Panel of Judges for the 2020 Bjo Awards
Rigel Ailur has published thirteen novels and novellas in numerous genres ranging from science fiction to romance, from fantasy to mystery. Her work often crosses genres and includes several ongoing series such as The Tales of Mimion, The Vagabonds' Adventures and The Patel Family Chronicles.
Ms. Ailur's recent titles include the thriller Trillionaire, and Ahoy!, the second anthology of her pirates stories that span the ages and the globe—and beyond. In A Little Piece of Home, set thousands of years in the future, an intergalactic worldship embarks on a voyage spearheading a new age of exploration. And in The Last Abbot of Lin Duachaill, she and cowriter Michelle Markey Butler explore betrayal and conflict between cultures over a thousand years in the past.
The author of over sixty short stories, Ms. Ailur wrote for the Star Trek anthology Strange New Worlds 10 and for the Shadowrun sourcebook Seattle 2072. Her online fiction includes "Azencer," a Mimion supershort piece of flash fiction at Daily Science Fiction, and "Deadly Hauntings" at Story Portals.
Ms. Ailur earned her degree in Journalism and German after which she worked as a technical writer and technical translator. She also wrote for corporate newspapers and magazines. She chairs the annual Scribes Awards for the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, where she's a longtime member. She worked backstage at a local theater, which added authenticity to her romantic suspense novel, Masquerade.
Ms. Ailur previously served as a judge for the Bjo Awards in 2018 and 2019.
Troy Bernier is a geoscientist who has worked extensively in West Africa, Europe and the United States. He co-directed and produced the first Florida science fiction film and has played roles in the Star Trek: New Voyages fan-favorite fan film "Mindsifter." He is a proud Dad and a co-founder of the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival, currently in its ninth season. Mr. Bernier is a doctoral candidate at Florida Atlantic University and recently served on the 2018/19 SAS-C grant panel, where he awarded over $850,000 in grants to nearly 40 Miami-Dade Summer camps.
Mr. Bernier was a featured guest at Treklanta in 2015, 2016 and 2019 and joins the panel of judges for the Bjo Awards for the first time this year.
In addition to writing, producing and directing for a wide variety of television series and films, Diana Botsford teaches screenwriting as an assistant professor at Missouri State University. She has degrees in Screenwriting & Producing from Boston University and Creative Writing from Seton Hill University. Prior to joining Missouri State University, she spent twelve years in Los Angeles in the television and film industry, followed by five years developing streaming media content and community-driven web sites for Microsoft.
Ms. Botsford's screenwriting credits include Star Trek: The Next Generation, Spiral Zone and a variety of children's series for CBS, NBC and independent networks. As a visual effects director, she has enjoyed the opportunity to play techno junkie while telling people like George Clooney how to stand in front of a green screen. She has produced multiple series for television, such as the CBS series Harts of the West and Nightgames. Her theatrical credits include visual effects directing and supervision for a wide variety of films, including Nightmare of Elm Street VI, Tank Girl, From Dusk Til Dawn, Terminator 2 and many independent films. As associate producer for D.I.C. Enterprises and then later as VP of Family Programming for Kushner-Locke, she produced over 1,000 hours of animation for shows that included Inspector Gadget, Heathcliff, M*A*S*K Force, Spiral Zone and the Columbia/Tristar film Pound Puppies & the Legend of Big Paw. Most recently, Ms. Botsford created and executive-produced the science fiction web series Epilogue, a Missouri State University production. She has also served as executive producer on the Electronic Arts SF short Apollo, which was a recent selection at the Athens (Greece) International Science Fiction Film Festival.
Ms. Botsford's primary writing focus is on science fiction for a variety of media including books, film, television, theatre and comics. In addition to her Stargate: SG-1 novel The Four Dragons (Fandemonium Books, 2010), and its sequel, The Drift (2012), her recently completed written work includes the SF novel Critical Past and the comic book series The Fracture. She is oftentimes a speaker or workshop leader at various writers conferences and science fiction conventions.
Ms. Botsford was a guest of honor at TrekTrax Atlanta in 2011 and previously served as a judge for the Bjo Awards in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Michael A. Burstein is a past winner of the Campbell/Astounding Award. His short fiction, collected in I Remember the Future, has been nominated for ten Hugos and four Nebulas. He wrote the essay "We Find the One Quite Adequate" for the Star Trek anthology Boarding the Enterprise. He has two physics degrees, attended the Clarion Workshop and is an editorial manager in educational publishing.
Mr. Burstein joins the panel of judges for the Bjo Awards for the first time this year.
Melissa Carter is a familiar voice on Atlanta radio, having been an original cast member of the long-running The Bert Show on Q100, a news anchor on All News 106.7 and co-host of her own morning show, The Tad and Melissa Morning Show, on B98 FM. She is a featured columnist for GA Voice and has contributed to The Huffington Post. An award-winning public speaker, columnist and children’s book author, she is currently the host of the weekly podcast The Friendzy.
