Find Out about ‘My Peculiar Family’

By Stacey Longo

 

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About a year ago, the crew over at Sci-Fi Saturday Night contacted me about a book project they were thinking of putting together. The Dome enthusiastically described how he had a bunch of old photographs of people. What did I think of the idea of sending those photos to various authors with just a character name and occupation, and having the authors write the stories of those people’s lives?

It sounded like a heck of a lot of fun to me.  Some time later, I got an e-mail.

Stacey,

Your character’s name is Gussie, and she works in an apothecary. Other than that, go for it!

As soon as I saw the cheerful, bright-eyed young woman in the photo, her story started coming to me. Taking a page from William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, I decided Gussie would be the person the women in town would discreetly visit when they found themselves with a problem. Perhaps they were unhappy about being in the family way. Or were in need of a way out of an abusive marriage. Woman problems. You see.

But what town? Gussie looked like a sturdy New Englander to me. And in what town, did I think, would women who had . . . problems . . . seek dark solutions? Fall River, Massachusetts, of course. I had the first draft of “Miss Elizabeth’s Poison” done in a week, and the final version done within the month.

It was a blast to write. Now we need your help to get it in print.

Sci-Fi Saturday Night has started a Kickstarter program to fund the final publication of My Peculiar Family. There’s an impressive lineup of authors in the anthology, including James A. Moore, Tracy Hickman, and William Meikle, among others. To donate (and snag some impressive rewards), please visit here; and support the arts.

You’ll be glad you did, I can promise you.

Pictures from Rhode Island Comic Con 2014

 

By Jason Harris

 

Actor Walter Koenig (Star Trek: The Original Series).

Actor Walter Koenig (Star Trek: The Original Series).

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Captain America and Casey Jones.

Captain America and Casey Jones.

Actor John Wesley Shipp. (Flash, Dawson's Creek, The Flash).

Actor John Wesley Shipp (Dawson’s Creek, The Flash (1990 and 2014).

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An Andorian Starfleet officer holding a tridimensional chessboard.

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Actor James Hampton (Teen Wolf).

Actor James Hampton (Teen Wolf).

Mary Poppins.

Mary Poppins.

WWE star and author Mick Foley.

WWE star and author Mick Foley.

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Actress Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek: The Original Series).

Actress Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek: The Original Series).

Cobra Commander.

Cobra Commander.

Groot and Rocket.

Groot and Rocket.

Actor Seth Gilliam (The Walking Dead).

Actor Seth Gilliam (The Walking Dead).

Quint being eaten by Jaws.

Quint being eaten by Jaws.

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Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi and Dr. Strange.

Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi and Dr. Strange.

Captain America.

Captain America.

Actor Mark Sheppard (Supernatural, Leverage).

Actor Mark Sheppard (Supernatural, Leverage).

Frozen's Elsa.

Frozen’s Elsa.

Actor J. August Richards (Marvel's Agents of Shield, Angel).

Actor J. August Richards (Marvel’s Agents of Shield, Angel).

Actor Vic Mignogna (Star Trek Continues).

Actor Vic Mignogna (Star Trek Continues).

Mirror Universe Spock.

Mirror Universe Spock.

Actress Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Starman).

Actress Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Starman). Photo by Stacey Longo.

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Actor William Forsythe (The Devil's Rejects, Dick Tracy).

Actor William Forsythe (The Devil’s Rejects, Dick Tracy).

Dick Tracy.

Dick Tracy.

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Actor Saul Rubinek (Warehouse 13, True Romance).

Actor Saul Rubinek (Warehouse 13, True Romance).

Kevin Smith.

Kevin Smith.

The Blues Brothers.

The Blues Brothers.

Actor Anthony Michael Hall (Weird Science, televison's The Dead Zone).

Actor Anthony Michael Hall (Weird Science, televison’s The Dead Zone). Photo by Stacey Longo.

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Steven Williams (Supernatural, The X-Files, Jason Goes to Hell).

Steven Williams (Supernatural, The X-Files, Jason Goes to Hell).

Actor Bobby Clark (Star Trek: The Original Series).

Actor Bobby Clark (Star Trek: The Original Series).

Batman.

Batman.

Actor John Rhys-Davies (Raiders of the Lost Ark) and author Stacey Longo.

Actor John Rhys-Davies (Raiders of the Lost Ark) and author Stacey Longo.

