The first volume of the anthology Philippine Speculative Fiction, which was first released in 2005 and paved the way for a unique literary movement in the Philippines, is now available as an eBook on Amazon and Flipreads. Series editor Dean Francis Alfar has partnered with Flipside Publishing to make the first four anthologies in the series available. The two books complement the speculative fiction eBooks in Flipside Publishing's lineup.
“Speculative Fiction opens the trapdoor of the imagination beneath our feet,” says Dean Francis Alfar, on why the genre is important. “As we fall to new worlds, familiar or far-flung, we open our eyes and minds to new ways of seeing and thinking. Throughout human history, the ability to imagine has driven us forward.”
Stories from the Philippine Speculative Fiction series have been included in the Honorable Mentions list of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, and Gavin J. Grant, while the individual anthologies have been praised by World Fantasy Award-winning author Jeffrey Ford and SF writer Nancy Jane Moore.
Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 1 is now available on Amazon for $0.99 and Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 2 for $3.99. The next two volumes will eventually be released in May. The eBooks are also available at http://www.flipreads.com for P80 and P195 respectively.
Other speculative fiction titles that Flipside Publishing has published include Lower Myths by Eliza Victoria, Alternative Alamat edited by Paolo Chikiamco, Geek Tragedies by Carljoe Javier, News of the Shaman by Karl De Mesa, and Ghosts of Infinity edited by Lara Saguisag and April Yap.
Flipside Publishing Services Inc., sister company of Flipside Digital Content, is involved in leading-edge conversion, production, and publishing of eBooks. Over 100 eBooks are available for the Amazon Kindle, Apple iTunes, and B&N Nook.
On the Blue Comet by Rosemary Wells. Candlewick, 2010.
On the Blue Comet was a pure joy to read. My childhood memory of pressing my cheek against the train board to gain a eye/ground level view of the trains was echoed in this story. The story's main character, eleven year old, Oscar Ogilvie is a kindred spirit as he performs the same ritual. We both were trying to imagine ourselves into the small world of the trains.
When I was a child, we had a model train set up. We did not have a basement but my father designed a over-sized folding platform for our HO model trains which included a train we had actually ridden on, the Santa Fe Railway Super Chief.
Wells sets her story during Great Depression. Oscar and his father share a love of model trains and they have an elaborate set up in the basement of their house. Each year they add to their collection but the hard economic times have put a stop to that. In fact, things are so bad that they must sell the train set to the local bank manager who uses the trains as a display in the bank lobby. Oscar's father leaves to look for work in California, promising to send for Oscar when he finds some. The kindly night watchman at the bank allows Oscar to visit and run the trains after the bank closes. One night the lobby is invaded by bank robbers and Oscar escapes into time and an unlikely landscape.
This story mixes history, time travel, and fantasy along with cameo appearances by some famous people in history. A great deal of the reading fun was identifying the people Oscar comes in contact with.
Bagram Ibatoulline has contributed glowing paintings that have been meticulously researched. Period fashion and architecture are reflected in illustrations which allow the reader to reach back in time too.
The book reminds me of how much model trains added to our childhoods. We learned -- hands-on --about electricity, direct current, transformers as well as trouble-shooting, patience and craftsmanship.
Tu Books publishes speculative fiction for children and young adults featuring diverse characters and settings. Our focus is on well-told, exciting, adventurous fantasy, science fiction, and mystery novels featuring people of color set in worlds inspired by non-Western folklore or culture. We welcome Western settings if the main character is a person of color.
We are looking specifically for stories for both middle grade (ages 8-12) and young adult (ages 12-18) readers. (We are not looking for picture books, chapter books, or short stories. Please do not send submissions in these formats.)
For more information on how to submit, please see our submission guidelines. We are not accepting unagented email submissions at this time.
What we’re particularly interested in seeing lately: Asian steampunk, any African culture, contemporary African-American stories, Latino/a stories, First Nations/Native American/Aboriginal fantasy or science fiction written by tribal members, original postapocalyptic worlds, historical fantasy or mystery set in a non-Western setting. Please note that while our focus remains on main characters that are people of color, we strongly welcome GLBTQ characters as well.
We look forward to reading your book!
Here are some delightful fiction reads.The Golden Door
(The Three Doors Series: Book 1); Emily Rodda (Scholastic)
A new series from Emily Rodda will always be devoured and this one is no different. I couldn't put this book down and just HAD to finish reading it!
This is another richly created classic fantasy delight that the author creates so well with hideous creatures, magical objects, a quest to be endured, villainous villains and a very unlikely hero.
Weld is a city surrounded by protective walls. These walls must be maintained but this season the deadly Skimmers are getting more and more resourceful and getting over the walls in their nightly search for food. The city warden has called for more young men - 18 and over - to go forth and defeat the Skimmers and be forever rewarded. Rye is too young and is waiting for his brothers to return but after they fail to do so, young Rye takes matters into his own hands and ventures forth. But first he has to choose the correct door to leave the city.
