Select a name below, to see more about that Guest of Honor
Stephen and Terry played together on Discworld for 25 years and had a lot of fun along the way. They built a city on a brownfield site, then mapped a world to put it onto. With nothing else to do with their spare time, they wrote the Companion, several diaries, another map and a cook book.
Stephen also took on the unabridged audio books and has recorded more than thirty for Isis, AudioGo & Random House (UK) and Harper Collins and Random House (US), winning several industry awards that he’s secretly very pleased with.
It’s plays, though, that got him into Discworld, and he’s adapted, and published, around twenty Pratchett novels, which have been staged in more than 22 countries. Although he is still cheaper than Charles Dance & Jeremy Irons, his tragedy is that the only way he can get cast as Vetinari is to direct his own plays.
Amongst a couple of top secret projects, Stephen’s also now working on a fast-paced steam punk dramatization of ‘Raising Steam’.
Nebula Award winner Esther Friesner is the author of over 40 novels and more than 200 short stories. Educated at Vassar College and Yale University, where she received a Ph.D. in Spanish. She is also a poet, a playwright, and the editor of several anthologies. The best known of these is the Chicks in Chainmail series that she created and edits for Baen Books. The sixth book, Chicks and Balances, appeared in July 2015. Deception’s Pawn, the latest title in her popular Princesses of Myth series of Young Adult novels from Random House, was published in April 2015.
Esther is married, a mother of two, grandmother of one, harbors cats, and lives in Connecticut. She has a fondness for bittersweet chocolate, graphic novels, manga, travel, and jewelry. There is no truth to the rumor that her family motto is “Oooooh, SHINY!” Her super-power is the ability to winnow her bookshelves without whining about it. Much.
Dr Pat Harkin’s official biography is rather dull – university, degrees in genetics and medicine, short spell working for the British National Health Service and a much longer spell working for Leeds University School of Medicine where he has been a lecturer in pathology, Academic Sub Dean, Associate Director of Student Support and currently Acting Director of Admissions. He has two children, one wife and not enough cats.
Upon graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, Omar Rayyan settled on the island of Martha's Vineyard with his wife Sheila (her work can be found at www.sheilarayyan.com). The bucolic surroundings compliment and help inspire his "old world" aesthetic toward painting. Although looking to the past for inspiration and guidance from the great oil painters of the Northern Renaissance and the Romantic and Symbolist painters of the 19th century, he has picked watercolor as his medium of choice.
See Omar's website for more details: Studio Rayyan
Colin Smythe was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire in 1942, and was educated at Bradfield College (1955-59), graduating in 1963 from Trinity College Dublin. He started his publishing company, Colin Smythe Ltd, in 1966, moving from London to Gerrards Cross in Buckinghamshire in 1967, and has lived and worked there ever since. In 1968, he met Terry Pratchett, then a young reporter with a local paper, The Bucks Free Press, and published his first five books, The Carpet People (1971), The Dark Side of the Sun (1976), Strata (1981), The Colour of Magic (1983), and The Light Fantastic (1986), before coming to a co-publishing arrangement with Victor Gollancz. That did not work out and he became Terry's agent the following year. He has also published fantasy works by William Barnwell and Hugh Cook.
His publishing activities do not now feature very prominently in his life, being crowded out by the busy-ness of acting as Terry’s literary agent, but they have involved works of Irish literature and criticism, Irish epic myths, fairy and folklore, heraldry, orders of knighthood, diplomacy, politics, trout fishing, and parapsychology (one of his publications, Konstantin Raudive's Breakthrough (1971), having been the inspiration for the film White Noise.) He also acts for the literary estates of a number of Irish authors.
Colin was a visiting professor in the English Department of the University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, from 1993 to 2002. For his services to Irish literature he received an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) from the University of Dublin (Trinity College) in 1998. He has edited and written various books relating to Lady Gregory and her family, and is working on a bibliography of the writings of the Nobel laureate W.B.Yeats (380,000 words and growing). He is a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.
Some more information about Colin Smythe can be found at his company website: www.colinsmythe.co.uk, which also holds his checklist of Terry’s publications in 38 languages, a short biography, and his articles for all the past Discworld Convention programs
*All guests are subject to availability and professional commitments.*