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 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 for more... Speaking of moves, the Inside Books Project (, 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.

For more Books news, see Under the Covers at

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More ArmadilloCon
Five Fantastic Adventures at ArmadilloCon
Five Fantastic Adventures at ArmadilloCon
Take a step into a bold future of writing at Austin’s SF and fantasy conference

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 5, 2022

ArmadilloCon 42 Blasts Off Into Cyberspace
ArmadilloCon 42 Blasts Off Into Cyberspace
Even on Planet COVID, the long-running Texas fan convention keeps celebrating science fiction and fantasy

Robert Faires, Aug. 28, 2020

More News/Print
The All Poetry, All the Time Edition

Kimberley Jones, March 28, 2008

Austinites get on the same page with the Mayor's Book Club selection, Rockdale rocks some literature and music, novelist Amanda Eyre Ward gets crazy with the cheese (she's a whiz with the books, too), and Dobie Paisano turns 40, gets some work done

Kimberley Jones, Feb. 29, 2008


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

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle