Index of Participants
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Danielle Ackley-McPhail
Twitter: @DMcPhail, @TheHornieLady, @especbooks

Award-winning author Danielle Ackley-McPhail has worked both sides of the publishing industry for longer than she cares to admit. Currently, she is a project editor and promotions manager for Dark Quest Books and has recently started her own press, eSpec Books.

Her published works include five urban fantasy novels -- Yesterday's Dreams, Tomorrow's Memories, Today's Promise, The Halfling's Court and The Redcaps' Queen -- and a young adult steampunk novel, Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn, written with Day Al-Mohamed. She is also the author of the solo science fiction collection A Legacy of Stars and 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 work is included in numerous other anthologies and collections.

Danielle is a member of the Garden State Speculative Fiction Writers, the New Jersey Authors Network, and Broad Universe, a writer's organization focusing on promoting the works of women authors in the speculative genres.

Danielle lives in New Jersey with husband and fellow writer, Mike McPhail, mother-in-law Teresa, and three extremely spoiled cats. She can be found on Facebook (Danielle Ackley-McPhail) and Twitter (@DMcPhail). To learn more about her work, visit or

Lisa Adler-Golden

Twitter: Lisa M AdlerGolden

Aziz Al-Doory
Twitter: @westeroshistory

Aziz is one of the cohosts of History of Westeros, a podcast dedicated to the histories and mysteries of A Song of Ice and Fire. He has been obsessed with ASOIAF since ~2001 to the point that he can and will drop everything to chat about the smallest details. He loves almost any game associated with it, and is an avid gamer outside of ASOIAF.

Day Al-Mohamed
Twitter: @DayAlMohamed

Day Al-Mohamed is co-editor of the anthology Trust & Treachery and hosts the multi-author blog Unleaded: Fuel for Writers. In addition to speculative fiction, she also writes comics and film scripts. Her recent publications are available in Daily Science Fiction, Crossed Genres anthology Oomph-A Little Super Goes a Long Way, and GrayHaven Comics' anti-bullying issue You Are Not Alone. She is an active member of the Cat Vacuuming Society of Northern Virginia Writing Group, and Women in Film and Video. When not working on fiction, Day is Senior Policy Advisor with the US Department of Labor. She has also worked as a lobbyist and political analyst on issues relating to health care, education, employment, and international development. She loves action movies and drinks far too much tea. She lives in Washington, DC, with her wife, N.R. Brown, in a house with too many swords, comic books, and political treatises. She can be found online at and at @DayAlMohamed.

Kennedy Allen
Twitter: @BlackTribbles

Too cool to be geeks, too cute to be nerds; we are Black Tribbles. We look at popular culture from an African American point of view with a humorous style that educates as it entertains. Check us weekly on and subscribe via iTunes and Soundcloud.

Nina Amaya

Nina Amaya has been studying the dances of the Middle East since the 1990's. She runs a belly dance troupe, Aubergine, and Brinjal, Baltimore's Bellydance Band. She also runs the Baltimore Faerie Faire, a one day festival dedicated to the fae creatures who stayed when the City was built around them. Study bellydance at Balticon and celebrate with The Fae at the Masquerade Ball, and the Faire the week after!

Scott Andrews

Scott H. Andrews lives in Virginia with his wife, two cats, nine guitars, a dozen overflowing bookcases, and hundreds of beer bottles from all over the world. His short fiction won a $1000 prize from the Briar Cliff Review and has appeared in Weird Tales, On Spec, and Space and Time. He is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the online fantasy magazine Beneath Ceaseless Skies, a three-time finalist for the Hugo Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the Parsec Award, and will be a guest lecturer at the 2016 Odyssey Writing Workshop.

Catherine Asaro

Catherine Asaro has written more than twenty-five books in science fiction, fantasy, and near future thrillers. She earned her doctorate in chemical physics and masters in physics, both at Harvard. Her works The Quantum Rose and "The Spacetime Pool" won the Nebula® Award. Among her other distinctions, she is a multiple winner of the AnLab from Analog magazine and the RT BOOKClub Award for "Best Science Fiction Novel. Her most recent books are Undercity (Baen) and Lighting Strike, Book II. Her next book, The Bronzed Sky, is due out from Baen late in 2016.

A former ballet and jazz dancer, Catherine has performed on both coasts and in Ohio. As a musician, she performs at various cons and jazz clubs. She has appeared at cons and other venues as a Guest of Honor or author guest in the US and abroad. More more information, see her Facebook page at


Ashaya is one of the cohosts of History of Westeros, a podcast dedicated to the histories and mysteries of A Song of Ice and Fire. She is an avid ASOIAF gamer, having modded the Game of Thrones board game, though her one true love is Crusader Kings 2: Game of Thrones.

John Ashmead

John Ashmead has a BA in physics from Harvard (summa cum laude) and a master's in physics from Princeton. He's working on a physics dissertation,Time & Quantum Mechanics, on how to quantize time using the same rules as we use for space. ("Experimentally testable, which is always nice!") John got his start as an editor atIsaac Asimov's Science Fictionmagazine. He's currently working with Darrell Schweitzer on an anthology,Tales From the Miskatonic University Library. By day, he's a database admin and developer at Nistica, which produces the optical switches used to control the Internet. He does a bit of database and web consulting on the side. But his life's ambition is to develop a practical and cost-effective time machine.

Lisa Ashton

Lisa Ashton is a retired Emergency Medicine PA, and a long-time costumer now living in WV. Recent Costumes include "It's Tough to be a God", "Basic Black", "Victorian Secret", and "In the Land of Rainbows & Unicorns". She is the Founder of Miss Lizzy's Traveling Historical Fashion Show.

Sarah Avery
Twitter: @SarahAveryBooks

Sarah Avery won the 2015 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Tales from Rugosa Coven. With David Sklar she coedited the themed anthology Trafficking in Magic, Magicking in Traffic, which includes stories from James Enge, Darrell Schweitzer, and Elizabeth Bear. Avery's short fiction has appeared in Jim Baen's Universe, Black Gate, and Fantasy Scroll. For seven years she has been a regular essayist and reviewer at Black Gate.

Jared Axelrod
Twitter: planetx

Jared Axelrod is the creator of "The Voice of Free Planet X," which takes a human-scale public radio approach to far-out science-fiction concepts. Jared Axelrod interviews everyone from vampires to time travelers, advanced A.I.s to ancient monstrosities. Axelrod has been been podcasting since 2005, and is also the creator of the serials "Aliens You Will Meet" and "Fables Of The Flying City." The story started in "Fables Of The Flying City" is concluded in The Battle Of Blood & Ink, a graphic novel he wrote that was illustrated by Steve Walker and published by Tor.

He is not domestic, he is a luxury, and in that sense, necessary.

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T. Eric Bakutis
Twitter: TEricBakutis

T. Eric Bakutis is an author and game designer based in Maryland. The staff of Balticon selected his debut fantasy novel, Glyphbinder, as one of eight finalists for the 2014 Compton Crook Award, and its sequel, Demonkin, was published in late 2015.

His short story, "Hunted", won 2nd place in the 2015 BSFS Short Story Competition, and his short fiction has appeared in a number of markets and anthologies. He has also received three honorable mentions from the Writers of the Future Contest.

When not developing games or writing, Eric blogs about game design and virtual reality, Tweets regular links to remixed videogame music and memes, and also publishes one new 1500 word short story every month for the Fantasy-Faction Writing Contest.

Philippa Ballantine
Twitter: PhilippaJane

New Zealand born fantasy writer and podcaster Philippa (Pip) Ballantine is the author of the Books of the Order and the Shifted World series. She is also the co-author with her husband Tee Morris of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels. Her awards include an Airship, a Parsec, the Steampunk Chronicle Reader's Choice, the RT Reviewer's Choice Award for steampunk, and a Sir Julius Vogel. She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and a furry clowder of cats.

Rob Barba

The author is a guy who somehow managed to have a birthday of Valentine's Day (though his family will deny this), a hometown of Huntington Beach, California (which his family will also deny) and ended up in the Navy for a stretch, traveling the world, learning new cultures and languages and ... anime and manga (okay, so he knew about that before he joined the Navy, but still). He then met his wife and thought he could do more damage to the nation as we know it by leaving military service and going into government employment. After wasting your taxpayer funds, he has now gone into comics and writing.

He has a ponytail, which was passé back in the 90s, and probably could use a shave. Since he left the service, he thinks jeans and sweaters constitute formal wear. He's also a massive liar, but hey, so is every other fiction writer out there -- that's why you buy their stuff. He now lives in, Winchester, Virginia with his wife and a dog that thinks she's a cat.

Oh, and something about being an accomplished linguist, archivist, artist, typographer, administrator and a dozen other things which have no bearing on why you're reading this.

Brick Barrientos
Twitter: @silverscreentes

Brick Barrientos has been playing in and organizing trivia contests for too long. He captained the University of Maryland to the College Bowl national championship. Brick was a one-day winner on Jeopardy!, defeating a four-time winner. These days he hosts a movie trivia game show called Silver Screen Test that can be found at Brick has been running the science fiction trivia contest at Balticon for more than 20 years and ran the trivia contest for Buccaneer, the Worldcon in Baltimore. His current day job is in compliance for an investment advisor.

Lada Bartova

A self-proclaimed ASOIAF nerd. Czech living in Ireland. Quite new to the whole SF/F cons gig, but very excited by all of it. If you skipped the 9th doctor, we cannot be friends.

Diana Bastine

Diana Bastine is a free-lance author and editor based in NC. She is the author of the award-winning YA fantasy series featuring Caitlyn Flynn (The Source, Shapeshifter and Selkie). These three novels, and the final, previously unpublished fourth volume, Gabriel's Secret, will be released by Double Dragon e-books in 2016. Diana is known to her friends and family as the "Fairy CatMother" and sells t-shirts and tote bags with this logo. She is also a certified Reiki Master/Teacher. Diana loves to read, do handcrafts and improve her brain -- she loves puzzles of all sorts, including jigsaws, math & logic puzzles, and word puzzles of every variety. She enjoys exercising first thing in the morning, eating healthy food -- and swears her only vice is 85+% dark chocolate.... She can be reached at

Jim Beall

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). Experience after the USN includes design, construction, inspection, enforcement, and assessment with a nuclear utility, an architect engineering firm, and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC). Assignments at the USNRC included senior resident inspector (both for construction and operations), inspection team leader, and senior enforcement specialist before serving as the policy assistant for reactors to three different USNRC Commissioners and earning the agency's Meritorious and Distinguished Service awards.

Duties of those policy-level posts included substantial research into alternative and speculative energy sources, as well as energy forecasts. Some of those other sources were coal, oil, hydro, geothermal, tidal, solar, wind, fracking, space-based, heavy water reactors, breeder reactors, fusion, and even anti-matter (mostly for the math and atomic equations). These studies were a necessary aspect for reviewing energy proposals, assessing technical reports, and drafting speeches.

Baen Books ( has published three of his non-fiction articles:

- "Our Worldship Broke!"

- "Case Studies in Handwavium" and

- "From Corvus to Keyhole -- Shipyards: Past Present And Science Fiction."

John Becker
Twitter: @johnbecker73

John Becker recently won his third Individual Artist's Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. He co-wrote and co-produced with James Durham the film Thirst. For the second year in a row, he was commissioned to write a play for the One-Minute Play Festival at Round House Theatre. His musical, Everything I Do, was read at the Kennedy Center and chosen for a workshop at Artist's Bloc. He was commissioned by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in NY to co-write and co-direct the book trailer for Susan Coll's The Stager. His play Summit Meeting was performed at the Kennedy Center for a festival, where it was awarded 1st place by audience vote.

John has had plays performed four years in a row at the Source Theatre in DC and had a play performed Off-Broadway at the Emerging Artists Theatre in New York. His articles have been published by Emerson College's Howlround and others. He has also had plays performed at the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, the Writer's Center, Company 13, the Run of the Mill Theatre (for which they won a Greater Baltimore Theatre Award), the Human Rights Arts Festival for Amnesty International, and many others.

R.S. Belcher
Twitter: @AuthorRSBelcher

R.S. (Rod) Belcher is an award-winning newspaper and magazine editor and reporter.

Rod has been a private investigator, a DJ, a comic book store owner and has degrees in criminal law, psychology and justice and risk administration, from Virginia Commonwealth University. He's done Masters work in Forensic Science at The George Washington University, and worked with the Occult Crime Taskforce for the Virginia General Assembly.

The Grand Prize winner of the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Anthology contest, Rod's short story "Orphans" was published in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 9 published by Simon and Schuster in 2006. It was his first professional fiction sale.

Rod's first novel, The Six-Gun Tarot, was published by Tor Books in 2013. The sequel, The Shotgun Arcana, was published in 2014 and the third book in the Golgotha series - The Queen of Swords is currently in production. His novel, Nightwise, was released in August, 2015, and his latest book, The Brotherhood of the Wheel was published by Tor in March of 2016. Sequels to both books are forthcoming.

He lives in Roanoke Virginia with his children, Jonathan and Emily.

Joseph F. Berenato
Twitter: @JFBerenato

Hailing from Hammonton, NJ, Joe spent four years as the entertainment editor of The Hammonton Gazette before returning to his roots at his family's blueberry farm. In 2014, Joe conceived, edited, and contributed to New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics. He and Rich Handley co-edited The Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes; Bright Eyes, Ape City: Examining the Planet of the Apes Mythos; and A Long Time Ago: Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe, and they have more volumes in the works. Joe's work for IDW Publishing includes the introduction for Star Trek: Gold Key Archives Volume 3 and a retrospective essay for Star Trek #50. He is an adjunct professor with several community colleges in New Jersey, and recently received a Master of Arts in Writing from Rowan University. You can find Joe at and on Twitter at @JFBerenato.

Joshua Bilmes
Twitter: jabbermaster

Joshua Bilmes has been a literary agent for thirty years, and represents #1 bestsellers Charlaine Harris and Brandon Sanderson (past Balticon GoH) and many other sff authors including Compton Crook winners Myke Cole and Elizabeth Moon, NY Times bestsellers Jack Campbell, Simon R. Green and Peter V. Brett, and dozens more. This spring, several of the 15 debut authors the agency has sold since 2014 will see their first novels published. He reads lots of comics, and loves to watch movies and tennis.

Danny Birt
Twitter: @danny_birt

Award-winning author Danny Birt has been a contributor to several sci-fi, fantasy, and professional magazines, anthologies, and journals. Formerly, he was an editor for Flashing Swords Magazine and Ancient Tomes Press, and is now a freelance editor. His fantasy series The Laurian Pentology is being published through Dark Quest Books, with the final book in the series, Beginning a Beginning, premiering at Balticon this year. His first children's/YA novel, Between a Roc and a Hard Place, won recognition with The National Parenting Center's 2010 Seal of Approval, Creative Child Magazine's 2010 Seal of Excellence, and was named one of Dr. Toy's Best Picks of 2010. In addition to literary publication, Danny composes classical and filk music, such as his nonstop hour-long piano solo "Piano Petrissage," and the ever-peculiar album Warped Children's Songs. Danny's humorous music has been featured on radio and internet programs such as The Dr. Demento Show and The Funny Music Project.

Ally Bishop
Twitter: @upgradestory

Ally Bishop, MFA, MA, is a full-time professional editor and consultant and founder of Upgrade Your Story (UYS). She's the personality behind the UYS podcast and the UYS Periscope show. Co-creator of The Cerulean Project, a not-for-profit organization focused on building supportive, educational writing communities locally and online. She's also a graphic designer (Creative Kook Designs), a PR/social media consultant and manager, and an author.

J.R. Blackwell
Twitter: jrblackwell

J.R. Blackwell is a photographer whose work has been published in newspapers, magazines and on the web. Her most recent project, In Their Own Worlds, features photographs of authors in the worlds of their novels.

Boogie Boogie Knights

Songs of daring-do with nary a hey nonny nonny! Since 1982, the Boogie knights have put a humorous Medieval/mythical twist on everything from commercial jingles to TV/movie themes, from golden oldies to the latest top-40 songs. Our fearless leader, David Keefer (Theodoric of York, Medieval Disk Jockey) and our guitarist, John Scheeler (Sir John of Denver) are founding members. The rest, in order of joining, are: Sharon "Smap" Palmer (Dionne of Warwicke), Kate Pakaski (Alice the Cooper's daughter), Linda Swann (the Lady Pinque), Keith R. A. DeCandido (KRAD the Obscure), & Lynn Cunningham ("Mad" Donna).

AD Boorman

Arthur Boorman is a special educator/case manager at Severna Park High School and the faculty advisor to Severna Park High School Science Fiction and Fantasy Club. He holds a BA from the State University of New York, an MA from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, an administration certificate from McDaniel College, and Advanced Professional Certificates in special education, secondary mathematics, and administration. He is a staff blogger and critic for the ComicWow! Network. He is a member of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, the Greater Columbia Fantasy Costumer's Guild, and a life member of the HP Lovecraft Historical Society. He was a paratrooper and combat engineer in the US Army and served in the first Persian Gulf War. In his spare time, he teaches yoga at his local YMCA and at a Disabled Veterans Program in Frederick, MD.

Walt Boyes
Twitter: #waltboyes

Walt Boyes is the editor of the Industrial Automation INSIDER magazine, the editor of _The Grantville Gazette_, a member of the 1632universe editorial board, formerly editor of Control magazine and associate editor of Jim Baen's Universe. Along with Joy Ward, Walt is Co-Editor of "Eric Flint's Ring of Fire Press." Walt is an active member of SFWA.

Marilyn "Mattie" Brahen

Marilyn "Mattie" Brahen has published fiction in Marion Zimmer Bradley's FANTASY MAGAZINE, SPACE & TIME, SCHEHERAZADE (in Great Britain) and other magazines, and in the anthologies CRAFTY CAT CRIMES and THE ULTIMATE HALLOWEEN. Her 2003 first novel, CLAIMING HER, and its 2009 sequel, REFORMING HELL, received good reviews. A third novel, BABY BOY BLUE, a police procedural mystery set in Philadelphia, was published in 2011 and resold to Linford Mystery Library (large print edition) in Great Britain in 2014. Mattie is also a guitarist, singer and songwriter and enjoys performing filk, folk, blues and other musical genre songs, both her own and those of other musical artists. She lives with her husband, editor and author Darrell Schweitzer, and their cat, Tolkien, in Northeast Philadelphia.

Alessia Brio

Take one part Appalachian redneck, one part ancient wet dream, and one part filthy-minded wordsmith. Mix well and serve with chocolate-covered cherries. There you have the one and only Alessia Brio. Alessia writes all colors and flavors of erotica, from heterosexual to menage to same sex, and from twisted to humorous to deeply touching. These days, Alessia spends most of her time managing Coming Together, the publishing nonprofit she launched over a decade ago.

Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown is a writer and filmmaker from New Orleans. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he recently received his Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and also runs Lucky Mojo Press and Mojotooth Productions. He has made two feature films: "Angels Die Slowly" and "Never A Dull Moment: 20 Years of the Rebirth Brass Band." He is also managing editor of the online literary journal Vex Mosaic.

Todd Brugmans

Peter Bryant
Twitter: @studio187

Peter Bryant is a game designer, artist, and podcaster. He is the executive producer at and the Director of New Media at TSR Games. He is also the host of the talk show MythWits.

Bud Bud Sparhawk

Bud Sparhawk has published one mass market paperback novel: VIXEN (Cosmos, ISBN 978-08439-5945-1, 2008) and two print collections: SAM BOONE: FRONT TO BACK (Foxacre Press, 2001) and DANCING WITH DRAGONS (Wildside Press, 2008). He has three e-Novels available through Amazon and other channels. His novel DISTANT SEAS (Fantastic Books, ISBN 10: 1-62755-633-8) is available from Amazon and other booksellers as trade paperback and eBook.

