Shooting Stars: Authors of the Galaxy Exploration Manual

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Before we crack open the Starfinder Galaxy Exploration Manual and dig into more of its exciting contents, let’s take a moment to learn about the authors behind the words. We asked our esteemed colleagues to take a moment and introduce themselves to our community, including how they like to be called, their pronouns, a bit about their interests, and where you can find them on social media!

A green skittermander with a black headband holding a rifle over one soulder, a hunting knife in another hand, and a sword in a third hand

artist Alex Stone

Alexi Greer

"Hello! My name is Alexi and I wrote the technology section for the Galaxy Exploration Manual. This book is full to the brim with worldbuilding deep-dives, and I had a blast writing for such a fascinating subject. My other works for Paizo can be found in the Starship Operations Manual and the upcoming Starfinder Society Quest Pack: A Waltz Through Myriad Worlds.

I live in the wild, untamed lands known as Orlando, Florida. When I’m not writing as a freelancer, I’m organizing Society events and volunteering at local conventions. My other hobbies include historical sword fighting, dice collecting, and reptile keeping. Despite all of those things sounding suspiciously dragon-related, I am unfortunately human. Not-so-unfortunately, I share my living space with two furry overlords: a tailless cat named Hecate, and a tail-included cat named Mystique.

I’ve worn a lot of hats in the tabletop industry, from game store management to card warehouse stocker. Writing has been my favorite hat, though. It’s not just a chance to create something new, but an opportunity to help readers do the same with their own games. I hope when you read the Galaxy Exploration Manual you find new ideas and new ways of viewing old topics. Should you ever see me at a convention, feel free to say, “Hi” and tell me about your Starfinder adventures!"

John Curtin

My name is John Curtin and I’m thrilled to be making content for Paizo! Besides being part of the absolutely amazing team that worked on the Galaxy Exploration Manual, I’ve contributed the Opulus Ambassador to Starfinder Adventure Path #30: Puppets Without Strings, created the astriapi and ravenous drakes for Starfinder Alien Archive 4, and co-wrote the repeatable Starfinder Society Scenario #2-19: Truth Keepers with Natalie Kertzner. I started playing TTRPGs on a middle school bus ride where a friend introduced me to the idea of a story I could interact with, and my bookish brain immediately latched on and hasn’t let go since! I’ve been casually writing adventures and characters, off and on, for the 20-some-odd years since, and love sharing stories with tables of fellow adventurers and story-tellers. All of this culminated at PaizoCon 2019, where a highly goofy Twitter side project and a chance introduction to Joe Pasini culminated in a follow-up message post-con where I apologized for being an awkward dolt and suggested that I of course would be thrilled to write for Starfinder, even if wasn’t the impression that spilled out of my mouth while I was busy being starstruck from meeting a real Paizo employee in the flesh. The rest, as they say, is history!

When I’m not gaming or writing, my wife and I love to explore the outdoors, try new cuisine, and check out museums and live performances of all stripes. You can follow me on Twitter at @Curtin_Writes for food pics, GM/writer thoughts and inspiration, and links to my “almost-canon” projects!

A Buoyant Pack, black, and yellow backpack with green straps holding it shut

artist Mirco Paganessi

Chris Lambertz (she/her)

Hey, y’all! You may know me from my time at Paizo in various roles. In the two years since I’ve become a substitute paraprofessional and have undergone a total creative reset. With some encouragement from my friends and former coworkers, I took the opportunity to contribute to Alien Archive 4 and the Galaxy Exploration Manual. I have a deep love of the natural world and sharing all I can about it with others. Writing up the desert biome entry prompted diving into all I could find about the earth's own fantastic and weird arid ecosystems, and if anyone ever wants to talk about those plants, rocks, and critters, I'm 100% down! Lately, I get outside with my sweet pittie-lab mix, Sagan, maintain more than 50 houseplants, take pictures and video, and work on my incredibly laggy Animal Crossing: New Horizons island. You can find me at @chrisandmtns.

