem in the Fall 2015 issue of Space and Time Magazine. She is a graduate of the Bram Stoker award-winning author Jonathan Maberry’s short story writing class. Ann is a member of the Writers Coffeehouse, and the writing critique group located at Open Book Bookstore in Elkins Park, PA.
Richard premiered his trilogy of kid spy movies featuring James Blond, Agent Uh-Oh 7, at Philcon, beginning with 1993's LEARNER'S PERMIT TO KILL. His horror makeup/special FX workshop "Monsters, Aliens, and Spirit Gum" has been popular both here and at I-Con. He and his wife Kathryn run an educational publishing company, and while she is the brains of the outfit, she allowed him to co-author MOVIES AS LITERATURE. Among his more recent publications are half a dozen comic poems and a short story that appeared in ELLERY QUEEN MYSTERY MAGAZINE. Richard has also published the occasional cartoon. Oh, and his singing voice has been heard by a few hundred thousand: Howard Stern once played one of his song parodies on the air.
Alex Strang is a Glasgow-born Game Designer, Gamification Consultant and Event Producer. He has developed and published countless board games (Heart of Mystery, Super Giant Monster Showdown), card games (Time Vs Ninja, Hyper Battle Kaiju Fight) and all manner of media (Waiting For Cable Comedy Troupe, The Mr. Buckethead Show), as well as team building events and live shows (Puppet Karaoke Universe Show, Movie Plotz Improv Show)
Alex is also a kaiju designer and manga artist, with his work featured in various publications and live exhibits.
Jim Stratton is a chameleon. By day, he is a mild-mannered government lawyer, and lives with his wife and children in southern Delaware. But he's been an avid fan of speculative fiction all his life, and began writing genre fiction 20+ years ago. In recent years he's been forging his dark alter ego of genre fiction author through publication of his tales in venues like Nth Degree Ezine and Bigpulp.com; anthologies like Rum & Runestones (2012), Fantastic Futures 13 (2013) and Bad Ass Fairies IV (2014). He danced in the light when his stories appeared in 2015 & 2016 in the Nth Degree #24 & 27, a further step in his master plan. His final reveal will come with publication of his novel "Loki's Gambit", when he will step into the light of day, triumphant.
Ian Randal Strock
Ian Randal Strock is the editor and publisher of Fantastic Books (www.FantasticBooks.biz). As a writer, his fiction has appeared in Nature, Analog (from which he won two AnLab Awards), and several recent anthologies. His nonfiction has much wider distribution (including "Ranking the First Ladies" and "Ranking the Vice Presidents," which Carrel Books published in 2016, and "The Presidential Book of Lists" [Random House, 2008]). For everything Ian, see www.IanRandalStrock.com.
John has been coming to Philcon for over 20 years. He met his wife at a Philcon and together they decided to create the Gaming Suite as their way to give back.
Long time Sci-Fi fan and annual participant of Philcon since 2000. Big time gamer girl, she and her husband John now manage the gaming suite. Ginny is also an actress and singer.
Michael Swanwick has received the Hugo Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon, World Fantasy, and Grand Roscon Awards and His work has been translated and published throughout the world.
His novels include CHASING THE PHOENIX, DANCING WITH BEARS, STATIONS OF THE TIDE, JACK FAUST, BONES OF THE EARTH and THE DRAGONS OF BABEL. He most recent collection is NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT. THE IRON DRAGON'S MOTHER, published this summer, completes a fantasy trilogy begun 25 years ago with THE IRON DRAGON's DAUGHTER
Swanwick lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Marianne Porter.
Ronald C. Taylor
A senior bioinformatics scientist with the NCI-funded Institute of Systems Biology Cancer Genomics Cloud (ISB-CGC) project, Dr. Taylor currently helps cancer researchers integrate their data with large public omics data sets
He has also worked in areas related to synthetic biology, including inference of biological networks and whole genome modeling of bacteria & bacterial communities.
Michael A. Ventrella
Although primarily known as "that guy who predicted the Hodor plot," Michael A. Ventrella would rather be known for his humorous novels like "Big Stick," "Bloodsuckers: A Vampire Runs for President" and "The Axes of Evil." He edits the "Tales from Fortannis"anthologies as well as the "Baker Street Irregulars" with NY Times Bestselling author Jonathan Maberry. His latest anthology is "Release the Virgins!" His short stories have appeared in other collections such as "Dreamers in Hell", "The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Archives", and "Rum and Runestones."