Spider-woman and Captain America.

Spider-woman and Captain America.

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The Dome of the Sci-fi Saturday Night podcast.

The Dome of the Sci-fi Saturday Night podcast.

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Princess Leia (Cosplayer Sarah Ann McGinnis)

Princess Leia (Cosplayer Sarah Ann McGinnis)

The alien marching band.

The alien marching band.

J. August Richards dancing with the alien band.

J. August Richards dancing with the alien band.

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Actor George Takei  (Star Trek: The Original Series).

Actor George Takei (Star Trek: The Original Series).

Pictures from the 2013 Rhode Island Comic Con

By Jason Harris

The second Rhode Island Comic Con held at the Rhode Island Convention Center was a big success. The attendance for this year was around 33,000, which was close to 11,000 more than last year’s convention. There were some issues with pre-sale tickets and a few celebrities such as Anthony Michael Hall, Jett Lucas, and Nichelle Nichols weren’t able to make it because of the gunman who shot up Terminal 3 at the Los Angeles International Airport Friday morning. Nichols felt so bad about missing the convention that she has already signed on for next year’s convention.

Comic Con had the entire convention center this year so the organizers were able to make more room in the aisles so there was plenty of room to browse the vendor tables and get pictures of the cosplay that were on display around the entire convention. There were people dressed as characters from movies, television, comic books, video games and books.2013-11-01 23.29.47

C. Thomas Howell

C. Thomas Howell

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J. Jonah Jameson

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Julie Newmar

Julie Newmar

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Author Rob Watts with some Visitiors.

Author Rob Watts with some Visitiors.

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 Abby Sciuto of NCIS.

Abby Sciuto of NCIS.

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Burt Ward and Adam West at the Batman panel.

Burt Ward and Adam West on the Batman panel.

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Author Eric Dimbleby

Author Eric Dimbleby

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WWE wrestler and author Kenny Dykstra (Billy's Bully)

WWE wrestler and author Kenny Dykstra (Billy’s Bully)

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The Connecticut Visitiors (www.facebook.com/CTVisitors)

The Connecticut Visitors (www.facebook.com/CTVisitors)

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Jonathan Silverman

Jonathan Silverman

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Authors Erin Thorne, Stacey Longo, and Rob Watts at the Books and Boos booth.

Authors Erin Thorne, Stacey Longo, and Rob Watts at the Books and Boos booth.

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Danny Glover

Danny Glover

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Sarah Douglas

Sarah Douglas

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A member of the Connecticut Visitors

A member of the Connecticut Visitors

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WWE wrestler Kevin Nash.

WWE wrestler Kevin Nash.

The Dome of Sci-fi Saturday Night talking with Nicholas Brendon.

The Dome of Sci-fi Saturday Night talking with Nicholas Brendon.

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James Tolkan from the Back to the Future movies.

James Tolkan from the Back to the Future movies.

Jim Dyer of Fenham Publishing.

Jim Dyer of Fenham Publishing.

SWF wrestler Yukon Jack

SWF wrestler Yukon Jack

Nikki Clyne with some fans

Nikki Clyne with some fans

Survivor's Richard Hatch talking with author Stacey Longo.

Survivor’s Richard Hatch talking with author Stacey Longo.

Barf with author Rob Watts

Barf with author Rob Watts

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Ernie Hudson

Ernie Hudson

WWE wrestler Danny Davis

WWE wrestler Danny Davis

Author Stacey Longo with Sloth.

Author Stacey Longo with Sloth.

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Author Erin Thorne with some Steampunk characters.

Author Erin Thorne with some Steampunk characters.

WWE announcer/referee Howard Finkle

WWE announcer/referee Howard Finkle

Artist Seth McCombs.

Artist Seth McCombs.

Authors Rob Watts and Stacey Longo

Authors Rob Watts and Stacey Longo

Billy Dee Williams

Billy Dee Williams

Me with Leslie Easterbrook.

Me with Leslie Easterbrook. Photo by Stacey Longo.

I hope everyone enjoyed the pictures.

Granite State Comic Con, a Glimpse Into Another World

By Dale T. Phillips

WelcomeOnce in awhile you get to do something really interesting, like get a glimpse into another world where people are nice, intelligent, and having fun in a different way. I had that experience this weekend at Granite State Comicon, a convention held in Manchester, NH, for people to meet who enjoy a variety of things: comics, costume play (cosplay), science fact and science fiction, fantasy, horror, anime, manga, and just hanging out with like-minded people.

