Special Guests at EV 2019

DOMINIQUE TIPPER

Dominique Tipper plays the leading role of ‘Naomi Nagata’ in the critically-acclaimed series The Expanse, based on the popular science fiction series by James S. A. Corey. Set in the future, The Expanse tells the story of a detective, a first officer and a United Nations executive as they uncover a conspiracy that spans the solar system, and could threaten the future of the human race. She will reprise her role in the third series, which will be out this year. The show is also available to view on Netflix.

In 2016, Dominique was featured in Warner Bros highly anticipated Fantastic Beasts and Where to find Them, as well as The Girl With All The Gifts with Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close and Paddy Considine. Dominique plays ‘Devani’, a soldier living through the zombie apocalypse, who is witness to the monitoring of and experimentation on a group of highly intelligent, but feral, children. As well as appearing in Mark Waters’ adaptation, of Richelle Mead’s young adult novel Vampire Academy (2014), in 2012, Dominique starred as ‘Sarah’ in Fast Girls, alongside Lenora Crichlow, Lily James, Noel Clarke, and Bradley James. Co-written by Noel Clarke, Fast Girls depicts the rivalry between young athletes Shania Andrews (Crichlow) and Lisa Temple (James) as they compete to become professional sprinters. In addition to acting Dominique took her first steps into directing and producing in 2018 with the creation of “Trying To Find Me” her first short film based on the one woman play of the same name, written and performed by Ann Akin. She is currently developing her first feature film.


MICHAEL LOPEZ-ALEGRIA

Michael López-Alegría has over three decades of aviation and space experience with the U.S. Navy and NASA in a variety of roles. These roles include: naval aviator, engineering test pilot and program manager, astronaut and International Space Station commander, and president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. He is a four-time astronaut, having flown on Space Shuttle missions STS-73, STS-92, and STS-113, and serving as Commander of ISS Expedition 14 (flying to and from the ISS aboard Soyuz TMA-9). He holds three NASA records: longest spaceflight (215 days); most extravehicular activities (EVA) or “space walks” (10), and cumulative EVA time (67 hours, 40 minutes). López-Alegría is currently an independent consultant to commercial space companies and serves on several advisory boards and committees to public and private organizations. He is based in Washington, D.C.


GIGI EDGLEY

Gigi Edgley is an internationally renowned actress originally from Australia. Edgley has starred in numerous film and television series including FX’s Feud, USA’s The Starter Wife, Enuattii: Face off Designer’s latest feature, Diminuendo, Rescue Special Ops, Tricky Business, SyFy’s Showdown at Area 51, Quantum Apocalypse, Carlotta, Newcastle, Black Jack, Peacekeeper Wars, Stingers, Secret Life Of Us, Beastmaster, Lost World, Water Rats, Day of The Roses, Star Trek Continues, and Nexus.

Additionally Edgley has an extensive history with The Jim Henson Company beginning with her popular role as Chiana on the company’s critically acclaimed sci fi cult series, Farscape in which she starred for over five years. Gigi stole the hearts of sci-fi enthusiasts. She was originally cast as a guest star for one episode, but quickly captured the attention of the Farscape writers, producers and the fans alike. The mischievous Chiana became one of the most popular, and at times controversial characters in the series. The SyFy Channel and The Jim Henson Company also asked her to host Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge.

Recently Gigi also helped crowd fund over $100,000 for The Circuit. Edgley’s team additionally raised over $44,000 on Kickstarter to fund a sci-fi short called Hashtag. They are planning to take it to Sundance, Cannes and Toronto film festivals. Gigi was nominated for the Film’s Critic’s Circle awards for best lead actress in the feature Last Train To Freo, the SyFy Genre Award for Best Supporting actress, the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress in a television series and Maxim Award for Sexiest Space Babe. Edgley is also a recording artist, creator of original comic books, director and producer. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Queensland University of Technology after entering in the auditions alongside hundreds of other candidates. Check out her website at: gigiedgley.com

 


ANWAN GLOVER

Anwan “Big G” Glover is an American musician and founding member of the Washington, DC-based go-go band “BackYard Band” (also abbreviated as “BYB”), which he co-found in 1988.

Glover is also an actor, known for his portrayal of “Slim Charles” in the HBO crime-drama television series The Wire. Fate would put Anwan in front of the Emmy Award Winning Casting Director Pat Moran who was so impressed with his audition that she immediately cast him the series. Glover’s gritty role as the enforcer for hire, Slim Charles, became a pivotal recurring role until the series ended.

Since then, Glover has been steadily honing his craft in both television and film. He can be seen in episodes of hit TV series like Treme; Law & Order SVU; and  Scream Queens. In 2018, he portrayed Mikken in the film Prospect, an American science fiction film. The movie was developed by Shep Films and distributed by Gunpowder and Sky, under their science fiction-oriented label Dust.

 


DAVID BRIN, PhD
Award-winning science fiction author and Museum of Science Fiction advisory board member, David Brin is coming to Escape Velocity! David’s book, Heaven’s Reach is perfectly on-theme for this year’s event: Other Worlds. David will be discussing Fractal World of his Uplift series (a fresh spin on the Dyson Sphere idea), a cluster of space habitats circling a white dwarf and the science behind building artificial worlds. You can check out David’s latest work here.


MORGAN GENDEL

The screenwriter best known to Star Trek fans as the man who wrote the Hugo Award-winning episode “The Inner Light” is coming to Escape Velocity. Patrick Stewart himself said that was his favorite episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and it is frequently ranked near the top of fan polls. Morgan is an award-winning television and film executive. Among Morgan’s more notable accomplishments is his Hugo Award-winning episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Inner Light. The Inner Light which places USS Enterprise Captain Jean-Luc Picard in an alternate life for what seems to him like 50 years, was recently ranked by science fiction website io9.com as the #8 best episode from among all 700 hours of various Trek series. The tale of Picard’s road not taken, into a life of hearth and home, has resonated fans for nearly a quarter of a century.

