It’s that time of year, once again, when droves of comic book fans, television and movie enthusiasts, anime lovers and pop culture geeks of all persuasions make their way to the Javits Center in New York. It’s Comic Con time! And for speculative fiction readers attending the annual convention, this means it’s time to meet some of the best and brightest voices in SF/F. From seasoned veterans like John Scalzi and Cinda Chima, to award-winning rising stars like N.K. Jemisin and Ken Liu, there’s something for every SF/F lover.

NYCC is always overwhelming (and My Show Planner is not the most reliable tool, just sayin’). To help make sense of the chaos, here is the Book Smuggler speculative fiction guide to the authors and panels we’re most excited for at the show this year.

Alex London, The Proxy Series

Author Signing, Saturday at 1-1:50pm, Booth #2108

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If you haven’t read Proxy, a YA dystopian science-fiction novel with a gay protagonist and solid worldbuilding, you’re missing out. Good thing Alex London will be at the show, doing panels and signing copies of his books.

N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season

Author Signing, Saturday at 1-2pm, Table 19

It’s unclear as to whether or not multiple award-nominated fantasy author N.K. Jemisin (The Broken Kingdoms series, The Dreamblood Duology) will be talking about and signing copies of her forthcoming book The Fifth Season, but we certainly hope that’s the case. Jemisin is an amazing public speaker (last year’s panel on diversity at NYCC was the highlight of the show), and an even more astounding writer—seeing Jemisin is absolutely essential for any fantasy fan at NYCC this year.

Daniel José Older, Half-Resurrection Blues

Author Signing, Saturday at 3-3:50pm, Booth #2108

Daniel José Older is a seasoned writer of short fictioName of the Starn, an editor (of this year’s amazing kickstarter funded anthology Long Hidden), and the forthcoming Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, which kicks off with Half-Resurrection Blues in early 2015. He’s also an outspoken voice for diversity in genre fiction and speaking on numerous panels at the show. (In addition to all this, he’s also as hilarious as he is incisive—just check out his video on why we don’t italicize Spanish words in fiction.)

A.M. Dellamonica, Child of a Hidden Sea

Author Signing, Friday at 2:15-3:15pm, Table 19

Dellamonica is another seasoned speculative fiction author, who has penned numerous works of science fiction, fantasy, and alternate history novels and short stories. Most recently, we read and loved Child of A Hidden Sea and cannot wait to hear her talk about magic on the Playing With Magic panel immediately preceding this signing (with Kim Harrison, Ilona Andrews and Sam Sykes, no less)!

John Scalzi, Lock In

Author Signing, Friday at 3:15-4:15pm, Table 19

Oh yeah, you might have heard of him. Scalzi will be on a panel this Friday at the con talking about…well, actually he’ll be competing against other SF/F authors in a Geek Knowledge showdown. Want to stump Scalzi? Here’s your chance. He’ll also be on the panel with the next guest on the list....

Maureen Johnson, The Name of the Star

Author Signing, Friday at 11-11:50am, Booth #2108

Another author who needs no introduction, Maureen Johnson is all over the Internet and soon to be all over NYCC. If you miss her in-booth signing of supernatural Jack the Ripper–YA mystery novel The Name of the Star, check her out on the Geek Geek Revolution panel with the aforementioned Scalzi.

Naomi NovikUprooted

Author Signing, Saturday at 4-5pm, Table 19

The author of the beloved Temeraire series, Naomi Novik is at Comic Con this year to show off her science fiction smarts (in another author showdown trivia panel), and to talk about her forthcoming creepy fairy tale, Uprooted.

This, of course, is just a small sampling of authors who will be at the show this weekend—there are plenty of others, from Robin Hobb to Cinda Chima to Barry Lyga and many more! Here are a few other panels worth checking out if you’ll be in town:

 

The Saga Begins: A new Imprint from S&S

Saturday at 4-5pm, Table 19

These Are My People/Aliens/Zombies/Vampires/Dragons!: Building Community in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy World

Saturday at 12-12:45pm, 1A18

How a Game of Thrones Changed Fantasy...or Did It?

Sunday at 1:15-2pm, 1A05

Not Your Mother’s Fairy Tales

Saturday at 3-3:45pm, 1B03

From Dreams to Reality – Science Fiction as an Inspiration for NASA and Private Sector Space Development

Saturday at 4-4:45pm, 1B03

Thea James and Ana Grilo are The Book Smugglers, a website for speculative fiction and YA. You can also find them on Twitter.