Here's a bit about our regular contributors:

Jen Miller received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Minnesota, and she is currently a Lilly Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Valparaiso University.  Her research focuses on the appearance of the fantastic in multicultural American fiction, and she has published articles on C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, and Tron: Legacy.  She has been known to appear from time to time as a small, pink-haired gnome mage, and her favorite WoW small pet was her firefly (still flyin').

Kat Howard is a 2008 graduate of Clarion (UCSD), and her short fiction has appeared in venues such as Fantasy Magazine, Apex, and the anthology Stories, edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio. She received her PhD in English Literature from the University of Minnesota in 2009, and is currently writing in Minnesota. You can find her elsewhere at and as @KatWithSword on twitter. Her favorite fantastic place is Bordertown, and if she pulled a sword from a stone, she'd know what to do with it.

Adam Miller works as software developer by day, specializing in Java development.  After hours, he dreams of buying a pair of sandalwood pistols and traveling Mid-World alongside Roland Deschain.  He is also an avid fly-fisherman, and is finding the brown trout to be almost as elusive as the Dark Tower.

Matt Rasmusson

Philip Ilten was brought up on a strict diet of Asimov, Heinlein, Lewis, and Tolkien, with a bit of Andrew E. Svenson thrown in for fun.  He spends most of his time searching for the Higgs Boson. When he is not actively trying to destroy the universe by creating strangelets or microscopic black holes, he pursues his myriad hobbies, which include flipping out like a ninja, playing trombone, and trying to educate the Irish about their own history.

Megan Kurashige is a dancer who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her short fiction and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Sybil's Garage, Strange Horizons, and Electric Velocipede. She currently dances for Liss Fain Dance and burns-work in San Francisco, has as both a classical ballet dancer and a bookseller, and attended Clarion at UCSD in 2008. She blogs at and is both fascinated by and hopelessly addicted to Twitter (@mkazoo).

Lindsay Craig

Madeline Barnicle is a mathematics student at the University of Chicago, who also writes fanfiction and does various constrained writing projects. She survived a flash flood on her way home from the midnight release of the fourth Harry Potter book in 2000, and still has the cape.

Ed Upton is Lecturer in the Humanities in Christ College, the Honors College of Valparaiso University.  His work centers on English and American Modernism.  He is an avid Boston sports fan, and especially follows the Red Sox with almost fanatical devotion.  He is not a wizard, but he plays one on TV.  As a reader of fantasy, he reminds everyone that sometimes a sword is just a sword.

Nathan Ilten is a mathematician, currently employed at the University of California, Berkeley. In his spare time he worries about what greed and apathy are doing to Mother Earth, and dreams of winning his pipes at the Eolian.

Nancy Hightower received a Ph.D. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing from the University of Denver and has taught classes including Writing in the Visual Arts, The Grotesque, Madness in Literature, The Ghost Story, and The Multicultural Short Story. Her poetry has been published in storySouth, The New York Quarterly, and Big Muddy, among others. If you want to see all the other cool monstrous folk she writes about, visit her blog:

Tia Mansouri

Dan Lammert is a man fueled by coffee in his neverending quest to avoid sleep and create more free time.  During the day, he spends his time appraising homes.  However at night, he keeps up a healthy mix of gaming, spending time with friends and family, reading, writing, listening to music, and if there's some free time, a little more gaming.  Whether it's RTS, TBS, FPS, RPG, or MMO, he enjoys and spends time with all.  And if you understood all the acronyms in the last sentence, you're more than invited to check him out online whether through Steam as SadExchange, on Xbox Live as SadExchange410, or Buddha in person.

Luke Rasmussen is a computer programmer during the day, focusing on supporting healthcare and medical research.  When not behind a keyboard, he can be found behind a mixer DJing the Plagued By Rhythm podcast, behind a console or board playing a game, or behind a book exploring dark, dystopian worlds.  All of these interests seem to focus around zombies, bleak cyberpunk futures, and the promise of swords and mages joined in epic battles.

Mark Schelske works out of his home office as an imagination executive, which means he spends the balance of his life daydreaming.  Once upon a time he graduated from Idaho State University with a Master of Public Administration and advanced to the position of Financial Systems Analyst at the University of Chicago, but now he lives in Jacksonville, Illinois with his wife, Caryn Riswold.  He is passionate about writing fantasy and science fiction stories.  His moments of insane inspiration are fueled by chai tea lattes at the Three Legged Dog coffee shop - a former bank building where he breaks into the vault of unthought story ideas and picks the lock to the safe deposit box of creativity.  His family, friends, and wife still wonder if he will rejoin humanity via Facebook and Twitter.

