Author Guest of Honor: Julie Czerneda
For over twenty years, Canadian author/ former biologist Julie E. Czerneda has shared her curiosity about living things through her science fiction, published by DAW Books, NY. Julie's written fantasy too, the first installments of her Night's Edge series (DAW) A Turn of Light and A Play of Shadow, winning consecutive Aurora Awards (Canada's Hugo) for Best English Novel. Julie’s edited/co-edited numerous award-winning anthologies of SF/F, most recently SFWA’s 2017 Nebula Award Showcase. Out this fall is an all-original anthology written by fans of her Clan Chronicles series: Tales from Plexis. Her finale to that series, To Guard Against the Dark, was released in 2017. This fall will also see the return of her most beloved character, Esen the webshifter, in Search Image.
Artist Guest of Honor: Zach Woolsey
Zach Woolsey, originally from Utah now makes his home in the Nampa/Treasure Valley area. As an artist he enjoys that passion and rush that art provides while working on portraits, comics, merchandise design, or any number of related projects. As a graduate from Boise State University with degrees in Visual Art and Illustration as well as education from College of Western Idaho, Art Instruction International (Minnesota), and Francisco Marroquian University (Guatemala) it was at here he was able to refine and rediscover his talent for art into a professional artist. Using mixed media of inks, paint, watercolor, and pencils are how many of his works are conceived. With influences from life experience, family, friends, music, comics, vintage illustrations, and art history all come together to create much of the work you see today.
Toastmaster Guest of Honor: Lathan Murrell
I was born in Denver Colorado but have lived most of my life in Nebraska. My mother introduced me to comics and science fiction basically since birth. I have had a strong interest in science and history since I was a small child and began watcing the SciFi Channel back when it was on channel 46 on cable. After High school I studied biology and sociolgy at Wesleyan before leaving school to work full time. I have since returned to academic studies of biophysics and social anthropology because I still want to be a brilliant mad scientist when I grow up. I began studying martial arts in high school off an on when I had the time and money. First Karate and Aikido, then Taekwondo and Escrima. Currently I train in Judo, Capoeira, Taichi, 52 Boxing and various weapons. I love traveling and working on film projects with my friends when not training or studying.
I am a biophysics and social anthropology researcher. Most of my physical science interest is in molecular biology and particle physics. My social research focuses on the history, mythology, philosophy,and culture of east East Asia Africa, and the African Diaspora. I am a practitioner of East Asian and African based martial arts and health methodologies. I am a gianormous anime, science fiction, fantasy and comic book fan. I have been on panels for Nebraskon, Naka Kon, O Comic Con and Convergence for several years now.