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

Dr. Charles E. Gannon

Dr. Charles E. Gannon’s award-winning Caine Riordan/Terran Republic hard SF novels have all been Nebula finalists and national best-sellers and the fourth, Caine’s Mutiny, hit bookstores in February 2017. His epic fantasy series, The Broken World, is forthcoming from Baen Books. He also collaborates with Eric Flint in the NYT and WSJ best-selling Ring of Fire alternate history series, and Eric, along with Kevin J. Anderson, will be collaborators in Gannon’s Steam, Aether, Empire web serial coming in 2017. His other novels and short fiction straddle the divide between hard SF and technothrillers and have appeared through various imprints and in various magazines. Much of this work includes collaborations in the Starfire, Honorverse, Man-Kzin, and War World universes. He also worked extensively in game design and writing, as well as being a scriptwriter and producer in New York City, where his clients included the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and PBS.

A Distinguished Professor of English and Fulbright Senior Specialist, his book Rumors of War and Infernal Machines won the 2006 American Library Association Choice Award for Outstanding Book. He is a recipient of five Fulbright Fellowships and Travel Grants and has been a subject matter expert both for national media venues such as NPR and the Discovery Channel, as well as for various intelligence and defense agencies, including the Pentagon, Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy (CNO/SSG and ONR), NATO, DARPA, NRO, DHS, NASA, and several other organizations with which he signed NDAs.

Mercedes Lackey

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Mercedes was raised mostly in the northwestern corner of Indiana, attending grade school and high school in Highland, Indiana. She graduated from Purdue University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. This, she soon learned, along with a paper hat and a nametag will qualify you to ask “would you like fries with that?” at a variety of fast-food locations.

After spending time in jobs ranging from artist’s model to lab technician at the Mosquito Genetics Project to short-order cook, she took training and became a computer programmer. About this time she discovered science fiction conventions and the Society for Creative Anachronism, and began attending functions of both, more often in costume than not.

She had always written from her early teens, and developed this hobby by writing fan-fiction for various amateur magazines. In the 1980s she took a job programming computers for a major airline and as a consequence moved to Oklahoma, where she continued to write. At this time she met both Marion Zimmer Bradley (author of The Mists of Avalon), and C.J. Cherryh, both of whom helped mentor her from the ranks of the amateur into those of the professional writers.

In 1985 her first book was published. In 1990 she met artist Larry Dixon at a small science fiction convention in Meridian, Mississippi, on a television interview organized by the convention. They began working together from that time on, and were married in Las Vegas at the Excalibur chapel by Merlin the Magician (aka the Reverend Duckworth) in 1992.

They moved to their current home, the “second weirdest house in Oklahoma” also in 1992. She has many pet parrots and “the house is never quiet.” She has 128 books in print, and publishes between five and six books a year, alone or in collaboration. Some of her foreign editions can be found in Russian, German, Czech, Polish, French, Italian, Turkish, and Japanese. She is the author, alone or in collaboration, of the Heralds of Valdemar, Elemental Masters, Secret World Chronicles, 500 Kingdoms, Diana Tregarde, Heirs of Alexandria, Obsidian Mountain, Dragon Jouster, Bedlam Bards, Shadow Grail, and Hunter and other series and stand-alone books.

She has continued her hobby of costuming, although now she costumes Asian ball-jointed dolls as the characters from her books, because “They don’t yell when you stick pins in them.” She also does needlework and beadwork, sometimes combining these hobbies with her doll-making, usually sending these as gifts or to charity auctions as well. She always has several of these projects going at any one time, because they give her the opportunity to think about her stories while her hands are busy. Occasionally she costumes porcelain dolls as one of her characters to be sent as charity auction pieces. Her current project is a set of Secret World Chronicle dolls.

A nightowl by nature, she is generally found at the keyboard between 10 PM and 6 AM.