Nov. 15At Door
Young Adult
Children under 12 are always free.

Contact Us

TSFS, Inc.
PO Box 83032
Gaithersburg, MD 20883-3032

Please take a look at our volunteer page to see our up-to-the-minute volunteer needs. To volunteer for a slot, and/or to receive texts for urgent needs during the con, please email volunteers AT chessiecon DOT org.

The Time Travelerís Social is the time when you can show off your finery from whatever era and genre. Dame Dahlia, an award winning costumer and cosplayer, will be judging based on several categories. Historical, Recreation, Own Design, and a special contest for Children under 13. Costumes can be custom made or store bought or a combination of. Meet with Dame Dahlia on Friday to register before the Social. No special presentation is necessary. Individuals will walk under the archway and be announced by Dame Dahlia. Winners will be announced during the Social and ribbons will be awarded. If you have any questions before ChessieCon, you can contact Dame Dahlia at

Ada PalmerGuest of Honor

Ada Palmer's Terra Ignota series (Too Like the Lightning, Seven Surrenders, The Will to Battle, from Tor Books) straddles the line between utopia and dystopia, exploring how humanityís cultural and historical legacies might evolve in a future of borderless nations and globally commixing populations. The first volume was a Hugo Best Novel Finalist, and earned her the Campbell Award, the Compton Crook Award, and the Tiptree Honors List. She is a historian of the Renaissance, Enlightenment, classical reception, the history of books, publication and reading, and the history of philosophy, heresy, science and atheism, and teaches at the University of Chicago. She composes fantasy, SF and mythology-themed music, including the Viking mythology musical stage play Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok (available on CD and DVD), and often performs with her vocal group Sassafrass. She also researches anime/manga, especially Osamu Tezuka, early post-WWII manga and gender in manga, and has worked as a consultant for many anime and manga publishers. She blogs for, and writes the philosophy & travel blog

S.J. TuckerArt Guest of Honor

Megan Willis has worked on a number of animated shows and shorts, including 'Axe Cop' and 'Major Lazer'. She currently works as a storyboard artist on 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic,' and has done boards both for multiple seasons and for the upcoming theatrical film. Even when not drawing at work, Megan is often still drawing at home! She does a number of different comics for fun, primarily her current ongoing webcomic 'The Skybox.' Otherwise, she enjoys a lot of nerdy activities, including video games, cartoons, ridiculous monsters, poking fun at bad movies, being enchanted by any nearby large body of water, and petting every dog she sees. Samples of her artwork can be found here.

T.J. BurnsideMusic Guest of Honor

T.J. Burnside first encountered filk music over forty years ago, at the DC area's first Star Trek convention (August Party 1975). There she was delighted to discover she'd been writing filksongs before she even knew what they were. T.J., along with her August Party cohorts Linda Melnick and Sheila Willis, formed a singing group in 1985 by the name of Technical Difficulties. TD went on to release two recordings, Please Stand By in 1986 and Station Break in 1988, and performed to enthusiastic audiences as the musical guests at many conventions around the US and Canada. In 1989 T.J. married fellow filker and science geek Mitchell Clapp, and they transformed into the colony creature and sometimes filk duo T.J. & Mitchell Burnside Clapp. After winning many awards singly and together, T.J. and Mitchell returned to California's Edwards Air Force Base to work on breeding their backup singers. T.J. now resides with Mitchell in their soon-to-be empty nest in Arlington, Virginia. She spends her time enjoying reading, wine, science fiction, hiking, singing, cooking, and keeping her energetic 70 pound brindle boxer mix Oz from destroying the house. She continues to be amazed that people still invite her to conventions to perform, and is honored and happy to oblige if it means hanging out with all the wonderful people in filk fandom!

KivaSpecial Guests:

For 28 years and counting, KIVA has been entertaining and enthralling audiences with their percussive, acoustic, worldbeat ensemble that celebrates the magic of nature and ancient bardic traditions with music that opens the heart and heals the spirit. The band blends strong vocal harmonies with rich and diverse acoustic and electric instrumentation, performing originals, traditionals, and covers. The musicians are inspired by many cultures, spiritual disciplines, and musical styles, including celtic-folk, folk-rock, blues, big band, traditional chants, and jazz. KIVA is based in the Washington DC metro area, and has been nominated fourteen times (so far) for the Washington Area Music (Wammie) Award.