Guest: Frank van Dongen

Frank has been making up stories and creating things for as long as he can remember. As a child he created games that were so complicated that there could never be a winner. He painted and drew exotic and dystopian landscapes in the style of Don Lawrence and Frank Frazetta. He wrote stories about adventures on strange planets, stories that never ended because there was too much going on.

Frank has always had a fascination for fossils. To him, fossils are a window into the history of life on Earth, a story that remains almost as strange and unfathomable as that of the future of life on Earth, and beyond.

A major source of inspiration for the author are books and films in which humans travel to other worlds. The promise of human exploration of distant and unknown worlds, and that in the near future, is something that gives a wondrous and profound new dimension to life. In 1969, as a five-year-old, Frank saw this ‘dream’ come true in front of his eyes, via a small black-and-white television. The first man set foot on the Moon.

After finishing secondary school in Dordrecht, Frank went on to study evolutionary biology and palaeontology in Utrecht. He started work in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. In his time off he is always busy creating things: painting, making furniture and most of all writing. Frank has been working on the SF series Ontdekking van de Mens every day since 2016.

If there is one word that characterises the author, then it has to be creating. Making something out of nothing. And most of all, that something has to be different, thrilling and mysterious, adventurous and unpredictable.

Frank has three daughters and lives with his wife Diana among the trees of Almere-Hout.

Guest: Roderick Leeuwenhart

Roderick Leeuwenhart (1983) mainly writes science fiction, with the occasional diversion into other types of speculative fiction, such as dark fantasy and horror. Typical for his work is a fascination with Japan and East
Asia. His latest SF novel is De Heren XVII (Quasis Uitgevers), in which the question is asked: what if the Dutch East India Company had never ceased to exist? Roderick is a winner of the Harland Awards, the top award for speculative fiction in the Netherlands. His work has been translated into many languages, even Chinese.

At HSFCon Roderick will lead a workshop on Flash Fiction, including feedback after the convention. So be sure to bring that one brilliant idea that you’ve been playing with for ages, but that never fit in the rest of your work.