For decades, fans of fantasy and science fiction have endured being labeled ‘nerds’ for their love of creative writing — but now, based on the success of series from Twilight to Game of Thrones, these onetime fringe genres are enjoying some serious mainstream success.
And for the next few weeks, Austin’s own BookPeople is bringing some of its biggest names to town for a series of readings. From internationally-renowned writers to an innovative (locally-based!) stage show, it’s officially the Summer of Sci-Fi.
Here are the literary legends you’ll have a chance to meet this month:
Salvatore is best known for his 41-volume Forgotten Realms series, and his latest release, Charon’s Claw, is the most recent installment of stories starring the beloved Drizzt Do’Urden:
His work is heavily influenced by the world of Dungeons and Dragons, though he’s also worked on graphic novels, a volume on Tarzan and, famously, a book based on Star Wars. He recently conducted a crowd-sourced Q+A on Reddit, and his appearance on Wired’s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast is one of the show’s best episodes.
(This reading is free and open to the public. In order to have Charon’s Claw signed, a copy must be purchased from BookPeople.)
Stephenson is one of the biggest names in contemporary speculative fiction, a genre that blends fantastic elements with social drama and commentary. His beautifully-written novels draw all types of readers into alternate realities, from Snow Crash’s cyber-punk armies to Cryptonomicon’s code-breakers.
His eight volume Baroque Cycle reimagines history, and his recent novel, README, centers on game developers and online criminals. This week he’s releasing Some Remarks: Essays, a collection of previously published works, a new essay and an original piece of fiction.
(This reading is free and open to the public. In order to have Some Remarks signed, a copy must be purchased from BookPeople.)
For the past few years, Austin-based Jason Neulander has been producing a unique stage show drawing inspiration from comics, classic radio plays and fantasy writing — and recently, he brought the show to Conan:
The cast of The Intergalactic Nemesis is about to embark on an epic world tour, and they’re stopping at BookPeople first to answer your questions and sign copies of The Intergalactic Nemesis Book One: Target Earth and The Intergalactic Nemesis Book Two: Robot Planet Rising.
(This event is free and open to the public.)
With an astounding 23 appearances on The New York Times’ bestseller list, Brooks is one of the most commercially successful fantasy writers in the game. His body of work is mainly comprised of the Shannara series, a 25-book series (with two more slated for next year); the most recent, Wards of Faerie: The Dark Legacy of Shannara, is out this month.
(This event is free and open to the public. In order to have Wards of Faerie signed, a copy must be purchased from BookPeople.)
An early promoter of cyber- and steam-punk fiction, William Gibson is as much a cultural commentator as an author, with essays appearing in Wired, The Observer and The Times, among other places. His novels — including Neuromancer, All Tomorrow’s Parties and Pattern Recognition — depict and predict the effect of technology on society, and his non-fiction work as well focuses on intellectual analysis of science and consciousness.
He’ll be appearing at BookPeople to promote the paperback release of Distrust That Particular Flavor, a compilation of work spanning over 30 years.
(Wristbands are required for this event, and are available with the purchase of the book at BookPeople.)
For more information, visit BookPeople.com