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Author Guest of Honour
Elizabeth Hand grew up in Yonkers and Pound Ridge, New York, oldest of five children and twenty-four cousins in a close-knit family, Irish Catholic New Yorkers on her father's side, Texans and Oklahomans on her mother's. She decided to become a writer in 1962, when she was five years old, after seeing The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, where the dying Wilhelm Grimm (Laurence Harvey) is saved by the magical intervention of the fairytale characters he had written about. A few years later, a babysitter gave her a copy of an obscure book called The Hobbit, and she realized that was exactly the sort of book she wanted to write. In high school she wrote, co-directed, and acted in a series of plays for a young people's troupe called The Hamlet Players, and in 1975 moved to Washington, D.C., where she joined the B.F.A. playwriting program at Catholic University.
That same year, she saw Patti Smith perform for the first time at a small club, and became increasingly immersed in the nascent D.C. and NYC punk scenes. In 1978 she went to work at the newly-opened National Air & Space Museum, where she remained (with a brief hiatus) until 1986. Two years later, she moved to the coast of Maine, where her children, Callie and Tristan, were born, and in 1990 bought a tiny lakefront cottage with no running water or indoor plumbing (it now has both, and is her office). She still lives on the coast of Maine, and spends a good deal of time visiting London.
Her first story, "Prince of Flowers," appeared in Twilight Zone Magazine in 1988. Her first novel, Winterlong, was published in 1990 to wide acclaim, followed by Aestival Tide (1992) and Icarus Descending (1993). In 1994 her urban fantasy Waking the Moon was published. This was followed by the apocalyptic near-future novel Glimmering (1997; a revised edition appeared in 2011); dark fantasy Black Light (1999); and Mortal Love (2004), a tale of sexual and creative obsession among Pre-Raphaelite painters and contemporary artists. Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol (2006), illustrated by Judith Clute, was followed by Generation Loss, her first thriller. Featuring punk photographer/provocateur Cass Neary, it received the inaugural Shirley Jackson Award for best work of psychological suspense. In 2007 "Illyria," a novella about doomed love set against the background of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," was published in a limited UK edition by PS Publishing, and in 2010 appeared in the US as a YA novel by Viking. Radiant Days, about the French poet Arthur Rimbaud, will be published in 2012, as will Available Dark, a sequel to Generation Loss set in Reykjavik. Her short fiction has been collected in Last Summer at Mars Hill, Bibliomancy, and Saffron & Brimstone. She has also had a long career as a reviewer and critic, writing since the mid-1980s for myriad journals, including the Washington Post, Village Voice, Salon, Reflex, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Science Fiction Age, Belles Lettres, the Detroit Metro Times, and Down East, among others. In 1997, a play adapted from her short story "The Have-Nots" was a finalist in London's Fringe Theater Festival, and went on to a successful run at the Battersea Arts Center.
Elizabeth Hand's fiction has received three World Fantasy Awards, two Nebula Awards, the James M. Tiptree Jr. and Mythopeoic Society Awards, two International Horror Guild Awards, and the Shirley Jackson Award, as well as an Individual Artist's Fellowship in literature from the Maine Arts Commission/NEA. She is presently at work on a third Cass Neary novel, Choke Shot.
Al Caiola's Golden Guitar rendition of "Theme from The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm" remains her favorite song.
Mercedes Lackey was born on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, IL, and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70s, she worked as an artist's model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts & Music, a small recording company specializing in science fiction folk music.
She was born in Butte, Montana, back in 1965. If you're good at math, you'll have
deduced that she's currently twenty-nine. In fact, she's been twenty-nine for a while and has no
intention of getting any older. Fiction authors don't obey the laws of space and time, they invent
them. Don't argue, or she'll make up a dragon right behind you...
Gary K. Wolfe
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