Guests of Honor

We have some very special guests this year. Check out our lineup:

Lois McMaster Bujold

Lois McMaster Bujold was born in 1949, the daughter of an engineering professor at Ohio State University, from whom she picked up her early interest in science fiction. She now lives in Minneapolis, and has two grown children. She began writing with the aim of professional publication in 1982. She wrote three novels in three years; in October of 1985, all three sold to Baen Books, launching her career. Bujold went on to write many other books for Baen, mostly featuring her popular character Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, his family, friends, and enemies. Her books have been translated into twenty-one languages. Her fantasy from HarperCollins includes the award-winning Chalion series and the Sharing Knife series.

Her latest book in the Vorkosigan saga series, Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (2012), made the New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list; the prior novel, CryoBurn (2010) was a Hugo Award nominee.

Christina and John O'Halloran

Chris O'Halloran has been a part of fandom since 1984 and began working masquerades in 1994. She's a costumer, specializing in theatrical costuming, and an avid filk listener. Favorite authors include Lois McMaster Bujold, Anne McCaffrey, Seanan McGuire, Connie Willis, J.K. Rowling and Spider Robinson. Media interests include Doctor Who, Firefly, Star Wars and the Whedonverse. Her interests outside of fandom include playing Taiko drums, tie dyeing and herding her 5 cats.

John has been reading Science Fiction and Fantasy as long as he can remember and has been attending conventions since 1978. He has volunteered at many conventions, but now works only the masquerade, does panels, and takes lots of pictures. John has been in the computer industry for over 20 years, working on email, anti-spam & anti-virus systems. Much to his surprise he is now a costumer as well. And he plays big Taiko drums.

Cliff Nielsen

Cliff is best known as a fantasy, science fiction artist, a book illustrator and graphic novel artist. He has drawn for Marvel Comics, done cover art for Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, and illustrated numerous children's fantasy stories including one edition of Chronicles of Narnia! (Oh, and ask him about Beloved!) You can see his work at

Veronica Belmont

Veronica is a technology and gaming-centric video host based out of San Francisco. Currently her projects include Tekzilla (a weekly tech help and how-to show on, and The Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast and community, co-hosted with Tom Merritt. She has also written for Slate, DoubleX, MaximumPC and PC Gamer, and was the original host of Qore on the PlayStation Network.

Veronica initially made her mark as a producer and on-air talent for CNET Networks (now CBS Interactive). She worked on such shows as Buzz Out Loud, MP3 Insider, Crave, and Prizefight. In 2007 she left CNET to host the eclectic video show Mahalo Daily, which was named one of the top new podcasts in 2008 on iTunes.

An avid gamer and social-networking fanatic (with over 1 million Twitter followers), Veronica often speaks about her interests at conferences and panels. She has also been the emcee at events for companies such as gdgt, Boxee, MacHeist and RiffTrax, and advises for companies such as, gdgt, Goodreads, Soundtracking, WeGame, and others.

She lives with one entrepreneur and two cats (and too many gadgets). Veronica graduated from Emerson College, B.A. in Audio/Radio, focus in New Media studies. For more information, see her website at

S.J. Tucker

"Without our songs and stories, we are nothing." This one phrase tells you what you need to know about SJ Tucker. Multi-instrumentalist, road warrior, front woman, songwriter and rallying point; yes, she is all of these things. More than most, though, more than anything, she is a storyteller. She is the voice of lore at the campfire and the sharp laughter of modern myth, a vanguard of the Mythpunk movement with a gypsy Celtic folk rock sound that cannot be ignored. With one hand on her art and the other held out to you, she is songs and stories, community and wit.

A fascinating hybrid of geography and experience, SJ Tucker is a constant musical journeywoman born to the sticky, mean delta humidity of Dumas, Arkansas. In that same swirling, sweltering air, Tucker's musical education began at the age of 3 when her grandfather brought home an LP of The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour and dropped the needle on her Fisher-Price toy record player. These days she spends 90% of her year on the road, performing at festivals and house concerts with cellist Betsy Tinney, or with their shared project Tricky Pixie, or with the Heather Dale band, and has not stopped touring since 2004. A dynamic live performer known for her willingness to follow an evocative ballad with a tune about ninjas or pirates, Tucker is never in danger of taking herself too seriously.

Serious talent, however, is a mainstay, with guitar, bodhran (Irish frame drum), and djembe (African drum) regularly in her hands during live shows. She is silly on stage, but not manic; calm, human, and gracious, courting and cajoling audiences with her genuine love of music.

No matter the form it takes, music is communication for SJ Tucker. It is how she tells stories, how she shares lore and myth, how she interacts with the world. Her sincerity and biting, rare talent are couched in her desire to connect and communicate with those who are listening. Indeed, without her songs and stories, she is nothing. With them, she is herself.

When Sooj is off the road (a rare thing!) she lives on the site of a former summer camp - which just happens to be in the middle of an enchanted forest - with two cats and a very handsome wizard.

Betsy Tinney

Betsy Tinney is a Northwest cellist/songwriter who performs regularly with Tricky Pixie, S.J. Tucker, Vixy & Tony, and Heather Dale (among many others); she also performs solo, does session work, and teaches. She was the recipient of the 2012 Pegasus Award for Best Performer.  As a member of Tricky Pixie, Betsy was privileged to be a Special Guest at WorldCon 2011 in Reno, and has also been a musical guest-of-honor (either with Tricky Pixie or with SJ Tucker) at many other cons. Betsy's solo cello work has been called "captivating," "mesmerizing," and "a rich texture for the ear, reminiscent of fine dark chocolate and red wine." When not behind her cello, Betsy is a web designer/developer, homeschooling mom, and part-time pixie. Website: