SDCC 2017: Get Your Book Nerd On With These Awesome Book-Centric Panels

Last month we encouraged you guys to make San Diego Comic-Con into a mini-San Diego BookCon! Now that the SDCC 2017 schedule has been officially released we’ve gone through and found some pretty awesome book-centric panels that we think you should check out.*

There are some very exciting conversations going on this coming weekend. With panels focusing on everything from the future of the new Star Wars canon to diversity in science fiction and fantasy, worldbuilding, and more, there is sure to be something for book lovers of all kinds. 

Several of the panels recommended below are ticketed events. You can find more information about attending Horton Grand Theatre panels on the CCI website

Meet some of your favorite authors, pick up as many free books as possible, and then get your book nerd on this week at SDCC with these awesome panels!

THURSDAY

DC Icons: Blockbuster YA Authors Meet Iconic DC Superheroes
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM @ Room 23ABC

Bestselling authors of some of today’s most popular YA novels- Leigh Bardugo (Wonder Woman: Warbringer), Marie Lu (Batman: Nightwalker), and Matt de la Peña (the forthcoming Superman novel) discuss reimagining these heroes in their YA novels for the DC Icons series. Hear them talk about their individual adaptations of the famous comic characters and writing in the DC universe.

Real World Retellings
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM @ Room 29AB

Fiction is fantastic, but sometimes we are reminded that while the truth may not be stranger than fiction, it can at least be as compelling. Panelists will discuss significant people and incidents from our own reality-Dungeons & Dragons creator Gary Gygax, the origins of Tetris, vampire slayers, the dude on the $10, and fangirls. Graeme McMillan of The Hollywood Reporter will lead the discussion with Koren Shadmi (Rise of the Dungeon Master), Box Brown (Tetris), Jonathan Hennessey (Alexander Hamilton), and Sam Maggs (The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy).

Wonderstruck: From Page to Screen with Brian Selznick
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM @ Room 5AB

Explore the power of storytelling with Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the basis for the Academy award winning film Hugo directed by Martin Scorsese). Brian will take you behind the scenes of the new film adaptation of his book Wonderstruck. Directed by Academy Award nominee Todd Haynes and featuring Academy Award winner Julianne Moore, the film will be released in theaters this Fall.

Embracing the Romantic! 
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM @ Horton Grand Theatre (TICKETED)

Action, adventure, and conflict all contribute to stories-but these panelists are focused on the sometimes maligned (but incredibly integral to so many stories) aspect of romantic relationships. Rebecca Zanetti (Lethal Lies), Anna Todd (The Spring Girls), Christina Lauren (Dating You/Hating You), Jessica Cluess (A Poison Dark and Drowning), and Stephanie Perkins (There’s Someone Inside Your House) celebrate the genre with Carrie Sessarego (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books).

Stepping into Another World! 
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM @ Room 32AB

Authors share the magic of books to transport young readers via words and pictures to new worlds, sometimes fantastic and exotic and very different from our own and sometimes comfortingly close. Depart for adventure with Shannon Messenger (Keeper of the Lost Cities 6: Lodestar), Judd Winick (Hilo Book 3: The Great Big Boom), Dan Santat (After the Fall), Dean Hale (The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation), Shannon Hale (Real Friends), and Lisa McMann (Dragon Captives), guided by Lucas Turnbloom (Nightmare Escape: Dream Jumper, Book 1).

Sixty Seconds with SFF Authors
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM @ Horton Grand Thearte (TICKETED)

Paul Cornell (Chalk) moderates this version of the BBC radio game show Just a Minute. The object of the game is for panelists to talk for 60 seconds on a given subject “without hesitation, repetition, or deviation.” The comedy comes from attempts to keep within these rules and the banter among the participants. For science fiction and fantasy authors, the possible topics are endless. Contestants include Seanan McGuire (Down Among the Sticks and Bones), Gail Carriger (Imprudence: The Custard Protocol #2), Sam Sykes (An Affinity for Steel), Jason Hough (Injection Burn), Brandon Mull (Death Weavers: Five Kingdoms Book 4), and Sarah Beth Durst (The Reluctant Queen).

