Guests of Honor and other Professional Guests

Guests of Honor

We are excited to announce the Author Guest of Honor for DemiCon 34 is Rachel Aukes and the Artist Guest of Honor is Carter Allen.

This year we are also honoring Cheshire Moon as Music Guests of Honor.

Mitch Thompson will be returning as Toastmaster.

Rachel Aukes

Rachel Aukes is the bestselling author of over thirty books (and many short stories), including 100 Days in Deadland, which made Suspense Magazine’s Best of the Year list. Her books have repeatedly been Amazon bestsellers and have been listed as a “recommended read” by USA Today. She was one of the first Wattpad Stars, with her stories having over eight million reads. She writes in several genres, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller, romance, and more. Her series includes Waymaker Wars, Space Troopers (cowritten with Jamie McFarlane), Flight of the Javelin, Fringe, Deadland Saga, Colliding Worlds, Guardians of the Seven Seals, and the nonfiction Tidy Guides. Her books have been touted, “The best science fiction I’ve read in a long while” by SF Reader. When not writing, Rachel can be found flying old airplanes with her husband and an incredibly spoiled dog over the Iowa countryside.

Carter Allen

Carter Allen is a comic book creator, writer, illustrator and graphic artist located in the Des Moines metro area, Iowa. He originally hails from North Dakota, but has called Iowa his home for more than a few years. He is the creator, artist, and writer of the independent comics Ectyron Against Lagaxtu, Ectyron: Rise of Nemehiss, Ectyron: Invasion from the Red Star Nebula, (all have been recently collected in Ectyron Omnibus Volume 1), The Adventures of Nikki Harris the Cybermation Witch, 252-Z, Atlanta, And The Sky Turned White…and the alien invasion saga Dub Trub for Warning Comics. He was the artist on the Candle Light Press OGN series Man Is Vox. With several decades of work and art styles (including watercolors,digital painting, charcoal and macaroni art) he aims to continue his off-kilter storytelling and comic creations. Carter is also a kaiju enthusiast, with several of his works featured in IDW’s Godzilla: Rulers of Earth. He likes to travel and collect fridge magnets of the places he visits with his wife.

Inaugural DMSFFS Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients Amanda Arthur-Struss and Joe Struss

About the DMSFFS Lifetime Achievement Award

After DemiCon 33, the Board of DMSFFS recognized that our current rules and traditions do not include a way to extend special acknowledgement to those within our own ranks that have served selflessly, making significant, repeated contributions DMSFFS.

The vision for the Lifetime Achievement Award is to select recipients from the many individuals that are, or have been in the past, long time members of DMSFFS, without whose significant contributions over many years DMSFFS would not be what it is today. The award will not only recognize those contributions, but each award will help us to build a rich history to share with newer generations.

Nominations for the award should be submitted to the board by emailing The nomination should include:

  • The person(s) being nominated
  • Detailed information about the nominee(s) and their contributions to DMSFFS

Amanda Arthur-Struss and Joe Struss

The Board of Directors of the Des Moines Science Fiction & Fantasy Society, Inc. are proud to announce Amanda Arthur-Struss and Joe Struss as the inaugural recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Join us in honoring them at Opening Ceremonies on May 5, 2023 at DemiCon 34.

Professional Guests

We have many local, regional, and national professionals that attend DemiCon. They contribute to many areas of the convention, such as the art show, the music venue, and programming.

As we confirm professional guests we’ll be listing them here.

DemiCon Hall of Fame

At DemiCon 15 we wanted a way to extend special acknowledgement those who have helped make DemiCon what is today. The DemiCon Hall of Fame was created to recognize those particularly influential individuals.

Rusty “James” Hevelin

Rusty Hevelin

At DemiCon 15, Rusty Hevelin was our first inductee to DemiCon Hall of Fame. Rusty had started as our Fan Guest of Honor at DC 1, but somewhere before our first convention came around, he was named Toastmaster. From that day forth, he was our Toastmaster. When Rusty became a member of the DemiCon Hall of Fame, he was given the title of Toastmaster Emeritus, but he did not rest on his laurels and has been at every DemiCon until DC22 when health problems kept him away. Rusty passed away in 2011.

In celebration of Rusty’s amazing life (ask Gay and Joe … they have stories), we will host the 7th Annual Rusty Ice Cream Social on Saturday afternoon in the ConSuite. Enjoy a root beer float or just a good bowl of vanilla ice cream, which were two of Rusty’s favorites.

To learn more about Rusty, follow this link to the Hevelin Collection at the University of Iowa.

Joe and Gay Haldeman

Joe Haldeman and Gay Haldeman

Gay and Joe had an intricate part in growing the love of science fiction in those who created DemiCon when they were members of Science Fiction League of Iowa Students (which Joe created) and running ICON. Gay and Joe have been dubbed by those that were under their tutelage as the “Grandparents” of DemiCon.

Joe Haldeman is a multiple Hugo and Nebula award winning author. For his spectacular career in writing science fiction and fantasy, he was given the honor of SFWA Grand Master. Joe has been our Author GOH for DC 2 and DC 20 where the Haldemans were inducted into the DemiCon Hall of Fame.

Gay Haldeman was our Fan Guest of Honor at DC 2 and was a regular guest, besides Rusty Hevelins’ travel buddy through the many years. Mary Gay Potter Haldeman (a name familiar to those who read The Forever War) has a Master’s Degree in Spanish Literature and another in Linguistics. Joe and Gay are retired in Florida after many years of teaching at MIT . But, Joe is not the only one with an award or two. Gay shared a Skylark Award with Joe in 1996, and in 2011 was given the Big Heart Award at the World SF Convention in Reno, Nevada. Both Gay and Joe have thespian talents and have graced our stage as TICC performers, as well.

Glen Cook

Glen Cook

Glen was made a member at DemiCon 25. Glen Cook Author guest of honor for DemiCon 5, known for his stellar The Black Company military fantasy series and so much more, told DemiCon this: I was born and am still under foot. Hit the ground in NYC in 1944, lived there, Indiana, and California growing up. Served in the Navy, attended U of Missouri, worked for General Motors and retired therefrom. Began writing with intent to commit publication late 1960s and have since produced 51 published books (#51, Working God’s Mischief, will come out between now and the convention), some short fiction, some articles and some essays. I have three sons, an Army officer, an architect, and a symphony musician, plus numerous grandchildren, all but one of whom seem determined to be female. And I have an amazing wife who has been with me for almost 45 years. These days I am, extremely slowly, working on expanding the Black Company chronicles by two novels and a story collection. I have become a victim of Ambition Deficit Disorder, which is what has put the slow in slowly.

Glen has been at almost every DemiCon selling books to all who love the joy of reading. Signing his and making DemiCon even more special. Thanks Glen.

Carol Eis and Karen Eis

Carol Eis and Karen Eis

Carol and Karen Eis are the unsung heroes of the Art Show. Lovingly known to all as the Eis Sisters, these two showed up on a DemiCon of many years past to volunteer and stayed. Coming in to help behind the scenes for both show and auction, they make sure all runs smoothly. The Eis Sisters have even helped train some of our art show department heads on the little tricks of the trade. DemiCon is fortunate to have Carol and Karen as volunteers throughout the years.

DemiCon - Des Moines' Annual Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention
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