Nerd Culture

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Scribes Timothy Zahn, Terry Brooks, and Other Authors Coming to Phoenix Comicon

The special guest announcements for next year's Phoenix Comicon just keep on coming.

The special guest announcements for next year's Phoenix Comicon just keep on coming. Organizers of the annual four-day geek spectacular have been keeping busy the past couple weeks continuing to reveal the newest additions to the already star-studded lineup for next year's event via their Facebook page.

And although most of their latest news have involved celebrated figures from the world of comic books (natch), local bookworms and word nerds should be pleased at the fact they've also announced that a host of noted science fiction and fantasy authors are scheduled to turn out as well. The list features a slew of scribes who have penned iconic works aplenty, including epic tales of otherworldly adventures, fire-breathing dragons, brain-eating zombies, and other spectacular speculative fiction.

See also: - Phoenix Comicon Announces First Wave of Guests for 2013 - 100 Memorable Cosplay Images of 2012 - Phoenix Comicon Announces Sci-Fi/Fantasy Sirens and Comic Book Legends as 2013 Guests

One of the biggest of the bunch is Timothy Zahn, the 61-year-old author who's famous amongst Star Wars fans for his multiple contributions to the legendary sci-fi franchise's literary cannon over the past two decades.

Back in 1991, Zahn pretty much helped jumpstart the Star Wars expanded universe with the New York Times best-seller Heir to the Empire, the first of a three-book trilogy that introduced such memorable characters as Grand Admiral Thrawn, Talon Karde, and Mara Jade, as well as single-handedly reviving the public's interest in George Lucas' blockbuster saga.

Terry Brooks, who will also appear at Comicon, also penned a novel set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (specifically, the literary adaptation of 1999's Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace), but its merely only on entry in the fantasy author's voluminous oeuvre. The 68-year-old scribe has sold more than 21 million books and is renowned for his influential Shannara series of epic fantasies, which are set in a medieval setting of the Four Lands and is filled with elves, demons, and plenty of magic.

And while you won't read about many dragons or demons in the imaginative works of Brandon Sanderson, there's plenty of magic and mysticism to be had. The Mormon-born author, who resides in Utah and will host a Q&A session at Phoenix Comicon, has offered word nerds a variety of flights of fancy for more than a decade, including his best-selling Mistborn series and his young adult-oriented Alcatraz works.

Bookworms of a steampunk bent will probably flock to the panel/Q&A hosted by Cherie Priest, the novelist and blogger behind such horror titles as Bloodshot, Boneshaker, and Four and Twenty Blackbirds. One of the literary world's rising stars, Priest specializes in chilling tomes that also offer Southern Gothic-type thrills and alternative histories to go along with her steampunk imaginings, some of which frequently involve zombies and necromancers.

In other words, the kind of stuff that Phoenix Comicon attendees eat up with a spoon.

Phoenix Comicon 2013 takes place May 23-26 at the Phoenix Convention Center. Pre-sale daily admission starts at $15-$25. More info in available on the Comicon website.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.