- Michael A. Burstein <http://www.mabfan.com>
Michael A. Burstein
was born in New York City in 1970, and grew up in the neighborhood of Forest Hills in the borough of Queens. He attended Hunter College High School in Manhattan. In 1991 he graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Physics, and in 1993 he earned a Master's in Physics from Boston University. In 1994 he attended the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer's Workshop.
Burstein's first published story, "TeleAbsence," which appeared in the July 1995 issue of Analog, was nominated for the Hugo Award and was chosen by the readers of Analog as the best short story published by the magazine in 1995. Two years later, Burstein won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer at the 1997 World Science Fiction Convention, LoneStarCon2. Burstein subsequently received Hugo nominations for "Broken Symmetry," "Cosmic Corkscrew," "Kaddish for the Last Survivor," (also a Nebula nominee) "Spaceships," "Paying It Forward," "Decisions, "Time Ablaze," "Seventy-Five Years," "TelePresence," and a Nebula and Sturgeon nomination for "Reality Check." His novella "Sanctuary" (Analog, September 2005) was chosen by the readers of Analog as the best novella published by the magazine in 2005. From 1998 to 2000, Burstein served as Secretary of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
Burstein lives with his wife Nomi in the town of Brookline, Massachusetts, where he is an elected Town Meeting Member and Library Trustee. He has worked as a Science teacher at all levels and currently edits Science textbooks for middle school and high school. He has given lectures and spoken at various science fiction conferences and libraries, and to groups at MIT and Harvard.
More information on Burstein and his work can be found on his webpage, http://www.mabfan.com, or via his electronic newsletter, MABFAN.
- Rodman Philbrick
"I believe that we have the ability to change our lives using our imaginations. Imagination is a muscle—the more you use it, the stronger it gets."
Rodman Philbrick grew up on the coast of New Hampshire and has been writing novels since the age of sixteen. For a number of years he published mystery and suspense novels for adults. Two of his Florida-based detective novels were nominated for the Shamus Award. Brothers & Sinners finally won the Shamus outright in 1993.
That same year Scholastic published his first book for young readers. Freak the Mighty was made into the feature film The Mighty, starring Sharon Stone. Since then, he has won numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious California Young Reader's Medal, the Arizona Young Reader's Award, the Washington D.C. 'Capital Choice' award and the New York State 'Charlotte' Award. Freak The Mighty has become a standard reading selection in thousands of classrooms worldwide, and has more than a million copies in print.
Philbrick's award-winning science fiction novel The Last Book in the Universe is read in many schools. His most recent novel for young readers, The Young Man And The Sea, draws upon his youthful experiences as a boat builder, and his vivid memories of growing up in a small town on the coast of New England. Working from a theme made famous by Ernest Hemingway, the story follows the thrilling boy-against-the-sea adventure of twelve-year-old Skiff Beaman, who risks his life to save his family by venturing far offshore in a small boat in search of the fabled giant bluefin tuna. It has been optioned by John Goldschmidt at Viva Films.
Other works for young readers by Rodman Philbrick include Max The Mighty, The Fire Pony, the fantasy novel REM World, and The Journal of Douglas Allen Deeds.
With Lynn Harnett, he wrote The Werewolf Chronicles trilogy, The Visitors science-fiction trilogy, and The House on Cherry Street horror trilogy.
Philbrick has also written the adult historical horror novel Coffins (Tor, 2002).
Under the name William R. Dantz, Philbrick published the science thrillers Pulse, The Seventh Sleeper, Hunger, and Nine Levels Down.
Writing for adult readers as Chris Jordan, Philbrick has three hardcover thrillers in the works for Mira Books. The first, Taken, will be Mira's lead title in July 2006. Publishers Weekly says that "Jordan's full-throttle style makes this an emotionally rewarding thriller that moves like lightning."
Philbrick has published numerous short stories in anthologies, including Tomorrowland, The Ultimate Dracula, and Dracula: Prince of Darkness.
Rod Philbrick and his wife, Lynn Harnett, divide their time between Maine and the Florida Keys.
- Michael A. Arnzen <http://www.gorelets.com>
Michael Arnzen has been publishing outrageous horror fiction, SF, poetry, literary criticism, instructional essays on writing, and offbeat humor since 1989. Across his career, Arnzen has won three Bram Stoker Awards, an International Horror Guild Award, and several "Year's Best Horror Story" accolades and reprints. His books include the novels Play Dead and Grave Markings. Particularly known for his flash fiction (the best of which is collected in 100 Jolts: Shockingly Short Stories) and twisted short poems (published in seven chapbooks, including the Stoker-winning collection Freakcidents), the book Horror Fiction: An Introduction deemed Arnzen "the master of minimalist horror." Always the experimentalist, his writing has appeared on Palm Pilots and postcards, short art films ("Exquisite Corpse") and creepy online animation. His latest novel, Play Dead, even inspired a set of custom-designed playing cards.
