Mecca for Science Fiction

Lawrence C. Connolly, Michael Libling, Bill DeSmedt, Christine Cohen and Vaughne Hansen

Saturday, September 14, 2024
Time: 11 AM – 12:30 PM
Pike County Public Library

Around the world, the town of Milford, Pennsylvania is famous for its role in the early days of Science Fiction. Isaac Asimov, Damon Knight, Kurt Vonnegut, Harlan Ellison, Gene Wolfe, James, Blish, Virginia Kidd, Anne McCaffrey.  These are just a few names of those who traveled to Milford to be a part of the SF scene. What brought them here? Why do authors still come to visit? How did Milford influence their works?

Find out at our free event.

Lawrence C Connolly

Lawrence C. Connolly, Moderator

Lawrence C. Connolly’s books include the Veins Cycle novels Veins (2008), Vipers (2010), and Vortex (2014). His collections include Visions (2009), This Way to Egress (2010), and Voices (2011), which feature his stories from Amazing StoriesCemetery DanceThe Magazine of Fantasy & Science FictionTwilight ZoneYear’s Best Horror, and other top magazines and anthologies of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Voices was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award.

His screenplay “This Way to Egress,” co-authored with director David Slade (executive producer of Hannibal and American Gods) is featured in the anthology film Nightmare Cinema (2019). He is also the writer of Mystery Theatre, a podcast produced by Prime Stage, who also staged his new adaptation of Frankenstein in November 2022.  He is currently developing a science-fiction film with his brother Christopher Connolly and producer Jonathan Sanger (producer of The Elephant Man and Vanella Sky).



Michael Libling

Michael Libling is a World Fantasy Award finalist whose short fiction has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy, The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, and many others. The Serial Killer’s Son Takes a Wife, a crime-thriller laced generously with dark humor and horror is his second novel. His first, Hollywood North: A Novel in Six Reels, is a coming-of-age fantasy noir inspired by Trenton, Ontario’s little-known and bizarre history as Canada’s first filmmaking capital. Creator and former host of the long-running CJAD Trivia Show in Montreal, Michael is the father of three daughters and lives on Montreal’s West Island with his wife, Pat, and a big black dog named Piper. Among other things, he claims to be one of only a handful of North American authors who has never owned a cat. You can find out more about him at, where he has been known to blog on occasion.


Bill DeSmedt June 2024

Bill DeSmedt

Bill DeSmedt has spent his life living by his wits and his words. In his time, he’s been: a Soviet Area expert and US/USSR exchange student, a programmer and system designer, a management consultant, an Artificial Intelligence researcher, a son, a husband and lover, a father and grandfather, an omnivorous reader with a soft spot for science fiction and science fact, and even, Lord help us, a novelist. He’s drawn on that checkered history in writing his “Archon Sequence” technothrillers Singularity (2004), Dualism (2014) and Triploidy (2022).

Bill’s non-fiction writing credits include an unorthodox attempt to marry the fields of cognitive psychology and software engineering for the journal DataBase Programming & Design.



Christine Cohen

Christine Cohen

Christine M. Cohen’s first day at the Virginia Kidd Agency was solely the work of her “unofficial godfather” and mentor, former agency president James Allen, who recruited her out of college in 1998. Her first phone call on the job was from a “a lovely gentleman by the name of Harlan Ellison,” which news made said mentor snarf coffee across his desk as Harlan, known to be a “bit of a character,” and frequent Milford visitor was quite notorious – case in point the time he took on the entire Milford Diner in a fistfight.  Her first industry event, many moons ago, was a success thanks to the kindness of lifelong agency gem, Gardner Dozois, who took her from table to table and introduced her to everyone. Her first convention was highlighted by dinner with Gene and Rosemary Wolfe, during which they shared our enthusiasm for Cary Grant movies. In other words, Christine loves her life and often has to remind herself that she is “working” when she gets to do these wonderful things. Her love of dark fantasy, horror, and mystery is heightened by her work within the walls of Arrowhead, the house Virginia Kidd and James Blish bought in Milford Pa in the 1950s, and within whose walls she dwells, working to preserve the rich history of speculative fiction in Milford, and the very house itself. The agency and a few rescue cats still roam the halls of the old house. On the best days, its authors do too.

Vaughne Hansen 1

Vaughne Hansen

Vaughne Hansen was an early reader, reading her first books before attending pre-school. Fantasy and science fiction were always what she felt constituted “real books.” After receiving her BA in Classical Language and Literature from Hiram College, Vaughne enjoyed exploring different avenues before going to work for Virginia Kidd in 1989. Over the years the Agency has worked with some of the most interesting authors in the field including, Alan Dean Foster, Anne McCaffrey, Gene Wolfe, Lawrence C. Connolly, Michael Libling, and Chuck Gannon.  She is delighted to be able to be working with Christine Cohen and Will Reeve on the ongoing preservation of Virginia Kidd’s legacy of the Virginia Kidd Agency, continuing the tradition of representing quality fiction.  The VKA is located at Arrowhead, the house in which Virginia Kidd and James Blish lived and worked in Milford PA. Arrowhead is supported by the Arrowhead Science Fiction Foundation and the Virginia Kidd Agency.