Ann Aguirre is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full-time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes books, emo music, and action movies. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens.

Megan Arkenberg lives and writes in California. Her work has appeared in Lightspeed, Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Ellen Datlow’s The Best Horror of the Year, and the inaugural issue of the horror magazine Aghast, among other places. She procrastinates by editing the fantasy e-zine Mirror Dance.

Paolo Bacigalupi is the bestselling author of the novels The Windup Girl, Ship Breaker, The Drowned Cities, Zombie Baseball Beatdown, and the collection Pump Six and Other Stories. He is a winner of the Michael L. Printz, Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Compton Crook, and John W. Campbell Memorial awards, and was a National Book Award finalist. A new novel for young adults, The Doubt Factory, came out in 2014, and a new science fiction novel, The Water Knife, is due out in May 2015.

Christopher Barzak is the author of the Crawford Fantasy Award winning novel, One for Sorrow, which has been made into the recently released Sundance feature film Jamie Marks is Dead. His second novel, The Love We Share Without Knowing, was a finalist for the Nebula and Tiptree Awards. He is also the author of two collections: Birds and Birthdays, a collection of surrealist fantasy stories, and Before and Afterlives, a collection of supernatural fantasies, which won the 2013 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Collection. He grew up in rural Ohio, has lived in a southern California beach town, the capital of Michigan, and has taught English outside of Tokyo, Japan, where he lived for two years. His next novel, Wonders of the Invisible World, will be published by Knopf in Fall 2015. Currently he teaches fiction writing in the Northeast Ohio MFA program at Youngstown State University.

Lauren Beukes (laurenbeukes.com) is a South African novelist, TV scriptwriter, documentary maker, comics writer, and occasional journalist. She is the author of the novels Moxyland, Zoo City (winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award), The Shining Girls, and Broken Monsters. She’s also written rollicking nonfiction about maverick South African women, TV scripts, and comics for Vertigo. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies such as Armored, Pandemonium: Stories of the Apocalypse, and The Apex Book of World SF.

David Brin is an astrophysicist whose international bestselling novels include The Postman, Earth, and recently Existence. His nonfiction book about the information age—The Transparent Society—won the Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association.

Orson Scott Card is the bestselling author of more than forty novels, including Ender’s Game, which was a winner of both the Hugo and Nebula awards. The sequel, Speaker for the Dead, also won both awards, making Card the only author to have captured science fiction’s two most coveted prizes in consecutive years. His most recent books include book three of his Pathfinders trilogy, Visitors; three books in the Formic War series co-authored with Aaron Johnston, Earth Unaware, Earth Afire, and Earth Awakens; an Ender’s Shadow novel, Shadows in Flight; and book two of the Mither Mages series, The Gate Thief.

Junot Díaz is the author of the bestselling novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and the books Drown and This is How You Lose Her. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker many times, and also in Glimmer Train and African Voices. He is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Books Critic Circle Award and most recently the MacArthur Fellowship. The fiction editor at The Boston Review and the co-founder of the Voices of Our Nation Workshop, Díaz teaches writing at MIT.

Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger—the co-editor of Boing Boing (boingboing.net) and the author of young adult novels like Homeland, Pirate Cinema and Little Brother and novels for adults like The Rapture of the Nerds and Makers. He is the former European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in London.

Tananarive Due is the Cosby Chair in the Humanities at Spelman College. She also teaches in the creative writing MFA program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. The American Book Award winner and NAACP Image Award recipient has authored and/or co-authored twelve novels and a civil rights memoir. In 2013, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. In 2010, she was inducted into the Medill School of Journalism’s Hall of Achievement at Northwestern University. She has also taught at the Geneva Writers’ Conference, the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, and Voices of Our Nations Art Foundation (VONA). Due’s supernatural thriller The Living Blood won a 2002 American Book Award. Her novella “Ghost Summer,” published in the 2008 anthology The Ancestors, received the 2008 Kindred Award from the Carl Brandon Society, and her short fiction has appeared in best-of-the-year anthologies of science fiction and fantasy. Due is a leading voice in black speculative fiction.

Toiya Kristen Finley is a writer, editor, game designer, and narrative designer/game writer. Her fiction has been published in Nature, Fantasy Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, The Best of Electric Velocipede, and The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2010. She is the founding and former managing/fiction editor of Harpur Palate and a co-founder and instructor at GDC Online’s Game Writing Tutorial. Her work in games includes Academagia: The Making of Mages and its DLC, Fat Chicken, and a list of unannounced/suspended-production social-network RPGs and mobile games whose existence shall remain forever a secret (hey, that’s the game industry for ya). The Game Narrative Toolbox (Focal Press), a book on narrative design she’s co-authoring with Jennifer Brandes Hepler, Ann Lemay, and Tobias Heussner, will be out in early 2015.

Milo James Fowler (milojamesfowler.com) is a teacher by day and a speculative fictioneer by night. When he’s not grading papers, he’s imagining what the world might be like in a dozen alternate realities. He is an active SFWA member, and his work has appeared in more than 90 publications, including AE SciFi, Cosmos, Daily Science Fiction, Nature, and Shimmer. His novel Captain Bartholomew Quasar and the Space-Time Displacement Conundrum is now available from Every Day Publishing, and his other stories can be found wherever e-books are sold.