It’s a Funny Story . . . Writing Humor
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM @ Horton Grand Theatre (TICKETED)

Everyone’s heard the saying, “Dying is easy-it’s comedy that’s hard.” The panelists discuss the challenges of creating humor that reaches an audience and how it can be used to temper serious tomes. Brendan Reichs (Nemesis) guides the conversation with Brandon Snider (What Would Captain Picard Do?), Fred Van Lente (Ten Dead Comedians), Liz Climo (You Don’t Want a Unicorn), Gini Koch (The Alien Series), and Gabe Hudson (Gork, the Teenage Dragon).

Because You Love to Hate Me
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM @ Horton Grand Theatre (TICKETED)

Villains rule in Because You Love to Hate Me, a new YA anthology in which 13 of the most influential booktubers on YouTube join forces with 13 bestselling and acclaimed authors to give these mysterious, oft-misunderstood individuals a chance to tell their stories their way. YouTube stars Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Ameriie (Books Beauty Ameriie), Jesse George (jessethereader), and Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS) join authors Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles) and Cindy Pon (Want) to discuss their favorite villains-and whether they might just be misunderstood.

R. L. Stine, Creator of Goosebumps
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM @ Room 6DE

Beware: You’re in for a scare! R. L. Stine, author of the bestselling children’s book series Goosebumps, is at Comic-Con for the first time. Come meet the man who has given you 25 years of fears. Moderated by Marc Snetiker, staff writer, Entertainment Weekly.

Superhero Family Feud
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM @ Horton Grand Theatre (TICKETED)

Bestselling, award-winning, comic-loving, authors Margaret Stohl (Black Widow, Captain Marvel), Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl, Runaways), Jason Reynolds (Miles Morales: Spider-Man, Ghost), Cecil Castellucci (Tin Star, The Plain Janes), Shannon and Dean Hale (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World), Ryan North (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl), Nick Lowe (Marvel Comics editor), and other special guests battle to the finish in this superhero-centric Family Feud -style game.

The Scoop at Simon & Schuster
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM @ Room 4

Lauren Hoffman (marketing), Chrissy Noh (marketing), Jodie Hockensmith (publicity), Keri Horan (marketing), and Liesa Abrams (marketing) give a sneak peek at the hottest books and properties coming from Simon & Schuster in 2017, including books by some of your fan-favorite authors. The discussion will be moderated by Jon Anderson (executive vice president, publisher), and attendees will take home exclusive prizes and swag.

SF and Fantasy Book Trivia with Orbit
8:30 PM – 9:30 PM @ Room 4

Find out what’s new and upcoming from Orbit, and win free books by playing a Jeopardy!- style trivia game show. “I’ll take science fiction and fantasy novels for $400, please!” Orbit’s marketing staff will test your knowledge banks-with some special guest appearances.

FRIDAY

Resist! Rebellion in Epic Fantasy
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM @ Room 32AB

Dark conspiracies, forbidden knowledge, secret magic, unknown continents, and rebellious heirs populate these panelists’ fantastic worlds, but where do they get the inspiration for these thorny conundrums? Charlie N. Holmberg (The Paper Magician), Robin Hobb (The Fitz and the Fool trilogy), Christopher Paolini (The Official Eragon Coloring Book), James A. Owen (Starchild, Dawn of the Dragons), Erika Lewis (Game of Shadows), and Michael Johnston (Soleri) discuss building fantasy worlds with backstabbing, shadowy plots, shocking secrets, and surprise inheritances with Petra Mayer of NPR.

Lucasfilm Publishing: New Star Wars Stories from a Galaxy Far, Far Away . . .
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM @ Room 7AB

Get ready, rebels! Bestselling, fan-favorite authors Christian Blauvelt (Star Wars Made Easy), Cullen Bunn (Star Wars: Darth Maul), Christie Golden (Battlefront II: Inferno Squad), Claudia Gray (Leia: Princess of Alderaan), Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Star Wars Jedi Academy: The Force Oversleeps), Cavan Scott (Star Wars Adventures), Beth Revis (Star Wars: Rebel Rising), and Landry Walker (Star Wars Adventures) discuss their latest stories set in a galaxy far, far away. Also featured will be exclusive sneak peeks at upcoming stories, surprise guests, and giveaways exclusive to SDCC. Moderated by Lucasfilm’s Michael Siglain.

