Guests of Honor

We are thrilled to announce our guests of honor for Norwescon 46!

Jim Butcher, a white man with dark hair and greying beard, raising one eyebrow, wearing a brown leather jacket over a white shirt, blue-grey vest, and blue jeans, standing in a living room.

Writer Guest of Honor – Jim Butcher

March 26, 2024: Norwescon is sad to have to announce that our writer guest of honor, Jim Butcher, has contracted COVID-19 and will be unable to travel to Norwescon. While this is disappointing to all of us who wished to see him, we sincerely wish him the best for a speedy recovery, and hope to see him again in the future.

Jim Butcher is the author of The Dresden Files, Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, The Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it.

Jim goes by the moniker Longshot in a number of online locales. He came by this name in the early 1990s when he decided he would become a published author. Usually only three in 1000 who make such an attempt actually manage to become published; of those, only one in 10 make enough money to call it a living. The sale of a second series was the breakthrough that allowed him beat the long odds against attaining a career as a novelist.

All the same, he refuses to change his nickname.

A white man with long, wavy grey hair and glasses, wearing a black sweatshirt and jeans, standing with his arms crossed outdoors on a grassy hilltop in front of a large grey standing stone, with a lake and mountains visible in the distance.

Artist Guest of Honor – Charles Vess

Charles Vess has been drawing ever since he could hold a crayon and crawl to the nearest wall. His long list of accomplishments includes cover and interior art for Marvel, DC, Tor, Harper, Abrams, and Subterranean Press, as well as many illustrated books and graphic novels. He has won two Hugo, four World Fantasy, three Chesley, five Locus, a Mythopoeic, and two Will Eisner awards.

Charles’ art has been featured in many gallery and museum exhibitions across the nation, including Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, and Enchanted, A History of Fantasy Illustration at the Norman Rockwell Museum. His work has been shown in Paris, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

His four-year collaboration with Ursula K. Le Guin resulted in a fully illustrated edition of all her Earthsea stories. Published by Saga Press, The Books of Earthsea garnered many awards. 2021 saw the release of Honeycomb (Saga), written by Joanne M. Harris, with color and black and white illustrations by Charles, and The Art of Stardust (Titan), an informal history written by Charles and with an introduction by Neil Gaiman.

In September 2022 his first novel, The Queen of Summer’s Twilight, was published by NewCon Press.

Charles lives in a house on the North Fork River in Southwestern Virginia, where he works diligently from his studio, Green Man Press.

Dr. Raychelle Burks, a Black woman with long braids, smiling, wearing a black top against a grey background.

Science Guest of Honor – Dr. Raychelle Burks

After working in a crime lab, Dr. Raychelle Burks returned to academia, teaching, and forensic science research. Her research team is focused on the development of field portable colorimetric and luminescent sensor arrays for the detection of analytes of mainly forensic interest, such as explosives, chemical weapons, controlled substances, and latent prints. She writes a science-meets-true crime column called “Trace Analysis” for Chemistry World. Beyond forensics, Dr. Burks collaborates with colleagues in a variety of fields on projects where low cost and reliable rapid screening methods are needed. An in-demand science communicator, Dr. Burks regularly appears on television, in podcasts, at large genre cons such as DragonCon and GeekGirlCon, and other venues to converse on chemistry, forensic science, and STEM meets pop culture. She is the 2020 recipient of American Chemical Society’s Grady-Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public. She is a member of several local, national, and international committees, task forces, and projects focused on social justice and STEM. In 2021, Dr. Burks was listed as one of the “6 Women Who Are Changing Chemistry as We Know It” by BBC Science Focus Magazine.

Clarkesworld Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine
A white man with short-cropped slightly curly grey hair, wearing a white flannel shirt over a black t-shirt, in front of evergreen tree branches, looking at the camera and smiling slightly.

Spotlight Publisher – Clarkesworld Magazine

Since launching in 2006, Clarkesworld rapidly became one of the leading English language science fiction and fantasy magazines. Each monthly issue features six-to-eight works of original fiction by new and established authors, thought-provoking articles, interviews, eye-catching cover art, and an editorial. They are also known for taking a more global approach to science fiction, with almost every issue featuring at least one work in translation. Clarkesworld has been recognized with a World Fantasy Award, three Hugo Awards, and a British Fantasy Award. Their fiction has been nominated for or won the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, BSFA, Sturgeon, Locus, Shirley Jackson, Ditmar, Aurora, Aurealis, Ignyte, Eugie Foster, Utopia, WSFA Small Press, and Stoker Awards. Clarkesworld is available in ebook, online, and print editions. Their fiction is also available via podcast.

Representative Neil Clarke

Neil Clarke is the multi-award-winning editor of Clarkesworld Magazine and over a dozen anthologies, including the Best Science Fiction of the Year series. An 11-time finalist and the 2022 and 2023 winner of the Hugo Award for best editor short form, he is also the three-time winner of the Chesley Award for best art director. In 2019, Clarke received the SFWA Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award for distinguished contributions to the science fiction and fantasy community. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and two sons.

Kate, a white woman with shoulder-length brown hair, wearing a white top and brown pants, stands outside on a sunny day.

Special Guest of Honor – Kate Alice Marshall

Kate Alice Marshall is an author of horror and thrillers for all ages, from middle grade to adult. In YA, her novels include I Am Still Alive, which was nominated for the Washington State Book Award, as well as Rules for Vanishing and These Fleeting Shadows, both nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. Her adult books include the thrillers What Lies in the Woods, an editor’s choice in The New York Times Book Review, and No One Can Know. She lives outside Seattle with her family and a growing collection of fancy pens.

Do you have suggestions for people you’d like to see as future Norwescon Guests of Honor? We’d love to hear from you about who you’d like us to invite. You can check out the guidelines we use on our FAQ page, and at any time during the year, you can contact our Guest of Honor Committee to send in your suggestions!

Norwescon uses Accessibility Checker to monitor our website's accessibility. Read our Accessibility Policy.