Ms. Carter was a guest of honor at the 2012 TrekTrax Atlanta and joins the panel of judges for the Bjo Awards for the first time this year.
Matthew M. Foster is a freelance film critic and film historian and also the Director of the Dragon*Con Film Festival, which annually brings filmmakers, features and the best in Independent Short film to Atlanta. He reviews the best in genre film (where "genre" is taken very broadly) on his web site, Foster on Film. He is also the author of Welcome to the Doomsphere: Sad Puppies, Hugos and Politics and The Birth of Monsters: A Guide to 1930s Horror Cinema!
Mr. Foster previously served as a judge for the Bjo Awards in 2016 and 2017 and returns to the panel this year.
Best known for designing computer games and roleplaying games, Andrew Greenberg cocreated the Fading Suns roleplaying and computer games and was the original developer of White Wolf's Vampire: The Masquerade. He has credits on more than 50 White Wolf products and more than 20 HDI books. Currently helping develop Kaneva.com's cutting-edge virtual world, Mr. Greenberg has also worked on products with other roleplaying game companies, including Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. His computer game credits include Dracula Unleashed, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Emperor of the Fading Suns, Warhammer 40K: Final Liberation, Merchant Prince II, Mall Tycoon, Dungeon Lords and more. His most recent computer game credit is Railroad Tycoon Mobile and he is currently working on the Global Agenda MMO. Mr. Greenberg regularly writes for publications as diverse as Prick Magazine and the Matthew Bender legal reference series. He is also the organizer of the Southeast Interactive Entertainment and Games Expo (SIEGE).
Mr. Greenberg was a guest of honor at TrekTrax Atlanta in 2011 and 2012 and previously served as a judge for the Bjo Awards in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Robert Greenberger is a longtime writer/editor having worked at Starlog Press, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Gist Communications and Weekly World News. He edited DC's Star Trek comic book for eight years before writing Trek novels and short stories for Pocket Books and Star Trek: The Complete Unauthorized History, in addition to countless other works across many genres and audiences. He spends his days teaching high school English in Maryland.
Mr. Greenberger previously served on the panel of judges for the Bjo Awards in 2017 and returns to the panel this year.
Mark McCray is an award-winning television writer who has been in the broadcasting industry for over 20 years. Heis currently a senior managerof programming operations for Adult Swim, a block of programming on Cartoon Network, that offers original and acquired animated and live-action series for young adults. He is also the author of The Best Saturdays of Our Lives, a book that chronicles the origins of competitive Saturday morning animated programming.
Mr. McCray was a featured guest at Treklanta in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and joins the panel of judges for the Bjo Awards for the first time this year.
Leslie E. Owen is an agent who represents writers of speculative fiction and a freelance writer and editor whose work has been published in Publishers Weekly, The SCBWI Bulletin, Sick Lit Magazine, Emerald Coast Review and the Queer Sci-Fi anthology Renewal, and by Tradewind Books and Crocodile Books. She is also a judge and board member of the SF Miami Film Festival and has appeared on the Star Trek podcast Tribbles and Trilobites as a co-host.
Ms. Owen was a featured guest at Treklanta in 2017 and 2019 and joins the panel of judges for the Bjo Awards for the first time this year.
Jeremy Roberts played the role of Lt. Commander Dimitri Valtane in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Flashback." He also appeared in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Hippocratic Oath" as Meso'Clan. He has appeared in CSI: Miami, Xena: Warrior Princess, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and dozens of additional television series and motion pictures over the last thirty years.
Mr. Roberts was a guest of honor at the 2014 TrekTrax Atlanta and joins the panel of judges for the Bjo Awards for the first time this year.
William Schlichter is an award-winning screenwriter and author specializing in science fiction and the phantasmagorical world of the undead. His popular No Room in Hell and Silver Dragon Chronicles series are fan favorites, and his full-length feature script, Incinta, is a 2014 New Orleans Horror Film Festival finalist, a 2015 Beverly Hills Film Festival finalist and an Official Selected finalist in the 2016 Irvine Film Festival.
Mr. Schlichter previously served as a judge for the Bjo Awards in 2019.
Andrew Wallace is a film buff and walking Memory Alpha of Star Trek lore knowledge. He also has a keen eye for editing as well as geek podcasting as co-host of two rather geeky podcasts, The Geek Book Club and The Brosephs, on YouTube. He has a serious passion for Star Trek as well as the philosophies behind the franchise. Star Trek has shaped his life and helped him to discover his passion for film, digital effects and storytelling.
Mr. Wallace previously served as a judge for the Bjo Awards in 2019.