Les JohnsonOur 2017 Author Guest and 2014 Science Guest — NASA’s own Les Johnson — returns as a Featured Guest in 2020 and a member of the Baen Books Travelling Roadshow.

By night, Les is the author or co-author of multiple popular science and science fiction books, including Rescue Mode with co-author Ben Bova, and Back to the Moon and On to the Asteroid with co-author Travis Taylor.

By day, Les is the Technical Adviser for NASA’s Advanced Concepts Office and the Solar Sail Principal Investigator for the Near Earth Asteroid Scout mission at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Want to talk tech with Les Johnson? Register for ConGlomeration 2020!

Rescue-Mode-Cover-for-web.7375636_stdHe was the featured Interstellar Explorer in the January 2013 issue of National Geographic Magazine in their issue “celebrating 125 years of exploration” and was featured on National Public Radio’s Science Friday.

Les frequently speaks to the general public about space and science. He regularly speaks to civic and community groups throughout the southeastern United States and has done so in public forums in four countries. One student at the Tec de Monterey in Monterey, Mexico told him that he was “bigger than a rock star.” (Now that’s something a physicist does not hear very often!)

Les was the technical consultant for the movies Europa Report and Lost in Space. NPR, CNN, Fox News, The Science Channel and The Discovery Channel have all interviewed him about space and space exploration. He appeared on the Discovery Science Channel in three episodes of their series about interplanetary and interstellar exploration called Exodus Earth, National Geographic Channel’s series How to Survive the End of the World and Evacuate Earth.

Want to hang out with Les Johnson? Register for ConGlomeration 2020!

On to the Asteroid by Les Johnson and Travis TaylorLes is a frequent guest at various science fiction conventions at which he speaks about space, popular science, and, of course, his books. LibertyCon (400 attendees), MidSouthCon (500+ attendees), and DragonCon (20,000 attendees or more) are three conventions at which he is a regular guest speaker.

Les was NASA’s Manager for Interstellar Propulsion Research and later managed the In-Space Propulsion Technology Project. He has worked for NASA since 1990 and has served in various technical and management roles. Les was the co-investigator on a Japanese space experiment flown in late 2010. He was the Chief Scientist for the ProSEDS space experiment, thrice received NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal, and holds 3 space technology patents.

He earned his Master’s degree at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and his Bachelor’s Degree from Transylvania University in Lexington, KY. He has numerous peer-reviewed publications and was published in Analog. He is a frequent contributor to the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society and a member of the National Space Society, The World Future Society, and MENSA.

You can learn more about Les Johnson at his Amazon Author pagehis Facebook page, or his website, www.lesjohnsonauthor.com.

Want to spend a weekend with Les Johnson? Register for ConGlomeration 2020!

Guests of Honor questions?
Contact Keith Bratcher, Programming Chair [programming@conglomeration.info]

Louisville Artemis Mission Exploits simulator setup

For the fourth consecutive year, ConGlomeration will offer sessions in the Artemis starship simulator. Our friends at the Louisville Artemis Mission Exploits simulator are beaming down with their most advanced and immersive setup to date!

The Artemis simulator will be available as part of our Gaming program, with sessions beginning at noon on Friday April 10 and continuing through noon on Sunday, April 12. Nearly ever hour of the day throughout Easter weekend, Artemis will be available to the members of ConGlomeration 2020.

The Artemis simulator is the closest that many of us will ever get to commanding a Starfleet vessel. Crews of six take control of a starship, manning helm, weapons, science, communications, engineering or — as we’ve all dreamed — the captain’s chair! Scan for threats, complete complex missions, and destroy your enemies as you keep your sector safe for the citizens of your space federation.

Want to spend Easter commanding a starship? Register for ConGlomeration 2020!

Those that attended ConGlomeration 2017 may recall the wondrous spectacle of an Artemis crew led by none other than J.G “General Martok” Hertzler.

The new, ironically named LAME simulator is even more impressive, with custom enhancements designed specifically for ConGlomeration already in the works.

Artemis Starship Simulator

Sessions in the Artemis will be scheduled via our Game Room on a first come, first served basis. Bring your own six-person team or match up with whatever motley crew of spacefaring vagabonds musters into service at your allotted time (we are often a wretched hive of nerds and geekery).

If you’re ready to boldly go where no fan has gone before, get your ConGlomeration memberships today.

Want to spend Easter Weekend as a Starfleet captain? Register for ConGlomeration 2020!

Gaming Questions? Contact Derek Reese & Chuck Wahl, Gaming Co-chairs [gaming@conglomeration.info]

ConGlomeration is thrilled to announce that The Ohio River Valley Cosplayers and Prop Builders (ORCs) will return as our 2020 Featured Fan Group.

The Ohio River Valley Cosplayers and Prop Builders

Want to spend Easter weekend with a squad of ORCs? Register for ConGlomeration 2020!

Louisville’s own ORCs are locally beloved and regionally renowned, with a membership that spans five states — Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia — and a mission that matches ConGlomeration’s own calling as a geek family reunion.

To inspire, empower, embody and enthrall! Whenever you need encouragement, help, a hand or advice. No matter who you are or what you look like… Where you aren’t just friends but family! The ORCs

And the ORCs aren’t merely a social group or cosplay club; they are a formal non-profit that operates under an official charter and code of conduct that embodies the best aspects of cosplay culture. A squad of ORCs can almost always be found at any cosplay event in the Ohio Valley, from conventions to LARPs to charitable events and random acts of awesome cosplay. If you’ve seen a high-class cosplayer within a three hours’ drive of Louisville, KY, you’ve probably encountered an ORC. ORCs group photo

At ConGlomeration, the ORCs will stage their infamous Cos-ER to provide on-the-spot emergency repairs to any and all cosplayers and Masquerade participants, as well as a host of panels and workshops to help you create better cosplays and become a better cosplayer.

