Minicon 50 is over. These pages remain as a historical reference. Please see the main Minicon page for information about the current Minicon.

Guests of Honor

We have an amazing lineup of guests for Minicon 50

Jane Yolen - Author

Jane Yolen headshot Jane Yolen has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century. She is the author of more than two hundred books for children and young adults and twenty-five for adults, as well as poetry, criticism, and books on the art of writing and the genre of fantasy. She is particularly well known for the Pit Dragon series of young adult fantasy novels and her Commander Toad series for beginning readers. Yolen's books have received numerous awards: Owl Moon won the Caldecott Medal, while The Emperor and the Kite was named a Caldecott honor book. She also received Lewis Carroll Shelf Awards for The Emperor and the Kite and The Girl Who Loved the Wind and a Golden Kite Award for The Girl Who Cried Flowers and Other Tales. She has also edited and compiled a number of works for both younger and older readers and has contributed to several collections and anthologies.

A folksinger and storyteller, Yolen has created works that reflect her love of music and oral folklore, including compilations of international songs, rhymes, and stories. Several of her books are autobiographical or incorporate elements from her life or the lives of her family, and her three Children all contribute to her works. "I consider myself a poet and a storyteller," she once reflected. "I just want to go on writing and discovering my stories for the rest of my life because I know that in my tales I make public what is private, transforming my own joy and sadness into tales for the people."

Having also been the Minicon 25 GoH, Jane is one of four former guests returning to that role for our anniversary. For more on Jane, check out

Larry Niven - Author

Larry Niven headshot Larry Niven is an American novelist who is a Robert A. Heinlein, Nebula and multiple Hugo Award winner. Much of the science fiction that Mr. Niven has written over his 50+ year career as an author has had an emphasis on hard science.

Of his hundreds of published works, Mr. Niven is perhaps best known for his 1970 novel Ringworld, which won numerous awards and spawned multiple sequels and prequels as well as a tabletop role playing game. His other award-winning novels include The Borderland of Sol and The Integral Trees. Mr. Niven has penned numerous award-winning short stories as well: "Neutron Star," "The Jigsaw Man," "All the Myriad Ways," "Not Long Before the End," "Inconstant Moon," "The Hole Man," and "The Return of William Proxmire." He also writes in collaboration with others, giving us books like The Mote in God's Eye (with Jerry Pournelle) and Dream Park (with Steven Barnes).

Larry will be our guest of honor for the third time, returning after being pro guest of honor at Minicons 7 and 19. For more information on Larry and his works, visit

Brandon Sanderson - Author

Brandon Sanderson headshot "Dreadful" — What was Brandon's own criticism of his first effort at writing a book in his teens. He had then recently discovered science fiction and fantasy novels, devouring them voraciously. His enthusiasm led him to try to create his own fantastic worlds outside his life in his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, but his imagination outran his skills and he settled for readership for a while.

However, during his tenure at Brigham Young University, the writing bug returned and he was diverted from the chemistry program to a BA in English in 2000, followed by a master's in creative writing in 2005. Brandon lives in Provo, Utah with his wife and son and frequently returns to BYU to teach creative writing classes and seminars.

After college, it did take 13(!) more efforts at novel-writing before finally selling a book, but his wordsmithing has definitely caught up with his muse! Best known for his hugely popular Mistborn series, he was tapped to finish the prestigious Wheel of Time series for the late Robert Jordan. A 6-time New York Times Hardcover Fiction Best-Seller List author, he has received numerous nominations and awards from many prestigious fantasy and fiction bodies, including the 2013 Hugo for best novella for The Emperor's Soul.

Brandon should be familiar to many Miniconers, having been our guest of honor also at Minicon 45. You can learn more about him at

Tom Doherty - Publisher

Tom Doherty headshot As the publisher of Tor (science fiction/fantasy), Forge (other great fiction and nonfiction), Orb (reprints of classics), Starscape (middle grade SFF) and Tor Teen (young adult SFF) titles, Tom Doherty has always been on the cutting edge of speculative fiction publishing. He's a genre publisher who offers eBook titles DRM-free, has created imprints for middle grade readers and young adults, and pays homage to genre classics by bringing them back into print. Locus Magazine, the professional journal for science fiction and fantasy authors, has awarded him Best Publisher 21 times. Mr. Doherty does not take the credit for all of Tor's success, however. "It's the sum of the talent of the people who work here… Publishing doesn't need plants and equipment the way you do in some other industries. You need the right people."

Tom returns to us after having been our publisher guest of honor at Minicon 29. Check out Tor's blog at to discover more about the state of the genre as well as Tor's authors.

Michael Whelan - Artist

Michael Whelan headshot Michael Whelan is one of the finest and most important science fiction and fantasy artists, and the only living artist inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. For over 30 years, his art has been on the covers of countless books and record albums, and his style is credited as the driving force that moved popular science fiction and fantasy art toward realism after the surrealist period of the 1950s and 1960s.

Among his many well-deserved accolades are fifteen Hugo Awards, three World Fantasy Awards, twelve Chesley Awards, and a Spectrum Lifetime Achievement Award. Few other science fiction and fantasy artists have been as prolific or influential.

Many authors have praised his dedication to capturing the essence of the characters and stories. His hyper-realist style incorporates bold primary colors, contrasting gradients and fractal patterns. He weaves foreground and background into dramatic and dynamic compositions that convey vast amounts of space while maintaining startling clarity and detail in their subjects.

His work is the face of many popular and well-loved books including Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive series, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight series, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, Michael Moorcock’s Elric books, and many others.

Adam Stemple - Musician

Adam Stemple headshot Long-time Minnesotan Adam Stemple is a modern Renaissance man, arguably best known to Minicon alums as a musician and author.

As a musician, he has been a producer, songwriter and solo performer, along with work in well-known Minneapolis bands Cats Laughing, Boiled in Lead, and The Tim Malloys. As an author, Mr. Stemple has published novels, poems, short and mid-length fiction. His novels include Singer of Souls, Steward of Song, and several collaborative works with his mother, Jane Yolen.

When Adam is not busy with writing and music, he is expanding his horizons with drawing, photography, and web design.