Members’ Biographies

Active Members

The members of Spacecrafts have bios as diverse as one could imagine–and we can imagine a lot! The group includes both published professional writers and aspiring authors as well as an accomplished list of alumni.

Whether it’s rocket science, online gaming, costuming or typesetting, our members know their stuff.  Here’s are members’ biographies for the Spacecrafts writing group.

Rich Bradford

Janet C. Johnston

Janet Catherine Johnston, SpaceCrafts
Janet Catherine Johnston

Janet Catherine Johnston is a science fiction author and Astrophysicist. Her novella, “Lune Bleue,” about three people stranded on the Moon and their struggle to survive in that harsh environment, was published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact Oct 2013. Janet’s earlier novelette, “Of Night,” a science fiction ghost story, was published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact Oct 2011.

Janet was born in an old area of Manhattan Island called “Spuyten Duyvil” and grew up in the Marble Hill section of New York City. She has lived in Virginia, doing a stint at the Pentagon, Nantucket (Maria Mitchell Astronomical Observatory), Long Island (Brookhaven National Laboratory), and Moscow, Russia. She has traveled to over 50 countries on Earth, including Outer Mongolia, Svalbard (near the North Pole), and Egypt — and with a little imagination, extrapolates those alien cultures and settings into unique speculative fiction storytelling.

Analog magazine, Janet Johnston, Lune Bleue
October 2013

Janet holds four degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in science and engineering and is also a master costume designer and choreographer, dance teacher, singer, martial artist, private pilot, and fortune teller. She is a co-author on numerous scientific journal articles on space experiments as well as on geophysics and tries to weave her real life space science experience and love of 1950s era science fiction movies into her hard science fiction stories. She currently lives on an island off the coast of Massachusetts.

Aline Boucher Kaplan

Aline Kaplan, aknextphase, SpaceCrafts
Aline Kaplan

I have been writing science fiction since 1980. Since then, I have published two novels and written three others. My current novel is stuck at Chapter 36, mostly because I have been putting more effort into The Next Phase Blog. I have also written about a dozen short stories and one novella.

Khyren (Baen Books)

I have been a member of the Science Fiction Writers Association (SFWA) since 1989.

For at least 10 years—I can’t remember when I started—I have participated in the SpaceCrafts writing group, which focuses on science fiction and fantasy work. We have an eclectic group of both published and unpublished authors and meet mostly every month to evaluate work that has been submitted for review.

World SpiritsI’m a docent for Boston by Foot, a volunteer organization that gives historical and architectural tours of Boston, and my particular tour is the Victorian Back Bay. My other interests include going to the movies, gardening, snorkeling, reading just about anything, riding big fast roller coasters and antique hand-carved carousels, and cooking. I also exercise nearly every day and open the door for our cat.

Shamus McGillicuddy

Shamus McGillicuddy, TechTarget, SpaceCrafts
Shamus McGillicuddy

Shamus is a beer connoisseur, cat lover, author and technology journalist. He writes and edits news about the IT industry for TechTarget. Before that he was an award-winning reporter for the Patriot Ledger, city newspaper of Quincy, MA.

He studied English and Urban Studies at Vassar College and earned a master’s in journalism from Boston University. He is currently revising his first novel, an epic fantasy.

Eric Mulder

Eric Mulder was born and raised on the majestic Oregon Coast. Following the traditions of both his family and his fellow Oregonians, Eric had lived in both Germany and Bulgaria. Now fully transplanted into Boston, he works as in-house pre-press for Harvard University Press, handling the engineering side of book design. His stories range from hard science fiction to light fantasy.

Eric holds a degree in English from Willamette University, and a masters in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College.

Wynter Snow

Wyn Snow
Wyn Snow

Wyn is passionate both about writing fiction and about helping fellow writers improve their craft. She has been a member of four writers’ groups over the years (including SpaceCrafts). Two of them bombed, but the others enabled her to hone her craft enormously, and she is grateful for their assistance.

Wyn grew up in a family of writers. Her parents, uncle and grandmother all wrote fiction. Her family lived in New York City’s Greenwich Village while it was still a haven for bohemians, before it became an “upscale” place to live. Dinner table conversation with family and friends often involved the how’s and what’s of writing. Wyn started writing at six and never stopped, even while pursuing other careers.

Her favorite genres include fantasy (especially Marion Zimmer Bradley and Andre Norton), sci-fi and imaginative/speculative fiction generally, mysteries and adventures. She is currently working on her first novel, Escape from Darkness, a fantasy tale about a young woman escaping from slavery. The story explores the heroine’s relationships with her father/owner and a young man who helps her, with whom she becomes romantically entangled.

Wyn has been critiquing short stories and novels since the mid-1990’s. You can learn more about Wyn’s fiction coaching & editing services at Write YOUR Bestseller Book, including her ideas on the four basic elements that make a story emotionally powerful (hence “bestseller”). On her personal website, Wyn has published several short stories: Wynter Snow.

Louis West — On Sabbatical

Louis West
Louis West

Sub-atomic physics, astronomy, biophysics, medical genetics and international finance all lurk in Louis’ background. He’s fond of hard SF, writes reviews for a variety of Speculative Fiction publications and volunteers at several New England SF&F conferences.

As an Author-in-Progress, his SF writing explores both Nanopunk and Biopunk genres.

Rachel Zakuta

Rachel Zakuta, Reckless Space Pirates, SpaceCrafts
Rachel Zakuta

I began “writing lessons” with a local author and English teacher at the age of eleven. Once a week, I came to his house with a few typewritten pages and he ripped them apart with a red pen. I owe John Gould a huge debt for that wonderful early training both in fiction writing and in receiving criticism.

I went to high school at Philips Academy Andover, and then to college at Yale. I made amazing friends, studied incredible books, did too much homework, performed community service, sang, and didn’t have time to write. In between high school and college I participated in City Year Boston, a full-time community service program that is now a branch of Americorps. I worked in a fourth grade classroom in a failing school and loved it so much that I decided to become a teacher. ( I never stopped wanted to write, but I thought I’d better have something to pay the bills, too.) So, I ended up majoring in English and completing the Teacher Prep program.

After graduation, I found a job teaching eighth grade English in the Newton Public School. I loved being in the classroom, but eventually had to face the fact that I was too disabled to teach full-time. Wait! Did you miss the part where I explained my disability?

No. It’s called avoidance. I have a bad case of a chronic pain syndrome called fibromyalgia, a disorder involving the muscles, nerves, and brain. So, I’ve been in pain every minute for the last twenty years, and suffering from chronic fatigue, too.

Since I could only work part-time, I expanded my options by earning a M. Ed. in Special Education from B.C. I worked on a YA fantasy novel entitled The Call during this time, too.

Now I take care of my kids and have some time to write, too. I wrote a few short stories (see the Publications page) before committing to “Reckless Space Pirates.” Since the game was released, I’ve started a new novel, temporarily called Equilibrium, with time travel and aliens and linguistic geeks who save the world.

Reckless Space Pirates,
Reckless Space Pirates

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