See more at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZY5yme7Nfw&feature=player_embedded\http://scholastic.com.au/minisites/threedoors/Harry’s War
John Heffernan (Scholastic)
Harry loves spending time with his grandfather. They build model planes together and Harry loves listening to the stories about his grandfather's heroic World War 2 adventures. Harry even tapes the stories. He beams when he gets to share his grandfather with his class at school when he is asked to visit the school. They also build model planes and share time together, which is very important because Harry doesn't know his own dad and the adults in his life wont talk about him. He too was a soldier but in a different war.
Harry's own adventures start to cause problems and soon his grandfather's war stories begin to unravel revealing that not all is quite as it seems. On Orchard Road
Elsbeth Edgar (Walker)
After living as the only child for 13 years Jane has a brand-new sister. As well, her mother has to stay in the city with the prematurely born sibling while Jane and her father, who has just lost his job, live in the country.
As the tale unwinds Jane is bullied at her new school, she strikes up a friendship with a boy who assists her when she gets stranded after twisting her ankle, and they meet a mysterious and lonely old woman with a rambling garden who becomes entwined in Jane's and Michael's lives.
A story of friendship, hope and healing, growing up and coming of age, and families.
By: Robin Brande
Blog: Robin Brande
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Hi, all. If you’re in the mood for some short fiction, you can now read two of my short stories, written last year while I was deep into my quantum physics research for my upcoming trilogy, INTO THE PARALLEL. You can tell my brain was pretty physicsy at the time.
A SKIP OF THE MIND: A physicist must find a unique solution to the problem of time travel if he wants to save his wife.
GAMEMASTER: They say high school is a game . . . For one girl, it’s a game she’s in charge of. A stroke of a key, an equation, a few changes in molecules and atoms here and there, and suddenly the losers aren’t such outcasts anymore. Nicki isn’t doing it to be noble, she’s doing it for sport. Because she can. But what happens to the people she’s remade? Who’s in charge of them now?
Hope you like them!
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I apologize for the lack of new posts here. I've been working on my MA thesis. I'll be updating here as soon as I can. For now, please head on over to Color Online for my new interview with children's book author Candy Gourlay! =D
I was so happy to blog again today. Please click here to read my new interview with Candy Gourlay for Color Online. :o)
For the past couple months I've been working on the proposal for my MA thesis. Yesterday I defended the proposal before a panel of children's literature experts and I am happy and relieved to announce that they approved my thesis topic. They also gave enormously valuable feedback!
So here is my final thesis topic (it has gone through four incarnations): I am going to trace the development of Asian American children's literature and determine its contributions to American children's literature. I will do this by doing a critical analysis of the Newbery books (Medal winners and Honor books) written by Asian Americans - Gay-Neck: The Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji, Dragonwings by Laurence Yep, Dragon's Gate by Laurence Yep, A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park, Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata, and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. My theoretical framework is ethnic studies and postcolonial studies, and I will be reading the books as Asian American texts and canonized Asian American children's literature.
I hope you'll understand why my blog posts for the next couple months will probably be few and far between. :o) You can follow me on Twitter or add me on Facebook, where I will most likely be posting mini-updates about my thesis.
Wish me all the best? :o)
I'd like to introduce another debut author today. :o) Joy Preble is the author of the young adult fantasy Dreaming Anastasia: A Novel of Love, Magic, and the Power of Dreams (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2009), an intriguing and enjoyable re-imagining of what happened to Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov of Russia and the Russian folk tales about Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Beautiful (also known as Vasilisa the Brave).
Thank you very much, Joy, for stopping by today to answer my questions!
How does your teaching high school English affect your writing and vice versa?
I suppose the biggest effect on me is that I’m around my target audience five days a week, 8-9 hours a day. So I definitely feel somewhat hooked in to trends, issues and the whole inner angst of high school. I do think that most adults forget the intensity of the teen years sometimes, but it’s hard for me to do that when it’s basically right on top of me all the time. I also think it gives me a healthy respect for how hard it is to grow up- to learn about love and loss and regret as well as triumph and success - and I do want to reflect that in my writing. As for the vice versa, I do think writing teenage characters does make me fairly mellow most days. (okay not all days) But it’s hard to gripe at some kid for not reading his chapters in To Kill A Mockingbird or whatever when you’re going home and writing in the head of a girl who’s blowing off her academics because a handsome hottie has told her she needs to save a Russian princess.
Why did you write Dreaming Anastasia? What’s the story behind the story?
I’ve been fascinated by the Romanov story for a very long time. Such a huge tragedy – all those pretty people gunned down in their prime. That creepy, creepy Rasputin. And of course Anastasia herself – so young and feisty and full of life. Russian history always seems to exist on such an enormous, larger than life scale. So it was hard not to have it all stuck in my head. Eventually, when I got serious about writing novels, the idea of a girl came to me. She was in high school, and she was smart and funny and possibly a little angry. Her life wasn’t what she wanted it to be. And then she starts getting stalked by this guy who tells her it’s her destiny to save Anastasia. I figured a lot of wackiness would ensue. And I guess it did!
What influences and inspirations (both literary and non-literary) did you draw from while writing Dreaming Anastasia?
