Programming Participants

Programming Participants

We have almost 60 panelists, presenters and workshop organizers providing fantastic programming for Pi-Con.

Ari AlpertAri Alpert Ari Alpert fell in love with sci-fi watching Creature Double Feature and reruns of Star Trek and Twilight Zone. He dragged his family to the Star Trek Lives convention as a child, and made Star Wars (A New Hope) a ritual on countless weekends. From as early as he can remember, Ari wanted to be a mad scientist or a DJ. After a brief radio career, he has been working in information technology for the past 20 years. Ari loves all things science with a special passion for health care technology.
Ken Altabef’s short stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Interzone, BuzzyMag, Abyss & Apex, and others. ALAANA’S WAY is his 5 book epic fantasy series with an arctic twist. His first short story collection Fortune’s Fantasy is also published by Cat’s Cradle Press. He co-edited two anthologies for Blueberry Lane Books. Author’s website:www.KenAltabef.com
Anne of Temporary Body Art by Anne has been a part of the henna world for the past twenty years and has recently branched out into glitter and mica temporary body art. She has a long history of doing workshops at libraries and a more recent history of working conventions, festivals, and Willimantic’s Third Thursday. Feel free to stop by the K2Steam booth and ask any questions you may have.
Ed Bishop is a full-time computer systems and software engineer and part-time researcher in theoretical and experimental particle physics participating in the CMS Experiment of the Large Hadron Collider project. During LHC down time, he has also done research and development in theoretical and experimental condensed matter physics for a private nanotechnology research consortium on nano-scale photonic components (for applications including light-based communications, conventional and quantum computers) and nano-scale plasmonic components (for applications including third-generation photovoltaic cells and nano-lasers). He is also co-editor of hometheaterinfo.com and has written or edited over 4,000 film, television and streaming media reviews which have been syndicated on sites including rottentomatoes.com and metacritic.com.
Jennifer BresnickBresnick-Jennifer-Head-Shot Jennifer Bresnick is the author of Dark the Night Descending and The Last Death of Tev Chrisini, winner of Shelf Unbound Magazine’s 2012 Best Independently Published Book Award. When she isn’t working on a novel, talking about self-publishing, or reporting on the healthcare industry for her day job, she can be found on the archery range, crocheting, or capitulating to the demands of her cat – but not all at the same time.Please visit www.jenniferbresnick.com for self-publishing news, writing advice, fantasy talk, and updates on Jennifer’s latest works.
Grant Carrington was a member of the 1968 and 1969 Clarion Workshops, and was a Tulane Workshop Associate Editor in 1971. He edited AMAZING/FANTASTIC magazine from 1971 to 1974, was the book & record review editor for NEW LOOK in 1976, a contributing editor to ETERNITY in 1978. He has published more than 40 stories. “His Hour Upon the Stage” was a Nebula finalist in 1976. Grant was a winner of the short story award at Sandhills Writers Conference in 1977 for “Andromeda Unchained”. Five of his plays have been produced in Baltimore. His collection Time’s Fool (Doubleday 1981) was republished as Time’s Fool and Other Stories. Another short story collection, Annapolis to Andromeda will be published by Brief Candle Press. His two CDs, Songs Without Wisdom and Ancient Laughter, are available from CDBaby. grantcarrington.freeyellow.com
Hugh Casey
D.L. CarterDL Carter D.L. Carter (Dee Leana) was decanted from her incubation pod in the outback of Australia many decades ago. This terrifying event was closely followed by shrieks of “there, there it goes. Hit it with a brick!”These valiant attempts to correct the existence of D.L. were, unfortunately, unsuccessful and she now resides in New Jersey, US., in a box with her toys, two human beings and a variable number of cats.
