Attending Professionals

For a list of guests, performers, and attending professionals ordered by confirmation date, please click here.


Mary Abreu
Author Mary Abreu is passionate about sewing. She authored two garment sewing books. Abreu has worked as a seamstress with a boutique movie production company and has wardrobe department credits on two short films -- including The Candy Shop starring Doug Jones -- in addition to work on television productions.

Mario Acevedo
Mario Acevedo writes the bestselling Felix Gomez detective-vampire series for HarperCollins and WordFire Press. Barnes & Noble chose his debut novel, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats, as one of the best Paranormal Fantasy Novels of the Decade. His short fiction has been published by Hex Publishing and Arte Publico Press.

Caleb Ashmore Adams
Caleb is the founder/lead of the UGA Small Satellite Research Lab and will be sending a satellite to the International Space Station in 2018. He has worked at NASA as a flight software developer for the Orion Spacecraft. He runs one of the most popular astronomy blogs on tumblr.

David Afsharirad
David Afsharirad is the editor of The Year's Best Military and Adventure SF series. His stories and nonfiction have appeared in various publications.

Roger Altizer
Dr. Altizer is the cofounder of the #1 game design program, Entertainment Arts and Engineering.  He has spoken at numerous cons and events, and spent a decade as a games journalist. He specializes in design which he uses in medical games and virtual reality projects, as well as, indie games.

Lou Anders
Lou Anders is the author of the Thrones and Bones series, a fantasy adventure that begins with the novel Frostborn, published by Random House's Crown Books for Young Readers. He is a Hugo award winning editor and Chesley Award winning art director. Visit him online at

Ben Armstrong
This twisted horror show host has an Emmy nomination for Tales from 6 Feet Under and a Telly Award for The True Netherworld Story of the Harvestman. In recent years he has hosted many events and spent his spare time creating evil scenarios and vile experiences for Netherworld Haunted House.

Mindee Arnett
Mindee Arnett is the author of two young adult series: The Arkwell Academy, a contemporary fantasy and Avalon, a sci-fi thriller. She has a Master of Arts in English literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing. She lives on a horse farm in Ohio

Eric R. Asher
Eric R. Asher is the author of the Vesik urban fantasy series and the Young Adult steampunk series, Steamborn. He has also appeared on Travel Channel's Toy Hunter with Jordan Hembrough.

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Kevin Bachelder
Kevin has been podcasting about genre TV and movies since 2005.  His podcasts have won four Parsec Awards in the Best Fan Podcast category. Along with speaking on multiple panels at Dragon Con yearly since 2006 he also leads the Dragon Con Newbies group which puts on events to help new attendees.

Bad Wolf Costumes
Alex Beard, co-owner of Bad Wolf Costumes, is an active member of the Star Trek costuming community, having done extensive research into modern-era Starfleet uniforms and produced extremely thorough uniform tutorials for costuming enthusiasts.

Dan Baker
Dan Baker has over a decade of experience in the game industry, and one of the founders of Oxide Games. His career has many accomplishments, but is probably most well known as the graphics lead for Sid Meier's Civilization V

Tony A Ballard-Smoot
Model, maker, speaker and enthusiast extraordinaire Tony Ballard-Smoot aka Captain Anthony LaGrange works to promote himself, his crew and the Steampunk community as a whole. He extensively travels around the country as a professional panelist.

Kevin Bankston
Kevin Bankston is the Director of New America’s Open Technology Institute, where he works to ensure universal access to communications technologies that are both open and secure. He has previously worked as a digital rights attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy & Technology, and the ACLU.

Dan Barker
Dan Barker is co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, co-host of Freethought Radio, a former preacher, author of Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became one of America's Leading Atheists and GOD: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction.

Hayden Barnes
Hayden Barnes is an attorney in private practice focused on technology, privacy, and First Amendment issues. Barnes serves as Staff Counsel to the Georgia Senate where he advises Senators on legal and technology policy. Barnes is a member of the First Amendment Lawyers Association and was named Outstanding Georgian in 2016.

Davey Beauchamp
Davey Beauchamp is a published author/game designer (Worlds of Pulp) , accomplished podcaster (gallifrey pirate radio), and digital artist been featured at various conventions.

Evan Bernstein
Evan Bernstein is a co-host of the award-winning podcast The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe. Evan has given live presentations to private corporations, educational seminars, and conventions on topics including the direct harms of pseudoscience, woo in the martial arts, and the truth behind paranormal investigations.

The Black Saint
The Black Saint has written for Fangoria,, and He is currently the lead theatrical reviewer for and a reviewer/interviewer for

Randy W Blades
Randal Blades is an Associate Professor and the current head of the Drama Department for Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL. He is a costume technician and designer and holds an MFA in Costume Design from Penn State University and a BA in Drama from Jacksonville State.

CJ Boat
CJ Boat is a podcaster, author, and scholar. He hosts several podcasts spread throughout the Geek I/O Media Network, which he owns.

Arie Bodek
University of Rochester George E. Pake Professor of Physics, Arie Bodek earned his B.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from MIT. Doctoral thesis provided evidence of the quark's existence (1990 Physics Nobel Prize - Friedman, Kendall, and Taylor). Awarded 2004 APS Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics. CERN/LHC, neutrinos.

Shawn Boettner
A New Jersey native, Shawn is interested in all things paranormal and cryptozoological. He is an Investigator with Paranormal Georgia Investigations and is also their resident Bigfoot expert. He is currently a law enforcement officer, served in the US Marine Corps, and is a closet Harry Potter nut.

Professor Boggs
Silly Songs of Serious Science! Professor Boggs performs songs about everything from Kepler's Laws to Avogadro's number. Sort of a solo Thor and Dr. Jones groove with embedded science. You'll have fun, and actually learn some science in spite of it all.

Jon Boutelle
Jon Boutelle has been producing and hosting podcasts for 10 years. He is the host of 50 Days of Dragon Con, a podcast focused on the directors, staff, and people of Dragon Con. He's also on Need Coffee's Weekend Justice and The Unique Geek.

Brian Bradley

Brian Bradley is a television writer, producer and performer. He has written and produced for the shows Happy Endings, Scrubs, and MADtv and currently develops for NBC Universal. He played Gandalf and Galadriel in the critically acclaimed cult hit Fellowship! He also co-created and produces the hit storytelling live show and podcast 5 Truths and a Lie

Bill Bridges
Bill Bridges is an award-winning writer and narrative designer of numerous games. He was one of the original developers of White Wolf's World of Darkness and is the co-creator and developer of the Fading Suns science-fiction universe. He is a Fellow at Atlanta's Mythic Imagination Institute.

John Bridges
John Bridges is a concept artist and illustrator currently developing characters at Hi-Rez Studios. His other recent game credits include Lichdom: Battlemage (Xaviant) and the World of Darkness MMO (CCP Games). John's other past clients include Marvel Comics, White Wolf, Wizards of the Coast, and other entertainment industry companies.

Darwin Bromley
Darwin P Bromley is a game designer known for Empire Builder. Darwin co-founded Mayfair Games in 1981 and was the its President from 1982 to 1997. Darwin led Mayfair as it published its train games, card games, and RPGs (RoleAids, DC Heroes). Darwin started Mayfair re-publishing games from Europe, including Settlers of Catan.

Keith Brooks
Keith Brooks is an Atlanta based actor, director, and writer. Notable for appearing in AMC's The Walking Dead, Constantine, and numerous other nerdy fun projects. Co-owner of Bean Dip Productions, co-director of Star Trek: First Frontier, and showrunner for Stan Lee's Bean Dip Explains it All.

Chuck Brown
Chuck Brown is currently the Writer and Creator of the upcoming Dark Horse comics’ mini-series Familiar Fears.

Lauren Brown
Lauren Brown is a Lead Environment Artist working at EA Red Crow. Her previous animation experience included working on environments on animated series such as Archer. Her passions are in games, animation, and ridiculously adorable animals.

Clint Brownlee
Clint is a founding member and current Director of Paranormal Georgia Investigations. With 9 years of investigative experience and over 20 years of photography experience, he strives to answer questions of the paranormal in the most scientific way possible.

Pat Brymer
A puppeteer and puppet craftsman, Pat Brymer has been creating puppets and costume characters for major production companies since 1973. In 1982 he formed his own company, pat brymer creations. Pat was the gopher in 1980's Caddyshack. His other feature film puppeteering credits include The Muppet Movie, Short Circuit, My Stepmother is an Alien, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, So I Married an Axe Murder, and Team America, World Police.

