Guests of Honor

Author Catherynne M Valente, author and artist Janny Wurts, and artist Don Maitz.

Minicon 49's Guests of Honor

Author Guest of Honor: Catherynne M Valente

Catherynne (Cat) M. Valente is probably best known for Orphan's Tales, Palimpsest, Deathless, and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Winner of the James Tiptree Jr. Award, Lambda Award, Mythopoeic Award for Adults, Andre Norton Award for YA, Locus Award, Rhysling Award, Hugo Fancast Award for the Squeecast Podcast, and nominee in too many categories to enumerate in a blurb, she is well known in many media. Her dark fantasy novels are wonderfully thorny and, as Seanan McGuire said, the language is chewy.

In addition to writing fiction and poetry, she blogs, tweets, and recently took time for a reddit AMA. Beyond literary pursuits, she also sails, cooks, knits, plays RPGs, and plays the accordion ("poorly" in her words). If Cat could have a fantastical creature as a pet, she would have a Wyverary. "For it deserves remarking that if one is to obtain a monstrous companion, a Wyvern — or a Wyverary — is really a top-notch choice."

Fade to White, a Hugo-nominated novelette, and A Buyer's Guide to Maps of Antarctica, a World Fantasy-nominated short story, are both available for free on Clarkesworld. Fade to White is available in both text and audio formats.

For more on Cat, check out her website.

Artist Guest of Honor: Don Maitz

Over a thirty year career, Don Maitz has produced imaginative paintings that have amazed a worldwide audience. The iconic pirate character he created for Captain Morgan Spiced Rum is his most widely recognized work.

Most Maitz paintings present a story to viewers, who respond to the enticement and allure of the image. Use of design and color shape a mood, enhanced by details which combine to entertain the viewer, and engage them with the visual experience. Most works are painted with oil colors, in the painting techniques used by the old masters. Sometimes, experimentation and innovation give rise to unique applications of traditional media.

Past clients have included the National Geographic Society, Bantam Doubleday Dell, Random House Publishers, Harper Collins Publishers, Watson Guptill, Warner Books, Sony Online Entertainment, Penguin USA, Joseph Seagrams and Sons, TV Guide, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Brothers pictures. Maitz has twice won science fiction's Hugo award for best artist, a special Hugo for best artwork. He has received a Howard award, ten Chesley awards from his peers in the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA), an Inkpot award, a Silver Medal and certificates of merit from New York City's Society of Illustrators. Paintings have been exhibited at NASA's 25 Anniversary Show, in Cleveland OH, the Park Avenue Atrium, the Hayden Planetarium and the Society of Illustrators in New York City, NY, the New Britain Museum of American Art, CT, the Delaware Art Museum, DE, the Canton Art Museum, OH, the Florida International Museum and the South Florida Museum, FL.

For more on Don, check out his website.

Author and Artist Guest of Honor: Janny Wurts

Janny Wurts is the author of Initiate's Trial and To Ride Hell's Chasm and thirteen 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, Initiate's Trial, 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.

For more on Janny, check out her website.