Nick CheckerNick Checker Nicholas Checker‘s Druids is a magical tale of an isolated young druid and two rival knights trying to rescue their ruined land from a deranged sorcery. Where my novel is a rousing adventure boasting of swordplay, magic, and heroes battling dark forces, it also makes its share of meaningful statements, including the role of women in male-dominated climates. It also introduces an original eerie concept in the Cryptic Sense and an elemental horror not seen before in fantasy novels.
Debi Chowdhury is a Writer, Storyteller, Costumer, program and event planner, an avid gardener and traveler.
Vikki Ciaffone is a senior editor for Spencer Hill Press and Spence City, and a freelance editor. She has been reading and writing since she was tall enough to see over the coffee table. She is personally responsible for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (she apologizes, but the populace was obsessed with Pictionary, which Vikki abhors). She then turned her attention to Troy, and engineered its downfall in her quest to burn out the Pictionary Plague. She claims no responsibility for Pompeii or the Fall of Rome, though she might possibly have had something to do with the sun setting on the British Empire. In her spare time, Vikki has been known to shoot craps with the Fates and the Valkyries for shiny trinkets.
George W. Claxton has graduate degrees in anthropology and archaeology and has done field work in archaeology in both the Old World and the New. He has worked as a science reporter for the Detroit Free Press and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and as a legal affairs reporter for the Newspapers of New England chain and (on one occasion) the New York Times. He currently works for the Department of Homeland Security.
Tina Connell has been reading SF for over 55 years, and has been active in SF fandom for 35 years. She and her husband collect SF books and art, and costume as a hobby. She is usually found backstage, presiding over the Masquerade Green Room Repair Table. Her costumes have appeared at several regional and CostumeCons, and in two winning WorldCon masquerade groups, at TorCon and LA Con 4. Now that she has retired she is looking forward to having more time to work on costumes.
Susan Hanniford CrowleySusan Hanniford Crowley Susan Hanniford Crowley is an Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance and writes science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal romance, specializing in vampires and rare supernaturals. Susan is a member of an active (professional) member of SFWA, a PAN member of RWA, and an Associate Editor with Space and Time magazine. Susan’s fantasy work appeared in Sword & Sorceress anthologies. Her science fiction “She Came to Sing” appeared in Beyond Centauri magazine. Susan founded the Nights of Passion blog and authored the Vampires in Manhattan series including The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais. Mrs. Bright’s Tea Room is her steampunk romance. Soul Mate Publishing published Vampire King of New York, which is available in ebook and print at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo and other fine ebook stores. Vampire King of New York is the first book in Susan’s new series Arnhem Knights of New York.Her website: http://www.susanhannifordcrowley.com
Her twitter name: SHCrowley.
Her Facebook name: Susan Hanniford Crowley.
Her blog: http://nightsofpassion.wordpress.com
Bianca D’Arc Bianca D’Arc is a former chemist, lawyer and librarian who has been published since 2006. She writes mostly sci fi, fantasy and paranormal romance and has won two EPPIE Awards, has twice been nominated for a prestigious RT Magazine Award, and had her first werewolf book, Lords of the Were, voted the Favourite Erotic Romance eBook of 2008 in all of Australia. A hybrid author, she has been published traditionally, by small press, and indie.
Heather Dawn is the Vice Chair of LI-CON, a young convention that will be held August 14-16 on Long Island. She studied Anthropology under Dr. John Shea, Dr. Elizabeth Stone, and Dr. David Hicks at Stony Brook University; minored in Art History and Medieval Studies. Her studies focused on world religions (past and present) and ancient arts & culture. Heather moonlights as the vigilante personification of Voltaire’s Candy Claws, spreading candy and cheer to good little boys and girls. She enjoys teaching and sharing her infinite (and often bizarre) knowledge. Heather doesn’t believe in “growing up”, but if she does she would like to be a magical Liopleurodon.
Susan de Guardiola has been active in fandom for more than thirty years as a costumer, masquerade emcee, and all-around fan. She has worked as a book reviewer for Publisher’s Weekly and the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest and ran the Hugo Awards Ceremony in 2012. Professionally, she is a social dance historian who may often be found in musty library stacks researching dance from the 16th to the early 20th century, which she teaches at workshops and dance events across the United States and in Russia. In her spare time, she plays high-speed online Scrabble.
