Philcon Panel Participant Biographies

Danielle Ackley-McPhail

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 (Danielle Ackley-McPhail) and Twitter (DMcPhail, eSpecBooks, and TheHornieLady). To learn more about her work, visit www.sidhenadaire.com or www.especbooks.com.

Jonathan Alexandratos

Jonathan Alexandratos writes about action figures. They edited the first collection of academic essays on action figures, titled POINTS OF ARTICULATION: ESSAYS IN ACTION FIGURE STUDIES, which is out now from McFarland. Their award-winning plays have also been produced internationally. Most recently, Jonathan's play WE SEE WHAT HAPPEN, a piece about the playwright's grandmother's immigration from Greece to the U.S. as told by bootleg action figures, won the Greenhouse Award from Strange Sun Theatre. They co-run Page 23, the literary conference powered by Denver Comic Con. Jonathan is a professor at Queensborough Community College in New York City, where they use comic books and action figures as teaching tools all the time.

John Ashmead

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.

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."

Philippa Ballantine

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa Ballantine has always had her head in a book. At the age of thirteen she began writing fantasy stories for herself.

Her first professional sale was in 1997, and since then she has gone on to produce novel length fiction. In 2006 she became New Zealand's first podcast novelist, and has voiced and produced Weaver's Web, Chasing the Bard, Weather Child and Digital Magic as podiobooks. Her podcasts have been short listed for Parsec Awards numerous times, but it was Chasing the Bard that won her a Sir Julius Vogel award, New Zealand's Hugo Award. Outside of her own podiobooks, Philippa has contributed her voice to other award-nominated and award-winning podcasts including Murder at Avedon Hill, The Metamor City Podcast, Down from Ten, and Morevi: Remastered.

In 2010, Philippa sets her sights on America with her first mass market paperback release with Ace Books, the supernatural thriller Geist. Already she is hard at work with its sequel Spectyr coming out in the summer of 2011. Also in 2011, Pip will have a new series coming out. Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, co-authored with Tee Morris and from Harper Voyager is a steampunk romp.

Alan Beck

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.

Lyndsey Bellamy

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 Bennett

I was a product engineer on devices for the blind and deafblind individuals for twenty six years. I am 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. I am now Lead Technician in on the production side of operations. At present I am still 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. A preliminary event was held before this and we where invited to be part of the members appreiation event at the Franklin institute.After that event we're at Philcon!

Brandon Budda

Brandon Budda is a Philadelphia local podcast host and science fiction aficionado. He has a background in English and Philosophy. He is also the co-founder of Claytemple media and co-host of the Gene Wolfe Literary 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.

Stephanie Burke

Stephanie Burke, known to friends and readers as Flash, has a warped, twisted 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. Sheis an USA Today best seller and has about five million books currently in publication with one house or another, all under the name of Stephanie Burke. She says she won't use a pen name -- she'd have to learn how to spell it. Too much like work. 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

D.L. Carter

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.

Vikki Ciaffone

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 (neil-clarke.com) is a Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning editor and publisher. He is the owner of Wyrm Publishing and editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, and several anthologies, including the Best Science Fiction of the Year series for Night Shade Books.

Brenda W. Clough

My latest novel, A MOST DANGEROUS WOMAN, is a neo-Victorian thriller just out from Serial Box.
My previous novel, How Like a God, is out in e-format from Book View Cafe. My other works there include Revise the World, a time travel novel, and Speak To Our Desires, a dark detective fantasy.

I also write short stories and occasional non-fiction. I have a story in Patrick Nielsen Hayden's anthology Starlight 3.

Gil Cnaan

Gil Cnaan, is one of the coproducers of the Philadelphia Renaissance Faire, a local event promoter, DJ, and all around go-to guy. He owns and operates the local event planning and production company, Storykeeper Events.

Byron Connell

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.

