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Category: Monthly Meeting

2024 March Monthly Meeting

This month our Confluence Topics meeting will be held at the Mt.Lebanon Public Library (16 Castle Shannon Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15228) in Meeting Room A (lower level).
The room opens at 12:30. The meeting starts at 1:00pm.
A Zoom option will be available for those that cannot make it in-person

Joining us in person will be Confluence 2024 Guest of Honor, Richard KadreyRichard is a novelist, freelance writer, and photographer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

At the March meeting, Parsec traditionally holds a brainstorming session for the Confluence Conference held July 26-28, 2024. We’ll be discussing various panel topics for consideration.
Richard will introduce us to his works, career, and writing, and do a reading from one of his books, perhaps the Sandman Slim series or The Dead Take the A Train. He will also participate in our Confluence panel topics discussion.

Richard Kadrey is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sandman Slim supernatural noir series. Sandman Slim was included in Amazon’s “100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime,” and is in development as a feature film.

“The Dead Take the A Train” is his latest release! Bestselling authors Cassandra Khaw and Richard Kadrey have teamed up to deliver a dark new story with magic, monsters, and mayhem, perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Joe Hill.

Some of Kadrey’s other books include King Bullet, The Grand Dark, Butcher Bird, and The Dead Take the A Train (with Cassandra Khaw). He’s written for film and comics, including Heavy Metal, Lucifer, and Hellblazer. Kadrey also makes music with his band, A Demon in Fun City.

To Register for the Zoom meeting, visit:

Coming in April . . .

 Our guest will be John Ventre of the Mutual UFO Network.

Nov 2023 Monthly Meeting

On Sat, Nov 18, 2023, our guest speaker will be Elizabeth Eve King, aka E.E. King

Elizabeth King, is an award-winning painter, performer, writer, and naturalist. She’ll do anything that won’t pay the bills, especially if it involves animals. Ray Bradbury called Elizabeth’s stories, “marvelously inventive, wildly funny, and deeply thought-provoking.”

E.E. King has been published in over 100 magazines and anthologies, including Clarkesworld, Daily Science Fiction, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Short Edition, and Flametree.  Her novels include Dirk Quigby’s Guide to the Afterlife: All you need to know to choose the right heaven, and several story collections. Her short story The Lost Village appeared in DreamForge in 2023.

Her art has been collected internationally.  Elizabeth has painted murals in California, Mexico, Spain, and Italy, and shown her paintings at the LA Contemporary Museum of Art.

​Elizabeth also co-hosts The Long-Lost Friends Show on Metastellar YouTube and spends summers doing bird rescue and winters planting coral.

During the November Parsec meeting, Elizabeth will be informing us about her activities planting coral and sharing a video or two with us. Along with her husband Kevan, she has visited Bonaire and volunteered with Reef Renewal Bonaire, cleaning and planting coral. A short video on YouTube introduces you to the work being done Reinvigorating Bonaire’s Coral Sanctuaries.

PARSEC, Pittsburgh’s premier Science Fiction & Fantasy Organization meets on Saturday, Nov 18, 2023 via ZOOM and IN PERSON at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Squirrel Hill, Meeting Room B. 
Time: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
The meeting room and the ZOOM both open for chat at 12:30 pm. 

If you missed the Sept Parsec meeting with guest speaker, literary agent Rick Lewis, you can catch it now on our YouTube channel!

August 2023 Monthly Meeting


Location: Dormont Park Large Pavilion. 1801 Dormont Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15216. The large pavilion is Wheelchair accessible and has plenty of room for social distancing! This is a potluck event.

Date: Saturday Aug 19, 2023
Location: Dormont Park large pavilion, 1801 Dormont Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15216.

All the information can be found on the:

July 2023 Parsec Monthly Meeting

Saturday, July 15th, 2023 via ZOOM and IN PERSON at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Squirrel Hill, Meeting Room B.

Please note time change due to room availability!
In-person meeting at Squirrel Hill Library: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
ZOOM will open at 1:30 pm. Register for the Zoom meeting:

This month we’re going to talk about the Confluence Conference, which takes place July 21, 22, and 23, 2023 at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel.

Why is Confluence a great place to experience your first SciFi Con?

Come hear from our guest speakers, Susan Kaye Quinn, Timons Esaias, and Susan Dexter (and maybe more!) talk about the Confluence experience.

If you’re an SF/F/H fan, you won’t want to miss Confluence!

Next Month – Parsec Picnic August 19th 2023

Location: Dormont Park Large Pavilion. 1801 Dormont Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15216. The large pavilion is Wheelchair accessible and has plenty of room for social distancing! This is a potluck event.

Date: Saturday Aug 19th, 2023
Time: Noon to Dusk

Please RSVP

March 2023 Parsec Monthly meeting

PARSEC, Pittsburgh’s premier Science Fiction & Fantasy Organization meets on Saturday, March18th via ZOOM. (The Squirrel Hill Library will not be available to us in the First Quarter of 2023.)
Program begins 1:00 pm.