Bud has been a three-time novella finalist for the Nebula award: PRIMROSE AND THORN (Analog, May 1996), MAGIC'S PRICE (Analog, March 2001), and CLAYS'S PRIDE (Analog, July/August 2004). His work has appeared in two Year's Best anthologies: YEAR'S BEST SF #11 (EOS, ISBN-13:978-0-06-087341-7l, David Harwell-Editor) and The Years Best Science Fiction, Fourteenth Annual Collection, (St Martins Press, Garner Dozois -- Editor.)

Bud's short stories have appeared frequently in Analog Fact/Fiction, less so in Asimov's, as well as in four Defending the Future and other anthologies, publications and audio books. He has put out several collections of his published works in ebook format. A complete complete bibliography can be found at: He resides in Annapolis Maryland and writes a weekly blog on the pain of writing at

Jay Buechler

Twitter: James Buechler

Stephanie Burke

Stephanie 'Flash' Burke is an award winning USA Today best selling author of some of the most creative and diverse Paranormal, romantic, and humorous sci-fi novels ever written. It takes up so much of her time, she has given up on world domination. Flash is an avid reader, a master costumer, a wife and mother of two, and slave to two cats be believes are going to consume her flesh one day. She writes in many genres including but not limited to erotica, romance, horror, fantasy, paranormal, BDSM, and GBLTO. You can find Stephanie at her web site,, her Facebook page,, or at any used book stores. She will be found trolling for her favorite books with a mug of tea and a scary expression on her face. Please feel free to approach her... that look is not madness as some would claim. She is merely lost in her imagination and creating awesome worlds to share.

Laura Burns

Twitter: @moonrangerlaura

Laura A. Burns has been a space enthusiast her entire life. She has worked as an engineer with various NASA contractors for almost 17 years. She has worked on the James Webb Space Telescope, Landsat 8 and the Joint Polar Satellite System. During the summer of 2007, she spent nine weeks in Beijing, China at the International Space University and has returned as a guest lecturer. She enjoys speaking to the public on space related topics at conventions and science festivals. She tweets about space and science at@moonrangerlaura. In addition to her interest in space, she is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan, photographer, board game player, knitter, podcast listener, and book collector. She has had two photo exhibitions at Constellation Books in Reisterstown, MD. Laura is the head of the Parsec Awards Steering Committee, the longest running speculative fiction podcasting award, and has lent her voice to several podcasts. Reach her on Twitter at@parsecawards.

Mitchell Burnside Clapp

Mitchell Burnside Clapp is a graduate of MIT with degrees in Aerospace Engineering, Physics, and Russian. He served in the Air Force (active and reserve) over 30 years and graduated from the Air Force Test Pilot School. He's also managed to be the CEO of two technology startups, develop several concepts for space access, serve as a program manager at DARPA, and learn how to cook ethnic foods from ethnicities he doesn't actually belong to. In his copious free time, he has managed to become a Pegasus-award winning musician.

Ty Burson

Ty Burson is a Maryland middle school teacher and author of two juvenile fiction novels. He received his doctorate in education in 2011. As a former Russian linguist for the Air Force, he and his family have lived all over the world. He is currently working on the third book in the Modern Dragon Chronicles series as well as a young adult novel based upon a real-life family of Kansas serial killers.

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Iver Cooper has been an active contributor to Eric Flint's "1632" shared universe, with more than 20 short stories and more than 40 articles published so far. Iver's 1632 universe braided story anthology 1636: Seas of Fortune was published by Baen as a trade paperback in January 2014 and as a mass market paperback in February 2015. He is working with Eric Flint on a novel set in Ming China.

Iver is an intellectual property law attorney with Browdy & Neimark, Washington, DC. He has received legal writing awards from the American Patent Law Association, the US Trademark Association, and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, and is the sole author of Biotechnology and the Law, now in its 20-something edition. In his spare time he teaches swing and folk dancing, and participates in local photo club competitions. Iver is married, with a son who is a public policy analyst, and a daughter working at Universal Orlando as a copywriter.

Mildred Cady

Games, writing, crafting, acting, costuming, real and alternate history, historical lifestyles, and cooking are the main interests of Mildred's life. She's turning those into stories for herself and her friends, games to play with friends, and a podcast (thePicnic Basket podcast). At Balticon this year she'll be bringing a more in-depth view into Victorian Gambling and Parlor Games, a Whist tournament, and stories and discussion over in the New Media track.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell (John G. Hemry) is the author of the New York Times best-selling Lost Fleet series and Lost Stars series, and the Steampunk-meets-high-fantasy Pillars of Reality series. His most recent books are Lost Stars - Shattered Spear, Beyond the Frontier - Leviathan, and The Pirates of Pacta Servanda. John's works have been published in twelve languages. His short fiction includes time travel, alternate history, space opera, military SF, fantasy, and humor. Non-fiction work includes articles on declassified US military Cold War plans for bases on the Moon, and Liberating the Future: Women in the Early Legion (of Superheroes) in Sequart's Teenagers From the Future.

John is a retired US Navy officer, who served in a wide variety of jobs including surface warfare (the ship drivers of the Navy), amphibious warfare, anti-terrorism, intelligence, and some other things that he's not supposed to talk about. Being a sailor, he has been known to tell stories about Events Which Really Happened (but cannot be verified by any independent sources). This experience has served him well in writing fiction.

He lives in Maryland with his indomitable wife "S" and three great kids (all three on the autism spectrum).

Jack Carroll

Jack Carroll is a regular in the 1632 universe, writing in Grantville Gazette and the Ring of Fire anthologies. A lifelong hard SF fan and filker, he has been attending Boston-area cons since the early 1970s, with songs in the NESFA Hymnal and Northeast Passages. Professionally, Jack is a semi-retired electronics engineer, working mostly on medical products these days. He's an active ham radio operator, volunteering in communication teams for public events and regional emergencies. Jack lives in New Hampsire with his wife, granddaughter, and a fluctuating population of cats.

Christine Chase

Fangirl. Aspiring Author. Lover of Ninjas. Libertarian Catholic. Taurus. Loves anime, fantasy, science fiction, and long days at the gun range.

Robert Chase

Robert R Chase is the newly retired Chief Counsel who, in his real life, has written the Compton Cook finalist novel, The Game of Fox and Lion, and is a regular contributor to both Analog and Asimov's. He has also given presentations on subjects as diverse as anime, copyright, and the Second Amendment.

Carl Cipra

Carl Cipra started reading F&SF in his pre-teen years and has been hooked ever since. He became involved with Fandom back in the 1970s (by way of the SCA in Southern California) and is one of the founding members of Lambda Sci-Fi: DC Area Gaylaxians. He really enjoys moderating discussion panels at conventions and is looking forward to all the fascinating discussions at Balticon this year. Mundanely, Carl is the program manager for instructor-training in a much-maligned, three-letter Government agency.

Denise Clemons

Denise Clemons holds a BA in Biopsychology from Vassar College and an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. She spent the first twenty years of her career as an executive in the technology industry before leaving the corporate world to devote her energies to the non-profit arena. She lives in Lewes, Delaware where she writes a weekly cooking column for the Cape Gazette newspaper. Denise is a member of SFPA and her poetry has been published in journals, chapbooks and anthologies.

Jack Clemons

Jack Clemons is both an SF writer and a "rocket scientist". He's published several science fiction stories and is an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and he has Bachelor and Master Degrees in Aerospace Engineering and was an engineer and team leader on NASA's Apollo and Space Shuttle Programs. He gives talks across the Mid-Atlantic region, including at Balticon 49, on the Apollo Moon Program, on the design and first flights of the NASA Space Shuttle, and on the subject of Why Science Matters. He also appeared in the "Command Module" segment of "Moon Machines," the Discovery Science Channel's award-winning six-part documentary about the Apollo Program. He writes a bi-weekly space and science blog for Amazing Stories Online Magazine, and is completing a memoir about his time on Apollo and Space Shuttle.

Tek The Clockwork Doctor
Twitter: @the_clock_doc

Steampunk Plague Doctor, Costumer, and Lover of SciFi. Real life Weapons Technician, and Writer's Tech Consultant. Founder of the Dead Tree Society. Loves writing about speculative militaries and weaponry, read his Noises from the Vault column of the upcoming novel about armies on Mars.

Brenda Clough

Brenda Clough writes science fiction and fantasy, mainly novels. Nine of her novels have been published. Her two recent novels are available in e-format: Revise the World, a time travel novel, and Speak to Our Desires, dark fantasy/detective. Brenda also writes short stories and occasional non-fiction. She blogs every week at the Book View Cafe Blog.

John Cmar
Twitter: JohnCmarMD

John Cmar, MD, has been long enthralled with horrible infections that could spell doom for humankind, as well as sanity and skepticism in the practice of medicine. He is currently the assistant director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, and an instructor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is the lead physician in Sinai's Ryan White initiative, which provides medical care and social assistance to patients with HIV infection who are without medical insurance. In his role as program director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Sinai, he teaches an annual course series in evidence-based medicine, among many other duties. He also does infectious diseases outreach in Baltimore television and print media, and is the guest-in-residence on the monthly Midday on Health show with Dan Rodricks on 88.1 WYPR radio in Baltimore. John is a science fiction and fantasy fan, avid gamer, craft beer aficionado, and podcast enthusiast. He currently blogs and podcasts on skeptical, medical, and geeky topics at

Myke Cole

Myke Cole is the author of the military fantasy SHADOW OPS series, including JAVELIN RAIN, GEMINI CELL, BREACH ZONE, FORTRESS FRONTIER and CONTROL POINT.

As a security contractor, government civilian and military officer, Myke Cole's career has run the gamut from Counterterrorism to Cyber Warfare to Federal Law Enforcement. He's done three tours in Iraq and was recalled to serve during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Doc Coleman
Twitter: scaleslea

It all started with a tweet.

A guest spot on Galley Table's second episode opened the door of podcasting, and Doc Coleman stepped through. He continued on as the regular Galley Table's stow-away, then went on to produce his own podcast, The Shrinking Man Project. His appetite for NM now whetted, he broadened his scope to include voice acting and writing.

He has been part of the NM Tracks at Balticon, RavenCon, and Capclave, and performed as part of Metamor City Live at Balticon 45 and 47, and Stargazers at Balticon 46. Most recently, he has taken over the Balticon Podcast, and will be continuing the tradition of news, panels, and interview at

Discover Doc's stories in The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences' Tales from the Archives, the Way of the Gun Bushido Western Anthology, and the Steampunk Special Edition of Flagship magazine, and keep your eyes out for his novel, The Perils of Prague, the first book in the series The Adventures of Crackle and Bang.

Find out about all of Doc's projects at Swimming Cat Studios (

When he isn't juggling projects, making a living, or mainlining podcasts, Doc is a gamer, an avid reader, a motorcyclist, a home brewer and beer lover, a fan of renaissance festivals, and frequently a smart-ass. He lives with his lovely wife and two cats in Germantown, MD.

Paul Cooley
Twitter: paul_e_cooley

A writer, podcaster, and software architect from Houston, Texas, Paul E Cooley produces free psychological thriller and horror podcasts, essays, and reviews available from and iTunes.

His stories have been listened to by thousands and he has been a guest on such notable podcasts as Podioracket, John Mierau's "Podcast Teardown," Geek Out with Mainframe, Shadowcast Audio, and Vertigo Radio Live. In 2010, his short story Canvas and novella Tattoo were nominated for Parsec Awards. Tattoo became a Parsec Award finalist. He has collaborated with New York Times Bestselling author Scott Sigler on the series "The Crypt" and co-wrote the novel "The Rider" (projected release in 2016). In addition to his writing, Paul has contributed his voice talents to a number of podiofiction productions.

His best-selling novel, The Black, was released in 2014 and won the 2015 Parsec Award for best novel.

He is a co-host on the renowned Dead Robots' Society writing podcast and enjoys interacting with both readers and writers.

Elwin Cotman

Elwin Cotman is the author of two short story collections, The Jack Daniels Sessions EP and Hard Times Blues. His work has been published in Black Gate, The Southwestern Review, and Grist, among others. As a performance artist, he has performed at hundreds of venues across North America.

Billy Crash

A lover of anything on the fringe or in the undercurrent, I'm a multi award-winning screenwriter, as well as a published poet, and essayist in academia. My hard-boiled crime thriller, Bloodletting, has been adapted from my script of the same name, which won Second Place at the Screenwriters Showcase Screenplay Contest in 2006, and was the leading script in the mystery category. My college textbook, Earn Internships, Secure Employment: A Practical Guide to Writing for the Workplace from Kendall Hunt Publishing has been helping students since the fall of 2015.

When not writing or planning a film project, I'm co-host of THE LAST KNOCK podcast with Jonny Numb -- what Entertainment Weekly considers to be one of the "5 essential podcasts for horror fans." The show is available from and iTunes.

Currently, I'm seeking an agent for my horror novel, The City of Bloody Love: Red Agenda, which has been adapted from my horror/crime script Red Agenda, which won First Place at the International Horror and Science Fiction Film Festival in 2008. This will be the first book in The City of Bloody Love series. I'm also raising funds for my dramatic science fiction feature, 99%, which I'll direct in the summer of 2017.

Wishing I could afford to eat sushi every day and hand out scholarships to my students like candy, I'm an Assistant Professor of English at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

Meriah Crawford
Twitter: @meriahcrawford

Meriah Lysistrata Crawford teaches research and writing at Virginia Commonwealth University, and is a private investigator, writer, and editor. She's published stories in several genres, as well as essays, a variety of scholarly work, and a poem about semicolons. The anthology Trust & Treachery: Tales of Power and Intrigue, which Meriah co-edited, was published in May 2014. Her doctoral dissertation explores the functions of the second person, as well as offering a new perspective on the components of point of view in general -- and it's way more interesting than it sounds. For more information, visit

Vonnie Winslow Crist

Vonnie Winslow Crist, BS Art-Ed, MS Professional Writing, has had a life-long interest in reading, writing, art, fairytales, folklore, and legends. Her books include "The Enchanted Skean" (Compton Crook Award Finalist), "Owl Light," "The Greener Forest," "Leprechaun Cake & Other Tales," "River of Stars," and "Essential Fables." A member of the SFWA and a Pushcart Prize nominee, Crist's writing has won awards from L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the National League of American Pen Women. Her speculative fiction appears in "Chilling Ghost Short Stories" (UK), "Faerie Magazine," "Cast of Wonders," "Dia de los Muertos," "Lorelei Signal," "Dragon's Lure," "Defending the Future: Dogs of War," "Potter's Field 4 & 5," "Les Cabinets des Polytheistes," "Tales of the Talisman," "Trysts of Fate," While the Morning Stars Sing, "Ocean Stories," "Magical - An Anthology of Fantasy," "Epona's Children," and elsewhere. She is editor of "The Gunpowder Review" and co-editor of Pole to Pole Publishing's "Hides the Dark Tower" and "In a Cat's Eye." Her fantastical art has been featured on the covers of "FrostFire Worlds," "Bards & Sages Quarterly," "Outposts of Beyond," "Illumen," "Spaceports & Spidersilk," "Scifaikuest," "Aoife's Kiss," and elsewhere. A clover-hand who has found so many four-leafed clovers she keeps them in jars, Crist strives to celebrate the power of myth in her writing and art. For more info:

Lynn Cunningham

Songs of daring-do with nary a hey nonny nonny! Since 1982, the Boogie knights have put a humorous Medieval/mythical twist on everything from commercial jingles to TV/movie themes, from golden oldies to the latest top-40 songs. Our fearless leader, David Keefer (Theodoric of York, Medieval Disk Jockey) and our guitarist, John Scheeler (Sir John of Denver) are founding members. The rest, in order of joining, are: Sharon "Smap" Palmer (Dionne of Warwicke), Kate Pakaski (Alice the Cooper's daughter), Linda Swann (the Lady Pinque), Keith R. A. DeCandido (KRAD the Obscure), & Lynn Cunningham ("Mad" Donna).

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Amanda Davroe

A.L. (Amanda) Davroe writes both YA and adult speculative fiction. She prefers revisionist tales in paranormal, romance, Steampunk, and fantasy. She is the author of Salvation Station (adult psych horror), The City Steam Collection (adult psych horror), For Your Heart (YA Paranormal Romance) and her YA Sci-Fi novel, Nexis, came out with Entangled Publishing December, 2015!

By day, Amanda lives in Connecticut with her two feline hench-creatures and makes cheese. She's a terrible blusher, has a weak spot for cuddly animals, loves Laffy Taffy and Cadbury MiniEggs, and she's a huge advocate of alternative healing methods. Amanda also wears purple shoes and corsets...Though not always in the same ensemble. She's a Capricorn, a Hufflepuff, a bit gothic, and a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal.

A.L. (Amanda) Davroe writes both YA and adult speculative fiction. She prefers revisionist tales in paranormal, romance, Steampunk, and fantasy. She is the author of Salvation Station (adult psych horror), The City Steam Collection (adult psych horror), For Your Heart (YA Paranormal Romance) and her YA Sci-Fi novel, Nexis, came out with Entangled Publishing December, 2015!

By day, Amanda lives in Connecticut with her two feline hench-creatures and makes cheese. She's a terrible blusher, has a weak spot for cuddly animals, loves Laffy Taffy and Cadbury MiniEggs, and she's a huge advocate of alternative healing methods. Amanda also wears purple shoes and corsets...Though not always in the same ensemble. She's a Capricorn, a Hufflepuff, a bit gothic, and a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal.

Susan de Guardiola

Susan de Guardiola has been active in fandom for more than thirty years as a costumer, masquerade emcee, and all-around fan. She has worked as a book reviewer for Publisher's Weekly and the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest and ran the Hugo Awards Ceremony in 2012.

Professionally, she is a social dance historian who may often be found in musty library stacks researching dance from the 16th to the early 20th century, which she teaches at workshops and dance events across the United States and in Russia. In her spare time, she plays high-speed online Scrabble.

Keith DeCandido
Twitter: @KRADeC

Keith R.A. DeCandido has written a ridiculous amount of fiction. Recent and upcoming work includes the MARVEL'S TALES OF ASGARD trilogy of novels, A FURNACE SEALED (the first book in his new urban fantasy series about a nice Jewish boy from the Bronx who fights monsters), STARGATE SG-1: KALI'S WRATH, short stories in V-WARS: NIGHT TERRORS, THE SIDE OF GOOD/THE SIDE OF EVIL, NIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD, and more. In addition to all the fiction, his classic TV rewatches appear twice weekly on, he's a second-degree black belt in karate, and he's the percussionist for Boogie Knights.

Virginia DeMarce

Virginia DeMarce is a retired professional historian (Ph.D., Stanford, 1967) with a speciality in Early Modern Europe. She has been writing with Eric Flint in the 1632 alternate history series since 2004. She is also a lifelong genealogist, widowed after 47 years of marriage to Jim DeMarce, and lives in Arlington, VA. For the past several years, her activities have been accompanied by grandchildren and cats.

Wendy Delmater
Twitter: @Abyss_Apex

Wendy S. Delmater is the long-time editor and publisher of the Hugo-nominated Abyss & Apex Magazine of Speculative Fiction. A&A specializes in finding new talent and has helped launch the careers of many well-known science fiction and fantasy writers such a Aliette de Bodard, Tony Pi, Lisa Mantchev, Will McIntosh, Mercurio D. Rivera, Marie Brennan and more. Twenty-five percent of what Abyss & Apex publishes are first-time publications for new authors.