Solatra Lilac Harvinkai (nov/nov)

Hi, I'm Solatra Lilac Harvinkai, regularly credited as Sasha Laranoa Harving (nov/nov), and I'm a freelance designer! I wrote the mechanic, solarian, and vanguard class options you'll find in the Galaxy Exploration Manual. I'm also an active participant in Starfinder Society as a four-nova GM, and a regular contributor to design work for several third-party publishers. When I'm not writing for Paizo I'm usually working with Legendary Games on their Stellar Options line (among other things), helping Storm Bunny Studios with the Starfinder conversion of the World of Alessia campaign setting, and advocating for queer liberation in the city of Chicago. If you enjoy my work, you can find me on twitter at

Jessica Catalan (she/her)

Hi everyone! My name is Jessica and I’m a full time freelance author. I started freelancing in 2019 with Starfinder Society Scenario #2-03: The Withering World and over the last two years I have contributed to just over 30 projects for Paizo, including the Pathfinder Advanced Player’s Guide, Pathfinder Bestiary 3, Lost Omens Legends, Lost Omens Ancestry Guide, Starship Operations Manual, Alien Archive 4, Starfinder Adventure Path #39: The Gilded Cage (volume 6 of the Fly Free or Die Adventure Path), and seven organized play scenarios. For the Galaxy Exploration Manual I wrote the technomancer and witchwarper class options, the alignment world attribute, and (my personal favorite) the background section, which is a series of random tables to help players create or further develop their character's backgrounds, life experiences, and relationships. Contributing to the Galaxy Exploration Manual was a wonderful experience and I couldn’t be prouder of the final product. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I do. Follow me on Twitter: @d20diaries.

forest body ilskitt, a long creature with a green and white owl-like face, two sets of clawed arms and wings, and red haunches with talons on its feet

artist: Alex Stone

Kendra Leigh Speedling (she/her)

Hello! I'm Kendra, and I've been freelancing for Pathfinder and Starfinder for about 5 years now. I wrote the airborne biome, mystic connections, operative exploits, and the NPC toolbox for the Galaxy Exploration Manual. I really enjoyed working on all those sections, but my favorite part was probably the food sidebar of the airborne biome. Adding in little details like food, cultural traditions, and aphorisms can make a setting come alive and feel like a living world outside the game table, so I always try to work those in where possible, whether writing or GMing.

Other Paizo projects I've worked on recently include PFS Scenario #2-15: A Dirge for Sarkoris; the caligni, maftet and scalescribe in Pathfinder Bestiary 3; and Starfinder Adventure Path #37: The White Glove Affair (volume 6 of the Fly Free or Die Adventure Path)—which also involved some food research, funnily enough. I have a few other cool things in the works as well, both in Pathfinder- and Starfinder-land, and will hopefully be able to say more about those soon!

When I'm not writing or playing TTRPGs, I can be found reading (current obsession: the October Daye books by Seanan McGuire), playing video games (Dishonored 2 right now, or Animal Crossing when I need something relaxing), or baking in my very tiny kitchen. You can follow me on Twitter @KendraLS for cat pictures, updates on my PF/SF projects and fiction, and occasional rambling.

Mikhail Rekun (he/him)

Приветствую вас, уважаемые читатели! My name is Mikhail Sergeyevich Rekun, and I’m a bit of a regular contributor to these blogs. You may recognize me from past works such as Lost Omen Legends (Baba Yaga, Eutropia), Pathfinder Scenario #1-15: Blooming Catastrophe, and Starfinder Adventure Path #31: Waking the Worldseed (the Hibb Gazetteer). When not seeing how much I can mix satiric comedy and cosmic horror, I’m a Russian-American historian and educator, specializing in diplomatic history. I’ve published a book, even, which some people have read.

For the Galaxy Exploration Manual, I’m responsible for the Starship Toolbox, most notably the Known Variable (working title: The N-1-MH), and the Accord section, which means that if you ever want to use Leadership in Starfinder, you may thank and/or blame me.

Today though, I also want to mention another project I’m working on: Ourichor: Fulcrum of the Luminant Age is a setting based around the idea of what happens when a high-cyberpunk technological society collapses very, very thoroughly, and then a thousand or so years later you have a nice, swashbuckling pseudo-Renaissance city state built on the ruins (literally). Check out our Twitter at, and keep an eye out for upcoming product—our first kickstarter project ( will be delivered soon, which means the second one is on the horizon. Stay tuned! You can find more of my work at @LuminantA.