Chesya Burke
Chesya Burke writes science fiction, fantasy, horror, and noir. Her comic, Shiv, is scheduled to debut in 2017. Burke's collection, Let's Play White, is being taught in universities. Her novel, The Strange Crimes of Little Africa, debuted in 2015. Nikki Giovanni compared her writing to Octavia Butler and Toni Morrison.

Raychelle M Burks
Raychelle is a chemist in the Ivory Tower, though she often makes a tower break to talk about the science behind pop-culture and can be seen on Science Channel's Outrageous Acts of Science.

David A. Byers
David Byers is a paranormal educator that infuses the paranormal with genealogy research and lectures in the southeast on how to incorporate the two. He has been featured in the Day Trip documentary shown on EATV 7 and filmed the requested pilot for American Ghost Towns for PBS.

Shannon Faye Byers
Shannon Byers, The Paranormal Genealogist, is a paranormal educator that infuses the paranormal with genealogy research and lectures in the southeast on how to incorporate the two. She has been featured in the Day Trip documentary shown on EATV 7 and filmed the requested pilot for American Ghost Towns for PBS.

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Alison Carrier
Alison Carrier is the UI/UX Designer for Red Crow Austin, a mobile game studio created by Electronic Arts. Known for her passion to deliver world-class user experiences, she has worked on several mobile games, including her most recent work on The Simpsons: Tapped Out and an unannounced mobile title.

Sam Carter
Sam Carter is a writer, director, producer, fabricator, illustrator, designer, and founder of the New Puppet Order. The man wears a lot of hats. Currently he is wrapping production on Nature Calls, a short film created for Handmade Puppet Dreams and produced by Heather Henson and Sam Koji-Hale.

Blair B. Chintella
Blair Chintella is an attorney that lives and practices in Georgia. He has extensive knowledge of First Amendment, search and seizure and other Constitutional and civil liberties issues.

Roshani Hitesh Chokshi
Roshani Chokshi writes fantasy.  Her debut YA Indian fantasy, The Star-Touched Queen, was published by MacMillan/St. Martin's Griffin on May 3, 2016.

KyL T Cobb
KyL T. Cobb is an adventurer, a historian, a paranormal investigator, a demonologist and an author. Having explored 58 countries and studied 22 religions, Cobb is an expert of unraveling the unknown. Cobb released his paranormal textbook Ghost and Demons: The Lost Things in 2015. The sequel, Forgotten Lore, will be out in 2016.

Molly Coffee
Molly Coffee spends her nights writing and directing her own strange quirky content. By day she is a puppet extraordinaire and art department champion. Her work can be seen in “The Walking Dead”, “The Carbonaro Effect”, FX series “Atlanta”, and IFC series “Stan Against Evil” just to name a few.

Barbara Cohen
Dr. Barbara Cohen’s scientific adventures have taken her to every continent, the far side of the Moon, the dunes of Mars, and tiny asteroids. And we haven’t even gotten to the bit about lasers yet. Asteroid 6186 Barbcohen is named for her, but unfortunately will never hit the Earth.

Robert F Coker
Dr. Robert Coker works on life-support systems to keep astronauts safe on the ISS.  He can also tell you how the Space Launch System will suck down a swimming pool's worth of fuel in seconds and describe the birth, life, and death of black holes, and the universe itself.

· can describe the birth, life, and death of massive stars, black holes, and the universe itself!

Myke Cole
Myke Cole is the author of the military fantasy Shadow Ops series including Control Point, Fortress Frontier, and Breach Zone, and the prequel novels Gemini Cell and Javelin Rain.

Pamela A. Cole
Pamela Cole, Costumier, graduated from Goodman Theater- Chicago over 40 years ago and continues working with dance companies, movies, museums, and re-enactors, in the greater Atlanta area and is head of costuming for Atlanta’s Capitol City Opera Company. She has been involved with Dragon Con’s costume track from the beginning.

Bennett R Coles
Bennett R. Coles is an award-winning, military science fiction author with Titan Books. He served fifteen years as a naval officer and his real-life adventures provide rich inspiration for his fiction. In addition to writing, Bennett works as an editor and publisher for new authors.

Conner Sisters
The Conner Sisters consist of two sisters named Misty and Ashley. They are paranormal investigators and blog radio personalities. They have been in a book, spoke at conventions, been in articles, investigated notorious locations, and been tour guides at locations. 

L. Andrew Cooper
L. Andrew Cooper pens the provocative, scary, and strange. Works include novels Burning the Middle Ground and Descending Lines; shorts collections Leaping at Thorns and Peritoneum; non-fiction Gothic Realities and Dario Argento; co-edited anthologies Reel Dark and Imagination Reimagined; and co-edited textbook Monsters.;

Katie Correll
K80 is a puppeteer and roboticist based in Orlando Florida. Her work has been seen on Broadway, in Television, Film, on tours and in Disney and Universal theme parks. See more at

Lindsay Cummings
Lindsay Cummings writes Young Adult and Middle Grade fantasy and science fiction at HarperCollins. The Murder Complex is her YA thriller and The Balance Keepers is her MG fantasy. She's the creator of the #booknerdigans hashtag, and she lives in Texas with her husband.

Gavin Cummins
Gavin Cummins began puppeteering in Seattle as a slam performer having presented works across the country including Portland, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Cincinnati, New Haven, Philadelphia, Atlanta Film Festival, and the National Puppet Slam in 2013 among others. He is the founder of the Salmagundi Puppet Cabaret at BIMP and the Fussy Cloud Puppet Slam. In 2015 was an Emerging Artist at the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O'Neil Center.

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Tony Daniel
Tony Daniel is a senior editor at Baen Books. He is the author of ten science fiction and fantasy books, the latest of which is The Dragon Hammer. He is also the author of Star Trek Original Series novels Devil's Bargain and Savage Trade.

Ben Davis
Dr. Ben Davis holds a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics and an M.S. in Nuclear Astrophysics from the University of Notre Dame. He is a former professor of mathematics, programming, astronomy and physics. He has a successful career in IT and engineering. His interests include history, futurism and skepticism.

L. M. Davis
L. M. Davis is the author of three middle grade/young adult novels, Interlopers: A Shifters Novel, Posers: A Shifters Novel, and Skinless. She holds degrees in English with specializations in African American and Native American fiction and critical race theory.

Milton J. Davis
Milton Davis is a science fiction/fantasy writer and owner of MVmedia, LLC, a small publisher of diverse science fiction and fantasy.

Delilah S. Dawson
Delilah S. Dawson is the author of the Blud series, the Hit series, Servants of the Storm, Star Wars: The Perfect Weapon, short stories, comics, and Wake of Vultures, written as Lila Bowen.

Jessie Delaplaine
Jessie Delaplaine is an artist, aerialist, contortionist and puppeteer from Baltimore. She earned her B.A. in General Fine Arts at MICA and has worked with DNA Theatre as an acrobat, and with the Baltimore Rock Opera Society on props, sets, and performance work. Jessie founded Tryfuss Puppet Collective in cahoots with fellow MICA grads and BROS members Devin Martin, Sam Grossman, and Kristie Winther in 2015 and they've been happily painting and hot gluing bits of cardboard to themselves ever since.

Lali DeRosier
Science teacher and education advocate, Lali DeRosier (a.k.a. Adverbia) promotes youth involvement in science through student writing and science outreach. Together with her co-hosts in the Curly Hair Mafia (, she tackles themes of science in scifi, fantasy, and horror in film, TV, and gaming.

Heather Dobson
She's a paranormal investigator, wife, Star Wars junkie, mother, Captain Kirk groupie, social media specialist, ex-hillbilly, Georgia peach, and lunatic. But not necessarily in that order.

Chris Donio
Chris Donio was on the team that built the Ant-Man suit.  He has been a specialty costumer on the 3rd Captain America film, and in props on Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

Dr. Madness
Professional costume designer and cosplay, Phillip has a flare for the eye-catching and awe-inspiring. He has worked for movie and stage sets for the last 15 years and is currently working on a stage production of a cult classic (time warp anyone?).

Jordan T. Duncan
Historian, Paranormal Investigator, Mythology and Folklore Enthusiast, Relocated Cajun, Video Gamer, Chocolate Chip Cookie Connoisseur, Podcaster, Nerd.

Brian Dunning
Science writer Brian Dunning is the host and producer of the podcast Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena (, applying critical thinking to urban legends and popular pseudoscientific subjects promoted by the mass media. He is the author of five books based on the podcast.

Davonne Dupart
Davonne Dupart, animator at Primal Screen and previously at Bento Box Entertainment, has extensive experience in the animation field freelancing for companies such as Tiny Monster Studios. As a member of ASIFA-Atlanta, she works to expand the animation opportunities.

