Check Out All the SFF Events at the Brooklyn Book Festival

The Brooklyn Book Festival kicks off on Monday, September 16, and this year’s event is chock-ful of sci-fi, fantasy, and speculative fiction programming!

Authors making appearances this year include Marlon James, N.K. JemisinTed Chiang, P. Djèlí Clark, Catherynne Valente, Akwaeke Emezi, Carmen Maria Machado, Hafsah Faizal, Kat Cho, Alice Sola Kim, Lilliam Rivera, Zoraida Córdova, Namwali Serpell, and more. From a round-table on decolonized epics by African diaspora fantasy authors, to a panel on imagining the future, to a Toni Morrison tribute, you can find all the science fiction, fantasy, and horror-related events at Brooklyn Book Festival below.



Declaraciones: Latinx Writing Carving Out a Space
Location: Cafe con Libros, 724 Prospect Place, Brooklyn, NY 11216
7:00 pm

Representation in literature is still a struggle. In this discussion, authors Adriana Herrera, Claribel Ortega, and Theresa Varela delve into the challenges faced by Latinx writers creating art in niche genres—notably mystery, romance, and sci-fi/fantasy—where black and brown faces aren’t usually included.



Transnational Sci Fi: A Border-Crossing, Otherworldly Reading & Discussion
Asian American Writers’ Workshop, 110-112 West 27 Street, Ste. 600, New York, NY 10001
7:00 pm

In 2019, two groundbreaking transnational Sci Fi anthologies were published, Readymade Bodhisattva: The Kaya Anthology of South Korean Sci Fi (Kaya Press) & The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction(Hachette India). Join sci fi authors Alice Sola Kim and Nur Nasreen Ibrahim in discussion with Editor Ruoxi Chen and more for a reading from these books, and discussion of the new frontiers of Sci Fi.



FLASH! Latinx Speculative Fiction at the Forefront
Mil Mundos Bookstore, 323 Linden St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
6:30 pm

Join Zoraida Córdova (Bruja Born), Lilliam Rivera (Dealing in Dreams) and other leading Latinx voices in sci-fi and fantasy fiction as they converse about world-building, characterization, and the changing speculative literary landscape, followed by an interactive and lively group Flash Fiction writing session at the end! Adults and teens are encouraged to attend.


Darkly: Black History and America’s Gothic Soul
Dr. S. Stevan Dweck Cultural Center Brooklyn Public Library, Central Library, Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238
7:00 pm

Join Leila Taylor, Creative Director of Brooklyn Public Library, as she discusses her forthcoming book Darkly (November, Repeater Books) which explores the intersection of Black culture and goth culture, connecting it to a state of melancholy resulting from slavery and the continuous subjugation of Black people. Darklyis also about how the terror of American racism has been metamorphosed into AfroGothicist art.

Leila will be in conversation with the journalist Dianca London, author of the forthcoming Planning for the Apocalypse. 



The Mad, the Bad, the Dreamy: Translating Literary Eccentrics and Rogues
Aeon Bookstore, 151 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002
7:00 pm

Visionaries, eccentrics, and literary outliers are often barely known in their own countries, much less in the English-speaking world. Yet their far-out novels, tales, eclectic writings and unclassifiables have found an enthusiastic following in English translation. Join translators Margaret CarsonChris Clarke, and Peter Consenstein in a conversation about the oddball, against-the-grain authors they have brought into English for the first time.


The Future of Desi Literature
The Asian American Writers’ Workshop, 110-112 West 27 Street, Ste. 600, New York NY 10001
7:00 pm

This is a multi-media event featuring the artists and writers of Barrelhouse’s special Desi issue: Road Trips, which put forth an eclectic and diverse range of short fiction art from avant-garde, graphic short stories, Gothic, speculative fiction, philosophical fiction, erotica, and historical fiction. There will be a reading, and a discussion about  the possibilities and future of desi literature. Contributors to the issue either live in or have ancestry from Bangladesh, India, Kashmir, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka. Panelists at this event include Abeer HoqueNur Nasreen IbrahimSarah Thankam Mathews, and Kamil Ahsan.


Noir at the Bookshop
Kew & Willow Books, 8163 Lefferts Boulevard, Kew Gardens, NY11415
7:00 pm

Join us for a night of suspense and mystery at Kew & Willow Books!

Hosted by authors Alex Segura and Scott Adlerberg, and joined by a stellar line up of mystery authors: Domenica Ruta, Hilary Davidson,Adrian McKinty, John Vercher,Cate Holahan, Katie Moretti, Sarah Weinman, Richie NarvaezJen Conley, and Lyndsay Faye.

