David A. Tatum

David A. Tatum

David A. Tatum was born in Ithaca, NY, the son of a fashion designer and a book-collecting librarian who later became a spy. By the time he was four years old, he’d mastered how to spell the word “cat,” which made inevitable his decision to become an author.

Moving to Washington, DC, in order to keep his parents company, he started training in kenpo by the age of seven. Sadly, after failing to achieve his blackbelt despite twenty years of training, he gave up hopes of a career in martial arts and resumed his love of writing.

By the time he was in high school, he joined a national organization dedicated to adventure and exploration—later becoming a chapter president—with the goal of using it to identify a route into the center of the Earth. Unfortunately, the Suffolk, VA caves he explored were all dead ends.

When his father died, he inherited a large library that there was no space for in his home and a life-threatening dental condition. He spent the next year and a half dealing with both.

When he found that a degree in history offered him no local job opportunities better than your average fast food joint, he decided on a career that typically earns even less money: Professional writing.

Now he’s trying to juggle writing and publishing far too many series of books at once in a variety of genre, predominantly fantasy and science fiction.

Jon “the Vicar” Stallard

Jon Stallard

Jon is a 30-year TV and radio broadcast media professional, and was an early adaptor to this whole, “podcast” foolishness that all the kids are crazy about these days. He’ll also remind anyone who’ll listen, that he is a published author, lecturer, Whovian, RPG-er, 501st-er, and comic connoisseur. Jon thinks all this makes him delightful company, a point with which his long suffering wife takes issue.

Dr. Matthew Simon

Dr. Matthew Simon

Dr. Matthew Simon is a Habitation Design Lead at NASA Langley Research Center. He designs space habitats to support astronauts for missions to the Moon and Mars. Matt also has interests in the colonization of space and architecture for extreme environments. When not working, you’ll find Matt digging into science fiction and fantasy novels, sampling fine anime, or nerding out board gaming. Matt appears at this event in his personal capacity as an earthling; no official NASA endorsement is intended or should be implied.

Freddie Silva

Freddie Silva

Freddie Silva lives in Charlotte, NC. He has a passion for history, religion, and mythology. He strives to use elements from these interests in his writing. He has published stories in a variety of venues including Triangulation, Short & Twisted Christmas Tales, and Broadswords and Blasters. His Kingdom of Haven series (The Order of the Wolf, Stenson Blues, and The Eastern Factor) is available on multiple e-book platforms. His latest novel, Death-Bringer, was released in January, 2019. He can be found at freddiesilva.com.

Old Dominion Daleks

Old Dominion Daleks

The Old Dominion Daleks are handmade reproductions of the iconic villains from the BBC series Doctor Who. Attendees can interact with the Daleks as they roll around the con and learn about their history and construction from their human creators, or even speak with a Dalek.

Chris Shrewsbury

Chris Shrewsbury

Chris has volunteered, paneled, guested, staffed, and been committee at literally dozens of cons along the east coast for 30+ years.

He’s a nationally certified sign language interpreter, working in entertainment, education, medical, and government settings. Following Navy service he taught hearing and hearing-impaired students, pre-K through university.

Recently, Chris developed neurological illness affecting strength, balance, and increasing pain, requiring wheelchair use, and resulting in several surgeries, including lower leg amputation. He’s a tireless disability advocate and encourager, especially within the convention community. Still cosplaying, many costumes incorporate his disability, such as building a mobile TARDIS around his wheelchair, earning first prize in NC Comicon’s Doctor Who division.

A busy public speaker, writer, comedian, and costume judge, he’s also Programming Co-Director (Conapalooza), Fandom & Geek Life Programming Director (ConCarolinas), Accessibility Director (RavenCon), Panelist (everywhere!), and creator of Accessibility Services at Animazement. Chris’ sense of humor and love of all things geek make him a welcome addition to any convention.

Fabian Rush

Fabian Rush

Richmond, VA native, Fabian Rush, is enjoying his long and successful career as a multi-talented artist/performer. After graduating from the VCU school of business at the top of his class in 2002, Fabian wrote, produced, directed, and starred in his first feature length horror film So Mort It Be, which, upon completion, was rapidly picked up for worldwide distribution.

Fabian’s passion for horror and science fiction fueled his desire to make more movies over the following years, gaining additional credits as production designer, visual effects coordinator, and director of photography. His subsequent film work, including the titles Dark Harvest, The Feeding, and Pantheon Black, has been seen by audiences around the world. With a few appearances on the Syfy channel.

He is also the lead singer of the Richmond-based industrial metal band Synthetic Nightmare; a wild act in which he is known to don devil horns and wicked contact lenses. During the live shows, fans are transported to Hell as dancing girls blow fire and use power tools to shoot sparks into the audience.

In 2010, Fabian produced and acted in the, now streaming, comedic YouTube web series Alien Face Bashers.

In 2017, he wrote, produced, directed, and acted in the feature movie Fhtagn: Rock Opera of Dooom, which is a hilarious heavy metal musical based on the mythos of HP Lovecraft. Now streaming on YouTube. Never resting, Fabian is now producing his next horror film, Whitemeat, which promises to be his most shocking film to date.

Outside of his movie business he leads real life paranormal investigations with a group of international remote viewers.

Brent “EvilPenguin” Roeder

Brent is currently a neuroscience PhD student researching how to restore damaged memory function. A life-long geek, he enjoys writing sci-fi and fantasy to relax from work. Very occasionally he even remembers to finish a story.

Gray Rinehart

Gray Rinehart

Gray Rinehart writes fiction, nonfiction, and music. He is the only person to have commanded an Air Force satellite tracking station, written speeches for Presidential appointees, and had music on The Dr. Demento Show. He is currently a contributing editor (the “Slushmaster General”) for Baen Books.

Gray is the author of the near-future science fiction novel Walking on the Sea of Clouds, and his short fiction has appeared in Analog Science Fiction & Fact, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, and multiple anthologies. He is also a singer/songwriter with two albums of mostly science-fiction-and-fantasy-inspired music.

During his rather odd USAF career, Gray fought rocket propellant fires, refurbished space launch facilities, “flew” Milstar satellites, drove trucks, processed nuclear command and control orders, commanded the largest remote tracking station in the Air Force Satellite Control Network, and did other interesting things. His alter ego is the Gray Man, one of several famed ghosts of South Carolina’s Grand Strand, and his website is graymanwrites.com.