Author talks to look forward to at the debut genre literature festival, Cymera

Author talks to look forward to at the debut genre literature festival, Cymera

V. E. Schwab / credit: Jenna Maurice

Sci-fi, fantasy and horror fans are spoilt for choice, with authors such as Ben Aaronovitch and Aliette de Bodard visiting the Scottish capital

The Cymera Festival is fast approaching and, in Festival Director Ann Landmann's own words, 'It's going to be a super fun weekend'. The Festival of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Writing has its debut edition at the Pleasance Courtyard in Edinburgh between Fri 7–Sun 9 Jun, and it boasts an impressive line-up of acclaimed, debut, and award-winning authors across the three genres.

With three days packed full of such promising events, deciding which ones to attend can feel like an overwhelming task, but do not worry. We've selected some of the talks we are most looking forward to, but do check out the full programme at, which includes exciting extras such as a cosplay ceilidh and a quiz.

Louis Greenberg, Sarah Lotz and D. A. Watson
The horror genre can often step away from frightening creatures and mythological beings, and Louis Greenberg (Green Valley), Sarah Lotz (The White Road) and D.A. Watson (In The Devil's Name) know that better than most. They will discuss how they approach the genre with a modern twist.
Sat 8 Jun, 11.45am, £6–8.

Robot Chickens with Alex McCall
The younger readers are not forgotten by Cymera as Alex McCall talks about his first children's book, Attack of the Giant Robot Chickens, where giant robotic hens attempt to take over the city of Aberdeen. A winner of the Scottish Children's Book Awards, this will be a definite must attend for young sci-fi lovers.
Sat 8 Jun, 12pm, £5 (one child and one guardian).

Samantha Shannon: The Priory of the Orange Tree
The author of the acclaimed The Bone Season series will talk about her NYT bestselling stand-alone epic fantasy novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree, which has been described as 'the new Game of Thrones' (but with a more satisfying ending).
Sat 8 Jun, 3.45pm, £8–10.

Charles Stross and Jonathan Whitelaw
The authors of The Laundry Files and HellCorp discuss how even horror novels can have a comedic element, and how they embed humour into tales that can be so very inherently dark.
Sat 8 Jun, 7pm, £6–8.

Author talks to look forward to at the debut genre literature festival, Cymera

Aliette de Bodard

Tade Thompson and Aliette de Bodard
You will want to be up bright and early to secure a good seat for this chat between authors Tade Thompson and Aliette de Bodard. They both boast an impressive track record of prestigious awards, such as the Nebula and Locus for Aliette and the Nommo and Kitschies Golden Tentacle for Tade. This is sure to be an enlightening and inspiring talk for any fantasy and sci-fi lovers.
Sun 9 Jun, 10am, £6–8.

Leo Carew, Den Patrick & R. F. Kuang
In fantasy literature, the sense of belonging is often a recurring theme, which many can easily compare to their own lived experiences. Leo Carew (The Wolf, The Spider), Den Patrick (Witchsign), and R.F. Kuang (The Poppy War, The Dragon Republic) discuss their work and what it means to belong – or not – in society.
Sun 9 Jun, 12.15pm, £8–10.

V. E. Schwab: The Near Witch
Eleanor Pender chairs this talk with Edinburgh-loving V.E. Schwab. She will be discussing the experience of having her debut novel, The Near Witch, republished eight years after its original release, creating best-selling novels, and defying expectations.
Sun 9 Jun, 3.30pm, £8–10.

Ben Aaronovitch
The author of the Sunday Times bestselling PC Peter Grant series of novels talks about his latest novella, The October Man, where Tobias Winter takes the centre stage investigating a mysterious murder in Trier, Germany. You can also get your hands on a copy (and get it signed) before the official publication date.
Sun 9 Jun, 6.30pm, £8–10.

CYMERA: Scotland's Festival of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Writing, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, Fri 7–Sun 9 Jun, times and prices vary. See the full program at

CYMERA: Scotland's Festival of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Writing

Scotland's festival of genre fiction returns with a programme packed with events and workshops for lovers of sci-fi, fantasy and horror.