Truth to Power: Genre Fiction in Post-Fact America

7:00 p.m.

The Last Bookstore welcomes Shades & Shadows and authors Cory Doctorow, Gretchen McNeil, Kate Maruyama, CB Lee, Michael Paul Gonzalez, Samuel Sattin, Jennifer Brody, Christina Cigala, and Bobby Goldsmith to discuss how genre fiction’s role as social critic is changing or has changed in the post-fact, post-truth, fake news landscape of America. Moderated by Xach Fromson.

Let us know you’re coming.

Since beginning in 2013, Shades & Shadows remains the only ongoing reading series in Los Angeles to focus exclusively on science fiction, fantasy, horror, and all other forms of dark speculative fiction. It operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and serves as a platform for authors to reach new audiences and for readers to discover new voices in genre fiction.



Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger — the co-editor of Boing Boing (boingboing.net) and the author of Walkaway, a novel for adults, a YA graphic novel called In Real Life, the nonfiction business book Information Doesn’t Want To Be Free, and young adult novels like Homeland, Pirate Cinema, and Little Brother, and novels for adults like Rapture of the Nerds and Makers. He works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate, is a Visiting Professor of Computer Science at Open University and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in Los Angeles.


Gretchen McNeil is the author of several young adult horror/suspense novels for Balzer + Bray including Possess, 3:59, Relic, Get Even, Get Dirty, and the award-winning Ten which was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, and an ALA Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth. In 2016, Gretchen published her first YA comedy I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and her next novel will be the horror-comedy #murdertrending for Disney/Freeform, releasing August 7, 2018 with the sequel #murderfuning to follow in 2019.  Ten: Murder Island, the film adaptation of Ten starring China Anne McClain (Descendants 2, Black Lightning) and Rome Flynn (The Bold and the Beautiful) premiered on Lifetime in 2017.


Jennifer Brody is the award-winning author of the The 13th Continuum. Her book sold in a 3-book deal and is being packaged into a feature film. The book is a Gold Medal Winner (Young Adult – Sci-Fi/Fantasy) from the Independent Publisher‘s Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. Return of the Continuums and The United Continuums complete this epic trilogy. Translation rights to her books have sold in multiple territories, most notably Russia and China. Her short fiction appears in the From the Stars anthology and Common Deer Press Short Tails. She is a graduate of Harvard University, a creative writing instructor at the Writing Pad, and a volunteer mentor for the Young Storytellers Foundation She’s also a board member for the non-profit writing competitions the Roswell Award and the TomorrowPrize. After studying film at Harvard University, Jennifer began her career in Hollywood. Highlights include working for Platinum Dunes and New Line Cinema, most notably on The Lord of the Rings, The Golden Compass, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. She lives and writes in LA with her husband and one-eyed Goldendoodle named Commander Ryker.



Christina Cigala is a story teller based in Los Angeles. She writes and produces for MTV, Fox, 30 Seconds to Mars, Fox, Syfy, Spike, and Jared Leto. As a playwright and theater director, her work is widely produced in regional theaters, New York, and LA. She has an MFA in Playwriting from the Actors Studio Drama School and a BA from Baylor University. Her first novel, XX v XY, was released by Simon & Schuster in Fall 2017.



Bobby Goldstein is the president of Bobby Goldstein Productions and the creator of Cheaters, one of the longest-running syndicated shows in history, now airing daily in 215 U. S. markets and in over 100 foreign countries. Goldstein has become recognized for his ability to spot cultural trends and capitalize on rebellious ideas.



CB Lee is a bisexual Chinese-Vietnamese American writer whose novels include the Sidekick Squad series, a young adult science fiction adventure that follow queer teens who take on a corrupt government superhero agency, and also the fantasy Seven Tears At High Tide. Lee’s first novel in the Sidekick Squad series, Not Your Sidekick was a 2017 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist in YA/Children’s Fiction and a 2017 Bisexual Book Awards Finalist in Speculative Fiction. Seven Tears at High Tide was the recipient of a Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Fantasy Romance and also a finalist for the 2016 Bisexual Book Awards in the YA and Speculative Fiction categories.



Michael Paul Gonzalez is the author of the novels Angel Falls and Miss Massacre’s Guide to Murder and Vengeance. His newest project is the serial horror audio drama Larkspur Underground, available for free on iTunes and Stitcher. A member of the Horror Writers Association, his short stories have appeared in print and online, including Great Jones Street, Lost Signals, Gothic Fantasy, The Year’s Best Hardcore Horror, HeavyMetal.com, and many more. You can visit him online at MichaelPaulGonzalez.com


Kate Maruyama’s novel Harrowgate was published in 2013 by 47North. Her short work has appeared in numerous journals in print and online and she has been anthologized in Winter Horror Days, Halloween Carnival and Phantasma: Stories. She teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles in the BA and MFA programs and for Writing Workshops LA as well as online with inspiration2publication.com. She writes, teaches, cooks, and eats in Los Angeles where she lives with her family.



Samuel Sattin is a novelist and comics creator. He is the writer of the forthcoming Glint trilogy and Bezkamp (2019), Legend, The Silent End, League of Somebodies, and Adventure Quest. His work has appeared or been featured in The Nib, The Atlantic, Nerdist, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Paste Magazine, Salon, io9, Kotaku, Vulture, Bleeding Cool, The Fiction Advocate, The Rumpus, The Good Men Project, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in Comics from California College of the Arts and has a creative writing MFA from Mills College. He is the director of a toy company in Oakland, California, and teaches at the California College of the Arts.




Please note that our store has limited capacity (a mere 300!), so get here early.

Those wishing to get books signed will be asked to purchase a copy of the author’s title from The Last Bookstore. Any outside books must be checked with security upon entering the store. This policy applies to all Last Bookstore events unless otherwise noted. Save your receipt; it will be checked when you enter the signing line.