Elizabeth Crowens

Elizabeth Crowens is the pen name for a veteran writer who is a regular contributor to Blackgate.com. A 15-year veteran of the film industry in Hollywood, a member of Mystery Writers of Americam the Horror Writers Association, Sisters in Crime and Broad Universe. A blackbelt in martial arts, she’s lived in Japan. Facebook: Books by Elizabeth Crowens

Silent Meridian is Elizabeth Crowens’ first novel. It won First Prize in the 2016 Goethe Awards for Turn of the Century Historical Fiction, First Prize for Steampunk in the Independent Press Awards and came in as a finalist in four other competitions. It is available at selected retail bookstores such as The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City and through Ian Randall Stock, one of the dealers at Philcon. It will be re-released in its second edition along with its sequel, A Pocketful of Lodestones, in the summer of 2019. Crowens also writes Hollywood Suspense with black humor and has a story in the New York State of Fright anthology released in 2018. She is a regular contributor to Blackgate.com.

Michael D'Ambrosio

Michael D'Ambrosio is best known as the author of the Fractured Time Trilogy; the Space Frontiers series; the adult horror series Night Creeps I and II and his recent new Pain series with Princess Pain and the new sequel, Queen of Pain. Michael worked for several years as a nuclear field engineer, traveling throughout the United States and Europe on a regular basis. Currently, he is employed at the Salem Nuclear Generating Station in New Jersey as a controls technician. He served several tours in the Middle East as a member of the Pa. Air National Guard and attributes some of his experiences there as inspiration for many of the scenes in his books. Michael is currently working on a new novel, Space Truckers, his twelfth book. Recently, he has teamed up with fellow writer Pete Prellwitz in adapting Pete's Angel of St. Thomas novel to a script. Michael has also completed several screenplays which are currently represented. Look for more information about Michael's projects and appearances at www.fracturedtime.com.

Todd Dashoff

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Bruce Dykes

Bruce has been a long time gamer and an SFF reader for even longer. His writing career has actually achieved negative time flow.

Gary Feldbaum

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

Aaron Feldman is a mechanical engineer, longtime fan, gamer, fic writer, and amateur post-modernist.

Robert Fenelon

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 Finan

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

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 in various capacities for several Worldcons including 2018's in San Jose.

In real life he is an Instructional Designer, after career 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.

Gregory Frost

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. Most recently he collaborated with Hugo-Award winning author, Bill Johnson, on the novelette "Three Can Keep a Secret..." in the March-April 2017 Asimov's Magazine. His previous 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.

Website: www.gregoryfrost.com
Facebook: gregory.frost1
Twitter: gregory_frost

Phil Giunta

Phil Giunta’s novels include the paranormal mysteries Testing the Prisoner and By Your Side published by Firebringer Press. His third novel in the same genre, Like Mother, Like Daughters, is slated for release in late 2018.

Phil's short stories appear in such anthologies as A Plague of Shadows from Smart Rhino Publications, Beach Nights from Cat & Mouse Press, the ReDeus mythology series from Crazy 8 Press, 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 (GLVWG), Phil also penned stories and essays for Write Here, Write Now and The Write Connections, two of the group’s annual anthologies. Visit Phil’s website: http://www.philgiunta.com

Muriel Grabe

Muriel Stockdale’s successful 35-year career in entertainment as a designer, director, filmmaker and artist honed her ability and desire to tell her stories. She has for her entire life been fascinated by myths, spirituality and science fiction. She began avidly reading and comparing diverse creation myths at age ten then moved onto science fiction as a teen. Muriel was soon disappointed to find that the genre rarely considers evolution of consciousness. She has spent her life devouring material about the inner, sacred, unknown nature of man by reading sacred texts, scientific studies and contemporary books expressing diverse spiritual points of view. Her first novel, Gabriel Born, published in December 2016 by Balboa press explores consciousness and creativity. It presents a window of possibility for science and the mystical to interact and is intended to inspire and enthuse its audience. The novel is based on her award winning film script entitled, Gabriel’s Flight.

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.