Arinn Dembo

ARINN DEMBO is a prize-winning author of SF, fantasy and horror. She is the Lead Writer of Kerberos Productions, a game development studio in Vancouver, BC, and the ADR screenwriter of the anime series World Trigger. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in The Magazine of F & SF, H.P. Lovecraft's Magazine of Horror, Weird Tales, Lamp Light Quarterly, and various anthologies. Single author books include a military science fiction novel, The Deacon's Tale, and a collection called Monsoon and Other Stories.

In addition to a long career as a writer in the entertainment industry, she holds degrees in Anthropology and Classical Archaeology. Follow her on social media or visit her website,, for more information.

Ming Diaz

Several decades ago Ming Diaz brought his facepaints to the Fast Track area and every year since has been watching the young people of Balticon becoming young adults. He can't tell who's been having more fun in the process. Between cons he's in St. Mary's County, MD. 240-298-3996

Tim Dodge
Twitter: @tdog4494

Tim Dodge is a fiction writer, non-fiction freelancer and podcaster living in Syracuse, NY. He is the author of the podcast novels ACTS OF DESPERATION and PURGATORY. Print and electronic versions of PURGATORY were published in 2012. He is currently seeking publication for his latest novel about a ghost hunter in New England. His short story "Down By The River" appeared in the TALES FROM THE ARCHIVES podcast in 2015. He is the host of the occasional podcast THE GEEK SIDE OF LIFE ( and writes a blog titled IF MY THOUGHT-DREAMS COULD BE SEEN ( A lifelong bookworm, he serves as a trustee on two library boards and was elected president of one while he was out of the room getting donuts. His current work in progress is a novel about street musicians hypnotizing pedestrians with subliminal messages.

Rosy Dorffner

Rosy is a long time crafter who can never settle on any one craft. She is currently head over heels about Fairy Gardens. As her father would say, "Jack of all trades, master of none."

Tom Doyle

Tom Doyle is the author of a contemporary fantasy series from Tor Books. In the first book, American Craftsmen, two modern magician soldiers fight their way through the legacies of Poe and Hawthorne as they attempt to destroy an undying evil--and not kill each other first. In the sequel, The Left-Hand Way, the craftsmen are hunters and hunted in a global race to save humanity from a new occult threat out of America's past.

Tom's collection of short fiction, The Wizard of Macatawa and Other Stories, includes his WSFA Small Press Award and Writers of the Future Award stories. He writes science fiction and fantasy in a spooky turret here in Washington, DC. You can find the text and audio of many of his stories on his website,


James Durham

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Scott Edelman

Scott Edelman has published more than 85 short stories in magazines such as The Twilight Zone, Absolute Magnitude, The Journal of Pulse-Pounding Narratives, Science Fiction Review and Fantasy Book, and in anthologies such as Why New Yorkers Smoke, The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction: Volume Three, Crossroads: Southern Tales of the Fantastic, Men Writing SF as Women, MetaHorror, Once Upon a Galaxy, Moon Shots, Mars Probes, Forbidden Planets, Summer Chills, and The Mammoth Book of Monsters.

Upcoming stories will appear in Analog, Jaym Gates' anthology Genius Loci, the UK magazine Postscripts, the third installment of the anthology series Chiral Mad, and the 50th anniversary issue of Space & Time.

A collection of his horror fiction, These Words Are Haunted, which came out from Wildside Books in 2001, has recently been reissued by Fantastic Books, and a standalone novella The Hunger of Empty Vessels was published in 2009 by Bad Moon Books. He is also the author of the Lambda Award-nominated novel The Gift (Space & Time, 1990) and the collection Suicide Art (Necronomicon, 1992). His collection of zombie fiction, What Will Come After, came in 2010 from PS Publishing, and was a finalist for both the Stoker Award and the Shirley Jackson Memorial Award. His science fiction short fiction has been collected in What We Still Talk About from Fantastic Books.

He has been a Stoker Award finalist six times, both in the category of Short Story and Long Fiction.

Gary Ehrlich

Gaia Eirich

Gaia Eirich is a Master costumer and has been attending and costuming at conventions for 15 years. For the last 17 years she has been sewing and creating costumes in a wide variety of forms including fantasy, historical, and anime costumes for conventions and commissions, belly dance costumes for a studio, wedding dresses, accessories, and also basic quilt making. She has also worked as a costume manager in a theater and is currently working on belly dance costume alterations for a studio. She loves and greatly enjoys taking part in convention masquerades and has judged the Balticon masquerade. She is also an active member of the Greater Columbia Fantasy Costumer's Guild (GCFCG), the local chapter of the International Costumer's Guild (ICG).

Zachary Eirins

Zachary Eirins is the manager of a mental fitness and wellness store that provides board games for all ages with the intent of Brain Health. STR 11 DEX 12 CON 11 INT 14 WIS 16 CHA 17

Christiana Ellis
Twitter: @christianaellis

Christiana is a writer and podcaster living in Massachusetts with her corgi, Luna. Her novel, Nina Kimberly the Merciless, is available in print and as a free self-produced podcast audiobook. She is also the writer and producer behind Space Casey, the science-fiction audiodrama which won both a Parsec Award and the Gold Mark Time award.

In addition to the half-dozen podcast projects that she has going at any given time, she is also currently in production on Phyllis Esposito: Interdimensional Private Eye, a science-fiction serial available as individual installments at, as well as audio and ebook collections.

Paul Ellis
Twitter: @paulkellis

Paul grew up in northern Alabama, in the crook of the Tennessee River, and moved to central Virginia in the late 70's. He has worked in food service, retail, radio and television, and in IT, most recently as a systems team programmer. Paul's life is kept exciting by his wife and three daughters. He writes genre fiction as an escape. Other than that, he's just this guy, you know?

Mark The Encaffeinated ONE
Twitter: encaf1

Mark "the Encaffeinated ONE" Kilfoil is a podcaster, radio host and program director, narrator, software developer, tabletop gamer, general geek and nerd. With nearly twenty years of radio experience, a Master's Degree in Computer Science and a lifetime of interest in science fiction and fantasy, Mark has made forays into podcasting (including the Parsec-winning The WEIRD Show and the Parsec-nominated audio-adaptation of his novella "Tainted Roses"), into story narration (over a dozen stories for Far-Fetched Fables and Starship Sofa), into audio drama (with Buffy Between The Lines and Wasted Tape), and into computer science research (in multi-agent systems negotiation). Since 2010, he has been the Program Director of CHSR-FM, a campus-based community radio station in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. He is currently working on writing audio drama, producing more radio shows, and stuffing as much fiction into his mind as possible

Bill Fawcett

After writing for the early issues of Dragon Magazine in the 1970s Bill became one of the founders of and lead designer at Mayfair Games, a board and role play gaming company. He has continued his game design work creating a number of PC games and apps. Bill Fawcett & Associates has packaged over 400 books science fiction, fantasy, military, non-fiction, and licensed novels and series for major publishers.

As an author Bill has written or co-authored over a dozen books plus close to one hundred articles and short stories. Bill has collaborated on several mystery novels including with Chelsea Quinn Yarbro including the Authorized Mycroft Holmes novels and the Madame Vernet Investigates mystery novels. As an anthologist Bill has edited or co-edited over 40 anthologies. Bill was the editor of Hunters and Shooters and The Teams, two oral histories of the SEALs in Vietnam.

Among the non-fiction books Bill has written are Oval Office Oddities, 100 Mistakes that Changed History and Trust Me, 100 Leadership Mistakes that Changed History and 101 Stumbles in the March of History (Fall 2016). He edited Hunters and Shooters and The Teams,His historical "Mistakes" series of often amused look at how the mistakes in history changed our lives include It Seemed Like a good Idea, It Looked Good On Paper (Engineering disasters) and You Did What. His military mistakes series include How To Lose A Battle, How To Lose a War, How To Lose WWII, How To Lose a War at Sea, and How To Lose the American Civil War.

Jim Feight

Harold Feld
Twitter: haroldfeld

Harold Feld is the Senior Vice President for Public Knowledge, one of the nation's premier consumer advocacy organizations working at the intersection of copyright, telecommunications and the Internet. Feld is highly regarded as a thought leader in the areas of broadband policy, spectrum reform and consumer protection in the digital age. He was previously a Senior Vice President at the Media Access Project (MAP), a public interest law group, where he advanced competition policies in media, telecommunications and technology. Prior to joining MAP, Feld was an associate at Covington & Burling, and clerked for the DC Court of Appeals.

Feld is a frequent author on technology, broadband access and wireless policies, and his scholarly, legal and opinion pieces have been published in the New York Times, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Jose Mercury News. He also regularly appears as a contributor, through his popular blog Tales of the Sausage Factory (available at In 2007, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin praised Feld and his blog for "[doing] a lot of great work helping people understand how FCC decisions affect people and communities on the ground." He has appeared on Bloomberg, CNBC, and C-Span's The Communicators, and has regularly testified on a variety of policy issues before the U.S. House and Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees.

He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife and son.

Judi Fleming

By day, Judi Fleming works as an instructional systems specialist writing training materials for the federal government. She is a graduate of Seton Hill University's Master's program in Writing Popular Fiction where she went to write more fun and interesting things. Judi also does a wide variety of art in many different forms and styles and teaches various art classes on the east coast.

Billy Flynn

With a background in radio and podcasting, acting is a natural outlet for a former class clown. Billy Flynn has spent years working in radio creating comedic characters to entertain listeners. Hosting events such as The Boom Effect telethon and The Parsec Awards led to some acting opportunities. Billy Flynn has appeared in the playsMuch Ado About Murder,Annie,Murder at Avedon Hill,THY,and provided voice work forPower in the Blood,The Amazing Pulp Adventures of Mr. Adventure,Requiem of the Outcast,Sci-Fi Shenanigans,Star Trek Miami, and anywhere else that will have him. Billy Flynn can also be heard announcing roller derby for the River City Rollergirls. His goal is to one day be the voice of a super-hero in a cartoon.

Terri Flynnstress
Twitter: @flynnstress

Flynnstress brings a sultry, feminine voice to GRDsWeekly and occasionally the Geek Radio Daily show. Flynnstress is originally from Maryland, and went to school at George Mason University and University of Phoenix. The Richmond, Virginia area is now her home. She helps teachers integrate 21st century skills in the classroom with inspiring ed tech. Flynnstress was not always a geek; husband, Billy Flynn, got her hooked on favorites like Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, and Firefly. Flynnstress also loves to travel, watches too much TV, admits to being addicted to Facebook, and is trying to save the earth, one recycled can of Coke at a time. Look for her toting her new little geekling around the con and introducing her to the wonders of geekdom.

Doug Fratz

D. Douglas Fratz is best known in the science fiction and fantasy field as a book reviewer who currently writes for SF Site and New York Review of Science Fiction. He has been reviewing books and writing about science fiction for more than 40 years, with work appearing in Science Fiction Age, Science Fiction Eye, Fantasy Review, The Washington Post, Science Fiction Weekly / SciFi Wire / BLASTR (on the SciFi Channel's web site) and other venues, including his own literary magazine, Quantum Science Fiction & Fantasy Review (formerly Thrust). He founded Thrust as the science fiction magazine of the University of Maryland, and continued it as a semiprofessional magazine after graduation. As publisher and editor of Thrust/Quantum (1973-1993), he was nominated for five Hugo Awards. He has been attending science fiction conventions since 1968, and has appeared on more than one hundred panels and other program items.

In real life, Doug Fratz is an environmental scientist serving as Vice President of Scientific and Technical Affairs for the Consumer Specialty Products Association in Washington, DC, a trade association representing the formulated consumer products industry, where he has worked for more than 35 years. Doug Fratz received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Maryland in 1974, and his M.S. degree in Environmental Science from the George Washington University in 1983. He lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

John French

JOHN L. FRENCH has worked for over thirty years as a crime scene investigator and has seen more than his share of murders, shootings and serious assaults. As a break from the realities of his job, he writes science fiction, pulp, horror, fantasy, and, of course, crime fiction.

In 1992 John began writing stories based on his training and experiences on the streets of Baltimore. His first story "Past Sins" was published in Hardboiled Magazine and was cited as one of the best Hardboiled stories of 1993.

John's first book was The Devil of Harbor City, a novel done in the old pulp style. Past Sins and Here There Be Monsters. John was also consulting editor for Chelsea House's Criminal Investigation series. His other books include The Assassins' Ball (Written with Patrick Thomas), Paradise Denied, Blood Is the Life and The Nightmare Strikes. John is the editor of TO HELL IN A FAST CAR, MERMAIDS 13, C. J. Henderson's Challenge of the Unknown, and (with Greg Schauer) With Great Power ...

Jesse Friedman

Jesse Friedman received a Master's in Education of Social Studies in 2012 from the University of Georgia for which she did research on utilizing popular culture in the social studies and English classroom. She has taught and written about several popular culture topics including "nerd culture" in the media, what alternative history and low fantasy can teach us about history, and representations of historical concepts of gender, race, class structures, warfare, and religion as represented in popular culture. She is currently teaching and developing the youtube series "Beyond Edutainment" about lessons that can be learned from video games.

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Clint Gaige

Clint Gaige is a writer, with four novels and numerous short stories to his credit. His work has appeared in Bullet Magazine, and he was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes. His film work includes the short films Dogmatic Siblings, Brothers and Perspective, the feature length films Making the Mob and Violent Karma and the educational series Classroom Moments as well as the documentary, Voices of The Holocaust. He has just wrapped his latest film, A Clean Exit.

William Galaini
Twitter: @wlgalaini

Author of multiple science fiction and fantasy novels, William Galaini has also published several humorous and historical short stories via Nook, Kobo, and Kindle. Having initially started as a self-published author, he has now allied himself with Scarlet River Press to release his new series of novels about a Steampunk version of Dante's Divine Comedy.

William Galaini grew up in Pennsylvania and Florida. His mother gave him an early love of reading, especially when it came to the great classics of science fiction. He is also a history buff and fascinated by mythology and folklore. His various vocational pursuits include being a singer in a professional high school choir, manager of the call center at a luxury resort, U.S. Army medic, prison guard, and middle school English teacher. As such, he is perfectly suited to breech a solid metal door, humanely restrain the enemy within, and politely correct their grammar all while humming Handel's Messiah and drinking a lovely cuppa tea.

He currently hangs his hat, rucksack, and tweed smoking jacket in Northern Virginia.

Allison Gamblin
Twitter: SVallie

Diagnosed with D.I.D. and P.N.E.S. in 2015, Allison Gamblin is one of the few Wordpress professionals who comes to the table with her own stable of IT Geeks in one, easy to work with USAF Format. She is often accompanied by her ESA sidekick, Strax The Cat.

Charles Gannon
Twitter: @cegannon1

Dr. Charles E. Gannon's newest novel from Baen Books is Raising Caine [October 2015] - the third book in his hard science fiction Caine Riordan series. Equal parts intrigue and military SF, novels in the series have been twice nominated for the Nebula Award and won the Compton Crook Award, in addition to being national SF bestsellers. The next book in the series--Caine's Mutiny--is forthcoming in October.

He pens novels in collaboration with Eric Flint in the Ring of Fire alternate history series and with Steve White in the Starfire series. His shorter SF has appeared under various imprints and in various magazines. His first epic fantasy, the Broken World trilogy, is forthcoming from Baen.

His book Rumors of War and Infernal Machines: Technomilitary Agenda Setting in American and British Speculative Fiction, won the 2006 American Library Association Award for Outstanding Book.

Dr. Gannon is a Distinguished Professor of English at St. Bonaventure University. A Fulbright Senior Specialist from 2004 to 2009, he held Fulbright Fellowships in England, Scotland, the Czech Republic, and received Fulbright and Embassy Travel grants to these countries as well as to The Netherlands, Slovakia, and Italy. He has also served as a consultant for various intelligence and defense agencies, including DHS, Pentagon, Air Force, Army, NATO, DARPA, NRO, NASA, and several others which may not be disclosed. He has been on various radio and televisions programs as an expert commentator, including NPR and the Discovery Channel.

Prior to his academic career, Dr. Gannon worked as a scriptwriter and producer in New York City: clients included the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and The President's Council on Physical Fitness. He also worked in game design and authoring (mostly for GDW in the Traveller and 2300 AD lines).

Eric Gasior

Eric Gasior is the Technical Director for Balticon, in charge of the crew that sets up and runs the theater, dance, and room A/V tech. He has done lighting design or served as run crew for several performing arts organizations including Fluid Movement, Yellow Sign Theater, The Colonial Players, The Rude Mechanicals, and Laurel Mill Playhouse.

His professional background includes computer systems administration at space science, behavioral science, and health science organizations.

Haldeman Gay

Pamela Gay

Dr. Pamela L. Gay is an astronomer, writer, and podcaster focused on using new media to engage people in science and technology. Through, she works to engage people in both learning and doing science. Join her project, CosmoQuest, to map our solar system in unprecedented detail through citizen science projects, and to learn astronomy through media productions such asAstronomy Cast. Through this weekly podcast, Fraser Cain and Dr. Gay take you on a facts-based journey through our cosmos, exploring not only what we know, but how we know it. In addition to podcasting, she also works to communicate astronomy to the public through her blog, and through frequent public talks, and mass media. Her writing has appeared inAstronomy,Sky and Telescope, andLightspeedmagazines, and she has appeared in episodes ofThe Universeand National Geographic'sTop Secrets.

Veronica Giguere
Twitter: vforvoice

Veronica "V." Giguere is a narrator, author, and educator. In love with her microphone for a decade, she has voiced spoiled supervillains, tempting demons, Communist metahumans, space marines, anxious technomancers, secret agent archaeologists, suspicious journalists, foxling pirates, enchanted princesses, and a young woman facing an odd spider infestation. She is a coauthor of the Secret World Chronicles podcast novel series and her other writings include inner-city cyberpunk, psychological thrillers, and zombies. When she isn't telling you your favorite stories, Veronica masquerades as a mild-mannered academic whose specialties include time management, peer tutor training, and academic resource instruction.

Phil Giunta
Twitter: @philgiunta71

A Pennsylvania resident, Phil Giunta graduated from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and continues to work in the IT industry. Honestly, he would love nothing more than to escape corporate America and open his own bait and tackle shop, or explore outer space in a starship, which might allow him to open a bait and tackle shop on another planet. At least he has a plan, but we digress...

His first novel, a paranormal mystery called Testing the Prisoner, debuted in 2010 from Firebringer Press. His second novel in the same genre, By Your Side, was released in 2013.

Phil's short stories appear in such anthologies as ReDeus: Divine Tales, ReDeus: Beyond Borders, and Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, which he also edited. He is currently editing the second book in that series, Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity, which is slated for release in 2016 along with his paranormal mystery novella, Like Mother, Like Daughters.

Visit Phil's website:

Listen to Phil's audio books at:

Phil Giunta
Twitter: @philgiunta71


A Pennsylvania resident, Phil Giunta graduated from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and continues to work in the IT industry. Honestly, he would love nothing more than to escape corporate America and open his own bait and tackle shop, or explore outer space in a starship, which might allow him to open a bait and tackle shop on another planet. At least he has a plan, but we digress...

His first novel, a paranormal mystery called Testing the Prisoner, debuted in 2010 from Firebringer Press. His second novel in the same genre, By Your Side, was released in 2013.

Phil's short stories appear in such anthologies as ReDeus: Divine Tales, ReDeus: Beyond Borders, and Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, which he also edited. He is currently editing the second book in that series, Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity, which is slated for release in 2016 along with his paranormal mystery novella, Like Mother, Like Daughters.

