Special Guests

If you have an idea for someone you would like to see at Penguicon, please fill out this form!

  • Guests of Honor are provided travel and lodging expenses, and have a lifetime membership to attend Penguicon.
  • Featured Guests are presenters of note that we would like to highlight this year, and are provided a free membership for 2019.

Guests of Honor

Saladin Ahmed

image of author Saladin Ahmed

Saladin Ahmed’s first novel, Throne Of The Crescent Moon, was nominated for the Hugo and Nebula Awards, praised by George RR Martin as “a rollicking swashbuckler,” and won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Saladin’s short fiction, essays, and poems have appeared in The New York TimesThe Boston Globe, Slate, Salon, and BuzzFeed. Recently he has focused on comics, winning the Eisner Award for Best New Series for Black Bolt, and penning the critically-acclaimed Exiles and Quicksilver: No Surrender for Marvel Comics. Saladin has also created the original series Abbott, an occult thriller set in 1970s Detroit, for Boom Studios.

You can keep up with everything that Saladin has coming out by following him on twitter.

Zed Shaw

Zed A. Shaw is a programmer and artist who loves teaching people how to Zed Shaw, man in blue shirtcode and painting. He is frequently a critic of technology, technologists, and their impact on society, despite being an old school hacker and avid technologist himself.  His books (Learn Python The Hard Way, Learn Ruby The Hard Way, Learn JavaScript The Hard Way) have been read by millions of people but painting is his current obsession.  He loves painting classic whimsical subjects and frequently features flowers and old toys as an expression of the happiness and nostalgia he feels when painting.

You can keep up with Zed on his website or via twitter.

Mikey Mason

Mikey Mason spent more than a decade as a full-time standup comedian. Man with long goateeHe headlined on all four coasts, performed multiple times each on NBC, at the legendary House of Blues, and the Hard Rock Casino. He even headlined the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas. But it wasn’t enough.

In 2011, he released a song expressing his geekier side (She Don’t Like Firefly) that went viral on YouTube and got him featured on Nerdist.com, SyFy, MTV Geek News, The Funny Music Project, DrDemento.com, and even Time magazine. Eight albums and three EPs later, his lifelong love for fantasy, science fiction, cats, video and role-playing games continues to inspire his music and help him evolve, not only personally, but musically and professionally.

Today his profession is creating art and music with geeky themes. His performances are fueled by his passions and sharpened by long years of experience as a stand-up comedian. He’s performed at theaters, bars, comedy clubs, casinos, colleges, festivals, and conventions across the US, hosted podcasts, exhibited at art shows, created a coloring book, and more, continually expanding his horizons as to what his next project will be.
Learn more at mikeymason.com.

Daniel Hansen of Crafty Celts

Daniel Hansen discovered metal working as a teenager, learning everything he could about making weapons, armor, and other items for historical re-enactment. He took his first jewelry making class in 1988 as a college student, setting out to make a brooch for the cloak he wore to re-enactment events. He developed a true passion for metal-work, continued studying jewelry-making, and created his business, Crafty Celts, to sell his work to other re-enactors. Upon graduation, he became a typesetter by day, but he and his wife Sherry continued to create and sell jewelry. It wasn’t long before he realized that he could support himself and his growing family via his art and craft as a jeweler.

Daniel Hansen discovered metal working as a teenager, learning everything he could about making weapons, armor, and other items for historical re-enactment. He took his first jewelry making class in 1988 as a college student, setting out to make a brooch for the cloak he wore to re-enactment events. He developed a true passion for metal-work, continued studying jewelry-making, and created his business, Crafty Celts, to sell his work to other re-enactors. Upon graduation, he became a typesetter by day, but he and his wife Sherry continued to create and sell jewelry. It wasn’t long before he realized that he could support himself and his growing family via his art and craft as a jeweler.

Crafty Celts slowly grew as the Hansens developed a reputation for producing high quality historical jewelry. One day a phone call changed everything: Ardmore Studios – the producers of HBO’s The Tudors – found Crafty Celts’ webpage and asked Daniel to provide jewelry for an upcoming project about Vikings. Ardmore purchased an assortment of buckles, brooches, and pendants for various characters, but they particularly focused on a selection of bracelets to be used as arm rings for a “brotherhood of warriors.” Vikings quickly became a hit, and Crafty Celts gained international renown for the jewelry they created for the show.

Over time, Crafty Celts became increasingly connected to Ardmore Studios and created new designs for each season of Vikings. In 2014, during filming of the third season, Daniel and his son Kelley were invited to visit the set of Vikings, near Dublin, Ireland, to tour the studios and appear as extras in two episodes. In 2017, Daniel and Kaellan, another one of his sons, flew to Hollywood to meet with MGM executives to become the “official” jewelers for Vikings. Ardmore Studios is currently producing the sixth season of Vikings, using a new selection of jewelry from Crafty Celts. 

You can find out more about Crafty Celts here.

Sophia Brueckner

Sophia Brueckner, born in Detroit, MI, is a futurist artist/designer/engineer. Inseparable from computers since the age of two, she believes she is a cyborg.

As a software engineer at Google, she built products used by tens of millions. She received her MFA from RISD and MS from the MIT Media Lab where she investigated the simultaneously empowering and controlling aspects of technology with a focus on wearables. At the University of Michigan, she teaches Sci-Fi Prototyping, a course combining sci-fi, prototyping, and ethics. Her work has been featured internationally by Artforum, SIGGRAPH, The Atlantic, Wired, NPR, Eyeo, Smithsonian Magazine, and more.

Brueckner is the founder and creative director of Tomorrownaut, a creative studio focusing on speculative futures and sci-fi-inspired prototypes. Her ongoing objective is to combine her background in art, design, and engineering to inspire a more positive future.

You can find out more here.

Karen Corbeill

Dark haired woman with tree behind her

Karen Corbeill’s passions and skills range from welding and web design to cosplay and crochet. She’s also cares deeply about helping girls and women acquire skills and enter non-traditional trades.

Karen has been involved in the Maker Movement since 2010 and gained experience at i3 Detroit, where she was the Education & Events Coordinator and was elected president before she moved to Madison, WI in 2013.

She founded STEAMboat Workshops in Madison to inspire young people through hands-on STEAM experimentation and creation. She also co-founded an adult maker group, Mad City Makers, and The Bodgery, a maker/hackerspace that now has about 150 members. Karen has presented classes for adults and children on welding, lock picking, wood working, sewing, needle felting, and more.

Karen was part of the Ben Heck show for over two years and now researches, writes, and produces The Learning Circuit, where she shares her self-taught electronics expertise. For ten years she has been helping organize the Power Racing Series, an international electric car racing league for adults. She holds the record for most wins for a single driver.

You can find out more about the Learning Circuit here, STEAMboat Workshops here, and the Bodgery here.