Terry Steiner Sisk Graybill

Long-time moderator of the PSFS Hugo Review Panel (shhh – 38 years, but who’s counting), Terry was raised from earliest childhood on a steady diet of mythology, fairy tales and fantasy, moving into science fiction along the way. She taught science fiction and fantasy for six years at a local Philadelphia-area high school, has painted and drawn SF works, is active in fandom, particularly PSFS and Philcon. She was part of the Philly in ‘86 bid and the later successful bid for the 2001 worldcon, The Millenium Philcon, where she headed the Communications Division. She ran the main program track of the 1986 worldcon in Atlanta. She has worked on publicity and publications for Philcons, PSFS, bids and other non-SF-related organizations. She was the first recipient of PSFS’s Oswald Train Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award for service to the Society. Professionally, she is a graphic designer, editor and marketing communications specialist. She has been designing and producing the Philcon bookmarks, postcards, program book and more for several years.

April Grey

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 two urban fantasies: Chasing the Trickster and St. Nick's Favor.
She is a member of Broad Universe and HWA. Author.to/aprilgrey

Leigh Grossman

Leigh Ronald Grossman is a writer, college lecturer, editor, and occasional reviewer. He teaches in the English Department at the University of Connecticut and is the president of Swordsmith Productions, a book development and book production company. Grossman is the author of fifteen published books from six different publishers. He is the editor of Sense of Wonder, the longest single volume science fiction anthology ever assembled. He lives in northeast Connecticut.

Sally Wiener Grotta

Sally Wiener Grotta is a full-time award-winning freelance writer, photographer and speaker. Among her numerous books are the novels "The Winter Boy" (a 2015 Locus Award nominee) and "Jo Joe" (selected as a Jewish Book Council Network book). Her hundreds of stories, columns, essays and reviews have appeared in scores of magazines, newspapers and journals. Sally has traveled on assignment throughout the world, covering a wide diversity of cultures and traditions. Her far-ranging experiences flavor her stories and presentations with a sense of wonder and otherliness, plus a healthy dose of common sense. A popular speaker, Sally has a reputation for stimulating energetic, meaningful discussions about storytelling, the business of writing, photography and how to use creativity to build bridges in our increasingly divisive society. A member of SFWA and The Authors Guild, Sally is co-curator for the SFWA-sponsored Galactic Philadelphia author reading series and has recently been appointed The Authors Guild's Philadelphia Area Ambassador. Connect with Sally at www.SallyWienerGrotta.com, www.facebook.com/SallyWienerGrotta and Twitter: @SallyWGrotta.

B. Lana Guggenheim

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.

Savan Gupta

Professional Emcee, Author, Game Developer. Former Wizards of the Coast employee. Mr. Gupta's mentored generations of gamers and contributors into the roleplaying and speculative fiction genres. 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".

Elektra Hammond

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. Her latest story "Two Horses," can be found in TV Gods: Summer Programming edited by Jeff Young and Lee C. Hillman.
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.

Erin M. Hartshorn

Erin M. Hartshorn did her graduate work in fish olfaction (and yes, she’s heard all of the jokes about how fish smell) before turning to words to make her living. Her freelance business makes others’ words look good through copyediting, proofreading, and indexing. Her fiction has appeared both online and in print, placed in the PARSEC short story contest, and been shortlisted for the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya Award for science-fiction novellas. She currently serves as Vice President for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She also publishes mysteries under the pen name Sara Penhallow. Erin lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and their two kids, who are gradually being inculcated in the joy of all that is science fiction and fantasy, as well as one cat and one dog.

Lisa Hertel

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 Lowell, MA. See her work at www.cogitation.org, or her Instagram Cogitation_Zone.

Karen Heuler

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.

Inge Heyer

Inge Heyer, Ph.D., has spent decades developing a unique expertise in astronomy communications across a variety of settings, including college classrooms, K-12 schools, informal educational settings, professional scientific journalism, and science fiction venues.