It will be an unforgettable evening, and can’t forget the wine!



New Women Voices of African Fiction–Novuyo Rosa Tshuma and Namwali Serpell in Conversation
Revolution Books, 437 Malcolm X Blvd at 132nd St; 2/3 train to 135th, New York, NY 10037
3:00 pm
$5-10 suggested donation

Novuyo Rosa Tshuma is a Zimbabwean writer living in Houston. House of Stone is her sweeping epic spanning the fall of Rhodesia through Zimbabwe’s turbulent beginnings, exploring the persistence of the oppressed in a young nation seeking an identity but built on forgetting. Namwali Serpell is a Zambian writer who teaches at Cal-Berkeley. The Old Drift is an intergenerational saga that combines history and romance and science fiction–revealing the cruelties and absurdities of colonialism, and the yearning to create and cross borders.

A special opportunity to hear these exciting writers.



WORD Bookstores presents Fake News & Faery Tales: Re-Framing History for Truth or Comfort
Center Stage (Columbus Park)
11:00 am

Ariel became a puddle of foam. Cinderella’s stepsisters brutally butchered their own feet. With each passing generation, popular culture and language have softened our perspectives on the status quo. N.K. Jemisin (Broken Earth Trilogy), L. Penelope (Earthsinger Chronicles),Catherynne Valente (Deathless; The Refrigerator Monologues), and P. Djèlí Clark (Black Gods Drums; The Haunting of Tram Car 015) come together with teri.zin as moderator to discuss the impact of our abridged version of history, beginning with our most beloved stories, and how facing truths will change the course to a more brutal, yet progressive future.


Decolonized Epics: History, Fantasy, and Futurism in African Writing and its Diaspora
Borough Hall Media Room, 209 Joralemon St
12:00 pm

Three novelists from Africa and its diaspora set their stories in the widest possible canvas. Braiding Zambian history with futuristic speculation, Namwali Serpell’s The Old Driftfollows three families trapped in a cycle of revenge that lasts from the beginning of colonial settlement to the advent of superintelligent mosquito drones. In House of StoneNovuyo Rosa Tshuma interrogates history’s silences in a panoramic narrative of Zimbabwe before and after independence. And in Marlon James’s Black Leopard, Red Wolf, folklore from across the continent shapes a fantasy quest of epic dimensions. Moderated by Hafizah Geter, Little A/Topple Books.


Love and Myth
Brooklyn Historical Society Great Hall, 128 Pierrepont St
12:00 pm

What drives the human impulse to create myths, and what can these stories tell us about the enduring power of love? Here, literary heavyweights Chigozie Obioma (An Orchestra of Minorities), Jaime Manrique (Like This Afternoon Forever), and Edwidge Danticat (Everything Inside) explore the mythology of love as it traverses borders and cultures. Whether exploring forbidden romance between two Catholic priests in Colombia, a Nigerian poultry farmer who sacrifices everything for love, or the ways in which the power of love can confront the horrors of war and displacement, these writers reveal the fundamental truths behind the myths we create for ourselves, and the role of love in writing humanity’s story. Short readings and discussion moderated by Tiphanie Yanique (Wife), followed by Q&A.


Hero’s Journey
Brooklyn Law School Student Lounge, 250 Joralemon St
12:00 pm

A hero can be many things: an ugly stepsister fighting to upend expectations and destiny; a Filipino-American teen uncovering the truth behind his cousin’s murder; a princess, disguised as a rebel, aiding a revolution that’s about to turn into war. Bestselling author Jennifer Donnelly (Stepsister), Randy Ribay (Patron Saints of Nothing), and bestselling author Cora Carmack (Rage: A Stormheart Novel) talk about what it really means to be a hero, for yourself and for others. Moderated by Ben Philippe (The Field Guide to the North American Teenager).


Community Bookstore presents Love Is or It Ain’t: A Tribute to Toni Morrison
Francis College Founder’s Hall, 180 Remsen St
12:00 pm

Across her storied career, Toni Morrison was a chronicler and critic of our national narrative, and her recent death concludes this vast, vibrant passage of American literary history. From essential novels like BelovedSong of Solomon, and The Bluest Eye, to her critical essays and lectures on race, place, and culture, Morrison—the first black woman of any nationality to win the Nobel prize—cast our nation’s history into complicated, powerful narratives confronting slavery and repression, grace and freedom. A panel of writers, editors, and critics discuss Morrison’s indelible imprint on our past, present, and future.


