Our Guests of Honor are:

Terry Pratchett

If this man was our only guest, we could still have a great con. He is the author of the Discworld novels, which can only be properly explained by reading them. A short story set on the Discworld can be found here, and another example of his writing is here on the Thud website.

The Discworld has spawned a video game, calendars, two BBC animated specials, plays, graphic novels, maps, a cookbook, t-shirts, scarves, models, badges, beer, embroidery, pens, posters and is in the process of being made into a tarot deck. The artist Paul Kidby has made a career from discworld art. There is a GURPS discworld supplement. There is an active newsgroup (alt.fan.pratchett) devoted to him. He has also co-authored a novel with Neil Gaiman ("Good Omens"), which Terry Gilliam is turning into a movie.

Terry Pratchett is also an avid player of first person shooters. When asked for specifics, he replied "...lots. All the big ones. But currently return[ing] again and again to Thief/Thief2, because of the wonderful fan missions that keep appearing."

There's an excellent and informative Terry Pratchett fan website at lspace.org. His publisher also has a website devoted to him.

I don't know whether or not he has a cat.

Eric Raymond

Eric is most famous as the author of the Cathedral and the Bazaar (the complete text of which is available on his web page), the book that first described the open source development model, convinced Netscape to open their source code, launched the Mozilla web browser project, and introduced Linux to Wall Street in 1998. He's also the editor of The New Hacker's Dictionary (the online version of which is known as the Jargon File), and president of the Open Source Initiative.

He was also maintainer of the Emacs Lisp library a decade ago, author of Sunsite's original software cataloging engine (the basis for the Trove software map used by freshmeat and sourceforge), the guy who put Curses support into Python, co-founder of one of the first community ISP's back in 1993, a contributor to Nethack, and most recently author of the Bogofilter spam fighting software.

He's also been going to science fiction conventions since the 1970's, in an afficionado of Steve Jackson an Cheapass games, and has more science fiction books in his basement than most big-city libraries.

Relevant writings from Eric:

The Glossary of SF Jargon page contains both the glossary and the essay SF Words and Prototype Worlds on understanding science fiction.

Conventions at light speed talks about how the people running Linux Expos can pick up a lot of organization and infrastructure techniques from Science Fiction conventions.

Eric has written a new paper for Penguicon, A Political History of SF, which will be the basis for his History of Science Fiction panel.

He and his wife share a cat named "Sugar".

Pete Abrams

Sluggy Freelance has been voted the most popular online comic strip on the entire internet consistently since 1997. Pete Abrams is the man who writes and draws it. Need I say more?

The very first week of Sluggy Freelance strips involved the forces of evil installing Windows 95 on a macintosh, followed by an extended star trek parody. The sluggy freelance fan club's web page is at www.sluggy.net

I don't know if he has a cat either.

J.D "Illiad" Frazer

Illiad writes and draws User Friendly, the only comic strip to be published by O'Reilley (the technical books people). A picture of one of his characters, the Dust Puppy, is present in Quake III. The "UserFriendly Productivity Virus" is the work slowdown that occurs when an entire office discovers the strip and reads through the archive, which starts here.

The fan website for Illiad's work is at www.ufies.org.

He's Canadian. I don't know if he has a cat.

Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda

Co-founder of Slashdot, the website whose motto is "news for nerds, stuff that matters". This website gets over a million hits per day, and is quite possibly the single biggest geek community hang-out on the internet.

He also co-founded the Animefu website, which reviews and discusses Japanese Animation.

The cat situation remains unclear, but barring further information he and his fiance appear to share four of them. A picture of the first three are here, and the fourth (named Sushi) is here.

Guests we can't afford to buy a Jacuzi Suite for, but who are cool enough to come to our convention in spite of this, include:

Eric Flint

This is an amazingly cool dude, a published author in his own right, and the founder and webmaster of the Baen Free Library which is just awe-inspiring. The library puts complete books online (in an easily downloadable format) from authors like Lois McMaster Bujold, David Drake, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and K.D. Wentworth... Here's a great write-up on the library from Janis Ian (the musician)'s website, and an earlier article of Janis's that puts it in context..

Clif Flynt

We have a TCL guru coming, who may be doing not just panels but a tutorial session even. (See the programming page when we get it online.) Check either his personal website or his corporate website for more information.

P.S. a half-dozen other people should go here that I know of, but I'm waiting to get a complete list at the next concom meeting.