Guest biographies

Ken Altabef’s short fiction has appeared in fantasy magazines such as F&SF, Interzone, Daily Science Fiction, Intergalactic Medicine Show, BuzzyMag, Abyss & Apex, Perihelion etc. His stories have received honorable mention in Years Best SF and Best Horror of the Year. He was an editor on the mixed-genre anthologies “”Drastic Measures”” and “”Wash the Spider Out”” from Blueberry Lane Books. He is the author of ten fantasy novels, including the LADY CHANGELING TRILOGY and the epic arctic fantasy series ALAANA’S WAY.
Please visit his website at

Inanna Arthen (Vyrdolak) is an artist, actor, writer, freelance book designer and author of The Vampires of New England Series ( She runs the independent press By Light Unseen Media ( She is a member of New England Horror Writers, Broad Universe, IPNE and IBPA. Find out more at

James L. Cambias’s first novel, A Darkling Sea, was published by Tor Books in 2014, followed by Corsair in 2015, and Arkad’s World from Baen in 2019. His short stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Shimmer, Nature, and several anthologies. Mr. Cambias has written for Steve Jackson Games, Hero Games, and other game companies, and is a partner in Zygote Games. His most recent game title is Weird War I, from Pinnacle Entertainment Group. He blogs at

Barbara Chepatis is author of 12 published novels, including the SF series featuring Jaguar Addams. The fourth novel in that series, A Lunatic Fear was a nominee for a Romantic Times Bookclub award.
Her scripts have been optioned, and have placed finalist with Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab and semifinalist with Nicholl Fellowship.
She is founder the storytelling trio The Snickering Witches, and past concentration director in fiction for Western College of Colorado’s MFA in creative writing.

Christine Cohen was recruited out of college to join the Virginia Kidd Agency in 1998. Her first phone call was “a lovely gentleman named Harlan Ellison,” which news made her mentor snarf coffee across his desk. Her first industry event was a success thanks to the kindness of Gardner Dozois, who introduced her to everyone. At her first convention she shared with Gene and Rosemary Wolfe a mutual love for Cary Grant movies. She often has to remind herself that she is “working.” Her love of dark fantasy, horror, and mystery thrives in Arrowhead, the house Virginia Kidd bought in the 1950s that still houses the agency and on the best days, welcomes authors for visits.

Byron Connell likes hard SF, alternate history, alternate worlds, and fantasy (not necessarily in that order). A long-time SF and costuming fan, Byron’s a member of the Sick Pups (New Jersey-New York Costumers’ Guild), the SLUTs (St. Louis Ubiquitous Tailoring Society), and the Armed Costumers’ Guild; that makes him an Armed SLUT Puppy! He’s a past President of the International Costumers’ Guild, which honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Byron was Archon 25’s Costuming Guest of Honor, Albacon 2005’s co-Fan Guest of Honor, Lunacon 2006’s Fan Guest of Honor, and Derpycon 2017’s co-guest of honor. He chaired Albacon 2016.

Wendy S. Delmater is the long-time editor of Abyss & Apex Magazine. She writes and professionally edits. Follow her on Twitter as @safewrite and on Facebook as Wendy Delmater Thies.

Debra Doyle is a science fiction and fantasy writer living in northern New England. She has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania, and does freelance editorial and critique work when she isn’t writing. Her most recent publications — co-written with her husband James D. Macdonald — include the short stories “One Night in Bavari” in Conspiracy!, from NESFA Press, and “Gertrude of Wyoming” in Altered States of the Union, from Crazy 8 Press.

Tom Easton is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, a well-known science fiction critic (he wrote the SF magazine Analog’s book review column for 30 years), and a retired college professor. He holds a doctorate in theoretical biology. He writes textbooks for McGraw-Hill on Science, Technology, & Society and Environmental Science. He started publishing science fiction in the 1970s, and since then he has published almost sixty science fiction and fantasy short stories, ten SF novels, and several anthologies. The latest, coedited with Judith K. Dial, is Fantasy for the Throne (Fantastic Books, 2018).

J.A. Fludd, a native of upstate New York, is a writer and artist. A contributing artist to Gay Comics, where he illustrated the super-hero feature Sentinel, J.A. is also a former Writing Intern at Star Trek Voyager. J.A. Fludd, an Albacon regular, is now busily developing comic book projects and a science fiction E-novel series. Visit him at The J.A. Fludd Portfolio on Facebook and read his reviews of Marvel’s Fantastic Four comics at

Carl Frederick is theoretically a theoretical physicist. After a post-doc at NASA and a stint at Cornell University, he left astrophysics and his first love, quantum relativity theory (a strange first love, perhaps) in favor of hi-tech industry.
He attended the year 2000 Odyssey Writers Workshop and subsequently took a first place in the Writers of the Future contest.
He is predominately a hard SF writer and has had over forty-five stories in Analog. Details at his website,
He fences epee, learns languages, and plays the bagpipes. He lives in rural, Ithaca, New York. And rural is good if you play the bagpipes.
He has since returned to his aforementioned first love (under his proper name, Carlton Frederick).

Shannon Grant grew up in haunted upstate New York. As a result, horror is her game. As a writer, she explores the world of ghosts, body horror, fairies, and the creepiest if crawlies. She is currently planning to release a new story for Halloween.

Elektra Hammond emulates her multi-sided idol Buckaroo Banzai by going in several directions at once. She’s been involved in publishing since the 1990s—now she writes, concocts anthologies, and edits science fiction for various and sundry. When not freelancing or appearing at science fiction conventions, she travels the world judging cat shows. Her latest story “”O-Rings,”” can be found in Alternate Peace edited by Joshua Palmatier and Steven H. Silver.

Elektra is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and an associate member of SFWA. She lives in Delaware with her husband, Mike, and more than the usual allotment of felines.

Vaughne Hansen has been with the Virginia Kidd Agency since 1989 and has been a reader of science fiction and fantasy for most of her life. The authors she has worked with include Gene Wolfe, Alan Dean Foster, Anne McCaffrey, Patricia Briggs, Gardner Dozois and Ursula K. Le Guin. She credits the late Virginia Kidd and James Allen with teaching her the ins and outs of the Industry.

Peter Huston is the author of a few short stories, a self published novel, another novel that’s seeking a publisher (“The Great American Ambulance Novel” about an EMT in Schenectady in the 1980s with relationship issues) and several non-fiction books, articles, newspaper pieces, and blog posts. His short story collection “Put Your Favorite Picture Here” will be available at Albacon. He’s done a lot of interesting things. Some of them were interesting on purpose.

Elaine Isaak is the author of The Singer’s Legacy series. As E. C. Ambrose, she wrote “The Dark Apostle” historical fantasy series about medieval surgery, which concluded in 2018 with book 5, Elisha Daemon, and as E. Chris Ambrose, the Bone Guard series of international thrillers. Her latest release is Bone Guard Two: The Nazi Skull. She has taught at the Odyssey Writing Workshop, as well as at conventions and writer’s groups across the country, and judged writing competitions from New Hampshire Literary Idol to the World Fantasy Award.

Daniel M. Kimmel is the 2018 recipient of the Skylark Award, given by the New England Science Fiction Association. He was a finalist for a Hugo Award for Jar Jar Binks Must Die… and other observations about science fiction movies and for the Compton Crook Award for best first novel for Shh! It’s a Secret: a novel about Aliens, Hollywood, and the Bartender’s Guide. In addition to some two dozen published short stories, he is the author of the novels Time on My Hands: My Misadventures in Time Travel and Father of the Bride of Frankenstein.

Herb Kauderer is an associate professor of English at Hilbert College and has a PhD, an MFA, and five other degrees. His writing has won the Asimov’s Readers’ Award, the Ewaipanoma Sonnet Contest, received Honorable Mention in the World’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and been a finalist for the Analog AnLab Readers’ Award. He was lead screenwriter of the indie feature film Beyond the Mainstream (2013) and the author of 18 books of poetry. He is also a reader for R.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal, and an assistant poetry editor at Amazing Stories. More about him can be found at

Michael Libling is a World Fantasy Award-nominated author whose writing has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy, Amazing Stories, The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, and many others. Michael’s debut novel, Hollywood North: A Novel in Six Reels is a coming-of-age mystery/fantasy/horror hybrid and was released this past August by ChiZine Publications. Michael is the father of three daughters and lives on Montreal’s West Island with his wife, Pat, and a big black dog named Piper. For more, drop by, where he has been known to blog on occasion.

Andre Lieven has been involved with SF conventions for [mumbly, mumbly]years and still loves it as much as in the beginning. His interests start with hard SF from Asimov and Clarke and range out to his old childhood favourites of Star Trek and Thunderbirds. All that lead to connecting with his interests in political science, history, military and aerospace technology and policy, and space flight. He has participated in working in most parts of SF conventions and speaks on panels at various conventions with Worldcon included on both points.

Barry B. Longyear is the first writer to win the Nebula Award, the Hugo Award, and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer all in the same year. In addition to his acclaimed Enemy Mine series, his works include numerous short stories, the Circus World series, the Infinity Hold series, his Joe Torio Mystery Series, and novels ranging from Sea of Glass to The God Box, as well as his much praised Science-fiction Writer’s Workshop-I and his text on career writing, The Write Stuff. Current project: The War Whisperer.

James D. Macdonald is a science fiction and fantasy writer living in northern New England. When not writing novels or running as an EMT with the local ambulance squad, he works as a professional stage magician. His most recent publications — co-written with Debra Doyle — include the short stories “One Night in Bavari” in Conspiracy!, from NESFA Press, and “Gertrude of Wyoming” in Altered States of the Union, from Crazy 8 Press.

Melissa Mead lives in the Albany area. You can find her on Facebook or here:

Rick Ollerman is the author of four novels and a non-fiction collection of essays. He is the editor of Down & Out: The Magazine as well as a number of anthologies, including this year’s 50th anniversary Bouchercon collection. A science fiction story will appear in the sequel to Gary Phillips and Richard Brewer’s Occupied Earth anthology and his next novel, NO BAD DAYS, will be released in the spring.

Mike Olshan is a New York-based journalist, editor and photographer who has been archiving 16mm film for over 40 years. He was formerly editor of the film/TV production journal Millimeter and of Videoplay Magazine. He’s best known as the screening producer and film show host Movie Mike.

Mike has screened and lectured at the Anthology Film Archives, Millennium Film Workshop, Collective Unconscious and the Robert Beck Memorial Cinema. Every year he produces an outdoor Community Garden Series in Brooklyn and Vintage Film Rooms at various Science-Fiction Conventions.

A film photographer who favors the use of high-end vintage equipment, Mike’s a Board member at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists’ Coalition and a “contributor of photos, copy and research for the website.

Joshua Palmatier is a fantasy author with a PhD in mathematics. He has three completed trilogies available–the “Throne of Amenkor” series, the “Well of Sorrows” series, and the “Ley” series. He is also the founder of the small press Zombies Need Brains, which publishes SF&F themed anthologies. Find out more at,, Facebook, Twitter, or at the ZNB table in the dealers room!

William Reeve has been with the Virginia Kidd Agency since 2013. He enjoys a good single malt and as far as work, favors science fiction, dark fantasy, and horror. He isn’t one to brag, but he’ll be sure to regale you with tales of how he ended up in a pocketknife show-and-tell with Gene Wolfe, discussed carpentry with David Hartwell, or staged a daring escape from a secret government facility. (Okay, that last one didn’t happen, but the other two did. And he does have some stories about terrible queries.)

Carol Salemi has worked over 40 years in theatrical and convention costuming competing in the master division and receiving this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Costumers Guild. She is a medical massage therapist and also works with lots of rhinestones that can be seen on TLC’s “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding” and in a new book titled Bling: the Uncommon Crystal Couture World of Sandra Celli. Be sure to check out her work in the ArtShow

Steven Sawicki has been writing for many years. He is best known for his review work and short fiction. His Damn Aliens Reviews column is critically acclaimed and very funny and will most likely be the highlight of his obituary. He has also written screenplays, produced a documentary, and currently drives a Porsche 944 in the Champcar Endurance Sportscar racing series.

Alex Shvartsman is the author of ERIDANI’S CROWN and over 120 short stories which have appeared in Analog, Nature, Strange Horizons, and other venues. He’s the editor of over a dozen anthologies as well as the Future Science Fiction Digest. His website is

David Ulnar Slew is a Fantasy and Sci-fi author with some horror mixed in for good measure.

Ryk E. Spoor became a fan early; the Oz books by L. Frank Baum were his first great inspiration (leading to his novel Polychrome). A teacher handed him Second Stage Lensmen when he was 11; this epic space opera set him irrevocably on the path to SF geekdom. A Usenet flamewar led to the publication of the first of over 20 novels, Digital Knight; his most recent novels are Retribution, the conclusion of his space opera trilogy “Demons of the Past”, and superhero novel Legend. Ryk lives in Troy, NY, with his wife, four children, one poodle, and several chickens.

Ian Randal Strock ( is the editor and publisher of Fantastic Books (, and an award-winning author of short science fiction and long non-fiction. Most of his fiction has appeared in Analog, Nature, and several recent anthologies. His non-fiction tends toward US political history. Previously, he was an editor for Artemis Magazine, Science Fiction Chronicle, Analog, Asimov’s, SFScope, and more than a dozen others. He has also worked on Wall Street, as a tour guide, and in commercial aerospace. He is the Northeast Regional Vice Chairman of American Mensa.

Rajnar Vajra:  Classical pianist, rock lead guitarist, Zen practitioner, painter, music teacher, science buff and more, Rajnar Vajra has had a varied career and has an abundance of interests. Propelled by a lifelong love of imaginative literature, since 1995 he has put his energy and wide experience into writing science fiction and fantasy.

Nightwing Whitehead was born in 1958, the Barbie was born in 1959. So for a year Nightwing had nothing to do. She has been trying to make up for lost time ever since. She has dressed stars, politicians, and real people. Some of her favorite work is reinterpreting styles from other eras.
Nightwing’s creations have been seen in plays at every level from Community to Equity, as well as several independent films.
Nightwing has her own business designing and creating what she calls costumes for life.
She is a professional full-time enigma who enjoys reading and howling at the moon.”