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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.

2024 Short Story Contest

The 2024 Parsec Short Story Contest is now open! Submissions will be accepted until March 31, 2024.

The theme for 2024 is A.I. Mythology

Whatever our feelings on AI, we can’t escape the fact that it’s here and that its influence is growing. This prompt invites the writers to imagine what sorts of mythology might be developed in response to the growth, as well as what sort of mythology AIs might write about themselves.

Please note: Even though the theme is AI, we do not wish to see stories written by AI! We trust those of you who choose to submit to honor this request!

This is a Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror contest. We want to emphasize that any sort of “artificially created intelligence” qualifies for the story theme–it doesn’t strictly need to be through technological advancement! (Hex from Discworld comes to mind, or the Archive from the Dresden Files. Both artificial constructs are born from magic rather than tech!)

Eligibility: The contest is open to non-professional writers– those who have not met eligibility requirements for SFWA or equivalent. Broad strokes, if you have earned more than $1000 through selling your writing, you are ineligible to participate.

Previous first-place winners and current contest coordinators are ineligible to enter.  

Visit the Short Story Contest page for Full Submission Requirements

January 2024 Monthly Meeting

The Parsec monthly meeting has a Venue change for the Saturday January 20th meeting! Please be aware that the Jan 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.

Our guest is Sarena Ulibarri, a writer and publisher of Solarpunk fiction. Solarpunk is a subgenre of science fiction that envisions a future where humanity has successfully integrated with nature and developed sustainable ways of living. It emphasizes renewable energy, particularly solar power, and features highly aesthetic, eco-friendly technology and architecture. Solarpunk narratives often focus on community, environmentalism, and ingenuity in solving ecological challenges, presenting an optimistic, solution-oriented view of the future that contrasts with the dystopian themes common in other science fiction genres.

Sarena Ulibarri lives, writes, and plants trees in the American Southwest. She is the author of two novellas: Another Life, available now from Stelliform Press, and Steel Tree, out in December from Android Press.

Her short stories have appeared in Lightspeed, DreamForge, GigaNotoSaurus, Solarpunk Magazine, and elsewhere. She serves as a story reviewer for Grist’s Imagine 2200 climate fiction contest and has curated several solarpunk anthologies under World Weaver Press.

Sarena won the 2023 Utopia Award for her nonfiction article “Horror And Hope In Climate Fiction” in Strange Horizons. The article can be found online.

You can follow Sarena on Instagram @sarenaulibarriauthor

If you cannot attend in person, a Zoom option is available.

In February, the Parsec Meeting will be ZOOM only!

Our Guest will be Herb Kauderer, a frequent Confluence attendee.
Our theme for Feb is science fiction and fantasy poetry.

Attendees of the Feb meeting are welcome to bring their own poems to read. It’s always fun to hear the variety of poetry that the SF/F/H community has written.

Dec 2023 Parsec Holiday Party

PARSEC, Pittsburgh’s premier Science Fiction & Fantasy Organization will hold a Holiday Gathering this year and we hope you’ll join us! 

Parsec Holiday Party, Saturday Dec 16, 2023

All are welcome! You do not have to be a Parsec member to attend. The gathering of like-minded. jovial spirits starts at 4pm and runs until around 10pm. No RSVP required. Show up when you can, stay for as long as the generous host is hospitable.

This is a potluck type gathering. Feel free to bring a beverages or a dish; sweet or savory, to share with others. We always appreciate the bounty and diversity of flavors this party provides. Parsec will provide some drinks, ice and other things like napkins, flatware, plates, etc.

There will be NO regular Parsec meeting this month and no Zoom option available for the Holiday Party. Come on out and fancy yourself a fun evening filled with food. frolic, fantastic folk and fabulous frivolity!

Did you miss the October Parsec meeting?

Now’s your chance to catch up!

Watch the video of the Parsec Zoom meeting with Bret Nelson on our YouTube channel!

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!

