2020 SFFCon Guests
We have an all-star lineup of guests for the inaugural SFFCon, including many of the top indie authors writing today in SF&F.
James S. Aaron, Author & Podcaster
James S. Aaron is a bestselling author of fifteen novels (and counting) and many short stories. He has written series with New York Times Bestselling Author M.D. Cooper and USA Today Bestseller JN Chaney. He is a twelve year U.S. Army veteran, serving as a medic and later platoon leader and company commander, followed by nine years working with law enforcement. His novels draw heavily on his military and law enforcement experience, including the characters, operations, technology and locales. James lives in Oregon with his family, where he enjoys being outside, hacking classic Gameboys, amateur carpentry and All Things Science Fiction. He's a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America.
Catherine Asaro, Author & Scientist
Catherine Asaro has authored about thirty books, including science fiction, thrillers, and fantasy. Her novel The Quantum Rose and novella “The Spacetime Pool” both won the Nebula® Award. She is a multiple Hugo nominee and a multiple winner of the AnLab from Analog magazine. Her most recent books are The Vanished Seas and Lightning Strike Book II, both of which came out in July 2020.
Catherine has a doctorate in chemical physics from Harvard and a BS in chemistry from UCLA. Her paper “Complex Speeds and Special Relativity” (The American Journal of Physics, April 1996) forms the basis for some of the science in her fiction. She directed the Chesapeake Math Program for many years. Her students distinguished themselves in many national programs, including the USA Mathematical Olympiad, the USA Physics Olympiad, and the Harvard-MIT Math Contest.
Catherine has appeared as a speaker at many institutions and as a Guest of Honor at cons across the US and abroad. She served two terms as president for SFWA and is a member of SIGMA, a think tank that advises the government as to future trends affecting national security. She also appears as a vocalist at clubs and conventions. Her most recent single, the Celtic-themed song Ancient Ages, placed on the Blast-FM top 100 in 2020.
Rachel Aukes, Author
Rachel Aukes the bestselling author of over twenty novels and a dozen short stories, including 100 Days in Deadland, which made Suspense Magazine's Best of the Year list. She is also a Wattpad Star, her stories having over six million reads. Her series include the Flight of the Javelin, Bounty Hunter, Fringe, and Deadland Saga. She's also written three Tidy Guides, which cover the how-to's of writing, self-editing, and publishing. When not writing, Rachel can be found flying old airplanes with an incredibly spoiled fifty-pound lap dog across the Midwest countryside. She lives with her husband near Ames, Iowa.
Jonathan P. Brazee, Author
Jonathan P. Brazee is a retired Marine infantry colonel and now a full-time writer living in Colorado Springs with his wife and twin baby girls. He is a two-time Nebula Award Finalist, a Dragon Award Finalist, and a USA Today Bestselling writer. Jonathan has over 75 titles published, 44 being novels. His novelette, "Weaponized Math," was a finalist for the 2017 Nebula Award, "Fire Ant" was a finalist for the 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novella, and "Integration" was a finalist for the 2018 Dragon Award for Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel. When he's not not writing, he's reading, cooking, going to the gym, or traveling.
Rhett C. Bruno, Author & Publisher
Rhett C Bruno is the USA Today Bestselling & Nebula Award Nominated Author of 'The Circuit Saga' (Diversion Books, Podium Publishing), 'Children of Titan Series' (Aethon Books, Audible Studios), and the 'Buried Goddess Saga' (Aethon Books, Audible Studios); among other works. He has been writing since before he can remember, scribbling down what he thought were epic stories when he was young to show to his friends and family. He is currently a full time author living in Connecticut with his wife and dog Raven.
Martha Carr, Author
Martha Carr is the bestselling author of numerous fantasy series. She is a late bloomer who's a big DC comics fan and spent her childhood summers on the Jersey shore in the U.S. but hasMarth had a weird wanderlust to live in different parts of America ever since. Martha's stories involve twisting, turning thrillers and others have a lot of magic. There's something to be said for getting lost in another world and coming out the other side feeling a little better about yourself or the possibilities in front of you. That's basically the best part of life in a nutshell.
Jaime Castle, Author & Publisher
Jaime Castle hails from the great nation of Texas where he lives with his wife and two children and enjoys anything creative. A self-proclaimed comic book nerd and artist, he spends what little free time he can muster with his art tablet. Jaime is a #1 Audible Bestseller, Audible Originals author (The Luna Missile Crisis) and co-created and co-authored The Buried Goddess Saga, which includes the IPPY award-winning Web of Eyes.