Mario Di GiacomoMario Di Giacomo Mario Di Giacomo is a voracious reader, perspiring writer, and a master of ‘rithmetic (according to his postgraduate degree, anyway). An amateur historian of science fiction, fantasy, and anime, Mario has been waxing pedantic about the topic at conventions for the last quarter-century.
East Coast Combative Arts (Frank Perrin, Carlo Lombardo, Steven Randolph) East Coast Combative Arts is a group that focuses in Fight Choreography and the education on Historical Martial Arts throughout history. The group and its members are available for consulting, workshops, school programs, and fight choreography for stage and screen. http://www.eastcoastcombativearts.com
Lisa Evans is a long-time fan, writer and quilt historian from Western Massachusetts. She’s been a panelist at Worldcon, Arisia, Boskone and ConBust, co-founded the Smith College Science Fiction and Fantasy Society, and has been an active blogger, fan writer and costumer for over thirty years. Current projects include writing a popular weekly diary on terrible books for Daily Kos, publishing erotica for Circlet Press under the name Sarah Ellis, and doing her best to keep the raccoons in the attic from invading her luxurious split-level ranch.
Keith Fiermonte is the director of the webseries Wardens: Dark Conspiracy, an Indie filmmaker and fantasy enthusiast. Follow him at Facebook.com/wardensdarkcon
Carl Finkpi-con-logo Carl Fink is the Chair of LI-CON, a young convention that will be held August 14-16 on Long Island. Taking Heinlein’s comment about specialization to heart, he has in his life worked on a loading dock, managed a store, been a schoolteacher, worked as a technical trainer, managed corporate Information Technology, and is an occasional freelance writer, appearing in Smart Computing and Linux Journal. A member of the James Randi Foundation and the Skeptics Society, Carl is particularly likely to challenge pseudoscience and superstition. He lives and works on Long Island, New York.
Terry Franklin A panelist at the first Pi Con, and at every one since, Terry Franklin lives in the Connecticut River Valley, and has written science fiction and science journalism for years. He has also been known to dabble in politics, from the local Town Meeting in Amherst, Mass, to presidential campaigns.
William FreedmanWilliam Freedman William Freedman is a New York-based satirist who uses science fiction and fantasy tropes. He is author of Mighty Mighty and Land that I Love and co-author with Ben Parris of the novelization of Supernaturalz, a film in which Bill received script consultant credit. He served as editor for Age of Certainty: What if God Existed? featuring stories by 10 notable authors including Nebula Award laureate James Morrow. His novelette “Forever and Ever, Amen” appeared in the 2006 Spirit House chapbook which raised money for tsunami survivors. His recently completed draft, Pitch Ribbons: A Cantata for Four Voices, is currently being read for comments by established horror and dark fantasy authors and pitched to agents. Meanwhile, he has begun work on two other projects.

Bill has appeared as a panelist at Albacon, Arisia, Balticon, Capclave, I-Con and Lunacon. He holds degrees in journalism and international business and his non-fiction non-fiction bylines–covering everything from hot stocks for Investor’s Business Daily to the rise of distilled spirits for History magazine to Bram Stoker Awards weekend for Long Island’s Newsday–go back more than 20 years.
Llalania Ghose
Shuvom Ghose is a Libertarian sci-fi author from New Hampshire, who is trying to remind folks that military sci-fi can be FUN again with his Infinity Squad series. He also enjoys helping aspiring authors get over the hump and self-publish and loves hashing out plot beats, so you can ask him any questions about plotting, revising, editing or self-publishing any time you find him.