James Swenson grew up in Minneapolis reading J.R.R. Tolkien and David Eddings, and is now in Wisconsin, reading Jim Butcher and Jasper Fforde. He graduated from Augustana College (SD) with a degree in math and Spanish, and earned the Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Minnesota. He is identical to this person at, and this person at the geohashing wiki on His Erdős number is five.

Peter McClean was Chairperson or Co-Chairperson of The Phoenix Convention for five years, during which time his guests included Ian McDonald, Kim Newman, Nick Harkaway, Paul Cornell, Charles Stross, Ken MacLeod and C.E. Murphy. Peter was also an associate editor of Ireland’s longest running Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy magazine, Albedo1.  His most significant claim to Science Fiction fame is that he remembers the first ever episode of Doctor Who being broadcast in November 1963.  Yes folks, he is that old.

Aside from scribing in the photography, non-fiction and poetic art forms, R.J. Huneke is often reveling in scents of ground coffee bean, and brewing a sequel to his dystopian thriller THE SUBLIMINAL RELIGION. His short story “Lucky” was published by Dead Ink Books and his work appears in myriad places, including his own blog at

Adam Porter received a Ph. D. in Judaic Studies from Duke University, specializing in Second Temple Judaism. A professor of Religion at Illinois College, he teaches classes related to the Bible, and in recent years has started focusing more on how the Bible is represented in popular culture, offering classes on Religion and Film, Popular Culture and American Mythology, and The Social History of Satan. This has allowed him to re-ignite his long-dormant passion for fantasy, science-fiction, and comic books and to unite it with his academic training in biblical studies. Besides being a news-junkie and NPR addict, his hobbies include bicycling, photography, gardening, and travel.

Adam Throne is an Atlanta-based writer and teacher of Literature and Creative Writing. Some of his past accomplishments include winning a pair of tickets to see The Empire Strikes Back from Boba Fett, acting in a short film with John Rhys Davies, writing grants to get graphic novels for his classroom, drafting modules for test-prep software that included references to Greedo shooting first, walking out of Robocop 3 and getting his money back, and helping students find their creative voices. He holds a Masters degree from Brooklyn College and a BA from Skidmore College. His nonfiction has been published in various magazines and web sites including Shoot, Transform, and Brandera.  His work with education software includes authoring, editing, and/or co-writing modules for Kaplan's 'Higher Score' test prep series, as well as 'Paying for School,' 'Succeed in School,' and 'Newsweek's Guide to Colleges.'   He's written/produced/script-doctored several short films, and he's a programming director for the annual Atlanta-based TimeGate convention. He gets a lot of comments about his name from George R.R. Martin fans for some reason.

Derek Schnake

Heather Whitney

Jacqueline Porte is pursuing her Master's in English at Stony Brook University, and spends half of her time looking at the sky and the other half apologizing for walking into people.

Kelly J. Doran

Marcos Faria

Rodney DeaVault

Safiya O'Brien

Tyler Gegg  

Guest Contributors:

Patrick Rothfuss Kate Meyers Dan Poblocki
Ken Schneyer Elizabeth Simons David Anthony Durham
Damien Walter Claire Flesch Emily Connelly
E. J. Fischer Jen Parrish Jack Zipes
Eadaoin McClean Kristin Engerer Karen Hellekson
Lev Grossman Justin FittermanJason P. Vest
Jason Ciaramella Elizabeth Wunderlich Joe Hill
Stephen Graham Jones Monica ByrneRobyn Gee
S. MillerFerrett SteinmetzKeffy R.M. Kehrli
John Murray Adam CrossKirsten Pohlplatz
Alex HoffmeyerAli SundermierS.J. Chambers
Angela MannAustin KoernerLinn Marie Tonstad
Barbara AshfordGenevieve ValentineLynne M. Thomas
Janni Lee SimnerBen LooryMaria Dahvana Headley
Bill StitelerBrian WhiteMary Beth Connolly
Mark IltenMike AvingerN.K. Jemisin
Nalo HopkinsonOwen ProughRichard Thomas
Saladin AhmedSamantha SchwartzTiffany Trent
Lindsey Dillingham