Guest of Honor: Jim C. Hines

ApolloCon 2015 - Guest of Honor Jim Hines Jim C. Hines' first novel was Goblin Quest, the humorous tale of a nearsighted goblin runt and his pet fire-spider. Actor and author Wil Wheaton described the book as "too f***ing cool for words," which is pretty much the Best Blurb Ever. After finishing the goblin trilogy, he went on to write the Princess series of fairy tale retellings, and is currently working on the Magic ex Libris books, a modern-day fantasy series about a magic-wielding librarian, a dryad, a secret society founded by Johannes Gutenberg, a flaming spider, and an enchanted convertible. His short fiction has appeared in more than 40 magazines and anthologies.

Jim is an active blogger about topics ranging from sexism and harassment to zombie-themed Christmas carols, and won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2012. He has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Masters in English, and lives with his wife and two children in mid-Michigan. You can find him online at www.jimchines.com.

Music Guest of Honor: Tim Griffin

ApolloCon 2015 Music GoH - Tim Griffin Tim Griffin writes, records, and performs fun educational music about science, math, and history for grades K-8. Think Schoolhouse Rock with a heavy filk slant. He also runs a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit that lets him do live shows and songwriting workshops at schools and other places of learning for free, along with free streaming audio and downloads from his website. Tim has performed to great hilarity and edification for the AAAS, NSTA, Mensa, Worldcon, GAFilk, ConFlikt, and a few hundred schools. All the years of preparation, research, and sacrifice will finally come to fruition in June 2015, when Tim brings it all to Houston for you. Meanwhile, you can find most of Tim's work at www.GriffinEd.org along with printable lyrics, chords, and suggestions for classroom use. His best songs aren't on the Web site, though; those only get sung after the kids are in bed. Pay attention and you might learn a few things your parents never told you.

Artist Guest of Honor: Maria William

ApolloCon 2015 Artist GoH - Maria William Maria J. William is a self-taught artist/illustrator who's been doing art professionally for about 15 years. Originally from Ukraine, she grew up in an artistic family and has been creating art since as far back as she can remember. Maria's work is mostly romantic fantasy portraiture created using traditional mediums such as graphite and watercolor, though she's done some digital art and graphic design, as well. Apart from projects such as book covers, interior illustrations, tattoo designs, and private commissions, Maria has created a large body of personal work inspired and influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, Art Nouveau, history, mythology, steampunk, anime, and all things Far East. Her work has appeared in many books and magazines, and was recently exhibited at the Salmagundi gallery in New York City. Her website, www.mariawilliam.net, offers a large collection of art as well as some tutorials.

Maria lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, two young sons, and two trusty feline sidekicks. In addition to making art, she's an avid reader, gamer, photography hobbyist, horse enthusiast, and aspiring writer. The first book of her recently-completed fantasy trilogy is scheduled to be published this year, and she's also working on an art book featuring post-apocalyptic themed drawings and short stories.

Joseph Abbott

[ApolloCon 2015 - Joseph Abbott] A copy editor and occasional science and spaceflight blogger for the Waco Tribune-Herald, Joseph Abbott (aka, for somewhat obscure reasons, "Fax Paladin") has been filking — or perhaps, aware that what he was doing was filk — for around 15 years now. You can check out his blog at www.wacotrib.com/blogs/joe_science/.

Lou Antonelli

[ApolloCon 2015 - Lou Antonelli] Lou started writing fiction in middle age; his first story was published in 2003 when he was 46. He's had 89 short stories published in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, in venues such as Asimov's Science Fiction, Jim Baen's Universe, Dark Recesses, Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD), Daily Science Fiction, and Omni Reboot, among others. His collections include Fantastic Texas published in 2009; Texas & Other Planets published in 2010; and The Clock Struck None and Letters from Gardner, both published in 2014. He was a finalist in 2013 for the Sidewise Award in Alternate History.

Jayme Lynn Blaschke

[ApolloCon 2015 - Jayme Lynn Blaschke] Jayme Lynn Blaschke's short fiction has appeared in such diverse publications as Interzone, Fast Ships Black Sails, Cross Plains Universe, Electric Velocipede, and the Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, among others. Some of his many genre-related interviews have been collected in Voices of Vision: Creators of Science Fiction & Fantasy Speak. He's written an extensive history of the infamous La Grange Chicken Ranch and hopes to announce a publication date any minute now. Blaschke is currently writing a YA novel inspired by the classic Winston Science Fiction Series titled Sailing Venus. His website may be found at JaymeBlaschke.com.

