Author Guest of Honor: Delilah S. Dawson
Delilah S. Dawson is the author of the Blud series, Servants of the Storm, Hit, Strike, comics, short stories, and Wake of Vultures, written as Lila Bowen. Her second Blud book, Wicked as She Wants, won the Steampunk Book of the Year and May Seal of Excellence for 2013 from RT Book Reviews. She also teaches writing classes online for LitReactor. Delilah lives in the North Georgia mountains with her family and is happiest on horseback or eating cupcakes.
Artist Guest of Honor: Ron Spencer
Ron Spencer has worked as a freelance artist since the early 1990s. As a native Nebraskan, who grew up on a farm, he entertained himself by reading comic books and learning to draw. Ron is primarily self-taught and also studied art at Ricks College, a two-year college in Idaho. He uses various elements of mixed media, including colored pencils, ballpoint pens, watercolors, and acrylic paint.
The projects on which Ron has worked consist of hundreds of images for card games such as Magic: the Gathering, World of Warcraft, Vampire: the Eternal Struggle, Rage, and Legend of the Five Rings, as well as many others. His artwork has appeared in role playing game books for White Wolf Games/Onyx Path Games notably, Werewolf the Apocalypse, Vampire, and Wraith. Other RPGs featuring his artwork include Dungeons and Dragons, Deadlands, Talislanta, and Shadowrun.
Ron stays busy creating altered Magic cards, conceptual art for computer games, album covers, shirt designs, miniature figures, and plush toys. His favorite subject matter ranges from Vikings to werewolves and zombies, and from Cthulhu/Lovecraft to superheroes.
While Ron loves art, his true passion is endeavoring to be a good husband, and father to his six children.
Toastmaster Guest of Honor: Jesi Pershing
by James J. Murray
It is no cliché to say Jesi grew up in fandom. She attended her first convention in utero, and won Best in Show at the ConQuesT Masquerade at age one-and-a-half (oddly enough, cosplaying me). And she hasn't slowed down since then.
Jesi brings passion, thought, intensity, and humor to everything she does, and she does a lot. She’s held numerous staff, committee, and volunteer positions at ConQuesT and other regional cons. She’s a great runner for art and charity auctions, with an amazing ability to get people to bid more than they thought they should. In 2014, she chaired ConQuesT 45 and did a fine job. She was a vital part of the Kansas City in 2016 Worldcon bid, and, in her role as head of Member Services, is the youngest Division Head of a Worldcon in decades. She is also a talented artist, and has had several of her Gallifreyan designs turned into t-shirts by Off World Designs.
Jesi has devoted a great deal of time and effort to make conventions more inclusive and welcoming to everyone, helping to develop codes of conduct and harassment policies for regional and larger cons. She is a founding member of the Journey(men/women/persons/platypi) of Fandom, a group of mostly younger fans bringing new perspectives and ideas to cons and conrunning.
But do not think she has no interests outside fandom. Jesi is intellectually vast, and contains multitudes. She is also quite passionate about musical theater, her beloved Kansas Jayhawks (Rock Chalk!) and World Champion Kansas City Royals, progressive politics at all levels, and her deep and abiding (and liberal, it the truest sense of the term) faith. And, after years of volunteering for them, she has gone to work for The Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault.
I have been privileged to know Jesi her entire life, and serve as a sort of furry (and Murray) god-uncle over the years. Constellation has made a fine choice of Toastmistress, and her presence will make this a better convention. I only wish I could be there to see her honored.
There is just one little thing. For the love all that is good and true and flammable, DO NOT give her a flamethrower!