Visit Phil's website:

Listen to Phil's audio books at:

James Gossard

James Gossard was on location in the Central Valley of California working as the Script and Continuity Supervisor for the indie film, THE DRAMA CLUB, which wrapped principal photography in September 2015. More recently, he's co-authored a sci-fi short film, APOCALYPSE IN 9/8, which will be produced later in 2016.

Besides penning graphic novels and screenplays, James owns a company that consults and writes for businesses and provides business advice to artists. He created and hosts the web series, Writer, write thyself!, which explores topics of interest in the writer's life. He regularly leads screenwriting workshops that focus on building a screenwriter's toolbox and understanding the elements that create a rich story in film. His workshops have been held locally at Balticon and for Women in Film & Video, in Washington DC. He has also served as a screenplay judge.

Other projects include a rewrite of his Cory McCabe young adult novels, beginning with Grizzly Heart. He is developing a volume of poetry, James Leslie on James Leslie. James also writes for stage. As a playwright, his plays have been produced and have received multiple awards, including the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award.

James studied creative writing at the University of Montana and received his M.A. in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of Women in Film & Video, Maryland Film Festival, and The National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture. James lives with his wife, Ann, in Ellicott City, Maryland.

Stephen Granade
Twitter: Sargent

Stephen Granade is a physicist specializing in lasers and robotic sensors. His sensors have read fingerprints from ten feet away, controlled robot helicopters, and guided the shuttle to Hubble. He's the host of NASA's "No Small Steps" YouTube series and has won awards for presenting to non-scientist audiences.

Randy Green
Twitter: @BlackTribbles

Too cool to be geeks, too cute to be nerds; we are Black Tribbles. We look at popular culture from an African American point of view with a humorous style that educates as it entertains. Check us weekly on and subscribe via iTunes and Soundcloud.

Val Griswold-Ford
Twitter: @vg_ford

Val Griswold-Ford is the author of the Dark Horseman novels Not Your Father's Horseman, Dark Moon Seasons and Last Rites, all from Dragon Moon Press. She is the co-editor (with Tee Morris) of the memorial anthology Tales of the Tesla Ranger. She is also the co-editor of The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy: the Opus Magnus (with Tee Morris) and The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy: The Author's Grimoire (with Lai Zhao), also from Dragon Moon Press, and has self-published the short e-novella Snow and, most recently, the short story Convoy. She has published several short stories in various anthologies online and in print, and is owned by three cats. She and her husband live in New Hampshire with said cats. You can find her at or on Twitter as @vg_ford.

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Daniel Hack

Gosh... I never know what to say in a bio ;)

ETA Hack

Elektra Hammond
Twitter: @elektraUM

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, reviews movies for & 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 "Salamander BItes," can be found in Temporally Out of Order edited by Joshua Palmentier and Patricia Bray.

Elektra lives in Delaware with her husband, Mike, and more than the usual allotment of felines.

Eric Hardenbrook

Eric is a fan, an author and an artist, usually in that order. Eric lives in central Pennsylvania with his gorgeous wife and daughter. He writes science fiction and fantasy to try to get the stories out of his head. When he's being a fan he helps run Watch The Skies ( and assists in the publication of their monthly fanzine. He can be found (at least some of the time) atThe Pretend Blog ( When not working on those things, Eric enjoys the occasional video or board game and is an old school role player.

PC Haring
Twitter: @pcharing

P.C. Haring has been a fan of Science Fiction from an early age. He has always been one of those who looked up at the night sky and wondered "what if... "

On 01/01/10, he began exploring those questions when he made his debut as a writer and podcast novelist with the release of the Cybrosis Podcast. Since then he has not looked back. He has contributed short stories to Scott Sigler's The Crypt: Book 1 - The Crew podcast, Philippa Ballantine's Chronicles of the Order, audio anthology, and Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine's Tales from the Archives anthology where his podcast of "The Seven" won the 2012 Parsec Award for "Best Short Story", and is currently hard at work on his next full length novel, Slipspace: Harbinger

When he's not writing and podcasting, P.C. Haring puts his Accounting degree, his MBA, and his CPA credentials to good use as a corporate accountant in the Chicagoland area.

Kelly Harmon
Twitter: @kellyaharmon

Kelly A. Harmon used to write truthful, honest stories about authors and thespians, senators and statesmen, movie stars and murderers. Now she writes lies, which is infinitely more satisfying, but lacks the convenience of doorstep delivery.

She is an award-winning journalist and author, and a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. A Baltimore native, she writes the Charm City Darkness series, which includes the novels Stoned in Charm City, A Favor for a Fiend, and A Blue Collar Proposition. Her science fiction and fantasy stories can be found in many anthologies, including Triangulation: Dark Glass; Hellebore and Rue; Deep Cuts: Mayhem, Menace and Misery; and Gaslight and Grimm.

Ms. Harmon is a former newspaper reporter and editor, and now edits for Pole to Pole Publishing, a small Baltimore publisher. She is co-editor of Hides the Dark Tower along with Vonnie Winslow Crist. For more information, visit her blog at, or, find her on Facebook and Twitter:,

Lauren Harris
Twitter: Marksmaster

Lauren is the author of THE MILLROAD ACADEMY EXORCISTS novella series and assistant editor at Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show Magazine. Her voice can be heard narrating novels on and in various short fiction podcasts and audio dramas. She lives in North Carolina with her pet librarian and three demanding cats of variying fluffiness.

Ayne Hart

The author is still thinking up her biography. Don't worry, it'll come up sooner or later. No, really. I mean, sure, I have an art degree, I work on comics and write, but that's not exactly something that sounds official.

Hold on, let me think...I should probably add something about being a well-traveled individual that served in the Army for years and lived in Scotland for a while, too. Not sure how I'd add that, though.

Eh, I'm sure I'll figure out how to do an author bio eventually.

Jeff Hartline
Twitter: @BryndenBFish

Jeff Hartline, AKA, BryndenBFish is the founder of the Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire blog: a blog dedicated to political, military and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire. He lives in Baltimore, MD with his wife and ferocious dog.

Katie Hartlove

John Hartness
Twitter: @johnhartness

John G. Hartness is a teller of tales, a righter of wrong, defender of ladies' virtues, and some people call him Maurice, for he speaks of the pompatus of love. He is also the best-selling author of EPIC-Award-winning series The Black Knight Chronicles from Bell Bridge Books, a comedic urban fantasy series that answers the eternal question "Why aren't there more fat vampires?"

John is the author of the Bubba the Monster Hunter series of short stories and novellas, the Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter novella series, and the creator and co-editor of the Big Bad anthology series, among other projects.

In 2016, John teamed up with a pair of other publishing industry ne'er-do-wells and founded Falstaff Media, a publishing conglomerate dedicated to pushing the boundaries of literature and entertainment.

In his copious free time John enjoys long walks on the beach, rescuing kittens from trees and recording new episodes of his ridiculous podcast Literate Liquors, where he pairs book reviews and alcoholic drinks in new and ludicrous ways. John is also a contributor to the Magical Words group blog. An avid Magic: the Gathering player, John is strong in his nerd-fu and has sometimes been referred to as "the Kevin Smith of Charlotte, NC." And not just for his girth.

Bjorn Hasseler

Bjorn Hasseler found "1632"in a public library. Then he found the 1632 conferences at Baen's Bar and discovered that fans were encouraged to write. He has now had ten stories and a three-part serial published, all in the 1632 universe, and is the assistant editor of theGrantville Gazette. He grew up outside Watertown, NY, graduated from Gettysburg College (political science) and Capital Bible Seminary (theology), and has worked as a War of 1812 reenactor, assistant athletic director, data administrator, and adjunct professor. He is currently an education coordinator at the University of Maryland University College.

Reesa Herberth

Reesa Herberth was born in Nevada and spirited away to California before moving to Hawaii, where she grew up on the Big Island. She tried Arizona for a few years, then lit out for the D.C. area, where her nomadic itch is regularly curbed by the nightmares of urban traffic. She's held a handful of the requisite crazy writer jobs, including book store overlord, office goddess for an artisan ice cream maker, and cheese-cup scrubber at an organic goat dairy. With her partner Michelle Moore, she writes the award-winning Ylendrian Empire space opera series. Their most recent title, Peripheral People, is the best book about psychic cops on the trail of an interstellar serial killer Reesa's mom has ever read.

Inge Heyer

Inge Heyer 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 physics and astronomy from Smith College, she earned a master's degree in astronomy from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, and a PhD 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 has earned Shodan in both Judo and Karate, and serves as guest science blogger for Dr. Heyer currently teaches astronomy and physics at Loyola University Maryland and serves as deputy press officer for the American Astronomical Society. 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.

Chris Hiles

Chris Hiles is a nurse and emergency manager specializing in Mass Casualty and Mass Fatality incidents. He serves in Civil Air Patrol, the United States Air Force Auxiliary, where he has held the positions of Squadron Commander, Encampment Commander, and Maryland Wing Health Services Officer/Assistant Director of Safety. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife and puppy.

Larry Hodges

Larry Hodges's third SF novel, "Campaign 2100: Game of Scorpions," was published by World Weaver Press in March, 2016. It's a satire/drama that covers the election for president of Earth in the year 2100, where the whole world has adopted the American two-party electoral system, featuring a third-party moderate challenge, with an incredulous alien ambassador observing. (It's "West Wing meets the 22nd Century.") A resident of Germantown, MD, Larry is an active member of SFWA with over 75 short story sales, including four recent ones to Galaxy's Edge. He's a graduate of the six-week 2006 Odyssey Writers Workshop, the 2007 Orson Scott Card Literary Boot Camp, the two-week 2008 Taos Toolbox Writers Workshop, and he hopes to God he's finally learning. In the world of non-fiction, he's a full-time writer with eleven books and over 1600 published articles in over 150 different publications. And he's a champion table tennis player, writer, and coach!

D. Jeannette Holloman

Twitter: Ron Robinson

Jeannette is a member of the Greater Columbia Fantasy Costumers Guild. Her costumes have been featured in Threads magazine and The Costume Makers Art. She has participated in several WorldCon, CostumeCon and Malice Domestic award-winning costumes. She is a voice-over artist. She is married to author, costumer and technocrat Ron Robinson.

Thomas Holtz
Twitter: @TomHoltzPaleo

Dr. Thomas R. Holtz, Jr., is a dinosaur paleontologist specializing in the origin, evolution, adaptations, and paleobiology of carnivorous dinosaurs (especially Tyrannosaurus and its kin). He is a faculty member of the Department of Geology at the University of Maryland, College Park, a research associate of the

Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, and is on the Scientific Council of the Maryland Science Center. In addition to his technical publications, Dr. Holtz has written several books for the general audience (such as Dinosaurs: The Most Complete Up-To-Date Encylopedia for Dinosaur

Lovers of All Ages), and has been a consultant on numerous TV documentaries. Dr. Holtz is the faculty director of the College Park Scholars -- Science and Global Change Program (www.geol. He lives in Upper Marlboro, MD with his wife (long-time Balticon costumer Sue Shambaugh), a trio of cats, and the Inland bearded dragon Osborn.

Heidi Hooper

Heidi Hooper is the Dryer Lint Lady - Believe it or Not. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University's sculpture department, she later studied for her master's at the University of California Long Beach and the Massachusetts College of Art. After cancer ate most of her upper arm, she has tried to find new ways of making art and has become the nation's leading dryer lint artist.

Her work can be seen in Ripley's Believe It Or Not museums around the world, and Heidi was featured in their books. Her work is also currently showing in galleries in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

After Consumer Reports called her "The Andy Warhol of Dryer Lint" she made a piece called "Andy Warhol in Dryer Lint" which won her the prestigious 2014 Niche Award for recycled art. She was the Artist Guest of Honor at Albacon earlier this year.

She is a Master Costumer who has judged masquerades at the Worldcon level as well as at Ravencon, Lunacon, Mysticon, and previous Balticons. Heidi, along with her husband Michael A. Ventrella, currently runs the Alliance LARP.

Her website is

Starla Huchton
Twitter: @starlahuchton

A geek of all trades, Starla Huchton has been crafting stories in various genres since 2007. She is a three-time finalist for Parsec Awards for her podcast fiction work, and was the first place winner for Science Fiction & Fantasy in the Sandy competition in 2012. Her work spans science fiction, fantasy, New Adult Romance, Young Adult titles, Steampunk, Contemporary, and various other varieties of stories. She is greedy and likes all the genres!

When not writing, Starla trains three Minions, a black lab, and a military husband whilst designing book covers for independent authors and publishers at

Michelle Hymowitz

I am in charge of the Gaming Programming Track at Balticon 50 this year. I have been playing games for almost 30 years and I'm addicted. I enjoy teaching folks how to play games, watching others as the light bulb goes off in their brains and they finally figure out how the rules work in a game so they can play to win. I am the President of the Games Club of Maryland and as a club we try to bring people together to play games and have fun. That is my main goal at Balticon as well.

Chris Impink

Studio Unseen is made up of two carbon-based creatures: Chris Impink and Barb Fischer. On December 30, 2009, they closed the book on Fragile Gravity, a strip that featured independent comics, conventions, and (in an earlier arc) an invasionary force of penguins. Oh, and an extra-bitter stoat. In 2010, they began a webcomic called Sledgebunny, a story that takes place in the high-speed work of flat-track roller derby. This was going well until 2013 when our antihero wordsmith descended into a downward spiral of depression and demotivation, thanks to being laid off. However, things have finally improved and they're not only back on track, but they're starting another project as well called Welcome to Longview Shoals.

Chris Impink does the artwork and web design; he has been featured in Antarctic Press and did much of the graphic work for The Babylon Project role-playing game. Additionally, his work has been featured at various conventions such as Katsucon, Technicon, and Rising Star. He is also mildly notorious for co-founding Katsucon, though his team of spin doctors has kept that under wraps for many years. In his rare moments of free time, Chris works with the crew from Super Art Fight ( He is also instrumental in preventing Barb from procuring things like a death ray satellite, Chris Evans, or a fleet of tea corgis.

Lonnie Ingram
Twitter: @Lonnetrix

Lonnie Q. Ingram is an internationally known master wire artist and owner of Lonnetrix Fine Wire Art. Originally from our nation's capital, he currently resides in Baltimore, MD, where he established his art and design business. Self-taught, he created a new style of wire sculpture at the age of 6, using twisty ties.

Educated at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Mr. Ingram embraced his artistic education, intent on sharing his gift with the world. Inspired by the work of Alexander Calder, he uses his technique and 28-gauge wire to create innovative sculptures.

His work has been on display in various locations including Baltimore, Washington, D. C. and New York City. Mr. Ingram has created pieces for this nation's President, the guys at American Chopper and the logos for numerous companies.

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Alex Jacobs

Alex started dancing in the late 90's during the neo-swing revival, but found himself drawn into the wider world of Ballroom and Latin. He was a member of the University of Wisconsin and the University of Pennsylvania ballroom dance teams, before becoming a full-time dance instructor.

Alex is a master-level certified teacher of dance, holding certification with High Honors in the Rhythm, Smooth, and Hustle styles, and was the first teacher in the USISTD to be awarded certification in Peabody. Though he has been a finalist, and won numerous first-place and gold awards at competitions, Alex still considers himself primarily a social dancer.

According to Alex, "dance is for everyone." It is my belief that absolutely anyone can both learn to dance and enjoy being a dancer. It doesn't matter if you're young or old, a man or woman, afraid you started too late or think you have two left feet. If you want to dance, you can do it! I want to show you how."

Nancy Janda

In 1982, Nancy Janda's future wife Larisa Van Winkle lured her to her first science fiction convention, Paracon. Since then, the mantra of "I Can Do That!" has empowered her to illustrate fanzines, repair game systems, show artwork at convention art shows, guard treasures of botanical art and history, and give workshops designed to show the student that They Can Do That, Too.

Tom Jewell

Tom is a maker and a cosplayer and has been attending Balticon off and on for thirty years.

Jim Stratton Jim Stratton

Jim Stratton is a chameleon. By day, he is a mild-mannered government lawyer specializing in the field of child-abuse prosecutions. But he's been an avid fan of speculative fiction all his life, and began writing genre fiction more than 20 years ago. He lives with his wife and children in southern Delaware. In recent years Jim's been forging his dark alter ego of genrefiction author through publication of his tales in venues such as Dragons, Knights & Angels magazine, Ennea (published in Athens, Greece) and Nth Degree magazine. The appearance of his first foray into the world of poetry in The Broadkill Review is but another step in his master plan. In 2012, he stepped into the light when his stories appeared in Big Pulp E-zine and the Rum and Runestones anthology. His appearance as coeditor and co-author in Fantastic Fantasy 13 in 2014 is yet another step in his master plan, along with his appearance in the Bad Ass Fairies anthology, Its Elemental. He will finally step into the light with the future publication of his novels, Loki's Gambit and Dokkalfar's Ploy, triumphant.

Leslie Johnston

Twitter: @lljohnston

Leslie has been a costumer since the 1970s, and is back with new-found excitement after a multi year absence. She has competed and won in masquerades at Westercon, Balticon, Worldcon and CostumeCon, among others. She is a long time hall costumer as well, and can talk for hours at a time about construction techniques, costuming history, and her real life job in the digital preservation of cultural collections.

Paula S. Jordan

Twitter: @PaulaSJwriter

Paula S. Jordan is the author of three Analog stories, including "Vooorh," a novelette, (Jul/Aug 2014.) That story and her previous Analog entry, "Two Look At Two" (April 2011,) are adaptations from a present-day alien-contact novel now nearing completion. Her first professional publication, "The Gift of Unbinding" (May, 2001), also appeared in Analog. She is now at work on more short stories as well as the novel.

After degrees in history and speech and several years as a freelance writer, Paula earned a BS in physics and worked thirteen years as an orbit analyst for NASA and NOAA. She supported 30+ science missions including the lunar-orbiting Clementine mission that first detected water on the moon.

She invites you to visit her web site at She also writes an occasional column, "A Writer's View," Follow her on Twitter: @PaulaSJwriter.

Michael Kangal

DJ Kangal has been a DJ for 20 years since his first live event, New Year's Weekend, 1996, at the Science Fiction convention Evecon. Since then he's spun almost 100 venues in 17 states, including a 9 city midwest Tour in 2002. If you can name a nightclub in mid-atlantic DJ Kangal has probably spun a gig there at some point in the last two decades.

A. L. Kaplan
Twitter: #alkaplanauthor

A. L. Kaplan's love of books started at an early age and sparked a creative imagination. Her work has been included in YOUNG ADVENTURERS: HEROES, EXPLORERS, AND SWASHBUCKLERS, INDIES UNLIMITED'S 2014 & 2015 FLASH FICTION, DRAGONFLY ARTS MAGAZINE 2014 & 2015, SUPPOSE: DRABBLES, FLASH FICTION, AND SHORT STORIES, and the BALTICON 49 BSFAN. She is the President of the Maryland Writers' Association's Howard County Chapter and holds an MFA in sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art. When not writing or indulging in her fascination with wolves, A. L. is the props manager for a local theatre. Read A. L.'s short works and poems at

Alma Katsu
Twitter: @almakatsu

Alma Katsu's THE TAKER TRILOGY, a historical fantasy with supernatural elements, has been published in over a dozen languages. The first book, THE TAKER, was named a top ten debut novel of 2011 by BOOKLIST. Ms. Katsu is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Program and has taught at numerous writers conferences.