Morva Bowman & Alan Pollard

[ApolloCon 2015 - Morva Bowman and Alan Pollard] Morva is a retired professional organizer, Alan is an almost retired electrical engineer. They have been attending their local SFF convention in Winnipeg for 20+ years, but only really got into filk music about 8-10 years ago. As with so many things filk related, blame Decadent Dave Clement! However, once hooked, they were committed, and now it seems to be their joint retirement project. They started making music together in choir back in high school, but now devote their energies to parodies and original songs on books and movies and cats and...well...whatever. It's filk! Visit their Web site at www.morvaandalan.ca.

Jane Chance

[ApolloCon 2015 - Jane Chance] Jane Chance is the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor Emerita in English at Rice University and a recent recipient of an honorary doctorate of letters from Purdue University (2013). Author of twenty-two books and over a hundred articles and reviews on Old and Middle English literature, medieval women, mythography, and medievalism, she has received Guggenheim and NEH Fellowships, among others, as well as membership at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, a Rockefeller Foundation residency at Bellagio, and book and article prizes for her work. Relevant to her recent 2014 Hobbit article included in Bradford Eden's collection, The Hobbit and Tolkien's Mythology, are her books Tolkien's Art: A Mythography for England, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings: The Mythology of Power, edited.

Cassandra Clarke

[ApolloCon 2015 - Cassandra Clarke] Cassandra Rose Clarke grew up in south Texas and currently lives in a suburb of Houston, where she writes and teaches composition at a pair of local colleges. She holds an M.A. in creative writing from The University of Texas at Austin, and in 2010 she attended the Clarion West Writer�s Workshop in Seattle. Her work has been nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award and YALSA�s Best Fiction for Young Adults. Her latest novel is Our Lady of the Ice, forthcoming from Saga Press in 2015.

Bill Crider

[ApolloCon 2015 - Bill Crider] Bill Crider is the author of more than fifty published novels and numerous short stories under his own and other names. His short fiction has been nominated for the Anthony, Derringer and Edgar awards (winning the first two). His latest novel is Half in Love with Artful Death (St. Martin's). You can find his homepage at www.bilcrider.com, or take a look at his peculiar blog at billcrider.blogspot.com.

Scott Cupp

Scott Cupp is an award-winning short story writer from San Antonio. He frequently writes about the West with absurdist situations. His work can be found at www.revolutionsf.com and in the books Razored Saddles, South from Midnight, Freak Show, and Weird Business (among others). He recently edited the Cross Plains Universe anthology with Joe R. Lansdale, which celebrates the 100th birthday of Robert E. Howard. His most recent story "Love Story" appeared in Damned Near Dead 2 from Busted Flush Press and edited by Bill Crider. He is an owner of Adventures in Crime and Space bookstore (gone but not forgotten). He lives with his wife, Sandi, and a Bengal cat named Tawney Tiger the Periscope. Please be sure to check out his Web site: www.scottacupp.com

Charlayne Elizabeth Denney

[ApolloCon 2015 - Charlayne Elizabeth Deeney] Given her habit of checking people for fangs, she discovered her own vampires and Lilly, Marcus, and the rest of the gang all live in the books she writew. Of course, this weirds out her grandkids and kids. As the author of the Fangs & Halos series, she likes sitting in dark rooms and imagining all sorts of strange things. Daylight is okay but the darkness, that's the place for her! Book 1, Lilly"s Angel and Book 2 Marcus' Vampire are available at her autograph table. She found her husband, Bruce, through a want-ad in the program book for ConTroll 93, (he thinks it was just the button that said "I still miss my ex but my aim is improving" that did it). She's attended, worked, and guested at conventions in Texas since 1979.

Bradley Denton

[ApolloCon 2015 - Bradley Denton] Bradley Denton's first story appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1984. His novels include Wrack & Roll, Buddy Holly Is Alive and Well on Ganymede, Blackburn, Lunatics, and Laughin' Boy ... and his stories have been collected in The Calvin Coolidge Home for Dead Comedians, A Conflagration Artist, One Day Closer to Death, and Sergeant Chip & Other Novellas. His work has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and Edgar Awards ... and has won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and the World Fantasy Award. Brad lives in Manchaca, Texas with his wife Barbara — and when not writing, he manages the career of Bland Lemon Denton, the World's Oldest (and Worst) Bluesman.

