Special Guest Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times Bestselling author and World Fantasy Award winner born in the Caribbean. He grew up in Grenada and spent time in the British and US Virgin Islands, which influence much of his work. His novels and almost one hundred stories have been translated into nineteen different languages. His work has been nominated for awards like the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and the Astounding Award for Best New Science Fiction Author. He currently lives in Bluffton, Ohio with his wife and two daughters. He can be found online at http://www.TobiasBuckell.com and is also an instructor at the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing program.
Artist Guest Priscilla Kim is an illustrator and concept artist with a focus on covers and portraiture. She bears a deep love of games and books, particularly of the sci-fi and fantasy stripe. Past clients include TOR.com, Paizo, Fantasy Flight, Uncanny Magazine, White Wolf, Onyx Path, XPRIZE, Green Ronin, Hi-Rez, and more. She’s also been featured in ImagineFX, the Society of Illustrators West, and Spectrum Fantastic Art 24 and 26.
Fan Guests Clif and Margaret Davis have been involved in Texas fandom for many years. They’ve worked on ApolloCon, ConSortium, and LoneStarCoon, and they’ve been active in the fan organizations Friends of Fandom, ALAMO, and FACT. Clif is a Ph.D. computer scientist who studies weather, and Margaret is a librarian. For years they’ve been the brains behind the website cam-info.net, which is an invaluable resource for SF/F fans and authors in the Southwest.
Featured Writer Catherynne M. Valente is the New York Times bestselling author of forty works of speculative fiction and poetry, including Space Opera, The Refrigerator Monologues, Palimpsest, the Orphan’s Tales series, Deathless, Radiance, and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Own Making (and the four books that followed it). She is the winner of the Andre Norton, Tiptree, Sturgeon, Prix Imaginales, Eugie Foster Memorial, Mythopoeic, Rhysling, Lambda, Locus, Romantic Times’ Critics Choice and Hugo awards. She has been a finalist for the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. She lives on an island off the coast of Maine with a small but growing menagerie of beasts, some of which are human.
Featured Writer Cadwell Turnbull‘s short fiction can be found in the pages of Asimov’s Science Fiction, Lightspeed, and Nightmare to name a few. His short story “Jump” was selected for the Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 and featured on LeVar Burton Reads. His debut novel The Lesson is set in his native U.S. Virgin Islands after an alien colonization. The novel has received some great press, including making best of 2019 lists for Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and included in Locus‘ 2019 Recommended Reading List for First Novel. Since its publication, The Lesson has been nominated for a SOVAS Award in fiction, an Audie Award in Science Fiction, and an AAMBC Literary Award. The novel has been shortlisted for the 2020 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and the 2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award for Debut Speculative Fiction, and longlisted for the 2020 Massachusetts Book Award. The Lesson has also been optioned by AMC for a television series.
Featured Writer Libia Brenda is an editor, writer and translator. She has been involved in many independent projects, most of which are about sci-fi, speculative, and fantastic literature (she considers herself very nerdy). She writes speculative fiction short stories and has been published in online and print magazines, as well as various anthologies. Her work has been translated from Spanish to English and Italian. She is one of the the co-founders of the Cúmulo de Tesla collective, a multidisciplinary working group that promotes the dialogue between the arts and sciences, with a special focus on science fiction. In 2018, she was part of The Mexicanx Initiative, an endeavour led by John Picacio. She became the first Mexican woman to be nominated for a Hugo Award, for the anthology A Larger Reality/Una realidad más amplia attached to a project about said initiative. After that, she was so excited that she edited a hybrid and bilingual sci-fi project: A Larger Reality 2.0, an anthology that is also a videogame (MUD style) and can be download and played, for free, here: http://alargerreality.mx/2019/
Salam Award Nominees
Maira Asaad writes speculative fiction, fantasy and poetry. Of late, when she is not writing her stories, she finds joy in illustrating them. Her stories “Rootless” and “Up on the Eggshell Bridge” received honorary mentions in the Salam Award of 2017 and 2018, respectively. She is currently completing her B.A. in English Literature from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). She is based in Lahore, Pakistan.
Born and raised in Pakistan, Laila Kasuri works as a water resources specialist, presently based in Vancouver. When she is not working, she enjoys writing about perspectives on life and travel. Her fiction writing is featured on Points in Case, LitUp, Friday Flash Fiction, and Mosaic Magazine and her non-fiction articles have appeared in multiple magazines from Harvard College Review of Environment, Water Policy Journal, among others. She is currently finishing her first science-fiction, adventure novel, Sanctuary: Return to Gedrosia, set in the Indus Unit (present day Pakistan) in the year 2390.
Zain R. Mian is a writer and translator originally from Lahore, Pakistan, currently based in Philadelphia, PA. His speculative fiction has been published in The Aleph Review and received an honourable mention for the Salam Award for Imaginative Fiction in 2017. He has also published fiction and essays with The Veg Literary Magazine, the Herald Pakistan, and Africa is a Country.
Akbar Shahzad is a writer, actor, and comedian based in Karachi, Pakistan. He writes fiction, essays, and light verse which, on occasion, he tries to make heavier by means of human feeling. Abiding concerns include: humans and animals; humans as animals; animals entirely separately from humans; how not to write detective stories; and the spectre of literary influence.
Usman T. Malik is a Pakistani-American writer and doctor. His short fiction has been reprinted in several Year’s Best anthologies including the Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy series and has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, the storySouth Million Writers Award, and twice for the Nebula Award. He has won the Bram Stoker Award as well as the British Fantasy Award. His debut collection Midnight Doorways: Fables from Pakistan is forthcoming from Kitab press in early 2021. Twitter: @usmantm and Website: www.usmanmalik.org