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Esther Friesner

Nebula Award winner Esther Friesner is the author of over 40 novels and more than 200 short stories.  Educated at Vassar College and Yale University, where she received a Ph.D. in Spanish. She is also a poet, a playwright, and the editor of several anthologies. The best known of these is the Chicks in Chainmail series that she created and edits for Baen Books.  In addition to SF, fantasy, and a bit of horror, she is also the author of the Princesses of Myth series of Young Adult novels from Random House.

Esther is married, a mother of two, a grandmother of two, harbors cats, and lives in Connecticut. She has a fondness for bittersweet chocolate, graphic novels, manga, travel, and jewelry. There is no truth to the rumor that her family motto is “Oooooh, SHINY!”

Her superpower is the ability to winnow her bookshelves without whining about it. Much.

Count Gore De Vol

Count Gore De Vol began his career of hosting horror movies in 1973 on WDCA-TV in Washington, DC.  There he provided late-night viewers with a dose of horror, a dash of humor, and some of Hollywood’s worst and best horror films. In addition to the films, he provided fans with interviews with such horror legends as  Bruce Campbell, Forrest J. Ackerman, Dee Wallace, Sid Haig, Reggie Bannister, and Don Coscarelli. 

In 1998 he took his program to the Internet, becoming the first horror host to do so and led the way for others to take to the web. Every Saturday night he brings hosted public domain horror films, some exciting new productions, and a regular sampling of outstanding and scary short films as well as book reviews, quality DVD reviews, and essays from a variety of contributors to horror fans.

Since 2013 he’s live-hosted outstanding horror and science fiction films for the American film Institute three times a year! The Count also appears at a limited number of conventions annually that in the past have included Scares That Care Weekend, Pensacon, Awesome Con, Cinema Wasteland, Horror Hound Weekend, and San Diego Comic Con.

In 2018 he created his own Roku Channel, “Count Gore De Vol Presents,” providing fans with ten new video offerings every month.

Count Gore is played by actor Dick Dyszel, who also produces the program. In addition to portraying The Count, Dyszel produced and hosted several award-winning children’s TV programs and has appeared in several feature films including, The Alien Factor, Nightbeast, Galaxy Invader, Cremains, Countess Dracula’s Orgy of Blood, and in 2009, was the subject of a feature-length documentary on his career called Every Other Day is Halloween.

Charles Pellegrino

Charles Pellegrino is the author of numerous internationally bestselling books. Her Name, Titanic sold over a million copies and was one of the nonfiction sources for James Cameron’s movie Titanic. Several of Pellegrino’s books have been adapted for Time Life and National Geographic specials, including Unearthing Atlantis. He has a Ph.D. in paleobiology and is one of a small number of scientists who brought forensic science methods into the field of archaeology. As a forensic archaeologist, he has worked on the Titanic, in Pompeii and its sister cities, and at New York’s Ground Zero.

His first novel, Flying to Valhalla (1993), chronicles the first crewed human mission to a neighboring star system. His second, The Killing Star (1995) with George Zebrowski, is a hard SF novel about a sudden alien invasion in a late 21st-century technological utopia. Dust (1998) is a modern SF/horror classic describing an ecological disaster made inevitable by the sudden destruction of all insect life on Earth and is currently being developed into a movie by Village Roadshow Pictures.

Jennifer Allen

Author Jennifer Allen lives on the coast of Eastern Virginia on a small hobby farm. A wife and mother of six, she is a licensed private investigator with a background in the nursing field and early childhood education. She draws inspiration from the multitude of craziness that is her life.

Charity Ayres

Charity Ayres is a former Navy IT turned English teacher with a 17-year-old child (despite the fact that she refuses to age past 29). Ayres has a supposedly unhealthy obsession with coffee (she sees nothing wrong with it) and loves to bake but not eat any of the goodies she bakes with the intent of eventual world domination. Ayres is a high school teacher, college professor, and esports coach, and does all things wordy or nerdy with her schools.