This particular annual gathering began ten years ago, and Chris Proulx, co-owner of Manchester’s Double Midnight Comics, organizes the event. The show has proven popular, and grown to be a two-day event, with roughly 3000 people attending. It’s such a rush for those attending there were already people trying to register for next year, while the event was going on.

There was a great deal to see: panel discussions on various subjects, Ghostbusters, the only privately-held Delorean from the “Back to the Future” movies, R2-D2 and Imperial stormtroopers, vampires, pirates, superheroes and villains of all stripes, and even a place to play working arcade games from the past.

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire

R2-D2

R2-D2

Stormtropper

Stormtrooper

Pirate_Elvira

Jack Sparrow, the Silence from Dr. Who, and Elvira.

The Justice League

The Justice League

Arcade

The people who come to the con love the stories and characters they find in graphic novels, movies, television, podcasts, and online. Many of them enjoy dressing up as a particular character they find appealing, and there are contests for best costumes in many different categories. But these are no mere outfits grabbed off the rack at a party store, they are meticulously researched and hand-crafted designs of ingenuity and creativity.Ladies_Cos

You may have seen a television show about people who cosplay and enter these contests, but in true television fashion, it shows many participants in a less-than-attractive light, editing to make them seem as if they are nasty competitors. Those in the costume contest I saw were nothing but supportive of each other, cheering each announced prize and high-fiving each category winner. I spoke with one participant who had a costume that included beautiful, hand-crafted armor. Having made armor myself, I know how difficult and time-consuming the process is, and complimented him on a stunning display. Though he was completely passed over for any prizes (an oversight, to say the least), he had no words of disparagement for his fellow competitors, no whining or complaining like you might see on television. A true hero of cosplay, and one who embodies the completely positive spirit of the whole event.

Winners

Winners

One costumer (cosplayer) who really goes above and beyond is artist Amy Fletcher, who over the years has become well-known for a series of striking mermaid costumes: steampunk mermaid, goth mermaid, even Ariel (from a well-known animated film). She’s back at cons after a hiatus, and what she does is more performance art than just dressing up. A true mermaid costume restricts ones movements, and she sits for hours at a time on display, where fascinated folk come to take pictures and marvel at the attention to detail on the current incarnation. Amy says she enjoys meeting people and being an inspiration to others, and loves to push creativity. Her attitude is: “Have fun, be yourself, and don’t care what others think!” Check out her website for great art and all things mermaid: http://sinicallytwisted.bravehost.com/.

Goth Mermaid

Goth Mermaid

One place that encourages and educates this convention audience (and the world beyond) is Sci-Fi Saturday Night, a wicked cool podcast of all things science fiction. Check out their site and listen in on Thursday nights for news, interviews, and commentary by a talented cast of characters and guests from film, TV, and the writing world. Yeah, when I can tune in and hear classic writers like Spider Robinson and Harlan Ellison, you’ve got me without anything else. Then they’ll bring on someone like actor Lance Henriksen from the Aliens movie, just for good measure!

The Sci-fi Saturday Night crew

The Dome, Zombrarian, and Kriana of Sci-fi Saturday Night

And there are illustrators by the score, vending their artwork in various forms. Many have created graphic novels or other books, such as Susan Saunders, who was at her first convention, selling her children’s book Snowpocalypse, co-written with well-known horror writer Rob Watts. With a background as a schoolteacher, she’s now interested in creating literature for children. She enjoyed the people-watching element of the show, and was getting inspiration from the many other artists on display.

 Susan Saunders and Rob Watts holding their book,  Snowpocalypse.

Susan Saunders and Rob Watts holding their book, Snowpocalypse.

There were other writers as well, most notably a contingent of the New England Horror WritersRob Smales, one of those selling books with the group, said that there were “a metric butt-ton of good writers in the New England area– some seriously creative people.” Earlier in the day, he’d gone around the event with a death mask on to scare up some business.

Authors and members of the New England Horror Writers Tracy L. Carbone and Rob Smales.

Authors and members of the New England Horror Writers Tracy L. Carbone and Rob Smales.

From left to right: authors Tracy L. Carbone, Rob Smales, Scott Goudsward, and Tony Tremblay.

From left to right: authors Carbone, Smales, Scott Goudsward, and Tony Tremblay.