Born and raised in Berlin, Germany, she completed her secondary education there before accepting a scholarship to attend Tenri University (Japan), where she studied Japanese. After later earning an undergraduate degree in Astronomy and Physics from Smith College, she earned a Master’s degree in Astronomy from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, and a Ph.D. in Science Education from the University of Wyoming.

In addition to her professional work as senior data analyst at the Space Telescope Science Institute, Dr. Heyer also served as the public information officer at the Joint Astronomy Centre, where she led the education and public outreach efforts. She served as Deputy Press Officer for the American Astronomical Society for 10 years. She has earned Shodan in both Judo and Karate, and serves as guest science blogger for StarTrek.com.

Dr. Heyer currently teaches astronomy and physics at Loyola University Maryland. And if you have ever wondered how those beautiful Hubble images got into science fiction series like Babylon-5 and Star Trek, Inge is the trouble-maker who instigated this...

Jazz Hiestand

Born and raised in AZ, Jazz has done a lot of cool things and met a lot of cool people. As a 3rd generation member of fandom, Jazz has a rambling pile of knowledge and is willing to share it freely. Currently in cosmetology school and hanging out with amazing people online and in person. Jazz has been active in online fandom spaces for 18ish years, which is impressive considering she is only 27.

Anastasia Holt

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 4 years now. She spends her October working at Haunted Overload and creating costumes for the spooky event. She is experienced in many different fields of costuming and still learning with each year that passes.

Bob Hranek

I play Wargames (EPGS.org), EVEonline.com, run & drink with Hash House Harriers groups, and as a PT (Professional Thigmophiliast), I give excellent back rubs! I also have an understanding wife (she lets me come to conventions!) and 2 great grown kids. 6 years of computer programming started my professional career, followed by 27 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 5 times a year (194 pints & counting!), 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.

Ben Jorritsma

Ben's interests include Anime, hard and soft sciences, promoting DIY/Maker culture, and promoting agricultural awareness.

Anna Kashina

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

Nicholas Kaufmann is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated, Thriller Award-nominated, and Shirley Jackson 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 100 FATHOMS BELOW (Blackstone Publishing). His short fiction has appeared in CEMETERY DANCE, BLACK STATIC, NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE, DARK DISCOVERIES, and others. In addition to his own original work, he has written for such properties as ZOMBIES VS. ROBOTS and THE ROCKETEER. He also teaches writing classes for LitReactor. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and two ridiculous cats.

Daniel Kimmel

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, "Father of the Bride of Frankenstein," will be released by Fantastic Books in January 2019.

Kim Kindya

Kim Kindya is a freelance web content manager, editor, writer, and event planne. She has worked at the SoHo ArtHouse (formerly the SoHo Gallery for Digital Art) in New York City, where she organized the successful AniMiniCon SoHo anime convention for 3 years. She has also been a producer for several interactive 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, as well as 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 who has competed at Philcon, Lunacon, WorldCon and Costume-Con.

Anastasia Klimchynskaya

Anastasia Klimchynskaya is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, where she's working on a dissertation on the emergence of science fiction in the 19th century. In particular, she's exploring how the genre came out of the scientific history of the period. 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's passionate about using science fiction as a tool to envision and prepare for our future, and loves to explore the means through which science fiction so often becomes science fact. She is also head of Media Programming for Philcon, at which she has been a panelist since 2014, and a peer reviewer for the Journal of Science Fiction.

Diane Kovalcin

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).

