Pro Guest of Honor Ada Palmer

Ada Palmer’s first science fiction series Terra Ignota (Too Like the Lightning, Seven Surrenders and The Will to Battle, from Tor Books) explores how humanity’s cultural and historical legacies might evolve in a future of borderless nations and globally commixing populations. She teaches in the University of Chicago History Department, studying the Renaissance, Enlightenment, classical reception, the history of books, publication and reading, and the history of philosophy, heresy, science and atheism, and is the author of Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance (Harvard University Press). She often researches in Italy, usually in Florence or at the Vatican. She composes fantasy, SF and mythology-themed music, including the Viking mythology musical stage play Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok (available on CD and DVD), and often performs at conventions with her vocal group Sassafrass. She also researches anime/manga, especially Osamu Tezuka, early post-WWII manga and gender in manga, and has worked as a consultant for many anime and manga publishers. She blogs for, and writes the philosophy & travel blog


John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, 2017
Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel

Award Nominations:

Finalist Hugo Award for Best Novel 2016 James Tiptree Jr. Award Honors List Selection
Nominated for the 2016 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Nominated for the 2016 Chicago Review of Books Award for Best Debut Novel
Nominated for the 2016 World Technology Award for Arts
Nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Science Fiction Novel

Dr. Jennifer Piatek – Science Guest of Honor

Dr. Jennifer Piatek is an associate professor at Central Connecticut State University, where she teaches introductory courses in geology, astrobiology, and planetary astronomy as well as the occasional upper level course in planetary geology or remote sensing. Her research projects involve analysis of thermal infrared images of Mars with the goal of a better understanding the geologic processes that have affected the surface, as well as modeling of lab measurements of light scattering from analog materials. She also is active in projects that use advances in technology to help improve geoscience education through the use of high resolution panoramic images in the classroom and developing inclusive field experiences for students of differing abilities (with the benefit that both of these are great reasons to visit interesting geology, whether just down the road or a long plane flight away).


She was previously a postdoc at the University of Tennessee, and earned a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 2003, an M.S. from Arizona State University, and a B.S. in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. When off campus (indeed there is such a place), she spends too much time consuming popular science fiction and fantasy, and not enough time outdoors.


Steve Macdonald – Music Guest of Honor

A native of Michigan, Steve has been wandering out-of-state since 2004, and he’s looking forward to coming back to Michigan. Even in January…

From 1981 to 2006, he performed professionally in bars, coffeehouses, restaurants, and Renaissance festivals in the upper Midwest alongside whatever daytime career he had at the time. He found fandom and filk rather explosively in 1992, and he has been honored to serve as a GoH at over 30 conventions since then (including Moonbase ConFusion in 2007). He ran the music track at ConFusion for several years in the 90’s, and considers this to be one of his ‘home’ cons.

Since moving to Germany in 2006, he has co-founded the second German filk convention (DFDF, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019), helped create the world’s first filk barbershop quartet (Barbership), formed a band with his wife (Twotonic), and in his spare time joined three different classical choirs.

Over the years he has released 9 albums as a solo artist, 1 album with Twotonic, and has provided guitar and vocal support to several albums by other artists. He is the recipient of 6 Pegasus Awards and an inductee into the Filk Hall of Fame.

He’s looking forward to coming home to ConFusion! (Shhh- don’t tell David Stein… he wants it to be a surprise!)


David Stein – Fan Guest of Honor

David Stein is a native Michigander, born and raised in St. Clair
Shores.  He went to his first science fiction convention in 1973, at
the ripe young age of 13.  Later he attended Oakland University,
joining the university’s science fiction club, “The Order of
Leibowitz”.  There he met his future wife (and future Hugo Nominated
artist Diana Harlan Stein).  In 1979, he attended “Mass Confusion”,
better known as “FREEZER CON”.

David is primarily known as a Media Junkie, having been the guy
everyone called before the Internet at 2:00am with bar bet movie questions “Hey… HEEEY… who was that guy in that movie with that thing?” “Ray Walston”.  Ask him about Trek, and Gerry Anderson “THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!”, and George Pal, and the more obscure, the better.

David continues to travel the world attending cons big and small, SF son, media cons, comic cons, anime cons, gaming cons, furry cons, every such flavor of cons.

He’s attended nearly every Confusion since 1979, only missing one year to go Scuba diving in Mexico with a gang of science fiction and fantasy artists.  For many years, Confusion was David and Diana’s “FUN” con, not getting involved in anything more than being on programming. But being masochists, eventual leapt in, first as an auctioneer for the art show, then art show operations.  David ran the art show itself for several years.  At one con or another, has worked every position on a concom.

As of January of 2017, He and Diana have attended over 500 conventions (and he and Diana are working on a book about that).

The only thing he likes to do more than going to cons, is talking about them, and movies, and science, and EVERYTHING… Okay, he just loves to talk.

First Convention: Star Con 1, Detroit MI, 1973
Member of the Order of Leibowitz, 1978
First “True” SF: Mass Confusion, 1979
First ConCom position: Nova 4, 1979 (at the time the world’s largest free SF con)
First Costuming Award: Most Humorous: Inconjunction, 1982
First World Con: Chicon IV, 1982 (Puppeteered for Jim Henson!)
First Bid Committee: “Detention II” NASFIC Bid, 1983
First Hoax Bid: “PLUTO ‘87” Voted BEST PARTY, ‘83 WorldCon.
First ConCom Director Position: Video Room Director, ConClave, 1983
Started “CONTRAPTION”, 1985
First time as a panel member of Mike Glickson’s “Seminar on Probability and Redistribution of Resources” and left ahead of the game, 1985
Vice-Chairman, ConClave, 1990
Inducted in the Dorsai Irregulars, 1992
Hugo Award Ceremony Team: Chicon 2000
DETCON1 NASFIC Bid Committee and ConCom: 2014