Write off your other weekend plans, because the San Antonio Book Festival is back in a big way

click to enlarge From left: Frank Andre Guridy, Isabell Allende and Trung Le Nguyen - Courtesy of San Antonio Book Festival
Courtesy of San Antonio Book Festival
From left: Frank Andre Guridy, Isabell Allende and Trung Le Nguyen
After its sudden cancellation in 2020, San Antonio’s mega-celebration of the written word is back with a stacked deck of nearly 200 authors.

This year’s event will take place solely online, with a veritable cornucopia of book discussions and even a live science demonstration, free for all to attend, barring four ticketed events that come with a mailed copy of the guest author’s books.

From science fiction heavyweights like Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation, Hummingbird Salamander) and Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky, Victories Greater Than Death) to best-selling YA authors Nic Stone (Dear Martin, Dear Justyce) and Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief, The Trials of Apollo) — not to mention the late addition of the esteemed Isabel Allende (City of the Beasts, A Long Petal of the Sea) to the already impressive lineup — even the most committed attendees will likely feel some FOMO for sessions they can’t sit in on.

VanderMeer fans can also check out the Current's Q&A with the author.

Panels on new works by bestselling authors abound at the festival, including Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds, an American epic set in Texas during the Great Depression ($34, 12:30 p.m. Saturday) and Allende’s The Soul of a Woman, a meditation on what it means to be a woman in the present day ($28, 3:30 p.m. Sunday). Notable YA sessions include fresh takes on tales as old as time from authors Kalynn Bayron (Cinderella Is Dead) and Anna-Marie McLemore (The Mirror Season) in “Not Your Average Princess: Fairytales Totally Retold” (10 a.m. Saturday), and an in-depth look at Trung Le Nguyen’s gorgeously illustrated queer coming-of-age graphic novel The Magic Fish (2:45 p.m. Friday).

Those wanting a bit more Texas flair need look no further than a panel on locally published anthology Revolutionary Women of Texas and Mexico with editor Kathy Sosa and contributors Ellen Riojas Clark and Cynthia E. Orozco (1 p.m. Friday) and a special presentation from Sandra Cisneros in which she highlights four authors who deserve our attention (10 a.m. Saturday). Plus, sports and history align with a look at the power of Texas athletics in “How Texas Changed Sports in America” with The Sports Revolution author Frank Andre Guridy (1 p.m. Friday).

Free, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday, sabookfestival.org.

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