Oct 2023 Monthly Meeting

On Sat, Oct 21st, 2023, our guest will be Bret Nelson

Bret is an Emmy Award-winning creator. When he’s not writing stories, he directs TV shows and makes games. Over the years, he’s worked with Kermit the Frog, Buzz Lightyear, and Conan the Cimmerian. He worked on Farscape: The Peacekeeper wars in 2004.

Bret authored the novelization of the 2011 cult movie Manborg, where a soldier, brought back to life as a cyborg, fights alongside a band of adventurers against demon hordes in a dystopian future.

Bret has been published in The Encyclopocalypse of Legends and Lore: Volume One, a collection of macabre myths and lurid legends feature tales of Perchta and watchers, sirens and Squonks from some of the most exciting and diverse voices in modern horror.

A work Bret wishes more readers knew about is Gabba Gabba Hey: An anthology of fiction inspired by the music of The Ramones.

Right now, he’s working on things he can’t talk about (that’s what the contracts say)

In June, Bret’s story “Thread” appeared in DreamForge Magazine. The tale can be read free online.

PARSEC, Pittsburgh’s premier Science Fiction & Fantasy Organization meets on Saturday, October 21st, 2023 via ZOOM and IN PERSON at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Squirrel Hill, Meeting Room B. Return to Regular Time. Meeting 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm; meeting room and the ZOOM both open for chat at 12:30 pm. To Register for the meeting, visit our website at or use the direct Registration link at

Meeting Registration 

Sept 2023 Monthly Meeting

Saturday, Sept 16, 2023 via ZOOM and IN PERSON at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Squirrel Hill, Meeting Room B.

2:15 pm to 4:30 pmNote time change due to room availability!

We’ll open the ZOOM room for chat at 1:30 pm. To Register for the meeting use the direct Registration link

Our guest this month is Rick Lewis

Rick is a literary agent with Martin Literary Management. He represents authors of speculative fiction titles in the Adult and YA categories, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and magical realism. 

You can find more information about Rick at and about the agency at

Rick will explain the mysteries of getting an agent, working with an agent, and what exactly an agent does.

Martin Literary Management, founded in 2003, is a full service literary and media management agency. They focus on representing authors of adult nonfiction, fiction, and books for children and young adults. MLM clients’ titles have appeared on the New York Times bestseller and other national bestseller lists, earned strong reviews, received many awards, and garnered national media attention. Many MLM clients’ works have been optioned and developed for film and television projects and have helped promote speaking engagements.

MLM prides itself on providing thoughtful and considerate management of their clients and on being a modern literary agency capable of developing the many potential ancillary opportunities that exist outside of the book world. 

Register for our Zoom meetings

Next Month – October 21st 2023.

Our guest in October will be Bret Nelson. Bret is an Emmy Award-winning creator. When he’s not writing stories, he directs TV shows and makes games. Over the years, he’s worked with Kermit the Frog, Buzz Lightyear, and Conan the Cimmerian. Right now, he’s working on things he can’t talk about (that’s what the contracts say).

Did you miss the June Parsec meeting? Catch our guest speaker, Somto Ihezue, 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:

Parsec Short Story Contest Winners

Parsec is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Parsec Short Story Contest!
Theme: “Preserve or Purge”

1st place, “Revenge of the Antmen” by Joseph Sidari
2nd place, “Violet Crystal in the Sky” by William Jones
3rd place, “Almost like home” by Taria Karillion
Youth Story: “Memorial” by Teresa Curry

Judges: Andrea Stewart, Jim Horlock & Lindz McLeod.
First Readers: Penelope Smith and Ivy Speight.

Thank you to our contest sponsors!
Timmons Esaias & Mary Fletcher.
Their donations to Parsec made this contest possible.
Read about the contest:

Our contest coordinator, Alfred (AJ) Smith is a father and a rowing coach recently of Erie PA who is trying to spin writing into a full time career. He’s had works published in Deep Magic Ezine, with Air and Nothingness Press, and many other speculative venues. This is his third year running the PARSEC short story contest.

AJ is looking for someone to take over coordinating the contest for 2024. Support will be provided.
If you are interested, please contact us!