When he's not writing, Arnzen teaches suspense and horror writing fulltime in the Masters degree program in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University, near Pittsburgh, PA. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Oregon, where he studied "the uncanny" in popular culture, as well as an M.A. in English from the University of Idaho, where he wrote his second novel. Arnzen sits on the editorial board for two literary journals associated with genre fiction (Paradoxa and Dissections) and advises his college's literary magazine, Eye Contact.
Arnzen's most recent books are Licker (a comedic dark fantasy novelette) and Proverbs for Monsters (a full-length short story collection). Look for "Degrees of Dread"--his essay on horror, writer's workshops, and academia--in the recently published edition of On Writing Horror (ed. Mort Castle, Writer's Digest Books, November 2006).
- Elizabeth Hand <http://www.elizabethhand.com>
Writer and critic Elizabeth Hand is the author of eight novels, including Mortal Love and the forthcoming Generation Loss, and three story collections, Saffron & Brimstone: Strange Stories, Bibliomancy: Four Novellas (winner of the 2004 World Fantasy Award) and Last Summer at Mars Hill. Her fiction has received numerous awards, including an Individual Artist's Fellowship from the Maine Arts Commission/NEA. Her novella "The Least Trumps" was shortlisted in Best American Short Stories 2002. Since 1988, she has been a regular contributor to the Washington Post Book World, and her reviews and essays have appeared in a number of other publications, including Fantasy & Science Fiction (where she is a columnist) and the Village Voice Literary Supplement. She has also written numerous novelizations and a popular series of Star Wars juveniles. She lives on the coast of Maine with her two children and her partner, UK critic John Clute.
- John Clute <http://www.johnclute.co.uk>
John Clute was born in Canada in 1940 and raised there. From 1956 until 1964 he lived in the USA. Since 1968 he has lived in London, though he spends much of his time with his partner, Elizabeth Hand, in Maine.
Though his first professional publication was a long poem called "Carcajou Lament" for Triquarterly in 1959, he has written mostly non-fiction. He began professional reviewing for The Toronto Star in 1966, and has worked as a reviewer, mostly in the literatures of the fantastic, for many journals since then. In addition to other occasional work, he currently writes two columns: Excessive Candour for Science Fiction Weekly online since 1997; and Scores, which is peripatetic, but from 2005 has appeared regularly in Interzone. Much of this material is assembled in three collections: Strokes: Essays and Reviews 1966-1986 (1988), Look at the Evidence (1996) and Scores: Reviews 1993-2003 (2003).
Other non-fiction books include The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1979; second edition 1993) with Peter Nicholls, and The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) with John Grant. In both cases he and Nicholls and Grant were listed as editors, though the books were in fact mostly written by these three. He wrote Science Fiction: The Illustrated Encyclopedia (1995) solo, and The Book of End Times (1999). The Darkening Garden: a Short Lexicon of Horror (2006) amplifies arguments about how genres work first suggested in the fantasy encyclopedia.
He publishes fiction infrequently. His two novels are The Disinheriting Party (1977) and Appleseed (2001). The latter is SF. A Third Edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, very much expanded from the 1993 version, will be published online at the end of 2007 or later.
He is a book collector.
- George Scithers
George H. Scithers was born in Washington, DC, in 1929. Since his father was in the Army, he went to twelve different schools before college. He attended the United States Military Academy from 1946-1950, and served in the US Army Signal Corps from 1950-1974. He served two tours in Korea and one in Germany. While in the Army, he attended Stanford University, earning an M.S. in Engineering and Electrical Engineering Administration. He retired from the Army in 1976 as a Lt Colonel.
After retiring from the US Army, he worked on the Center City Commuter Rail Project for the Department of Public Property of the City of Philadelphia--a 250-million-dollar project that tied Philadelphia's two commuter rail systems together.
From early in his life, he loved fantasy and science fiction. In 1959, he founded the sword & sorcery magazine Amra, and he went on to win two Hugos for his editing. In 1977, he was the founding editor of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. He won two Hugos for his editing of that magazine. Scithers was the 13th editor of Amazing Stories during the TSR ownership of that venerable magazine. With John Betancourt and Darrell Schweitzer, he revived the even more venerable Weird Tales, and still serves as editor of that magazine.
He is the publisher of Owlswick Press, which has published books by L. Sprague de Camp, Avram Davidson, and others.
Scithers also writes science fiction, and has sold stories to Fred Pohl, John W. Campbell, and Ben Bova.
He has edited various anthologies, and wrote, with Darrell Schweitzer and the late John M. Ford, the classic On Writing Science Fiction: the Editors Strike Back!
He is the eldest SF/fantasy magazine editor currently active in our field, and has probably read more bad science fiction (and fantasy) than anyone else now active in the field!
Scithers lived for many years in Philadelphia. He moved to Rockville, MD, in the summer of 2006, where he now works fulltime at Wildside Press on Weird Tales and other magazine and book projects. He is a long-time street-car and railroad fan, collects SF and fantasy books & art, and co-habits with one cat, Samantha by name.