Library Bards – 2019 Music GOH

Library BardsTransforming Top 40 songs into the nerdy versions they should have been in the first place, the Library Bards have become a staple in the new comic and pop culture convention scene. Traveling the United States, the dynamic performances of Bonnie Gordon (ABC’s The Quest; voice of R. Mika in Street Fighter V), and Xander Jeanneret (TBS’ King of the Nerds; voice of the Announcer in Divekick) bring life to the main stages of cosplay contests, panels, and concert performances.

 

Melinda Snodgrass

Melinda SnodgrassMelinda Snodgrass was born in Los Angeles, CA, but the family moved to New Mexico when she was five months old. Under her father’s tutelage she was given every possible opportunity—she learned to ride, shoot, swim and fly fish, she sat in on his business meetings and traveled with him from a young age.

She inherited her father’s musical ability and studied ballet, voice, and piano. She starred with the Civic Light Opera, and also performed the role of Gretel with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Hansel and Gretel. Her love of music took her to Vienna Austria where she studied voice at the Conservatorium der Stadt Wien.

She soon realized that while she had a good voice she didn’t have an extraordinary voice, and she returned to America to finish her college degrees, majoring in History (Magna Cum Laude) and minoring in music. Since you could spit on the street and hit an out of work history major when she graduated from the university, she entered the New Mexico School of Law. Her focus in school was Constitutional law, jurisprudence, and legal history.

After graduation she practiced law for three years working first for Sandia National Laboratories, and then with a corporate law firm, but discovered that while she loved the law she wasn’t terribly fond of lawyers. At the urging of Victor Milan, she tried writing and never looked back.

She published a number of books—the Circuit Trilogy about a Federal Court judge riding circuit in the solar system, two fantasies from Avon, one co-written with Victor Milan, and then in 1984 she and George R.R. Martin cooked up the Wild Card Series, a shared world anthology with a focus on the real impact of super heroes in our world. The series is 22 books strong and was nominated for a Hugo award.

At the urging of George R.R. Martin, she entered the world of Hollywood, writing a spec script for Star Trek: The Next Generation. The script, “The Measure of a Man,” was nominated for the Writer’s Guild Award for outstanding writing in a drama series, and has been shown in the museum of computer science and artificial intelligence in Paris, France. It has also been voted as one of the ten best Star Trek episodes from all series.

While in Hollywood she worked on Reasonable Doubts and Profiler, wrote episodes for The Antagonists, Sliders, Strange Luck, and Odyssey 5, to name only a few. She also scripted an adaptation of Star Blazers for Disney. She has written six pilots—one of which, Star Command, aired on the UPN network.

In 2002, she took over the management of a small natural gas company in northern New Mexico. Her father had been one of the founding members and managed the company until his death in 1977. There was a satisfying sense of closure to take the reins of this company and begin to expand and grow the business. She has also found the oil and gas industry fascinating. (Get her to tell you the story about the two test wells that were fracked with nuclear devices back in the early 1960s.)

Her current projects include a story for the newly revived Wild Card series published by Tor books. She has delivered the third book in the Edge series, a contemporary fantasy that explores the tensions between science and rationality and religion and superstition also due out from Tor. Book one, Edge of Reason and the second book, The Edge of Ruin are currently on the shelves. Her latest novel This Case Is Gonna Kill Me, written under the pen name Phillipa Bornikova has just come out.

Melinda is currently working on the Wild Card movie script for Universal Pictures.

In her spare time she owns a beautiful Lusitano stallion. She is an accomplished horse woman, riding and showing at the Grand Prix level in dressage.

But above all else she writes. Because that’s just what you have to do.

 

Rev. Billy C. Wirtz

Rev. Billy C. WirtzThe Rev writes:

Years ago, I aspired to be a cult figure in the entertainment world. I always dug cats like Bro. Dave Gardner, Lenny Bruce, and Lord Buckley. I wanted to combine old school Boogie Woogie piano with highbrow/lowbrow storylines. With songs like “Mennonite Surf Party,” “Roberta,” “Mama Was Deadhead” and a few dozen more, I’ve traveled the world Rockin’ on the Ivories and (hopefully) leaving them rolling in the aisles.

