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Mercedes Lackey
Special Guest
Mercedes Lackey 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.

"I'm a storyteller; that's what I see as 'my job.' My stories come out of my characters; how those characters would react to the given situation. Maybe that's why I get letters from readers as young as thirteen and as old as sixty-odd. One of the reasons I write song lyrics is because I see songs as a kind of 'story pill' -- they reduce a story to the barest essentials or encapsulate a particular crucial moment in time. I frequently will write a lyric when I am attempting to get to the heart of a crucial scene; I find that when I have done so, the scene has become absolutely clear in my mind, and I can write exactly what I wanted to say. Another reason is because of the kind of novels I am writing: that is, fantasy, set in an other-world semi-medieval atmosphere. Music is very important to medieval peoples; bards are the chief news bringers. When I write the 'folk music' of these peoples, I am enriching my whole world, whether I actually use the song in the text or not.

"I began writing out of boredom; I continue out of addiction. I can't 'not' write, and as a result I have no social life! I began writing fantasy because I love it, but I try to construct my fantasy worlds with all the care of a 'high-tech' science fiction writer. I apply the principle of TANSTAAFL ['There ain't no such thing as free lunch', credited to Robert Heinlein) to magic, for instance; in my worlds, magic is paid for, and the cost to the magician is frequently a high one. I try to keep my world as solid and real as possible; people deal with stubborn pumps, bugs in the porridge, and love-lives that refuse to become untangled, right along with invading armies and evil magicians. And I try to make all of my characters, even the 'evil magicians,' something more than flat stereotypes. Even evil magicians get up in the night and look for cookies, sometimes.

For more information, please visit Mercedes Lackey's Website or visit her entry at ISFDB.

Arrows of the Queen Beauty and the Werewolf

Gary K. Wolfe
Toastmaster Gary K. Wolfe
Gary K. Wolfe, Professor of Humanities and English at Roosevelt University and a contributing editor for Locus magazine, is the author of dozens of essays and more than 1200 reviews, as well as many critical studies. His Soundings: Reviews 1992-1996 (Beccon Publications, 2005) received the British Science Fiction Association Award for nonfiction, and was nominated for a Hugo Award.
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Elizabeth Hand
Author Guest of Honour Elizabeth Hand
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.
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Tanya Huff
Special Guest Special Guest
Tanya Huff moved to rural Ontario with her partner Fiona Patton and began writing science fiction and fantasy full-time—or as full-time as possible around the needs of nine cats and eighty acres of land. Her twenty-five books range from heroic fantasy (the Quarters books) through humour (the Keeper Chronicles) to military SF (the Torin Kerr Confederation series) and include Scholar of Decay a novel set in TSR's Ravenloft universe as well as four short story collections.
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