Daína Chaviano is a world-renowned multi-genre Cuban author. In 1991, she established residence in Miami, where she has been publishing several cross-genre books, like the series The Occult Side of Havana. The most recent novel in the series, La isla de los amores infinitos (The Island of Eternal Love, Riverhead/Penguin 2008), was published in 25 languages, becoming the most widely translated Cuban novel of all time.
Daína Chaviano has received several international recognitions, like the Anna Seghers Award (Berlin Academy of Arts, Germany, 1990), Azorín Prize for Best Novel (Spain, 1998), Gold Medal for Best Book in Spanish Language (Florida Book Awards, 2006), and Malinalli National Award for the Promotion of Arts, Human Rights and Cultural Diversity (Mexico, 2014), among others. ). In 2010, The Island of Eternal Love was on the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award longlist.
She was Guest of Honor at the 25th International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (Fort Lauderdale, 2004)—a first time recognition for a non-English speaker author—and was the Honored Author at the University Book Fair in Tabasco (Mexico, 2014. She is considered one of the three most important female fantasy and SF writers in the Spanish language, along with Angélica Gorodischer (Argentina) and Elia Barceló (Spain), forming the so-called “feminine trinity of science fiction in Latin America.” Her bilingual (English/Español) website can be found at dainachaviano.com.
Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times Bestselling author born in the Caribbean. He grew up in Grenada and spent time in the British and US Virgin Islands, which influence much of his work.
His novels and over 50 stories have been translated into 18 different languages. His work has been nominated for awards like the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus, and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author.
He currently lives in Bluffton, Ohio with his wife, twin daughters, and a pair of dogs. He can be found online at www.TobiasBuckell.com
A lifelong fan since his MITSFS days, Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ is the Director of the Vatican Observatory (“the Pope’s astronomers”) where he studies comets, asteroids, and meteorites. He earned planetary science degrees from MIT and Arizona (PhD), taught at Harvard and MIT, and served in the US Peace Corps in Kenya before entering the Jesuits in 1989.
Brother Guy was the winner of the 2014 Carl Sagan Medal from the AAS Division for Planetary Sciences, a past chair of the AAS/DPS, and a member of the IAU Planetary Surfaces Nomenclature working group; asteroid 4597 Consolmagno is named in his honor. He’s written hundreds of scientific papers and half a dozen popular books, notably Turn Left at Orion (with Dan Davis). His most recent book (with Paul Mueller) is Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?
Born in San Juan, and raised in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico – and best known as one of the Emmy Award-winning writer/producers of Lost, and for creating the comic book and ABC Family television series The Middleman – Javier “Javi” Grillo-Marxuach is currently developing Xena, a reboot of the classic Xena: Warrior Princess for NBC and working as a Consulting Producer on the hit MTV series The Shannara Chronicles. Javi is also co-host with fellow Puerto Rican writer/producer Jose Molina, of the Children of Tendu podcast, an educational series which aims to teach newcomers how to navigate the entertainment industry. As part of his ongoing efforts to support and encourage emerging writers, Javi is not only an avid participant of the WGA’s Mentor program, but also worked to institute the Grillo-Marxuach Family Scholarship, which provides financial aid and mentorship to students attending the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts Masters Degree in Screenwriting with a focus on the Latino experience. Javi can be found online at OKBJGM.com and on twitter at OKBJGM.
George Pérez is an New York City born Puerto Rican writer and illustrator of comic books, whose titles include The Avengers, Teen Titans, and Wonder Woman. He has worked on The New Teen Titans, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wonder Woman, Superman, The Avengers, War of the Gods, and The New 52 amongst many others.
Paula Smith grew up reading her dad’s collection of science fiction novels, anthologies, andmagazines, and joined fandom in 1969, at the beginning of the Great Surge of the 1970s, when fandom’s population boomed, and just before the Great Split into science fiction / Star Trek / media fandoms. In 1973, with Sharon Ferraro, she began publishing the Trekzine Menagerie, and several other publications over the years, including The Klingon Empire Appointment Calendar, The Saint Crispin’s Day Society, Escape from New York Affair, Blood Agent, and The U.N.C.L.E. Chronicles. It was for the third issue of Menagerie that she wrote a very short piece parodying the plethora of sixteen-year- old crewmembers of the USS Enterprise then extent in other zines, and in so doing identified and named the Mary Sue character.
She and Sharon Ferraro hosted several small SF conventions and one small Trek con that later developed, under Lori and Gordon Carleton, into MediaWest*Con, and also ran “The Hole in the Deck Gang,” a service organizing gofers for large conventions. The pair also produced a popular slideshow-and- live-voice version of Robert Asprin’s “The Capture,” illustrated by Phil Foglio, which earned all four of them a Hugo nomination in 1979 for Best Dramatic Presentation. (They lost out to the Chris Reeve Superman.)
During the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Paula was a prolific writer in science fiction, Society for Creative Anachronism, Star Trek, Star Wars, Man From U.N.C.L.E. and other “media” fandoms. She was active in filking, plays, and early Internet fannish chat groups. Mundanely, she was a systems analyst, turned college instructor, and earned a Ph.D. in topological graph theory in 2002. She now is a Lecturer at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and lives in Kitchener with her wife, who is a fellow fan, and a menagerie of two dogs and four cats.