Jeff (J.N.) Chaney, Author & Publisher
J. N. Chaney is a USA Today Bestselling author and has a Master's of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. He fancies himself quite the Super Mario Bros. fan. He migrates often, but was last seen in Las Vegas, NV. Any sightings should be reported, as they are rare.
J. Caleb Clark, Cover Artist
J Caleb Design makes badass covers for badass stories. Full of grit and storytelling, my work is geared to instantly capture a reader's attention. Using 3-d modeling software combined with digital painting, my fully custom creations play with perspective and scale in a way few other covers in the industry do.
Dean M. Cole, Author
Amazon Top 20 and Audible Top 10 Author Dean M. Cole, a retired combat helicopter pilot and airline pilot, has penned multiple award-winning apocalyptic tales. Solitude, book one of Dimension Space, won the 2018 ABR Listeners Choice Award for Best Science Fiction. Previously, IndieReader named Dean's first full-length novel, Sector 64: Ambush, to their Best of 2014 list. His sixth book, Amplitude, the third Dimension Space novel, is now available.
Malorie (M.D.) Cooper, Author
Malorie Cooper likes to think of herself as a dreamer and a wanderer, yet her feet are firmly grounded in reality. A ‘maker’ from an early age, Malorie loves to craft things, from furniture, to cosplay costumes, to a well-spun tale, she can’t help but to create new things every day. A rare extrovert writer, she loves to hang out with readers and people in general. If you meet her at a convention, she just might be rocking a catsuit, cosplaying one of her own characters, or maybe her latest favorite from Overwatch! She shares her home with a brilliant young girl, her wonderful wife (who also writes), a cat that chirps at birds, a never-ending list of things she would like to build.
Amy (A.K.) DuBoff, Author
A.K. (Amy) DuBoff has always loved science fiction in all its forms, including books, movies, shows, and games. If it involves outer space, even better! She is a Nebula Award finalist and USA Today bestselling indie author specializing in space-based science fiction and fantasy. Dubbed the modern “Queen of Space Opera” by her readers, she is most known for her acclaimed Cadicle Universe. The second book in her standalone Dark Stars Trilogy, A Light in the Dark, was a 2018 Nebula finalist for the Andre Norton Award. Amy’s short fiction has been published by NewCon Press, Seventh Seal Press, and in numerous indie publications. When she's not writing, she enjoys travel, wine tasting, binge-watching TV series, and playing epic strategy board games.
Charles (C.C.) Ekeke, Author
C.C. Ekeke is the bestselling author of the Pantheon Saga series and the Star Brigade series. When he isn't writing or daydreaming about outer space or battling dastardly supervillains, he enjoys reading, hiking, learning new languages, spending time with his family, and traveling the world.
Steaphen Fick, Martial Artist & Author
Steaphen Fickis the founder of Davenriche European Martial Artes School as well as the International Medieval Tournament Association. He is an internationally ranked provost and two-time rapier winner at the International Sword and Martial Arts Convention. He lives in Santa Clara, California.
James Fox, Screenwriter, Director & Author
James Fox graduated with a BFA in both Directing and Producing, and he is the Founder and CEO of Dawnrunner Inc. With 14 action-packed years in the film industry, he has led the company through numerous award-winning projects, all across the world. He has spoken at events like, GPU Technology Conference, NAB, Seattle International Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival, and dedicates his time and energy on several advisory boards, and through partnerships with children’s arts education organizations. His creativity and technical street-smarts have labeled him a visionary for the future of visual storytelling through new methods and technological innovations.
Darrell Gabonia, Screenwriter
Darrell Gabonia is an award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker from Hilo, Hawaii. After graduating from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, he worked in Los Angeles as an intern at nonprofit 826LA where he tutored inner city students in creative writing. He also interned at talent management company Principato-Young. In 2015, he wrote and directed the fantasy web series “Dorkcore,” which won a Silver Award for Directing at the Los Angeles Film Review.
Victoria Gerken, Audiobook Publisher
Victoria Gerken is the Head of Acquisitions and Author Relations at Podium Publishing, an audiobook publisher specializing in indie sci-fi and fantasy. She previously worked with authors in traditional publishing roles—at Random House and Alfred A. Knopf—where she was a publicist and sold subsidiary rights. She got her first taste of entrepreneurship in publishing as the founder of the Random House Speakers Bureau.
Carolynn Gockel, Author
C. Gockel has been writing stories for her friends and family since the dark ages (i.e., before word processors existed.) A few years ago, she started posting those stories to the intertubes. She received emails, messages, and reviews from her fans telling her she should 'do this professionally.' She didn't; she is a coward and life as a digital designer, copywriter and coder is more dependable. But in the end, her husband's nagging wore her down. At the moment, Ms. Gockel is working on the next installment of The Archangel Project.
