Guests of Honour


Catherynne M Valente

Born in the Pacific Northwest in 1979, Catherynne M. Valente is the author of over a dozen works of fiction and poetry, including Palimpsest, the Orphan’s Tales series, and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. She is the winner of the Tiptree Award, the Andre Norton Award, the Mythopoeic Award, the Rhysling Award, and the Million Writers Award. She was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award in 2007 and 2009, and the Lambda and Hugo Awards in 2010. She lives on an island off the coast of Maine with her partner, two dogs, and an enormous cat.

Dave FreerDave Freer

Dave Freer is an ex-South African Ichthyologist turned author because he’d heard the spelling requirements were simpler. They lied. He now lives on Flinders Island in the Bass Strait with his wife and chief proofreader, Barbara, three dogs and three cats. He blames his extraordinary spelling on an Old English Sheepdog nose, or the cat/s on his lap.

He’s written some 14 novels for Baen Books, co-authoring some with Eric Flint and Mercedes Lackey, some of which ended up on best-seller lists. He’s also published a slew of shorter fiction. He was also the artistic director for JBU.

Besides working as a Fisheries Scientist for the Western Cape shark fishery, running a couple of fish farms, he has worked as a commercial diver, and as a relief chef at several luxury game lodges. Yes: he can both cook and change nappies. He spent two years as conscripted soldier along the way, so he can iron too. His interests are self-sufficiency, rock climbing, cray diving, flyfishing, wine-tasting and the preparation of food, especially by traditional means.