Meet the ConQuesT 48 Guests

Robert J. Sawyer | Jonathan Maberry | Rachael Mayo | Zac Zacarola | Panelists and Program Participants

Robert J. Sawyer | Author Guest of Honor 

Robert J. Sawyer
Robert J. Sawyer, ConQuesT 48 Author Guest of Honor

Robert J. Sawyer has won the best-novel Hugo Award (for Hominids), and has twelve other Hugo nominations to his credit. He’s also won the best-novel Nebula Award (for The Terminal Experiment), the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (for Mindscan), plus Canada’s Aurora (a record-setting fourteen times), Spain’s Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción (a record-setting three times), Japan’s best-foreign-novel Seiun Award (three times), China’s Galaxy Award, the Hal Clement Memorial Award, Analog‘s AnLab, an Audie, and NESFA’s Skylark Award.

In 2014, he was one of the initial nine inductees into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, and in 2016 he was named to the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the Canadian government. His 23 novels include Starplex, Rollback, Wake, Red Planet Blues, and the #1 Locus bestsellers Calculating God, Triggers, and Quantum Night. The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his novel of the same name, and he was one of the scriptwriters for that series. He lives in Toronto. Website:

Jonathan Maberry | Toastmaster 

Jonathan Maberry
Jonathan Maberry, ConQuesT 48 Toastmaster

Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times best-selling novelist, five-time Bram Stoker Award winner, and comic book writer. He writes the Joe Ledger thrillers, the Rot & Ruin series, the Nightsiders series, the Dead of Night series, as well as standalone novels in multiple genres. His novels include Kill Switch, the eight in his best-selling Joe Ledger thriller series; Vault Of Shadows, a middle-grade sf/fantasy mash-up; and Mars One, a standalone teen space travel novel.

He is the editor of many anthologies including The X-Files, Scary Out There, Out Of Tune, and V-Wars. His comic book works include, among others, Captain America, the Bram Stoker Award-winning Bad Blood, Rot & Ruin, V-Wars, the New York Times best-selling Marvel Zombies Return, and others. His books Extinction Machine, V-Wars, and Mars One are in development for TV/film. A board game version of V-Wars was released in early 2016. He is the founder of the Writers Coffeehouse, and the co-founder of The Liars Club.

Prior to becoming a full-time novelist, Jonathan spent 25 years as a magazine feature writer, martial arts instructor, and playwright. He was a featured expert on the History Channel documentary,  Zombies:  A Living History, and a regular expert on the TV series, True Monsters. He is one third of the very popular and mildly weird Three Guys With Beards pop-culture podcast. Jonathan lives in Del Mar, California, with his wife, Sara Jo. Website:

Rachael Mayo | Artist Guest of Honor

Rachael Mayo
Rachael Mayo, ConQuesT 48 Artist Guest of Honor

Rachael Mayo is a fantasy and SF artist from Kansas City, Missouri. She earned a bachelor’s degree in illustration from University of Central Missouri in 1999.

Art is Rachael’s foremost hobby, and she spends most hours outside of her day job producing art. (Her day job is technical; she is a systems administrator who enjoys tormenting unsuspecting mainframes.)

Rachael prefers traditional art mediums and specializes in combination techniques that include watercolor, colored pencil, paint pens, ink, acrylic, and shiny objects. She likes to create creatures with eye-searingly bright color schemes.

Most of the artwork Rachael produces is in the form of private commissions and personal projects. She occasionally creates book covers and interior illustrations, and works primarily with small press publishers.

Rachael shows her work every year at science-fiction/fantasy convention art shows around the country.

Rachael shares her art online at deviantArt:

Rachael may be contacted at

Rachael may be found on Facebook as Rachael Mayo of Raytown, MO.

Zac Zacarola | Fan Guest of Honor

Zac Zacarola (photo by Chris Moose Mendolia)
Zac Zacarola (photo by Chris Moose Mendolia)

Zac Zacarola is a familiar face in the convention dealer’s room at the Ziggy’s West table.

Zac first took interest in science fiction (“SciFi,” he says) as a kid when he discovered “all those B movies”, with his favorite still being the original The Day the Earth Stood Still. “Then, Star Trek came along,” he said.

In high school, Zac was involved with a couple of SciFi activities. Then, while studying chemistry at WVU, he was in and out of Monongamoot, WVU’s SciFi club. There, he met Jo, a serious Monongamoot member who as heavily involved with MonCon III, which he attended. “In fact, thanks to her, I’ve attended a number of SciFi conventions which I may not have otherwise attended, including four WorldCons (including TorCon),” he said. .

For more than 35 years, Zac was an analytical chemist in the nuclear power industry. “Talk about SciFi come’n to life!” he says. Since 2008, he’s worked on the environmental side of things, including the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and groundwater protection.

Zac specialized in corrosion control and metallurgy, which he now applies to the fine merchandise of Ziggy’s West, a business which has existed since 1987.

Favorite SciFi book: Robert Forward’s “Dragon’s Egg.”

Favorite SciFi movie: Monsters Inc.

Panelists and Program Participants

Allison Stein
Amy J. Miller
Ann Shelby
Anna La Voie
Brian Pigg
Brooke Johnson
Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Bryn Donovan
Carol Doms
Caroline Spector
Chris McKitterick
Christine Amsden
Claire Ashgrove
Craig Smith
Dennis Young
Donna J. W. Munro
Dora Furlong
Gareth M. Skarka
Hans Cummings
H.G. Stratmann
J.R. Boles
Jack Campbell Jr.
James K. BurkJan S. Gephardt
J. R. Frontera
Jesse Pringle
Jim Yelton
Julia S. Mandala
Karen Bovenmyer
Kathleen Collins
Kevin Wohler
Kristin Helling
Lou Antonelli
Lynette M. Burrows
Margene S. Bahm
Marguerite Reed
Marisa Means
Marshall (Gale) Edwards
Matthew Munro
M.C. Chambers
Michelle A Stutzman
Patrick Stutzman
Paula Helm Murray
R.L. Naquin
Rich Horton
Rob Howell
Robin Wayne Bailey
Sara Kincaid
Sean Demory
Selina Rosen
Sherri Conbarbie Dean
Stephanie Flint
Susan R. Matthews
Tenaya Jayne
Tom Trumpinski
Tyrell Gephardt