Children's & Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books

Panel on Scifi & Fantasy Kid’s Books at San Diego ComicFest

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The San Diego Comic Fest has a focus on comics, science fiction, and movies. It will run Oct 4-6, 2013. San Diego Comic Fest will take place at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108.


I will be moderating a panel “SFF for Kids – With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”. Why should kids have to wait until they’re old enough to read Tolkien or Asimov to enjoy the worlds of science fiction and fantasy? This panel will comprise a mix of authors/illustrators who’ve created any form of juvenile speculative fiction (book, comic, graphic novel, or animation).

My panel will be held from 10-11 am on Sun. Oct. 6. My panelists and I will be signing books from 11am to noon adjacent to the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore booth. The panelists scheduled are:

PJ Haarsmahttp://pjhaarsma.com – Author of The Softwire sci-fi series and online game.

Haarsma HaarsmaSoftwire
“I began writing science fiction late in life. Thirty-eight felt late for me, but I had reached a point where I would try anything. It was very hard to get up in the morning and do what I was doing back then. I ran a small production company, I produced a movie and now I was directing corporate spots for clients like Hewlett Packard and Nokia. I had been shooting stills or film for advertising clients for fifteen years and I was spent. I began reading quite a bit then, trying to spark some creativity into my work again. This is when I began journaling. Next I started writing little stories, mostly about growing up. And then one morning the character JT appeared on my page.

At first The Softwire was just a bunch of little ideas inspired by an incident that happened in my youth. I’d always been a science nut, I have a degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, so I began attaching little tidbits of science to some of the ideas. My wife Marisa encouraged me to keep going and ten months later I finished the first draft of my first novel.

A lot about The Softwire comes from my own experiences growing up. No, I never traveled on a seed-ship to Orbis but I did feel like I was a slave working in my parents ceramic factory as a teenager. During the summers, I would slug 50lbs+ molds around while standing in a room with kilns firing at 1400 degrees. It wasn’t fun, and at the time I really resented my parents for it. I felt used and not in control of what I wanted. Probably like a lot of other kids my age then but hey, what did I know, I was fourteen.”

Eric Shanowerhttp://www.hungrytigerpress.com – Author of Age of Bronze and Little Adventures in Oz.

Eric Shanower is an award-winning and New York Times bestselling cartoonist, author, and illustrator. His work has been widely published–from Marvel Comics to Random House, from Nickelodeon Magazine to BBC television.

His current comics project, Age of Bronze, tells the complete story of the Trojan War in all its dramatic detail. Every version from Homer’s Iliad on down will be newly integrated in comics form when Age of Bronze is finished. It’s also set in the correct period–the 13th century BCE. Age of Bronze has been published by Image Comics since 1998, garnering two Eisner Awards, a Gran Guinigi, and a slew of nominations. The second volume, Sacrifice, was selected as one of the Best Books of 2004 by the editors of Publishers Weekly. In addition to English, Age of Bronze is published in Spanish, French, Polish, Italian, Croatian, and Indonesian.

Dani & Eytan Kollinhttp://www.theunincorporated.com – Authors of The Unincorporated Man sci-fi series.

Kollin KollinMan
Author siblings Dani and Eytan Kollin’s debut novel, The Unincorporated Man was designated a SciFi Essential and went on to win the 2010 Prometheus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of the year. Their second and third novels, The Unincorporated War and The Unincorporated Woman were also nominated for the same award (the 2012 winner will be announced in July). Their fourth novel, The Unincorporated Future releases August 21st, 2012 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

Shelley Moore Thomashttp://www.shelleymoorethomas.blogspot.com – Author of the Trinket and Good Knight fantasy series.

When I was little, I was one of those kids that had messy handwriting. Really, really messy. As a matter of fact, it is only marginally better now, but I have learned how to decipher it most of the time. Ironically, even though putting pencil to paper neatly was torture, I loved writing. I was the kind of kid who wrote poems as gifts to people……the kind of kid who read fairy tales and adventures stories…..the kind of kid who still remembers writing her first book report ever, on The Story of Ferdinand the Bull.

I had great parents: a mom who loved reading and a dad who loved trains. My sister and brother were always up to something, and believe it or not, I was not always the one who instigated things. (They are quite respectable these days, you know). Some of my favorite memories include long road trips from New Mexico to Oklahoma, sweating in a car with no air conditioning while my dad stopped in each town so he could take a picture of the train depot to add to his collection. Good times, good times.

Remarkably, I grew up. I became a teacher (what better excuse to read tons of kids stories every day?) I got married to a wonderful prince and had three charming and lovely princesses. Oh, wait, I forgot the whole part about how I became the queen of stories….

Somewhere along the way, I discovered that I was born from an ancient royal line of velvet wearing, crown sporting, bedazzled storytellers who use puppets to make their stories come alive. Yes, it was quite a shock, if I do say so myself. But I made peace with my destiny.

Writing and storytelling seem to go hand and hand. So, when I am not dressed as the most royal thing this side of the Mississippi, I am working on my next book!

This article is also posted on the San Diego Children’s Book Examiner.

Author: Henry Herz

Children's book author

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