Mr. Gendel is a former journalist and network executive who over the last 25 years has written or produced more than 200 episodes of television, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Law & Order, MTV’s Spider-Man, V.I.P. and The Dresden Files. He is partnered with Stan Lee on the graphic novel Hellana and is currently adapting the Ursula K. LeGuin novel, The Telling as a feature film. He teaches Drama TV Writing at Columbia College Chicago, International Film School of Cologne, the Filmakademie in Stuttgart, and speaks at dozens of science fiction events around the world.


MARC OKRAND

A scholared linguist, Marc’s work is in Native American languages and famously devising the Klingon language spoken in the original Star Trek films. The language he developed has also been used in a number of episodes of Star Trek television series. He also created the Vulcan dialogue for the original Star Trek films and served as a consultant for the Klingon, Romulan and Vulcan languages on the reboots, Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. He is the author of The Klingon Dictionary, Conversational Klingon, and The Klingon Way. Marc lives in Washington, DC.


KELLIE GERARDI
Kellie is a commercial spaceflight industry professional and popular science communicator. She is one of 100 candidates selected to colonize Mars via Dutch non-profit Mars One. Kellie serves as the media specialist of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and is also a member of The Explorers Club. In 2014, she became the youngest member to co-chair The Explorers Club Annual Dinner (ECAD).


MASON PECK, PhD
Mason Peck is an Associate Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University and the Director of Cornell’s Space Systems Design Studio. His research interests include space-systems architecture and satellite dynamics and control. Beginning in 2012 he served a two-year term as NASA’s Chief Technologist in Washington, DC. In that role, he acted as the agency’s chief strategist for technology investment and prioritization and chief advocate for innovation in aeronautics and space technology. Mason is also a member of the Museum of Science Fiction’s Board of Advisors and Technology Subcommittee.


GHOSTBUSTERS TRI-STATE DIVISION
Here at Ghostbusters Tri-State Division, we are driven by a single goal; to do our part in making the community a better place! As an Official Ghost Corps Franchise, we use nostalgia and our love of Ghostbusters to raise money for local charities. We strive to build productive relationships and make a positive impact with all of our pursuits.


DJ SHALEIGH
Shaleigh is a DC-based DJ and singer whose musical influences include Imogen Heap, Lana del Rey, Banks, Kid Cudi, and Eminem. When not spinning, she can be found studying audio at American University or working at SiriusXM in Washington, D.C.


C. ALEX YOUNG, PhD
C. Alex Young is a solar astrophysicist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Associate Director for Science of its Helophysics Science Division. In this role he is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the education and public outreach (EPO) team for the division. In addition, he works with division scientists to promote and support their research. His research interests include solar activity, space weather, and statistical data analysis. Alex is also a member of the Museum of Science Fiction’s Board of Advisors and Technology Subcommittee.


ERIC SUGGS, JR.
Eric is the founder of Animation Roots Studio (ARS) and he is hosting over 10 hours of free workshops for aspiring artists at Escape Velocity this year. ARS is a freelance for profit business that umbrellas The Art Way Alliance (AWA). AWA is an emerging organization dedicated to helping children in the D.C. region make art of their own choosing in an environment of acceptance and encouragement. Eric is a connector of like-minded people from novices to masters. Eric often helps artists to highlight their personal artistic voice with creativity and style.


AISHA MATTHEWS
Aisha is a Ph.D. student in English Literature at Southern Methodist University, having finished her Master’s Degree at Southern New Hampshire University in early 2017. As an undergraduate at Yale (’13), she studied Young Adult Science Fiction Literature (alongside more classical sub-genres), and wrote her thesis on Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies quartet and the function of adolescent mechanisms such as slang, body modification, and self-harm throughout the series and the genre. At the Master’s level, she explored African-American Literature, Science and Speculative Fictions, Postmodern and Feminist Theory, and Contemporary American Literature. Her Master’s Thesis focused on Octavia Butler’s Patternmaster quintet, examining the series’ power structures through the Foucauldian framework of panopticism and exploring the dynamics of social constructionism as they apply to the narrative. At present, her research interests are focused on Afrofuturism, Science Fiction Criticism, and YA SF Literature.


IRON KNIGHT COSPLAY
Iron Knight Cosplay, a cosplayer in Northern Virginia who represents several famous characters and specializes in children’s charities and events, and has been featured by Marvel.com, Cosplayzine, Wingman magazine, and Cosfamous collector cards.


JEFF RUTENBECK, PhD
Dean of the School of Communication (SOC) at American University. Building on experience, he has launched an initiative with the College of Arts & Sciences to develop a center for persuasive gaming at AU. While at his previous position, Jeff oversaw growing programs in game design, game art and animation, public relations, broadcast and streaming media, and emergent media (MFA). Jeff also serves on the Museum of Science Fiction’s Board of Advisors.


DAVID GRINSPOON, PhD
Dr. Grinspoon is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, and prize-winning author, as well as a frequent advisor to NASA on space exploration strategy. His new book Earth in Human Hands was named a Best Book of the Year by NPR’s Science Friday. He is a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and has participated on the science teams of several interplanetary spacecraft. In 2013 he was appointed as the inaugural Chair of Astrobiology at the U.S. Library of Congress where he studied the human impact on Earth and organized a public symposium on the Longevity of Human Civilization. Grinspoon’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American, Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times. He lectures widely, and appears frequently on television, radio and podcasts, including as a frequent guest on StarTalk Radio and host of the new spinoff StarTalk All Stars.