Lovers of literature and sci-fi will have two big events to choose from over Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 3.

Dragon*Con takes over Downtown’s hotels and streets as sci-fi, fantasy and gaming fans gather for the annual convention. Stormtroopers, Ghostbusters, fairies, and superheroes will parade down Peachtree Street and this year’s special guests include The X-Files‘ Gillian Anderson (pictured), William Shatner and Patrick Stewart from Star Trek, original Batman Adam West and the cast of Torchwood, including John Barrowman, Eve Myles and Kai Owen.

There will be signings, workshops, collector’s fair, a costume contest, live music, and DJ hosted dances. The annual 2012 Dragon*Con Parade will be held Sept. 1 at 10 a.m.

For more information and to register, visit dragoncon.org.

Across town, the Decatur Book Festival will see hundreds of authors and literature lovers descend on the city for a weekend of reading bliss. The keynote address on Friday, Aug. 31, 8 p.m. at Emory University will be given by newly-minted U.S. Poet Laureate (and Decatur resident) Natasha Trethewey.

Saturday, Sept. 1, will kick off with a children’s parade on the Decatur Square. The remainder of the events in downtown Decatur will continue throughout the day Saturday and Sunday afternoon, Sept. 2, with more than 300 authors giving readings, talks, workshops and signing their books.

A few of the internationally known authors to be featured include Michael Connelly, Kathy Reichs, Tess Gerritsen, Erin Morgenstern, Meg Cabot, Isabel Wilkerson, Julie Otsuka and John T. Edge.

Local authors taking part include Thomas Lux, Collin Kelley, Karen Head, Megan Volpert, Kodac Harrison and Jericho Brown among many others.

For a complete schedule, visit decaturbookfestival.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.