Happening now: The Vermont Comic Creators Show @ the Fletcher Free Library

The Fletcher Free Library of Burlington is hosting the Vermont Comics Creators show until 4PM today:

Vermont Comic Creators Group is a statewide Comic Arts organization dedicated to the promotion, support of both Vermont Comic Creators group; a coalition of over 170 VT-based comic creators, the VT comics scene, grass-roots education and the comics medium in general. VTCCG engages in community outreach- offering workshops, creator meetups and other community projects for comic creators and cartoonist of all stages of development in their craft.

Members of the VTCCG gives creators from amateurs who are just getting involved in the art form all the way up to pros, an opportunity to share and network on our Facebook group page, attend monthly meetups and participate in special events like comic shows and community outreach and workshops.

Essex Cinemas running Batman Marathon

2019 is Batman’s 80th anniversary, and to celebrate, Essex Cinemas is launching a Batman marathon of sorts: over the next couple of days, it’ll screen the original Batman (May 4th), Batman Returns (May 6th), Batman Forever (May 12th), and Batman & Robin (May 14th).

The films will screen at 4:00PM (May 4th, May 6th, and May 12th), and 7:00PM (May 14th). Tickets for all screenings are $10 for kids, $12.50 for adults.

This weekend: The Vermont Sci-fi & Fantasy Expo!

Vermont has a new convention: the Vermont Sci-Fi & Fantasy Expo, which takes place this weekend at the Champlain Valley Exposition. Tickets range from Free (kids under 6) to $25.

The event will bring together a number of science fiction and fantasy writers, comic book artists, gamers, cosplayers, and more, with a full schedule of events that includes readings, panels, activities, and costume contests, as well as the premiere of Outer Rim, a science fiction anthology web series.

Full details can be found here!

The Outer Rim gets first look at VT Sci-Fi & Fantasy Expo

Jim Bray’s science fiction anthology project The Outer Rim will get its first look during this weekend’s Vermont Sci-Fi/Fantasy Expo at the Champlain Valley Expo. WCAX has a long piece about the project.

Bray and his wife Jodi have been working on the project for a couple of years now — it had originally started as a Star Trek fan film, and shifted into an original universe following some changes from the franchise’s corporate owners.

The pilot for the series will be screened during this weekend’s expo, and Bray and company will be on hand for a panel at 2PM.

Seven Days profiles local sci-fi comedy audiobook

Seven Days has a cool profile of local comedian and author Conor Lastowka, who recently published a science fiction comedy called The Pole Vault Championship of the Entire Universe which was recently republished as an Audible Original title, featuring a number of well-known comedians, like Paul F. Tomkins, and Weird Al Yankovic.

The novel, according to Amazon, follows a high school girl named Kara Everglades, who is brought along on a strange adventure with her eccentric grandfather, Cornelius Everglades.

Here’s the full description:

Kara Everglades has just finished her first year of high school and is longing for an adventure. So far her only option is an invitation from some upperclassmen to watch them drunkenly race a bunch of bullfrogs in a ditch. To be honest, she was hoping for something a bit more exciting.

Her grandfather, Cornelius Everglades, is a renegade who founded his own island micronation. Unfortunately, the rest of the world refuses to acknowledge it (possibly because he’s gone about the nation-building process using wildly illegal and unethical means).

When Cornelius shows up at Kara’s door needing her help and promising an adventure, Kara agrees to go along with his far-fetched plan to put his micronation on the map, even though a) she thought Cornelius was dead, and b) his scheme depends heavily on Kara wearing a mascot costume.

If Kara had known about the giant alien spaceship currently speeding toward her grandfather’s country with the intent to subjugate and humiliate mankind, she might have reconsidered.

Lastowka is also a writer for RiffTrax, and performs at the Vermont Comedy Club in Burlington, and the profile digs into his career and interest in science fiction, noting that science fiction comedy is a hard genre to get right. Give the full article a read here.

Phoenix Books hosts Harry Potter Book Night

Harry Potter fans take note: Phoenix Books will be hosting a trio of Harry Potter Book Nights at its Essex, Burlington, and Rutland locations tonight, February 7th.

The event is an annual affair in its fifth year, designed to celebrate all things Harry Potter:

Share the Magic! Mark your calendars for Harry Potter Book Night, when fans young and old will be able to celebrate J.K. Rowling’s wonderful series – and it’s a chance to pass the magic on to new readers who haven’t yet discovered these unforgettable books. The magical theme is ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’ and as the scene of so many seminal moments in the Harry Potter stories we can’t wait to celebrate all things Hogwarts!

The events will begin at each of the stores at 6PM. Costumes encouraged.

Pat Esden at Phoenix Books in Burlington!

Phoenix Books will be holding a signing for local author Pat Esden, for her new novel, His Dark Magic. 

Pat’s been a regular on our Vermont SF Writer’s Series events (which we’ll get back to hosting … someday), and her latest book came out earlier this week from Lyrical Press. 

Here’s what it’s about: 

One tragic impulsive mistake made Chloe Winslow an outcast to her influential magic family. As a medical student, she wants to combine science with sorcery to heal those she hurt and right her wrongs. But brilliant, charismatic Devlin Marsh re-routes her plans with a once-in-eternity offer: membership in the exclusive Northern Circle, a mysterious Vermont coven known for pushing the limits.

Enthralled by Devlin and their mesmerizing mutual attraction, Chloe makes a dangerous sacrifice to help the Circle’s high priestess awaken Merlin himself—and learn his timeless cures. But a foreshadowing soon causes Chloe to doubt the Circle’s real motives, as well as Devlin’s . . .
Now Merlin’s demonic shade is loose in the human world, while Chloe and Devlin’s uneasy alliance will pit them against ancient enemies, malevolent illusions, and shattering betrayal. And with the fate of two realms in the balance, Chloe must risk her untried power against a force she can’t defeat—and a passion that could destroy her.  

Pat’s signing will take place on Saturday, January 12th at 2:00PM at Phoenix Books’ Burlington location. The store is selling tickets for the event: $3 will get you admission and a $5 off coupon for the book. 


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald advanced screenings


The next installment of J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts franchise hits theaters this week. The series is a prequel to her Harry Potter series, and this new film, The Crimes of Grindelwald, will continue the story of Newt Scamander and the rise of the dark wizard, Grindelwald. 

As usual, a bunch of theaters around Vermont will be screening the film early. Here’s where to watch on Thursday, November 15th: 

  • Bennington Cinemas, Bennington. 6:45PM, 9:30PM.
  • Bijou Cineplex 4, Morrisville. 7:00PM. 
  • Essex Cinemas, Essex. 6:00PM, 8:50PM.
  • Flagship Cinemas, Rutland. 6:40PM, 9:35PM.
  • Latchis Theater, Brattleboro. 6:45PM, 9:10PM. 
  • Majestic 10, Williston. 6:00PM, 7:00PM.
  • Palace 9, South Burlington. 6:00PM. 
  • Paramount Theater, Barre. 7:00PM.
  • Springfield Cinemas 3, Springfield. 7:00PM, 8:00PM, 9:00PM. 
  • Star Theatre, St. Johnsbury. 7:20PM. 
  • Stowe Cinemas, Stowe. 7:00PM. 


Opening normally on Friday, November 16th:

  • Big Picture Theatre, Waitsfield. 
  • Middlebury Marquis, Middlebury. 
  • Playhouse Theatre, Randolph. 
  • Village Picture Shows, Manchester. 

New YA Horror: Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Katherine Arden made a name for herself with her debut fantasy novel The Bear and the Nightingale, as well as its sequel earlier this year, The Girl in the Tower. The third installment of that trilogy, Winter of the Witch, isn’t due out until January, but she does have a middle-grade horror novel, Small Spaces, which hits bookstores today.

Here’s what it’s about:

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”

You can read an excerpt here. Arden earned a starred review for the novel from Kirkus Reviews, which says that it’s “atmospheric horror at its best.”