The Center for Fiction Celebrates SFF with Margaret Atwood, Kelly Link, Lev Grossman, N.K. Jemisin, Ellen Kushner & More

We are proud to announce that is an official media sponsor of The Center for Fiction’s month long event The Big Read: A Wizard of Earthsea! Throughout the month of October, The Center for Fiction will be honoring Ursula K. Le Guin and celebrating science fiction and fantasy with a number of stellar panels. If you’re near’s homebase, New York City, at any point in October, these events are not to be missed.

The panel discussions feature authors such as Margaret Atwood, Kelly Link, Lev Grossman, N.K. Jemisin, Ellen Kushner, Charles Yu, John Wray and more. will be present at all the Big Read events, so come out and say hello. Below the cut is a full list of the events.

(Unless otherwise noted all events will take place at The Center for Fiction located at 17 E. 47th Street in New York City. Click here for map and directions.)

Note: Some events require tickets and/or an RSVP. Click on each event for more information.



Monday, October 3rd – 7:00 PM

Utopia/Dystopia: This panel will explore the horrific and idyllic worlds that science fiction writers create in their works. Writers Anna North, Charles Yu, and Kathleen Ann Goonan with moderator DongWon Song will discuss the universes of science and slipstream fiction.


Wednesday, October 5th – 7:00 PM

Why Fantasy Matters: Acclaimed authors Kelly Link, Felix Gilman, Naomi Novik, and Lev Grossman take a look at why fantasy matters in our lives and imaginations. This panel, moderated by Laura Miller, will dive into the genre and go beyond the subject of elves and wizards.


Wednesday, October 12th – 7:00 PM

Margaret Atwood, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination: As the keynote event for the Big Read, award-winning author Margaret Atwood will discuss her new book In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagaination, and the impact that science fiction has had on her life as a reader and a writer. (This event will held at the Lynch Theatre at John Jay College.)


Thursday, October 13th – 7:00 PM

Before and After Harry Potter: YA and Fantasy: While J.K. Rowling’s work may have popularized fantasy for mainstream readers, there has always been a strong tradition of such stories for young readers in British and American fiction. And it is these lesser-known but beloved works, as much as Rowling’s and even Tolkien’s fantasy, that inspired today’s generation of successful fantasists. Hear some of today’s most popular YA writers discuss what came before — and what’s coming next! Authors Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Justine Larbalestier, Chris Moriarty, and moderator Delia Sherman join us for this panel.


Wednesday, October 19th – 7:00 PM

The Wave in the Mind: A Tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin: Authors John Wray, N.K. Jemisin, Ellen Kushner, Michael Swanwick, and moderator David G. Hartwell discuss Ursula K. Le Guin’s legacy from the Earthsea books to her influence on today’s new writers.


Thursday, October 20th – 7:00 PM

Earthsea Group Read: Join NYC’s best known writers, actors, celebrities, and activists as we all read the Earthsea Cycle aloud. (And see how far you can get in five hours!) Plenty of refreshments will be on hand, as well. Feel free to drop in and listen at any time! Stay tuned for a list of participants.


Friday, October 21st – 7:00 PM

The Lathe of Heaven: The Center for Fiction is screening the 1980 movie adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin’s book The Lathe of Heaven, starring Bruce Davison as George Orr, a man whose dreams can change reality.


Monday, October 24th – 7:00 PM

Outsiders In/Of Science Fiction and the Fantastic: From Le Guin’s own ground-breakingThe Left Hand of Darkness — which swept both the genre’s two great awards, the Hugo and the Nebula — to Samuel R. Delany’s gritty masterpiece Dahlgren and beyond, readers have found science fiction challenging preconceptions of gender and race. This panel will look at “outsiderness” in the world of science fiction and fantasy. Panelists include Steve Berman, Carlos Hernandez, Andrea Hairston, Alaya Dawn Johnson, and Samuel R. Delany with moderator Ellen Kushner.


Wednesday, October 26th – 7:00 PM

From Urdu Epic and Tibetan Sorcerers to Today: Presented in partnership with the Rubin Museum of Art, this special panel of writers and scholars will discuss the earliest form of fantasy storytelling through the novels of today. Panelists include John Crowley, Hamid Dabashi, Paul Witcover and Elizabeth Hand. (This event will take place in the Rubin Museum of Art, tickets on their website.)


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