Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, sci-fi, and gaming convention, has named Nigerian-American science fiction writer Nnedimma “Nnedi” Okorafor as its 2022 Literary Guest of Honor. Okorafor is an international award-winning New York Times bestselling novelist of science fiction and fantasy for children, young adults, and adults.
Dragon Con’s 2022 convention runs from Thursday, Sept. 1 to Monday, Sept. 5 with events and activities across five host hotels – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, and Sheraton Atlanta – and AmericasMart Buildings #2 and #3.
Born in the United States to Nigerian immigrant parents, Okorafor describes her writing as Africanfururism (not to be confused with Afrofuturism) and draws from African cultures to create captivating stories with unforgettable characters and evocative settings. She has received the World Fantasy, Nebula, Eisner, and Lodestar Awards and multiple Hugo Awards, amongst others, for her books, which include Who Fears Death (in development at HBO into a TV series), the Binti novella trilogy (optioned and in development with Media Res), The Book of Phoenix, the Nsibidi Scripts Series, and Lagoon. Her debut novel Zahrah the Windseeker won the prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature. She has also written comics for Marvel, including Black Panther: Long Live the King and Wakanda Forever, and the Shuri series. https://nnedi.com/
Two living members of the original Star Trek television series, William Shatner and Walter Koenig lead a long list of celebrity guests headed to Dragon Con. Shatner is a cultural icon and is best remembered as Capt. James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek television series, the animated series, and seven motion pictures. He will be joined by Koenig, who played Ensign Pavel Chekov on the bridge of the USS Enterprise.
Emmy-nominated actors Morena Baccarin and Tom Cavanagh, along with David Ramsey and Danielle Panabaker, will join Shatner and Koenig to meet fans, lead panel discussions, and sign autographs. Ramsey plays the role of John Diggle (also known as Spartan or Green Arrow), initially on Arrow, which ran from 2012 to 2020, and continues in that role across the CW, including The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, Superman and Lois, and Supergirl. Cavanagh, Ramsey, and Panabaker will be joined by Danielle Nicolet (The Flash), Olivia Swann (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), and Arthur Darvill (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow).
Other top guests from television and movies include Stargate Atlantis’ Joe Flanigan and Rachel Luttrell; Encanto’s Diane Guerrero, Mauro Castillo, and Adassa; Stargirl’s Brec Bassinger, Yvette Monreal, Trae Romano, and Anjelika Washington; and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD’s Jason O’Mara, and Briana Venskus (Agent Piper). Other media guests will represent Titans, Doom Patrol, Supernatural, Star Trek Picard, Star Trek Discovery, Stargate SG-1, The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and The Expanse.
Among the hundreds of other guest stars coming to Dragon Con are Laz Alonso, Chuck Brown, Chad Coleman, Wilson Cruz, Lexa Doig, Danay Garcia, Sanford Greene, Christopher Heyerdahl, Laurie Holden, Michelle Hurd, Lennie James, Georges Jeanty, Nathan Mitchell, Anson Mount, Adetokumbh M’Cormack, Ethan Peck, Afua Richardson, Michael Shanks, Mark Sheppard, and Joivan Wade.
Enjoy the Diversity Track at Dragon Con
Jarvis Sheffield is on a mission — Diversifying Dragon Con. Jarvis Sheffield, Coordinator of Media Centers at Historic Tennessee State University returns as Director of the Dragon Con Diversity in Speculative Fiction & Literature Track for his fifth year.
“I believe that it is essential that fandom is represented positively, diversely, and fairly,” says Sheffield. “Diversity includes important and interrelated dimensions of human identity such as race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, nationality, citizenship, religion, sexual orientation, ability, and age. “An important part of understanding diversity is that it includes similarities, as well as differences. Understanding that we have similar interests or beliefs can encourage cooperation and cohesion that is much needed in within our community and country.
“This year we have 23 in-person panel discussions, 7 streaming panels, 2 dozen parade participants, and 4 parties for congoers to enjoy. It is going to be another fantastic weekend! For more information join our Facebook group: https://www.dragoncon.org/diversity-in-speculative-fiction/ ”