Donigan & Foye

[ApolloCon 2015 - Donigan & Foye] Imagine, if you will, a small redneck town in Texas...home to many small honkytonks playing the favorite music of the area, Country. ...A garage sale one Saturday morning; Dene is playing some chords on an electronic keyboard for sale...a guy comes up to him:
Dennis: Are you a musician?
Dene: Yes, I am.
Dennis: What do you play?
Dene: Usually I play guitar and sing.
Dennis: I play guitar, too.
Dene: Cool, what kind of music?
Dennis: Celtic.
Dene (jaw dropping): Me too!
Dennis: Maybe we could jam sometime?
The rest is history...Donigan & Foye played their first gig on St. Patrick's day 2014 in a local Columbus restaurant and have played a number of other places including the Houston Celtic Festival. Dene has introduced Dennis to the joy of Filk music and they debuted at Fencon XI as a filk duo.

Marianne Dyson

[ApolloCon 2015 - Marianne Dyson] Marianne Dyson is currently writing a historical account of what it was like to be one of NASA's first women flight controllers in parallel with what she hopes will be her first science fiction book. In the meantime, she hopes you will check out her stories from Analog, now available on Kindle. Dyson has a degree in physics and a 2nd degree black belt in Kuk Sool. She has won the Golden Kite and American Institute of Physics science writing awards for her children's books about space. A life member of SFWA, she teaches astronomy in the CCISD GT program. Proceeds from her writing and speaking support several demanding cats, a husband with a flying habit, and the occasional stray alien.

Christina Escamilla

[ApolloCon 2015 - Christina Escamilla] Christina Escamilla is an author and illustrator known for her penchant for crossing genres. Her works include 64 Deaths, The Day the Words Went Away, Welcome to the Future, Isolate the Infected and 500 Questions to Help Flesh Out Your Character. She is also the owner of Christina Escamilla Publishing and its various imprints. When she doesn't have her nose stuck in a book, she can be found watching a documentary about theoretical science or exploring the vast reaches of the internet. Currently, she lives in Houston, Texas with her bowtie wearing dog, Murphy. To learn more, visit: www.christinaescamilla.com.

Rhonda Eudaly

[ApolloCon 2015 - Rhonda Eudaly] Rhonda Eudaly lives in Arlington, Texas where she's worked in offices, banking, radio, and education to support her writing. She's married with dogs and a rapidly growing rubber duck collection. She likes to spend time with friends and family, movies, and reading. Her two passions are writing and music. Rhonda has fiction and non-fiction stories published in anthologies, magazines, and Web sites. Check out her Web site www.rhondaeudaly.com for her latest publications and downloads.

Larry Friesen

Larry Friesen grew up in Kansas, and first became interested in science fiction reading the "Flash Gordon" comic strip, and by listening to the "Space Patrol" radio serial (also a TV series). He became hooked on space flight when he received a Big Golden Book on aviation and A Child's Book of Stars, and by reading articles by Werner Von Braun, even forming a Space Club in grade school. He earned a BA in Physics and Math from Kansas University, and a PhD from Rice University in Space Physics & Astronomy. Larry worked at Johnson Space Center from 1976 through 1998, mostly for McDonnell-Douglas and Lockheed-Martin. He currently teaches Astronomy and Physics at the University of Houston - Clear Lake. He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Larry published his first book Betrayal/Battle/Storm in 2013 with Firefall.

Al Jackson

[ApolloCon 2015 - Al Jackson] Al Jackson started out as a SF fan in Dallas in 1954 with the first SF club in Texas, the Dallas Futurians, which had an adventurous life for 6 years. The DFS held the first SF convention in Texas, in Dallas, August 1958. He also was a member of the Houston Science Fiction Society from sometime around 1966... till forever, ...after all the HSFS never officially disbanded! (Unlike the Dallas club.) He re-founded the University of Texas SF club.. 1970-197?... During the time when he was getting his PhD in Physics. Heck been in and around SF fandom for around 52 years now, an official SF geezer. He has spent most of his years (from 1966) at the Johnson Space Center, doing all kinds of things from training astronauts during Apollo to computing where space debris will be and go, to assorted engineering. Kind of fulfilling a childhood space cadet's dream! Officially retired in 2010.