Chris Kreuter

Chris is the author of two sci-fi books: The Intergalactic Adventures of the Rainy River Bees, and The Shortcut. He's also designed & published multiple board games under the banner of Masquerade Games. During daylight hours, 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

Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson, PhD, is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in NYC. His science fiction novels include The Silk Code (winner of Locus Award for Best First Science Fiction Novel of 1999), Borrowed Tides (2001), The Consciousness Plague (2002), The Pixel Eye (2003), The Plot To Save Socrates (2006), Unburning Alexandria (2013), and Chronica (2014) - the last three of which are also known as the Sierra Waters trilogy, and are historical fiction as well as science fiction. His stories and novels have been nominated for Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, Edgar, Prometheus, and Audie Awards. His nonfiction books, including The Soft Edge (1997), Digital McLuhan (1999), Realspace (2003), Cellphone (2004), New New Media (2009; 2nd edition, 2012), McLuhan in an Age of Social Media (2015), Fake News in Real Context (2016), and Cyber War and Peace (2017), 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 CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, the History Channel, NPR, and numerous TV and radio programs. 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

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.

Nathan Lilly

N.E. Lilly is the editor of SpaceWesterns.com, Everyday Weirdness, and Thaumatrope. He develops websites for Science Fiction professionals and organizations through GreenTentacles. He has designed artwork and illustrations for a variety of media and processes, such as stage productions, desktop publishing, and advertising specialties, as well as dynamic and interactive content for the Internet. Find him at www.greententacles.com or on Twitter @nelilly.

Gordon Linzner

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 copy editor, a New York City tour guide, a story teller, a sound technician, and front man for the Saboteur Tiger blues/oldies band. His most recent stories appeared in the anthologies Corporate Cthulhu and Baker Street Irregulars II

Stephanie Lucas

Stephanie Lucas is a lifelong fan of speculative fiction, gaming, and most things geeky.

Lynati

Lynati is a freelance writer, artist, costumer, and event organizer in the Philadelphia area who is currently serving a fourth year as the head of Philcon's programming division. The eels are not what they seem.

Nicholas MacDonald-Martell

Nick Martell was born in Guelph, Ontario, where he lived for 8 years before moving to Huntington, New York. After elementary school, Nick went on to attend Long Island Lutheran Middle and High School. Nick started writing in 5th grade, beginning to explore the world that would fully emerge in THE KINGDOM OF LIARS. After graduating from Long Island Lutheran High School, Nick attended Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. While attending, Nick was a Head Resident for Residence Life, a member of the Executive Board for a Fraternity and InterFraternity Council, spent a semester abroad in France, and was a breaststroker for the varsity men’s swim team after joining the team as a walk-on his freshman year. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a minor in French. Since then, Nick has done a wide range of jobs that had nothing to do with his major in university from a Quality Insurance Tester for an engineering company in New York City to a volunteer on an organic farm in Ireland. THE KINGDOM OF LIARS is his debut novel and is scheduled to be published by Saga Press and Gollancz in Fall 2019.

Glenn McDorman

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 science fiction, and he hosts two SF podcasts: The Gene Wolfe Literary Podcast and Lower Decks, a Star Trek podcast.

Mike McPhail

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. She’s active in community theater as an actor, choreographer, costumer, stage manager, and much more. In 2017, she began publishing her New Dawn novel series, and is here celebrating the release of her fifth book 'The Gray Market.'

Bernie Mojzes

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.

John Monahan

John Monahan is a writer, and science teacher. He is the author of the non-fiction book They Called Me Mad: Genius, Madness and the Scientists Who Pushed the Outer Limits of Knowledge. His newest book is another non-fiction work, Babbage & Lovelace: The Victorian Computer Wizard and the Enchantress of Numbers. He lives and works in Baltimore with his wife, his two children and various pets/evil minions. His blog, Mad4Science can be found at mad4science.wordpress.com.

Karalyn Morris

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.

Shannon O’Shea

Shannon O'Shea is a speculative fiction writer from Phoenixville, PA. She's an active member of the Phoenix Fiction Writers Workshop, and 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.

Michelle Orhan

Member of the Chromatics

Joshua Palmatier

Joshua Palmatier is a fantasy writer with a PhD in mathematics. He is the author of nine epic fantasy novel, his most recent being the conclusion of the "Ley" series, REAPING THE AURORA, from DAW Books. He is also the founder and an editor for the small press Zombies Need Brains, which produces SF&F themes anthologies. Find out more at www.joshuapalmatier.com and www.zombiesneedbrains.com.