Sarah Beth Durst
Sarah Beth Durst writes fantasy for kids, teens, and adults. Her most recent novel for kids is The Girl Who Could Not Dream (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / Clarion Books, fall 2015) and her next novel for adults is The Queen of Blood (Harper Voyager, fall 2016).

Andy Dykes
Andy is a real, live rocket scientist who currently flies satellites for a living and has supported all kinds of manned and unmanned space flight at NASA. He also worked at U.S. Space Camp, teaching humans of all ages about space history and technology. 

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Marc Alan Edelheit
Marc Alan Edelheit is the author of Fantasy Bestsellers: Stiger's Tigers, The Tiger and The Tiger's Fate. Marc Alan Edelheit has a Bachelor's Degree in Science and obtained a Masters in Education as a Reading and Writing Specialist. Marc has a strong passion for all things Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Sheila English
Award Winning writer, producer, and director of over 300 book trailers, commercials, and webisodes, Sheila English owns the trademark to the term "book trailer" and authored both young adult and suspense thriller novels.

Escape the Clouds
Author, musician, artist, steampunk personality, and aviation professional; those are the many varied hats worn by Mark Rossmore. As a writer with sixty-plus pieces in print and through his musical project Escape the Clouds, he crafts exciting worlds and characters through words, music, and a love of history and aviation.

Richard Estep
Richard Estep is an author and paranormal investigator who has appeared on the TV show Paranormal Investigator.

S. Usher Evans
S. Usher Evans is the author of the Madion War Trilogy, Razia Series, and Empath.

Kacey Ezell
Kacey Ezell is the author of multiple genre short stories, to include Not In Vain, the cover story for Baen's Black Tide Rising anthology. She's been featured in Citizens (Baen), Sha'Daa: Inked (Copper Dog Publishing), Dark Corners (Iron Clad Press), and an upcoming Freehold anthology (Baen).

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Michael Falkner
Michael is an award-winning writer and podcaster from Atlanta, GA who has written pop culture analyses for The Scapecast, The Chronic Rift, RevolutionSF, and He hosts The Weekly Podioplex on The Chronic Rift Network and is a regular contributor to RevolutionSF's RevCast fandom panel discussions.

Ken Feinberg
Ken Feinberg is known as an actor for his work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Star Trek Enterprise and others. He is an award winning producer/director/writer having recently won the Directors Gold Award for the feature film Santa's Boot Camp starring Eric Roberts and a lot of elves.

Moe Ferrara
Musician turned law school graduate turned literary agent, Moe Ferrara joined BookEnds Literary in May 2015. Holding the dual roles of literary agent and subsidiary rights director, she represents SciFi & Fantasy for all ages and romance.

Ben Fisher
Ben Fisher is a professional comic book writer whose list of books includes The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat & Pokey, The Great Divide, and Splitsville.

Rob Fitz
Rob Fitz is a professional makeup artist and film director with 20 years experience. Most recently he worked on films like The Equalizer, Ted 2 and the upcoming Central Intelligence to name a few. He also recently won several awards for his feature film "Blessid" and “God of Vampires”.

Larry Flaxman
Best selling author and researcher, Larry Flaxman, is on a mission to inform, empower, and entertain those fascinated by the paranormal. Flaxman continues to write ground-breaking books on cutting-edge research that leave readers, researchers, and reviewers open-mouthed in disbelief of the truth as it's presented to them.

Marty Fleischmann
Farrago Comics is a free app for free comic books/graphic novels, like Spotify for Comics. Atlanta-based, our freemium model aims to attract the 45M+ comics likers on FB to greatly expand the digital comics audience, help creators earn more, and help studios select comics material for TV/film.

Tom Fleming
A 4-time Chesley Award nominee, Tom has worked for the biggest companies such as Marvel, DC, Heavy Metal, WWE, Magic, WOW plus TV/movie work.

John L. Flynn
Dr. John L. Flynn is an author and screenwriter nominated for three Hugo Awards. A member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, he has written 16 books, including the hugely popular Everything I Know about Life I Learned from James Bond. He was featured in the documentary “Finding the Future.”

Julie Fooshee
Julie Fooshee is a professional science communicator and coordinator of the Science Festival Alliance (SFA) organized out of the MIT Museum at MIT. With an educational background in history, her professional career has largely been defined by work in informal science education, museums, network communication and event management.

Thom Fountain
Thom Fountain, a native of Decatur, Georgia, is a two-time EMMY nominated puppeteer with 42 years professional experience in puppetry arts. His most famous character was Salem, the Talking Cat from Sabrina, The Teenage Witch. Other credits include The Crypt Keeper from Tales from the Crypt, Chucky in Childs Play III, a principal puppeteer and 2nd unit coordinator for Team America: World Police, and he voiced and operated the character of Neeble, the worm guy in the Men In Black trilogies. 

Evan Fowler
Evan Fowler is an award-winning screenwriter, actor, and stand-up comedian. His first feature film, co-written with Sam Carter, “Good Grief Suicide Hotline”, received the Homegrown Award at the Atlanta Film Festival. He was also voted "Best Local Atlanta Comedian" by Creative Loafing magazine in 2013.

Anthony Francis
By day, Anthony Francis is a roboticist; by night, he's an author and comic book artist. He wrote the Dakota Frost, Skindancer urban fantasy series including Frost Moon, Blood Rock, and Liquid Fire; edited the Doorways to Extra Time anthology; and published the steampunk anthology Thirty Days Later.

Ian S. Frazier
Ian Frazier is the Lead Designer at BioWare Montreal, where he's channeling his lifelong love of RPGs into the next entry in the Mass Effect franchise. Ian's previous titles include Titan Quest, Dawn of War: Soulstorm, and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

Michael D. French
Michael Frnech is a co-founder of RetroBlasting, a video channel that analyzes and deconstructs cartoons and toys of the 80s.

Timothy Furnish
Timothy R. Furnish, PhD, applies his expertise in World and Middle Eastern History to Tolkien’s world, most notably in his new book High Towers and Strong Places: A Political History of Middle-earth and, soon, its complement Bright Swords and Glorious Warriors: A Military History of Middle-earth.

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Maribeth Gandy
Maribeth Gandy is a Principal Research Scientist at GT and a three-time graduate, receiving a Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. in CS/Cmpe. She is the Director of the Interactive Media Technology Center, whose work focuses on wearable computing, augmented & virtual reality, gaming, assistive technology, and health.

Paige Gardner
Paige Gardner is an award-winning costume designer whose unique masks, bizarre props and eccentrically original costumes make her art recognizable world-wide. Gardner’s high-profile costume projects have been exhibited across the U.S. and are regularly featured in multiple media channels as well as bestselling books on Steampunk and cosplay.

T.J. Garland
A graduate of The Art Institute of Atlanta, T.J. Garland has made film and acting his career and life. He's worked in many facets of the industry from sound utility and directing to ADR and post-production.

Ronald Thomas Garner
Ronald T. Garner is the CEO of Silence in the Library Publishing and a major in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He has short fiction published in various anthologies and is an expert in the field of crowd funding.

Jaym Gates
Jaym Gates is an editor, author, and communications manager. Her anthologies include War Stories, Genius Loci, Rigor Amortis, Eclipse Phase: After the Fall, Upside Down, and Geek Love. More can be found at, or on Twitter as @JaymGates.

Thomas Michael Gofton
Thomas founded Lynnvander Studios subsequently producing the award-winning The Gamers films, Natural One and Hands of Fate. Thomas designed several tabletop games such as the Arthurian Albion's Legacy, the parody Galaxy Quest and the Whedonverse Buffy the Vampire Slayer before being published in Shadowrun's A World of Shadows.

Allyson Gonzalez
Allyson Gonzalez is the Artistic Conductor of Stand On Your Hands and Clap and author of the annual zine, Save the Bees Worx. You can read more about where this Latina Puppeteer is performing or publishing next at

Gabriel Gonzalez
Gabe Gonzalez is a Game Designer for Red Crow, an Electronic Arts studio based out of Austin. His work ranges from writing fart jokes for The Simpsons: Tapped Out to designing features for Madden NFL.

Honey Goodenough
Honey Goodenough is a New York City based puppeteer, producer, educator, clown, and magician. Puppetry credits include Phantom Limb's The Fortune Teller, Puppetworks, and The National Marionette Theater, and No Strings International. She produces Puppet Pandemic, a nationally touring showcase of puppetry works. And yes, that really is her name.

Stacey Gordon
Stacey Gordon is a professional puppeteer and owner of Puppet Pie in Phoenix, Arizona. Her work can be seen in the web-series The Bob and Angus Show and in commercials and music videos.