Shahreena Shahrani (she/her)

Marhaba/hello fellow Pathfinders and Starfinders! My name is Shahreena. My works are often inspired by world languages, cultures, and traditions. I’ve contributed to several projects for Starfinder; more recently, the Religion section in the Galaxy Exploration Manual. I was excited about contributing to this section--especially, the adventure hooks--as some were inspired by the zany interactions among characters of my local lodge. (Buckeye Lodge, y’all are awesome!) In 2020–2021, besides playing online with many amazing inter/national Pathfinder and Starfinder players and sharing my love of GIFs with nufriends, I embarked on a new creative journey. I started adapting world languages, folktales, and legends on YouTube. If you’re interested in seeing these works, please visit my YouTube channel: Storytime with Auntie Nina. Other interests include travelling, writing children’s literature, reading/editing my husband’s fiction, spoiling my cat (Namira), and eating Jeni’s Ice Cream. Oh yea, my favorite Jeni’s flavor is midwest whiskey & pecans.

A blue haired Lashunta solarian rappelling down a wall with a glowing blue rope and axe

artist: Mirco Paganessi

Simone D. Sallé (she/they)

Simone D. Sallé (she/they) has been a freelance author for more than three years, and an editor for over 5; they're currently contracted full-time as an editor with Paizo. After their author debut in Alien Archive 3, their writing has appeared in several Paizo books, including the upcoming Secrets of Magic and Lost Omens Grand Bazaar (additional titles can be found on their site at Their love of stark, snowy winters made writing the arctic section for Galaxy Exploration Manual a joy, and they hope you feel cold reading it.

Simone’s always down to discuss book recommendations, en dashes, and conscious language on Twitter @virsamajor or Instagram @wildwoodedits. When not writing or editing, they can be found devouring fantasy and sci-fi library books, playing a vesk android pilot (#FlyFreeorPaizo) or an arctic scientist (Subnautica Below Zero), or mushroom-spotting on hikes with their Disreputable Dog, Penny Kibeth.

Abigail Slater (she/her)

I have been writing stories since I was five, and recently have been lucky to be included in several exciting Paizo projects. Before that, I wrote for local outlets such as The Northern Light and Edible Alaska. In 2014 I was honored to win the Hot Key Books' Young Writer's Prize. Writing for Starfinder opened my eyes to how diverse the community of tabletop game writers is, as well as made me realize how limitless the genre truly can be. My hobbies include running, squishing my cats, and playing Talisman way past my bedtime.

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Tags: Authors Starfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game

Abigail Slater (she/her) wrote:

I have been writing stories since I was five, and recently have been lucky to be included in several exciting Paizo projects. Before that, I wrote for local outlets such as The Northern Light and Edible Alaska. In 2014 I was honored to win the Hot Key Books' Young Writer's Prize. Writing for Starfinder opened my eyes to how diverse the community of tabletop game writers is, as well as made me realize how limitless the genre truly can be. My hobbies include running, squishing my cats, and playing Talisman way past my bedtime.

Squishing your cats?

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Hooray! Glad to get such talented creators in the mix for a great Starfinder book. Thank you!

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Shahreena, as a fellow Ohioan, I have to ask if you've had Handel's ice cream.

Don't get me wrong, Jeni's is very good. But I couldn't pass up the chance to rep my hometown brand. It's more down-to-earth than Jeni's, but holy cow is it good!

The butter pecan is probably right up your alley (and is a personal favorite), but I also love banana. I don't even like peaches, but for the couple of weeks when they're fresh mid-August and Handel's makes peach ice cream...forget it. So good!

There's one near the Columbus Zoo...

For non-Ohioans: as my wife says, we take our ice cream seriously here. And if you're ever in Columbus for Origins, definitely walk over to North Market for some Jeni's!

Scarab Sages

Great work on a great book!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I love to see fellow Buckeyes in the Limelight! You rock Shahreena! I am quite certain the rest of the book is good too as I am seeing many familiar names.

Cant wait to begin reading.

And yes Ohioans are very good at food. It's like a past-time here, food and music festivals.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Ooo Thanks for the recommendation! I'll def add Handel's ice cream to my future Ohio ice cream tour route! Mardi Gras Homemade Ice Cream with its Indian flavors--kulfi, yumm--is another fave ice cream place in Columbus. Honestly, Ohio should be called, "The Ice Cream State." --ss

Paizo Employee Starfinder Senior Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

A lot of talented folks worked on this book!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ya Galaxy Exploration Manual is great book :3


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
Ya Galaxy Exploration Manual is great book :3

I concur. Great book. Tons of fun tools.

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