Sawyer’s science fiction novels are about what happens when you introduce one high-concept sci-fi element to an otherwise ordinary world. He then spends the rest of the book examining the ramifications of that collision. His newest, Quantum Night, uses experimental psychology and quantum physics to explore human nature. University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., 634-3400, bookstore.washington.edu. Free. All ages. 7 p.m.
Haunted House: A Reading Halloween is a long way off, but you never really need an excuse for a good scary story. Seattle writers Adrian Ryan, Sarah Galvin, Jack Bennett, and Paul Rinn tell their most frightening tales, with (presumably creepy) music by Must I Mind and hosting by the indomitable Jackie Hell. Eastern Cafe, 510 Maynard Ave S., 623-1776, fashionhotdog225.com. Free. All ages. 7 p.m.
Hollow Earth Radio’s glorious Magma Festival is adding a few literary events to the mix this year, including this beauty of a night, pairing “experimental, spatial sound ensemble” Fhtagn and electronic trio Netcat with readings by Seattle stalwarts Kreg Hasegawa and Lauren Ireland, along with NYC-based author Sue Landers. Hollow Earth Radio, 2018 E. Union St., 617-1683, hollowearthradio.org. Free. All ages. 8 p.m.
The Seattle-by-way-of-Egypt poet reads from his new book The Consequences of My Body. Read my review here.
Open Books, 2414 N. 45th St., 633-0811, openpoetrybooks.com. Free. All ages. 4:30 p.m.
Norwescon is our largest and longest-running science fiction and fantasy convention. Every year a small army of cosplayers, LARP-friendly sword dealers, novelists, and comics luminaries pack into a SeaTac hotel for a happy (and surprisingly horny) weekend of unabashed fandom. It’s a supportive, friendly environment to geek out about whatever you love. DoubleTree by Hilton, 18740 International Blvd., (425) 243-4692, norwescon.org. $30. All ages. 9 a.m.
You don’t read enough work in translation. Translated poetry is a great way to learn about another culture without taking on crippling airfare costs. Tonight, Vietnamese poet and translator Nguyen Phan Que Mai reads from her first book to be translated to English, The Secret of Hoa Sen. Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 322-7030, hugohouse.org. Free. All ages. 7 p.m.
Greenwell’s debut novel, What Belongs to You, has soaked up accolades from just about every review outlet imaginable. Tonight’s reading gives you a chance to take the hype out for a test drive before investing in the book. Greenwell will be joined onstage by novelist Idra Novey and Shelf Awareness reporter Davie Wheeler. Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, 624-6600, elliottbaybook.com. Free. All ages. 7 p.m.