David Keefer

Songs of daring-do with nary a hey nonny nonny! Since 1982, the Boogie knights have put a humorous Medieval/mythical twist on everything from commercial jingles to TV/movie themes, from golden oldies to the latest top-40 songs. Our fearless leader, David Keefer (Theodoric of York, Medieval Disk Jockey) and our guitarist, John Scheeler (Sir John of Denver) are founding members. The rest, in order of joining, are: Sharon "Smap" Palmer (Dionne of Warwicke), Kate Pakaski (Alice the Cooper's daughter), Linda Swann (the Lady Pinque), Keith R. A. DeCandido (KRAD the Obscure), & Lynn Cunningham ("Mad" Donna).

William Kennedy

William Kennedy costumes at the Master level. In his professional life he is a Child Protection Social Worker.

Tom Kidd

A casual image search under Tom Kidd on the internet will quickly illustrate the illustrious career of this illustrator and show hundreds of the illustrations he's done to illustrate books that needed illustrating. He is the principal illustrator on Eric Flint's 1632 series. He illustrated War of the Worlds and The Three Musketeers. Art books include Kiddography, Other Worlds, and How to Draw and Paint Dragons. Although he has won many awards for work done for a wide array of publishers he occasionally mentions having a vague sense of feeling artistic. That's when we call him Gnemo.

Kim the ComicBookGoddess
Twitter: Sinspired

jonah knight

Jonah is very happy to have his first published story in the Gaslight and Grimm anthology. To catch sight of him, please attend the launch party.

Brian Koscienski

Brian Koscienski developed his love of writing from countless hours of reading comic books, losing himself in the different worlds and adventures found within the colorful pages. He had minor success early in his career by getting a few short stories published in independent 'zines, but found more success in partnering with Chris Pisano. As a writing team, they have had stories, articles, graphic novels, poetry, and novels published. Their latest novel, "The Devil's Grasp," is a high fantasy with horror elements.


Eli Kuperman

Eli is an 8th grade student at Mayfield Woods Middle School.

Scott Kuperman

I'm the parental unit of one of the teen panelists

Dotty Kurtz

I like to read and travel. I am a former travel agent who writes about my trips on my website: or Google Dotty's Dimensions.

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Mur Lafferty
Twitter: mightymur

Mur Lafferty is a podcaster, author, and editor. She is an inductee into the Podcaster Hall of Fame, winner of the John W. Campbell Award and the Manly Wade Wellman Award, the editor of Mothership Zeta and the author of The Shambling Guide series from Orbit Books. Her next book, Six Wakes, is out in October.

Ruth Lampi

Ruth is an illustrator, sculptor, printer, potter and writer. She has more side projects than is reasonable for any one person, an art degree from Moore College of Art and Design, and a small business in selling anime wigs. She is currently working on a YA series, a Visual Novel, a graphic novel, a series of block prints, and a busy convention season. Give her tea.

Sharon Landrum

Grig Larson

Grig "Punkie" Larson grew up in Northern Virginia, finding fandom through D&D, FanTek, and Rocky Horror. He works as a systems administrator by day, and by night he's an author, open source advocate, runs Katsucon. A staple in VA/DC/MD science fiction and anime fandom since the 1980s, he's been a panelist, moderator, emcee, actor, sketch writer, convention adviser, narrator, and the kind of sub-fame that keeps people from asking, "Hey, how'd HE get in here?" He's done everything from chair a convention to being the guy who vacuums the staff suite. In no particular order.

In 1993, his first book, The Saga of Punk Walrus, became a cult classic. Since then he's been published in Gateways, several short story anthologies, and written several sketches and spoofs for various acting venues. You can often see him at Balticon, Katsucon, Anime Mid Atlantic, and DC Rollergirl home bouts. He is a Redditor and can also be found posting on the Ars Technica forums. "Trolley" was his first published steampunk/horror novel. His latest book is "Space Bitch," available through Kindle on

Chris Lester
Twitter: etherius

Chris Lester is an author and podcaster. From 2007 to 2011 he produced THE METAMOR CITY PODCAST (, a Parsec Award-winning urban fantasy series with a full voice cast. In May 2015 he debuted his new solo podcast, THE RAVEN & THE WRITING DESK, where he continues to share his fiction with the world. Lester's work has been praised for its rich settings, complex characterization, and thoughtful exploration of issues of gender, sexuality, and social class. His books are available in both print and e-book versions through his independent publishing label, Liminal Corvid Press. He lives in southwestern Montana with his partner and their many pets.

Gary L. Lester
Twitter: @channel37net

Gary L. Lester won his first writing award at the age of 17. He has been involved with various forms of writing ever since, from plays to stories and even a novel. His first book, Ursula the Yellow, won first place for Fantasy in the Maryland Writers Association's Novel Contest. He currently is the Creative Director for Greyrock Publishing, LLC, and Senior Editor for Channel 37. He co-authored, along with Paul Lagasse, the anthology Season One!, which includes numerous short stories from the Channel 37 website. He also has numerous e-books on Amazon and Smashwords. Gary and Paul also co-host Channel 37's Audio Invasion! Podcast.

Emily Leverett
Twitter: @Emily_Leverett

Emily Lavin Leverett is a fantasy, sci-fi, and horror writer, an editor, and an English Professor. Her works have appeared in Flash Fiction Online, Drafthorse: A Journal of Work and No Work, Athena's Daughters II, and Cinched - A Corset Anthology. Her edited collections include The Big Bad: an Anthology of Evil and Big Bad II with John Hartness, as well as Tales from the Weird Wild West with Misty Massey and Margaret McGraw. Her study of medieval English romance heavily influences her fiction. Recent scholarly work discusses violence - particularly flaying and cannibalism - as a means of constructing English Identity in the late medieval romances the Siege of Jerusalem and Richard Coer de Lyon.

Her first novel is book one in The Eisteddfod Chronicles published by Falstaff Books in 2016. Co-written with Sarah Joy Adams, the novel combines medieval romance and modern epic with urban fantasy. When neither writing nor teaching, she and her spouse spend time together reading, watching television and movies, rooting for the Carolina Hurricanes, and attending to their two rambunctious cats.

Jennifer Levine
Twitter: @jlevine3

Jennifer Levine holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Brandeis University. She has over seven years' experience working as a full-time editor and is currently the Managing Editor for Circlet Press, where she has compiled and edited a number of erotic sci-fi and fantasy short-story anthologies. Hire her to edit your work at or find her on Twitter @jlevine3.

Steven Levine

Dr. Steven P. Levine is a board-certified psychiatrist and nationally-recognized expert in the use of ketamine for depression. He graduated with honors/Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University, received an academic scholarship to Tulane University School of Medicine, and then completed internship and residency in psychiatry at New York - Presbyterian Hospital - Weill Cornell. In addition, Dr. Levine completed fellowship sub-specialty training in psychosomatic medicine/psycho-oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital. Along with his psychotherapy-based adult psychiatry practice and consulting work, he is the president/CEO of Ketamine Treatment Centers, LLC, a pioneering clinic using cutting-edge, rapidly acting treatments for mood and anxiety disorders with offices in New Jersey, Baltimore, Colorado, and Florida.

Bryan Lincoln
Twitter: @AudioLincoln

Bryan is an audio producer working in audiobooks, audio fiction podcasts, and audio drama.

Swann Linda

Songs of daring-do with nary a hey nonny nonny! Since 1982, the Boogie knights have put a humorous Medieval/mythical twist on everything from commercial jingles to TV/movie themes, from golden oldies to the latest top-40 songs. Our fearless leader, David Keefer (Theodoric of York, Medieval Disk Jockey) and our guitarist, John Scheeler (Sir John of Denver) are founding members. The rest, in order of joining, are: Sharon "Smap" Palmer (Dionne of Warwicke), Kate Pakaski (Alice the Cooper's daughter), Linda Swann (the Lady Pinque), Keith R. A. DeCandido (KRAD the Obscure), & Lynn Cunningham ("Mad" Donna).

Tim Livengood

Tim Livengood is a planetary scientist who measures the composition, temperature, and wind velocity in planet atmospheres. Most recently, he has been using the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to investigate where water may be hidden on the Moon, and using super-duper high resolution infrared spectroscopy to determine how much atmosphere Mars used to have. He was a co-investigator of NASA's EPOXI mission, and was the education and public outreach team leader for EPOCh. Tim graduated from Towson Senior High School in 1980 and from Washington University in St. Louis in 1984. During his college summers, he killed rats and cell cultures in an underground laboratory using a linear accelerator, just like a proper mad scientist. He finished a doctorate in physics and astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1992, measuring properties of aurora on the planet Jupiter in ultraviolet light. He moved to Goddard Space Flight Center in 1991 and has worked there ever since. He is also an active storyteller and will tell you about it, amusingly and at length.

Andy Love

Steve Lubs

Mike Luoma

Mike Luoma writes and publishes science fiction and comic books, produces the weekly "Glow-in-the-Dark Radio" podcast, and he's the Music Director and hosts middays on "The Point", Vermont's Independent Radio Network. His science fiction novel "Vatican Assassin" introduced "BC", a killer for the New catholic Church. BC's story further unfolds in "Vatican Ambassador" and "Vatican Abdicator". Mike now writes the adventures of Alibi Jones, BC's son: "Alibi Jones", "Alibi Jones and The Sunrise of Hur", "Alibi Jones and the Time War of The Devrizium", the comic book "The Adventures of Alibi Jones", and his latest novel, "Alibi Jones and The Hornet's Nest". "Alibi Jones and the Star Seeds of Earth" is in the works. More at /

Perrianne Lurie

Perrianne Lurie is an infectious disease epidemiologist and public health physician for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. She has been active in fandom for many years, and served as the email liaison for the Baltimore in 1998 Worldcon bid, deputy program coordinator for BucCONeer, Hugo ceremony director for Torcon 3, and worked on many other regional and Worldcons. She currently runs the gaming area for Capclave and has run the Balticon Green Room for way too long. She's also active in the Central PA (European strategy board) Game Club.

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Barbara Mabie

Barbara has been sewing since she was young. Taught by her grandmother, she would sew bags and help her grandmother sew "yo-yo quilts." She learned how to bead, make jewelry, and create other DIY things by 2004 and has been making hand-made items ever since. Getting her cosmetology license in 2007 has taught her how to style hair, wigs, and apply make-up. Also an avid gamer, she attended her first convention, Pax East 2012, and fell in love with the costuming and cosplay world. Since then she has developed her sewing, wig styling, and prop making skills and created Mabie Knot Designs & Cosplay, her commission business in which she currently runs with her husband and other half, Jay.

Mark MacDicken

Professional entertainer for over 30 years, Mark MacDicken performs comedy magic as the eccentric wizard "Flabbergast". As well as being an accomplished actor and comedy magician, Mark is also a top-notch puppeteer and balloon sculptor. Formerly known as Spiffy the Clown, he has performed at hundreds of family celebrations, as well as theme parks, fairs and festivals, company picnics, summer recreation programs, mall events, and on local television. In recent years, "Flabbergast" has embraced the Mid-Atlantic region fan convention scene, performing at Awesome Con DC, Balticon, MystiCon, Farpoint, Shore Leave, ConGregate, MarsCon, and adding more appearances all the time!

When he's not dressing up in costumes and playing with his toys, Mark is an elementary school special education teacher. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drama from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Education degree in Special Education from George Mason University. Mark lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and adult son and daughter.

Erik Mack
Twitter: @BlackTribbles

Too cool to be geeks, too cute to be nerds; we are Black Tribbles. We look at popular culture from an African American point of view with a humorous style that educates as it entertains. Check us weekly on and subscribe via iTunes and Soundcloud.

Gail Z. Martin
Twitter: @GailZMartin

Gail Z. Martin is the author of Vendetta: A Deadly Curiosities Novel in her urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC (Dec. 2015, Solaris Books); Shadow and Flame the fourth and final book in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (Orbit Books); and Iron and Blood a new Steampunk series (Solaris Books) co-authored with Larry N. Martin.

She is also author of Ice Forged, Reign of Ash and War of Shadows in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady's Chosen); The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn, The Dread) and the urban fantasy novel Deadly Curiosities. Gail writes three ebook series: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures, The Deadly Curiosities Adventures and The Blaine McFadden Adventures. The Storm and Fury Adventures, set in the Iron & Blood world, are co-authored with Larry N. Martin.

Her work has appeared in over 20 US/UK anthologies. Newest anthologies include: The Big Bad 2, Athena's Daughters, Heroes, Space, Contact Light, With Great Power, The Weird Wild West, The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, Alien Artifacts, Shadowed Path, Cinched: Imagination Unbound, Realms of Imagination, Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens.

Misty Massey
Twitter: @MistyMassey

Misty Massey is the author of MAD KESTREL, a rollicking adventure of magic on the high seas from Tor Books, and KESTREL'S VOYAGES, a collection of short stories featuring those rambunctious pirates (available for the Kindle.) She is a co-editor of THE WEIRD WILD WEST anthology from Espec Books and a founding member of Magical Words, the well-known blog for and about writers ( When she's not writing, Misty studies Middle Eastern Dance and performs at regional events as the opportunity arises.

Demetrios Matsakis

Dr. Demetrios Matsakis is a physicist who went to MIT and U.C. Berkeley, where he studied under the Nobel-prize winning professor who invented the laser, and constructed two special-purpose lasers to study the molecular clouds where stars are born. He is credited with the discovery of a new form of methanol in the Orion nebula. After graduating he used radio astronomy to measure the wobbles in the Earth's rotation, by looking at quasars near the edge of the observable universe. Later he became interested in timekeeping with atomic clocks and rapidly spinning neutron stars (pulsars). He went on to manage the Time Service Department of the US Naval Observatory, which uses over 100 atomic clocks to set the time for GPS and much of the world. Under his management, a set of four atomic fountains was designed and built, giving time accurate to 16 decimal places. This is the most precise 24x7 measurement system ever built by mankind to measure anything. He has served on many international commissions related to the timekeeping art, represented the U.S. in Geneva, and published over 100 papers plus one science fiction story. He is often quoted or featured in newspapers, radio shows, the internet, and documentaries. He is married and has two children. At Steger Junior High he set a record by doing 21 pull-ups.


Maugorn or Steve Haug is a full time musician and can be found straying into and scratching at the doors of Renfests, Faerie Festivals, Pubs, Bars, and anywhere else where he's welcome and fed. He performs from a repertoire that spans dozens of lifetimes and genres on an arsenal of instruments.

Scott McDaniel

Scott McDaniel is a web designer and illustrator. I love looking at art to figure out how it fools us into seeing what the artist wanted us to see. If you like Dictionary of the Khazars, Rush, Alphonse Mucha, doumbeks, invented languages, or illusions, we should talk.

Mike McPhail

Author and graphic artist Mike McPhail is a member of the Military Writers Society of America; he is dedicated to helping his fellow service members (and those deserving civilians) in their efforts to become authors, as well as supporting related organizations in their efforts to help those "who have given their all for us." He is best known as the editor and illustrator of the award-winningDefending The Future series of military science fiction anthologies ( In 2015 he added the title of small press publisher, as the co-owner of eSpec Books LLC ( See his website at

Christie Meierz

Bestselling author Christie Meierz has been writing since she was seven years old. After raising several rambunctious boys, she took

to writing space opera and planetary romance set in an empathic civilization on the edge of a dystopic Earth empire. Her published

works include her PRISM award-winning debut novel, The Marann, and her most recent book, Farryn's War, which was released in September 2015. In her universe, 500 years in the future, she explores how empaths would live together and what can happen when empaths and normal humans collide.

Christie now lives in Pittsburgh with her mathematician husband and an assortment of stuffies. When she's not writing, she writes about writing on her blog, Meierz Musings, and on Facebook, where she welcomes comments and friend requests.

Karen Miden

Assistant LARP Mistress in charge of admin and registration, I've had many many years of gaming and LARPing experience, the last 10 being with Balticon. I love all genres of game play, but my favorites include Marvel, Star Wars and Fantasy.

Holli Mintzer
Twitter: hollimichele

Holli Mintzer is a writer and illustrator of short fiction and original comics. Her fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, and the Intergalactic Medicine Show; she has exhibited her comics and illustration at the Small Press Expo, Brooklyn Zine Fest and other events. She lives in Mount Rainier, MD, and spends too much time looking at vintage clothes on Pinterest.

James Minz

Baen Books Executive Editor James Minz has been employed in genre publishing for more than two decades, having first worked for Tor for more than a decade, then briefly for Del Rey (SF/F imprint of Random House), until finally, on the centennial of Robert A. Heinlein's birth, landing at Baen.

Over the years, Minz has worked with Catherine Asaro, David B. Coe, Larry Correia, Hal Duncan, Eric Flint, Terry Goodkind, Elizabeth Haydon, Nancy Kress, Mercedes Lackey, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller, Elizabeth Moon, Frederik Pohl, John Ringo, Robert J. Sawyer, Travis S. Taylor, Harry Turtledove, Vernor Vinge, David Weber, Jack Williamson, Gene Wolfe, and Timothy Zahn, among many, many, many others. His vices remain SF/F, animation, Wisconsin sports teams, role-playing games, quality beer and booze, and sweets (especially chocolate).

Andy Mitchell

Solar Echoes is a role playing game involving small unit tactics set in a science fiction universe, with a fast moving game system designed to promote team-play by allowing players to coordinate their moves and decisions together, react to opponents at any time, and see all actions occur simultaneously!

As seven alien races struggle to co-exist in an uneasy alliance, the Inter-Stellar Union sends Union Guard agents on missions to preserve the crucial balance. These specialized operatives must do what regional security cannot, dealing with smugglers, pirates, terrorists, and even greater challenges in order to bring stability to a universe that needs it desperately. Without the Union Guard, the races will not be prepared to face a looming alien threat they can only hope to defeat together.

Bernie Mojzes

Bernie Mojzes publishes and co-edits Unlikely Story ( When there's a free minute or two, he writes.

Michelle Moore
Twitter: @MarigotC

Rainbow Award winning author Michelle Moore has a well-documented obsession with travel, television, frappuccinos and flamingos. These, however, come in a distant second to her love of writing. With her partner Reesa Herberth, she writes the award-winning Ylendrian Empire space opera series. All by her lonesome, she writes the paranormal Playa Escondida series.

Michelle divides her time between Washington, DC and the oldest city in the nation, St. Augustine, Florida. She's hoping to figure out how to write on the beach without getting sand in her keyboard, and once she solves that, she'll move on to the age-old question of how to write with a cat in the house.

Tee Morris
Twitter: TeeMonster

Tee Morris hasbeen writing science fiction, fantasy, horror, and non-fiction for over a decade. Hisfirst novel,MOREVI: The Chronicles of Rafe & Askana, became the firstnovel tobe podcast in its entirety, ushering in a new age for authors - podcasting. He went on with Evo Terra to write Podcasting for Dummies (as well as the 2nd Edition alongside Chuck Tomasi). His expertise reached deeper into social media when he penned on his own All a Twitter and Sams Teach Yourself Twitter in 10 Minutes.

In 2011, Teereturned to fiction withthe Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series, penned with his wife, Pip Ballantine. The series and its short fiction podcast, Tales from the Archives, has won several awards including the 2014 Parsec Award for Best Science Fiction Anthology Podcast, the 2011 Airship Award for Best Steampunk Literature, and RT Reviews' Choice Awards for Best Steampunk of 2014.