After several decades of touring, I still enjoy playing and also a syndicated radio show on NPR fills in my weekly dance card. Along the way I have developed a series of lectures that tell the story of Black music in America after WWII. Using Power Point and live music, the series is titled: “Your Roots Are Showing”. I’ll be bringing part one of the series: “Shake , Rattle and Roll” ( The Chitlin’ Circuit, WLAC and the Birth of Rock ‘N” Roll)” to RavenCon this year.

 

George Hrab

George HrabMulti-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, story teller, science advocate, producer, composer, and heliocentrist George Hrab has written and produced six independent CDs and a concert DVD; published two books; recorded over five-hundred and fifty episodes of an award-winning podcast; emceed countless science conferences; was a TEDx speaker; has been the drummer and musical director with The Philadelphia Funk Authority for over twenty years; and has even performed for President Clinton. He’s traveled to four continents promoting critical thinking, science, and skepticism through story and song. George is considered one of the preeminent skeptic/science/atheist/geek-culture music icons currently living in his apartment.

 

MC Lars

MC LarsPost-punk laptop rap meets lit-hop. A huge Edgar Allan Poe fan, MC Lars has been rapping about the king of anti-transcendentalism since 2003. He is honored to be at RavenCon this year to bring Poe’s work to life!

 

 

R.S. Belcher

R.S. BelcherR.S. (Rod) Belcher is an award-winning newspaper and magazine editor and reporter.

Rod has been a private investigator, a DJ, and a comic book store owner and has degrees in criminal law, psychology and justice and risk administration, from Virginia Commonwealth University. He’s done Masters work in Forensic Science at the George Washington University, and worked with the Occult Crime Taskforce for the Virginia General Assembly.

The Grand Prize winner of the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Anthology contest, Rod’s short story “Orphans” was published in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 9 published by Simon and Schuster in 2006. It was his first professional fiction sale.

Rod’s first novel, The Six-Gun Tarot, was published by Tor Books in 2013. The sequel, The Shotgun Arcana, was published in 2014 and the third book in the Golgotha series, The Queen of Swords was published in 2017. He is currently at work on the fourth book in the series.

His novel, Nightwise, was released in August, 2015, and was reissued with additional material in January of 2018. The sequel to Nightwise, The Night Dahlia, was released in April of 2018.

Rod’s novel, The Brotherhood of the Wheel was published by Tor in March of 2016. It was a Locus Awards finalist for Horror in 2017, and is currently in development as a television series. The sequel to Brotherhood, The King of the Road, is scheduled for publication by Tor in December 2018.

He lives in Roanoke, Virginia with his children, Jonathan and Emily.

Photo Credit: David Hungate of Dominion Images

Misbehavin’ Maidens

The Misbehavin’ Maidens are a bawdy nerd-folk band comprised of four women from the Washington, D.C./Baltimore area with a love of feminist, sex-positive music, LGBTQIA+ representation, parodies, drinking, and fandom references for the 18+ geek crowd.

Performing in cosplay, pirate garb, and occasionally plain clothes, the group can be found at local theme bars and fandom conventions all across the country, entertaining those who are young at heart, but who have their minds in the gutter. The group has performed at Dragon Con, RavenCon, Wicked Faire, Nauticons, several D.C./Baltimore area burlesque and variety shows, and local theme bars, most frequently at the Limerick Pub in Wheaton, MD.

The band, which began rehearsing together in late 2012 and performed in public together for the first time in May of 2013, consists of four members: Flint Locke, “Lucky” Annie LeBlanc, Madame Rouge, and Saber Tompson. While all of the ladies come from a “pirate” background, they embrace a wide range of subcultures, offering musical tributes to everything from steampunk to anime.

After a wildly successful Kickstarter, their debut, independently-released album, Busted, was released August 15, 2015, and their second album, Sloppy Seconds, was released April 11, 2017.

Misbehavin' Maidens