Geek Discussion Guests, Pros, and Panelists

MisCon 31

Discuss anything and everything related to science fiction, fantasy, or horror. This includes Opening and Closing Ceremonies and 2 kinds of panels: 1. Panelist led discussions of topics, and 2. Group discussions of topics. Come have fun talking about cool stuff.

Ministry of Magic

About Ministry of Magic

Christian Ackerman
Christian Ackerman

Christian Ackerman is an Indy Feature Filmmaker and owner of FastCoast Productions. He specializes in low-budget-no-budget movies and special effects. His works have been seen worldwide on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and on Television. He teaches media classes at Corvallis High School and is a production trainer at the local MCAT television station. He's a professional mime that has performed in First Night Missoula for over 25 years. He's Produced, Written, Directed, and Starred in his personal motion pictures, "Wisconsin Project X", "Terror Vortex", "Zombies of the Living Dead", and currently in production "Grid Street" that can and will be seen on many platforms and TV.

About Christian Ackerman

Josh Aronoff

Josh is a full time therapist in Madison Wisconsin. He has led a life of adventure, most of which occurs inside his own head, but some of which occurred IRL. He has a lifetime of gaming experience on both sides of the screen and three lifetimes of useless trivial knowledge.

About Josh Aronoff

Justin Barba
Justin Barba

Justin Barba came to his first MisCon as a freshman in high school in 1990 (it was MisCon 5!). It was held at what is now the Days Inn, just a block from MisCon 30. Little did he know that years later he would end up agreeing to help work the hospitality room for MisCon 20. Then he took on managing the writer's workshop. Then MisCon Operations. Then Vice Chair, then Chair. Now he spends all his time planning MisCon, trying to be a good husband, and raising his funny daughter.

About Justin Barba

Philo Barnhart
Philo Barnhart

Philo Barnhart is a professional film animator from Oak Park, IL, known for his work on feature-length films: The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Rescuers Down Under, The Secret of NIMH, Happily Ever After, An American Tail, and special effects for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

For tv and video games, he's worked on The Smurfs, Scooby Doo, Jem and the Holograms, Space Ace, Dragons Lair, and many more. He worked on consumer products for several years with Disney, and to this day you can find his artwork being used on toys, books, home electronics, apparel, and posters.

His latest comic title, with Silver Phoenix Entertainment Inc., is WHISPERS FROM THE VOID.

About Philo Barnhart

Josie Beaudoin

About Josie Beaudoin

Carol Berg
Carol Berg

Carol Berg’s fifteen epic fantasy novels have won the Prism Award, the Geffen Award, and multiple Colorado Book Awards. Her duology, Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone, won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature. Carol is a regular panelist/presenter at writers conferences and science fiction conventions and is a two-time Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Writer of the Year. All amazing to one who majored in math at Rice University and computer science at the University of Colorado to avoid writing papers. Her latest novel is Ash and Silver from Penguin Random House. A former software engineer, she calls writing “the hobby that ate my life.” She lives in Colorado.

About Carol Berg

Pete Berg

About Pete Berg

Robert Chenoweth
Robert Chenoweth

Bob joined the Army in 1966 and flew combat helicopter missions for a year before being shot down and captured during Tet 1968. He was released from captivity in 1973.

About Robert Chenoweth

Clay Cooper
Clay Cooper

An Army brat, Clay Cooper earned his Eagle Scout at 16 and graduated high school in Frankfurt, Germany.

He did a 4 year stint in the US Air Force as a mechanic on F-117 Stealth Bombers, then joined the US Army. He retired as an Infantry Platoon Sergeant First Class. He served on various combat deployments and peacekeeping missions on 4 continents.

He studied energy technology at the University of Montana. His interests include urban gardening, re-purposing things, and firearms. He gives panels at conventions as a modern armed combat advisor, specializing in helping writers and GMs make their stories more realistic.

About Clay Cooper

Aaron Douglas
Aaron Douglas

Aaron Douglas is best known for his portrayal of Chief Galen Tyrol on Battlestar Galactica. Before joining the Battlestar cast Aaron had roles on many Films and TV shows including: X-Men 2, iRobot, Stargate SG-1, Andromeda, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Outer Limits and many many more. Since Battlestar Galactica we have found Aaron in his own show The Bridge as well as Series Leads in Hellcats, Hemlock Grove, The Killing and The Returned. Besides Guest Star Appearances in Falling Skies, The Strain, Girlfriends Guide to Divorce, iZombie, The X-Files, The Flash, Once Upon A Time, and more, Aaron is currently filming his new shows Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and My So Called Wife.