Tee and Pip also host The Shared Desk, a podcast covering collaboration and other aspects of a writer's lifestyle. He now runs the social media initiatives for Stratford University located in Maryland and Virginia. He enjoys life in Virginia alongside Pip, his daughter, and three cats. Explore the works of Tee Morris, and his occasional geek rants,

Tamara Murphy

not needed

Jay Nak
Twitter: Jason McClain

Jason is a software engineer by day, and a costuming and sculpting hero by night. His experiences has led him to sit as craftsmanship judge for both NYCC and Celebration V. He has also been on stage many times as an MC for children's masquerades at NYCC and Celebration V as well. He is a founding member of Cosplay Burlesque and served as their MC until 2013. His expertise as a DJ has also led him to perform at several Katsucon dances and currently has been running the Katsucon and AnimeUSA dance-off for 11 years. More recently, along with Cosplay Group "Team Takeo", Jason and Barb have attended Wintercon as costuming guests. Currently, he and his wife, Barb, are both halves of Mabie Knot Cosplay and Designs.

Laura Nicole

Laura Nicole AKA The Gypsy Pirate who has been voice acting since 2005. From playing aliens to super villains, vampires to plucky side kicks, her range has stretched the a wide spectrum.

Currently Laura is the host of her own show Gypsy In The Attic, which discusses the experiences of being a voice actor as well as interviewing numerous other voice actors, podcasters, and authors. She is also a featured narrator for Mark Slade's The Book of Weird anthology and many audio dramas on the 4077th productions audio group.

Laura is also a writer and currently has several short audio pieces on and will soon be releasing additional short stories on her website,

Christine Norris
Twitter: @cnorrisauthor

Christine Norris is the author of several YA works, including A Curse of Ash and Iron and the Library of Athena series. She is highly overeducated, however, she has never flown an airship. She has a complete weakness for British television, an addiction to movies, re-told fairy tales, and police procedural shows. She also believes in fairies. Her most recent work is the short story "When Pigs Fly", found in the GASLIGHT AND GRIMM anthology from eSpec books.

Nutty Nuchtchas
Twitter: @nuchtchas

Artist by day, blogger and podcaster by night, Nuchtchas (nicknamed Nutty -- artist, blogger, podcaster, gamer, role player, and self professed "Geek Queen") is the chief editor and director of and NIMLAS Studios. While currently based in New Brunswick, Canada with spouse and Dragon, Nuchtchas is often traveling back where she came from, New York and all around the United States.

Meg Nuge

Student by day, ninja by night, geek all the time. What more do you need to know?

Hugh O'Donnell

Goldeen Ogawa
Twitter: GrimbyTweets

Goldeen Ogawa is a writer, illustrator and cartoonist. She originally wanted to be an actor, but gave it up when she discovered all the best parts were for men. She then embarked on a mission to write the parts she would have liked to play. The project is currently ongoing.

Today she is the author of over twenty short stories and novellas, and has been working as a freelance illustrator since 2009. Her work ranges from colorful science fiction to dark fantasy, short tales to epic sagas. In addition she has served as a narrator for the District of Wonders podcasts, and is the creator of the (complete) webcomic, Year of the God-Fox. An entirely self-taught artist, she illustrates many of her stories, which are published through her small press, Heliopause Productions. An avid cyclist, she also has twenty years experience training and handling horses and spent four seasons working as a whitewater raft guide.

She describes herself as a fan of science, a friend of dragons, mostly harmless, and also into cats. New works from her can be found in her Apsis Fiction anthologies, published semiannually through Heliopause. Her official site is, but she is most active on Twitter, where she can be found @GrimbyTweets.

Lady Ozma
Twitter: ladyozma

Lady Ozma has been involved in fandom since Balticon 20. She loves to read and watch genre material and can often be found hanging around the costumers and artists at Balticon. A multi-year participant of NaNoWriMo, actress, web developer, member of the Hogwarts Running Club, and costumer, it is easy to see she's got more interests than time. She's also raised two sons on the convention circuit and loves to bring other youth to the wild and wonderful world of conventions and fandom.

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Kate Pakaski

A proud member of the Boogie Knights since 2004, occasionally known as Alice the Cooper's Daughter.

Joshua Palmatier
Twitter: @bentateauthor

Joshua Palmatier is a fantasy author with a PhD in mathematics. His most recent novel is Shattering the Ley from DAW Books, the start of a new series, set in a city powered by the magic of the ley lines. The sequel, Threading The Needle, is forthcoming. His first novel, The Skewed Throne, was a finalist for the Compton Crook award and is the first book in the Throne of Amenkor trilogy, followed by The Cracked Throne and The Vacant Throne. He edits anthologies with co-conspirator Patricia Bray (the most recent called Temporally Out of Order) and is the founder of the small press Zombies Need Brains, which produces SF&F themed anthologies. Find out more about the press and future anthologies at and, and more about Joshua himself at and

Ada Palmer
Twitter: Ada_Palmer

Ada Palmer's first science fiction novel Too Like the Lightning (just released by Tor Books 2016) is a tale of global politics in the year 2454. She is an historian of the Renaissance, Enlightenment, classical reception, the history of books, publication and reading, and the history of philosophy, heresy, science and atheism. She teaches in the History Department at the University of Chicago, and researches in Italy, often in Florence or at the Vatican Library. She is the composer for Sassafrass, an a cappella group performing fantasy, SF and mythology-themed music, and her Viking musical play "Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok" came out on CD and DVD in 2015. She researches anime/manga, especially Osamu Tezuka, early post-WWII manga and gender in manga. She has published on the history of manga and worked as a consultant for many anime and manga publishers. She writes the philosophy & travel blog

Sharon (SMAP) Palmer

Sharon Marie Antoinette Palmer (a.k.a. "SMAP") has been a costumer and artist in Maryland since 1980, often working backstage at local masquerades. She's been performing with the BOOGIE KNIGHTS since 1987 as the Lady Dionne of Warwicke.


Patches has taught Medieval and Renaissance dance at Balticon and other science fiction cons for decades. She loves teaching beginners the joy of dance. She has also taught countless people to hula hoop (especially those who claim they cannot).

Marianne Pease

Twitter: Marianne Pease

Marianne is a Master costumer, and a member of the GCFCG, and also a freelance writer with Onyx Path and is currently working on the highly anticipated Changeling the Lost 2nd Edition.

Michael Pederson

Michael D. Pederson is the publisher/editor responsible for Nth Degree. Mike began his career as a writer/publisher in 1988 when his SF short story, "Dust Storm," won first place in a local writing contest. In the 1990s, he wrote and published the Raven comic book series and edited and published Scene, a Virginia-based entertainment magazine.

In 2001, Mike was part of the "Best in Class -- Master Division" winning presentation (Pre-Emptive Strike) at the Millennium Philcon Masquerade. Two months later he started Nth Degree. In 2007, he wrote a chapter on "Writing for Magazines" for Dragon Moon Press' Writing Fantasy: The Author's Grimoire.

In addition to Nth Degree, in 2006 Mike (with Tee Morris and Tony Ruggiero) came up with the idea of hosting a science-fiction convention in Richmond, Virginia. After its tenth year, RavenCon moved to Williamsburg and Mike is still the con chair. Other than RavenCon, Mike has also run programming for Trinoc*coN, been Fan Guest of Honor for ConCarolinas and Mysticon, co-chaired a successful NASFiC bid (with Warren Buff), and served as Master of Ceremonies for MarsCon. Between Nth Degree and his many convention appearances, Mike has become the East Coast's go-to guy for interviews. He's interviewed guests for ConGregate, MarsCon, Mysticon, RavenCon, and StellarCon. In the last few years Mike has interviewed a wide range of writers, gamers, artists, and actors. Those interviews have included Aaron Alston, Kevin J. Anderson, Elizabeth Bear, Terry Brooks, Jim Butcher, Orson Scott Card, Glen Cook, Larry Correia, Peter David, Jim Hines, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Katherine Kurtz, Todd McCaffrey, Rebecca Moesta, Tamora Pierce, John Ringo, Carrie Ryan, Michael Stackpole, Allen Steele, Bruce Sterling, S.M. Stirling, David Weber, Janny Wurts, Timothy Zahn, and too many more to list.

Yes, Mike is an insanely busy person; if you see him please feed him lots of caffeine and/or beer.

When not engaged in geekish pursuits, Mike is an under-employed graphic designer and lives in Richmond, Virginia.

L. Penelope

Leslye Penelope is an award-winning paranormal and fantasy romance author. Her debut novel, Song of Blood & Stone, won the 2016 Self-Publishing eBook Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. She writes speculative fiction featuring multicultural characters and believes it's important for everyone to see themselves reflected in fiction. She lives in Baltimore with her family.

TJ Perkins
Twitter: @tjperkinsauthor

TJ Perkins is a gifted and multi-award winning author with thirteen books out in the mystery/suspense, New Age and fantasy genre for young readers. She has been published numerous times in a wide variety of magazines, anthologies and websites.

Meredith Peruzzi

Meredith is a museum professional by day and a bilingual geek by night.

Kelly Pierce

Kelly Shannon Pierce has had two decades of experience in managing volunteer/donation endeavors, including over a decade of acting as Auction Coordinator for BSFS Books for Kids Auction for the Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS), both year-round and at Balticon, as well as previous years spent volunteering at summer camps for the mentally challenged.

She began being involved with Balticon in the late 80s/early 90s when she joined GLOBE (Gamer's League Of Baltimore's Elite). As a GLOBE member she volunteered to run RPGs like AD&D and Teenagers From Outer Space at Balticon. She has been working to get RPG back at Balticon since chairing Balticon 48. This year she is going to run a World of Darkness game on Su night.

Sarah Pinsker
Twitter: @sarahpinsker

Sarah Pinsker is the author of the novelette "In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind," the 2014 Sturgeon Award winner and a 2013 Nebula finalist. Her story "A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide" was a 2014 Nebula finalist, and another story, "No Lonely Seafarer," made the 2014 Tiptree Award longlist. Her fiction has been published in magazines including Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Uncanny, and in anthologies including Accessing the Future: A Disability Themed Anthology of Speculative Fiction, How to Live On Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens, and Long Hidden. Her stories have been translated into Chinese, Spanish, and Galician.

Sarah will be the Author Guest of Honor at Chessiecon 2016. She co-hosts the Baltimore Science Fiction Society's Dangerous Voices Variety Hour, a reading series/quiz show. She is also a singer/songwriter with three albums on various independent labels: (Charmed, disappear records; Wingspan, Reinventing Records; This is Your Signal, The Beechfields, with the Stalking Horses) and a fourth forthcoming. She and her wife live in Baltimore, Maryland.

Christopher Pisano

Chris Pisano was discouraged by his tenth grade English teacher from reading H. P. Lovecraft. Being naturally disobedient, Chris has been a fan ever since. He had minor successes early in his career by getting a few poems published, but found more success in partnering with Brian Koscienski. As a writing team, they have had stories, articles, graphic novels, and poetry published, and most recently their debut novel, The Shattered Visage Lies, by Post Mortem Press.

Scott Pond

Scott E. Pond is the owner/proprietor of both Scott E. Pond Designs (freelance graphic design) and Darker Reality Studios (small indie-press). He uses his almost non-existent free time to enhance his various creative skills and has done everything from drawing, writing, photography and writing to custom action figure design, graphic design, and desktop publishing. His designs have been seen gracing the books of: New York Times Bestselling author Scott Sigler; Parsec Award winning author Paul E. Cooley; award winning novelist and screenwriter Matt Wallace; prolific author Jake Bible; Sue Baiman; Scott Roche; M. Jandreau; Doc Coleman, and many others. He released his first book, Mental Graffiti - A collection of his wit, wisdom, and observations - in January 2016 under his Darker Reality imprint, with additional books slated later in 2016.

Examples of his design work can be found at

His indie press, related books, and projected release schedule can be found at

Jennifer R. Povey
Twitter: NinjaFingers

Jennifer R. Povey is in her early forties, and lives in Northern Virginia with her husband. She writes a variety of speculative fiction, whilst following current affairs and occasionally indulging in horse riding and role playing games. She has sold fiction to a number of markets including Analog, and written RPG supplements for several companies. Her most recent release is the apocalyptic science fiction novella trilogy "The Silent Years." She is working on an ongoing urban fantasy serial that can be found at

Peter Prellwitz

Peter Prellwitz was bitten by the writing bug at an early age and has never been cured. Starting with an awful (but produced!) Thanksgiving play in 4th grade, success only spurred him on. Fortunately, Peter's writing skills have improved considerably over time.

Presently, Peter has a total of nine novels published in trade paperback and ebook, all by Double Dragon Publishing (DDP). His novel Horizons was selected by Mike Resnick as Best Science Fiction and awarded DDP's 2003 Draco Award. Four of his short stories appear in the anthology Twisted Tails, which won the 2006 Dream Realms Award. Peter also has short stories in By Other Means and Best Laid Plans, Dogs of War, Bad-Ass Faeries; It's Elemental (Dark Quest, LLC) and Twisted Tails VI (DDP). He continues writing novels and short stories, as well as dabbling in web comics. His latest novel, Redeeming the Plumb, is finished.

Together with more than three dozen short stories located on his site, Peter's novels help weave a tapestry of mankind's exploration and settling of the galaxy over the next two and half millennia.

A native Arizonan, Peter has also lived in Wisconsin, California, Hawaii, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, where he now lives with his wife, Bethlynne, and four of their five sons. In addition to writing, Peter enjoys history, backpacking, scuba diving and languages.

Jordan Price

Jordan Price is the Steven Muller Distinguished Professor of the Sciences at St. Mary's College of Maryland. His research integrates two disparate fields of biology, animal behavior and molecular evolution, to investigate the evolutionary histories of animal communication signals including the songs and color patterns of birds. Previous study topics have included the evolution of female birdsong, sexual dichromatism in birds, avian echolocation, complex social behavior, and the cultural transmission of birdsong. He has conducted field work on multiple species throughout the eastern United States, as well as in Mexico, Belize and Venezuela. Jordan received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.Sc.H. from Queen's University in Canada. He conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Minnesota before joining St. Mary's College in 2002.

Karen Purcell

Twitter: Karen Purcell

Dr. Karen Purcell was born and educated in Troy, NY. She attained her Bachelors in Biology Magna cum laude from Pace University, Pleasantville Campus. She then spent a year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute working on a masters in molecular biology, as librarian at WRPI, the campus radio station, and in the box office at RPI Players. She graduated with the Class of '92 from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell, the only veterinary school in the United States with a theatre troupe.

Dr. Purcell has worked as an associate veterinarian in New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and North Carolina. Currently, she is an independent contractor providing relief veterinary services to practices in North Carolina.

In her spare time (hah!), Dr. Karen spent many years wearing various hats at Arisia, the large regional SF convention in the northeast. She has also helped on various Worldcons and costuming endeavors. She belongs to the Northern Lights Costumers guild. She also is an active belly dancer, previously with Bad Raqs San'e Sahra and now at Tapestry Academy in Raleigh, NC. She is attempting to become active in southeast fandom.

Dr. Purcell currently lives with her husband Denis, 2 golden retrievers and 3 cats. When she is not working with animals, she is spending her time unpacking and learning her new surroundings.

Maxxyne Putz

Twitter: Maxxyne Putz

Level 1 Magic judge.


Twitter: Michael Brown

Christine Rake

Christine Rake is one of the inaugural graduates of LOST University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in LOST studies. If you spent any time at the Jersey Shore in the 1990s, you may have heard her on FM 106.3 (WHTG-FM - Modern Rock at the Jersey Shore) where she was the News Director, Morning Show Sidekick and Host of FM 106.3's "Common Threads" on Su mornings. A graphic designer by day, Christine is an active member of the Brotherhood without Banners and an avowed Hufflepuff. She is dedicated to furthering the fan community and proudly wears her fandom on her sleeve.

Larry Reclusado

Mr. Reclusado has worn many hats in his time on planet Earth, including having worked as a stunt man and served in the Marines. He has managed a comic book store, and has produced television shows on all types of fandom. He has also particiated in as well as Game Mastered several LARPs both at Balticon itself and in other regions. If your daring try and beat him at comic book trivia.

Nobilis Reed
Twitter: @nobilis

Nobilis Reed has a dirty mind, and he's not afraid to use it. His creative accomplishments nearly always center around smut: his short stories and novellas have been published with Circlet Press, Forbidden Fiction, and Sizzler Editions; and his podcast, Nobilis Erotica, presents erotic science fiction and fantasy stories to thousands of listeners every month. When he's not struggling with the Shatner Comma, editing audio like a madman, or directing voice talent making orgasmic noises into microphones, his hobbies include sleeping and eating. You can find his website at nobiliserotica. com.

Angela Render

Angela Render is a senior web analyst who writes nonfiction, poetry, and fiction in genres including fantasy, science-fiction, historical, and adult. Her current project is a mid-grade entitled Song of the Lost Clan.

Jason Richardson
Twitter: @BlackTribbles

Too cool to be geeks, too cute to be nerds; we are Black Tribbles. We look at popular culture from an African American point of view with a humorous style that educates as it entertains. Check us weekly on and subscribe via iTunes and Soundcloud.

Ray Ridenour

I've been an artist for 45 years, and a Balticon participant since 1966.

At SF conventions and in general I've exhibited paintings, drawings, computer art, stained glass sculptures and windows,

I've sat on many convention panels as both member and moderator.

I've been in fannish and non-fannish plays, as well as two horror films, one as a featured player. I lost my head in that one.

Outside of fandom, I spent twenty years as a professional artist and community liaison for Baltimore City housing departments.

I've built commercial displays for department stores, done illustrations for the Baltimore Sun, and done private projects for individuals and community institutions.

Robert Robert I. Katz

Robert I. Katz, MD recently retired as Professor of Anesthesiology, Universtiy of Florida and Chief, Anesthesiology Service, North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System. He is the author of Edward Maret: A Novel of the Future and the three novels in the Kurtz and Barent Mystery Series: Surgical Risk, The Anatomy Lesson and Seizure.

Gregory the GM Robin

Twitter: Gregory Robin I am running RPG room

Ron Robinson

Twitter: Ron Robinson

Ron is a part of the "Ron and Jeannette" costuming team. Over the years they've participated in several WorldCon and CostumeCon winning costumes. They have been costuming for more than 30 years.

Dave Robison
Twitter: @WritersPodcast

Dave Robison is a storyteller who has been captivated by tales and legends his entire life. He was drawn to the immersive storytelling of live theater at an early age, participating in community workshops and school productions, a passion that continued through high school and college. He was also drawn to role-playing games which led to a deep appreciation of speculative fiction, cutting his genre teeth on Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, and JRR Tolkien.

Securing his Theater degree from the University of Wyoming, Dave pursued a degree in Graphic Design and, in the years that followed, worked at dinner theaters, design studios, and ran a used bookstore.

In 2009, he and his wife, Teri, launched Rabbit Hole Radio Theater, an audio theater production company that produced over 40 hours of quality audio theater with over 200 volunteers.

In 2012, Dave launched The Roundtable Podcast with friend and colleague Brion Humphrey. The podcast gave writers the opportunity to brainstorm their story ideas with established authors and editors like Lou Anders, Cat Rambo, Kameron Hurley, and Hugh Howey. The unique format combined with Dave's over-the-top delivery and enthusiasm earned the podcast a small but dedicated following.

In 2015, Dave formed Wonderthing Studios, LLC and brought the Roundtable Podcast under its banner. Later that year, Dave joined the Ed Greenwood Group's Onder Librum project as their Audio Director, Editor for their steampunk story world, and Broadcasting director for their many podcasts.

Scott Roche

Some creatures feed on blood and revel in the screams of their prey. Scott Roche craves only caffeine and the clacking of keys. He pays his bills doing the grunt work no one else wants to take, bringing dead electronics back to life and working arcane wonders with software. His true passion is hammering out words that become anything from tales that terrify to futuristic worlds of wonder. All that and turning three children into a private mercenary army make for a life filled with adventure.

