“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” ― Stephen King

That quote from horror master Stephen King is never more true than with science fiction and fantasy novels. To be standing there–in our world–one moment, then watching a cosmic event unfold in another galaxy is a true delight.

The beauty of science fiction is that it never stands still. Whatever step we take forward allows it to fly lightyears ahead of us. The beauty of fantasy literature is it allows us to imagine the very best and worst a world can be. I am so excited to attend events hosted by these SFF authors at the 2020 Fox Cities Book Festival. If there ever was a time for growth and imagination, it’s now.

Cadwell Turnbull

In Turnbull’s debut novel, The Lesson, an alien ship rests over Water Island. For five years the people of the US Virgin Islands have lived with the Ynaa, a race of superadvanced aliens on a research mission they will not fully disclose. They are benevolent in many ways but meet any act of aggression with disproportional wrath. A year after the death of a young boy at the hands of an Ynaa, three families find themselves at the center of the inevitable conflict, witnesses and victims to events that will touch everyone and teach a terrible lesson.

Turnbull is a graduate from the North Carolina State University’s Creative Writing M.F.A. in Fiction and English M.A. in Linguistics. Turnbull is also a graduate of Clarion West 2016. His short fiction has appeared in The VergeLightspeedNightmare, and Asimov’s Science Fiction and a number of anthologies. Turnbull teaches creative writing at North Carolina State University.

Join Turnbull for “The Lesson, A Reading” on October 17, 2020 at 5:15 PM.

RR Campbell

Campbell’s Imminent Dawn follows art-school dropout Chandra who would do anything to apologize for her role in her wife’s coma—including enroll in the first round of human trials for an internet-access brain implant. At first, the secretive research compound is paradise, but a dark wave of uncertainty soon crashes down on the study, pitting Chandra against ruthless tech magnate Wyatt, a man whose own secrets compel him to press on with his work at all costs.

Campbell is an International Book Awards finalist, a writing coach, and the founder of the Writescast Network, a podcast collective that’s been helping creatives worldwide become more confident in themselves and in their craft since 2016.

Learn from Campbell at “Keeping Your Scenes Afloat with the Five Fun Floaties of Scene Structure” on October 18, 2020 at 3 PM.

Matt Forbeck

The newest book from Forbeck is Minecraft Dungeons: The Rise of the Arch-Illager. Brave heroes have banded together to take a perilous journey through the war-torn Overworld to defeat the Arch-Illager and his formidable army. But how did that army come to be? And just where did the Arch-Illager come from? It’s the perfect novel for the Minecraft fans in your life.

Forbeck is an award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author and game designer. He has designed board games, collectible card games, roleplaying games, miniatures games, and interactive toys and has written comic books, video games, mobile games, alternate reality games, magazine articles, novels, nonfiction, screenplays, and short fiction. His work has been published in over 15 languages.

Catch Forbeck at “A Chat with Matt Forbeck” on October 17, 2020 at 1 PM.

Cole Nagamatsu

Out just this week, We Were Restless Things, is Nagamatsu’s debut YA fantasy novel. Noemi’s close friend, Link, drowns in the forest, miles away from the nearest body of water. Noemi begins receiving warnings to keep out of the forest, but instead sets out to find the truth.

Short fiction by Nagamatsu has appeared in Timber Journal, Gingerbread House, and West Branch. She is the editor in chief of Psychopomp Magazine and is a visiting assistant professor of creative writing at St. Olaf College.

Nagamatsu is giving a reading on October 14, 2020 at 7 PM.

Rebecca Zornow is a writer and board member of the Fox Cities Book Festival. She reviews and recommends the newest science fiction and fantasy books at ConquerBooks.com.