Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon (Website)
In the words of Mercedes Lackey: "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. 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.
Larry Dixon is a legendary artist and a fixture on the convention circuit. By his own reckoning he's been a guest of honour at 2006 conventions over the last 20 years. In addition to his world-famous artistry, Larry has also co-written several novels with his wife, Mercedes Lackey. His artwork can be found on countless book covers and in top role-playing games.
Ippongi Bang (Website)
"You've probably seen me somewhere, in Toei Video Cinema, on the big screen, TV, radio, motorcycles, costumeplay, my diary manga, my boy's manga, or maybe it was in an adult video? I'm sure it was somewhere, but hey, whether you know me or not, as one pal (one GAINAX pal? ) to another, here's to getting to know you!"
-- Ippongi Bang
Danny Oz (LJ)
There's this little bandy-legged fellow you might have seen capering loudly through Swancon once or twice or even twelve times. I could never be bothered going up and talking to him myself, he was always surrounded by lots of friends and besides, you could hear him from the other side of the room anyway. Eventually we started talking, as you do, and discovered we had a lot in common. Rather a lot. As it turned out, even genetics. So, let me introduce to you Swancon 31's fan guest, my long-lost cousin's brother's nephew-and-a-half sixteen-times-removed, Danny Oz.
Danny's had a lot of names in his life. You might know him as Heap, but I think I like Oz. It's a magical girt-by-sea world of rolling rivers and sun burnt plains, where brightly coloured carpet reincarnates as puppets dancing and singing down the red brick sand in search of the Lizard. Or something like that. This is the man who grew up as a drover, son of drovers, with a dingo half-breed dog and a good hand with meat knives. This is also the man who writes strange fantasy stories and scripts about time-and-space traveling alien adventurers (and gets paid for it!), and who sliced his hand open on the VCR. He's an odd mixture of ocker Aussie and one-foot-in-the-future fanboy, the kind of bloke who takes several generations worth of inherited bushman leatherworking skills and makes a Cenobite costume with it. He's gutsy, theatrical and full of laughter. He's also sensitive, compassionate, and likes talking to people. This is perhaps why he was such a successful Santa last Christmas. If you ask him, he'll show you the photos.
Danny thinks of himself as a Perth fan (2006 will be his 14th Swancon), and this city as his rightful home. He currently lives in Noble Park in Melbourne with his wife, the beautiful and talented IT-girl Sharon. She's probably the main reason he's still in mainstream society instead of being a wire-and-nails eccentric bush character living out in the middle of nowhere with no company except his dogs and a library of a couple thousand Doctor Who books and videos. I keep asking her if she wants to leave him for me, but she hasn't yet. I think she loves him.
Alethea Raspa: Librarian; Star Trek FanGirl, Fan-Mum.
Kjartan Arnorsson (pro cartoonist and animator)
Bruce Rowe ("Actor / Loud American Fan") (Put up with Ken at Philadelphia Worldcon.)
Ian Tregonning (Puppeteer)