Roberta Rogow

Roberta Rogow writes historical mysteries, although she often twists the history. Her most recent series, The Saga of Halvar the Hireling, takes place in an Alternate Colonial Manhattan, run by Spanish Moors instead of Dutch traders. She is also a longtime Filker, inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame in 2013. In her non-fannish life, Roberta is a retired librarian, living in New Jersey.

Christopher Rose

Twitter: @CChrisrose

Christopher Mark Rose is a fledgling writer of speculative fiction. His story, A Thousand Solomons, won first place in the 2015 BSFS Amateur Writing Contest. He participates in the BSFS Critique Circle, and has finished a rough draft of a first novel. He hopes to write stories that are affecting, humane, and concerned with big questions.

When not writing, and being a husband and father, he works in the Space Explorations Sector at JHU Applied Physics Laboratory, where he designs flight firmware. His designs are flying now in NASA's Van Allen Probes, and will be in the forthcoming Solar Probe Plus spacecraft.

Dragan Rose

Dragan Rose is a member of the Greater Columbia Fantasy Costumers' Guild and the International Costumers' Guild. She loves designing and making all types of costumes and props. She also recently designed and costumed for her first play, "All's Well That End's Well," by William Shakespeare produced by the Rude Mechanicals based in Greenbelt, MD. Dragan has been coming to Balticon for many years and is looking forward to seeing all her long time friends and making new ones.

Ann Rudolph

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Don Sakers
Twitter: @meerkatdon

Don Sakers was launched the same month as Sputnik 1, so it was perhaps inevitable that he should become a science fiction writer. As a writer and editor, he has explored the thoughts of sapient trees (The Leaves of October), brought ghosts to life (Carmen Miranda's Ghost is Haunting Space Station Three), and beaten the "Cold Equations" scenario. Since 2009, Don has been the book reviewer for Analog Science Fiction & Fact, where he writes the "Reference Library" column in every issue. Don's most recent books are Children of the Eighth Day and Meat and Machine.

Carol Salemi

Carol has worked over 40 years in many aspects of costuming from creating/fabricating to teaching to judging/masquerade directing. She is a Master costumer that enjoys new/fun/challenging techniques that keep it fresh. Her most recent work can be seen on TLC's "My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding". She's a medical massage therapist(29years), works for Regal Cinemas, Sondra Celli Designs, has jobs in the Haunt Industry and likes making Steampunk items...check out her jewelry in the Art Show!

Kathreja Sarfati

Kat Sarfati has been the Head or Assistant Head of Anime Programming at Balticon for a number of years to the point she doesn't remember any more when she started. She is a former Con-Chair of Anime USA, and has worked Anime Conventions in leadership for over 5 years. She writes fan fiction, works on jewelry and Art in her little spare time.

Lee Sarfati

Twitter: @RobbitsonC

A Long time Geek, SciFi and Anime Fan, Lee has several years of experience Staffing Anime Conventions as well as a wide Breath of Knowledge of Random Trivia.

Robert J. Sawyer
Twitter: RobertJSawyer

Robert J. Sawyer has won the best-novel Hugo Award (for Hominids), and has twelve other Hugo nominations to his credit. He's also won the best-novel Nebula Award (for The Terminal Experiment), the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (for Mindscan), and the Audio Publishers Association's Audie Award for Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Audiobook of the Year (for Calculating God), plus Spain's Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción (at 6,000 euro, the world's largest ongoing science-fiction prize; Rob has won it a record-setting three times), Canada's Aurora (a record-setting fourteen times), Japan's best-foreign-novel Seiun Award (three times), China's Galaxy Award, Analog magazine's AnLab, the Hal Clement Memorial Award, and NESFA's Edward E. Smith Memorial Award ("the Skylark"). In 2014, he was one of the initial nine inductees into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. His 23 novels include Starplex, Rollback, Wake, Triggers, Red Planet Blues, and the just published Quantum Night. The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his novel of the same name, and Rob -- a member of both the Writers Guild of America and the Writers Guild of Canada -- he was one of the scriptwriters for that series. His work has hit #1 on the,,, Audible, and Locus science-fiction bestsellers' lists. Rob holds two honorary doctorates and has published in both the world's top scientific journals, Science (guest editorial) and Nature (fiction). He lives just outside Toronto. Website:

Patrick Scaffido

Patrick Scaffido is an author, podcaster, and musician. His work is available at He prefers writing surrealistic trippy scifi epics to writing his own bio. He once fought a giant mutant terrier armed only with the jawbone of a mule. The terrier won.

John Scheeler

Ken Schrader
Twitter: @kenschrader4882

Ken Schrader is a science fiction and fantasy writer. He spends a great deal of his spare time listening to the characters running around in his head. When he's not doing that, or playing with his dogs, he's been known to take in the occasional super-hero movie.

His short story "Haven" appears in the Weird Wild West Anthology.

Ken loves music, books, the big sky right off his front porch, Star Wars, Firefly, Blind Guardian, jasmine tea, and the smell of rain on the air.

Chooch Schubert
Twitter: @choochus

Chooch Schubert is a podcaster, musician, and audio engineer living near Washington, DC. He started podcasting in 2007 (The City of Heroes Podcast) and currently co-hosts a number of shows including: multi-Parsec finalist Beyond The Wall (A GoT Podcast), Consumption (covering media from TV, books, games and more), and Into The Blender (life in a blended family). Chooch has participated on and moderated panels at several conventions covering diverse topics such as: writing fiction, podcasting, advanced audio editing, web design, and video games as well as live music performances. By day Chooch is a Federal IT Manager who enjoys board games, writing music, and audio production for podcast and film.

Darrell Schweitzer

Darrell Schweitzer's most recent book is a collection of weird and Lovecraftian stories, AWAITING STRANGE GODS, published by Fedogan & Bremer. His novels include THE WHITE ISLE, THE SHATTERED GODDESS, and THE MASK OF THE SORCERER. He has published about 325 stories in magazines ranging from AMAZING STORIES to TWILIGHT ZONE and many anthologies, most notably, of late, ST Joshi's BLACK WINGS series. He is himself an anthologist (CTHULHU'S REIGN, THE SECRET HISTORY OF VAMPIRES, THAT IS NOT DEAD, etc.) and was for 19 years co-editor of WEIRD TALES. He has published books about H.P. Lovecraft and Lord Dunsany. He also wrote the INNSMOUTH TABERACLE CHOIR HYMNAL, now the standard liturgy for blasphemous rites everywhere.

Chris Shockey

I have been in the Baltimore sci-fi con scene for the last 20 years, the last 17 running Hal's Gaming Oasis at Farpoint.

Alex Shvartsman

Alex Shvartsman is a writer, translator and game designer from Brooklyn, NY. Over 80 of his short stories have appeared in Nature, Galaxy's Edge, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and many other magazines and anthologies. He won the 2014 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction and was a finalist for the 2015 Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Fiction. He is the editor of the Unidentified Funny Objects annual anthology series of humorous SF/F. His collection, Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories and his steampunk humor novella H. G. Wells, Secret Agent were both published in 2015.

Ethan Siegel

Ethan Siegel is a Ph.D. astrophysicist and professor of physics and astronomy at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. He has won numerous awards for science writing since 2008 for his blog, Starts With A Bang, including the award for best science blog by the Institute of Physics. His writing has been featured by NASA, Discover Magazine, Scientific American, Forbes, Slate, and many others. His first Book, Beyond the Galaxy: How humanity looked beyond our Milky Way and discovered the entire Universe, is now available from World Scientific.

Podcasting's Rich Sigfrit

To say that I enjoy podcasting and NM would be a gross understatement. My credits include mentions in high school and collegiate papers, newspapers, Podcasting for Dummies, and Advanced Podcasting Tricks. I have been called an innovator, having created the first fandom podcast (RotO), the first podcast for an Independent Wrestling Federation (Halo: Hardwired), and distributed the first comic book made available via podcast feed (Podcast 9). I was the force behind the official Troma Podcast and a former host/editor of the 501stCast, the official podcast of the 501st Stormtrooper Legion. I produced the long running Amazing Pulp Adventures Radio Show starring Mister Adventure, serving as writer and primary voice actor for recorded and live stage versions.

I have done commercial voice work as the voice of CRASH, SWE and GOUGE Wrestling, Volaris phone systems, Howards RV and Fit Family NC (also providing puppetering). I have MC'd numerous conventions and events and am the host of Thinkin' While you're Drinkin' as well as the house MC for Succubus Sorority and Nerd-Vana Burlesque under the name Dr Fantastical and Richie Muenster. Between the podcasts, requested voices from other shows, father of 3, various audio sketches and dramas have been heard on ChronoRadio, Star Wars and Beyond, SwitchedOn Show, the Geeklabel Podcast and Dragon Pages' Wingin' It syndicated show, (plus countless guest appearances on other shows) of which I am very proud.

In my spare time, I sleep.

David Silverman

DAVID SILVERMAN is the president of American Atheists and one of the best-known atheists in America. Known as "America's loudest heathen," a term he embraces proudly, Silverman is passionate about atheism and atheist equality. He has appeared on several T.V. programs for on-air debates, including, the O'Reilly Factor, Hannity & Colmes, Scarborough Country and CNN Paula Zahn NOW. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and child. The Atheist Art of War is his first book.

Hildy Silverman
Twitter: SpaceandTimeMag

Hildy Silverman is the publisher of Space and Time, a nearly 50-year-old magazine featuring fantasy, horror, and science fiction. She is also the author of several works of short fiction, including "The Vampire Escalator of the Passaic Promenade" (2010, New Blood, Thomas, ed.), "The Darren" (2009, Witch Way to the Mall?, Friesner, ed), "Sappy Meals" (2010, Fangs for the Mammaries, Friesner, ed), "Black Market Magic" (2012, Apocalypse 13, Raetz, ed.), and "The Bionic Mermaid Returns (2014, With Great Power, French, 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 a Digital Marketing Communications Specialist at Sivantos, Inc.

John Skylar
Twitter: johnskylar

John Skylar, PhD is a virologist, life scientist, and author incapable of keeping his mouth shut. His nonfiction writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, Mashable, and other venues. His fiction has appeared in Perihelion SF, STRANGE BEDFELLOWS (Bundoran Press), THE FUTURE EMBODIED (Simian Publishing), and many others. He also writes for pharmaceutical companies and video games publishers from his base of operations in New York.

Jay Smith
Twitter: @jayandrewsmith

Jay Smith is an award-winning audio dramatist responsible for the Parsec winning horror series HG World, the Parsec finalist The Diary of Jill Woodbine and Hidden Harbor Mysteries. Jay's books include the gamer-geek satire Rise of the Monkey Lord, Blue Collar Gods, Seven 'til Sunrise, The Diary of Jill Woodbine, HG World: The Audio Scripts, and the forthcoming Hidden Harbor Mysteries: Anatomy of A Modern Audio Drama Series. Currently, Jay writes and produces audio for Onder Librum based on Ed Greenwood's multiverse of speculative fiction including the ongoing urban fantasy series Hellmaw.

Jay holds a Master of Fine Arts from Seton Hill University. He attends and speaks at various science fiction and literary conventions about podcasting, writing, audio drama, and zombies.

Waylon Smith

The Positronic Cats are a Sci-Fi/progressive folk duo from Pennsylvania. Simple chord progressions paired with powerful vocals and intricate mandolin phrasings are the foundation for songs about love, revenge, and the future.

Maria Snyder

Meteorologist turned novelist, Maria's been writing fantasy and science fiction since she was bored at work and needed something creative to do. Over a dozen novels and seventeen short stories later, Maria's learned a thing or three about writing. She's been on the New York Times bestseller list, won a half-dozen awards, and has earned her MA degree in Writing from Seton Hill University where she's been happily sharing her knowledge with the current crop of MFA students. She also enjoys creating new worlds where horses and swords rule, 'cause let's face it, they're cool, although she's been known to trap her poor characters in a giant metal cube and let them figure out how to get out. Readers are welcome to check out her website for book excerpts, free short stories, maps, blog, and her schedule at

David Sobkowiak
Twitter: dsobkowiak

David's creative efforts began at a young age. At six he was recording comedy sketches into a Radio Shack tape recorder.

At 13 he started writing novels based on vivid dreams. At 17 he was a DJ and at 20 he was working as a sound engineer for a local rock band in Buffalo, NY.

His belief in collaborative works led him to voice acting for several audio drama groups in the early 00's. In 2006 he co-founded BrokenSea Audio Productions and has lent his voice to productions of Doctor Who, POTA, EFNY, Jake Sampson, BSG, Logan's Run, Johnny Quest and the X-Files. He has worked alongside some of the best and brightest talents from around the world.

As a husband and father he knows firsthand how important collaboration is in everyday life, and he brings that belief to all of the many projects he has worked on over the years.

Presently he is working on developing several new creative endeavors including novels, short stories and audio scripts.

Michelle Sonnier

Michelle D. Sonnier writes urban fantasy, dark fantasy, and some horror and steampunk. She's really just an awkward, geeky type who likes to tell stories. She lives in Maryland with her husband, son, and a fluctuating number of cats.

Steven Southard

Steven R. Southard's short stories appear in nine different anthologies including Dead Bait, Quest for Atlantis, and Cheer Up, Universe! He's the author of the What Man Hath Wrought series, with 12 stories at last count. An engineer and former submariner, Steve takes readers on voyages to far-off places aboard amazing vehicles accompanied by engaging characters. He has tampered with several genres including steampunk, clockpunk, science fiction, fantasy, and horror... and seems to have gotten away with it. Set sail for to learn more about his fictional adventures.

Michael Spence
Twitter: @michaelspence

Michael Spence writes science fiction, fantasy, and theology, and recently has ventured into mystery and steampunk. He also reads it all. Out loud. For other people.

Recent stories include "The Snowflake Fallacy," in _Realms of Darkover_, edited by Deborah J. Ross; a steampunk story, "Why the Sea Is Boiling Hot: A Tale from the Archives of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences," published by Imagine That! Studios (a finalist for the 2014 Parsec Award); and "Dark Speech" (with Elisabeth Waters), in _Sword and Sorceress 30_, and "The Music of the Spheres," in _Music of Darkover_, both edited by Elisabeth Waters. His article "Requiem for the Harlequin: Two Perspectives on Time, and a Celebration of _Kairos_, in Three Stories by Harlan Ellison" appeared in _Sci Phi Journal_.

Michael has also narrated several audiobooks, available through,, and iTunes. He played lead roles in Chris Lester's "Whispers in the Wood," which won the Parsec Award in 2010 for Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Short Form), and in Jim Perry's "Star Wars - Codename: Starkeeper," which won the Star Wars Fanworks Best Audio Drama and Best Director awards.

Benjamin Steinhurst

Ben Steinhurst has been doing math and crocheting for almost as long as he has been reading science fiction. Today he crochets and teaches mathematics at McDaniel College in Central Maryland while fitting in as much reading as possible.

His mathematical research is about random walks through fractal spaces. In particular he is interested in those fractal spaces which change their characteristics at smaller and smaller length scales.

Christopher Strachan

Ian Strock

Ian Randal Strock is the owner and publisher of Gray Rabbit Publications / Fantastic Books ( He has been an editor for Artemis, Analog, Asimov's, Science Fiction Chronicle, and more. He is also an AnLab winning author of fiction and non-fiction. His non-fiction books "Ranking the First Ladies" and "Ranking the Vice Presidents" will be out from Carrel Books later this year. His science fiction has been published in Nature and Analog.

David Lee Summers
Twitter: @davidleesummers

David Lee Summers is the author of nine novels and numerous short stories and poems. His writing spans a wide range of the imaginative from science fiction to fantasy to horror. David's novels include The Solar Sea, which tells the story of the first voyage through the solar system aboard a solar sail, Vampires of the Scarlet Order, which tells the story of a band of vampire mercenaries who fight evil, and Owl Dance, which is a wild west steampunk adventure. His short stories and poems have appeared in such magazines and anthologies as Realms of Fantasy, Cemetery Dance, and Gaslight and Grimm. In addition to writing, David has edited three science fiction anthologies: A Kepler's Dozen, Space Pirates and Space Horrors. When not working with the written word, David operates telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory. Learn more about David at

Gayle Surrette

Having been an avid reader from a very early age, Gayle Surrette also loves books - the binding, the paper, the typography, writing of, writing about, editing, proofing, copyediting, and talking about... . Now, I edit and publish, - how could a girl resist. So, with a tremendous pile of books needing to be read and several venues in which to talk about books, authors, and idea - I'm happily reading, learning, and enjoying life, the universe, and everything.

Jim Swann

Songs of daring-do with nary a hey nonny nonny! Since 1982, the Boogie knights have put a humorous Medieval/mythical twist on everything from commercial jingles to TV/movie themes, from golden oldies to the latest top-40 songs. Our fearless leader, David Keefer (Theodoric of York, Medieval Disk Jockey) and our guitarist, John Scheeler (Sir John of Denver) are founding members. The rest, in order of joining, are: Sharon "Smap" Palmer (Dionne of Warwicke), Kate Pakaski (Alice the Cooper's daughter), Linda Swann (the Lady Pinque), Keith R. A. DeCandido (KRAD the Obscure), & Lynn Cunningham ("Mad" Donna).

Michael Swanwick
Twitter: @MichaelSwanwick

Michael Swanwick has received the Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon, World Fantasy and Hugo Awards, and has the pleasant distinction of having been nominated for and lost more of these same awards than any other writer. He has written nine novels, a hundred and fifty short stories, and countless works of flash fiction. His latest novel, CHASING THE PHOENIX, in which post-Utopian con men Darger and Surplus accidentally conquer China, is available from Tor Books.

Swanwick will be guest of honor at MidAmeriCon II, the 2016 World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City.

He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Marianne Porter.

Kate Szkotnicki

Kate is an avid costumer who comes from an anime cosplay background. She's been actively costuming for almost 15 years and various east coast anime and SF cons. When she's not making costumes for herself, she's teaching the next generation. Kate is a Family and Consumer Science (Home Ec) teacher at Loudoun Valley High School. After school, she works with the school's drama department on costumes for various productions, and advises the school video game club. In her spare time, Kate also crafts for the Desert Bus for Hope fundraiser in November.

Kate lives in Harper's Ferry, WV, with her cat Othello. When she's not sewing or crafting, she enjoys reading, playing video games, gardening and retrocomputing.

K.M. Szpara
Twitter: @KMSzpara

K.M. Szpara lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with a black cat and miniature poodle. He has a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, which he totally uses at his day job as a legal secretary. On nights and weekends, he advances his queer agenda at the local LGBT Community Center and writes speculative fiction novels. His short fiction appears in Lightspeed, Shimmer, and Glittership. You can find him on Twitter @KMSzpara.

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Cecilia Tan
Twitter: @ceciliatan

Cecilia Tan is "simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature," according to Susie Bright. RT Magazine awarded her Career Achievement in Erotic Romance in 2015 and their prestigious Pioneer Award. Tan's BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever, 2013) also won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance and the Maggie Award for Excellence from the Georgia Romance Writers chapter of RWA. She is the founder and editor of Circlet Press, Inc., publishes of erotic science fiction and fantasy, as well as the author of many books, including the ground-breaking erotic sf/fantasy short story collections Black Feathers (HarperCollins), White Flames (Running Press), and Edge Plays (Circlet Press), the Magic University series (Riverdale Avenue Books), The Prince's Boy (Circlet Press), and many other books. Her short stories have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Asimov's Science Fiction, Absolute Magnitude, Strange Horizons, and tons of other places. Her upcoming series from Tor Books, The Vanished Chronicles, will begin publication in 2017.

