It's a little after ten on a Sunday morning, and this year's MileHiCon -- Colorado's oldest science-fiction and fantasy convention -- is beginning its third and final day. In a Hyatt Regency Tech Center meeting room, a panel titled "Literary Genre or Marketing Label?" is five minutes late getting started. Sitting at a long table at the front facing a few dozen attendees are four local SF/F writers: Lou Berger, Van Aaron Hughes, and Angie Hodapp and her husband, Warren Hammond. Next to Hammond is an empty chair where Vaughn is supposed to be.
Hammond is the last panelist to introduce himself as everyone waits for Vaughn to materialize. Rugged yet unassuming, he's hard to hear over the audience's polite coughs and the rustling pages of their convention schedules. "I'm the author of the novels KOP, Ex-KOP and KOP Killer, which are kind of cross-genre books: mystery, science fiction and noir," Hammond says. "My newest book is a science-fiction spy novel, and it's due in December. It's called Tides of Maritinia."