Maria Dahvana Headley is the author of the upcoming young adult skyship novel Magonia from HarperCollins, the novel Queen of Kings, the memoir The Year of Yes, and co-author with Kat Howard of the short horror novella The End of the Sentence. With Neil Gaiman, she is the New York Times-bestselling co-editor of the monster anthology Unnatural Creatures, benefitting 826DC. Her Nebula and Shirley Jackson award-nominated short fiction has recently appeared in Lightspeed (“Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream,” “The Traditional”), on Tor.com, The Toast, Clarkesworld, Nightmare, Apex, The Journal of Unlikely Entomology, Subterranean Online, Uncanny Magazine, Glitter & Mayhem and Jurassic London’s The Lowest Heaven and The Book of the Dead, as well as in a number of Year’s Bests, most recently Year’s Best Weird. She lives in Brooklyn with a collection of beasts, an anvil, and a speakeasy bar through the cellar doors. Find her on Twitter @MARIADAHVANA or on the web at mariadahvanaheadley.com.

Hugh Howey is the author of the acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel Wool, which became a sudden success in 2011. Originally self-published as a series of novelettes, the Wool omnibus is frequently the #1 bestselling book on Amazon.com and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller. The book was also optioned for film by Ridley Scott, and is now available in print from major publishers all over the world. The story of Wool’s meteoric success has been reported in major media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, Variety, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Deadline Hollywood, and elsewhere. Howey lives in Jupiter, Florida with his wife Amber and his dog Bella.

Keffy R. M. Kehrli is a science fiction and fantasy writer currently living in Seattle. Although his degrees are in physics and linguistics, he spends most of his time in a basement performing molecular biology experiments for fun and profit. In 2008, he attended Clarion UCSD where he learned that, unfortunately, rattlesnakes don’t always rattle. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as Apex Magazine, Lightspeed, and Three-Lobed Burning Eye.

Jake Kerr’s first published story, “The Old Equations,” was nominated for the Nebula Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America and was shortlisted for the Theodore Sturgeon and StorySouth Million Writers awards. His stories have subsequently been published in magazines across the world, broadcast in multiple podcasts, and been published in multiple anthologies and year’s best collections. His young adult novel, Tommy Black and the Coat of Invincibility, was released in January 2015. The third and final volume in the series will be released later in the year. A graduate of Kenyon College, Kerr studied fiction under Ursula K. Le Guin and Peruvian playwright Alonso Alegría. Prior to writing fiction, he spent fifteen years as a music industry journalist. He lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife and three daughters.

Nancy Kress is the author of thirty-four books, including twenty-seven novels, four collections of short stories, and three books on writing. Her work has won five Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. She has also lost over a dozen of these awards. Nancy’s most recent work is Yesterday’s Kin, about a surprising genetic inheritance (Tachyon, 2014). In addition to writing, Kress often teaches at various venues around the country and abroad; in 2008 she was the Picador visiting lecturer at the University of Leipzig. Kress lives in Seattle with her husband, writer Jack Skillingstead, and Cosette, the world’s most spoiled toy poodle.

Joe R. Lansdale is the author of more than three hundred short stories and forty novels. His work has been awarded with the Edgar, nine Bram Stokers, The British Fantasy Award, The Herodotus, and many others. He is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, The Texas Literary Hall of Fame, and is Writer in Residence at Stephen F. Austin State University. He has received the Grandmaster Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Horror Writers Association, and is a Grandmaster and Founder of Shen Chuan, Martial Science. His work has been filmed several times. Among these films are Bubba Hotep, Cold in July, Christmas with the Dead, and Incident On and Off a Mountain Road. Forthcoming are films of The Bottoms, directed by Bill Paxton, and The Thicket, starring Peter Dinklage. The Sundance Channel has plans to create a series from his Hap and Leonard novels.

George R. R. Martin is the wildly popular author of the A Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy series, and many other novels, such as Dying of the Light and The Armageddon Rag. His short fiction—which has appeared in numerous anthologies and in most if not all of the genre’s major magazines—has garnered him four Hugos, two Nebulas, the Stoker, and the World Fantasy Award. Martin is also known for editing the Wild Cards series of shared world superhero anthologies, and for his work as a screenwriter on such television projects as the 1980s version of The Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast. A TV series based on A Song of Ice and Fire debuted on HBO in 2011.

Jack McDevitt has been described by Stephen King as “The logical heir to Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.” He is the author of twenty-one novels, eleven of which have been Nebula finalists. His novel Seeker won the award in 2007. In 2003, Omega received the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel. McDevitt’s most recent books are Starhawk, which follows the young Priscilla Hutchins as she seeks to qualify as an interstellar pilot; and Coming Home, in which far-future antiquarian Alex Benedict visits Earth to learn why an archeologist who’d devoted his life to searching for the lost artifacts of the early space age apparently found them but never told anyone. Both are from Ace. A Philadelphia native, McDevitt had a varied career before becoming a writer. He’s been a naval officer, an English teacher, a customs officer, and a taxi driver. He has also conducted leadership seminars. He is married to the former Maureen McAdams, and resides in Brunswick, Georgia, where he keeps a weather eye on hurricanes.

Seanan McGuire was born and raised in Northern California, resulting in a love of rattlesnakes and an absolute terror of weather. She shares a crumbling old farmhouse with a variety of cats, far too many books, and enough horror movies to be considered a problem. Seanan publishes about three books a year, and is widely rumored not to actually sleep. When bored, Seanan tends to wander into swamps and cornfields, which has not yet managed to get her killed (although not for lack of trying). She also writes as Mira Grant, filling the role of her own evil twin, and tends to talk about horrible diseases at the dinner table.

Maureen F. McHugh was born in what was then a sleepy, blue collar town in Ohio called Loveland. She went to college in Ohio, and then graduate school at New York University. She lived a year in Shijiazhuang, China. Her first book, Tiptree Award winner China Mountain Zhang, was published in 1991. Since then she has written three novels and a well-received collection of short stories, Story Prize finalist Mothers & Other Monsters. McHugh has also worked on alternate reality games for Halo 2, The Watchmen, and Nine Inch Nails. She lives in Los Angeles, where she has attempted to sell her soul to Hollywood.

Thomas Minton recently traded a warm tropical island for the Pacific Northwest of the continental USA, where he now lives a short walk from vineyards and an alpaca farm. When not writing, he gets paid to “play” in the ocean, travel to remote places, and help communities conserve coral reefs. His fiction has been published in Asimov’s, Lightspeed, and Daily Science Fiction and his idle ramblings hold court at dthomasminton.com.

Rudy Rucker is a writer and a mathematician. His thirty-plus published books include both novels and non-fiction books on the fourth dimension, infinity, and the meaning of computation. His novels include Mathematicians in Love, The Ware Tetralogy, Postsingular, Hylozoic, Jim and the Flims, Turing & Burroughs: A Beatnik SF Novel, and The Big Aha.

Ramsey Shehadeh splits his time between writing software and writing stories. His fiction has appeared in Weird Tales, Strange Horizons, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Shimmer, Podcastle, and The Drabblecast, as well as in Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s Steampunk Reloaded anthology.

Robert Silverberg—four-time Hugo Award winner, five-time winner of the Nebula Award, SFWA Grand Master, SF Hall of Fame honoree—is the author of nearly five hundred short stories, nearly one hundred and fifty novels, and is the editor of in the neighborhood of one hundred anthologies. Among his most famous works are Lord Valentine’s Castle, Dying Inside, Nightwings, and The World Inside. Learn more at www.majipoor.com.

Bruce Sterling is the author of many novels, including Islands in the Net, Heavy Weather, Distraction, Holy Fire, The Zenith Angle, The Caryatids, and, with William Gibson, The Difference Engine. Much of his short fiction, which has appeared in magazines such as F&SF and Omni, was recently collected in Ascendancies: The Best of Bruce Sterling.

Rachel Swirsky holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop. Her short fiction has appeared in venues including Tor.com and Clarkesworld Magazine, and been nominated for the Hugo, the Locus Award, and the World Fantasy Award, and won the Nebula Award twice. Her second collection, How the World Became Quiet: Myths of the Past, Present, and Future, came out from Subterranean Press in 2013. The titular story, reprinted in this anthology, was inspired by a dream—not a good one, or a bad one, but a surreal one. Narrative and many details were added, but female mosquito warriors were there from the start.

Genevieve Valentine’s first novel, Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, won the 2012 Crawford Award and was nominated for the Nebula Award. Her short fiction has appeared in magazines such as Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Strange Horizons, Journal of Mythic Arts, Fantasy, and Apex, as well as in the anthologies Federations, The Living Dead 2, The Way of the Wizard, Teeth, After, and others. Her short work has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award and the Shirley Jackson Award, and several stories have been reprinted in best-of-the-year anthologies. She has written nonfiction and reviews for such venues as NPR, Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, and Tor.com, and she is a co-author of the book Geek Wisdom. Her latest book is a young adult novel, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, and a new SF novel for adults, Persona, is out in March 2015. Her appetite for bad movies is insatiable, a tragedy she tracks on her blog at genevievevalentine.com.

James Van Pelt teaches high school and college English in western Colorado. His fiction has made numerous appearances in most of the major science fiction and fantasy magazines. He has been a finalist for a Nebula Award, the Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award, and been reprinted in many year’s best collections. His first novel, Summer of the Apocalypse, was released in 2006. His third collection of stories, The Radio Magician and Other Stories, received the Colorado Book Award in 2010. His latest collection, Flying in the Heart of the Lafayette Escadrille, was released in October of 2012.

Christie Yant is a science fiction and fantasy writer, and editor of the Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue of Lightspeed Magazine. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies and magazines including Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2011 (Horton), Armored, Analog Science Fiction & Fact, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, io9, Wired.com, and China’s Science Fiction World. She lives on the central coast of California with two writers, one editor, two dogs, three cats, and a very small manticore. Follow her on Twitter @christieyant.