About Aaron Douglas

Kyle Elliott
Kyle Elliott

Kyle Elliott, a Seattle native, has been building gaming communities for the last decade online as well as off. His latest accolades include Volunteer of the Year for Paizo Publishing, and the first Campaign Service Coin Award. Professionally he has worked in the gaming industry as both an in house QA tester for AAA video game titles, and as a marketing and Kickstarter guide for the tabletop gaming industry. Chances are, you have pledged to at least one of the Kickstarters he has worked for.

Kyle served in Israel as a combat medic and designs, operates, imports, and wholesales fireworks from China, which has allowed him the chance to travel extensively throughout Asia.

About Kyle Elliott

David Farland
David Farland

David Farland is an award-winning, international bestselling author with over 50 novels in print. He won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Special Award for “Best Novel in the English Language” for his SF novel On My Way to Paradise, the Whitney Award for “Best Novel of the Year” for his novel In the Company of Angels, and he has won over seven awards—including the International Book Award and the Hollywood Book Festival, Grand Prize—for his fantasy thriller Nightingale. He is best known for his New York Times bestselling fantasy series The Runelords.

He has written for major franchises like Star Wars and The Mummy and worked in Hollywood greenlighting movies and doctoring scripts.

About David Farland

Amy Farrington
Amy Farrington

Amy works as a writer and freelance graphic designer. Her nerd-core activities include knitting, reading nonfiction, gaming, singing loudly in the car, and watching scifi and fantasy movies.

About Amy Farrington

Eric Scott Fischl

Eric Scott Fischl writes novels of speculative historical fiction and the supernatural, including DR. POTTER'S MEDICINE SHOW and THE TRIALS OF SOLOMON PARKER. He lives in the Bitterroot mountains.

About Eric Scott Fischl

Ruth Frey

Ruth Frey, also known as Dame Ruth, has a wide range of interests. Professionally, she works as a technician in a University biology lab, but in her free time she enjoys studying Medieval and Renaissance history as part of Realms of Avalon.

About Ruth Frey

Manny Frishberg

Manny Frishberg was born in the shadow of New York City and has lived up and down the West Coast for more than 40 years. He spent the first half of his life learning to write stories and the second half learning what to write. He is spending the third half of his life getting it done.
His stories have been appearing in anthologies and magazines since 2010. Before that he held jobs shaping wood, sheet metal and words (not all at once).
He is a contract editor, for two small presses and independent authors. His first anthology, “Horseshoes, Hand Grenades and Magic” was published by Knotted Road Press in 2016. He and his partner have make their home near Seattle.

About Manny Frishberg

Julie Frost

Julie Frost writes every shade of speculative fiction and lives in Utah with her family--which consists of five guinea pigs, three humans, a tripod calico cat, and a kitten who thinks she's a warrior princess--and a collection of anteaters and Oaxacan carvings, some of which intersect. Her short fiction has appeared in Writers of the Future, StarShipSofa, Cosmos, Unlikely Story, Plasma Frequency, Stupefying Stories, and many other venues. Her first novel, "Pack Dynamics," was released in 2015 by WordFire Press. She whines about writing, a lot, at

About Julie Frost

Hugh S. Gregory
Hugh S. Gregory

Hugh S. Gregory: A cancer survivor who is professionally an avid Spaceflight Historian based in Vancouver, Canada, he has produced and sold videos on spaceflight history since 1989. His latest research includes the conceptual theory for the ELDSRR space reactor, Project MOSS for the Musk Observatory and co-authored a paper in Cartographica about mapping on Mars. Hugh’s slide/video shows have been appearing at Conventions across North America and also overseas for over 29 years, including 11 world cons and 8 Dragon Cons. On weekend's he's an amateur astronomer, vertical wind tunnel Bodyflyer and skydiver. This will be Hugh’s 6th appearance at MisCon.

About Hugh S. Gregory

James Hayes
James Hayes

GMy name is James Hayes and I will once again be doing Cordials, Liqueurs and Potions for Miscon. This will be the forth instalment of this panel. I am skilled in many areas and have run panels and classes for over twenty years. Hope to see you all at some of them .

About James Hayes

Jason A. Holt
Jason A. Holt

Jason writes books and works in the board game industry. He helped design the English-language word list for Codenames, which won the 2016 Spiel des Jahres. He co-authored the rule book for Alchemists, which won the 2015 Essen Feather, a prize for best board game rule book. Jason has also worked on rule books for Galaxy Trucker, Space Alert, Dungeon Lords, and every other game ever published by Czech Games Edition. On the digital side of CGE, he writes and translates the character dialogues for the Galaxy Trucker app.