Robin Hobb: Beyond the Pages
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM @ Room 4

Robin Hobb (the Fitz and the Fool trilogy) will respond to five previously selected interview questions requested by readers, followed by Q&A time with the audience. Join Robin as her assistant, Office Kat (The Real World: London), moderates this panel.

Superstars in Children’s Fiction
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM @ Room 23ABC

Meet children’s book and graphic novel superstars as they discuss how they create the heroes, characters, and books that kids love from Goosebumps to Jedi Academy. Featuring Jarrett Krosoczka (Star Wars Jedi Academy), Lucas Turnbloom and Greg Grunberg (Dream Jumper), R. L. Stine (Goosebumps), Jennifer Holm and Matt Holm (Swing it, Sunny), and Molly Ostertag (The Witch Boy).

Into the Fanzone! Celebrating Pop Culture in YA Literature
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM @ Room 24ABC

C. B. Lee (Not Your Sidekick and Not Your Villain), Danika Stone (All the Feels and Internet Famous), and Holly West (Swoon Reads and Feiwel & Friends editor) share their love of fandom, pop culture, and comics in a lit-focused Q&A on writing, publishing, and most important, the fans!

What’s Up with Penguin!
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM @ Room 23ABC

Anne Sowards (executive editor, Ace/Roc), Rebecca Brewer (associate editor, Ace/Roc), and Erin Berger (Penguin Young Readers Group) give you the dish on forthcoming books from their authors and licensed properties, such as William Gibson, Marie Lu, Stephen Donaldson, Renee Ahdieh, Patricia Briggs, Stephane Perkins, Ilona Andrews, Traci Chee, Brendan Reichs, Rachel Caine, and many more. You can expect giveaways like finished books or advanced reading copies.

If You Love Something, Make a Book of It
7:30 PM – 8:30 PM @ Room 24ABC

While many writers and artists incorporate their favorite pop culture characters, stories, and universes into their work, some have made the leap from ardent fan to published creator. Come hear the stories of authors and artists who have taken their fan obsessions and turned them into books that further inspire and entertain fans worldwide. Find out how their popular works came to be, what it’s like creating with pop culture icons, and how these works have opened new opportunities for them. Moderator April Whitney (Chronicle Books) talks with Jeffrey Brown (Darth Vader and Son, Star Wars: Jedi Academy), Tim Leong (Star Wars Super Graphic), Scott Koblish (Deadpool, The Many Deaths of Scott Koblish), Jenny Parks (Star Trek Cats), and Brandon Bird (Brandon Bird’s Astonishing World of Art).

SATURDAY

Space . . . The Final Escape
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM @ Room 7A

What is it about outer space that keeps us coming back to imagine the possibilities? Whether battling alien life forms in a far away galaxy or facing life or death technical dangers aboard a space station, we return to the stories that celebrate space and the triumph of the human spirit to explore and survive in it. Blast off with Claudia Gray (Defy the Stars), Nathan Hale (One Trick Pony), James S. A. Corey (Persepolis Rising), and Andy Weir (Artemis), led by Captain Maryelizabeth Yturralde of Mysterious Galaxy.

Real Life on the Page 
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM @ Room 29AB

Does real life get any less real when it’s on the page? How does this representative art form work to accurately (or not-so-accurately) convey history? Five prestigious nonfiction comics creators tackling different ends of the nonfiction comics spectrum-biographies, science, history, journalism-come together to discuss truth and comics. With Landis Blair (The Hunting Accident), Box Brown (Tetris), MK Reed (Science Comics: Dinosaurs), Tillie Walden (Spinning), and Alison Wilgus (Science Comics: Flying Machines); moderated by Petra Mayer (NPR).

