turns out my fellow panelists at Arisia are published authors, checking out the books by some of them.
Alexander Jablokov was the moderator for the body horror and cli-fi panels, and Gabriel Squailia was a fellow panelist on the body horror panel. Gabriel was the one to bring up the idea of body horror in relation to body dismorphia, as well as the one with the story about how when he was a small child he had this idea fixed in his head that after he went to bed his parents took off their faces and became who they really were, and when he got old enough they'd teach him how to take off his face too. clearly he was a good match for this panel.
Jablokov has written a few books... but A Deeper Sea won me over with the first teaser line "Dolphins finally talk to humans—and turn out to be annoying, obscene jerks."