Guests of Honor

Jeff Sturgeon | Seanan McGuire | Dr. Mary Crowell | Dr. Ethan Siegal
Aubree Bowen & Matthew Gardner | Jess Hartley


Artist Guest of Honor: Jeff Sturgeon

Jeff is a northwest artist known for his beautiful, award-winning metal paintings. Jeff’s career spans over thirty years, coming up through the ranks as a young fan artist in the 80’s; to being hired in the first wave of computer game artists in 1990.  A  long career in the 90’s as an artist, animator, concept artist, lead artist, game designer and art director followed as he continued to paint and display his work at science fiction conventions around the country.

After his friend and art collaborator, artist Jeff Fennel convinced him to try painting on aluminum, Jeff left the game business behind and went to painting full time with aluminum; his new canvas. Through the new millennium, Jeff’s work became nationally known with increased appearances as a exhibitor, guest, panelist and Guest of Honor at conventions around the country and as an illustrator and cover artist.  Jeff’s work is much sought after by art collectors whether one of his classic SF/ astronomical pieces or his beautiful renderings of the American west.

Jeff will be starting a Patreon campaign in May 2018 show casing weekly art demos, YouTube tutorials, guests from the SF field live in Jeff’s studio talking about their projects while Jeff works on paintings for upcoming shows, cover assignments and new content/art/new stories for the project last Cities of Earth; his much anticipated shared world project; with an anthology with the top writers in the field, an art book of Jeff’s city paintings and concept art., other platforms are in negotiation to try and bring this amazing world Jeff has created to life. Jeff is honored to be this year’s Artist Guest of Honor at Westercon 71 in Denver CO in July, as well as OryCon 40 AGOH in November in Portland OR.  Jeff lives in great pacific NW with wife and artist Leslie Kreher and sons Duncan and Corwin.

For more information about Jeff, visit his website:


Author Guest of Honor: Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire is an author, filksinger, and occasional denizen of the nearest haunted corn maze.  Her publishing career began in 2009 with Rosemary and Rue, and has continued since at a faintly horrifying rate, with new books arriving regularly both under her own name and under the pseudonym “Mira Grant.”  She has won the Campbell Award, the Hugo, the Nebula, the Locus, the Pegasus, and the Alex, and has taken pictures of all of them with her clowder of large, fluffy Maine Coon cats.

Seanan lives and works in the Pacific Northwest, which has a sufficient quantity of frogs and blueberries to hold her interest.  She can often be found wandering the local swamps, watching horror movies, or playing a terrifying amount of Overwatch.  She is primarily a Diet Dr Pepper-based organism, and is rarely stationary for long.

For more information about Seanan, visit her Twitter Page: and her website:


Music Guest of Honor: Dr. Mary Crowell

Dr. Mary Crowell is a geeky musician from north Alabama (near Huntsville where Space Camp is!) She has released three studio albums, the most recent being Scattering Seeds on the Pomegranate Tour (2017) recorded at Mystic Fig Studio and funded through a Kickstarter. Scattering . . . focuses on themes of mythology and mortality. Acolytes of the Machine & Other Gaming Stories (2012), also recorded at Mystic Fig Studio, is a love letter to the hobby of gaming. Her earliest album, Courting My Muse (2007), recorded at the Vault Studio, includes some of her first geeky songs. Mary also has a compilation album of music she made for her patrons in the first year of her Patreon available at Bandcamp called Mary Crowell’s Patreon Year One (2017). Mary Crowell’s Patreon Year Two will available this summer (2018).

Dr. Crowell is active in several bands, but primarily with Play It With Moxie and Three Weird Sisters, releasing respectively Play It With Moxie, Live! (2012) and, Third Thyme’s the Charm (2012). Both bands formed in Atlanta, Georgia through the GAFIA filk community, but now include members living in London, England; Toronto, Ontario; and Madison, WI.

Dr. Crowell teaches music theory, music appreciation, world music, Musikgarten, piano, and composition in a variety of locations. (It’s been a busy year!) She loves to write songs about mythology, gaming, beagles, pomegranates, running, and the environment. In 2017 she successfully wrote a song per week or more as part of an online songwriters group. Now if only she could record them all! She also makes short quirky midi compositions and arranges piano music, violin and piano duets, marimba duets, etc. She’s made fun music videos with a host of incredibly creative people (including her son Simon Crowell and her husband Wesley Crowell) for her patrons on Patreon. Mary’s short music video for “I Put My Low Stat” was included in Origins Game Fair’s film festival in 2017.

For more information about Dr. Mary Crowell; visit the following links:


Science Guest of Honor: Dr. Ethan Siegel

Ethan Siegel was born in New York, got his Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics from the University of Florida in 2006, and moved to Oregon in 2008, where he became a professor, grew a tremendous beard, and became Portland’s favorite astrophysicist, regularly featured on the KGW news. He has since become a renowned writer for NASA and Forbes, as well as a published author. His work has appeared in publications ranging from ESPN to the Wall Street Journal. His first book, Beyond the Galaxy, is available from World Scientific, and his second book, Treknology, about the real-life science behind the technologies envisioned in Star Trek, has been published by Quarto. With over 3,000 articles behind him and more books and publications in the works, he’s excited to bring the real-life science of the Universe to anyone willing to listen, particularly if it can be done in costume. His goal remains to educate and inspire science and science-fiction enthusiasts all over the world!

For more information about Dr. Ethan, visit the following links:

NEW! Media Guests of Honor:
Aubree Bowen & Matthew Gardner

Aubree Bowen

Aubree Bowen was born and raised in Kansas, where she graduated with a degree in Theatre and Film from the University of Kansas.  While in the Kansas City area, she was represented by Exposure, Inc., where she booked gigs ranging from commercials and industrials to feature films.  After studying abroad in Europe, she moved to Los Angeles, California, where she currently resides and works as a freelance actor and acting coach.

Aubree continues to study through Stuart Rogers’ Studios, where she has worked for over four years.  When she’s not in class or filming, she enjoys writing, hiking, and spending time with her dog – Scout.  She takes great pride in her craft, and approaches every job, no matter how big or small, with an upbeat, professional attitude.

She recently traveled to Goa, India to star as the lead in an international feature film currently in production, and has jumped on board the Canticles Family ship, to star as the lead in a series of Short Films released on their Patreon.


Matthew Gardner

Rûnar, as we like to call him in the Canticles Family, is and actor and comedian in Los Angeles, CA. He’s been acting professionally since he was a child.

On top of his years of experience in plays on the stages of LA, commercials for the Industry, or acting on TV shows like “The Factory” on Spike or “Arranged” (coming soon to CBS), he also has a lengthy comedy career. He performed at IO West on award winning teams, before hosing his own shows at the ACME theatre in North Hollywood.


NEW! Editor Guest of Honor: Jess Hartley

Jess Hartley is an editor, novelist, game designer, and fiction writer. She has written content for more than 50 roleplaying game products including products in both the New and Classic World of Darkness game lines, as well as Exalted Second Edition, and Scion. She was the developing editor for the Changing Breeds Anthology, “Songs of the Sun and Moon”, as well as developing Reliquary for Onyx Path. She is the creative lead behind Mad Muse Studio, along with her manager/husband, Pat.

In her spare time (?), Jess is an avid LARPer, and enjoys a wide variety of card and board games as well as cooking, reading, and plotting to take over the world one good deed at a time. Jess dwells in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a menagerie of other interesting creatures.

For more information about Jess Hartley, visit the following links: