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Special Guests:

GoH | Golden GoH | Fan GoH | Toastmaster | Also Appearing

Guest of Honor

Photograph of Donald MeadDonald Mead

Donald Mead has published stories in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, one of which, A Thing Forbidden, was reprinted in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror anthology edited by Ellen Datlow. He is a first place winner in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future competition and a finalist for the International Aeon Award. His stories are routinely honorable mentions by Ellen Datlow in her best horror of the year selection process, and his work has been listed in Locus Magazine as recommended reading. Current projects include a novel manuscript which he is marketing to agents. The story, MIMIC, is a near-future thriller, and centers on presidential science adviser, Sanjar Alizadeh, and his discovery that humans have been living with a biological mimic for the entirety of our existence. Now, these mimics have greater ambitions than to live in the shadows.

More information:

On-line:

Albedo 1 featuring "A Falcon Sharp and Passing" by Donald Mead [read it here for free]

In Bookstores:

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Vol. 25 featuring "The Shadow Man" by Donald Mead [buy it now]

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction featuring "Spider Hill" by Donald Mead [buy it now]

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Golden Guest of Honor

Photo of Gene Wolfe; courtesy of Beth GwinnGene Wolfe

(Photo Credit: Beth Gwinn)

Ursula K. Leguin gave our Golden Guest of Honor, Gene Wolfe, the coolest jacket liner quote: "Wolfe is our Melville". He's inspired so many readers and writers, and even corresponded with J.R.R. Tolkien. The bibliography of his work goes on and on and on (you can read it here). He's won Nebula, Locus, Rhysling, BSFA, World Fantasy, August Derleth, and Campbell Awards, and his work has been nominated for eight Hugo Awards. He was the Guest of Honor at the 1985 Worldcon, won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1996, inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2007, and named SFWA Grand Master in 2012. He received the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master award at the 2013 Nebula Awards. And he'll be ChamBanaCon's Golden Guest of Honor for as long as the man wants to come to the con. We love his stories and his wicked sense of humor. Juanita Coulson shares this story about Gene that truly illustrates Gene's personality:

SHADOW OF THE WOLFE
by Juanita Coulson

Photo Credit: Juanita Coulson

Photo of Gene Wolfe shooting a pistol, courtesy of Juanita CoulsonErudite, whimsical, and unpredictable, in a charming and entertaining way. That's ChamBanaCon's GoH, Gene Wolfe. For those of us lucky enough to correspond with him, read his novels and short fiction, and enjoy personal contact, Gene's been a delightful surprise package par excellence. Y'never know where his extremely fertile imagination is going to take you next.

Maybe into a lesson on how to write fascinating tales. Maybe voicing a strong opinion on which of many movies portraying the Gunfight at the OK Corral is worth watching. Maybe to an eerie and mind-boggling road leading into a nearly forgotten corner of ancient history - which then becomes a springboard for a whole new way of looking at science fiction and fantasy.

Erudition? I've added more words to my vocabulary by reading and listening to Gene than I ever did as a result of any language class. Dip into his books with an O.E.D. or some other really good dictionary to hand. The exercise is good for your brain; it'll enlarge your neurons.

Whimsical? He took us on a grand tour of beautiful downtown Barrington, IL, his home base, and showed us The Castle. Although NOT the Castle of the Otter. Ask him about that castle in Barrington, and about his book The Citadel of the Autarch, which somehow became transformed into a haven for furry clam eaters.

Unpredictable? Let me tell you a true story, children. Years ago, comes a phone call from Gene. After the opening pleasantries he inquired of his fellow gun crank if Buck owned a Luger. Always wanted to shoot one of those, he told us. Could he visit and shoot some holes in a target with that famous weapon? Why, sure, pardoner! Time and date were set, and in due course into our rural driveway rolled the Gunslinger from Barrington, ready and eager to test-fire the Luger. And providing his own target: a blue-light special K-Mart windbreaker. Puzzled but game, we tacked that garment to our backstop. The Luger fired just fine, but Gene wasn't happy with the size of the holes it made in the hapless coat. Did we have a bigger caliber available? You bet. The .357 made nice BIG holes, after which that windbreaker was most sincerely dead. Alas, eventually time came for the Barrington Marshal to saddle up and head home. I offered to detach the perforated corpse from the backstop, but he didn't want the thing. No need. He'd already taken a photo.

Whaaaa…? His explanation for a 400-mile round trip to massacre a cheap windbreaker? His editor wanted a jacket shot. Be careful what you ask for, when the request goes to Gene Wolfe.

So…get ready to be surprised, amused, and occasionally quite startled. This is NOT your ordinary kind of GoH. Have fun.

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Fan GoH

Sara Clark, and (in memorium) Earnest Clark

Sara and Earnest Clark have been familiar faces at Midwestern conventions and SCA events for decades. Music played an important part in most of the diverse communities of Earnest life, whether madrigal singing Photo of Earnest Clarkin the SCA, choral singing in choir, or filk singing at sf conventions. Earnest wrote brilliant songs for all venues, and sang them with quiet intensity while accompanying himself and others on the guitar and hammered dulcimer. Sara proved herself accomplished in Medieval. We were looking forward to spending more time with both of them this November. Sadly, Earnest died unexpectedly last winter, so this ChamBanaCon we'll join Sara to wake him appropriately with song and stories.

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Toastmaster

Photograph of Marty FabishMarty Fabish

Photo Credit: John Hall

There are so many sides of Marty Fabish, ChamBanaCon's Mistress of the Toast. There's Marty of the elegant voice. Her rendition of Mary O'Meara is THE most beautiful rendition...ever. She has quite the repertoire of songs, including her Pegasus nominated and oft-covered Po' Boys (which will change how you think about fairy tales.)

There's Marty of the elegant kimono. For some time now, Marty's been dressing people in beautiful and versatile vintage silk kimono and the Oriental accoutrement that completes the look (she'll be giving a kimono demonstration at the con)!

And there's also Marty of the Dorsai Irregulars. Donning her stylish black beret, she's worked with that fannish organization providing security, crowd-control, and emergency services in a calm, intelligent, gracious manner.

"Calm," "intelligent," "gracious"...all these words describe Marty. Also "witty," "charming," "personable," "frank," and "gorgeous." In other words, the perfect toastmistress.

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Also Appearing at ChamBanaCon

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