Author Scott Goudsward in front of the New England Horror Writers sign.

Goudsward in front of the New England Horror Writers sign.

You see a lot of good ideas here, such as raising money for charities– for example, the Ghostbusters of New Hampshire, who go to cons as their favorite movie characters, complete with heavy packs and gear for dealing with paranormal occurrences. They pay their own way, and make appearances and accept donations from attendees which all go to a specified charity. At the event, they were raising money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. The Delorean Time Machine is doing something similar, and making appearances to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

The Delorean

The Delorean

So it was a great time, talking to filmmakers, photographers, and fans. Artisans creating accessories and vendors selling items from favorite shows and comic lines. Enthusiastic people having a ball, enjoying themselves and learning about many creative venues while meeting people from all over. If this sounds like your thing, there’s a slew of shows throughout the year, and New England hosts a number of them.ObiWan_jabba

Silence_SciFiSat

Vendetta

Warrior_lady
Raider
Danearis
Lara_Rhyddick
Lady_Cosplay
Young Justice
Editor’s note: All pictures in this article were taken by Dale T. Phillips

The Excitement of Boston Comic Con 2013

by Jason Harris

The Seventh Annual Boston Comic Con happened this weekend at the Seaport World Trade Center. It was originally scheduled for the weekend April 20 through 21 at the Hynes Convention Center, but was postponed because of the lockdown following the Boston Marathon bombing.

The convention organizer’s expected this year’s attendance to be 15,000. There were artist and event panels. There was also an Independent Film Festival on Saturday and a Zombie Film Festival on Sunday.

Boston Comic Con’s biggest celebrity guests were Laurie Holden of The Walking Dead and Kristen Bauer of True Blood. The other guests included Aidan Turner and Dean O’Gorman, who play the dwarves Kili and Fili respectively in The Hobbit movies.

Laurie Holden of 'The Walking Dead' talking with a fan.

Laurie Holden of The Walking Dead talking with a fan.

The convention had many comic book artists such as Mark Bagley and James O’Barr. It had celebrities for the reading crowd too such as authors Joe Hill, Christopher Golden, and Steve Niles, who have all written comic books.

Illustrator Gabriel Rodriguez and author Joe Hill.

Illustrator Gabriel Rodriguez and author Joe Hill.

Author Christopher Golden.

Author Christopher Golden.

There were authors there that are not involved with comic books.

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Author Estevan Bagley signing a book for a fan.

Author Estevan Vega signing a book for a fan.

Author Estevan Vega isn’t new to big conventions. He was meeting fans and signing books at last year’s Rhode Island Comic Con.

If you went to the convention to see what attendees were dressing up as then you weren’t disappointed.

Captain America and Wonder Woman.

Captain America and Wonder Woman.

Loki.

Loki.

Futurama'sTuranga Leela, Philip J. Fry, and Dr. John A. Zoidberg.

Futurama’s Turanga Leela, Philip J. Fry, and Dr. John A. Zoidberg.

Green Lantern.

Green Lantern.

Princess Leia and Darth Vader.

Princess Leia and Darth Vader.

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Batman talking with a mermaid.

Batman talking with a mermaid.

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The X-men

The X-men

The Transformers' Bumblebee with some con attendees.

The Transformers’ Bumblebee with some con attendees.

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Dr. Doom

Dr. Doom.

Harley Quinn and the Joker.

Harley Quinn and the Joker.

Thor.

Thor.

Mr. T and Bane.

Mr. T and Bane.

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Bane and Mr. Freeze.

Bane and Mr. Freeze.

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Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman.

Pictures of the crowds, vendors, game players and groups at this year’s Boston Comic Con.

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The 501st New England Garrison.

The 501st New England Garrison.

The 501st new England Garrison.

The 501st new England Garrison.

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire.

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire.

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire.

The women of Sci-fi Saturday Night.

The women of Sci-fi Saturday Night.

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Author Stacey Longo with  Sci-fi Saturday Night's The Dome.

Author Stacey Longo with Sci-fi Saturday Night’s The Dome.

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Boston Comic Con is over, but I’m looking forward to the 2014 one.

Thousands Attend Boston Comic Con this Weekend

Thousands Attend Boston Comic Con this Weekend

by Rob Watts

Finally, the time had come! The weekend where comic geeks all across Massachusetts could gather together and not hold their heads down in shame for enjoying sci-fi, fantasy and adventure. Myself included. This was a major event.

