October 26-29, 2023   Sheraton Crown Center

Guests of Honor

Steve BarnesToastmaster

STEVEN BARNES is a New York Times bestselling author, screenwriter and educator who has written more than thirty science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels. Octavia E. Butler called Barnes’s Endeavor-Award winning novel Lion’s Blood “imaginative, well researched, well written, and devastating.” The NAACP Image Award winner is also a pioneering television writer who has written for The Outer Limits (Showtime), The New Twilight Zone (Showtime), Stargate SG-1, Andromeda, and Ben 10: Alien Force. He has been nominated for Hugo, Nebula and Cable Ace Awards. Barnes has lectured at UCLA, Mensa, Pasadena JPL, taught at Seattle University, hosted the "Hour 25" radio show on KPFK, been Kung Fu columnist for Black Belt Magazine, and been a "Starred Speaker" at the L.A. Screenwriting Expo. An avid yogi and martial artist with three black belts, Steven is also a pioneer in the human potential movement, creating the groundbreaking “Lifewriting” creativity system, making writers the heroes of their own stories.

Steve BarnesToastmaster

STEVEN BARNES is a New York Times bestselling author, screenwriter and educator who has written more than thirty science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels. Octavia E. Butler called Barnes’s Endeavor-Award winning novel Lion’s Blood “imaginative, well researched, well written, and devastating.” The NAACP Image Award winner is also a pioneering television writer who has written for The Outer Limits (Showtime), The New Twilight Zone (Showtime), Stargate SG-1, Andromeda, and Ben 10: Alien Force. He has been nominated for Hugo, Nebula and Cable Ace Awards. Barnes has lectured at UCLA, Mensa, Pasadena JPL, taught at Seattle University, hosted the "Hour 25" radio show on KPFK, been Kung Fu columnist for Black Belt Magazine, and been a "Starred Speaker" at the L.A. Screenwriting Expo. An avid yogi and martial artist with three black belts, Steven is also a pioneer in the human potential movement, creating the groundbreaking “Lifewriting” creativity system, making writers the heroes of their own stories.

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Tananarive DueToastmaster

TANANARIVE DUE (tah-nah-nah-REEVE doo) is an award-winning author who teaches Black Horror and Afrofuturism at UCLA. She is an executive producer on Shudder's groundbreaking documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror. She and her husband/collaborator, Steven Barnes, wrote "A Small Town" for Season 2 of Jordan Peele’s "The Twilight Zone" on Paramount Plus, and two segments of Shudder’s anthology film Horror Noire. They also co-wrote their upcoming Black Horror graphic novel The Keeper, illustrated by Marco Finnegan. Due and Barnes co-host a podcast, "Lifewriting: Write for Your Life!"

A leading voice in Black speculative fiction for more than 20 years, Due has won an American Book Award, an NAACP Image Award, and a British Fantasy Award, and her writing has been included in best-of-the-year anthologies. Her books include Ghost Summer: Stories, My Soul to Keep, and The Good House. She and her late mother, civil rights activist Patricia Stephens Due, co-authored Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights. She and her husband live with their son, Jason.

Tananarive DueToastmaster

TANANARIVE DUE (tah-nah-nah-REEVE doo) is an award-winning author who teaches Black Horror and Afrofuturism at UCLA. She is an executive producer on Shudder's groundbreaking documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror. She and her husband/collaborator, Steven Barnes, wrote "A Small Town" for Season 2 of Jordan Peele’s "The Twilight Zone" on Paramount Plus, and two segments of Shudder’s anthology film Horror Noire. They also co-wrote their upcoming Black Horror graphic novel The Keeper, illustrated by Marco Finnegan. Due and Barnes co-host a podcast, "Lifewriting: Write for Your Life!"

A leading voice in Black speculative fiction for more than 20 years, Due has won an American Book Award, an NAACP Image Award, and a British Fantasy Award, and her writing has been included in best-of-the-year anthologies. Her books include Ghost Summer: Stories, My Soul to Keep, and The Good House. She and her late mother, civil rights activist Patricia Stephens Due, co-authored Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights. She and her husband live with their son, Jason.

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Elizabeth LeggettArtist Guest of Honor

Elizabeth Leggett is a two time fan artist Hugo winner, gold award winner in the digital category in Infected By Art 10 and bronze winner overall. She is a gallery artist, and science fiction and fantasy novel cover designer. Her clients include KEEP Contemporary gallery in Santa Fe, NM, Prince of Cats Literary Productions, Melinda Snodgrass, DreamForge Magazine, Uproar Books, Houghton, Mifflin and Harcourt, Walter Jon Williams and more. Her work can be seen in Spectrum Volumes 22, 24, 26, and 27 and the premiere issue of Spectrum Art Quarterly. She can also be found in Infected By Art Volumes 3-10. She is a five time Chesley nominee.