At his website (MichaelAVentrella.com) he interviews other authors, editors, agents and publishers to get advice for the starting author.
In his spare time, he is a lawyer.
An award-winning writer, film historian, critic, archivist, musicologist and poet, Steve Vertlieb has been writing about motion pictures and symphonic film music in a variety of books, magazines, journals, tabloids, and on the internet, since 1969 and has been profiled in "Who's Who in Entertainment in America." He assisted in the preparation of Warner Bros. premiere DVD release of "King Kong" (1933), was the subject of a lengthy interview by the prestigious Sci-Fantasy web site, "The Thunder Child," appears on camera in the documentary "Kreating Karloff," and has written the liner notes for the booklet accompanying its DVD release.
He has worked for fourteen years in local television and radio, appeared as a guest speaker at The Philadelphia Art Museum, and both programmed and appeared as a guest on stage at a major film festival for the historic Castro Theatre in San Francisco, and at the sixtieth anniversary "King Kong" celebration at Chicago's venerable Gateway Theater in conjunction with Turner Entertainment. His work has appeared in such publications as "Cinemacabre," "Midnight Marquee, and "Penny Dreadful," and has been featured in such books as "The Girl In The Hairy Paw," "King Kong Cometh," "Dracula: The First Hundred Years," "Memories Of Hammer," " and "The Man Who Collected Psychos: Critical Essays On Robert Bloch."
He was nominated for a Rondo Award in 2010 for an affectionate remembrance of his forty five year friendship with Forrest J. Ackerman..."The Most Famous Monster Of Them All," as well as subsequent Rondo Award nominations for his remembrances of personal friends, Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen, and will appear in a new film documentary from acclaimed director Paul Davids. He was inducted into The International Association Of Film Music Critics early in 2011 and, in the Spring of that same year, wrote and delivered a live three hour lecture to a film studies school in Western Pennsylvania on The History Of Motion Picture Music. He is also the subject of a forthcoming, feature length, motion picture documentary entitled Steve Vertlieb: The Man Who "Saved" The Movies...currently filming on both coasts, and scheduled for film festival release in 2020.
Steve Vertlieb is the recipient of The "Rondo" Lifetime Achievement "Hall Of Fame" Award, presented in June, 2016 by David Colton, former Editor In Chief of U.S.A. Today. Previous recipients include Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, Christopher Lee, and Forrest J Ackerman.
Robert Walters has been a professional artist for twenty years. His artwork has appeared in more than a dozen museums, including the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian, and in more than twenty books and innumerable magazines throughout the world, as well as television productions for PBS and the Discovery Channel, and electronic media such as Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia. He has a BFA from the Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia and has science credits from the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Philadelphia with his partner, Tess Kissinger.
David Walton is an award-winning science fiction author, a space industry engineer, and the father of eight children. His latest book, THREE LAWS LETHAL (Pyr, 2019), takes on the future of the self-driving car industry, with its legal and social ramifications, while exploring the nature of consciousness and sapience through the evolution of artificial intelligence.
Jeff Warner is a professor of autodidactism, stand-up philosopher, not-recently-published writer, former president of the Science Fiction Forum, freelance punslinger, and as a 'ninja-smof' a co-founder of a hat trick of sf conventions. "Geek, Nerd, AND Dork? I'm a Triple Threat!"
Robert E. Waters
Robert E Waters has been writing professionally since 2003 with his first publication in WEIRD TALES. Since then, he has published over 60 sf/fantasy stories in both print and online magazines and anthologies. He is also a frequent contributor to The Grantville Gazette, Eric Flint's online magazine dedicated to stories set in Baen Books' Ring of Fire alternate history series. Robert also published his first novel in 2014 titled THE WAYWARD EIGHT, a weird wild west tale set in the Wild West Exodus gaming universe. His latest novel, THE MASKS OF MIRADA, published through Ring of Fire Press, is available on Amazon, and his first story collection, DEVIL DANCERS, has just been released through e-Spec Books and is also available on Amazon and in the dealer room. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife Beth and their son Jason. You can find his website at www.roberternestwaters.com.