Donna Governor
Donna is a master science educator with more than 32 years of K-12 experience. She is active at the local, state, and national level in science education. Donna has won several teaching awards including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching and the Outstanding Earth Science Teacher in Georgia.

Joe Granato
Joe Granato is a filmmaker, game developer, musician, and fantasy novelist. His film, the New 8-bit Heroes, explores the development of a brand new fantasy game for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. The project has been featured on ABC’s The Goldbergs, lauded by USA Today, and featured on IGN.

Craig B Greathouse
Dr. Craig Greathouse is a Professor of Political Science, University of North Georgia. An expert on issues of foreign, security, and defense policy and strategic studies with an emphasis on Europe and the U.S., he has lectured and written extensively on the international system, including security and strategic studies.

Andrew Greenberg
Andrew Greenberg, co-creator of HDI’s “Fading Suns” and original developer of “Vampire: The Masquerade,” has developed numerous traditional and digital games. His credits include Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Emperor of the Fading Suns, Warhammer 40K: Final Liberation, Merchant Prince II, Mall Tycoon, Dungeon Crawlers and the upcoming Noble Armada

Daniel Griffith
Daniel Griffith is the official documentarian for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 television series. He also specializes in cult cinema documentaries and retro-television. He has produced and directed features about The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock, This Island Earth, and Hammer Films. He is the owner of Ballyhoo Motion Pictures.

Sam Grossman
Sam is a Baltimore-based visual artist and musician with a lifelong fascination for puppets.  He's built creatures such as a 14-foot tall saxophone playing t-rex with the Baltimore Rock Opera Society, serves as founder and artistic director for offbeat puppet variety show The Mother Load and is co-founder of Tryfuss Puppet Collective. Sam endeavors to make everyone he meets play with puppets.

Nicole Gugliucci
Astronomer, writer, educator, skeptic, maker-of-tiny-comets, and all around geek, Dr. Nicole Gugliucci has made it her mission to study and share the Universe. Known as the "NoisyAstronomer," she earned a doctorate studying radio astronomy, did a postdoc in science education, and is an assistant professor of physics in New Hampshire.

Mark W. Gura
Mark W. Gura is the Vice President of the Atheist Alliance of America, co-presenter of the Richard Dawkins Award, Spokesperson for the United Coalition of Reason Atlanta, an author, TV show host, mindfulness meditation/Vipassana meditator, and the Executive Director of the nonprofit Association of Mindfulness Meditation and Secular Buddhism.

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Torey P. Haas
Torey Haas is an independent filmmaker, editor and visual effects artist whose first feature film THE NEON DEAD will be released this Fall.

Valerie Hampton
Dr. Valerie Hampton is a history professor, author, and published photographer, who founded the American Society for Neo-Medievalism, speaking often at academic conferences on the intersection between popular fantasy and medieval history. She has a Film degree and is an associate producer for the film Star of the Guardians.

David Harmer
David Harmer is a disaster preparedness and game author and illustrator, as well as a certified gunsmith and competitive marksman. Recent works include Aftermath! Cybele; Hand of Death, Run Away from Zombies, Disaster Survival Guide, Alley Rabbit, and Survival Weapons and Techniques.

Ian Harris
Science based, clever and edgy stand-up comedy, with spot on impressions!

Scott Harris
Scott Harris is the planetary geologist at Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta. A world traveler, petrologist, and educator, he has published extensively on the record of asteroid impacts around the world, most notably in the Eocene strata of North America, the Miocene-Pliocene of Argentina, and the 2007 Carancas (Peru) crater.

Travis Heermann
Freelance writer, novelist, editor, Travis Heermann is the author of seven novels, including Death Wind (with Jim Pinto) and The Ronin Trilogy, plus short fiction in Apex Magazine, Alembical, and others. His freelance work includes contributions to the Firefly Roleplaying Game, Battletech, Legend of Five Rings, and EVE Online.

Paul Hersey
Paul Hersey has been creating costume commissions for performers, cosplayers and creative folk all over the world for more than ten years, through his studio Organic Armor. He offers online courses and live workshops teaching how to use his original sculpting methods to make amazing armor and other wearable art.

David J. Hewitt
David Hewitt is a Propulsion Engineer at Dynetics, Inc. His job has him supporting various projects in the Space and Defense realms. Additionally, Mr. Hewitt participates in STEM educational outreach activities on behalf of his employer and gives talks about Space and Propulsion to the public.

Chris Hofmann
Chris started out in NASCAR before becoming an Aircraft Technician.  Before being recruited by SpaceX, where he built all of the MVAC engines on Falcon 9, Las year he moved onto Masten Space Systems where he is the Crew Chief of the rocket “Xodiac”, builds engines, & helps with development of Masten's XS-1 Spaceplane.

Joshua Holden
Joshua Holden is an award-winning puppeteer and joy-maker in NYC. Broadway tour of AVENUE Q; Lead Puppeteer in Peter Pan 360; Banksy's Sirens of the Lambs. In 2013, Joshua performed his own show, The Joshua Show, at The Puppeteers of America’s National Festival (awarded "Best Performance" and "Audience Favorite").

Kim F Holec
Kim Holec is a historical costumer who now recreates "Doctor Who" costumes. She moderates the Doctor Who costuming forum on LiveJournal. She is the Costume Track Director for TimeGate. She was Poetry Editor for Aphelion. A former editorial assistant for a SF&F publisher, she is writing her first screenplay.

Bill Holznagel
Bill Holznagel became addicted to puppets at the tender age of 7 when he did an impression of Animal at the dinner table.  Bill is half the comedy duo of Playtime! with Pete and Randy which destroys the world one happy accident at a time.  In his heart, Bill is a writer and character actor.  He strives to produce work that he, as a seasoned puppeteer, would want to see.

John Hudgens
John Hudgens is a filmmaker, animator, and artist who has directed documentaries and several award-winning Star Wars parody films.  He has worked on licensed properties including Babylon 5, Crimson Skies, MechWarrior, and Star Wars.

Tom Hutchens
Tom Hutchens is founder of the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club, and creator of hyper-realistic Star Wars costumes and props. Working out of his armory in North Carolina, Tom's armor and props have been featured in web-documentaries and science/technology TV shows around the world.

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Sascha Illyvich
Sascha, who was proclaimed by the publishing industry as The Gentleman Playboy of Romance, started writing seventeen years ago. His erotic romances have been listed under Night Owl Romance’s and Road to Romance’s Recommended read lists, and he’s been nominated for a CAPA by The Romance Studio.

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JackMonkey FX
Bethany Michel is the founder and sole employee of JackMonkey FX. She graduated with a BFA in Theater and a BS in Marketing from George Mason University in 2012.

Chris A Jackson
A sailor, writer, gamer, nautical and RPG tie-in fantasy writer. His award-winning Scimitar Seas novels, and his Pathfinder Tales Pirate’s novels have received high praise. His continuing Weapon of Flesh saga is a Kindle bestseller. His new contemporary Hellmaw fantasy, Dragon Dreams, released November 2015.

Kristin Jackson
Kristin Jackson is an accomplished designer, working in the advertising, design, social media and corporate communications fields. She is the Director of Communications for Frostbite Pictures, and has contributed her design talents to the studio's slate of series, from pitch decks to title art and all things in between.

Ben Jacobs
Ben Jacobs is the Accommodations Specialist at Tools for Life, Georgia's Assistive Technology program, at Georgia Tech. An expert in video game accessibility, and an advocate for the need for recreational outlets for people with disabilities.

John Hornor Jacobs
John Hornor Jacobs is an award-winning author of horror, YA, and fantasy fiction.

Allen Johnson
Allen Johnson is a Screenwriter, Martial Artist, and Fight Choreographer. His screenwriting credits include Templar Nation, The Freemason, and The Freemason 2: Retaliation, with several more projects in development. He has choreographed and fought in several independent films and stage plays as well as being an active member of the Palmetto Knights.

Catherine Lee Jones
Catherine Jones is an award winning seamstress and owner of GSTQ Fashions. Her work has been seen on College Humor, Cosmode Magazine, and Kotaku. She also appeared as a featured cosplayer on the PBA documentary Cosplay: Crafting a Secret Identity as well as a judge on Syfy's Heroes of Cosplay.

Stefanie Jones
Born and raised in North Georgia, Stefanie is a self proclaimed history nerd with a soft spot for antiques, stray animals, and studying the dead. Lifelong experiences with the unexplained led her to joining Paranormal GA Investigations almost a decade ago.

