Ladies and Gentlemen, yeah and you over in the corner too… Your momma doesn’t know anything about cons (or, maybe she does, hell that may be where you where conceived) Your dad doesn’t know crap about video games, and Ann Landers isn’t going to give you good advice about going to an SCA event. But we will. This is Dear Abby for the geek, Two Car Guys for the computer literate, Siskel and Egbert for the Fen, How to for the S/F&F crowd. Our panel of five staff writers: the lovely Amanda Zufall, the roguish Joseph Capdepon II, the marvelous Jonna Hayden, the irrepressible Connie Elliott, and yours surly er I mean truly, will answer any questions you have on any subject that won’t get us banned.
I personally promise privacy. If you tell us you don’t want your name used, then tell us what you want to be called by or we’ll make something up (you may not like that. I’ve got a vicious streak) we are all on F/B under the names listed and can be I/M ed for questions. On Each Tuesday we will pick up to Ten questions (I can’t promise to answer every question until I know how big this is going to get) to answer. If it’s an opinion, you’ll get two answers, one from the female perspective, one from the male. If it’s a strait data question, you’ll get the benefit of our knowledge, and if needed we’ll farm the question out until we get an answer. Q&A will be posted on Fridays. So fire away, folks,. Send us your questions. We’ll get you the answers, or die trying.
Amanda Zufall: Greetings! My name is Amanda. I’m a registered nurse by trade, because I can’t get paid to read and drink coffee. I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on since I was 5 years old, with a special love for SFF and Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I am also an avid reader of comic books, particularly Marvel. I discovered Dungeons and Dragons at 17, and have been addicted since. My other hobbies include making soap and skin care products, Assassin’s Creed, Portal, and a few other console games.
Jonna Hayden: Greetings, everyone! Eclectic costume designer and geek here. I’ve been reading SFF since I was a wee child, hiding out in the Science Fiction section of the library since middle school. I started sewing when I was very young, using the offcuts from the dresses my mother made to make gowns for my trolls. In high school I discovered Cons–and the SCA. I couldn’t believe there were others like ME! I became a fringie in the SCA, and started attending every convention I could find, and in my 20s worked at a SFF bookstore for a while. I was lucky enough to meet and hang out with some legendary authors (And I was a LOCUS cover girl!). At the same time, I dove into the SCA with a passion, and attained admittance to the Order of the Laurel and the Pelican. My early experiences in the SCA and Cons lead me to study clothing history and costume design–and ultimately to my career as a professional costume designer. I own a studio where I design and build shows for the stage–Opera, Ballet, Concert Choir, and anyone else who will pay me. I’m also a resident artist in a local arts high school, and lecture at various conventions and conferences on the West coast. I’ll be at Norwescon, Orycon, and LibertyCon this year as a costume track panelist.
Joseph Capdepon II: Greetings ,earthlings. The gods have decreed that I shall be He Who is Bearded that Shall Answer Questions. You can call me Joseph. I’ve been reading science fiction, fantasy, and horror since I was but a wee little one, in one form or another. I’ve been to horror and sci-fi cons. I am a fervent supporter of the Playstation console. In my free time, I am perfecting my writing so maybe one day I can entertain my fellows in fandom with my own stories. My day job has me installing fire alarm systems, and annoying people when I set off the alarms. I dabble in this and that, my interests are varied and wide ranging and one day I shall rule the world, at least that is what my Beard promises me.
Connie Elliott: Hello, I’m Connie, a fan. When I was seven, I pulled a book off of my dad’s science fiction shelf and I never looked back. With the help of that shelf and of the local library, I read Clarke and Asimov and Heinlein and Piper, Kornbluth, Pournelle, and many more. When I wasn’t reading science fiction, I was getting hooked on early anime like Star Blazers and Robotech. When I’m not reading, I’m a homeschooling mom and a small business owner and a naturally afflicted economist. I look forward to helping this fantastic panel answer your questions.
William Lehman: I’ve been a published author for (uh what time is it?) a short while. I’ve been a science fiction and fantasy reader since 1974. My expertise includes the SCA (member since 1987) firearms, (Mad Mike Williamson may have more weapons and experience, and Larry Coreia, as well, but I think those are the only two…) the military (I’m retired from the Navy) electrical and electronics (which is something I did and still do for the Navy professionally for a fairly obscene wage) and the raising of second and third generation geeks. I’m a hardware guy, not a software type, but If I don’t know it, give me a few minutes and I’ll find it. The google fu is strong in this one.