Joan Wendland is a game designer, an engineer, and the owner of Blood and Cardstock Games. Joan has designed card games, live action role playing games, and honest to God war games for the US government. In addition she has published two novels- Backstage: a novel of secret agendas, slow burn romance, and imaginary cats, and a steampunk retelling of Pride and Prejudice - Mr. Darcy: Cogs Maketh the Man. The sequel to Backstage (Looking for Trouble) will be coming out early next year. Check her out at www.blood-and-Cardstock.com or www.zoo-illuminati.com
Alyce Wilson, a Philadelphia area freelance writer and editor, is the editor of Wild Violet (wildviolet.net), a weekly online literary magazine. She has published a poetry chapbook, "Picturebook of the Martyrs," an essay collection, "The Art of Life," and an ebook, "Dedicated Idiocy: How Monty Python Fandom Changed My Life." More information can be found at her author site: alycewilson.com.
Dave Wilson III
Dave III has been participating in Anime Fandom for over thirty years, collecting stories and observations from his quiet little corner near the tape library. He is a delightful and charming addition to any panel, willing to render opinions and amusing anecdotes reasonably germane to the subject at hand.
Amy is a voice actress, best known for the role of Nova in Seasons 1 and 2 of Star Blazers. She also had the pleasure of voicing Miranda in The Irresponsible Captain Tylor OVA. Most recently she has been recording and producing audio books from her home studio. Amy and Dave share a lovely home in Virginia with 5 fabulous felines!
Batya "The Toon" Wittenberg is, in no particular order: a successfully transplanted New Yorker, a practicing Orthodox Jew, a happily married woman since 1999, a certified master of Pun Fu, an enthusiastic cook and foodie, a filker, a founding member of filk group Lady Mondegreen, a fanfic writer, a habitual online roleplayer, and in no particular order.
Brandon Wright is the creator of “Deadstar,” an animated science fiction webseries. He has been obsessed with movie-making since childhood, and started making short films in high school. After studying film at Penn State for two years he switched to an Animation major at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Brandon’s newest animated SF series, “DIVER,” is coming out this winter.
F. M. Yates
If you've bought comics on South St. in Philadelphia in the past 30 (?) years, then you've probably bought them from Michael. As owner of Atomic City Comics, on South St. (The coolest street in Philadelphia), Michael has been the local Comic Book pusher for decades. Writer and performer for the Comedy group Iron In Our Thighs Productions, he worked on the kiddie show satire 'Hellorama', the video 'Comic Book Pajama Party', and the radio play 'Santa Vs. Dracula' with his longtime writing partner the Late Great Martin King. He was also the Head writer and Director of the webseries 'Forever Wednesday' that he co-created with Victoria Kopesky. Furthermore, Mr. Yates has been a member of Steam-Funk Studios' in-house performance and Senior Creative staff, since February 2013, contributing significantly to both The Living MultiVerse and The Unconventional.
has an educational background in literature and speculative fiction. She is a member of Doomtastic, a small group of friends who run panels on all things geeky and nerdy.
Ann Tonsor Zeddies wrote Deathgift (Del Rey 1989) and its sequel, Sky Road (Del Rey 1993). As Toni Anzetti, she wrote Typhon’s Children (Del Rey 1999)—a Philip K. Dick Award nominee—and Riders of Leviathan (Del Rey 2001). Returning as Ann Tonsor Zeddies, she wrote Steel Helix (Del Rey 2003), a prequel to the Typhon novels, also a Philip K. Dick Award nominee, and Blood and Roses: A Jayne Taylor Novel (Phobos 2005). Short fiction includes: “To See Heaven in a Wild Flower” (in The Ultimate Silver Surfer); “Ten Thousand Waves” (in Magic in the Mirrorstone), "Waiting to Show Her" (in Speaking Out: LGBTQ Youth Stand Up) and "Portrait of the Artist As A Young Swamp Thing" (in The Boys of Summer).
Simone Zelitch is the author of five novels, most recently Judenstaat, an alternative history about a Jewish state established in Germany in 1948 which is forthcoming in paperback in 2020. A National Endowment for the Arts recipient, her work as appeared in Art Papers and The Forward, Lilith Magazine, and National Public Radio’s The Best of Channukah Lights, and she chronicled a 2015 trip to Jerusalem, Hebron and Jaffa in a series of articles in Jewish Currents. A former Peace Corps volunteer, she has taught at Community College of Philadelphia for over twenty years where she established their creative writing program. She manages to write during the summer, mostly. Read more about the author and her work at www.simonezelitch.com.