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Audrey Kearns

Audrey Kearns is a writer, actor and producer. She founded the influential pop culture website, Geek Girl Authority. She hosts and produces the podcasts Kneel Before Aud, Booze and Phasers, and the critically acclaimed live storytelling show, 5 Truths and a Lie. Her acting credits include Scrubs and Angel. She also wrote and performed in the one-woman hit show, Obsessively Okay

Chris Kennedy
A bestselling Science Fiction/Fantasy author and speaker, Chris Kennedy is a naval aviator with over 3,000 hours flying attack and reconnaissance aircraft. Chris' novels include the Occupied Seattle military fiction duology, Theogony and Codex Regius sci-fi trilogies, War for Dominance fantasy trilogy, and the #1 Amazon self-help book, Self-Publishing for Profit.

Julie Kenner
Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and #1 International bestselling author of over eighty books in a multiple genres, including the bestselling Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series, which is still winding its way through Hollywood's Development Hell. Visit her online at

Bethany Kesler
Historian, writer, reader/reviewer, and all-around nerd of many fandoms, Bethany is currently working on a fairytale apocalypse novel as well as several short story pieces and book and show reviews for under her pen name, DJ Gray.

Andrea Mast Kessel
With over 20 years experience in the industry, Atlanta based, Professional Makeup Artist and Educator, Andrea Mast Kessel has worked in all genres including theater & stage, television & film, fashion, editorial, commercial and runway performing makeup artistry, special effects makeup, airbrush & body paint, and hair & wig creation.

Tom Kidd
Tom Kidd has been working professionally as an illustrator for over 35 years. He has done over 500 book covers and numerous magazine covers. There are four books of Tom's art. He has illustrated over 20 books including The War of the Worlds, The Dying Earth, The Three Musketeers, Dark Crusade, and Fafhrd and Gray Mouser

Christina N. Kieffer
Christina is a paranormal researcher with Paranormal Georgia Investigations. She applies her scientific knowledge to her paranormal research.

Roy Kilgard
Dr. Kilgard is an astrophysicist who researches black holes in nearby galaxies with an emphasis on intermediate-mass black holes: an enigmatic class of objects whose origins are unclear. When not studying the heavens, he lectures on astronomy in science fiction and pop culture.

Brett King
Brett is an award-winning steampunk maker and costumer who presents fun, interactive panels that mix real history, alternate history, and fantastic props. Brett also teaches prop-making techniques. He is best known for his Arctic Explorer/Troll Hunter character, Gustaf Danielsson, and his weather-analyzing automaton known as the Aetherologist.

Brian Kirk
Brian Kirk is a Bram Stoker Award nominated author of dark suspense. His short fiction has been published in several popular anthologies. And his debut novel, We Are Monsters, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, and has been optioned for film development.

Anna Elise Kirkpatrick
Anna is a disabled gamer and graduate student who will be participating in the Gaming with Disabilities panel organized by Benjamin Jacobs. She has expertise in the areas of mathematics and computer science, and she has personal experience with disability, video games, and assistive technology.

Konora the Klingon
Konora the Klingon is a celebrated Klingon Opera Singer who intends to show the world the true beauty of Klingon Opera. She also holds the title of Miss Star Trek Universe 2015.

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Harry LaCoste
Harry is a performer, teacher and rocks a ukulele. After working on set on Sesame Street he was inspired to try puppeteering again. He has a website where his fuzzy yells friend Gus makes personalized videos and makes appearances like the Kids Really Rock Festival! Harry performed with Team Lopez, a puppet improv team in NYC and a new team in Boston called Total Feltdown.

Tim Lagasse

Puppet Master Tim Lagasse, who most recently worked on ABC's The Muppets, and starred as Crash, in Disney XD's Crash & Bernstein, has been entertaining audiences with his unusual skill set for over 25 years.  A Sesame Street alumnus, Lagasse designs, builds, and performs all forms of puppets, as well as directing and editing single and multi camera television shows (usually with puppets in them). His creation of a series of short puppet films for the award-winning PBS children's series Between the Lions garnered him three Daytime Emmy nominations.

Laura Levy
Laura Levy is an engineering psychologist at Georgia Tech specializing in serious game design, music psychology, and human-computer interactions research. Laura “fights for the user” by designing and scientifically validating technology from the human perspective in order to make it more playful, helpful and interesting to use.

Robert Levy
Rob Levy is the writer of Doctor Whooligan blog, arts and culture writer for ALIVE Magazine, music writer for Eleven Magazine, blogger and podcaster for, and occasional contributor to ESO Podcast. He is also the host of Juxtaposition on KDHX Radio.

Allyssa A Lewis
Animator and Animation Recruiter Allyssa Lewis is most noted for her animation on over 75 episodes and promos of FX's Emmy nominated series “Archer”, and is also the CEO and Founder of the animation resource and staffing agency, My Animation Life.

J.F. Lewis
J.F. Lewis is the internationally published author of the Void City series and The Grudgebearer Trilogy.

Dayna L Linton
Dayna Linton is the Lead Producer for BookWise Publishing in Salt Lake City. Dayna has been in the publishing industry for over 10 years working in several different fields as lead producer, editor, designer, and in marketing.

Michael Livingston
Michael Livingston’s historical fantasy novel The Shards of Heaven was published by Tor Books in 2015; the sequel will appear in November 2016. An award-winning writer and professor, Livingston holds degrees in History, Medieval Studies, and English. He teaches at The Citadel, specializing in the Middle Ages and speculative literature.

Kelly Lockhart
Kelly Lockhart is a book and newspaper editor, screenwriter, musician, journalist and host of the popular Robot Battles competitions.

Talloolah Love
Talloolah Love, known as The Queen of the Subtle-Tease, is a burlesque performer and producer. She is the leader of the Atlanta Burlesque Society, Studio Manager of the Atlanta School of Burlesque, and performer with the CandyBox Revue. She is a published author and runs The Atlanta Burlesque podcast.

Valya Dudycz Lupescu
Valya Dudycz Lupescu is the co-author (with Stephen Segal) of Geek Parenting: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family (Quirk Books). She is also the author of the Amazon bestselling novel The Silence of Trees and founding editor of Conclave: A Journal of Character.

Sonia Orin Lyris
Sonia's published fiction include science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mainstream stories. Her new high fantasy novel, The Seer, will be published by Baen Books in March 2016.

Courtney Lytle
Courtney Lytle is a practicing intellectual property and corporate attorney and an Adjunct Professor at Emory University School of Law. She is the author of a recent law school text book on Intellectual Property and several academic articles. Ms. Lytle represents artists and authors as well as start-up companies.

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David Maass
Dave Maass is an investigative researcher at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who uses transparency and public records to battle injustice, censorship, and the surveillance state.

Erin Macdonald
Erin Macdonald, PhD regularly gives presentations about "science and sci-fi" at schools and conventions. Her PhD and postdoctoral research was in gravitational waves with the LIGO collaboration. Currently she works as a systems engineer in Denver, CO.

Moxie Anne Magnus
Moxie Anne Magnus is a Star Trek drag queen with a YouTube Channel, a weekly web comic and a ukulele she isn't afraid to use. Mz. Magnus performs all over the US both as a noted MC and a second-rate comedian!

Thomas Mariani
Thomas Mariani is a writer and podcaster. He's currently the co-managing editor of the Austin based website and writes for Gruesome Magazine. His podcasting history includes co-hosting Horror News Radio, The Hannibal Fan Podcast, The American Horror Story Fan Podcast & The Monster Movie Podcast.

Brianne Marie
Brianne Marie is co-producer of Dungeons and Randomness- a weekly Dungeons and Dragons podcast with four separate groups playing in one world in which their actions affect one another and tell a giant, sprawling story. The show balances out over 20 players and telling a story which features over 100 characters.

Anya Martin
Anya Martin writes Weird dark fantastic fiction. Her work appears in numerous anthologies including upcoming Eternal Frankenstein, Giallo Fantastique, Cthuhu Fhtagn!, Womanthology, Cassilda's Song, Resonator, Borderlands 6, Feet, & Xnoybis 2. She's also a producer of The Outer Dark podcast, blogeress-in-chief of and a freelance journalist.

Devin Martin

Devin Martin is an artist and educator who has been living in Baltimore City for the past 7 years. She has recently found her niche in the Baltimore theater and puppetry community, where she has been able to design for and perform in parades, musical theater productions, puppet slams and within the stomach of a giant rat in the sweltering heat of Artscape. 

Michael Martinez
Michael Martinez is the author of several books about J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. He publishes several blogs about science fiction and fantasy and Internet marketing. He also runs the SF Fandom science fiction forums.

Michael J. Martinez
Author of the DAEDALUS trilogy and the new MAJESTIC-12 series of spy-fi novels. Treats history like Silly Putty. Drinks too much coffee.

