We are thrilled to be welcoming the following amazing dais of Guests for Necon 37!
Please read below to learn more about our Writer Guests of Honor, Artist Guest of Honor,
Toastmaster, and Necon Legends!
Cherie Priest is the author of 19 books and novellas, most recently the acclaimed gothic horror stories Chapelwoodand Maplecroft, and the hit young adult project I Am Princess X. But she is perhaps best known for the steampunk pulp adventures of the Clockwork Century, beginning with Boneshaker. Boneshaker was nominated for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award; it was a PNBA Award winner, and winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Cherie also wrote Bloodshot and Hellbent from Bantam Spectra; Fathom and the Eden Moore series from Tor; and three novellas for Subterranean Press. In addition to all of the above, her first foray into George R. R. Martin’s superhero universe, Fort Freak (for which she wrote the interstitial mystery), debuted in the summer of 2011. Her short stories and nonfiction articles have appeared in such fine publications as Weird Tales, Publishers Weekly, and numerous anthologies – and her books have been translated into nine languages in eleven countries. These days, she lives in a nifty old house in Chattanooga, TN, with her husband and a small menagerie of exceedingly photogenic pets.
From the author —
“I spent my youth in Alaska where I worked in the fishing and construction industries and raced sled dogs. I retired from racing around 1995, moved to Washington State, and dedicated myself to writing.
Gordon Van Gelder gave me my professional fiction debut when he published “Shiva, Open Your Eye” in the September issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. My debut collection, The Imago Sequence & Other Stories, was published in 2007 by Night Shade Books. My first novel, The Light Is the Darkness, was published in 2011 by Infernal House, followed by The Croning in 2012 from Night Shade Books.
I write stories with elements of crime and horror. I’m fond of pulp, historicals, science fiction, and noir. Typically, my work combines one or more of these elements with a horrific or weird supernatural intrusion. Cormac McCarthy, Roger Zelazny, Michael Shea, Anne Sexton, Martin Cruz Smith, Angela Carter, T.E.D Klein, Peter Straub — these are a few of my favorite authors and my light in the distance when it gets dark.
Scotch is my favorite drink. Roger Miller and Marty Robbins are my favorite singers. Blood Meridian is the best novel I’ve ever read. I consider earning the loyalty of my old dog my greatest accomplishment. Currently I live in the Hudson Valley and am at work on stories about the evil that men do.”
Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It’s so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you’re striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter.
Kristina Carroll is an award winning illustrator, fine artist and portrait artist. She specializes in art with a Fantastic, Surrealist and Symbolist aesthetic with a focus in Figurative work. While she loves many medias, oil and charcoal are her preferred weapons of choice and she strives to master both the art of color and black and white imagery. Kristina has discovered a second love in education and has taught a variety of art and illustration courses at several universities. In addition to teaching traditional classes, she works with Strathmore Artist Papers and Gamblin Oil Paints running workshops in colleges all around the New England area.
Kristina is also the force behind the popular Month of Love and Month of Fear art challenges that are now entering their third successful years. These challenges attract some of the top artists in the industry and allow them to push their art to new heights with inspiring themes and community support.
Kristina’s clients include: Wizards of the Coast, Alderac Entertainment Group, The Shelburne Museum, IDW, Realms of Fantasy, Fantasy Flight Games, Catalyst Game Labs, Michael Publishing.
Lynne Hansen is a storyteller who, after directing her first short film Chomp, discovered that she had been studying her entire life to become a filmmaker. She developed a love of all things creepy huddling beneath the covers watching Acri Creature Feature with her dad and big brother. She honed her knowledge of story during her six-year tenure as senior editor for a small press publishing company and as an award-winning author. She developed her eye for visual storytelling designing book covers that required condensing an entire story into a single image. She shepherded her own creative endeavors into the world, and those of others, as a marketing professional, including working with a historic non-profit art-house theater. Having struggled to find her own voice as an artist, Lynne has spoken to students at over 200 schools about how to nurture their own creative spark. In 2014, she was awarded the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival Filmmaker to Watch “Dreamer” award. Chomp has screened at over 60 film festivals in 10 countries worldwide, and has won or been nominated for 22 awards, including Best Short Horror Film of 2015 at the Fright Meter Awards. She is currently producing and directing the horror/thriller feature Cold Dead Hands, based on the forthcoming novel by Jeff Strand. Learn more at WithoutWarningMedia.com.
Cortney Skinner has been a professional full time freelance illustrator for almost 40 years. Illustrating in traditional media as well as digitally, he has painted, inked and sculpted illustrations and artwork for various books, magazines, comics and films. His landscapes, still lifes and portraits are found in many private collections. In 2001, Cortney met author Elizabeth Massie at Necon and soon thereafter moved to the countryside in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where they enjoy the creative life together. The only things remaining on his bucket list is to restring his 144-string hammer dulcimer and to improve his theremin technique. You can see samples of Cortney’s work at cortneyskinner.com.
John and Dottie are fans of Fantasy and Science Fiction and have been collecting Fantasy, Science Fiction and Comic Art and book since before their marriage in 1974.
They attended all but the first NECON. In 1994 they were members of the Committee to Save NECON and have been NECON Committee members since that time. Usually, you will find Dottie at the Registration Table or playing HI Lo Jack. John is NECON’s Saugymeister and cooks the Saugys on Thursday and Saturday night.