Guests and Program Participants


Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Guest of Honor

Jack Campbell (John G. Hemry) is a sailor, and as such he's been known to tell stories about events which he says really happened (but cannot be verified by any independent sources).  He is the author of the new Doomed Earth series, the New York Times best-selling Lost Fleet series, Genesis Fleet series, and Lost Stars series, as well as the Steampunk-meets-high-fantasy Pillars of Reality, Dragon's Legacy, and Empress of the Endless Sea series. His most recent books are IN OUR STARS (first book of the Doomed Earth), IMPLACABLE in the Lost Fleet series OUTLANDS, and the Lost Fleet universe short fiction collection RENDEZVOUS WITH CORSAIR. He wrote the scripts for Titan's LOST FLEET CORSAIR comic series. His YA novel THE SISTER PARADOX won the EPIC 2018 ebook Young Reader award. He's also the author of THE LAST FULL MEASURE, a stand-alone alternate history novella.  John's works are currently being published in English, Japanese, French, German, Polish, Spanish, Czech, Hungarian, Finnish, Greek, Turkish, Hebrew, and Italian, and have previously been published in Chinese and Russian. His shorter fiction is available in three collections (AD ASTRA, SWORDS AND SADDLES, and BORROWED TIME).  His non-fiction includes articles on Interstellar Navigation and on US Military Cold War plans for bases on the Moon.  At unpredictable intervals he gives his presentation on EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT QUANTUM PHYSICS I LEARNED FROM THE THREE STOOGES.  John is a retired US Navy officer. He lives in Maryland with his indomitable wife “S” and three great kids.  

Joe Giacoio

Joe Giacoio

Music Guest of Honor

As a young child in the Bronx, Joe Giacoio was abandoned in a music store and raised by a pack of acoustic guitars.  This explains a lot.

Joe has won awards for his strange guitar playing and even stranger songwriting.  Crossroads Magazine writes, "Some people seem to have the ability to create music that is at the same time funny, serious and incredibly clever.  Joe Giacoio is one of those people."

Despite popular demand Joe released a third album entitled "I Love Hamburgers", featuring players who have performed with Johnny Cash, George Jones, and Bob Dylan.  Clearly times are hard for session musicians these days.

Joe's online man cave is at the link above.

Michael Nelson

Michael Nelson

Fen Guest of Honor

What were they thinking?

In 2003, a group of fans asked Michael Nelson to be the Con Chair of FenCon I. Not the one with the robots on the satellite or the one who hunts in the sea, but the programmer who lives in DFW and never ran or worked on a convention before.

Using his programming skills, attention to detail, ability to fix problems and provide solutions as well as having a good group of team members, he managed to ensure that the first FenCon was a success and did not lose money.

Michael was also the Con Chair of the second FenCon, which was also a success even though dealing with the aftereffects of two hurricanes at the same time as the convention was challenging.

Michael's first foray into fandom was the box of Harvey Comics he received at age 5 from cousins. Like many Gen X fans, The Six Million Dollar Man, the Super Friends, and Star Trek were among the first genre TV shows Michael watched.

A past president of ORAC (a local science fiction group), Michael remembers standing in a long line for The Empire Strikes Back.

Michael and his wife Angela, who is also a fan, enjoy traveling (such as driving to San Diego Comic-Con) and discovering new and fun activities.

Brad W. Foster

Brad W. Foster

Artist Guest of Honor

 Brad W Foster is an illustrator, cartoonist, writer, publisher, and whatever other labels he can use to get through the door! He's won the Fan Artist Hugo a few times, picked up a Chesley award, and turned a bit of self-publishing started about thirty years ago into the Jabberwocky Graphix publishing empire. (Total number of "employees: himself and his wife Cindy.)  His strange drawings and cartoons have appeared in over a thousand science fiction fanzines. On a more professional level he has worked as an illustrator for a various genre magazine, the better known among those being "Amazing Stories" and "Dragon".  In comics he had his own series some years back, "The Mechthings", and even got to play with the big boys for a few years as the official “Big Background Artist" of Image Comic's "Shadowhawk".

Outside our beloved genre it is possible you've seen more of work in titles as varied as "Cat Fancy”, "Cavalier", or "Highlights for Children". Most recently he has completed covers for a couple of Yard Dog Press books, illustrations for magazines such as Space & Time, Talebones and Leading Edge, and has even managed to work a dragon into the official poster for the Oktoberfest in Tulsa, Oklahoma!

Toni Weisskopf

Toni Weisskopf


Toni Weisskopf succeeded Jim Baen as publisher of Baen Books, a leading publisher of SF and fantasy, in 2006. She has worked with such authors as David Weber, David Drake, Lois McMaster Bujold, Eric Flint, Wen Spencer, John Ringo, Mercedes Lackey, Larry Correia, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, Charles E. Gannon, Howard Andrew Jones, and many others. With Josepha Sherman she compiled and annotated the definitive volume of subversive children’s folklore, Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts. Her latest anthology projects are Give Me LibertyCon and Onward, LibertyCon!, both co-edited with Christopher Woods, memorials to LibertyCon founder Richard T. “Uncle Timmy” Bolgeo with proceeds donated to charity.

Baen is known for its innovative e-publishing program, founded in 1999, which has expanded under Weisskopf’s leadership to include not only titles published by Baen, but also titles from other publishers, all without DRM. Other programs begun under Weisskopf include the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award (William Ledbetter, administrator), established in 2007; and the Baen Fantasy Adventure Award, established in 2014.

Weisskopf has been a guest speaker at many writers workshops and science fiction conventions across the country, and is well known for her interactive, audience-participation discussion of Baen’s books, covers, and artwork, on-going and ever-changing since 1991.

Weisskopf is a graduate of Oberlin College with a degree in anthropology. She is the widow of Southern fan and swordmaster Hank Reinhardt and the mother of a delightful daughter. She is also interested in space science and she serves on the board of advisors for the Interstellar Research Group.

(Photo by Paul Cory)

Carla Ulbrich

Carla Ulbrich

Special Guest

We're so excited to have Carla back at FenCon that we couldn't wait to announce her. While she's getting an updated biography together, we're running her previous one. 

Carla Ulbrich is no stranger to FenCon. She was our Music Guest of Honor at FenCon VI. If you were at our first two conventions you no doubt remember her witty musical take on wedgies, Klingons, Waffle House, missing buttocks and girlfriends, and how rich she would be if she had the copyright on the 'F' Word. The self described "Professional Smart Aleck" has been compared to a musical combination of Seinfeld, Weird Al and a Bologna sandwich. Originally from Clemson, South Carolina, Carla is currently living in New Jersey (insert your own punchline here) with her husband (also a talented musician and FenCon guest) Joe Giacoio. She actually does this music thing professionally and is a regular performer at SF conventions, coffeehouses, and, oddly, medical conventions where she is billed as "the Singing Patient." Her fifth album "Live From Planet Earth" should be released in time for FenCon this year.She has a book of humorous essays coming out in 2010 called, How Can You Not Laugh at a Time Like This?

Program Participants