For the first time since 2004, the Library of Congress National Book Festival featured a Science Fiction & Fantasy stage highlighting how expansive and introspective imaginative fiction can be. Today, we’re releasing the footage for this stage — sponsored by General Motors — on our site and our YouTube channel. Here’s what you’ll find among the otherworldly and speculative conversations that took place on the Science Fiction & Fantasy stage at the recent Festival:
- The day began with unreliable memories and mysteries as Rob Hart (“The Paradox Hotel”) and debut author Victor Manibo (“The Sleepless”) discussed their novels and characters who investigate murders with Miwa Messer, host of the “Poured Over” podcast.
- Treasure hunts and heists took center stage as Chelsea Abdullah (“The Stardust Thief”) and M.J. Kuhn (“Among Thieves”) discussed their novels, where many are not who they appear to be, with the Library of Congress’ Ashley Dickerson.
- In the afternoon, bestselling author Holly Black talked about her first adult novel, “Book of Night,” with Megan Labrise, editor at large of Kirkus Reviews. As author of the Folk of the Air series and co-author of the Spiderwick series, Black lit the way for readers growing up on her dozens of books for younger readers.
- Sci-fi and fantasy intersected as Tochi Onyebuchi (“Goliath”) and Leslye Penelope (“The Monster We Defy”) discussed their new novels and how good writing must be about what scares the author about living life in the present. The authors were in conversation with B.A. Parker in an event recorded for NPR’s “Code Switch.”
- Debut author Alex Jennings (“The Ballad of Perilous Graves”) and Nghi Vo (“Siren Queen”) suffused New Orleans and Hollywood with magic in their novels, and talked about characters and representation with bookstagrammer Lupita Aquino.
- Closing out the day was B.L. Blanchard and Lucinda Roy’s conversation with Derrick Young, co-owner and co-founder of MahoganyBooks. In Blanchard’s debut, “The Peacekeeper,” Europeans never colonized America, and in Roy’s near-future “Flying the Coop,” slavery is gut-wrenchingly normalized.
We hope you enjoy the events from this year’s Science Fiction & Fantasy stage!
This is a guest post by Deziree Arnaiz, a program specialist in the Literary Initiatives Office.