Author Guest of Honor: Max Gladstone
Max Gladstone has been thrown from a horse in Mongolia and nominated for the Hugo, John W Campbell, and Lambda Awards. Max’s most recent novels are the intergalactic adventure EMPRESS OF FOREVER, and, with Amal El-Mohtar, the time travel epistolary spy-vs-spy novella THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE THE TIME WAR. Max is also the author of the Hugo-nominated Craft Sequence, starting with THREE PARTS DEAD and most recently continuing in RUIN OF ANGELS, as well as the lead writer for the fantasy procedural series Bookburners.
Max regularly consults as a narrative and game designer and world builder, and has written games, comics, and interactive television. His nonfiction appears on Tor.com. Max studied Chan poetry and late Ming dynasty fiction at Yale, and lived and taught for two years in rural Anhui province.
Artist Guest of Honor: Diane Taurins
Hi, I'm Diane Taurins. I don’t do art as a full-time job, but I have a wonderful studio at home, and I’m always thinking of ideas and imagining pieces I’d like to do.
I do pieces primarily for myself. I make things that I’d want to hang on my own walls at home. If someone else likes them and wants to buy them, that’s a bonus. It's fun to see photos of my artwork on other people's walls.
I've enjoyed science fiction and fantasy since I was a pre-teen. I've been going to conventions since the late 70s, and have collected original SF and fantasy art with my husband, Agris, since the mid-80s. Agris and I met through Star Base Andromeda (SBA), Lincoln's oldest SF/Fantasy club. We've been married for 36 years and we have two sons, Hunter and Connor.
I’ve had work published in JANE magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the cover of Soccer Journal. It was really fun selling art to Comedy Central network for a pilot called, "Not Another High School Show." You can find the entire pilot on YouTube. My artwork of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is on one of the character's easel, and he even pretends to work on the piece at one point.
I also enjoy reading, Husker volleyball, and I spend way too many hours on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc.
Toastmaster Guest of Honor: Becky Potter
Have you ever had the shirt stolen off of your back and sold in an auction? If the answer is yes, you might be named John Pershing, and it might have been sold at ConStellation for charity….more than once! The bid-winner and conspirator of the sale (not the stealing!) was this year’s Toastmaster, Becky Potter.
Becky Potter is the evil overlord…err… the president of the Nebraska Japanese Animation Society, the nonprofit organization that sponsors Anime NebrasKon (NebKon). NebKon is the oldest and largest Japanese animation (anime) convention in the state of Nebraska, and she is a founding leader of the event. Becky's leadership in the anime community started while serving for four years as the president of Otaku Jinrui: The UNL Anime Club. In 2004, the club decided to host a one-day event for a fund-raiser. When 300 people attended, the club decided to continue to run the event each year.
Fast forward to today, and the once-small NebKon event has over 6,000 attendees, over 150 activities, and 60,000 square feet of convention space at the Ramada Plaza Convention Center in Omaha, NE. Becky served as the convention chair for ten of the annual events and has overseen the explosive growth of the event. “We might have changed quite a bit since our inception days, but no matter the size, we try to keep the personal feel. Our goal is to offer a great event with something for everyone, no matter how much that person knows about anime. We're all fans of something, and it's great to come together to share that fandom. We want to build more than an event; we want to create lasting friendships and a strong community. Our attendees are our family." For the NebKon crew, that family includes many of the leaders and attendees of our ConStellation convention, whom the NebKon crew holds very dear (…..especially those whose personal artifacts can be hocked for good causes 😉).
Outside of the fandom scene, Becky works on her "real life" job as a manager in the human resources field at Union Pacific, and spends her spare time playing computer mmo’s like Black Desert Online and Final Fantasy 14, while thinking of great ways to take over the world. 😊