JGraykin Justine Graykin is a writer and free-lance philosopher sustained by her deep, abiding faith in Science and Humanity, and the belief that humor is the best anti-gravity device. She lives, writes and putters around her home in rural New Hampshire, occasionally disappearing into the White Mountains with a backpack. Author of Archimedes Nesselrode, a book written for adults who are weary of adult books (Double Dragon, 2013), her musings appear regularly in the Concord Monitor and on her website at justinegraykin.com. Her latest, SF novel Awake Chimera, is due for release in July 2015.
Walter H. Hunt is a science fiction and historical fiction writer. His first four military sf books, originally published by Tor and now in the Baen e-library, were set in the “Dark Wing” universe; his 2008 novel A Song In Stone concerns the mysteries of the Templars and Rosslyn Chapel; his 2014 novel Elements of Mind (edited by Guest of Awesome Vikki Ciaffone) is about mesmerism in the Victorian era; and his first novel in the world of 1632, 1636: The Cardinal Virtues has just been published by Baen. He is an active Freemason and baseball fan, and lives in Massachusetts with his wife and daughter.
Kate KaynakKate Kaynak Kate Kaynak was born and raised in New Jersey, but she managed to escape. After serving a five-year sentence in graduate school, she taught psychology around the world for University of Maryland. While in Izmir, Turkey, she started up a conversation with a handsome stranger in an airport…and ended up marrying him. They now live in New Hampshire with their three kids, where she founded Spencer Hill Press in 2010, co-founded Tulip Publishing in 2014, and wrote the Ganzfield series (Minder, Adversary, Legacy, Accused, Operative, and Soulmate). In her spare time, Kate enjoys reading, writing, and fighting crime with her amazing superpowers.
www.katekaynak.com
Catt Kingsgrave writes prose and verse from her home in upstate New York, which she shares with her partner and four cats. When not writing, she does all the other things which are artistic and unprofitable. Except she still does not make jam. http://cluegirl.dreamwidth.org
Ken Kingsgrave-Ernstein Corporate Superhero by day, mild mannered husband, boyfriend and photographer by night, Ken dabbles in many different areas of knowledge and trivia…especially trivia.
Jena Kitteninstrings has been costuming for 10+ years. She went to school for Opera and Vocal performance and fell in love with and refused to leave the costume department. She does all kinds of cosplay from Super Heroes, to Anime, to Historical Reenactment but has a soft spot for all things spandex. She’s been working with armor and foam crafting for about 5 years now and loves finding new things to deconstruct and making the guys at the hardware store wonder why someone would need such odd things. When she’s not crafting or at a con she can generally be found at home with her nose in a book or rolling around with her 7 year old.
David Larochelle is a researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society who works at the intersection of computer science and social science. He’s worked extensively in information security and is the co-author of Splint, an Open Source tool for detecting security vulnerabilities in C programs. However, more recently he’s focused on understanding and building the Internet rather than attacking and defending it. His involvement with fandom began when he joined the William & Mary Science Fiction and Fantasy Club (SKIFFY). He served as Vice President and was named Senator for Life upon gradation. http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/dlarochelle
Kayet Lavate has been running tabletop RPGs since “acquiring” his sister’s Dungeon Master’s Guide and Player’s Handbook in grade school. He runs and plays everything from classic swords and sorcery to post-apocalyptic nuclear peep wars. When not gaming or coding, he can usually be found hanging from his fingertips at the nearest cliff. Beer is a food group.
Gordon LinznerGordon Linzer Writer’s Workshop Presenter Gordon Linzner founded Space and Time magazine in 1966 and now functions as editor emeritus. He is the author of three published novels and over a score of short stories. He resides in his naive New York City. His freelance work includes copy-editing, tour guiding, sound engineering, and heading up the Saboteur Tiger blues band.
Michael McAfeeMichael McAfee Michael McAfee lives in the greater Boston area. He has been involved in many areas of fandom since 1990, and has been on panels about most of them. His poetry has been professionally published. He has run flirting workshops at cons and SCA events for over fifteen years. He is an actor, writer, director, producer, engineer and former managing director for the Post Meridian Radio Players (www.pmrp.org). Feel free to talk with him about future projects.
