We are thrilled to welcome the following amazing dais of Guests for Necon 40!
Please read below to learn more about our Writer Guests of Honor, Artist Guest of Honor, Toastmaster, and Necon Legend!

Tananarive Due (tah-nah-nah-REEVE doo) is an award-winning author who teaches Black Horror and Afrofuturism at UCLA. She is an executive producer on Shudder’s groundbreaking documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror. A leading voice in black speculative fiction for more than 20 years, Due has won an American Book Award, an NAACP Image Award, and a British Fantasy Award, and her writing has been included in best-of-the-year anthologies. Her books include Ghost Summer: Stories, My Soul to Keep, and The Good House. She and her late mother, civil rights activist Patricia Stephens Due, co-authored Freedom in the Family: a Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights. She is married to author Steven Barnes, with whom she collaborates on screenplays. They live with their son, Jason, and two cats. 

Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, four novels, The EcstaticBig MachineThe Devil in Silver, and The Changeling and two novellas, Lucretia and the Kroons and The Ballad of Black Tom. He is also the creator and writer of a comic book Victor LaValle’s DESTROYER.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Whiting Writers’ Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Shirley Jackson Award, an American Book Award, and the key to Southeast Queens.

He was raised in Queens, New York. He now lives in Washington Heights with his wife and kids. He teaches at Columbia University.

He can be kind of hard to reach, but he still loves you.

Bracken MacLeod has worked as a martial arts teacher, a university philosophy instructor, for a children’s non-profit, and as a trial attorney. In addition to Mountain Home, he is the author of the novels, Stranded and Come to Dust. His short fiction has appeared in several magazines and anthologies including LampLight, ThugLit, and Splatterpunk and has been collected in 13 Views of the Suicide Woods by ChiZine Publications, which the New York Times Book Review called, “Superb.” He lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts, with his wife and son, where he is at work on his next novel.

Leila del Duca is a comic book artist and writer living in Portland, Oregon. She draws Sleepless, Shutter and wrote Afar at Image Comics. Leila has also drawn The Wicked + The Divine, Scarlet Witch, American Vampire, and The Pantheon Project. In 2015 and 2016, Leila was nominated for the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award for her work on Shutter

Leila is part of a comic artist collective in downtown Portland, called Helioscope, where she spends most of her work week. During her spare time, she loves to make food, read, dabble in music, and do craft projects, especially during the Portland rainy months. She also loves staring off into space and considers it her favorite past time.

An American country music singer-songwriter from Nacogdoches, Texas, Kasey Lansdale is also known for her work as an author, editor, actress, and producer, as well as host and founder of the East Texas Songwriter’s Workshop. Her full-length debut album titled Restless was released on August 20, 2013 on Blue Siren Records, co-produced by Mike Clute and Kasey Lansdale with executive producer John Carter Cash. Her music has been featured in various films, including Cold in July (starring award-winning actor Michael C. Hall) and Christmas with the Dead, where she made her first big screen debut portraying Ella. Her song, “Falling In and Out (of Love)” was heard in season one of Sundance TV’s Hap and Leonard (2016), and Lansdale makes a featured appearance in season two (2017). She was also seen as a featured performer on the popular Animal Planet show, Finding Bigfoot (2017). Her new single, “Good Girl,” is slated for a fall 2019 release.

Lansdale wrote her first story at the age of eight, which was published by Random House. “I was hooked on writing from that point forward,” she says. That same story has now been adapted by Walking Dead producer, George Nicotero, for the 2019 Shudder Channel remake of Creepshow. Lansdale’s first anthology, entitled Impossible Monsters, was released in July of 2013 with bestsellers such as Nail Gaiman and Charlaine Harris.

Lansdale also wrote the title track for the digital version of the novel Edge of Dark Water (Mulholland Publishing). She has published numerous short stories and novellas, including Dark Hill Run from Titan Books, Blind Love from Harper Collins, and others. Lansdale also narrates audiobooks, most notably her work on Wild Cards, Aces Abroad (2016) from George R.R. Martin and Fender Lizards from SkyBoat Media (2017). She was also a recurring character on Stan Lee’s animated series, The Reflection. Lansdale has just completed work on the new novel from Fangoria’s Preston Fassel, alongside Barbara Crampton, and is slated to voice the new novel from Lansdale’s own father, award-winning author, Joe R. Lansdale; Jane Goes North.

Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale has written novels and stories in many genres, including Western, horror, science fiction, mystery, and suspense. He has also written for comics as well as Batman: The Animated Series. As of 2018, he has written 45 novels and published 30 short-story collections along with many chapbooks and comic-book adaptations. His stories have won ten Bram Stoker Awards. a British Fantasy Award, an Edgar Award, a World Horror Convention Grand Master Award, a Sugarprize, a Grinzane Cavour Prize for Literature, a Spur Award, and a Raymond Chandler Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been inducted into The Texas Literary Hall of Fame, and several of his novels have been adapted to film. 

Frequent features of Lansdale’s writing are usually deeply ironic, strange or absurd situations or characters, such as Elvis Presley and John F. Kennedy battling a soul-sucking Egyptian mummy in a nursing home (the plot of his Bram Stoker Award-nominated novella, Bubba Ho-Tep, which was made into a movie by Don Coscarelli). He is the winner of the British Fantasy Award, the American Horror Award, the Edgar Award, and ten Bram Stoker Awards. 

His Hap and Leonard series of ten novels, four novellas, and three short-story collections feature two friends, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, who live in the fictional town of Laborde, in East Texas, and find themselves solving a variety of often unpleasant crimes. The characters themselves are an unlikely pairing; Hap is a white, working-class laborer in his mid-forties who once protested against the war in Vietnam and spent time in federal prison rather than be drafted; Leonard is a gay, black Vietnam vet. Both of them are accomplished fighters, and the stories (told from Hap’s narrative point of view) feature a great deal of violence, profanity, and sex. Lansdale paints a picture of East Texas which is essentially “good” but blighted by racism, ignorance, urban and rural deprivation, and government corruption. Some of the subject matter is extremely dark, and includes scenes of brutal violence. These novels are also characterized by sharp humor and “wisecracking” dialogue. These books have been adapted into a TV series for the SundanceTV channel and a series of graphic novels began publication in 2017. Season 2 of the television series is based on the second Hap and Leonard novel, Mucho Mojo, and season 3, which premiered on 3/7/18, is based on the third novel, The Two-Bear Mambo. Much of Lansdale’s work has been issued and re-issued as limited editions by Subterranean Press and as trade paperbacks by Vintage Crime / Black Lizard Publications. His current new-release publisher is Mulholland Books. Lansdale also publishes with Dark Regions Press and Tachyon Publications, and with his daughter Kasey he has started a new publishing company called Pandi Press to control the re-issue and publishing of his older works.

Kathryn Anne Ptacek was born in Omaha, Nebraska, but was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She received her B. A. in Journalism, with a minor in history, from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, where she was graduated with distinction in 1974. While attending the university, she was a student of award-winning mystery writer Tony Hillerman and well-known YA writer Lois Duncan. Afterward, she worked briefly for a political party best left unnamed, was a telephone solicitor for the New Mexico Assn. of Retarded People, and spent two years as an advertising lay-out artist for a regional grocery warehouse co-op, and then worked for the University of New Mexico first as a secretary in the Dept. of Speech and Hearing, then for the University’s Computing Center as their only technical writer and editor.

After the sale of her first novel, an historical romance, in July 1979, she quit to become a full-time novelist. As Les Simons, Kathryn Atwood, Anne Mayfield, Kathleen Maxwell, Kathryn Ptacek, and Kathryn Grant, she has written an historical fantasy series, numerous historical romances, and five horror novels. Her dark fantasy have won the Silver Medal and Gold Medal awards given by the West Coast Review of Books. She has also edited three anthologies, the critically acclaimed Women of Darkness and its companion Women of Darkness II (both Tor), and Women of the West (Doubleday). Editions of her books have appeared in England, Japan, Norway, Sweden and Germany. Her short stories have appeared in Greystone Bay, Doom City (Greystone Bay II), Fantasy Tales, the Post Mortem anthology, Pulphouse 5, The Horror Show, Freak Show (HWA anthology), A Confederacy of Horrors, Into The Fog, The Ultimate Witch, and Phobias. She is a member of Horror Writers Association, Mystery Writers of America, the International Women Writers Guild, and the Police Writers Club. She also prepares a market report for Hellnotes, is the editor of the Horror Writers Association’s monthly newsletter, and publishes a market newsletter, The Gila Queen’s Guide to Markets, which goes to writers and artists around the world. 

On 1982, she married dark fantasy novelist Charles L. Grant, who died in 2006. She shares a 116-year-old Victorian clapboard house with five cats in Newton, New Jersey. Her hobbies include gardening, jewelry making, and various needlework. She also has a large collection of gila monster memorabilia, and collects unusual teapots and cat whiskers.