Genre-Blending: How and Why?
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM @ Room 28DE

Readers, authors, and curators sometimes struggle to classify a work. Is it fantasy? Science fiction? Paranormal? Maybe all of the above? Authors Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky), Daryl Gregory (Spoonbenders), Peter Clines (Paradox Bound), Sarah Kuhn (Heroine Worship), Vic James (Gilded Cage: Book I of the Dark Gifts Trilogy), and Pierce Brown (Red Rising series) discuss the benefits and tricks of genre blending with Petra Mayer of NPR.

World Mythology in Contemporary Fantasy
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM @ Room 9

Xenophobes beware. (And if you know what “xenophobes” means, please keep reading.) There are worlds of diverse gods, djinn, daemons, Ghabali, manticores, sylphs, yowies-and oh, yeah, Baba Yaga-to learn about. And you can find them all in the pages of books. Join Reneé Ahdieh (Flame in the Mist) in conversation with Ilona Andrews (Wildfire), Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone), Traci Chee (The Speaker), S. A. Chakraborty (The City of Brass), and Nidhi Chanani (Pashmina) to learn about the monsters that roam the Earth and how world mythology provides the building blocks of contemporary storytelling.

Living in the Future
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM @ Room 23ABC

Daily life in the 21st Century can often feel like living in the future, as we relax with our pocket supercomputers in our self-driving vehicles, etc. But there’s no dearth of imagination among these panelists, who will share their future visions of our planet and others, humans, robots, and more. Take a tour as Christopher Rice (Ramses the Damned) guides readers into the visions of Cindy Pon (Want), Daniel H. Wilson (The Clockwork Dynasty), Karin Tidbeck (Amatka), Daniel Price (The Song of the Orphans), Elizabeth Briggs (Future Threat), and Rob Reid (After On).

Keeping It Real
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM @ Room 8

Graphic novels featuring realistic stories about kids are burning up the bestseller lists and winning awards. Some of the hottest creators working in the genre discuss why their work is connecting with readers both young and old. Panelists include Jennifer Holm (Swing It, Sunny), Shannon Hale (Real Friends), Nidhi Chanani (Pashmina), Tillie Walden (Spinning), and moderator Meryl Jaffe (Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth).

Discover Why YA is the Future of Comics
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM @ Room 7AB

One of the hottest genres in pop culture, YA books, movies, and comics aimed at middle-grade and young-adult audiences are creating legions of devoted fans all over the world. Join some of the most popular new voices in comics as they discuss the importance of YA, how to bring new readers to comic books, and the bright, diverse future of entertainment. Featuring Nidhi Chanani (Pashmina), Sarah Kuhn (Clueless), Tillie Walden (Spinning), Shannon Watters (Lumberjanes), Scott Westerfeld (Spill Zone), and Kiwi Smith and Kurt Lustgarten (Misfit City). Moderated by Brigid Alverson (Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal, contributor to CBR, Publishers Weekly, ICv2, and Smash Pages).

What’s New from Del Rey Books
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM @ Room 9

Adventure, science fiction, innovation, fantasy-the publisher of some of genre’s best and brightest stars is here to talk about what’s next on the horizon from Del Rey Books. Authors Pierce Brown (Red Rising Trilogy), Robin Hobb (Fitz and the Fool Trilogy), Jason Hough (The Dire Earth Cycle), Vic James (Gilded Cage), and Rob Reid (After On) discuss their new and upcoming books with moderator Tricia Narwani (Del Rey editorial director).

Inclusive Speculative Fiction
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM @ Room 9

Harper Voyager, home to such fantasy icons as Richard Kadrey, C. Robert Cargill, Raymond Feist, and Brom, is proud to announce a new universe of possibility inhabited by a broadly inclusive array of speculative fiction. HarperCollins Children’s Books showcases a roster of diverse authors and literature for the next generation of readers. Join in for a presentation of the diverse voices in fiction that readers have been calling for!