Elizabeth LeggettArtist Guest of Honor

Elizabeth Leggett is a two time fan artist Hugo winner, gold award winner in the digital category in Infected By Art 10 and bronze winner overall. She is a gallery artist, and science fiction and fantasy novel cover designer. Her clients include KEEP Contemporary gallery in Santa Fe, NM, Prince of Cats Literary Productions, Melinda Snodgrass, DreamForge Magazine, Uproar Books, Houghton, Mifflin and Harcourt, Walter Jon Williams and more. Her work can be seen in Spectrum Volumes 22, 24, 26, and 27 and the premiere issue of Spectrum Art Quarterly. She can also be found in Infected By Art Volumes 3-10. She is a five time Chesley nominee.

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Vincent VillafrancaArtist Guest of Honor

Vincent Villafranca has been sculpting since childhood. In 1991, while working on a degree in history, he took an elective art course and was introduced to bronze-casting. Vincent instantly became fascinated with the idea of preserving his small sculptures in metal. After graduating, he worked in a bronze foundry just outside of Austin, Texas where he further developed his sculpting, mold-making and bronze-casting skills. He continues to make a wide array of sculptures, from tiny, intricate dragons to large-scale futuristic robots. Vincent is a lifelong fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy, thus, he was quite honored to design the World Fantasy Award, the 2013 Hugo Award and the Ray Bradbury Nebula Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation. He lives in north Texas with his ecologist wife and an assortment of animals.

Vincent VillafrancaArtist Guest of Honor

Vincent Villafranca has been sculpting since childhood. In 1991, while working on a degree in history, he took an elective art course and was introduced to bronze-casting. Vincent instantly became fascinated with the idea of preserving his small sculptures in metal. After graduating, he worked in a bronze foundry just outside of Austin, Texas where he further developed his sculpting, mold-making and bronze-casting skills. He continues to make a wide array of sculptures, from tiny, intricate dragons to large-scale futuristic robots. Vincent is a lifelong fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy, thus, he was quite honored to design the World Fantasy Award, the 2013 Hugo Award and the Ray Bradbury Nebula Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation. He lives in north Texas with his ecologist wife and an assortment of animals.

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Kij JohnsonAuthor Guest of Honor

Kij Johnson writes fantasy and science fiction including the novels The Fox Woman and Fudoki; the short story collection, At the Mouth of the River of Bees; the novella, The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe; and more than fifty stories. She’s won the Hugo, World Fantasy, Nebula, and Sturgeon Awards, as well as the Grand prix de l’imaginaire and others. She’s worked in publishing, comics, games and miscellaneous tech companies; currently she teaches creative writing at the University of Kansas, where she was associate director for the J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction and currently serves in the same capacity for The Ad Astra Center. She teaches novel masterclasses and short fiction workshops online and in person. She lives in Kansas.

Kij JohnsonAuthor Guest of Honor

Kij Johnson writes fantasy and science fiction including the novels The Fox Woman and Fudoki; the short story collection, At the Mouth of the River of Bees; the novella, The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe; and more than fifty stories. She’s won the Hugo, World Fantasy, Nebula, and Sturgeon Awards, as well as the Grand prix de l’imaginaire and others. She’s worked in publishing, comics, games and miscellaneous tech companies; currently she teaches creative writing at the University of Kansas, where she was associate director for the J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction and currently serves in the same capacity for The Ad Astra Center. She teaches novel masterclasses and short fiction workshops online and in person. She lives in Kansas.

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Jonathan StrahanEditor Guest of Honor

Jonathan Strahan (www.jonathanstrahan.com.au) is a Hugo and World Fantasy Award award-winning editor, anthologist, and podcaster. He has edited more than 90 books, is reviews editor for Locus, a consulting editor for Tor.com, and the co-host and producer of the Hugo-winning Coode Street Podcast.

Jonathan StrahanEditor Guest of Honor

Jonathan Strahan (www.jonathanstrahan.com.au) is a Hugo and World Fantasy Award award-winning editor, anthologist, and podcaster. He has edited more than 90 books, is reviews editor for Locus, a consulting editor for Tor.com, and the co-host and producer of the Hugo-winning Coode Street Podcast.

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Pat CadiganSpecial Guest

Pat Cadigan is an American-born science fiction author, who broke through as a major writer as part of the cyberpunk movement. Her early novels and stories all shared a common theme, exploring the relationship between the human mind and technology.

Her first novel, Mindplayers, introduced what became a common theme to all her works. Her stories blurred the line between reality and perception by making the human mind a real and explorable place. Her second novel, Synners, expanded upon the same theme, and featured a future where direct access to the mind via technology was in fact possible.

She has won a number of awards, including the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award twice,in 1992, and 1995 for her novels Synners and Fools.

She currently lives in London, England with her family. (less)

Pat CadiganSpecial Guest

Pat Cadigan is an American-born science fiction author, who broke through as a major writer as part of the cyberpunk movement. Her early novels and stories all shared a common theme, exploring the relationship between the human mind and technology.

Her first novel, Mindplayers, introduced what became a common theme to all her works. Her stories blurred the line between reality and perception by making the human mind a real and explorable place. Her second novel, Synners, expanded upon the same theme, and featured a future where direct access to the mind via technology was in fact possible.

She has won a number of awards, including the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award twice,in 1992, and 1995 for her novels Synners and Fools.

She currently lives in London, England with her family. (less)

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