Michael Merriam is an author, actor, poet, playwright, and professional storyteller. He has published three novels, two short story collections, four novellas, and over 90 pieces of short fiction and poetry. His debut novel, Last Car to Annwn Station, was named a Top Book in 2011 by Readings in Lesbian & Bisexual Women’s Fiction. His scripts have been produced for stage and radio, and he has appeared on stage in the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Tellebration!, StoryFest Minnesota, and over the air on KFAI and Minnesota Public Radio. Michael is a founding member of the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers and a member of the Artists with Disabilities Alliance, the Steampunk Artists and Writers Guild, and Story Arts Minnesota. Visit his homepage at michaelmerriam.com.
Karlyn Ruth Meyer is a former singer-songwriter with a career in legal education. You can find her writing in Lady Science, Uncanny Magazine, legal publications, and small video games. She spends her dwindling free time as a community organizer, volunteer, and speaker. Other passions include friendship and learning new things with her endlessly curious kid. She tweets @karlyn_darlin.
Sam J. Miller is a writer and a community organizer. His debut novel The Art of Starving (HarperTeen) was one of NPR’s Best Books of 2017. His current novel, Blackfish City (Ecco Press; Orbit) is an Entertainment Weekly “Must Read” and was called “an action-packed science fiction thriller… surprisingly heartwarming” by the Washington Post. He’s a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop, and a winner of the Shirley Jackson Award. He lives in New York City, and at samjmiller.com
Lara Elena Donnelly is the author of glam spy thriller Amberlough, and its two sequels forthcoming from Tor. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in venues including Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, Nightmare, and Mythic Delirium. A veteran of small town Ohio and the Derby City, Lara now lives in Manhattan. You can also find her online at @larazontally or laradonnelly.com. Sam J. Miller’s debut novel The Art of Starving was published by HarperTeen in 2017, and Blackfish City was published by Ecco Press in 2018. He’s been nominated for the Nebula, World Fantasy, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards, and he has won the Shirley Jackson Award. He lives in New York City, and at samjmiller.com. Lara & Sam attended the Clarion Writer’s Workshop in 2012, which is why they are so awesome.
Sam J. Miller is a writer and a community organizer. His fiction has appeared in Uncanny, Lightspeed, Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, Apex, Strange Horizons, and The Minnesota Review, among others. His debut novel The Art of Starving (YA/SF) was published by HarperCollins in July, 2017, and was followed by Blackfish City from Ecco Press in 2018. His stories have been nominated for the Nebula, World Fantasy, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards, and he’s a winner of the Shirley Jackson Award. He lives in New York City, and at samjmiller.com.
Jean Rice was born on July 1st, 1939 in Anderson, South Carolina and was educated in the New York City Public School System. From 1979 through 1981 Jean attended Norwalk Community College in Norwalk Connecticut, where he studied Criminal Justice administration earning a place on the Deans List. While attending Norwalk Community College he was president of the Black Student Union and also served as the community liaison for then Deputy Mayor Otha Brown, Jr. Jean was homeless for over two decades, and is currently in transitional housing. He supplements his income by picking up cans for recycling and engaging in constitutionally-protected solicitation of the public, referred to by some as panhandling. Jean is also an avid reader and student of history. Jean is a member of the Board of Directors of Picture the Homeless, and is an active member of the Steering Committee and the Civil Rights Committee.
Mary Anne Mohanraj is author of Bodies in Motion (HarperCollins), The Stars Change (Circlet Press), and twelve other titles. Bodies in Motion was a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards, a USA Today Notable Book, and has been translated into six languages. The Stars Change is a science fiction novella, and finalist for the Lambda, Rainbow, and Bisexual Book Awards. Previous titles include Aqua Erotica, Wet, Kathryn in the City, The Classics Professor, The Best of Strange Horizons, Without a Map, The Poet’s Journey, and A Taste of Serendib (a Sri Lankan cookbook). Mohanraj founded the Hugo–nominated magazine, Strange Horizons, and was Guest of Honor at WisCon 2010. She serves as Executive Director of the Speculative Literature Foundation (speclit.org), has taught at the Clarion SF/F workshop, and is Clinical Associate Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. www.maryannemohanraj.com
Aidan Moher is a Hugo Award-winning editor, the author of “Youngblood,” “The Dinosaur Graveyard,” and “The Penelope Qingdom,”and a regular contributor to Tor.com and the Barnes & Noble SF&F Blog. He lives on Vancouver Island with his wife and kids, but you can most easily find him on Twitter (@adribbleofink) or his website.
Sarah Monette and Katherine Addison are the same person.
She grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, one of the three secret cities of the Manhattan Project. She got her BA from Case Western Reserve University, her MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Despite being summa cum laude, none of her degrees is of the slightest use to her in either her day job or her writing, which she feels is an object lesson for us all. She currently lives near Madison, Wisconsin.
She has published more than fifty short stories and has two short story collections out: The Bone Key (Prime Books 2007—with a shiny second edition in 2011) and Somewhere Beneath Those Waves (Prime Books, 2011). She has co-written three novels with Elizabeth Bear, the last of which, An Apprentice to Elves, was published in October 2015. Her first four novels (Mélusine, The Virtu, The Mirador, Corambis) were published by Ace. Her latest novel, The Goblin Emperor, published under the pen name Katherine Addison, came out from Tor in April 2014 and won the 2015 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel. Find her on Twitter as @pennyvixen. (You can also visit her blog, or check out her Patreon.)
Mimi Mondal was born and raised in Calcutta, India. In various incarnations, she has been an editor with Penguin India, a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Stirling, Scotland, and an Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholar at the Clarion West Writing Workshop 2015. Her stories, poetry and social commentary have appeared in The Book Smugglers, Daily Science Fiction, Podcastle, Scroll.in, Muse India, Kindle Magazine, and elsewhere. She is the co-editor of Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler, published in June 2017 from Twelfth Planet Press. Her first collection of stories is also forthcoming in India from Juggernaut Books. Mimi almost always enjoys the company of monsters.
Dawn Xiana Moon is a lifelong geek that has worked professionally in almost every area of the arts. She is the Founder and Producer/Director of Raks Geek, a nerd-themed bellydance and fire company that achieved viral internet fame with a video of a Wookiee bellydancing to a Klingon band playing an original song in Shyriiwook—they were listed on UK Channel 4 TV’s “50 Funniest Moments of 2012.” As a singer-songwriter, Dawn has performed in 10 states and released two solo albums; her latest CD, Spaces Between, fuses elements from traditional Chinese music with jazz and alt folk pop. She performs as a soloist with Read My Hips tribal bellydance, spins fire with Acrobatica Infiniti circus, works as a UX designer and web developer, and has served as Section Editor for Relevant Magazine. She also occasionally shows up as an actor in independent films. Though she loves Chicago, she periodically needs to flee the US; her wanderlust has brought her to 20 countries (and counting!) thus far.
Photo by Nancy Behall