Gary McGath Gary McGath has been active in filk for a long time. He is the clerk of MASSFILC, has chaired three ConCertinos (including 2015), and is the author of Tomorrow’s Songs Today: The History of Filk Music. He has twice been nominated for Pegasus Awards and was named to the Filk Hall of Fame in 2004. URL: http://www.mcgath.com
Sarah “Tashari” Morrison is a fantasy artist and aspiring children’s illustrator. Her preferred mediums include oil paints, relief printmaking, and watercolors combined with colored pencils, which she uses to create imagery that inspires stories for the viewer. She also expresses her art in textiles with fantastical, unique ball gowns. She was a Guest of Honor at 8Pi-Con. You can see her work at http://tashari.org
Benjamin Newman is a filk guest at Pi-Con and a panelist. Ben has been active in filk for half his life, and has written nearly 200 songs on diverse topics ranging from books, movies and video games to computers and science to religion and mysticism. He also likes to craft in a variety of materials. http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/users/01/bnewman/songs/
Susan Peak is a nurse practitioner, counselor and teacher, and a lover of history and science fiction. She’s new but excited at the prospect of meeting other geeks. Life has been a serious affair for the most part. She is joyful at meeting folks who occasionally live in alternate universes as well as this one, and hopes to share something someone will enjoy.
Jennifer PellandJennifer Pelland Jennifer Pelland is an author-turned-bellydancer. A two-time Nebula nominee for her short fiction, Jennifer’s collection Unwelcome Bodies and novel Machine are both available from Apex Publications. Her most recent work has been published in Space and Time Magazine and the anthology Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up to No Good. But after discovering that moving her butt was more fun than sitting on it, she became a performing bellydancer, dancing at venues as varied as the Athenian Corner Restaurant, the Watch City Steampunk Festival, and Arisia. You can follow what’s left of her writing at www.jenniferpelland.com, and her dancing at www.tassellations.com/zia.
Jonathon Podolski is president of the Doctor Who Club of Western Massachusetts.
James Prego, NDJames Prego Dr. James Prego is a naturopathic doctor from Long Island, NY. Dr. Prego is a past recipient of the NYANP’s Physician of the Year award. He had a private medical practice for 9 years and is currently an adjunct professor of Biology at Touro College School of Health Sciences, and at Molloy College.Dr. Prego is a longtime fan of science fiction and enjoys discussing xenobiology, health in space, life extension, fusions of biology and technology, how natural ways of healing fit in a sci-fi/high-tech world, and many other topics both science related and non-science related.He is the New York Delegate to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, and spent 6 years as a board member of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Dr. Prego has given talks, written articles, and been a guest on radio and television shows, discussing naturopathic medicine, children’s health, detoxification, and other health-related topics.He also has interests in acting/shadowcasting, EMT volunteering, gaming, and more.
Jennifer Allis ProvostJennifer Provost Jennifer Allis Provost is a native New Englander who lives in a sprawling colonial along with her beautiful and precocious twins, a dog that thinks she’s a kangaroo, a parrot, a junkyard cat, and a wonderful husband who never forgets to buy ice cream. As a child, she read anything and everything she could get her hands on, including a set of encyclopedias, but fantasy was always her favorite. She spends her days drinking vast amounts of coffee, arguing with her computer, and avoiding any and all domestic behavior. Friend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennallis https://www.facebook.com/copperraven Follow her on Twitter: @parthalan http://jenniferallisprovost.com/ http://jenniferallisprovost.blogspot.com/
Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert writes speculative fiction from her little corner of Massachusetts. Her first collection of poetry was published November 2013, and her current WIP is a contemporary fantasy novel. She’s the Program Coordinator for a multi-faith wellness center, and is serving as a commissioner for the MetroWest (MA) Commission on the Status of Women. Suzanne is blessed with a tolerant husband, two mischievous black cats, and two amazing kids. She has degrees in Communication and Sociology, and is a lifelong scifi fan and science geek. Find her online:http://suzannereynoldsalpert.blogspot.com/
Roberta Rogowpi-con-logo Roberta Rogow writes and performs filk, and was inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame in 2013. She also writes historical mysteries, sometimes making up the history. Her latest novel, Mischief in Manatas, concerns the adventures of Halvar the Hireling in a re-imagined Manhattan (think Last of the Mohicans meets Arabian Nights, with a Spanish accent).
