Next week, from November 13 through 16, a wondrous book-filled event will be taking place in the city of Toronto. The INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair is, unlike BookExpo America or Frankfurt or Bologna, a celebration of books that is geared not only toward booksellers and publishers, but to readers and book lovers of all genres and persuasions. This year’s INSPIRE! Book Fair boasts multiple stages, exhibitors and professes a love for books in print and digital formats.
Of course, there will also be a ton of representation from speculative fiction—science fiction, fantasy, horror and more for all ages—at the festival. We Book Smugglers will be in attendance and cannot wait to check out the Toronto International Book Fair for the first time, and to catch some of these wonderful authors and panels. If you, too, are interested in SF/F north of the border, here’s a look at the authors and titles we’re most keen on tracking down at this year’s book fair!
Prepare to be Thrilled (Friday 11/14, 5-6pm)
Featuring Kelley Armstrong and Nick Cutter among others, this panel focuses on what these particular authors find thrilling or horrific, and the scariest things they’ve ever read. As horror fans—and fans of Kelley Armstrong’s YA paranormal urban fantasy series’ (The Summoning) and Nick Cutter’s worm-ridden boy scouts turned into infectious ravenous beasts parable (The Troop)—we cannot wait to see just what this panel has in store.
Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America Showcase (Friday 11/14, 5-5:30pm)
Authors at this stage include A.M. Dellamonica, Ed Hoornaert, Robin Riopelle and Karina Sumner-Smith. We loved A.M. Dellamonica’s newest novel this year, the fantastic Child of A Hidden Sea, and cannot wait to see what other books are in the works from this talented group.
ChiZine Publications Presents: The Haunting: The Legacy of Shirley Jackson and the Authors Who Came After (Friday 11/14, 5:30-6pm)
Have you ever heard of ChiZine Publications? If you haven’t, you should. CZP has been publishing tales of the weird, disgusting, horrific and awesome since 1997—they also have some of the best cover art we’ve ever seen. This panel, focusing on psychological horror (we think) and the legacy of master author Shirley Jackson, includes Sandra Kasturi and Helen Marshall, co-editors of this year’s volume of Imaginarium—collecting the best Canadian speculative fiction writing in 2014.
Imagining the Past with Deborah Harkness (Saturday 11/15, 11am-12pm)
Author of the much-lauded All Souls trilogy (A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, The Book of Life), Deborah Harkness is an author with popular, literary and SF/F appeal. A historian by trade, we’re interested to see how she approaches imagining the past and worlds in her work.
Anne Rice (Saturday 11/15, 12-1pm), William Gibson (Saturday 11/15, 1-2pm), Kathy Reichs (Saturday 11/15, 2-3pm)
In rapid-fire succession on the Inspire! Main Stage come three very different SF/F authors—Anne Rice will be talking about Prince Lestat (who didn’t read one of Anne Rice’s vampire novels growing up!?), science fiction legend William Gibson will be talking about his new book The Peripheral, and Kathy Reichs (a forensic anthropologist, producer of TV show Bones, and best-selling YA SF/F author) will be talking about her writing. Needless to say, we’re excited.
Margaret Atwood (Saturday 11/15, 3-4pm)
The highlight of the show, for us Book Smugglers anyway, is getting to see Margaret Atwood speak. A feminist, environmental activist and author of some of the seminal works of post-apocalyptic and dystopian science fiction, we are eager to hear what Margaret Atwood has to say about her new work, a collection of nine short stories in Stone Mattress.
The Future Ain’t What it Used to Be (Saturday 11/15, 5-6pm)
The Science Fiction Writers of America have another panel on Saturday, this time ostensibly talking about writing futuristic SF/F and the changes the genre has gone through (at least, that’s what we think we’ll be seeing!). Mostly, we’re excited to see what Julie Czerneda (In the Company of Others) has to say.
Y(oung) A(ncient) Literature (Saturday 11/15, 6-7pm)
We think this panel is about YA novels set in some form/iteration of ancient history—featuring authors such as Christian Cameron (Tyrant) and Caitlin Sweet (The Door in the Mountain) writing for YA audiences. Sounds interesting, right?
So there you have it! Our list of authors and stages to look out for next weekend at the INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair. Any other books, publishers or people we should keep an eye out for? Sound off and let us know!