Guests of Honor

We’re pleased to announce a wonderful list of Guests of Honor (fondly referred to as GoH’s) who will be joining us in 2016.

Confirmed guests so far:

Profbook jacket photoessional Guest of Honor:

Alaya Dawn Johnson

Alaya Dawn Johnson is the author of six novels for adults and young adults. Her novel The Summer Prince was longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Her most recent, Love Is the Drug, was nominated for the Norton Award. Her short stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including Asimov’s, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Interzone, Subterranean, Zombies vs. Unicorns and Welcome to Bordertown. She has won a Cybil’s award and been nominated for the Indies Choice Award, Nebula Award, Norton Award, and Locus Award. She lives in Mexico City. Visit Alaya’s Official Site: HERE.

toyama portraitScience Guest of Honor:

Kentaro Toyama

Kentaro Toyama is W.K. Kellogg Associate Professor of Community Information at the University of Michigan School of Information and a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT. He is working on a book titled Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology.Previously, he was a researcher at UC Berkeley and assistant managing director of Microsoft Research India, which he co-founded in 2005. At MSR India, he started the Technology for Emerging Markets research group, which conducts interdisciplinary research to understand how the world’s poorer communities interact with electronic technology and to invent new ways for technology to support their socio-economic development. The award-winning group is known for projects such as MultiPoint, Text-Free User Interfaces, and Digital Green. Kentaro co-founded the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD) to provide a global platform for rigorous academic research in this field. He is also co-editor-in-chief of the journal Information Technologies and International Development.Prior to his time in India, Kentaro did computer vision and multimedia research at Microsoft Research in Redmond, WA, USA and Cambridge, UK, and taught mathematics at Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana.Kentaro graduated from Yale with a PhD in Computer Science and from Harvard with a bachelors degree in Physics. He was born in Tokyo, raised in both Japan and the United States, and now lives in the Seattle area.

Visit Kentaro’s Offical Site: HERE.

Gordon SmithMedia Guest of Honor:

Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith was born and raised in Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan where he studied writing and lurked around the theatre department, writing plays.

Afterward, he walked the earth like Caine from Kung Fu for a few years, working random jobs, including helping out at a (non-metaphorical) nut farm, taking care of his infirm grandparents and writing letters for the Secretary of the Army.

He finally landed in Los Angeles to attend the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he earned an MFA in Film and Television Production. Afterward, he wrote for a few web series, including one where a haunted building did something or other to its residents and maybe there was a portal to hell and the doors dripped fake pink blood. Then, he got very, very lucky and joined the series Breaking Bad as an office P.A. While there, he rose to writers’ assistant, and wrote a wide assortment of things, including video games, comic books, webisodes, extra scenes, audition sides, and pretty much anything that wasn’t an episode of the show. He also acted as consulting producer on the Spanish-language version of the series, Metastasis, and helped supervise production of the pilot in Bogotá, Colombia. He’s currently a staff writer on the spin-off series, Better Call Saul.


Fan Guest of Honor:

Jessica Zerwas

Jessica has been attending ConFusion since she was an “itty bitty”. She has grown up in Michigan fandom and considers many of you a second family.  She has worked in almost every department of the convention and was ConChair in 2010- I See by my ConFusion.