Featured Presenters

Featured Presenters

The Chicago Steampunk Exposition is honored to be joined these distinguished speakers.

Bishop Stevens

Bishop Stevens plays the title role in the new Steampunk TV series The Steampunk Adventures of Salem Tusk which is in development from Marvel comics artist/ series creator Tom Rasch. Stevens is a former WCW-WWE pro-wrestler turned actor. As a wrestler Bishop trained with the legendary 8 time Champion Harley Race before signing with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) which was later purchased by the WWF (now the WWE). Early in his acting career he appeared on some of the hottest network and cable television shows including AMC’s The Walking Dead, FOX’s Empire, NBC’s Chicago PD before landing his 1st guest starring role on the Verizon go90’s political series Embeds starring Don Tieri and Alexis Zalar.

Thomas Willeford

Willeford’s journey through Steampunk dates back to the 1980’s when he began working on creating pieces combining his love of engineering and art. Willeford created the steampunk arm worn by Nathan Fillion (pictured right) in episode 3.4 of the television series Castle. His work has been displayed at the University of Oxford’s Museum of the History of Science, at the Steampunk Bizarre Experiment, the Penn State Berks Freyberger Gallery, at Nemo’s Steampunk Art & Invention Gallery and at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation, and has been featured in Popular Mechanics. He is a contributor to Bruce Boxleitner’s Lantern City project, was a judge on Game Show Network’s Steampunk’d, and has new projects currently in the works.

Diana Pho

Diana Pho (aka Ay-leen the Peacemaker) is a scholar, activist, performer, and general rabble-rouser. She is best-known for running Beyond Victoriana, an award-winning, US-based blog on multicultural steampunk, and the oldest-existing blog on this topic. For several years, she has traveled the country as a professional convention speaker about social justice issues and fandom. Diana currently lives and works in New York City as an editor for Tor Books & blogs for Tor.com. You can follow her academic work on Academia.edu.

Michael Coorlim

Michael Coorlim is the author of the Galvanic Century steampunk series, the cyberpunk Shadow Decade series, and the apocalyptic horror short story collection Grief. He’s produced two seasons of the Synesthesia Theatre audio drama podcast with Burning Brigid Media, adapting his novels Iron Horses Can’t Be Broken and Cold Reboot into full cast audio productions, and designs both computer games and tabletop roleplaying games.

Learn more about Michael Coorlim at MCoorlim.com

Leanna Renee Hieber

An actress, playwright and award-winning bestselling author of Gothic Victorian Fantasy novels for adults and teens. Her Strangely Beautiful saga, beginning with The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, hit Barnes & Noble and Borders Bestseller lists and garnered numerous regional genre awards and new revised editions are now available from Tor Books.Darker Still hit the American Bookseller’s Association “Indie Next List” and was a Scholastic Book Club “Highly Recommended” title. The Eterna Files, her latest Gaslamp Fantasy saga, is now complete from Tor Books. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous notable anthologies and her books have been translated into many languages. A proud member of performer unions Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA, she lives in New York City where she is a licensed ghost tour guide and has been featured in film and television on shows like Boardwalk Empire and Mysteries at the Museum, with a one-woman show about designer Clara Driscoll forthcoming.

Learn more about Leanna Renee Hieber at LeannaReneeHieber.com



John Borowski

John Borowski is an award winning independent filmmaker and author whose film works have garnered international acclaim and are distributed internationally on dvd, television, and streaming. Borowski’s “historical horror” trilogy of documentary films focus on late nineteenth and early twentieth century serial killers. His 2012 documentary HH Holmes has aired several times on PBS, and September 2019, Borowski will share his knowledge of the 1893 Columbian Exposition’s notorious serial killer.