SUNDAY

Fantasy, Diversity, and Inspiring One Another
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM @ Room 32AB

Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, and Wonder Woman: Warbringer), Michael Dante DiMartino (Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, and Rebel Genius), and Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone) talk about fantasy across all mediums, diversity in literature and on the screen, and their inspirations for their works. All three creators will discuss their upcoming projects: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo, Warrior Genius and The Legend of Korra comics by Michael DiMartino, and Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone (both the trilogy and the forthcoming movie adaptation, which has been optioned by Fox 2000). Moderated by Kurt Mattila, film director and editor of such films as Tron: The Next Day and Lies & Alibis. Kurt’s love for filmmaking is rivaled only by his passion for comic books, which he channels through his superhero podcast, The Big Pull.

Monsters, Mayhem, Magic, and Machines for the Next Generation
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM @ Room 28DE

Classics like Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, E.T., and Ghostbusters continue to find fans year after year in their original and updated iterations. Author panelists explore more tales to entice readers of every age-from fantastical stories of colliding worlds to horrifying tomes of haunted houses and beyond-and discuss how the creators were influenced by the classics. With Armand Baltazar (Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic), Madeleine Roux (House of Furies), Marie Lu (Warcross), Marissa Meyer (Renegades), Amanda Foody (Daughter of the Burning City), and Christina Henry (Lost Boy), led by Cecil Castellucci (Shade the Changing Girl).

Capturing Teen Angst
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM @ Room 25ABC

Emotions are never more heightened than when you ae a teenager; every trial and tribulation is the end of the world. Mark Waid (Archie) finds out how to capture a teenager’s dramatic spirit with experts Dean Hale (Calamity Jack), Shannon Hale (Real Friends), Erica Henderson (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl), Victoria Jamieson (Roller Girl), and Scott Westerfield (Spill Zone).

Spotlight on Shannon Hale and Dean Hale 
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM @ Room 4

Celebrate the incredible work of the bestselling and award-winning husband and wife team of Shannon Hale and Dean Hale. Shannon has written for kids and adults including the acclaimed graphic novel memoir Real Friends, the Newbery Honor recipient Princess Academy, and Austenland, which was made into a major motion picture. Together, the Hales have co-authored the bestselling Princess in Black chapter book series, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl middle-grade novel, the Eisner-nominated Rapunzel’s Revenge graphic novel and its companion, Calamity Jack, and the upcoming middle-grade novel Monster High/Ever After High: The Legend of Shadow High.

The Future Is Bleak
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM @ Room 25ABC

All stories require an element of conflict, but some authors see a darker vision than others when they gaze into the future. Panelists Alex R. Kahler (Runebinder), Scott Westerfeld (Spill Zone), Cory Doctorow (Walkaway), Annalee Newitz (Autonomous), and Scott Reintgen (Nyxia) serve as guides to poisoned presents, alternative timeline apocalypses, near and far future dystopias, and other not-so-cheery scenarios with Maryelizabeth Yturralde (Mysterious Galaxy).

What’s Hot in Young Adult Fiction!
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM @ Room 29AB

Strong protagonists, engrossing romance, humor, action, and deeper questions of identity-that’s what’s hot! Join in for this popular annual Q&A session and chat about the newest titles and trends in YA fiction. Moderated by Nathan Bransford (How To Write a Novel) and featuring Jennifer Armentrout (The Problem with Forever), S. Jae-Jones (Wintersong), Lish McBride (Pyromantic), Brendan Reichs (Nemesis), Beth Revis (Star Wars: Rebel Rising), Megan Whalen Turner (Thick as Thieves), Kiersten White (And I Darken), and Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything).

Fantasy Novels
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM @ Room 8

Learn about writing fantasy novels, publishing, and book-to-movie adaptations from New York Times bestselling authors Gail Carriger (The Parasol Protectorate), Robin Hobb (Assassin’s Apprentice), Seanan McGuire (October Daye), and Mary Pearson (The Remnant Chronicles). Moderated by Henry Herz (Cap’n Rex & His Clever Crew).

* Not included in this list are the panels being hosted at the San Diego Central Library. They are hosting some seriously amazing panels with a heavy focus on educators and librarians. If you’re up for a little bit of a walk, you should definitely check them out.
You can read the full list here