Program Participants

Alfred Nash
Lead Engineer and Study Facilitator for the Advanced Projects Design Team (Team-X) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Two time English Style Gold Medalist at the National Beard and Moustache Championships. BS in Physics from Stanford University and Ph.D in Physics from UC Santa Barbara. Father of a science fiction author.

Ann Gimpel
Ann Gimpel is a USA Today bestselling author. Her short fiction has appeared in webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. Once upon a time, she nurtured clients. Now she nurtures dark, gritty fantasy stories that push hard against reality. She’s published over 50 books to date, with several more planned for 2017 and beyond.

Barbara Hambly
Born in San Diego, CA, Hambly has written in most genres: science fiction, fantasy, historical whodunnits, respectable historical fiction, screenplays, graphic novels, and Saturday morning cartoons. She has served as President of the Science Fiction Writers of America, and lives in Los Angeles.

Bradford Lyau
Bradford Lyau has taught at universities in California and Europe, being a historian by training, and publishes academic articles on SF from around the world. His book, The Anticipation Novelists of 1950s French Science Fiction: Stepchildren of Voltaire, has received positive reviews from leading academic SF journals. Now he is editing an anthology about SF from non-English language countries.

Chris Butler
Chris Butler is an internationally published science and nature artist specializing in astronomical subjects. He has served as a staff artist at the Griffith Observatory for 20 years, and is a former LOSCON Artist Guest of Honor.

Daryl G. Frazetti
Daryl Frazetti is an anthropologist who has taught classes in Star Trek, Star Wars, Middle Earth, Aliens, and more through Western Nevada College. He has also published on Star Trek fandom culture, fan film making, and conventions as participatory myth. He is the author of Anthropology of Star Trek, and is currently working on the study of Batman fandom culture for a forthcoming text.

David Raiklen
David Raiklen is a composer, producer, host. Mentored by John Williams and Pulitzer Prize winner Mel Powel. Works with Sony, Disney, Fox, Sprint, Mattel, Warner Bros and PBS, independent producers. His films star Elliott Gould, Doug Jones, and Martin Sheen. Made the New York Film Critics Top Ten List with Heist, short list for an Academy Award® for Worth, and Mia, A Dancer’s Journey won the Emmy.

Donald F. (Don) Glut
Donald F. (DON) Glut has been in the entertainment business for over half a century, with careers as writer, motion picture director, producer & musician (see He owns independent film company Pecosborn Productions (latest TALES OF FRANKENSTEIN). Don may be best known as author of #1 best-selling novelization of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Writes comics for THE CREEPS magazine.

Elizabeth King
E.E. King is an award winning performer, writer, biologist and painter. Ray Bradbury calls her stories “marvelously inventive, wildly funny and deeply thought provoking. I cannot recommend them highly enough.” Her books are; Dirk Quigby’s Guide to the Afterlife, and Another Happy Ending. Check out paintings writing and musings at

Eric Atkinson
Eric Atkinson is currently a PhD. student at University California, Riverside, studying African American Literature with an emphasis in comics, highlighting representations of the African American body. He has published in the academic and creative literary fields.

Gillian Horvath
Television writer and producer, most recently on Canada’s Primeval: New World and 2012’s Beauty & The Beast reboot on the CW. Previously known for her stints on Forever Knight, Highlander:The Series, Sanctuary, and 2007’s Flash Gordon for Syfy.

Gregg Castro
Gregg Castro [t’rowt’raahl Salinan/rumsien Ohlone], is a writer and activist within the California Indigenous community for 25+ years. Gregg is the Society for California Archaeology’s Native American Programs Committee Chair; was on the Archaeology Resources Committee of the State Historical Resources Commission; was an adviser with the California Indian Storytelling Association.