Carol Salemi costumes at the Master level and has been involved in most aspects of costuming from theatre to conventions for over 50 years. She has done everything from teaching, creating, and competing to judging and masquerade directing. Each competition costume usually involves some new, fun, or challenging technique that keeps it fresh. While best known for media recreations and Native American clothing, her most recent work can be seen on TLC’s My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding and last year’s Great Halloween Fright Fight on ABC. Carol enjoys working as a medical massage therapist (over 28 years), and works part time for Regal Cinemas and Sondra Celli Designs with seasonal jobs in the Haunt Industry. She also likes creating steampunk jewelry and accessories.
Micah Schneider was one of the founding staff members of Pi-con. He was co-chair for Transcending Boundaries 2014, a regional GLBTQ conference, and has been a member of the Arisia Programming staff for seven years, where he’s held every possible position at least once. In his free time, Micah enjoys running, highpointing, all kinds of gaming, and being polyamorous as often as possible. He lives in Western Massachusetts with his family of choice and a small coterie of animal companions.
Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s short fiction has been featured in countless magazines and anthologies; she’s also written Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole: Tales from Haunted Disney World, a collection of ghost stories, and a short novel, Bad Apple, the first chapter of which was nominated for a Pushcart. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, is the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies, and is co-editor for Read Short Fiction. When she’s not writing, she’s a Gallery Ambassador at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk in Connecticut. Visit her at www.kristipetersenschoonover.com.
Rebecca Schwartz
Ian Randall Strock is the owner and publisher of Gray Rabbit Publications/Fantastic Books (www.FantasticBooks.biz), a long-term editor in speculative fiction (his first job was on the editorial staffs of Analog and Asimov’s sf magazines). For a time, he published Artemis Magazine. As an author, he’s sold more than dozen stories to Analog (won two AnLabs) and a few to Nature. His non-fiction has appeared in newspapers nationwide, and Random House published his first book, The Presidential Book of Lists in 2008.
Jeff Warner
Morven Westfieldpi-con-logo Morven Westfield is a fiction writer, technical writer, and occasional podcaster who lives west of Boston. The author of a two-book series in which a coven of witches investigate supernatural evil in the form of vampires, she regularly contributes non-fiction articles on folklore and the supernatural to The Witches Almanac. Like many writers, she keeps a messy office and drinks way too much coffee. www.morvenwestfield.com
Michael Whitehouse1979574_10152223883511889_1762013363966881659_n Just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in again! Michael Whitehouse was one of the original founders of Pi-Con back in the back before times. After a half decade hiatus, during which he moved to Connecticut, got married, had a baby, and started a new game company, he has returned to reprise his role at Pi-Con chair.
Trisha J. Wooldridge is a past president of Broad Universe and a senior editor for Spencer Hill Press. Under her full name, she writes grown-up horror stories and poems that occasionally win awards. Look for her in the Bad-Ass Faerie anthologies, Epitaphs, Wicked Seasons, Corrupts Absolutely?, Holiday Magick, Once Upon An Apocalypse Volume 1, and Demonic Visions 5. She co-produced the anthologies UnCONventional and Doorways to Extra Time. As child-friendly T.J. Wooldridge, she has three novels: The Kelpie, The Earl’s Childe, and Silent Starsong. Trish is also the writer for the vampire webcomic Aurelio. Find out more at www.anovelfriend.com.