We Came to Slay
Brooklyn Law School Student Lounge, 250 Joralemon St
1:00 pm

Across three fantastical worlds — from a vast Arabian kingdom, to modern-day Seoul, to a small town in upstate New York; heroines battle with tradition and outdated systems of power to save the ones they love. In Hafsah Faizal’s We Hunt the Flame, Zafira takes on an ancient force of evil and finds herself growing close to the Prince of Death, who has been ordered to kill her. In The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn HermanViolet learns she belongs to one of the revered founding families of Four Paths and must face the monster that has been torturing the town for years. In Kat Cho’s Wicked Fox, nine-tailed fox Gu is forced to choose between her own life and the life of the human boy she loves, reigniting a generations old feud in the process. Moderated by Tochi Onyebuchi (Crown of Thunder).


Imagining Beyond
St. Francis College Founder’s Hall, 180 Remsen St
2:00 pm

Join N.K. Jemisin (How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?Broken Earth series, The Inheritance trilogy), Ted Chiang(Exhalation) and Mark Doten (Trump Sky Alpha) for a conversation about sci-fi, exploring new worlds, and how imagining beyond our reality can be the perfect way to ground ourselves in the present. Moderated by Jaime Green, series editor for Best American Science and Nature Writing.


The Way I Am
Brooklyn Law School Student Lounge, 250 Joralemon St
2:00 pm

Whether it’s a twin passing as her sister during a rising rebellion, a face-changing thief on an impossible mission, a boy whose identity is inextricably tied to his boyfriend, or a whole culture that limits the range of what a fat person is allowed to be, the way we see ourselves can be a tool that lifts us up or a barrier that holds us back. Join New York Times bestselling author Scott Westerfeld (Shatter City), librarian and essayist Angie Manfredi (The Other F Word), and debut author Maya Motayne (Nocturna) as they explore the chasms between perception and reality, judgement and acceptance. Moderated by director and authorMichael Barakiva (Hold My Hand).


New Heroes: Mythology Reimagined
Brooklyn Law School, Room 401
2:00 pm

In Sharma Shields’ The Cassandra, the Oracle of Delphi is reincarnated within a young girl who finds herself involved with a secretive project in the midst of World War II. In Ecstasy and TerrorDaniel Mendelsohn compares the heroes and antiheroes of contemporary pop culture  with those of ancient myths in a series of essays. Chigozie Obioma’s An Orchestra of Minorities brings to life an epic love story told in the traditional mythic style of Igbo literature. These imaginative works use old mythologies to create surprising  narrative insights, introducing readers to new heroes dealing with the age-old question of destiny. Moderated by Rob Spillman.


You Can’t Look Away—Crafting a Pageturner
Brooklyn Law School Student Lounge, 250 Joralemon St
4:00 pm

Mystery, thriller, horror—no matter the genre, these authors keep the pages turning, from a monster birthed by a painting and blood to a coder’s entire life going viral to reviving a fallen friend’s rhymes by pretending he is still alive. Award-winning authors Tiffany D. Jackson (Let Me Hear a Rhyme), Akwaeke Emezi (Pet), and Arvin Ahmadi (Girl Gone Viral) discuss the methods to their mastery of writing stories that will keep you up at night. Moderated by Ebony LaDelle, the co-host of “Why Not YA?”


Marlon James and Joyce Carol Oates in Conversation
St. Ann & The Holy Trinity Church, 157 Montague St
5:00 pm

Two of today’s most revered titans of literature, Marlon James (Black Leopard, Red Wolf) and Joyce Carol Oates (My Life as A Rat), discuss their craft and offer short readings from their latest work.


City of Tomorrow
Brooklyn Law School, Room 401
5:00 pm

An uncertain future poses particular challenges and opportunities to the metropolis, deftly explored in these three novels. Authors K Chess (Famous Men Who Never Lived), Seth Fried (The Municipalists) and Namwali Serpell (The Old Drift) construct cities of future and alternate worlds to illuminate contemporary life: New York City post nuclear apocalypse, an urban utopia under threat, and the lingering effects of colonialism in 2023.  Moderated by Benjamin Samuel, Archipelago Books.


Books are Magic presents Love & Desire
North Stage, Cadman Plaza East
5:00 pm

Desire often rules our lives, and yet just as often it is associated with taboo or occupies forbidden spaces. This panel will focus on forms of desire and the way relationships evolve in their shadow, through the lens of: Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women, Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties and In the Dream House (out November 2019), and Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue. Moderated by Ashley C. Ford, writer & host.


For the full Festival line-up, head over to the BBF website.


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