Gwendolyn Womack
Gwendolyn Womack writes romantic thrillers that explore a spectrum of meta-physical subjects including divination, reincarnation, magic, and ancient explor-ers. Her debut novel, The Memory Painter, was an RWA Prism Award winner and two-time Indie Next Pick. Her second novel, The Fortune Teller, came out 6/6/17. She lives in LA and paints as a hobby. Find her online at

H. Paul Honsinger
Retired attorney H. Paul Honsinger now writes full time. Paul is the author of the “Man of War” Military Science Fiction trilogy. The follow up novel, To Stations My Lads, due in 2008, continues the story into his new “Brothers of the Black Sky” series. Paul’s novels are epic space naval combat tales, in the vein of the Age of Sail novels of Patrick O’Brian and C. S. Forester.

Harry Turtledove
Harry Turtledove has been telling lies for a living fulltime since 1991. He has won several awards and lost a good many more. He lives in the Valley with his wife, fellow writer Laura Frankos, and two cats. They have three daughters and two.granddaughters.

Isabel Schechter
Isabel has been a fan since childhood and active in fandom for more than 20 years. She is Latina, Jewish, vegetarian, and uppity as necessary. Isabel’s essays on fandom and race and representation in SF/F have been published in WisCon Chronicles, Invisible 2: Essays on Race and Representation in SF/F, and Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

James C. Glass
Grand prize winner of WOTF in 1991, Jim has published nine novels, four collections, and over sixty stories in anthologies and magazines such as ANALOG, ABORIGINAL and TALEBONES. He is a retired physics professor and dean, and winters in Desert Hot Springs, California

Jennifer Kavetsky
Jennifer received her Ph.D. in English from UCR in 2014 and now oversees UCR’s Undergraduate Writing Center. Her research interests include science fiction, gender, and technoculture.

Jerry Pournelle
Jerry Pournelle is a former aerospace systems analyst, and has bee a best-selling author for over fifty years.

John DeChancie
John DeChancie is a well-known author in the SF and fantasy fields. With a background in TV production, he began writing fiction in the 1980s and is still hard at work adding to his bibliography. His spaceflight formulae are mathematically correct, but he has trouble balancing his checkbook. He votes the straight Whig ticket and has been known to hack elections.

Joni Labaqui
Joni has been the Director of the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contest for for 11 years and loves launching careers.

Jonnalyhn (Wolfcat)
Wolfcat has been enjoying fandom since before she started kindergarten, reading Heinlein & Asimov with her dad. Both parents taught her to work with her hands and to enjoy being creative and likes sharing techniques with others. She’s enjoyed costuming on and off the Masquerade stage at numerous conventions, with several wins for Workmanship and Presentation under her belt, including at Worldcon.

Kim Steadman
Kim Steadman is a system engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Currently she is a Tactical Uplink Lead for the Curiosity Rover and a Science System Engineer for the Mars 2020 Rover. Her job is to enable science while keeping the spacecraft safe and happy.

Larry Niven
Larry Niven has been a published writer since 1964 writing SF, fantasy, comics, novels, short stories and weirder stuff.

Laura Frankos
Laura Frankos is a writer of fantasy, science fiction, mysteries, and stuff like THE BROADWAY MUSICAL QUIZ BOOK. She’s currently working on a study of the 1935-36 Broadway season because she can’t build her own time machine. Yet.

Lenny Dorsky
Lenny Dorsky, infamous for Halloween and Convention parties, President of the SUNY StonyBrook Science Fiction Forum & founder/film coordinator of the University of Arizona Science Fiction Club manages instrument and mission proposals (terrestrial, planetary and exoplanetary) at JPL. He directed short films and plays, including the Grand Guignol plays at LA Con III.

Mel Gilden
Mel Gilden is the author of popular novels such as The Coincidence Couch, Dr. Big, and The Jabberwock Came Whiffling. Licensed properties include adaptations of TV shows such as Star Trek; Beverly Hills, 90210. His short stories have appeared in many original and reprint anthologies. Gilden spent five years as co-host of the science-fiction interview show, Hour-25, on KPFK radio in Los Angeles.