Eric Parmer

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. He runs the Phoenixville Fiction Writers workshop.

James Prego

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.

Rebecca Robare

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, before landing in her current job of statistical analyst. She is always willing to consider changing careers for a well-paid sinecure, however.

Charlie Robertson

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

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; her most recent book, Madness in Manatas, is a mystery set in an Alternate Universe, best described as "Last of the Mohicans meets Arabian Nights with a Spanish accent." Roberta is a retired Children's Librarian, now living in New Jersey.

Michael Ryan

Mike Ryan is a Twitch streamer (https://twitch.tv/toanstation) and produces a bi-weekly video game talk show, Inside the Magic Circle. 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 Salemi

Carol Salemi costumes at the Master level and has been involved in all aspects of costuming for over 30 years, trying her hand at everything from teaching, creating, and competing to judging and masquerade directing. Each competition costume usually involves some new, fun, or challenging technique that keeps it fresh. While best known for Media recreations and Native American clothing, her most recent work can be seen on TLC's "My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding". Carol has enjoyed working as a medical massage therapist for over 30 years, works part time for Regal Cinemas and Sondra Celli Designs with seasonal jobs in the Haunt Industry. She now has a growing interest in Steampunk accessories and fashion...so check out her jewelry in the art show!

Sarah Sanders

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.

Lawrence M. Schoen

Lawrence M. Schoen has been nominated for the Campbell, Hugo, and five Nebula awards. He's won the Cóyotl Award for Best Novel. He holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, is a world authority on the Klingon language, operates the small press Paper Golem, is a certified hypnotherapist, and writes science fiction and fantasy about life, death, and the continua between the two. His latest book, THE MOONS OF BARSK, explores racism, determinism, and free will, also elephants (in space).

Darrell Schweitzer

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.

Miriam Seidel

Miriam Seidel is a writer, librettist, and longtime sci-fi fan. Her novel, The Speed of Clouds (New Door Books, 2018), which takes place in the world of sci-fi fandom, has been called “a fantastic read, with characters who will make you cheer and hurt for them, a plot that delivers, and strong depth of feeling” (The Coil). Her dramatic work includes the libretto for Violet Fire, an opera about the visionary inventor Nikola Tesla, performed in Belgrade, New York, and Philadelphia, another opera based on a tale from Ovid, and a sci-fi radio play for New American Radio. She’s written for Art in America, the Philadelphia Inquirer and other publications, and her writing has won multiple fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Miriam has recently been a guest speaker at PSFS and Galactic Philadelphia. Fun fact: she plays the theremin. More at http://miriamseidel.com.

Susan Shwartz

About the Author

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.

She received her B.A., magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Mount Holyoke and earned her doctorate in English from Harvard University. She has also attended summer school up at Trinity College, Oxford, and has held a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for postdoctoral study in conjunction with Dartmouth College.

For the past 20 years, she's worked in the financial services industry. .

Her nonfiction has appeared in VOGUE, THE NEW YORK TIMES, ANALOG, AMAZING, various encyclopedias, and collections of critical work. She is a frequent public speaker, most recently at the Naval War College, but also at the NSA, Harvard, Princeton, Mount Holyoke, the University of Connecticut, The State University of New York at Binghamton, Smith College, the Air Force Academy, and the United States Military Academy.

Hildy Silverman

Hildy Silverman is the publisher of Space and Time, a 52-year-old magazine featuring fantasy, horror, and science fiction (spaceandtimemagazine.com). She is also the author of several works of short fiction, most recently including "The Great Chasm (co-authored by David Silverman, 2016, Altered States of the Union, Hauman, ed.), "The Show Killer" (2017, TV Gods 2: Summer Programming, Young and Hillman, eds.) and "A Scandal in the Bloodline" (2016, Baker Street Irregulars, Ventrella & Maberry, eds.), and "Invasive Maneuvers" (2017,Love, Murder, and Mayhem, Colchamiro, ed.) In 2013, she was a finalist for the WSFA Small Press Award for her story, "The Six Million Dollar Mermaid" (Mermaids 13, French, ed). In the "real" world, she is the manager of Marketing and Public Relations at Sivantos, Inc.