Rebekah Haskell, Cover Artist & Author
Rebekah Haksell is a full-time book cover illustrator and designer, the founder of Vivid Covers. She is also a writer who loves all things fantasy and science-fiction. She has spent the last eleven years editing, beta reading, blogging, podcasting, mentoring, and obsessing about the craft of writing. He book covers can be seen on many indie bestsellers in sci-fi and fantasy.
Josh Hayes, Author & Podcaster
A retired police officer, Josh Hayes is the author of the Valor Trilogy, Stryker's War (Galaxy's Edge), and The Terra Nova Chronicles w/ Richard Fox, along with numerous short stories. His debut solo novel, Edge of Valor, was nominated for the 2020 Dragon Award for Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel. His experiences in both his military life and police life have given him unique glimpses into the lives of people around him and it shows through in the characters he creates. Josh is also the creator and president of Keystroke Medium, a popular YouTube show and podcast focused on the craft of writing. When Josh is not writing, he spends his time with his four children and his wife.
Jeffrey Kafer, Audiobook Narrator
Jeffrey Kafer is a Los Angeles based SAG-AFTRA narrator with 10 years experience and over 500 audiobooks produced to date. He has worked with major publishers, small producers, and individual authors on ACX. He has done extensive projects on a per-finished-hour basis as well as royalty-share. Jeffrey has taught business consulting at major venues across the country including guest-speaking at the UCLA Drama and Theater masters program, That's Voice Over, VO Atlanta, the Audio Publishers Association Conference, ACX University and more.
Tim Kaiver, Author
Tim Kaiver is an old-school gamer who writes Sci-Fi/Fantasy LitRPG. His Cipher's Quest novel is RealRPG inspired by Final Fantasy VI's mix of magic and low-tech society, Stargate's exploration of myth and galactic consequences, and grows into what he loved about the world of Dragonlance and the first Warcraft games where it was fun to chop wood and build your army. He's also writing Skateboarder Samurai, another RealRPG set in an alternate Earth where dual classes are given powers by the alien Overrulers to compete for humanity's survival in a worldwide round-robin tournament.
Gerald M. Kilby, Author
Gerald M. Kilby grew up on a diet of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark, and Frank Herbert, which developed into a taste for Iain M. Banks and everything ever written by Neal Stephenson. Understandable then, that he should choose science fiction as his weapon of choice when entering the fray of storytelling. His techno-thriller and hard sci-fi novels have topped Amazon charts in Hard Science Fiction and Space Exploration. Colony Mars has also been optioned by Hollywood for a potential new TV series. He lives in the city of Dublin, Ireland, in the same neighborhood as Bram Stoker and can be sometimes seen tapping away on a laptop in the local cafe with his dog Loki.
Charlie (C.W.) Lamb, Author
Charlie (CW) Lamb is a science fiction and fantasy novelist. His goal is to write stories that entertain the reader, allowing us to suspend reality, if not for just a little while. He was raised in the Southwest, survived a tour of duty in the Pacific Northwest, and now resides in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife and three dogs.He enjoys boating, scuba diving, shooting, motorcycles, classic cars and being outdoors.
Stephen Landry, Author
Stephen Landry’s writing includes sci-fi, fantasy, horror, LitRPG, and post-apocalyptic fiction. Hayao Miyazaki, China Mieville, and classic science fiction as well as his own life experiences inspire his style and creativity. Other influences include video games, movies, anime, and technology. Stephen is also an award winning graphic designer, producer, and musician whose goal is to encourage and inspire others through storytelling.
Mark Leslie Lefebvre, Author & Podcaster
Mark Leslie (Lefebvre) is an author, professional speaker and bookseller with more than a quarter century of experience in writing, publishing, and bookselling. He has published more than a dozen full length books and also edits fiction anthologies. Between 2011 and 2017, Mark worked at the Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations for Kobo where he was the driving force behind the creation of Kobo Writing Life. Mark speaks internationally, specializing in advances in digital publishing and the vast and incredible opportunities that exist for writers and publishers.
Ken Lozito, Author
Ken Lozito is a bestselling author of the First Colony series, Ascension series, and the Safanarion Order. He writes heroic tales, redemption stories, the last stand, and just good old-fashion adventure stories with rich and interesting characters. From first contact stories to exploring the universe, Ken's books have made readers lose precious hours of sleep while they read just one more page. Ken worked in IT Security for almost twenty years before becoming a full-time author. When not writing, he enjoys hiking, reading, playing with the dog, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.
