Keynote Speakers

Thank You to Kim Stanley Robinson for your work as the 2014 keynote speaker!

(Kim Stanley Robinson is an American science fiction writer known for his award-winning Mars trilogy. His work delves into ecological and sociological themes, and many of his novels appear to be the direct result of his own scientific fascinations, such as the fifteen years of research and lifelong fascination with the planet Mars.)


    2013 Keynote

  • Karen Joy Fowler

    Karen Joy Fowler

    Karen Joy Fowler is an author of six novels and five short story collections in the science fiction, fantasy, and literary fiction genres. She is best known as the author of the best-selling novel The Jane Austen Book Club that was made into a movie of the same name. Fowler’s previous novel, Sister Noon, was a finalist for the 2001 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. Her debut novel, Sarah Canary, was a New York Times Notable Book, as was her second novel, The Sweetheart Season. In addition, Sarah Canary won the Commonwealth medal for best first novel by a Californian, and was short-listed for the Irish Times International Fiction Prize as well as the Bay Area Book Reviewers Prize. Fowler’s short story collection Black Glass won the World Fantasy Award in 1999, and her collection What I Didn't See won the World Fantasy Award in 2011. 


  • 2011 and 2012 Keynote

  • Dr. Kimberly Lau

     Keynote Address by Dr. Kimberly Lau: “For Mortal Girls who Love Vampire Boys: Beware the Romanticization of Oppression”
    Kimberly Lau is a Professor of American Studies and the Provost of Oakes College. Her research interests focus on questions of gender, race, and power in popular culture and folklore, and she is currently working on a project about World of Warcraft and its potential for alternative modes of masculine sociality. She is the author of New Age Capitalism: Making Money East of Eden (2000),Body Language: Sisters in Shape, Black Women's Fitness, and Feminist Identity Politics (forthcoming), and numerous articles. This quarter, she is teaching a course on the vampire in folklore, literature, and popular culture.

  • 2010 Keynote

  • Marc Okrand

    Marc Okrand

    Marc Okrand is Director of Live Captioning at the National Captioning Institute (NCI) in Vienna, Virginia, near Washington, DC. Okrand is a pioneer in the use of closed-captioning for live television broadcasts. He has a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley, where he specialized in Native American languages. He taught linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and was a post-doctoral fellow in the Anthropology Department of the Smithsonian Institute.

    Dr. Okrand was first recruited to create dialogue in Vulcan for the movie Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan, and then two years later was assigned to create a language for the alien warrior race of Klingons. James Doohan, who played Star Trek’s Scotty, had actually coined a few words of Klingon for the first Star Trek movie. Okrand took the sounds of those words as a starting point and created the language known today as Klingon.


  • 2009 Keynotes

  • Annalee Newitz

    Annalee Newitz
    Annalee Newitz is a journalist who covers the cultural impact of science and technology. She received a PhD in English and American Studies from UC Berkeley, and in 1997 published the widely cited book, White Trash: Race and Class in America. From 2004–2005 she was a policy analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. She writes for many periodicals from Popular Science to Wired, and from 1999 to 2008 wrote a syndicated weekly column called Techsploitation. Since 2008, she is editor-in-chief of io9, a Gawker-owned science fiction blog, which was named in 2010 by The Times as one of the top science blogs on the internet.
  • Kim Stanley Robinson

    Kim Stanley Robinson
    Kim Stanley Robinson is an American science fiction writer known for his award-winning Mars trilogy. His work delves into ecological and sociological themes, and many of his novels appear to be the direct result of his own scientific fascinations, such as the fifteen years of research and lifelong fascination with the planet Mars.