Nilah Magruder
Nilah Magruder is the author of HOW TO FIND A FOX, a picture book. Her young adult web comic, M.F.K., won the inaugural Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in 2015 and will be published in print from Insight Comics in fall 2017. She has also drawn for Disney and DreamWorks, and written for Marvel.

Richard Foss
Richard Foss is a culinary and beverage historian who also occasionally writes SF and fantasy. He is California Curator for the Museum of the American Cocktail and the new Pacific Food & Beverage Museum

S. P. Hendrick
S. P. Hendrick is the author of two acclaimed fantasy series, The Glastonbury Chronicles and Tales Of The Dearg-Sidhe. A third companion series, The Glastonbury Archives in the works. Her most recent novel “Raven’s Daughter” is a stand-alone.
She lives in the San Fernando Valley with her husband Jay T. Mayer, entirely too many cats, and thirty-two overflowing bookcases

Shannon Muir
An early force in online VOLTRON fandom, Shannon’s worked on animated series such as INVADER ZIM and EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS, and online worlds NEOPETS and PETPET PARK. Her writing includes animation and short stories of mystery, suspense and superhero genres. She’s been a multi-time guest on the LET’S VOLTRON podcast, and runs the book blog THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF at

Steve Lee
Steve Lee is a Hollywood Historian and film Sound Designer. He is the son of Walt Lee, creator of the Reference Guide to Fantastic Films, and thus grew up in the science fiction & fantasy community. He has contributed sounds and voices to many films including “Aladdin,” “Lion King,” “Apollo 13,” “The Fifth Element,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Looney Tunes: Back in Action,” and many others.

Steven Barnes
Steven Barnes has published over thirty SF, Fantasy, and Mystery novels. He won the NAACP Image award, and has been nominated for Hugo, Nebula, and Cable Ace awards. He lives in Southern California with his wife, American Book Award winning novelist Tananarive Due and his son Jason.

Tim Powers
Tim Powers is the author of fourteen novels, including The Anubis Gates, Last Call, and On Stranger Tides, which was the basis of the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie. He lives in San Bernardino with his wife, Serena.

Tina Beychok
Tina Beychok is the founder, CEO, and resident loudmouth of Backup Ribbon Project (http://backupribbonproject), which distributes badge ribbons with the word BACKUP! A person wearing that ribbon has promised to step in and help in cases of harassment at geek-run events. She also blogs about how her disability informs her geek identity (and vice versa) at

Val Ontell
Val Ontell, 47 yrs. a librarian; 40+ years in fandom; chaired 1986 & 1989 Lunacons in New York & 2011 World Fantasy Convention & 2010 Conjecture in San Diego; committee at local & regional cons, WesterCons, and WorldCons; current ConDor & Gaslight Steampunk Expo Guest Liaison and Comic-Con Autograph Area Senior Assistant, all in San Diego; 2003 Lunacon & 2017 Westercon Fan GoH with husband Ron.

Valerie Estelle Frankel
Valerie Estelle Frankel isthe author of about 50 books on pop culture, including Doctor Who – The What, Where, and How, Sherlock: Every Canon Reference You May Have Missed in BBC’s Series 1-3, and How Game of Thrones Will End. Many focus on women’s roles like her heroine’s journey guides From Girl to Goddess and Buffy and the Heroine’s Journey. She teaches at Mission College.

Victor Frost
Victor Frost has worked as a professional audio engineer for the last decade with organizations big and small. A performer at heart, he has lectured at geeky conventions all over the US on a wide variety of subjects but mostly on the use of sound in popular works. He now runs Frostworks: a production company in Los Angeles dedicated to producing eclectic, educational, and entertaining media.

Will Morton
Born in WV, Will Morton lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife Yvonne. A retired electrical engineer with 16 years’ experience on the Space Shuttle program, he teaches electronics part-time at a community college. He is active as a stand-up comedian. As a writer, he recently received Honorable Mention from the Writers of the Future contest. Visit him at his website