N.A. Ratnayake

N.A. RatnayakeNalin Ratnayake is an engineer, educator, and writer presently living in Hampton Roads, VA. He has worked on advanced aeronautical flight projects as well as launch vehicles and deep-space systems, an has published eleven technical papers in the aerospace field. He also completed an M.Ed. focused on the intersection of scientific literacy and social justice, and spent five years teaching physics and building STEM programs in urban public schools.

Nalin writes fiction under the name N.A. Ratnayake. His speculative fiction has appeared in Crossed Genres Magazine as well as the post-colonial SF anthology We See A Different Frontier. His short story “Remembering Turinam” received an honorable mention in Gardner Dozois’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Thirty-First Edition. Nalin’s Mars novel, Red Soil Through Our Fingers, was released in January of 2016, and explores a future of corporate-controlled space settlement.

You can find Nalin online at naratnayake.com or on Twitter as @quantumcowboy.


Jim BeallJim Beall (BS-Math, MBA, PE) has been a nuclear engineer for over forty years, a war gamer for over fifty, and an avid reader of science fiction for even longer. His experience in nuclear engineering and power systems began as a naval officer, shortly after surviving one of Admiral Rickover’s infamous interviews, aboard USS Long Beach (CGN-9). Civilian experience includes design, construction, inspection, enforcement, and assessment with a nuclear utility, an architect engineering firm, and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC). Assignments at the USNRC reactor inspector, inspection team leader, safety analyst, and reactor policy assistant to three different Presidential-appointed USNRC Commissioners and earning the agency’s Meritorious and Distinguished Service awards.

Duties of those policy-level posts included substantial research into alternative and speculative energy sources, as well as energy forecasts. Some of those other sources were coal, oil, hydro, geothermal, tidal, solar, wind, fracking, space-based, heavy water reactors, breeder reactors, fusion, and even anti-matter.

Coauthor of Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (JBIS) paper, “Ecological Engineering Considerations for ISU’s Worldship Project.” Baen Books (baen.com) has published four of his non-fiction articles: “Our Worldship Broke!”, “Case Studies in Handwavium”, “From Corvus to Keyhole—Shipyards: Past, Present, and Science Fiction” and  “Radium Girls of Science and Science Fiction”.


Brent Roeder

A native Californian, Brent is “temporarily” out of state for school while working on a PhD in Neuroscience. He started his college education with the idea of doing computer science and mathematics, detoured through physics and criminal justice, and eventually ended up with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences and psychology, as well as a master’s degree in Neuroimaging and Informatics. He’s worked as a software engineer and conformance standards specialist, an accountant, tutor for those with special needs, audio engineer, and a stage hand among other odd jobs. He has regularly been described as an endless font of useless trivia.

He’s been a science fiction fan since being introduced to it at six by his mother and has continued reading since. He has helped contribute to multiple scripts and films from world building and plot development to science advising. In his munificent spare time as a graduate student (haha!) he spends most of his free time reading and writing snippets that he swears one day he will get back to trying to finish.


Professor Sparks AKA John “Grizzy” Grzywacz

Professor SparksGrizzy, as he likes to be called, has been recognized by OSHA’s National Office in Washington D.C. as both a National Electrical Code (NEC®) historian as well as “the best electrical safety trainer in the country!” Certainly, at the very least, Grizzy has been OSHA’s electrical safety “go-to guy” and has been instrumental in shaping and interpreting OSHA policy and regulations for several decades.

Grizzy has trained OSHA compliance officers, appeared as OSHA’s electrical expert, and guided literally hundreds and hundreds of electrical fatality investigations. Grizzy continues to train OSHA compliance officers and personnel coast to coast, as well as still providing investigative assistance to the Agency on fatality investigations and significant cases.

Licensed by the Department of Education, and prior to his OSHA career, Grizzy had been both an educator and administrator for various public and private schools and held the position of Electronic Department Chairman and Director of Education at a New York City proprietary school.

In addition to being a professional speaker and nationally recognized seminar leader with over 40,000 hours of platform experience, Grizzy has lectured at numerous colleges and universities all across the US and has numerous published works in video and print which have assisted safety professionals and helped workers for decades.

Recognized nationally as preeminent in regulatory electrical safety training, Grizzy conducts training all across the country providing insight into navigating the complex regulatory requirements.

Recently Grizzy has been presenting unique and spectacular high voltage keynote presentations at conventions, demonstrating some of the rare and unique electrical artifacts and high voltage apparatus which he has been collecting for decades.


Ben Davis

Ben DavisBen Davis earned his Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics and his M.S. in Nuclear Astrophysics from the University of Notre Dame. He then taught at the college level for several years on a number of technical subjects ranging from computer programming to mathematics to, of course, astronomy and physics. In the late nineties he took up a career in software development and also did a stint as an industrial controls engineer. He now works in the biometrics industry and homeland security. As a lifelong fan of science fiction, his main avocations now involve learning from history, but looking to the future (futurism and skepticism). 


Jack Clemons

Jack ClemonsJack Clemons is both an SF writer and a “rocket scientist”. He has published a number of science fiction stories and is an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He has a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering and was an engineer and team leader on NASA’s Apollo program and space shuttle program.

Jack gives talks across the Mid-Atlantic region, including RavenCon, Balticon, Baltimore Book Festival, and at NASA Goddard’s Spaceflight Center, on the Apollo moon program, on the design and first flights of the NASA space shuttle, and on the untold stories behind each of the American flags left on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts. He appeared in the “Command Module” segment of Moon Machines, the Discovery Science Channel’s award-winning six-part documentary about the Apollo program. He writes a space and science blog for Amazing Stories Magazine online.

His non-fiction book, Safely to Earth, recounting his time on NASA’s Apollo and space shuttle programs, will be published by University Press of Florida later this year.