Over the years, this con had gone from being held in small hotel function rooms, to small-scale expo centers, and finally inside the widely popular Hynes Convention Center located in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay. Judging by the attendance, an even larger facility may be necessary in the future. Literally, thousands of people flowed in and out of the hall throughout the day, many dressed as their favorite film and comic characters. It’s always cool to see parents bringing their young children to events such as this. It’s a wonderful bonding experience when the older generation can expose their kids to pop culture from their youth, as well as the parents learning about the newer culture through their kids. I actually witnessed a young child asking his dad who the two guys in makeup were (2 guys dressed up as KISS), and as he explained who they were, the kid begged to have his picture taken with them because they looked “so cool!” They actually did so I had to follow suit.

Rob Watts with two convention-goers dressed as KISS musicians.

Oddly enough, there were no celebrity appearances at this event, as large of an event as it was. With the exception of high-profile illustrators, there were no “celebrity” signings to speak of. Last week’s Toronto Comic Con, in which I was in attendance, had many celebrity appearances, such as Scott Bakula, Jeri Ryan and Jeremy Bulloch. This isn’t an important selling point for me, I’m just curious as to why celebs (and the con) wouldn’t take advantage of such a largely attended event. I did have the pleasure of talking to some of my favorite illustrators such as Anne Cain, Ming Doyle and Ken Kelly, who designed a few KISS album covers and he was kind enough to give me a sneak peek of what may turn out to be KISS’ next album cover.

Artist Ken Kelly. Photo by Rob Watts.

Of course, the coolest booth of the day was the good folks over at Sci-Fi Saturday Night. They had an ideal spot by the entrance and had a lot of visitors stopping by to chat with the cast. Dome, Kriana, Illustrator X, The Zombrarian and crew were cool enough to include me in their promo package, highlighting my book, CD and theme song I created for their show. Thanks guys. All in all, a fun day with amazing energy. If I don’t get to the Comic Con in San Diego this year, this one will certainly hold me over for a while.

From left to right: Zombrarian, Dome, Rob Watts and Kriana.

Editor’s Note: I want to thank Rob for writing this entry for the NEHW website and for his Live Journal page. Check out his page here for other entries.

Author Promotes His Book and Some Blogs

Author Promotes His Book and Some Blogs

by Jason Harris

The New Year is here. Have you started doing your New Year’s resolution or has it already fallen to the wayside? If you are still struggling with staying with your resolution then here is a link to an article on the Tipb website mentioning a few apps like Evernote and Weight Watchers mobile to help with those resolutions.

If you are looking for blogs to follow as one of your resolutions, NEHW member Rob Watts has a few suggestions of blogs to follow in an entry on his site. One of those suggestions is this site. I do thank him for the mention.

Recently, Watts was on the Sci-fi Saturday Night program discussing his book Huldufolk, Iceland, Cedar Grove and his Traffic Lights Soundtrack album.

His novel, Huldufolk, is a horror story set in both Iceland and Massachusetts and was published by Ocean View Press. According to the program’s website, Watts is also “a musician and songwriter for The Traffic Lights, an Icelandic Trance band whose music is integral to the book.”

You can download the podcast here: http://www.scifisaturdaynight.com/?p=5273.

Watts has also written album reviews and conducted interviews with musicians which can be found on the Ocean View Press website.

The NEHW Creeps into Sci-Fi Saturday Night

The NEHW Creeps into Sci-Fi Saturday Night

by Stacey Longo

Several New England Horror Writer members have been appearing or are scheduled to appear on Sci-Fi Saturday Night.

Craig D. B. Patton’s short story “Aftershocks” was spotlighted on the site’s Fiction Friday entry for 12/10/11. Bob Bois had a flash fiction piece appear on the site on 12/16/11, taken from his blog.

Kristi Petersen Schoonover was featured on the podcast dated 12/17/11, talking about Skeletons in the Swimming Hole and her upcoming novel, Bad Apple. You can download her interview here.

NEHW members on the slate to appear on the Sci-Fi Saturday Night podcast before the end of the year are Kasey Shoemaker, who will be interviewed on the 12/24/11 show, and Rob Watts, scheduled for 12/31/11.

Editor’s note: Stacey Longo is a NEHW member and part of the Publicity Committee.