October 12-14, 2007
$35 until 10/1/07
$45 at the door
Guests of Honor
Literary GoH: Kim Harrison
Artist GoH: Don Maitz
Fan GoH: Richard Tucholka
Literary Guest Of Honor
Kim Harrison, dark urban fantasy author of the New York Times bestselling For A Few Demons More, was born and raised in the upper Midwest. After gaining her bachelors in the sciences, she moved to South Carolina, where she has remained since. She is currently developing a new young adult series between working on the Hollows books, and is a member of both the Romance Writers of America and The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. When not at her desk, she is most likely to be found chasing down good chocolate, exquisite sushi, or the ultimate dog chew.
The only girl in a large family of boys, former tomboy Kim Harrison invented the first Brigadier General Barbie in self-defense. She shoots a very bad game of pool and rolls a very good game of dice. When not at her keyboard, she enjoys lounging on the couch with a bowl of popcorn watching action movies with The-Guy-In-The-Leather-Jacket. She plays her Ashiko drum when no one is listening, and is hard to find when the moon is new.
Artist Guest of Honor
Don Maitz has produced outstanding work in exploring paths of fantastic realism. For twenty five years, he has produced narrative paintings containing fantasy, science fiction, and historical images. His works are internationally recognized and acclaimed.
Don Maitz has twice won science fiction's accolade for best artist, the Hugo Award. He has received a Howard Award from the World Fantasy Convention, a Silver Medal and Certificates of Merit from New York's Society of Illustrators, and ten Chesley awards from his peers in the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists. His paintings were included at NASA's 25th Anniversary presentation. He helped initiate the first ever museum showing of fantastic paintings at the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut where the public broke all previous attendance records.
His work has been shown at the Park Avenue Atrium, the Hayden Planetarium, and the Society of Illustrators - all located in New York City. His works were included in two large exhibits of fantastic art - at both the Delaware Art Museum and Canton Art Museum. These popular exhibits inspired a follow up show at each museum. The San Diego Maritime Museum, the Orlando History Center, and the Key West Custom House have enthusiastically displayed his pirate paintings in exhibitions pursuing that theme.
Don Maitz attended the Paier School of Art from 1971-75, where he graduated top of the class. Since, his work has enhanced various published formats including: book, magazine, cards, record album, compact disk, poster, limited edition print, puzzle, collector plate, and computer screen saver programs. Besides illustrating many book covers by authors such as Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, C. J. Cherryh, Raymond E. Feist, Allan Dean Foster, and Michael Moorcock, he illustrated a limited edition of the Stephen King novel, Desperation.
Don Maitz's work is featured in the art book Fantasy Art Masters. He has worked as a conceptual artist on an animated feature film, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, for DNA Productions. Don also worked as a conceptual artist and production designer (also for DNA Productions) on Ant Bully, a feature length animated film released in 2006.
Don Maitz lives in Florida with his wife, Janny Wurts, the noted fantasy novelist and artist who paints covers to the books she writes. They share a studio home with four cats and three horses.
Fan Guest of Honor
CEO of Tri-Tac Games and Publishing, Richard Tucholka was a founding member of Oakland County's Order of Leibowitz, now the Gaming Guild of Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Richard is not only the creator of Fringeworthy (the first RPG of interdimensional travel), he also is active socially. His latest idea being to send books and games to the members of the armed forces in Iraq, so that they have a nice escape from the daily grind.
Still a resident of Oakland County, 'Uncle Richard' has a staggering book, film and memorabilia collection, often hosts viewing panels and parties for various prized gems of SF cinematography, and always lends his valued assistance to fandom while tending the Tri-Tac storefront in the huckster's room at every SF/Fantasy/Gaming convention within driving distance.
Janny Wurts is the author of Traitor's Knot and To Ride Hell's Chasm and twelve other novels, a short story collection, as well as the internationally best selling Empire trilogy, co authored with Raymond E. Feist. Her most recent title in the Wars of Light and Shadow series, Traitor's Knot, culminates more than twenty years of carefully evolved ideas. The cover images on the books, both in the US and abroad, are her own paintings, depicting her vision of characters and setting.
Through her combined talents as a writer/illustrator, Janny has immersed herself in a lifelong ambition: to create a seamless interface between words and pictures that will lead reader and viewer into the imagination. Her lavish use of language invites the mind into a crafted realm of experience, with characters and events woven into a complex tapestry, and drawn with an intensity to inspire active fuel for thought. Her research includes a range of direct experience, lending her fantasy a gritty realism, and her scenes involving magic crafted with intricate continuity. A self-taught painter, she draws directly from the imagination, creating scenes in a representational style that blurs the edges between dream and reality. She makes few preliminary sketches, but envisions her characters and the scenes that contain them, then executes the final directly from the initial pencil drawing.
The seed idea for the Wars of Light and Shadow series occurred, when, in the course of researching tactic and weapons, she viewed a documentary film on the Battle of Culloden Moor. This was the first time she had encountered that historical context of that brutal event, with the embroidery of romance stripped from it. The experience gave rise to an awakening, which became anger, that so often, our education, literature and entertainment slant history in a manner that equates winners and losers with moral right and wrong, and the prevalent attitude, that killing wars can be seen as justifiable solutions when only one side of the picture is presented.
Her series takes the stance that there are two sides to every question, and follows two characters who are half brothers. One a bard trained as a master of magecraft, and the other a born ruler with a charismatic passion for justice, have become cursed to lifelong enmity. As one sibling raises a devoted mass following, the other tries desperately to stave off defeat through solitary discipline and cleverness. The conflict sweeps across an imaginary world, dividing land and people through an intricate play of politics and the inborn prejudices of polarized factions already set at odds. Readers are led on a journey that embraces both viewpoints. The story explores the ironies of morality which often confound our own human condition - that what appears right and just, by one side, becomes reprehensible when seen from the opposite angle. What is apparently good for the many, too often causes devastating suffering to the nonconformist minority. Through the interactions between the characters themselves, the reader is left to their own discretion to interpret the moral impact of events.
Says Janny of her work, "I chose to frame this story against a backdrop of fantasy because I could handle even the most sensitive issues with the gloves off - explore the myriad angles of our troubled times with the least risk of offending anyone's personal sensibilities. The result, I can hope, is an expanding journey of the spirit that explores the grand depths, and rises to the challenge of mapping the ethereal potential of an evolving planetary consciousness... explore free thought and compassionate understanding."
Beyond writing, Janny's award winning paintings have been showcased in exhibitions of imaginative artwork, among them a commemorative exhibition for NASA's 25th Anniversary; the Art of the Cosmos at Hayden Planetarium in New York; and two exhibits of fantasy art, at both the Delaware Art Museum, and Canton Art Museum.
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