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Welcome to Litquake, San Francisco’s literary festival, now in our 17th year. Festival dates are October 7-15, 2016. Events are all-ages unless noted otherwise. Book sales are offered when and where appropriate. Events without ticket reservations are first-come first served. Click the phone icon to the right below, to download our new mobile app version!

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Thursday, October 13 • 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Literary Science: The Good, the Bad, and the Bestseller

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Why do you like some books, but not others? Can critics predict your taste? And why do millions of people sometimes love books that you hate? Isn’t art subjective? We'll ask these questions and yours to a literary critic, a veteran publisher, a bookseller-turned literary agent, and a UC Berkeley Neuroanthropologist—moderated by a scientist and novelist. Doors open at 6 pm. FREE

Moderators/Hosts
avatar for Ransom Stephens

Ransom Stephens

Ransom Stephens is a physicist, technologist, and novelist. He’s written over 400 articles on subjects ranging from quantum physics to parenting teenagers. His first popular science book, The Left Brain Speaks The Right Brain Laughs: a look at the neuroscience of innovation & creativity in art, science, & life is coming in November 2016 from Viva Editions. He's the author of two science fiction novels, The God Patent and The Sensory... Read More →

Participants
avatar for Leilani Clark

Leilani Clark

Leilani Clark writes about books for KQED Arts. Her journalism and essays have been published at Mother Jones, The Guardian, Civil Eats, The Rumpus, and other places. She is also the editor of Made Local Magazine, a print publication all about the Sonoma County food system.
avatar for Terrence Deacon

Terrence Deacon

Terrence Deacon is a professor of biological anthropology at UC Berkeley. His research combines human evolutionary biology and neuroscience with the aim of investigating the evolution of human cognition: Brain development and evolution, origins of language, bio-cultural evolution, emergence. He's the author of The Symbolic Species: The Coevolution of Language and the Brain and Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged over Matter
avatar for Andy Ross

Andy Ross

Andy Ross is a bookseller turned literary agent in Oakland. For 30 years Andy owned the legendary Cody's Books in Berkeley. He's now a literary agent who represents books in a  wide range of non-fiction genres: narrative non-fiction, science, journalism, history, popular culture, memoir,  and  current events. He also represents literary, commercial, historical, crime, upmarket women’s fiction, and YA fiction... Read More →
avatar for Jacob Weisman

Jacob Weisman

Publisher, Tachyon Publications
Jacob Weisman is the editor and publisher at Tachyon Publications, which he founded in 1995. He has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award three times for his work at Tachyon and is the series editor of Tachyon’s Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and Shirley Jackson Award-winning novella line. His writing has appeared in The Nation, Realms of Fantasy, the Louisville Courier-Journal, The Seattle Weekly, and The Cooper Point Journal. He is the editor... Read More →


Thursday October 13, 2016 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Mechanics' Institute Library 57 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94104