She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner corwin and three cats. Find out more at

Leigh Targaryen

Leigh Targaryen has been dancing since the age of three. She has explored many styles of dance including modern, tap, jazz, hip hop, country line, ballroom, African and Native American, but her main focus has always been ballet. As a youth, she studied under Towson's Children's Dance Division with Patty Enoch Bond, where she was able to gain a strong foundation in the Royal Academy of Dance. In high school, Leigh was accepted into the dance program at Carver Center for the Arts. After graduation, Leigh went on to receive her Associate of the Arts degree from Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) in Dance. During her attendance, Leigh was awarded "Outstanding Dancer of the Year" for two consecutive years. In addition, she also received the only scholarships offered in the dance department, both years in attendance. She graduated from Goucher College in 2008, where she earned her BA in Dance Therapy.

Leigh began her teaching career at age 11 as an assistant at Kingsville Recreation Center. After three years she was awarded her own classes. Leigh went on to teach creative movement, ballet, tap, modern and lyrical to varying age groups around Maryland, including Maryland School of Ballet and Modern Dance (MSBMD).

Leigh's passion in the field of dance has led her in many directions, including costume design. In 2006 she started designing and crafting dance costumes for herself and received several awards for outstanding craftsmanship at local and national conventions. In 2008 she began designing and constructing costumes for several dance companies. Her most notable projects are Howard County Ballet's Nightingale, Baltimore Ballet's Firebird, and Maryland School for Ballet and Modern Dance's Nutcracker, Adventures Under the Sea (inspired by Finding Nemo), and Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. She is now designing and creating costumes for Goucher College and Deep Vision Dance Company.

Bob Terry

Robert E. Terry received a B.S. degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, followed by M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, in 1968, 1975, and 1978, respectively.

He is currently a self employed independent researcher. Working with Enig Associates from 2007 to 2014, he was the principal investigator on a DARPA research effort in high-altitude heat rejection. From 1985 to 2007, Dr. Terry worked with the Radiation Hydrodynamics Branch of the Plasma Physics Division, Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). From 1979 to 1984 he worked with the theoretical physics division of Jaycor, Inc. in Alexandria, VA. Joining NRL in 1985, he has worked on plasma radiation source (PRS) dynamics, power flow, plasma flow and reflex triode switches, magnetic interlayer pinches, gyrokinetic flows and microturbulence, RF discharge theory, plasma chemistry, and specialized wire z-pinch models. His current research interests include novel fluid particle models, polywell fusion schemes, in-situ fuel production for Mars, and Mars sample return missions.

A founding and lifetime member of the Mars Society, he works as the Director of Aerospace Education for the Maryland Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. Dr. Terry maintains a local web discussion list focused on Mars exploration.

Patrick Thomas

Patrick Thomas has had stories published in over three dozen magazines and more than fifty anthologies. He's written 30+ books including the fantasy humor series Murphy's Lore, urban fantasy spin offs Fairy With A Gun, Fairy Rides The Lightning, Dead To Rites, Rites of Passage, Lore & Dysorder and two more in the Startenders series. He co-writes the Mystic Investigators paranormal mystery series and The Assassins' Ball, a traditional mystery, co-authored with John L. French. His darkly humorous advice column Dear Cthulhu includes the collections Have A Dark Day, Good Advice For Bad People, and Cthulhu Knows Best. A number of his books are part of the props department of the CSI television show and one was even thrown at a suspect. Fairy With A Gun was optioned by Laurence Fishburne's Cinema Gypsy Productions. Drop by to learn more.

Jeff Thornsen

John Tilden

John Tilden is the Treasurer of the Heinlein Society, a charitable and educational organization. THS is also an affilate member of SFWA and gives support to the BSFS Heinlein Award. John has been the Balticon Blood Drive Coordinator over the last decade. John has published several SF poems in small-press magazines and had one poem used in a PBS television program.

Izolda Trakhtenberg

Izolda Trakhtenberg, Author, Storyteller, Voice Artist

Born in Moldova in the former Soviet Union, Izolda grew up steeped in the rich heritage of Eastern Europe. After her family immigrated to the USA, they settled in Michigan where she graduated from the University of Michigan with an English degree.

She worked for the National Geographic Society's Educational Media division and as an environmental educator at NASA.

She released her first book, "Life Elements: Transform Your Life with Earth, Air, Fire, and Water," in 2008.

She published book one in the Fairy Godmother Diaries series, "The Fiddler's Talisman," in 2011. "The Piano's Key," book two in the series, will be released autumn, 2015.

In 2011, she wrote, directed, voiced, and created, "Breathable: NASA Monitors Our Changing Air Quality," for NASA.

She created and wrote the Today's Tarot iOS app in June 2015. A daily card-draw app, it has received rave reviews at the Apple store. The "Today's Tarot" interactive book will be released autumn of 2015.

As a voiceover artist, she has recorded audiobooks for various authors. Her two most recent projects are Kim Kash's, "Ocean City Lowdown" and Ginny Baird's, "The Ghost Next Door: A Love Story."

She practices and teaches yoga and Tai Chi and is a first-degree black belt in aikido.

She and her husband reside in Greenbelt, MD with their dog and two cats, and a house full of books, musical instruments, and juggling clubs.

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Michael Underwood

Michael R. Underwood is the author of the Ree Reyes series (Geekomancy, Celebromancy, Attack the Geek, and the forthcoming Hexomancy), as well as Shield and Crocus, The Younger Gods, and Genrenauts, a series in novellas. By day, he's the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books.

He holds a B.A. in Creative Mythology and in East Asian Studies from Indiana University and a M.A. in Folklore Studies from the University of Oregon.

Mike has been a hobby game store cashwrap monkey, a student archivist, a webmaster, a web design teacher, a bear-builder, a bookseller, an independent publishers' representative, and more.

Currently, Mike lives in Baltimore with his wife and their ever-growing library. In his rapidly-vanishing free time, he studies historical martial arts and makes pizzas from scratch. He is also a co-host on the Hugo-nominated Skiffy and Fanty Show and Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans.

Mark Van Name

Mark L. Van Name is a writer, technologist, and spoken word performer. He has published five novels (One Jump Ahead, Slanted Jack, Overthrowing Heaven, Children No More, and No Going Back), as well as an omnibus collection of his first two books (Jump Gate Twist); edited or co-edited three anthologies (Intersections: The Sycamore Hill Anthology, Transhuman, and The Wild Side), and written many short stories. Those stories have appeared in a wide variety of books and magazines, including Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, many original anthologies, and The Year's Best Science Fiction.

As a technologist, Mark is a co-founder of a fact-based marketing firm, Principled Technologies, Inc., which is based in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. He has worked with computer technology for his entire professional career and has published more than a thousand articles in the computer trade press, as well as a broad assortment of essays and reviews.

As a spoken word artist, he has created and performed four shows -- "Science Magic Sex"; "Wake Up Horny, Wake Up Angry"; "Mr. Poor Choices"; and "Mr. Poor Choices II: I Don't Understand" -- and also frequently leads humor panels at SF conventions.

For more information, visit his website,, or follow his blog,, or Twitter account, @mvanname.

Michael Ventrella
Twitter: MikeVentrella

Michael A. Ventrella's latest novel, Bloodsuckers: A Vampire Runs for President, was released in 2014 to excellent reviews. His previous fantasy novels are Arch Enemies and The Axes of Evil, available from Double Dragon Press. A third book in the series, It's a Wonderful Death, co-written with Derek Beebe, is scheduled to be released in August of this year.

He is the editor of the Alternate Sherlock series (co-edited with NY Times Bestseller Jonathan Maberry), due out this year, and the Tales of Fortannis anthology series, the fourth book of which (A Bard Act to Follow) will be released in November of this year.

His short stories have appeared in various anthologies, including Heroes in Hell, Rum and Runestones, and The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Archives.

Michael founded Animato!, one of the first magazines dedicated to animation and he has been quoted as an animation historian in Entertainment Weekly and various books about animation. With his wife Heidi Hooper, he runs Alliance LARP which was started in 1989 and now has chapters all over the United States and Canada. In his spare time, he is a lawyer.

His website is

Vivid Muse
Twitter: @VividMuse

Vivid Muse, aka "Viv" Schubert has been podcasting since 2007, when she and her husband Chooch launched both Into the Blender and the City of Heroes Podcast. City of Heroes podcast was honored by the Parsec Awards as Finalists in 2008 and 2009.

Viv later began the Girls' Rules Podcast to offer up alternative role models, points of view and empowerment on a female-only podcast. She later joined P.G. Holyfield, the creator of, and others, on Beyond the Wall (A GoT Podcast), which began shortly before the first season of HBO's A GoT. It has proudly remained spoiler-free since launch in 2011.

Viv also is a co-host on Consumption, a discussion with creatives and other fans on the media we are consuming.

After an unexpected onset of disabilities tried to slow her down, Viv decided to share her experiences with the podcasting community, to let others with similar disabilities know that they are not alone and how to not let their disabilities hinder their enthusiasm for their fandom(s).

Viv is also a very happy wife, proud mother and utterly smitten grandmother.

Princess Jacquelyn Von Necropolis

I'm an avid board gamer. I want to eat your BRAIN ! ! !


Robyn Wyrick is an author, screenwriter, and business professional based in southern Maryland.

Mr. Wyrick is the President of Anticipation Films, a Maryland-based production company. He is also the President of DC PHP, a Maryland-based software development and technology consulting company.

A passionate driver of Open Source web development in the Washington DC region, Mr. Wyrick is the founder of the Washington DC PHP Developers Group in 2004.

His titles include:

* The Riley Tompkins Method (film short -- 2011)

* Eviction Notice (book -- Tantor Media 2012)

* For Rent (film short -- 2013)

* The Face of Planet Earth (book -- est 2016)

* The Zombie Cookbook (comic -- est 2016)

* Off The Leash (feature film -- est 2016)

* Wake Up Little Suzy (feature film -- est 2017)

Thomas M. Waldroon
Twitter: @TMWaldroon

Thomas M. Waldroon has lived in or near Washington, D.C., for many years. His stories, based on historical and genealogical research, have appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies and will be collected in the the forthcoming Certain Americans.

John Walker
Twitter: @Walker875

John Walker (1975- ) was born in Indiana but raised all over the country, serving in the Air Force for six years. He grew up mostly in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, calling it his home in 2006. His first book, "The Sincerest Form of Flattery" was released in 2012, with two more books in the series in the same year. With seven volumes of The Statford Chronicles out, John is working on branching out to other genres and has a blog featuring interviews, short stories and other great stuff. He has two books in the works now: the next in the Statford Chronicles and a superhero novel.

David Walton
Twitter: @davidwaltonfic

David Walton is a native of Pennsylvania and recipient of the 2008 Philip K. Dick Award for his first novel, Terminal Mind. His latest books, Superposition and Supersymmerty, are quantum physics murder mysteries with the same mind-bending feel as films like Inception and Minority Report. He is also the author of Quintessence, a science fantasy in which the Earth is really flat, and its sequel, Quintessence Sky. He lives near Philadelphia with his wife and seven children.

Jean Marie Ward
Twitter: @Jean_Marie_Ward

Jean Marie Ward writes fiction, nonfiction and everything in between, including novels (2008 Indie Book double-finalist With Nine You Get Vanyr) and art books. Her stories appear in numerous anthologies, such as Athena's Daughters, The Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens, and Tales from the Vatican Vaults. The former editor of Crescent Blues, she is a frequent contributor of video interviews and short subjects to Her website is

Joy Ward

Joy Ward has been a pro writer since 1994. She has a regular column in Galaxy's Edge Magazine. She also has short stories in several anthologies clouding her recently released anthology, Dogs and Dragons.Among over a hundred non-fiction articles, Joy was one of the first pro bloggers as a Editor of the award-winning Dogster's For Love of Dogs blog. She co-manages Eric Flint's Ring of Fire Press with her husband Walt Boyes.

Shannon C. Ward

Shannon C. Ward is author of the poetry chapbook, Blood Creek (Longleaf Press, 2013). Her work has received generous support from Yaddo, Norton Island, the Anderson Center, the Holly House, and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts. Her poems have appeared in many excellent journals, including Great River Review, Raleigh Review, Superstition Review, and others.

Robert Waters

Since 1994, Robert E Waters has worked in the computer and board gaming industry as technical writer, editor, designer, and producer. A member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, his first professional fiction sale came in 2003 with the story "The Assassin's Retirement Party," Weird Tales, Issue #332. Since then he has sold stories to Nth Degree, Nth Zine, Padwolf Publishing, Mundania Press, Marietta Publishing, Pole-to-Pole Publishing, eSpec Books, and Dark Quest Books. His most recent stories were published in the Grantville Gazette, Baen Books' online magazine dedicated to stories set in their best-selling 1632/Ring of Fire Alternate History series. Between the years of 1998 -- 2006, he also served as an assistant editor to Weird Tales.

Robert's first novel, The Wayward Eight: A Contract to Die For, was released in November 2014 and set in the Wild West Exodus Universe tabletop game.

Robert currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with his wife Beth, their son Jason, and their cat Buzz.

Lawrence Watt-Evans
Twitter: @wattevans

Lawrence Watt-Evans has been a full-time author for over 30 years, with over 40 novels and more than a hundred short stories to his name, including the Hugo-winning short story "Why I Left Harry's AllNight Hamburgers" and the fantasy series The Legends of Ethshar.

Len Webb
Twitter: @BlackTribbles

Too cool to be geeks, too cute to be nerds; we are Black Tribbles. We look at popular culture from an African American point of view with a humorous style that educates as it entertains. Check us weekly on and subscribe via iTunes and Soundcloud.

Diane Weinstein

Diane Weinstein was assistant editor and art director for Weird Tales magazine for 15 years. She was also a jack-of-all-trades at Wildside Press for several years and has been the art editor of Space and Time Magazine since 2007. She has attended Balticon since 1980.

Heather Welliver
Twitter: #HeatherWelliver

Heather Welliver is a voice artist and producer. She has done narration and voice acting for several podcasts as well as for television. Her part as Ciris in the podcast novel Cybrosis by PC Haring, brought much critical acclaim. Heather's narration has also been featured in an Emmy nominated educational series called Access to History.

Her current project is producing a family history documentary, "Through My Mother's Eyes."

Alex White
Twitter: TheGearheart

Alex White is a novelist, born and raised in the American south. He takes photos, writes music and spends hours on YouTube watching other people blacksmith. He values challenging and subversive writing, but he'll settle for a good time. In the shadow of rockets in Huntsville, Alabama, Alex lives and works as an experience designer with his wife, son, two dogs and a cat named Grim. Favored past times include Legos and racecars. He takes his whiskey neat and his espresso black. His debut novel, EVERY MOUNTAIN MADE LOW, will be in stores this November.

S. L. Wideman

A born writer, S. L. Wideman has always dreamed of being published. In 2014, that dream came true with her first novel, Iona, book one of her Space Station Olympus series. The series follows Greek myths as they play out in space on the fictional Space Station Olympus. This was followed in 2015 by her second novel, Verucca Victorious, a wildly fun story about a book character who decides to fight for her deserved happily ever after from the Author.

When she is not writing, S. L. Wideman attends college in the pursuit of her Health Information Management degree. A passion that comes second to writing is her love for medical coding. It is her hope to someday work in a registry by day and write novels by night.

Fran Wilde

Fran Wilde's work includes the novels UPDRAFT (Tor, 2015) and CLOUDBOUND (Tor, 2016). Her short stories appear in Asimov's,, and Nature. Her novella "The Jewel and Her Lapidary," will be published by publishing in May 2016. She writes for publications including The Washington Post, SFSignal,, Clarkesworld,, and She co-edited the SFWA 50th Anniversary Cookbook, Ad Astra with Cat Rambo

John Williams

Twitter: @wryneckstudio

John Taylor Williams is the Director of Production for New America and the Owner of Wryneck Studio, a multimedia production lab/mastering facility. He webcasts over 225 multi-camera live events a year, places experts on radio and television, and produces multiple podcasts. He has worked with Cory Doctorow, Wil Wheaton and Skyboat Media to independently release unabridged audiobook versions Homeland and Information Doesn't Want To Be Free.

D. C. Wilson

D. C. Wilson is a writer, teacher, blogger, artist, occasional podcaster, and former petty bureaucrat from Harrisburg, PA.

Jen Wilson
Twitter: @RadioWesteros

Jen Wilson is the co-host of the Radio Westeros podcast. A longtime fan of SFF and a former bookseller, Jen has been writing about books for years. As "Lady Gwynhyfvar" she began writing about George R.R.Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series several years ago, first at the popular fan forum and later on her own blog and as a founding host of Radio Westeros. Jen lives in Massachusetts where she often repeats the Stark House words: "Winter is Coming"

Steven Wilson
Twitter: StevenHWilson

STEVEN H. WILSON created the Mark Time and Parsec Award-winning podcast series The Arbiter Chronicles, as well as authoring Taken Liberty and several other novels and novellas set in the Arbiters universe. His other works include the novel Peace Lord of the Red Planet, short stories for Crazy 8 Press's ReDeus series, and contributions to Sequart Press's Star Wars essay collections. He has written for DC Comics and Starlog, and is publisher for Firebringer Press, whose seventh and latest book, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, collects tales of science fiction, fantasy and the paranormal by Mid-Atlantic authors.

A.C. Wise
Twitter: @ac_wise

A.C. Wise's fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Apex, Shimmer, and the Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2015, among other places. Her debut collection, The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again, was published by Lethe Press in October 2015. In addition to her fiction, she co-edits Unlikely Story, and contributes a monthly Women to Read: Where to Start column to SF Signal. Find her online at

Hannah Witkin

Hannah is an eighth grade student at Mayfield Woods Middle School

Merrily Wolf

Merrily Wolf has been costuming for over 10 years and exploring various arts and crafts for decades.

David Wood
Twitter: @davidwoodweb

David Wood is the author of the Dane Maddock Adventures series and many other titles, and writes fantasy under his David Debord pen name. David also co-hosts the Authorcast podcast and is the owner and managing editor of Gryphonwood Press. He lives with his family in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Twitter: @RadioWesteros

Yolkboy is the co-host and producer of the Radio Westeros podcast, a podcast dedicated to literary analysis and theories about characters and events in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. After spending a number of years contributing to fan forums under the pseudonym "yolkboy", he got serious about merging his background in sound with his penchant for discussing A Song of Ice and Fire. The result was the Radio Westeros podcast. He lives in England where winter is never far away.
Jeff Young
Twitter: @jywriterguy

Jeff Young is a bookseller first and a writer second -- although he wouldn't mind a reversal of fortune.

He received a Writers of the Future award for "Written in Light. He also has contributed to the anthologies: Writers of the Future v.26, By Any Means, Best Laid Plans, Dogs of War, In an Iron Cage, Fantastic Futures 13, Clockwork Chaos, TV Gods, The Society for the Preservation of C.J. Henderson and Gaslight and Grimm. Jeff was published in the magazines eSteampunk, Realms, Cemetery Moon, Trail of Indiscretion, Realms Beyond, Carbon14 and Neuronet. He is an editor with Fortress Publishing for their Drunken Comic Book Monkey line as well as the anthology TV Gods.

Jeff has helped run the Watch the Skies SF&F Reading Group of Harrisburg and Camp Hill for more than fifteen years. He also is an instructor for the Step Back in Time class at Dreamwrights Youth and Family Theater. Step Back in Time prepares children to enjoy all aspects of Renaissance Faires by learning about dress, language, culture, history and more. Finally, Jeff is also the proprietor of the online eBay and Etsy shops- Helm Haven, which produces Renaissance and Steampunk costume pieces.

Cindy Young-Turner
Twitter: AuthorCindyYT