When he's not working on games, he writes the Edgewhen series of fantasy adventure

About Jason A. Holt

Andrea Howe
Andrea Howe

Andrea Howe has been adeptly wrangling the written word for two decades. As a freelancer, she has edited books for such notable publishers as Wizards of the Coast, McGraw-Hill, and Random House as well as for individual authors. She has been called a "natural" and truly enjoys her work. She offers tips and tools for writers on her Web site and posts fun tidbits about language and grammar on her Facebook page. More information can be found at and

About Andrea Howe

MaryAlice Jones

About MaryAlice Jones

John Logan

About John Logan

Cassie Lee McElhaney

About Cassie Lee McElhaney

Tim Nydell

Tim Nydell is the creator and host of the Saturday Morning Rewind Cartoon Podcast. He interviews many of the greats in the world of animation and voice-over. Over the last 5 years he has interviewed: Jim Cummings (Darkwing Duck), Michael Bell (GI Joe / Smurfs), Lisa Henson (Jim Henson's daughter), Kevin Conroy (Batman), Dave Coulier (Full House), Tom Kenny (SpongeBob), Rob Paulsen (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Christopher Sabat (Dragon Ball Z), Caroll Spinney (Big Bird), Marc Summers (Double Dare), and many others. Find him online at: (The podcast is available wherever you find podcasts. All of the links can be found on his website)

About Tim Nydell

Guy Pace
Guy Pace

Guy L. Pace, born in Great Falls, MT, grew up throughout the Northwest. He served in the US Navy, and on the USS Newport News (CA-148), including combat operations in Vietnam in 1972.

A Navy journalist, as a civilian he worked primarily in community newspapers as a reporter, photographer, editor, and managing editor. He changed careers, getting into computer support, training, networking and systems, and information security. He retired in 2011 after more than 20 years working in higher education.

He lives with his wife, Connie, in Spokane, where he gets to spend time with children and grandchildren, and ride his Harley-Davidson.

About Guy Pace

L.F. Patten
L.F. Patten

L.F. Patten has often characterized her multitude of interests as “A.D.D of the right brain.” Degreed in history and anthropology, her checkered career has included work as an archaeologist on medieval/castle sites in England, a tour guide at the Smithsonian, a history teacher, herbalist, book editor, actress, jewelry designer, and pottery/jewelry instructor. She has also been a writer
for more than 30 years, publishing both articles and short stories. Her debut novel, the heroic fantasy The Talent Sinistral, launched at World Fantasy Con in 2014, was written in loving tribute to fellow right-brainers everywhere. .

About L.F. Patten

Brooke Stanley
Brooke Stanley

Brooke H. Stanley, RN is modern day Bard. Scrapping, skulking and schmoozing are reoccurring themes in his as yet never ending story. With Bachelor’s degrees in English and Nursing as well a fist full of apparently useless graduate work he is both over educated and very friendly. Stanley has been burned, shot and driven for spymasters and U. S. Presidents. In 2016, he was named Arctic Logistics Officer for Team Monkey, an international research organization devoted to the advancement of Anthropoid/Simian commensalism (for realsies!) He has a lovely singing voice and likes both cats and dogs equally.

About Brooke Stanley

Patrick Swenson
Patrick Swenson

Patrick Swenson edited Talebones magazine for 14 years, and he still runs Fairwood Press, a book line, which began in 2000. A graduate of Clarion West, his first novel The Ultra Thin Man appeared from Tor in 2014. The sequel, The Ultra Big Sleep, appeared last summer. He has sold stories to the anthology Like Water for Quarks, and magazines such as Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine, Figment, and others. He runs the Rainforest Writers Village retreat every spring at Lake Quinault, Washington. He is a high school teacher and lives in Bonney Lake, Washington with his sixteen-year-old son Orion.

About Patrick Swenson

Peter Wacks
Peter Wacks

Peter J Wacks has always been amazed and fascinated by both writing and the absurdity of the world in general. Peter writes a lot, and will continue to do so till the day he dies. Possibly beyond.

About Peter Wacks

David Yake

As a young man growing up in the Rocky Mountains, David Yake has always had a firm connection to the wild. He now works for the Department of the Interior as a Park Ranger and Wildlife Biologist, strutting his expertise while educating the public about our natural wonders. His love of theater, fantasy and gaming have also helped in professional pursuits.acting at an early age, and though his professional passions have skewed him more towards wildlife work, his second love will always be theater.

About David Yake

Note: Guest and pro biographical information may have been updated since MisCon 31.

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