Day two of Books in the Basin was packed with all kinds of books.

A. Lee Martinez

A. Lee Martinez in a Doctor Doom hoodie.

The day started with a reading and signing by A. Lee Martinez, author of Gil’s All Fright Diner, Monster, and Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain, among other books. He’s got a good variety of humor, from science fiction, to fantasy, to mystery, to urban fantasy. Everything I’ve read by him is hilarious.

He said that Science Fiction and Fantasy used to be the red-headed stepchild of the publishing world, but now it isn’t–which is good. Except readers think they have to support everything, or they won’t have anything available, which isn’t true anymore. I guess that means we should reward the good stuff, so we get more of that.

Martinzes sig

Signature and a sketch.

I only had time for half of the Bang! Pow! Zoom! panel on comics, which had six authors of various superhero-related books. And villains, of course–including two different authors who started writing their bad guy tales in graduate school. Perhaps a reflection on grad school? Villains, like students, plan and build–and rebuild after the hero (or a red pen) destroys their creations.

Then I swung by for half of a Random House Book Buzz, where I snagged a free ARC, and a website recommendation–libraryreads.org, a monthly top ten list by librarians. I might not need another source of books to add to my TBR lists, but librarians! They know the good stuff.

A.G. Howard

A.G. Howard.

Then I went to A. G. Howard’s reading. For such a nice lady, she writes some scary stuff–she read a snippet from Splintered, the first book in her series about the descendant of the real Alice, who must go to Wonderland and fix her ancestor’s mistakes. It featured carnivorous flowers. Seriously hungry flowers.

Interestingly, she plans like an author friend of mine–by making a board of illustrations, with pictures of models like her characters, places that resemble her setting, etc. I’m a pretty visual person, so I couldn’t explain why I don’t do the same, but outside of a very occasional reference, or computer-drawn building blueprint, I don’t. Whatever works, right?

Jon Land

Jon Land.

I didn’t get to go to Mr. Land’s reading, but I had to get a book signed by him. His main character is my literary doppelganger, Caitlin Strong, who’s also from my home town. The festival only had his latest books, and I haven’t yet started the series, but I plan to. He said I was the first properly spelled Caitlin he’d signed a book for, too.

Land sig

Perhaps the longest signature note I’ve ever seen.

Sasha Summers

Sasha Summers.

Another author whose reading I didn’t have time for, sadly. There were so many good ones! But she has a love story featuring Medusa, and I need to read that. She also has various other romances, of the contemporary and science fiction type.

And my penultimate book festival event was a wander through the indie author room, where I chatted with a few people, and decided on Jocko, Evolving Undersea, by Jerry Cooper, because he made it sound interesting. And if you can support the little guys now and then, why wouldn’t you?

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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

2 responses »

  1. pennma05 says:

    Sounds like a fun festival! I’ve never been to a book festival before, but it definitely sounds like something I need to look into in my area!

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