Children met both superheroes and villains during the summer kick-off party.

Children met both superheroes and villains during the summer kick-off party.

Summer reading isn’t just for children, as the Hoover Public Library shows with its Sci-Fi and Fantasy Festival.

The festival will feature notable authors, panel discussions, a costume party, games and other activities that will transport visitors and their imaginations to another realm. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 1.

“It’s geared more toward adults, but anyone is welcome,” says Krysten Griffin, fiction department, Hoover Public Library. “Last year, we spent the summer celebrating romance, and this year we decided to pick sci-fi and fantasy.”

The library’s festival comes at the end of the “Escape the Ordinary” adult summer reading program, which lasted from May 16 to July 31.

“We’ve never done a program like this before,” she says. “We’re celebrating nerds this summer: Nerds are the new cool.”

Sticking to the themes of sci-fi and fantasy, the event will give attendees the chance to talk with some of the genres leading authors: Katherine Harbour, Bobby Nash and Van Allen Plexico.

There will be authors and costume designers at the festival.

There will be authors and costume designers at the festival.

The three industry pros will talk about their works and what it’s like to write for this category. They will also do book signings.

In addition to the authors, the library is bringing in a panel of award-winning costume designers, including Paige Gardner, Amanda Ayer and Celeste Oregame.

“They will talk about their designs and why they started doing them,” Griffin says. “We’ll also have some of the costumes on display.”

She says she is excited to hear from the designers, since one of them uses items from thrift stores to make her costumes. “She doesn’t stich anything,” Griffin says. “I’m looking forward to listening to them talk about how they put their stuff together.”

Not only will attendees be able to talk about the sci-fi and fantasy genre, but they will also have the chance to play related games. There will be tabletop, Dr. Who and role-playing games. Attendees can also bring their own games.

People can also experience Artemis: Spaceship Bridge Simulator during the festival. “You’re on a starship running different scenarios,” Griffin explains. “It’s like if ‘Star Trek’ were real.” Six people can play Artemis at one time.

During the festivals lunch break, participants are welcome to go get food or watch an episode of “Justice League” at the library during the “noon tune,” as they are calling it.

The daylong festival will end with a reception and costume party. Anyone can participate, and the costume panelists will pick the Top 3 costumes and awarded prizes.

“If you like sci-fi and fantasy, it’s going to be a full day of fun,” Griffin says. “We’ve got great authors, diverse programs and costumes: There’s going to be a little bit for everybody.”

The event is free, and there’s no registration required. Read more about the event at

This article originally ran in the July issue of Hoover’s Magazine.