If you have a diverse palette for reading, pick up any of her long or short works. She writes adventurous tales mixed with humorous murder and mayhem—because death done creatively is always fun. Her worlds are fantastical but mixed with history, mythology, and science. Recent works include short stories in The Valkyries Initiative and It Came From the Trailer Park, as well as the novels MadCap and Loki Bound.

Dr. J. “Cal” Baldari

Dr. Cal Baldari is a retired U.S. Army Sapper and military instructor turned professor of ethics. His research credits include alternative military ethics, Aristotelian excellence, moral conflict in literature, implicit bias mitigation, modern heroics, RPG morality, and many others. He has published both academically and creatively, with author credits in short military science fiction and fantasy, as well as several peer-reviewed articles on philosophy. As an avid tabletop role-player, Cal has run games for over a dozen systems professionally, and many more for fun. As the owner of BEC Ltd., he provides expert services for authors, game designers, and comics writers; advising on ethical dilemmas and the consequences both within the stories they write and the effect it has on the reader. Finally, Cal is firmly entrenched in the battle to bring diversity and inclusivity to fandom. His academic work on implicit bias often references the broadening of “geek culture” as exemplary and the awesome efforts many geeks have put forward to make this hobby one that everyone, absolutely everyone, can enjoy with impunity.

Sandra Baldari

Sandra Baldari is a former reporter and a current English teacher. Sandra’s love of science fiction and fantasy began with her father. Her love of reading was sparked by a former babysitter who gave her some Trixie Belden mystery books.

Diana Bastine

Diana Bastine is the author of four YA fantasy novels, including the award-winning The Source and its sequels. They are also the co-editor (with Danielle Ackley-McPhail) of Gaslight and Grimm, a collection of steampunk versions of classic fairy and folk tales. Their story “Crows’ Feet” can be found in CORVID-19: A RavenCon Anthology.

JM Beal

JM Beal started writing seriously in 2001. In 2014 she embarked on the adventure of co-running a publishing company, Golden Fleece Press. In 2019 she decided she wanted to become a CPA. Sleep is for mortals. Current books in print include The Guardian’s Circle series (midwestern monster-hunters), and the first three books in the Thomas the Watch-Cat series: Edgar Allan Poe stories, set with animals and retold for children.

Jim Beall

Jim Beall (BS-Math, MBA, PE) has been a nuclear engineer for over fifty years, beginning as a nuclear engineering officer in the US Navy. Civilian experience includes design, construction, inspection, enforcement, and assessment with a nuclear utility, an architectural engineering firm, and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC). Assignments included on-site health physics support, piping design stress analyses, reactor licensing, reactor startup testing (Canadian Point Lepreau heavy water reactor), research reactor inspections, and a nuclear regulatory program assist mission to the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine in Kyiv. USNRC positions included reactor site construction senior resident inspector (SRI), reactor operations SRI, inspection team leader, safety analyst, senior enforcement specialist, and reactor policy assistant to three different Presidential-appointed USNRC Commissioners while earning the agency’s Meritorious and Distinguished Service awards.

The duties of those policy-level posts included substantial research into alternative and speculative energy sources, as well as energy forecasts and transmission technologies. 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 has published several of his non-fiction articles on a variety of subjects, including:

  • “Our Worldship Broke!”
  • “Case Studies in Handwavium”
  • “From Corvus to Keyhole—Shipyards: Past, Present, and Science Fiction”
  • “Radium Girls of Science and Science Fiction”
  • “Grid Wars: Innovation, Feuds, Rivalry, and Revenge in the Never-ending Battle to Electrify America and the Planet”
  • “Atomic Follies”
  • “Warships of Sea and Space – Part 1”
  • “Warships of Sea and Space – Part 2”
  • “Recycling: From Stars to Starships”
  • “Borders: From the First Sumerians to the Last Starfighter”

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