Gibson Michaels

[ApolloCon 2015 - Gibson Michaels] Amazon Best Selling author Gibson Michaels was born a long, long time ago in Beech Grove, Indiana — an only child because his parents took one look at him and moved into separate bedrooms. A retired Technical Instructor and Training Manager for IBM, Toshiba International and the ABC Television Network, he was often identified as "the guy with a book in his back pocket." All three books in Michaels' Sentience science fiction/military space opera trilogy made the Amazon Kindle Paid Best Seller List in multiple categories. Michaels is currently working on his fourth book, a science fiction/Celtic fantasy hybrid with a Twilight Zone type twist. Visit his website at www.gibsonmichaels.com, on Amazon or on Goodreads.

Cathey Osborne

[ApolloCon 2015 - Cathey Osborne] The first recognizable animal Cat Osborne drew as a child was a horse in crayon, and she has a passion for all things equine that still feature heavily in her artwork and photography. She is also fond of cats, kilts, animals in general, and cooking. She has a long small-press history, most recently art for "SteamCraft," a steampunk RPG produced by Perilous Journeys Publications, and writing for a new publisher, Lone Star Bookworks.

Rie Sheridan Rose

[ApolloCon 2015 - Rie Sheridan Rose] Rie's short stories appear in the Double Dragon's From Within the Mist ebook and The Stygian Soul as well as Yard Dog Press' A Bubba In Time Saves None. Yard Dog Press is also home to humorous horror chapbooks Tales from the Home for Wayward Spirits and Bar-B-Que Grill and Bruce and Roxanne Save the World...Again. Melange Books carries romantic fantasy Sidhe Moved Through the Faire. Zumaya Books is home to The Luckless Prince. And Mocha Memoirs has the single short story "Drink My Soul...Please". as an ebook.

Scott Snyder

[ApolloCon 2015 - Scott Snyder] Scott Snyder is a renaissance man. At least he would be if the Renaissance had taken place in the American heartland, and involved the rediscovery of ancient knowledge concerning twangy/rocking guitars, soulful baritione singing, and clever songs about gaming and software development. You might say Scott has found his niche in the Filk community — that being virtuoso country/rock guitarist/singer/songwriter.

Scott works as a sound designer in the gaming industry, and following the dictum "write what you know", many of his songs are about gaming and software development with an occasional detour into comics and pop culture. What all his songs have in common is a wry sense of humor and polished musical sensibility.

Shanna Swendson

[ApolloCon 2015 - Shanna Swendson] Shanna Swendson writes humorous contemporary fantasy for Ballantine Books and pop culture essays for BenBella Books. She's the author of Enchanted, Inc., Once Upon Stilettos, Damsel Under Stress and Don't Hex with Texas, and has contributed to Flirting With Pride and Prejudice, Welcome to Wisteria Lane, So Say We All and Serenity Found. When she's not writing, she's usually discussing books and television on the Internet. She's a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and Romance Writers of America. Visit her Web site at www.shannaswendson.com.

Kathy Thornton and Derly Ramirez, II

[ApolloCon 2015 - Kathy Thornton & Derly Ramirez, II] Kathy and Derly have been active in fandom since dinosaurs roamed the earth. So long ago that 1999 was REALLY the future! Kathy and Derly are one third of the notorious Cat Boxe Theatre, known throughout fandom for their wit and willingness to abuse themselves for a laugh. Cat Boxe Theatre served at conventions in numerous capacities such as halftime entertainment, auctioneers, event MCs, panelists and were even Toastmasters for one ConTex. Kathy and Derly have worked at the Texas Renaissance Festival for 30+ years. Derly was long a part of the Death Cart crew and most recently performs as The Executioner. Kathy started at TRF selling hairy nuts, segued to a long tenure with Cat Boxe Theatre and most recently heads up the Information Booth. (Ah, Customer Service!) These two have been on the working side of many conventions in a number of capacities. Both worked at LoneStarCon (NASFIC and 2 Worldcons), wearing multiple hats. Both were on the infamous "black ribbon of death" committee of Con-Troll for all five glorious cons. They particularly enjoy being involved in the Art Show/Auction, the Masquerade and any weirdness that might occur.