Mark Singer

Jack of all trades but master of none. I am a long-time SF fan, gamer (board and rig), and voracious reader of history.

Jay Smith

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.

Pam Smith

Dame Dahlia is a cosplayer from Central Pennsylvania and is an active member of the Central Pennsylvania Heroes Coalition and a recruit in the Philadelphia Avengers which are cosplay groups that does community service to local children’s hospitals and other organizations in Pennsylvania. She is originally from Dallas, Texas. Dame Dahlia is a veteran of the United States Air Force.

Kristyn Souder

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 Vice Chair of 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 Souder

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

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.

Ann Stolinsky

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. Three of her games are currently in the marketplace: “MINDFIELD, The Game of United States Military Trivia”; “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. Visit www.geminiwordsmiths.com for more information and testimonials.

Ann is an Assistant Editor at Gathering Storm Magazine, www.gatheringstormmagazine.com. Her most recent publishing credits are: a short story in two Clarendon House anthologies; a short story in Curiosities magazine, as well as the story narrated on the Gallery of Curiosities website; a short story on the With Painted Words website, http://withpaintedwords.com/view_submission.php?news_id=1169, a short story in Running Wild Press's Vol I Anthology of Stories; 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 Stout

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 recent publications are six comic poems and a short story that appeared in ELLERY QUEEN’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE. Richard has also published the occasional cartoon. Oh, and his singing voice has been heard by hundreds of thousands: Howard Stern once played one of his song parodies on the air.

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 "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", "Dance Like a Monkey" 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.

Steve Vertlieb

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 2019.

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.

David Walton

David Walton is the author of the 2017 science fiction thriller THE GENIUS PLAGUE, winner of the Campbell Award for best novel. He also won the Philip K. Dick award in 2009 for his first novel, TERMINAL MIND. He lives near Philadelphia with his wife and seven children. By day, he works as an engineer for Lockheed Martin. Find out more about his books and ideas at http://www.davidwaltonfiction.com.

Jeff Warner

Jeff Warner is a professor of autodidactism, stand-up philosopher, not-recently-published writer, former president of the Science Fiction Forum, freelance punslinger, and a co-founder of a hat trick of sf conventions. "Geek, Nerd, AND Dork? I'm a Triple Threat!"

Joan Wendland

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. Check her out at www.blood-and-Cardstock.com or www.zoo-illuminati.com

Jay Wile

Dr. Jay L. Wile holds an earned Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in nuclear chemistry and a B.S. in chemistry from the same institution. He has taught at both the university and high school levels and has won several awards for excellence in teaching. He has also published more than 30 articles in nationally-recognized, peer-reviewed journals and has 15 books to his credit, including Reasonable Faith: The Scientific Case For Christianity.

Alyce Wilson

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.

Mark Wolverton

Mark Wolverton is a science journalist, author, and 2016-17 Knight-MIT Science Journalism Fellow. He writes for various national and international publications including WIRED, Nature, Undark, Scientific American, and Air & Space Smithsonian. He has also worked with the NASA Ames History Project, Argonne National Laboratory, the Franklin Institute, and the NASA ISS Science Office. His latest book is "Burning the Sky: Operation Argus and the Untold Story of the Cold War Nuclear Tests in Outer Space." Previous books include "A Life in Twilight: The Final Years of J. Robert Oppenheimer"; "The Depths of Space: The Story of the Pioneer Planetary Probes"; and "The Science of Superman." More information at www.markwolverton.com.

Simone Zelitch

Simone Zelitch is the author of five novels, most recently Judenstaat, an alternative history about a Jewish state established in Germany in 1948. 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.