You can learn more about the Ohio River Valley Cosplayers and Prop Builders at their website, Facebook page, or Instagram feed.

Want to spend three days cosplaying with the ORCs? Register for ConGlomeration 2020!

Guests of Honor questions? Contact our Programming Directors [programming@conglomeration.info]

Fabrikat Nejire HadouConGlomeration is excited to announce that Fabrikat Cosplay will be our 2020 Featured Cosplayer.

As our Featured Guest, Fabrikat will anchor our Cosplay Program Track and serve as a judge for our Cosplay Masquerade.

FabriKat Cosplay is a cosplayer from southern Indiana most known for her female anime character cosplays. She has been cosplaying since 2017 and in that short time has put together more than 30 costumes and attended more than 15 conventions and cosplay events, many of them as a cosplay panelist or masquerade competitor.

Want to spend Easter weekend with Fabrikat Cosplay? Register for ConGlomeration 2020!

Fabrikat Sakura HarunoFabrikat’s cosplay of Sakura Haruno from Naruto Shippuden was featured in the March 2019 issue of Cosplay Realm Magazine.

Her Elizabeth Liones cosplay from Seven Deadly Sins won the Closet Cosplay Division Award at Matsuricon 2019.

Fabrikat’s focus for cosplay is to embody characters who inspire her and to use the craft as a form of expression and an opportunity for self-improvement, learning, and connecting with others. She believes in spreading positivity and in keeping cosplay accessible to people of all backgrounds, financial levels, and skill levels. Her favorite aspects of cosplay are wig work and composing photoshoots.

You can learn more about Fabrikat via her Instagram and Facebook page.

Want to be a part of a three-day cosplay workshop? Register for ConGlomeration 2020!

Guest of Honor questions?
Contact our Programming Directors [programming@conglomeration.info]

Toni WeisskopfConGlomeration is proud to announce that Baen Books publisher Toni Weisskopf will be our 2020 Publishing Guest of Honor.

Toni will anchor our Writing and Publishing program track alongside a host of authors from the Baen Books Travelling Roadshow. If you want to know what it takes to impress a professional editor or publisher, now is your chance learn directly from one the most well known and successful names in the industry.

Toni has been the head honcho at Baen Books, one of the largest and most influential imprints in science fiction publishing, since 2006. Prior to working as publisher, Toni held literally every editorial post in the company, including editor in chief. As a result of this work, Toni won the Phoenix Award in 1994 for excellence in science fiction, the Rebel Award in 2000 for lifetime achievement in Southern Science Fiction Fandom, and in 1994 she was also awarded the tongue-in-cheek Rubble Award, given out annually to a fan or pro who has “done something humorously ignominious.” In 2015, Weisskopf was nominated for a Hugo Award. She was awarded the Neffy Award as Best Editor in the same year.

Want to spend Easter weekend with the Publisher of Baen Books? Register for ConGlomeration 2020!

Baen BooksFor those unfamiliar with Baen Books, it was founded in 1983 by the legendary Jim Baen as a new science fiction arm of Simon & Schuster. Toni joined in 1987 and has been with Baen her entire professional career. In Toni’s time at Baen, the imprint has published the long-running and best-selling 1632 series, the Honor Harrington/Honorverse series, the Liaden Universe series, the Man-Kzin Wars series, and the Vorkosigan Saga series.

While Baen’s roster of authors includes such legendary names as Poul Anderson, Robert Asprin, Lois McMaster Bujold, C. J. Cherryh, L. Sprague de Camp, Larry Correia, Robert A. Heinlein, Mercedes Lackey, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Larry Niven, Andre Norton, Jody Lynn Nye, Jerry Pournelle, Spider Robinson, S. M. Stirling, David Weber — and past ConGlomeration Guests of Honor Ben Bova (2007), David Drake (2002), Eric Flint (2003), Les Johnson (2017), John Ringo (2014), Harry Turtledove (2006), Michael Z. Williamson (2010), and Timothy Zahn (2019) — Baen is equally known for its openness and innovation.

Baen’s Bar was one of the first online science fiction forums that allowed readers and aspiring writers to interact with published authors. Many of Baen’s past and current authors were recruited from these user groups, and Baen still operates one of the most open “slush piles” and submission policies in the business.

Baen was also one the first imprints to embrace online publishing and maintains extensive e-published versions of its back catalog. Baen continues to experiment with new e-publishing techniques and business models, and it is well respected for its practice of publishing electronic works in multiple formats so readers can consume their purchased Baen stories on virtually any device.

And Toni has been a part of all.

Want to spend three days learning about sci-fi publishing with an industry heavyweight? Register for ConGlomeration 2020!

She’s come a long way from a young fan aspiring to work in the sci-fi industry.

Toni Weisskopf’s full name is Antonia Katherine Flora Weisskopf Reinhardt, and she sometimes uses T.K.F. Weisskopf as a byline. Born in Waltham MA, she moved to New York at age three and lived in Brooklyn for many years, “just down the street from the Brooklyn Museum and the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, giving me an undying appreciation for beaux arts architecture.”

The family moved to Huntsville AL when she was 12, where she became involved in sci-fi fandom. She attended Oberlin College in Ohio, earning a degree in anthropology. She became an editorial assistant at Baen Books in 1987, where she rose through the ranks to become an editor. She took over as publisher following founder Jim Baen’s death in 2006. You can learn more about Toni via her Wikipedia entry, LinkedIn profile, her File 770 clippings, or directly from Baen Books.

Want to be a part of the Baen Books Travelling Roadshow? Register for ConGlomeration 2020!

Guest of Honor questions?
Contact our Programming Directors [programming@conglomeration.info]

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