Jason Massey
Jason Massey is creator of Dungeons and Randomness- a weekly Dungeons and Dragons podcast with four separate groups playing in one world in which their actions affect one another and tell a giant, sprawling story. The show balances out over 20 players and telling a story which features over 100 characters.

Angela F. Mattke
Dr. Mattke is a practicing emergency physician and is passionate about protecting patients from snake oil salesman, charlatans, and other purveyors of nonsense that take advantage of the unwary.

Stephen Mazur
Stephen Mazur is an Assistant Editor for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Charles McFall
A multiple Podcast Awards finalist, Charles is the Co-host and executive producer of Success Freaks, Co-host and executive producer of From The Helicarrier with Brian Ibbott, Co-host of Breaking the Panel, and has launched the Giant Size Team Up network of professional podcasts covering the comic universe.

Joseph Edward Meany
Joseph Meany, Ph.D., is a chemist from The University of Alabama. He is passionate about nanotechnology but frequently presents on all things science under the alias of the Crimson Alkemist. He is a member of the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop and writes nonfiction articles for Baen Books.

Melinda R. Mock
Melinda Mock is co-founder of RetroBlasting, a video channel that analyzes and deconstructs cartoons and toys of the 80's.

Christopher G Moore
Christopher G. Moore is an award-winning horror film director and a host of the Hannibal Fan Podcast and American Horror Story Fan Podcast. He's a frequent guest host on Horror News Radio and Decades of Horror podcasts and co-writer on the popular Beat Down Boogie web series Mario Warfare.

Sharon Morgan
Sharon Morgan is the owner of Altered Tyme Corsets and a corset maker with Romantasy Exquisite Corsetry. She is costume studio supervisor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Robert A Mosher
A self-described Applied Historian, 30 year veteran diplomat Robert Mosher shares his knowledge and experience in war, warfare, peace, and policy by blogging and lecturing as The Military Philosopher, and working in gaming and simulation design and execution with the National Security Decision Making Game, the US Army, Navy, and Marines.

Bill Mulligan
Bill Mulligan is an active member of the North Carolina indie film scene, contributing as a writer, director, special effects man and actor. His work can be seen in Fix It In Post, A Few Brains More, Knob Goblins,400 Ways to Kill A Vampire and Cache Me If You Can.

Julien Musolino
Julien Musolino is a cognitive scientist, public speaker, and author who holds a dual appointment in the Psychology Department and the Center for Cognitive Science at Rutgers University. His research has been published in top scientific journals and funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

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Jim "Nappy" Napolitano
Jim Napolitano is a graduate of the UCONN puppet arts program, has performed live puppet theater around the country and the world. His work has also been seen on Nickelodeon, PBS, HBO and the Fox Animated show Kirby: Right Back at you. WARP STAR!

Babacar Ndiaye
Babacar Ndiaye is a Chicago-born and Atlanta-based filmmaker and visual artist. His work covers many diverse platforms from documentary film to graphic novels. Babacar has worked on numerous film and television projects for clients such as TruTV, Adult Swim, and VH1.

James Neathery
James Neathery is a steampunk leather worker and fabricator who is most well known for his watches, gadgets, and appearance on the GSN TV show Steampunk'd.

Corvis Nocturnum
Corvis Nocturnum is an author/publisher/lecturer of over two dozen books on popular culture. The content ranges from vampires and zombies to the Devil and the occult. He has been a consultant for A&E Channel’s Paranormal State, and a guest speaker at Dragon Con, Scarefest and Parafest.

Mohamed A Noor
Mohamed Noor is chair of the Biology Department at Duke University. He teaches and does research on evolution and genetics (also online in Coursera), and he is an avid Star Trek fan who talks about science as applied in the Star Trek universe and in other science fiction.

Bob Novella
Bob Novella is a co-founder and Vice-President of the New England Skeptical Society. He co-hosts the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast and blogs for SGU’s Rogues Gallery. He has also written numerous articles that are widely published in skeptical literature.

Jay Novella
Jay Novella is a skeptical activist, a science popularizer and co-host of The Skeptics’ Guide To The Universe, a top 10 science podcast with over 550 episodes.

Steven Novella
Steven Novella is the host and producer of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, an award-winning science podcast. He authors NeuroLogica Blog and is the Executive Editor of Science-Based Medicine. He is an internationally known as a promoter of science and critical thinking with multiple TV and radio appearances.

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Andi O'Connor
Andi O'Connor is the fantasy author of The Dragonath Chronicles, The Vaelinel Trilogy, and The Legacy of Ilvania. Andi's novel, Silevethiel, is the 2015 Best Indie Book Award winner for Science Fiction/Fantasy and the 2015 New Apple Official Selection for Young Adult. Redemption, is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semifinalist.

Melissa F Olson
Melissa F Olson is the author of six urban fantasy novels, two novellas, and several short stories. She lives in Madison, WI with her family and three oversized dogs. She can be found online at

Sam Ortega
Sam has worked at NASA for 28 years doing everything from stress analysis on Space Shuttle experiments to awarding million dollar prizes through NASA's Centennial Challenges Program.

Peter Orullian
Peter Orullian writes epic fantasy for Tor Books, and has had numerous short stories and novellas published across multiple genres including science fiction, horror, urban fantasy, etc. Peter is also a professional musician, and has toured internationally as a vocalist with rock and metal bands.

Chantelle Aimée Osman
Chantelle Aimée Osman is a freelance editor and and creative consultant, as well as a published author of mystery flash fiction, short stories, and the six-volume non-fiction Quick and Dirty Guide To... series on writing. Find out more at

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Christine Papalexis
Christine Papalexis has had the good fortune to work on a Roger Corman film, puppeteering a giant cockroach creature with buckets of blood and slime. From there she worked on more features, TV, commercials, and videos, spending a lot of time at creature effects companies in Los Angeles, puppeteering everything from aliens, a bull, a gorilla, a famous sex scene with marionettes, a martian, a couple of penquins, a pink teddy bear, and more. She has moderated panels at ComiCon in San Diego, contributed to various puppet magazines and is a past president of the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry.

Aleta Pardalis
Aleta Pardalis has been designing and creating costumes for over 15 years and has specialized in Steampunk designs for the last 8 years. She has also been a costuming guest and panelist at various events.

Thomas Parham
Dr. Thomas Parham has written for CBS’ military drama JAG and the Family Channel sitcom Big Brother Jake. He has also contributed chapters to Hollywood Chemistry: When Science Met Entertainment; The Gospel According to Super-Heroes: Religion and Popular Culture; and Behind the Screen: Hollywood Insiders on Faith, Film, and Culture.

Jessica M Parilla
Dr. Jessica Parilla is a Microbiologist and Virologist and is currently the Undergraduate Director and a Senior Lecturer at GSU.

Teresa Patterson
Teresa Patterson’s work includes, The World of Shannara with Terry Brooks,he World of the Wheel of Time with Robert Jordan, No Quarter with Robert Asprin, Combat Corpsman with Navy SEAL Greg McPartlin, as well as numerous short stories, and humorous history essays. She is also an editor.

Sean M. Patton
Sean Michael Patton is a 20+ year costume design veteran and principal for SMP Designs and has designed more than 40 stage productions, 8 short films, 5 features and numerous media projects for clients around the world.

Gregory E Pence
Author of WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT CLONE CLUB: BIOETHICS AND PHILOSOPHY AND ORPHAN BLACK (BenBella Books, 2016). Noted bioethicist famous for pro-human cloning stance and testifying before Congress about such.

Rachel Pendergrass
Rachel Pendergrass is a writer and science communicator. She hosts the quirky and fun Solve for X Science Variety Show, is the assistant director of the Dragon Con Science Track, and creates science content for places like TEDx, HowStuffWorks, and Atlanta Science Festival.

Alec Peters
Alec is the creator of Axanar, the ground breaking Star Trek fan film, founder of Propworx auction house and author of

Phoenicia has been a belly dancer since 1983 first as a troupe member, then solo performer, and finally a teacher. In addition to cabaret, ethnic, tribal, and fusion belly dance styles she is also a nationally certified ballroom dance instructor. 

Shawn Porter
Shawn Porter appears on Syfy's Ghost Hunters and is a leading tech inventor and investigator in the paranormal field. He is the owner of GhostStop, the go-to workshop for ghost hunting gear by TV shows and teams around the world.

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Alison Sky Richards
Alison Sky Richards has been working with the Writer's Hourly Workshop since it's inception. She has two self-published novels, A Fine Line: Herrick's Tale (Adult), and Lost Child of Hermes (YA). She has also been a script reader for the Nashville Film Festival since their Screenwriter's Competition started.

Gray Rinehart
Gray Rinehart writes stories and songs. His stories have appeared in major magazines and anthologies, and his songs have been played on The Dr. Demento Show. He is the “Slushmaster General” for Baen Books, and a USAF veteran whose career included space operations, disaster response, and other interesting things.

Tedd Roberts
Tedd Roberts is the pseudonym of Dr. Robert E. Hampson, Neuroscientist and co-inventor of the first neural prosthetic for human memory. Tedd's Hugo-award-nominated nonfiction appears at Baen Books and Teddy's Rat Lab blog. His short fiction has appeared in Riding the Red Horse and Black Tide Rising anthologies.

Linda Robertson
Linda Robertson is the author of the Persephone Alcmedi Urban Fantasy series and a handful of short stories. She won first place in the 2006 OSU Mansfield's Florence B. Allen writing competition. Also, she blogs weekly and occasionally hosts workshops about the craft of writing.

Justin Rojas
As Funimation's front man, you can find Justin Rojas at various anime conventions, movie premieres, commercials, social media, and as a host of Dubbletalk (A live streaming Anime talk show airing every Wednesday at 9:30pm ET on Twitch.TV).

Meredith Rose
Meredith Rose is an attorney at Public Knowledge, where she represents consumers in telecommunications and IP policy.

Doc Rotten
Doc Rotten is the host of Horror News Radio, Decades of Horror and American Horror Story Fan Podcast. He is also the editor in chief of Gruesome Magazine.

Madeleine Roux
Madeleine Roux is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Asylum series, and the upcoming House of Furies series. She lives and works in Seattle.

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Tina Hesman Saey
Tina Saey is a former scientist who became a science journalist. She writes about things microscopic, genetic, and cool for Science News magazine.

Steve Saffel
Steve Saffel is a Senior Acquisitions Editor at Titan Books, the world’s premiere popular culture publisher, acquiring original science fiction, fantasy (epic, heroic, and dark), horror, crime fiction, art books, and media tie-ins such as Mass Effect, Independence Day, Gotham, and Flash.

Mitch Salm
Originally from Wisconsin, Mitch Salm lives in Chicago, where he studied theater at the University of Chicago. He is a theater artist and comedian. He plays trumpet. He recently graduated from The School for Theater Creators, Chicago.

Cara Santa Maria
Cara Santa Maria is a Los Angeles Area Emmy and Knight Foundation Award winning journalist, science communicator, television personality, producer, and podcaster. Current credits include Talk Nerdy and The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcasts, TechKnow, SoCal Connected, FabLab,  Real Future, and America's Greatest Makers.

Professor Satyre
Professor Satyre — also known as Mike Langford — is a versatile comedian, actor, writer, and director. His comedy routines have rocked audiences with stunned laughter for over two decades. Mike's performances of his own poems, like “The Haunted Refrigerator”, amaze and amuse as much as his comedy.

Emily Schubert
Drawing from mythology, folktales, memories, and personal experience, Emily Schubert creates characters, puppets, and multi-media performances that aim to make some sense of our existence by giving form to our collective fears and desires. Emily has studied and participated in ritual theater and contemporary puppetry in Indonesia, as well as political puppet theater with Bread and Puppet and processional events in the United States.

Bethany is a neuroscientist and an award-winning science writer at Science News. She's written for Slate, the Guardian, and Scientific American and is a host on the radio show Science for the People. Her Twitter feed, @scicurious, has more than 43,000 followers. Her PhD is from Wake Forest University.

Shelley Segal
Award winning singer-songwriter Shelley Segal creates music that challenges, reflects and inspires A dance chart-topping drum&bass hit, slinky jazz and atheist protest songs see her constantly recording and touring An artist, an activist and an explicit story-teller Shelley uses her music to create the world she wants to see

Stephen H. Segal
Stephen H. Segal is the coauthor of the new Quirk book Geek Parenting (with Valya Lupescu), the Hugo Award-winning former editor of Weird Tales magazine, and the editor & coauthor of Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture.

Pinky Shear
Pinky Shear is the original “I can fix that” girl, specializing in expert vintage wardrobe restoration and bespoke costuming. As wardrobe mistress and backstage manager for Big City Burlesque and co-founder of Musée du Coeur, her name is synonymous with class and service in Atlanta burlesque, music and theater.

Aron Siegel
Aron Siegel's a producer and sound mixer whose work includes “Implanted”, “Quarantine 2”, “The Walking Dead”, “Teen Wolf”, “Vampire Diaries”. Aron’s worked with Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Dakota Fanning, James Wan, Jonathan Demme, John Schneider, etc.

R Alan Siler
R. Alan Siler is the author of Doctor Who's Greatest Hits: An Unauthorized Guide to the Best Stories From Time and Space (kOZMIC Press, 2015) and a contributing author to More Doctor Who and Philosophy: Regeneration Time (Open Court Press, 2015), with additional books in the works.

Tamsin L. Silver
Tamsin Silver is the creator/writer of two YA Urban Fantasy Series, The Sabrina Grayson Novels and Windfire, plus the web series Skye of the Damned. A Winthrop University graduate with a BA in Theatre/Secondary Education (minor in Creative Writing/Shakespeare), she currently lives in NYC.

Lane Skye
Lane Skye is a screenwriter and director. She wrote Image Nation’s Zinzana, which premiered at Fantastic Fest in 2015 and which VARIETY called "A world-class neo-noir thriller”.

Ruckus Skye
Ruckus Skye is a screenwriter and director. He wrote Image Nation’s Zinzana, which premiered at Fantastic Fest in 2015 and which VARIETY called "A world-class neo-noir thriller”.

Fr. Bryan Small
Catholic Priest and pop culture geek, Fr. Bryan has been participating in discussions on various tracks for a number of years. He brings his insights from academia, spirituality, and fandom into the mix.

John C. Snider
John C. Snider is co-host (with David Driscoll) of the American Freethought podcast, which focuses on issues relating to secular culture, separation of church and state, science versus religion, and the influence of organized religion on public policy. He also blogs at

Danielle Marie Souza
Danielle Marie Souza is a costume supervisor in the film industry. She graduated from Academy of Art University and her credits include The Devils Carnival, Harbinger Down, and The Devils Carnival; Alleluia.

Susan Leigh Spencer
Susan Spencer is a network security analyst turned pattern maker and fashion/costume designer. She has developed groundbreaking techniques to produce custom-fitted patterns by hand and with software. She is the product manager for Valentina open source pattern design software. She is also the Costume Track director for Anachrocon 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Janine K. Spendlove
Janine K. Spendlove is a KC-130 pilot in the USMC and an award-winning author primarily known for her War of the Seasons series and her Star Wars tie-in fiction. Janine is also a member of Women in Aerospace (WIA), BroadUniverse (BU), and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

Jennifer St. Giles
Award winning, USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer St. Giles’s newest release,e Kaylee’s Justice, is a paranormal crime thriller, and the first book in her Exposed Series about paranormal siblings. She also writes Victorian era Gothic historical, military romantic suspense, military romantic suspense, contemporary suspense, and werewolf romantic thrillers.

Brian Stabile
Brian Stabile is the co-owner/project lead for indie game studio Astro Crow. He has also been teaching Game Design at Full Sail University for the past four years.

Amie Stepanovich
Amie Stepanovich is U.S. Policy Manager at Access Now. Amie is an expert in domestic surveillance, cybersecurity, and privacy law. At Access Now, Amie leads projects on digital due process and responds to threats at the intersection of human rights and communications surveillance.

E.J. Stevens
E.J. Stevens is the author of fourteen works of speculative fiction, including the Spirit Guide series, the Hunters' Guild series, and the award-winning Ivy Granger urban fantasy series.

Danika Stone
Danika Stone is a Macmillan author who writes tech-savvy novels for both adults (Edge of Wild) and teens (All the Feels). She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

Josh Peter Straub
Straub is editor-in-chief of Dagers, the webs premier source for accessibility focused game journalism. Through his work at Dagers Straub has been asked to consult on some top video game titles in order to help the developers understand how to make games accessible without changing the character of the game.

Shannon Strucci
Shannon Strucci is an editor and videographer known for her "SO YOU WANNA BE A FILM NERD" webseries.

Myra Su
Myra Su is a narrative artist specializing in storytelling through puppetry and theater. Her primary medium is shadow puppetry, but she has also been experimenting with puppetry across multiple media -- paper craft, sculpture, video, animation, and most recently, amateur taxidermy. She often performs at Nasty, Brutish & Short, a quarterly puppet cabaret in Chicago. Her work also includes collaborations with various theater and music productions as a puppet designer. In addition to her independent projects, she is a Manual Cinema company member. Myra holds a BA with honors in Theater and Anthropology from the University of Chicago. For her portfolio, please visit:

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Douglas Wayne Talk
Dr. Douglas Talk is a 24 year veteran of the US Navy, currently serving as a Navy physician and consultant for SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc.  He leades a medical research team investigating human hibernation and assisting in the design of human hibernation-based space missions for deep space exploration.