Zoom Meeting Registration:

Our Program:

This month we’ll discuss and exchange ideas for programming for the 2023 Confluence Conference. The Conference takes place July 21, 22, and 23.

We’ll discuss, among other things, panel topics for the conference. Things like:

• A.I. in Art and Writing, the Controversy of These Emerging Technologies.

• The Drake Equation and the Fermi Paradox. If there are alien civilizations all around us, why are they invisible and silent?

• Speculative Fiction as a Literature of Hope or Despair? Should writers point out all the ways humanity is failing, or our opportunities to transcend?

These examples are just to generate ideas and discussion. We want to hear your ideas!

Learn more about the Confluence conference:

This year’s guest of honor is Ada Palmer. Ada’s Terra Ignota series (Tor Books) explores a future of borderless nations and globally commixing populations. The first volume Too Like the Lightning was a Best Novel Hugo finalist and won the Compton Crook Award. She composes close harmony folk music with mythological, science fiction and fantasy themes, and performs with the a cappella group Sassafrass.

Our featured music guest is Sassafrass. Sassafrass is a singing group performing original a cappella folk music, mostly with fantasy, mythology and science fiction themes.

Writing Workshops with Timons Esaias. Timons Esaias is a satirist, writer and poet living in Pittsburgh. His works, ranging from literary to genre, have been published in twenty-two languages. He taught writing in Seton Hill’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate program for twenty years.
Workshops open March 15th.

Featured Artist is Susan Dexter.

Featured Entertainers are The Confused Greenies.

Rhiannon’s Lark will lead the singing of “Three Days Away from the Ratrace” at the Opening Ceremonies.

Zoom Meeting Registration:

Coming in April!

Robert E. Harpold Flybys, Launch Windows, and Selfies with the Earth and Moon: The Artemis I Flight from the Perspective of a Member of the Trajectory-Design Team

In April our guest speaker will be Robert E. Harpold.

Robert E. Harpold is an engineer working for ERC, Inc., a subcontractor for NASA, designing trajectories for the Artemis missions.

More information coming soon!

Feb 2023 Parsec meeting

February is poetry month at Parsec!

Love is in the air so show your love for SF/F/H by bringing your original poem to the Feb Parsec meeting. Attendees are encouraged to bring short and effective pieces to read.

Bruce Boston will be our our guest!
Bruce is an accomplished SF Poet and the author of sixty books and chapbooks, including the dystopian novel The Guardener’s Tale and the psychedelic coming-of-age novel Stained Glass Rain.

Bruce will read for us “Interstellar Tract,” and some other poems from his latest collection, Spacers Snarled in the Hair of Comets, which is entirely SF poetry.

His fiction and poetry have appeared in hundreds of publications, especially Asimov’s SF Magazine, Amazing Stories, Analog, Weird Tales, Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy, Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, The Nebula Awards Showcase, and DreamForge Magazine. Boston has received the Bram Stoker Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Asimov’s Readers Award, the Gothic Readers Choice Award, and the Rhysling and Grand Master Awards of the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

Meeting Information:

Date: Saturday, February 18, 2023

Program begins: 1:00 pm (ET)

Register for Zoom
The Squirrel Hill Library will not be available to us in the First Quarter of 2023.

Did you miss the January Parsec meeting?

You can now catch a recap of Crystal Crawford talking about her Kindle Vella experience on our YouTube channel!

Jan 2023 Parsec Meeting

This month we welcome Crystal Crawford, a homeschooling mom of four, part-time non-profit Director, a writing teacher and indie author. Her imagination is her happy place! Crystal writes fantasy and YA, with a smattering of other genres, and loves to create deep, enveloping story worlds.

Crystal has one published YA fantasy series, The Lex Chronicles (Legends of Arameth), and is now writing a new YA paranormal folklore-inspired fantasy series, The Leyward Stones, which is currently publishing in weekly episodes on Amazon’s Kindle Vella serial platform.

Crystal has published two stories with DreamForge Magazine, both “Our Kind” and “One Shot at Aeden” are both side stories set in the Leyward Stones world.

During our January meeting, Crystal will tell us about her experience publishing with Kindle Vella. Kindle Vella is a way to share serialized stories with readers over an extended period – one episode at a time. Readers can: Find and view a story’s detail page in the Kindle Vella store. Read the first few episodes of every story for free. Kindle Vella offers features like Faves and Thumbs Up to engage with stories.

Meeting Information:

Date: January 21, 2023
Time: 1:00 pm (et)
Zoom Meeting Registration:

Unfortunately The Squirrel Hill Library will not be available to us in the First Quarter of 2023. Programs in Jan, Feb and March will be held on Zoom only.

Dec 2022 Parsec Meeting

This year we will be returning to an in-person holiday party!

DATE: Saturday December 17th

TIME: 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Location: 2966 Voelkel Ave, Pittsburgh (Dormont), PA 15216.
Parsec Member Greg Armstrong’s home*.

Santa with a 10 foot tall holiday dragon.

This is a potluck event. It is suggested that everyone bring a dish to share: salad, side dish, dessert or snacks/chips & dip.
Parsec will supply some beverages and paper products (plates, napkins, flatware).
Masking is optional.