Kevin McLaughlin, Author
USA Today bestselling author Kevin McLaughlin has written more than three dozen science fiction and fantasy novels, along with more short stories than he can easily count. Kevin can be found most days in downtown Boston, working on the next novel. His bestselling Blackwell Magic fantasy series, Accord science fiction series, Valhalla Online LitRPG series, and the fan-favorite Starship Satori series are ongoing.
Tom Merritt, Podcaster
Tom is an award-winning independent tech podcaster and host of regular tech news and information shows. Tom hosts Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast, and book club with Veronica Belmont. He also co-hosts Daily Tech News Show, covering the most important tech issues of the day with the smartest minds in technology.
Lauren Moore, Podcaster & Editor
Lauren Moore is a professional developmental and line editor, working to help authors craft their stories and polish their prose. When she’s not editing, you can probably find her at the gym… reading another book in between sets. As an editor, Lauren specializes in science fiction and fantasy. She also hosts The Writing Journey show on the Keystroke Medium podcast.
Amy J. Murphy, Author
Amy J, Murphy has twice been voted a Dragon Award Finalist for Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel by Dragon Con where she’s often a featured panelist. At some point, she infiltrated the ranks of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). And books in her Allies and Enemies series have appeared on Amazon’s best-seller lists. When not doing battle with the angel of death as a nurse (you’re welcome), she lives in Vermont with the aforementioned Scotsman/Jedi and two very spoiled canines.
Nazri Noor, Author
Nazri Noor is a California-based author of Filipino and Malaysian descent. While capable of fluently cursing in three languages, he only writes in English, and has been doing so in a professional capacity for over 18 years. His urban fantasy novels feature wise-cracking heroes who save the world with wits, style, and magic: think sass and class, while kicking ass.
Stephanie Osborne, Author
Stephanie Osborn is a former payload flight controller, a veteran of over twenty years of working in the civilian space program, as well as various military space defense programs. She has worked on numerous Space Shuttle flights and the International Space Station. Stephanie is the author and co-author of several SF novels.
Troy Osgood, Author
Born and raised in the granite state of New Hampshire, Troy is a lifelong and avid reader of comic books and novels (mostly in the fantasy, sci-fi and adventure/thriller genres). The ongoing serial storytelling methods of comic books and television has always fascinated him and provided inspiration for his writing. He's always had a love of creating and world building and dreams of someday seeing his creations expressed across all media: books, comic books, movies, TV and even toys.
Charley Parlapanides, Screenwriter & Producer
Vlas Parlapanides, Screenwriter & Producer
Vlas Parlapanides is a screenwriter and producer, known for Immortals (2011), Death Note (2017) and Blood of Zeus (2020). He born in New Brunswick, New Jersey but grew up on the Jersey Shore. He graduated from Villanova University with an Economics Degree and Communications Minor.
Rick Partlow, Author
Rick Partlow is that rarest of species, a native Floridian. Born in Tampa, he attended Florida Southern College and graduated with a degree in History and a commission in the US Army as an Infantry officer. Somewhere, submerged in the worlds created by the great sci-fi authors, Rick began to create his own worlds. He has written 40 books in ten different series, and his short stories have been included in twelve different anthologies. He is currently writing the best-selling Drop Trooper series for Aethon Books, a mil-SF alien invasion series and the ongoing Interstellar Bounty Hunter series. He lives in central Florida with his wife, two children and a willful mutt of a dog. Besides writing and reading science fiction and fantasy, he enjoys outdoor photography, hiking and camping.
Lisa (L.L.) Richman, Author
Lisa (L.L.) Richman has a diverse career background, having spent more than a decade working in radiation physics, and twice that as a director of film and video. Richman is also a pilot and avid photographer. The Biogenesis series explores both the biophysics of chirality and the intricacies of high-energy radiation physics in a fun and entertaining way. Lisa can often be found flying a Piper Cherokee or photographing Deep Sky Objects (DSOs) late at night.
A.G. Riddle, Author
A.G. Riddle spent ten years starting internet companies before retiring to pursue his true passion: writing fiction. His novels have sold over four million copies and been translated in twenty languages. Several of his works are in development for feature films. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, who endures his various idiosyncrasies in return for being the first to read his new novels.
S.J. Schauer, Author
SJ Schauer, formerly published under the pen name S.F. Edwards has always lived his life in the future, dreaming of spaceships, and alien worlds. SJ is a recognized expert in aircraft night vision equipment for military and civilian operators. A career of testing, evaluating and certifying military weapon systems and aircraft has given him insight into military hardware, and he is an expert in flight physics from years of teaching aerospace concepts, simulated flight instruction, combined with his background in engineering. His short stories have placed first in the Space Opera: Writers Summer 2016 Flash Fiction contest.