Anthony Taylor
Anthony Taylor is an author and screenwriter. He is the author of Zombies: The Ultimate Visual History (Insight Editions, 2016), as well as Arctic Adventure!, an official Thunderbirds™  novel based on the iconic British television series by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson.

George Taylor
George Taylor, Disney historian, is the co-host of Communicore Weekly, a podcast covering all things related to theme parks. He has been writing about Disney parks since 2007 at and

Stephen F. Taylor

As a father of 12+ children, Stephen Taylor has been making costumes for 12-plus years, as his children grew, his costuming skills grew also.  He is the owner/operator of Lone Wolf Armory and focuses highly on functional and prop armors and weapons.

The Wicked Tailor
Frank T. Puricelli, aka "The Wicked Tailor" is an award winning costume and prop maker who began cosplaying since 2006. By day he is a college History Professor in Charleston, South Carolina. His field of expertise is 19th and early 20th Century Fashion and Technology.

Antonio D Tiggs
Antonio is a world ranked body paint artist who has traveled the globe to perfect his skills as an artist. He has an intense passion for his art, and loves to express his visions on the human body; taking on all canvases!

Paul Allen Tillery IV
Paul is an animator, educator, and filmmaker from the southeast United States. He is a Professor of Animation at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and beyond teaching, he continues developing independent projects. His films have screened at Dragon Con in 2010 and 2015.

Marisa Tontaveetong
Marisa Tontaveetong is the Executive director of ASIFA-SOUTH (International Animation Society-South East USA), 2016 Juror for the Atlanta Film Festival's Oscar Eligible animated shorts category, North West Animation Festival, Best of Georgia Global Game Jam, and ASIFA-SOUTH RYO Animation Festival.

Tiffany Trent
Tiffany Trent is the award-winning author of the young adult Hallowmere series (Wizards of the Coast), The Unnaturalists, and The Tinker King (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), as well as numerous short stories. She writes in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Phantom Troublemaker
Phantom Troublemaker is the co-host of The Dirty Con Game Show, the owner and operator of and the Needless Things Podcast, and the voice of Dragon Con Championship Wrestling.

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Paul Velasquez
A graphic designer and Illustrator by trade, Paul Velasquez discovered the magic of building and performing hand and rod puppets at the tender age of 40 after volunteering for the Jim Henson's Fantastic World traveling exhibit. He lives in Portland, OR and his spirit animal is a frog with a see more of his work visit

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Constance G. J. Wagner
Constance G.J. Wagner , writer, poet, and Tolkien scholar, has spoken regularly on all things Middle-earth at both academic and fan-friendly events nationally and internationally since 2005. The War Within: Frodo as Sacrificial Hero, her opus on the Ringbearer, is forthcoming from Oloris Publishing.

Jack H. Walsh
Jack Walsh is the Emmy-winning director of "Four Days at Dragon*Con" and "Cosplay! Crafting a Secret Identity."

Brantly Jackson Watts
Brantly Jackson Watts is an Atlanta writer, director and producer specializing in Southern, character-driven storytelling. In 2012, Brantly was writer/producer on the award-winning documentary feature, AKA Blondie, which premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival. Her award-winning films have screened both locally and internationally to critical acclaim.

Mary Weber
Mary Weber is the critically acclaimed author of the popular young adult book series, The Storm Siren Trilogy (Storm Siren, Siren's Fury, and Siren's Song) and an upcoming young adult sci-fi duology with the first book set for a June 2017 release. 

Thomas Weiser
Thomas Weiser is an animator at Hi-Rez Studios in Alpharetta, creating 2D visuals for the games Smite and Paladins. Other credits include Senior Animator for FX's Archer, Squidbillies, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and MadTV.

Dan Wells
Dan Wells is the author of Bluescreen, the Partials Sequence, and I Am Not a Serial Killer, now a major motion picture. He is also a host of the award-winning podcast Writing Excuses, now in its eleventh season.

Scott Wells
Scott Wells is a character artist and traditional sculptor with 25 years experience in games, film, and television. He is a senior character artist at Treyarch/Activision in Santa Monica, CA. on the Call of Duty: Black Ops franchise. Previously he worked in the film industry at Rhythm & Hues.

Holly West
Holly West is an editor at Feiwel & Friends and Swoon Reads. She started out in publicity in 2005, but soon decided editing would be more fun. She helped launch Macmillan’s crowd sourced YA imprint Swoon Reads, and works with authors like Mo O’Hara, Meg Cabot, Kelly McCullough, and Danika Stone.

Alex White
Alex White is a novelist, podcaster, and composer. His fiction podcast, The Gearheart, was a 3-time Parsec Award Finalist, and he cohosts the Parsec Finalist Disasterpiece Theatre, where he pitches terrible movie ideas. His debut science fiction novel, Every Mountain Made Low, is in stores this November.

Christi J. Whitney
Christi J. Whitney is the author of the YA urban fantasy series The Romany Outcasts. (HarperCollins/HarperVoyagerUK). Grey (2015), Shadow (June 2016), Midnight (2017). She has also written for the theater, including critiques and scripts, and has directed numerous productions for the stage.

Fran Wilde
Fran Wilde authored Updraft (Tor, 2015) and Cloudbound (2016) and short stories in Asimov’s,, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Nature. Her interview series Cooking the Books is on iTunes. She writes for The Washington Post,, Clarkesworld,, and Twitter: @fran_wilde. Web:

Thomas Willeford
Thomas Willeford is an internationally known artist, making Fantasy and Industrial art for over 35 year. For Television, Museums, Movies, and anyone willing to pay.  His best work are his how-to books, available on Amazon.

Damien Patrick Williams
Damien Williams is an instructor, researcher, and writer on philosophy, technology, religion, popular culture, and the occult, writing at and For the past six years he's been on the programming committee of the Comics & Popular Arts Conference, tackling Dragon Con's interests from an academic perspective.

King Williams
King Williams is a multimedia filmmaker, author and public speaker behind the film ‘The Atlanta Way: A Documentary on Gentrification' and 2017 novel 'What To Do When Approaching 30'.

Shae Williams
Dr. Shae Williams is the chief engineer of Digital Solid State Propulsion, a spacecraft propulsion company, and has built motors that have been tested in orbit.

Gregory A. Wilson
Gregory A. Wilson is a published author of both speculative fiction and academic writing, Professor of English at St. John's University in New York City, podcaster, and TwitchTV host, with a graphic novel and novel (the first of a trilogy) due out in 2016.

Ric Wilson
Ric Wilson's puppet experience began as an art/theatre project in college. His first job as a professional puppeteer was with Sid & Marty Krofft Productions, under the direction of Van Snowden. He has also worked for Aniforms, Hanna-Barbera Productions,  McGruff the Crime Dog series,  Tj3Productions' The Crayon Court, the film 21 Jump Street, and other film and theatrical productions. He has recently served as board member and former president of the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry.

Kristie Winther
Kristie Winther is a visual artist currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is a founding member of the Tryfuss Puppet Collective and her ideal state is being creatively busy at all times. When she's not building, painting, or performing with puppets she might be painting a giant mural, working on mosaics, stained glass or making jewelry. You can find her work at or at

Gregory F Withrow
Gregory F. Withrow is the new designer for fantasy illustrator Paolo Parente’s Dust Warfare, an alternative history, dieselpunk/weird war tabletop-miniatures game set in 1947. U.S Army veteran, World War II historian, military writer and photojournalist, Withrow is the recipient of numerous Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware journalism awards.

Trisha J. Woldridge
Trisha J. Wooldridge writes short stories and poetry for anthologies and magazines that occasionally win awards. She’s edited two anthologies and over forty novels. As child-friendly T.J. Wooldridge, she’s published three children’s novels with Spencer Hill Press. Trish also writes the webcomic Aurelio.

Matt Woomer
Matt is the co-founder and creative director of Blue Mammoth Games, maker of the hit fighting game Brawlhalla for Sony Playstation, PC, and Mac.

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Jose P Zagal
Dr. José Zagal works with the University of Utah’s nationally ranked Entertainment Arts & Engineering program. He has over 10 years of experience teaching game design and development. He wrote Ludoliteracy and edited The Videogame Ethics Reader.  His next book (2017) examines role-playing games across different media and disciplinary contexts.

Mark Zoran
Mark Zoran is the owner of the Award Winning multi-faceted costume and prop house Razorfly Studios.

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