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Sci-fi, slam, and sainted stoners: what's happening in books this week

The air feel especially spooky this weekend? That'd be the stuff of robot revolutions and vampire lore emanating from ArmadilloCon 31, Austin's long-running sci-fi convention. The weekend will be packed with readings (including one by guest of honor Scott Lynch), a dealer show, writers' workshops, and such irresistibly titled panels as Zombies!: The Harlequin Romance of Horror?. Full schedule and ticket info can be found at www.armadillocon.org... Central Texas sent two teams to last weekend's National Poetry Slam in Detroit, the Austin Poetry Slam and Pflugerville's Neo Soul, with APS' Faylita Hicks advancing to the finals. The teams are back on home ground again, but the slam never stops – it just moves locations. Starting Aug. 19, APS moves its weekly slam from the Scoot Inn to the Independent @ 501 Studios (501 N. I-35). See www.austinslam.com for more... Speaking of moves, the Inside Books Project (www.insidebooksproject.org), which gets books into the hands of inmates, has settled into its new digs at Space 12 (3121 E. 12th) and is celebrating with a free event, the First Annual Inside Books Project Read-Off, with readings and an open mic on Monday, Aug. 17, from 8 to 11pm... The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in San Marcos haven't moved, but they have gotten a spiffy renovation. Construction should wrap by the end of the month and includes an expansion of exhibition space and the addition of the Cormac McCarthy Reading Room. The grand reopening takes place Oct. 17; fall season guest authors include Jayne Anne Phillips, Tony Hoagland, and Steven L. Davis, assistant curator at the Southwestern Writers Collection. Davis' new book, J. Frank Dobie: A Liberated Mind, comes out in October, and he's not the only local author with a book on the horizon. On Sept. 1, San Antonio's Wings Press will publish Dave Oliphant's memoir, Harbingers of Books to Come: A Texan's Literary Life, in which the 70-year-old poet-publisher-historian-(deep breath)-translator-educator explores his life through his books (25 and counting). And Austin couple Bill Cotter and Annie La Ganga will celebrate the upcoming releases of his and her books – his: novel Fever Chart (McSweeney's); hers: the "prose poem memoir" Stoners and Self-Appointed Saints (Red Hen Press) – with a joint book release party this Tuesday, Aug. 18, at BookPeople, to be followed by an 11-city joint book tour this fall.


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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

ArmadilloCon, Scott Lynch, Austin Poetry Slam, Neo Soul, National Poetry Slam, Faylita Hicks, Inside Books Project, Wittliff Collections, Southwestern Writers Collection, Jayne Anne Phillips, Tony Hoagland, Steven L. Davis, J. Frank Dobie: A Liberated Mind, Dave Oliphant, Harbingers of Books to Come: A Texan's Literary Life, Bill Cotter, Annie La Ganga, Fever Chart, Stoners and Self-Appointed Saints

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