This event is FREE to attend and open to members and friends of Parsec and those wishing to learn more about Parsec. 

During the party the 2023 Parsec meeting committee officers will be announced!

*If using public transit, take the trolley Red Line to Potomac Station. Take a 2 block walk down Potomac (away from Molly’s Pizza) and a left onto Voelkel. 2966 is at the far end on the right.
If driving, Voelkel is a one-way street, starting at Hillsdale Ave and heading towards Potomac Ave. Greg’s home will be on the left side.
Greg will probably have his 10′ dragon wearing a Santa hat in his front yard.

We hope to see you there!

Parsec wishes you the happiest holiday season!

Coming to Parsec in January!

Crystal Crawford talks about her Kindle Vella experience.

Oct 15, 2022 Parsec Meeting

PARSEC, Pittsburgh’s premier Science Fiction & Fantasy Organization meets on Saturday, October 15th, 2022 at the Squirrel Hill Carnegie LibraryRoom B12:30-3:30pm (ET). Program begins 1:00 pm.   A Zoom option is available: Register for Zoom

Our guest in October is Publisher, Author, and Poet Angela Yuriko Smith.

Angela is a third-generation Shimanchu-American and an award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years of experience as a professional writer in nonfiction. Along with her husband Ryan Aussie Smith, she is publisher of Space and Time Magazine, which has been a rich source of speculative fiction, horror, and poetry since 1966.

She has also received Rhysling and Pushcart Prize nominations for poetry. Angela offers resources for writers at

During the Oct meeting, nominations for the Parsec Meeting Committee for 2023 will be open!

ANYONE can volunteer or make a nomination (with the individuals permission) during the October 15th meeting. Parsec members can send an email to:*
Deadline for nominations is October 30, 2022. Nominations will be announced during the Nov 19th meeting and voting will take place in December. Winners will be announced during the annual holiday party in December.

Nominations will open for Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary. (Co-chair position is allowed and encouraged)

Chair (or co-chair) responsibilities include, planning monthly meetings, inviting guests to speak during monthly meetings, organizing and implementing the meetings, coordinating meeting space with the Library, managing the Zoom option for monthly meetings.

Vice Chair responsibilities include: Filling in for the chair should the chair not be available or able to fulfil their responsibilities, additional support for the chair when needed and providing ice during in person social functions.

Secretary responsibilities include: Taking the monthly meeting minutes and providing those minutes in a timely manner to the newsletter* editor.

*NOTE: We are also in need of a dedicated newsletter editor. A newsletter platform, email address and support staff will be provided.

New ideas and new energy are always welcome!

* is a member only email service. If you would like to become a member of Parsec, please use our online membership form to sign up and help support all the great programming Parsec provides every year for the past 30+ years!

Library masking rules:  Unvaccinated or Partially Vaccinated: Wear a Mask. Fully Vaccinated: Masking is Optional. Masks required at all times in Children’s Area.

Next Month – November 19th, 2022

In November, we are working on a unique experience, bringing in William Stankay to share his environmentally inspired Earthtones project.

William Stankay is a musician, composer & sound designer specializing in atmospheric music production. His creative output flows into multiple streams, utilizing innovative sound architecture to shape the sonic landscapes in his work.

Earthtones, first developed in the remote Arctic region of Svalbard, Iceland and Alaska. He is currently working in his Sunfall studios on the debut Earthtones album and an accompanying documentary film, centered around the process of recording life on Earth from various locations around the world and extracting the naturally-occurring music within them as the foundation of new songs and score.

Sept 17, 2022 Parsec Meeting

Our guest in September is author and PARSEC member Donald Firesmith. Donald will deliver a presentation on the importance of realism in speculative fiction.

Join us in person on Saturday September 17, 2022 at the Squirrel Hill Carnegie LibraryRoom B.
Meeting begins at 1:00 pm
A Zoom option is available for those unable to attend in person.

Donald Firesmith

Donald Firesmith is a multi-award-winning author of speculative fiction including science fiction (alien invasion), fantasy (magical wands), horror, and modern urban paranormal novels and anthologies of short stories. Prior to retiring to devote himself full-time to his novels, he earned an international reputation as a distinguished engineer, authoring seven system/software books based on his 40+ years spent developing large, complex software-intensive systems. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, his daughter Sera, and varying numbers of dogs and cats.

Donald’s recent books include the Hell Holes series; apocalyptic science fiction, horror, modern paranormal fantasy, action and adventure novels. 

When giant holes mysteriously appear in the frozen tundra above the Arctic Circle, they provide portals for a demonic invasion from Hell.

Hell Holes, by Donald Firesmith

Every month Parsec invites new guest speakers for informative, lively discussions on everything science fiction, fantasy, horror, writing, publishing, podcasts, speculative fiction and more! Meetings are free to attend and open to the public!

Library masking rules: Unvaccinated or Partially Vaccinated: Wear a Mask. Fully Vaccinated: Masking is Optional. Masks required at all times in Children’s Area.