When you talk about science fiction and fantasy, you’re going to meet a lot of memorable characters.

And that’s just the people who write it.

Beguiling as the fictional characters might be, they have to be dreamed up and written about, by someone. And a science fiction convention such as Capricon 39 is a great place to meet writers.

Meeting a writer is sometimes as startling as meeting your first radio personality, but the wit, the knowledge, the humor and the perceptiveness you enjoy in their fiction didn’t come by accident from that person. Most of the writers I know are interesting in their own right.

And some of them are a particular pleasure to be on panels with or to listen to on panels you’re not on. In this post I’d like to feature three writers who made this year’s Capricon a particular treat for me. I’ve included links and some of their covers to give you an idea of what they write. Perhaps you’ll find something that’s right up your alley.

Megan Mackie

Megan Mackie

Megan was on a couple of panels with me, “Book Reviews vs. Literary Criticism,” and “Things Authors Always get Wrong!

She brought perceptive comments from personal experience with a troll to the “Book Reviews” panel, and discussed unrealistic descriptions of women, their behavior, and their bodies, to the “Authors Get Wrong” panel.

I found her to be well-informed and well-spoken, altogether a positive addition to our panel discussions.

And no wonder. Her website reveals she’s a podcaster (The Princess Peach Conspiracy) as well as the author of a growing series of urban fantasy books.

Set in a magical alternate Chicago (Megan just happens to live in the Chicago of our space-time continuum), her “Lucky Devil Series” seems to be off to a strong start.

Finder of the Lucky Devil is the first in Megan Mackie’s “Lucky Devil” series, followed by The Saint of Liars.

Chris Gerrib

Chris Gerrib

Chris was on the “Space Opera” Themed Reading panel with me, as well as the “Things Authors Always Get Wrong!” panel with Megan and me. He is the author of the “Pirates of Mars” Trilogy.

He, too, hails from Chicago, and his cover story is that he’s an IT director at a Chicago-area bank, with only a small, manageable Mars obsession.

He read selections from the first book in his “Pirates of Mars” seriesThe Mars Runfor the “Space Opera” Themed Readings.

In the “Things Authors Always Get Wrong!” panel, he discussed the ways that authors who don’t do their homework can be tripped up by actual facts that readers may know in the realms of the way military organizations work, logistics, and economics

Chris Gerrib’s “Pirates of Mars Trilogy” is available in print or e-book format from Amazon.
The Thursday panel, “Publishing and Marketing for Indie Authors,” featuring (L-R) Lance ErlickJim PlaxcoBeverly BamburyBlake Hausladen, and Jonathan P. Brazee.

Jonathan P. Brazee

Jonathan P. Brazee

I first met Jonathan Brazee at Northamericon ’17 in Puerto Rico, and we’ve been bumping into each other periodically ever since. I have enjoyed his comments on many different panels. 

At Capricon 39, I particularly enjoyed the panel discussion “Publishing and Marketing for Indie Authors.

He is the highly prolific author of “more than 75 titles,” including 44 novels. But don’t let that high output fool you about the quality of his work. 

In 2017 he was a Nebula Finalist for Weaponized Math.” In 2018 he was a Nebula Finalist for Fire Antand a finalist for the Dragon Award for Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel for Integration

He also is an active member of SFWA, the esteemed  Science Fiction Writers of America organization.

Jonathan Brazee’s nominated works from 2017 and 2018, L-R: for the NebulaWeaponized Math (2017) and Fire Ant (2018); for the Dragon Award for Military Science Fiction or Fantasy NovelIntegration (2018).


IMAGES: Many thanks to Capricon 39 for the convention’s header, which I cropped for size. I am grateful to Megan Mackie’s website for her author photo and her two book covers.  Many thanks to Chris Gerrib’s Amazon Author Page for his author photo, and to the individual Amazon pages for The Mars RunPirates of Marsand The Night Watchfor their book covers. Many thanks to Jonathan Brazee’s Amazon Author Page for his author photo, and to his Amazon listings for Weaponized MathFire Antand Integrationfor the cover images.