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Chambanacon 48, Artwork by Ray Vantilberg
Logo by Ray Van Tilberg

Special Guests:

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

Guest of Honor

Eric Flint

Photograph of Chambanacon 48 Guest of Honor, Eric Flint Eric Flint’s writing career began in 1997 with the science fiction novel Mother of Demons. He collaborated with David Drake on the six-volume Belisarius series, as well as a novel The Tyrant. His alternate history novel 1632 was published in 2000, leading to a long-running series of novels and anthologies in print. He’s prolific, with almost sixty novels in print, along with many pieces of short fiction and dozens of anthologies which he’s edited. Flint graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1968, and later received a master’s degree in history from the same university. Despite those credentials, he spent the next quarter of a century working as an activist in the American trade union movement, a longshoreman, truck driver, auto worker, steel working, oil worker, meat-packer, glassblower and machinist. He’s lived at various time in California, Michigan, West Virginia, Alabama, Ohio and Illinois. He currently resides in northwest Indiana with his wife Lucille.

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Golden Guest of Honor

Gene Wolfe

(Photo Credit: Beth Gwinn)
Photo of Gene Wolfe; courtesy of 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 Golden 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 GoHs

Clark Wierda and Margaret Bumby

Photo of Chambanacon 48 Fan Guests Clark Wierda and Margaret BumbyBoth Margaret and Clark have been reading SF&F for as long as they can remember. Both of them joined organized fandom in the early 80’s. Margaret attended her first ChamBanaCon in 1987. A couple of years later, she chose to attend her third Chambanacon in lieu of her 10-year high school reunion. Clark found ChamBanaCon a few years after Margaret, in the early 90’s. Both of them have been friendly and familiar faces at this convention for decades.

They found each other in 1993. In ’95, they had their first adventure which started the talk of "in a Clark and Margaret sort of way". In ’96, Clark moved to Michigan to be with Margaret. The couple married later that year.

In Mundane life, Margaret works as a computer programmer (although at one of her jobs, if she had ever gotten a business card, would have read "Code Witch"). Clark works in computer security. Somehow, between the two jobs, they have managed to live such that the commute time is roughly the same (although the distance is not).

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Toastmaster

Tom Trumpinski

Photograph of Chambanacon 47 ToastMaster Tom TrumpinskiTom Trumpinski is a retired scientist who was part of the team that found the Top Quark at Fermilab. He’s the originator of three possible solutions for the Fermi Paradox and has spoken about this at conventions and symposia across North America. A book of his political and social commentary, Riding the Hell-Bound Train, was published in 2008. The Closing-Time Girl set in the same place as much of his short-fiction — Iona, a college town where all of the Universes meet for a beer most Friday nights. Tom lives in the United States (East Central Illinois, actually).

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Also Appearing at ChamBanaCon

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