Ryan Schwarz, Cover Artist
Ryan Schwarz is a career marketing expert with a degree in graphic design and a love of teaching. He has dedicated 25+ years to consumer marketing. Ryan has designed over 300 incredible book covers for authors AND publishers looking to stand out of the crowd, including LMBPN Publishing and Aethon Books. These covers are hand-crafted with extreme care, combining elements of their story and the genre itself to create something that fits so well in their potential reader's mind.
Anthea Sharp, Author
Anthea Sharp is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of YA Urban Fantasy. Growing up on fairy tales and computer games, Anthea Sharp has melded the two in her award-winning Feyland series. She now makes her home in the Pacific Northwest, where she writes, hangs out in virtual worlds, plays the fiddle with her Celtic band Fiddlehead, and spends time with her small-but-good family. Her books have won or placed in the PRISM, the Maggie, the National Reader's Choice Award, the Write Touch Reader's Award, the Heart of Excellence, and the Book Buyer's Best contests.
Mariah Sinclair, Cover Artist
Mariah Sinclair is an award-winning designer and founder of CoverDesignerDirectory.com (launching in Dec 2020). During most of her career, she worked for advertising agencies as a designer and digital marketer. serving Fortune 500 companies. Since 2016, she's focused her energy on book cover design for the indie author community and mentoring fellow cover designers. She’s lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans and currently resides in the quaint Arizona town of Prescott in a cottage with her two cats. Mariah also volunteers as an Art Docent, teaching art appreciation and history to schoolchildren.
Glynn Stewart, Author
Glynn Stewart is the author of Starship’s Mage, a bestselling science fiction and fantasy series where faster-than-light travel is possible–but only because of magic. His other works include science fiction series Duchy of Terra, Castle Federation and Vigilante, as well as the urban fantasy series ONSET and Changeling Blood. Writing managed to liberate Glynn from a bleak future as an accountant. With his personality and hope for a high-tech future intact, he lives in Kitchener, Ontario with his wife, their cats, and an unstoppable writing habit.
Ryan Tang, Author
Ryan Tang is a five-year veteran journalist and analyst of the esports industry. After selling his website, he began writing novels. His books reflect his longtime experience in the esports industry and his love of fantasy and mecha anime. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 2016 and doubles as a high school water polo coach in the California Bay Area.
Shelina (T.S.) Valmond, Author
T.S. Valmond isn’t an author (despite the claims). More like a glorified reporter delivering the news from far away worlds. She’ll tell you she doesn’t write books she’s building a universe but don’t believe the hype; she also thinks she’s a Jedi. She resides in Canada with her husband and dog in an undisclosed location. One can never be too careful when exposing the secrets of powerful governments, intergalactic worlds, and illegal aliens. (Yes, they’re watching.).
Wendy Van Camp, Poet & Author
Wendy Van Camp is the creator behind No Wasted Ink, a blog about the craft of writing that features author interviews, sci-fi and fantasy book reviews and poetry. Her short stories and poems have appeared in Lit Up, Scifaikuest, Quantum Visions, and Far Horizons. She’s published The Curate’s Brother: A Jane Austen Variation of Persuasion, a Regency historical novel and The Planets: a scifaiku poetry collection. A graduate of the James Gunn Speculative Fiction Workshop, Wendy has won Honorable Mention at the Writers of the Future Contest, and has been nominated for an Elgin Award. She makes her home in Southern California with her husband and a mischievous cat. She enjoys travel, urban sketching, and jewelry making.
Mark Wandry, Author
International bestselling author of military sci-fi, space opera, and zombie apocalypse, Mark Wandrey is also the only four-time DragonCon Dragon Award finalist! Living the full time RV lifestyle as a modern day nomad, Mark Wandrey has been writing science fiction since he was in grade school. He launched his professional career in 2004 with the release of Earth Song - Overture. Now, 15 years later, he has more than 20 books out, including many bestsellers. His most successful works to date can be found in the Four Horsemen Universe (4HU), which he created and now shares with a slew of incredible authors including his partner and publisher, Chris Kennedy. The 4HU continues to expand and branch out, including a YA series (Black and White).
Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, Author & Data Scientist
Yudhanjaya Wijeratne is a Nebula-nominated science fiction author and data scientist from Colombo, Sri Lanka. His recent novel The Salvage Crew, narrated by Nathan Fillion, uses machine learning to test a human+AI collaboration in art. By day he is a senior researcher with the Data, Algorithms and Policy team at LIRNEasia, working at the intersection of technology and government policy; he is also the co-founder of Watchdog, a fact-checking organization that sprung up in the wake of the April 2019 bombings in Sri Lanka.