Book Bites: Rowling’s ‘Fantastic Beasts’ heads to big screen

In the world of British fantasy writer J.K. Rowling, anything is possible – including her net worth of $1 billion from the 450 million-plus copies of her seven-title “Harry Potter” series (not including “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” a play based on a Rowling story, to be staged in July).

The film version of a spinoff from the series, “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them,” will screen in November, the first of a planned trilogy. One description: “It explores New York’s secret community of witches and wizards decades before Harry Potter is born,” starring Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander.

Sci-fi lands at the Verge

In three series and nine novels, A-list sci-fi writer Kim Stanley Robinson of Davis has time-traveled backward and forward on Earth, visited Mars and explored far-distant galaxies.

He will appear for Stories On Stage at 7 p.m. Friday, April 29, at the Verge Center For the Arts, 625 S St., Sacramento. Stories on Stage is a literary series at which local actors perform authors’ short works. Reading Robinson’s new short story, “Oral Argument,” will be Blair Leatherwood.

A $10 donation is suggested.

Author appearances

▪ Sacramento City College journalism professor Jan Haag for her essay in the anthology “Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It: Life Journeys Inspired by the Bestselling Memoir,” 7 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at Time Tested Books, 1114 21st St., Sacramento, 916-447-5696.

▪ Sacramento artist and teacher Mario Estioko for “Incompatibles: The First 100,” a collection of cartoon panels of “things that just don’t go together, like brain freeze and surgeons.” At 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, at the Avid Reader, 617 Second St., Davis, 530-759-1599.