2017 colin arthurI was born in England and studied classical sculpture in London in the 1960's and later spent many years living and working in Spain. My first venture into Fantasy cinema was with Director Stanley Kubrick in the film "2001 A Space Odesey". Many more followed, and a special time for me was working closely with Ray Harryhausen on the Sinbad films and the original Clash of the Titans. For The Never Ending Story I was fortunate to be responsible for making the fantasy characters ...... today I am still doing special effects ..... and designing and dreaming, but nowadays with the support of CGI - even more exciting!

2017 josh malermanI'm Josh Malerman, author of Bird Box, Black Mad Wheel, A House at the Bottom of a Lake, Goblin, and Unbury Carol. I'm also one of two singer/songwriters for the Detroit rock n' roll band the High Strung. But more importantly, I'm a lover of fiction, short stories, long stories, epics, quips, and everything in between. Sometimes people will ask, "Why do you love horror so much?" and my answer is this: more than any other genre, horror admits that it is fiction, and for this I love it. Can't wait to read these stories. Thanks for having me along.

2017 neal asherI was born in 1961 in Essex, Great Britain, and divide my time between there and the island of Crete. I’ve been an SF and fantasy junky ever since having my mind distorted at an early age by JRRT, Edgar Rice Burroughs and E C Tubb. Sometime after leaving school I decided to focus on only one of my many interests because it was inclusive of the others: writing. Finally taken on by a large publisher, Pan Macmillan, my first full-length SF novel, Gridlinked, came out in 2001, and now in total I have 23 books to my name, also in translation across the world.

2017 robert vokalRobert Vokal is a project manager in banking sector, adrenaline sportsman and future astronaut. He is also CEO and founder of project Spaceman Championship, which is building a worldwide adventure space race to train mental and physical skills of everyone dreaming of becoming an astronaut. In 2013, he was selected in Unilever Axe Apollo competition as one of 23 winners to receive suborbital space flight ticket to fly with XCOR Aerospace onboard Lynx spacecraft. Passing through various challenges and training missions, this inspired him to create a standalone race to motivate people, unite the universe and bring the "overview" effect to everyone.

Robert started collecting crazy hobbies in college. He was always interested in flight and air sports, but could not afford to become a professional pilot, so decided to try cheaper skydiving and paragliding. Once he conqured air, he realized that overcoming fear of new challenges is addictive and continued with scubadiving training, shark diving, action jumping of various objects, and further exploring options how to get out of his comfort zone. This love of flight started with playing space and flight simulators, reading and watching sci-fi books and movies. After winning the space flight he was helping Slovak Organization for Space Activities with several projects and events. Recently, Robert is planning a Space Walk in Bratislava to showcast how big our solar system is and to educate interested public in how small we really are - so we will cooperate and expand as one global entity and not look for differences and fights. Literature and sci-fi connects people across the world and so he is looking forward to read interesting stories that might change the future of human kind.

2017 Jaroslav OlsaJaroslav Olša, jr. (b. 1964) graduated in Asian and African Studies from Charles University, Prague and has worked as an editor, journalist and freelance translator. Since childhood he was an avid reader of science fiction, started translating from Polish, English and Russin in the 1980s, and he established fanzine Ikarie XB in 1986, which evolved into the first Czech SF monthly named Ikarie in 1990, which is still published as XB-1. Edited a dozen SF anthologies and – together with Ondřej Neff – published the first and only Czech-language Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Literature (1995). Since he joined the diplomatic service quarter a century ago, his SF activities were limited, though he has edited and published anthologies of Czech SF in India, Zimbabwe and South Korea. While in diplomatic service he dealt with Sub-Saharan Africa and served as his country´s Ambassador to Zimbabwe (2000-06). He has published on African history, literature and art, a. o. edited anthology of contemporary Zimbabwean writing (2003), co-wrote (with Otakar Hulec) History of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi (2008, in Czech language). He has also published four titles on modern African art – of which one was published in English as Modern Art of Zimbabwe (2010). He is primarily interested in the history of Czech interactions with Asia and Africa and has writted and edited books also on Czech-Korean ties: 1901 Photographs of Seoul by Enrique Stanko Vráz and other early Czech travellers´ views of Korea (2011), The Korean Peninsula after the Armistice as seen by Chechoslovak delegates to the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission 1953-1956 (2013), or Han Hung-su – Father of Czechoslovak Korean Studies. Korean Historian in Central Europe of the 1930 and 1940s (with Miriam Lowensteinová, 2013 – in Czech language). After serving as Czech Ambassador to South Korea (2008-14), he is currently his country´s Ambassador to the Philippines.