Guests of Honor
Lucius Shepard's adventurous life could almost be one of his own dark, muscular stories. After roaming and working throughout the world and another decade of playing rock and roll in the Midwest, he came to serious writing in his thirties. He attended the Clarion Writers Workshop in 1980 and sold his first story the following year. His work defies all genre boundaries, blending dark fantasy, horror, noir and science fiction in an arresting prose infused with the heat of a jungle night or the chill of a New England island landscape. He takes us on a rough ride to the ends of the earth and the depths of the human heart, and what he reveals is not necessarily comforting.
In 1985 Shepard won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. In the twenty-one years since, no less than thirty of his stories have been finalists for major awards, including winners "R&R” (Nebula for novella, 1987), "Barnacle Bill the Spacer” (Hugo for novella, 1993), and "Over Yonder” (Theodore Sturgeon Award, 2003). He’s a three-time winner of the International Horror Guild Award for long fiction, an eight-time winner of the Locus Award, and a two-time winner of the World Fantasy Award for his collections The Jaguar Hunter and The Ends of the Earth. He is also a writer of nonfiction and poetry; he has been a regular contributor to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction as their movie reviewer, and won a Rhysling Award for long poem in 1988. Lucius Shepard's most recent novel, A Handbook of American Prayer, is a solidly mainstream tale of the cult of celebrity and the nature of faith.
Once upon a time, Lucius was local: he was a key program participant at Readercon 3 and only a move to the West Coast has prevented his return. We are delighted to renew his acquaintance and honor his remarkable body of work.
Karen Joy Fowler
Time travel may not yet be possible, but Karen Joy Fowler does the next best thing. Her imagination often takes us back to the past. Whether she takes us to the 19th century, the 1940s or our own times, her brilliant storytelling is infused with a high wit, sly observations, historical detail, and literary magic. Her characters are deliciously drawn and often scrupulously examined. Is it no wonder that her fiction, short or long, is much-acclaimed and much-loved?
A political science major and anti-war activist at U.C. Berkley in the late sixties and early seventies, Karen Joy Fowler completed graduate studies at U.C. Davis. On her thirtieth birthday she decided to write. Not only has she contributed her excellent writing to the field of imaginative literature but she, along with co-founder Pat Murphy, has made another significant contribution to the genre by establishing the James Tiptree, Jr. Award in 1991, "an annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender."
In 1987 Karen won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and published, in 1986, her first collection of short fiction, Artificial Things; a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award. She has written several critically-acclaimed novels including Sarah Canary, which won a Commonwealth Award, and the more recent New York Times bestseller, The Jane Austen Book Club. Her short fiction has been extensively published in anthologies and venues both in and out of the genre and her collection, Black Glass, won the 1999 World Fantasy Award. Karen has edited several anthologies and served as a consultant to the editors of The Norton Anthology of Science Fiction. As frequent instructor, Karen has taught writing at many workshops, including the Clarion and Clarion West workshops. Readercon looks forward to introducing and exploring the work and works of Karen Joy Fowler in July 2007.
Angela Carter is just now, years after her death, becoming recognized as a classic author. She is fast becoming one of the most studied authors in the US and the UK. A journalist, writer of fiction, and traveler, Carter is a literary original.
"For her, fiction was about asking questions. At a time when most British writers were entrenched in the drab realism that she rather disparagingly described as "the low mimetic," she was painting vivid pictures of fairy tale creatures and monsters in complex fusions of fantasy, gothic, science fiction and romance. While her peers anatomised adultery in Hampstead, she was taking her characters on wild journeys into castles and caves, across Siberian deserts and into enchanted kingdoms where nothing was what it seemed. Richly playful, these dense, glittering fictions drew on ideas ranging from Melville to the Marquis de Sade, Barthes to de Beauvoir and feminist theory to Freud, but with the emphasis firmly on the seductive power of the storyteller."
— The Independent, 1/18/2006
Angela Carter has inspired such authors as Salaman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood and Ali Smith, and many authors within our own ranks. Come celebrate with us her life and work.
115 confirmed guests as of July 2, 2007.
Click on the book icon to see the guest's bio-bibliography. Asterisk (*) indicates former Guest of Honor.