You know I can’t really point to any one influence. I think my influences in general come from a variety of places. I admire Sarah Dessen for her ability to make her characters seem absolutely real and I strive to emulate her in that regard. I love Libba Bray’s use of history in her Great and Terrible Beauty series. I think John Greene and Maureen Johnson are hysterically funny when they write and I only wish to get to their level at some point. Television writers influence me as well – the genre blending of western and sci fi in Joss Whedon’s Firefly let me think that it was possible to do things differently and get away with it. And of course the Palladinos set the bar for fast paced, smart dialogue in Gilmore Girls. If I could be an ounce as good as any of those folks, I’d be a lucky girl.
Where were you and what were you doing when you found out that your novel was going to be published? What were your first thoughts and feelings? How did you celebrate the good news?
Actually, I was on my way to the dentist to have a cavity filled when my agent at the time emailed and said she had news and would I call her. My heart started pounding because I knew that Dreaming Anastasia (then titled Spark) had been in acquisitions at Sourcebooks. But even with that, you never count on a deal until it’s actually offered. It was honestly the happiest I’ve ever been while sitting in the dentist’s chair! It ended up that I needed a crown not just a filling, and I was sitting there saying whatever! My book sold. Drill away. Eventually, when the Novocain wore off, my husband took me out to dinner. I chewed on one side only, dribbled my wine down my shirt because my lip was still a little numb and smiled a crooked smile all night.
Do you have a message for your readers in Asia?
I hope that Dreaming Anastasia is as universal a story as I think it is. And if you like this tale of a girl who thought her life was ordinary until she discovered it wasn’t, a guy who has more than a few regrets, a princess who made some of her own mistakes and has been trapped for a long time, a maybe crazy, maybe not witch, a bad guy or two and a best friend who’s always there when the going gets rough, let me know. It’s about love and loss and redemption and our need for second chances, about the things we wish to change and the ones we find we can’t. I hope that appeals to everyone – no matter where we live!
Heeeeeey! Yes, I know, it's been awhile. Just been REALLY busy. I'm checking in today to share a link. Nominations for the Cybils awards are closed. Click here to see the complete list of nominees for the science fiction and fantasy category!
It's quite a list. Any of you have predictions for what will make the shortlist???
The Dragon and the Stars (DAW, May 2010) is a science fiction and fantasy anthology featuring Chinese writers from all over the world. The cover is of a Western dragon, not a Chinese dragon. Click here and here to read blog posts and comments about the cover. Thanks to Bibliophile Stalker for this news!
The Hunchback Assignments #1 by Arthur Slade , read by Jayne Entwistle, Listening Library, 2009 (review copy source: public library audiobook download) // Hardcover edition: Wendy Lamb Books, Random House, 2009. (review copy source: publisher provided)
Arthur Slade brings new life to Victor Hugo's 1831 classic, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and resets the story in Victorian England. His twist on the story mixes Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde into a steampunk adventure with human robots (or is it robotic humans?) and explosions and intrigue.
Initially, I wondered how much appeal this story would have with readers who are at an age when they probably feel like Quasimodo yet yearn to be Edward Cullen. Would they bond with a such an ugly and physically malformed main character?
Not only is Modo a kind and intelligent character but, as voiced by Jayne Entwistle, he is endearing and charming. His innocence about the world and his learning curve are similar to the eye opening time of life that starts in junior high school.
Mr. Socrates is a member of a mysterious society, the Permanent Association, whose mission is to safeguard the Empire, "Rule, Britannia" and all that. He rescues an abused and terrified hunchbacked child, Modo, from a traveling freak show and provides tutors who educate and train the boy. The child has a special power to physically change his appearance although it takes continuous concentration and physical effort to maintain a new visage for any length of time. Modo is isolated and protected from the outside world and even from his own appearance until he is fourteen years old.
When Modo is fourteen Mr. Socrates gives him a mirror and he sees himself for the first time in his life. Reeling from that shock, Socrates then turns him out onto the streets of London to test his survival skills, his intelligence and his special abilities. Surviving and even thriving, he is teamed with another teen, Octavia Milkweed, to infiltrate and defuse a plot to overthrow the British government.
Slade provides a wafting of romance as Modo yearns to be tall and handsome in order to gain Octavia's interest while she continuously wonders about the mask Modo wears--shades of Cyano's Roxanne and Hugo's Esmerelda.
I am looking forward to the next installment of Modo's story.
With the interest in the new Sherlock Holmes movie franchise, I think the timing for this series is excellent.
My favorite food scene in Dreamdark: Silksinger written by Laini Taylor and illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo
By happy accident, Hirik had chanced to find his way to Sweetsellers Lane. It was very narrow, with towering, carved buildings looming on either side. Faeries lolled on balconies, and shop lads fluttered up to them with trays of mint tea. Everything was the color of sherbet and sugarplums, and every shop sold some sweet marvel, from rare wildflower nectar to nut tarts and spice cakes, coconut cream and chocolate soup to blocks of sugarcane jaggery big enough to perch on. Hirik had never imagined such a quantity of sweets, and he scarecely knew how to choose!
When his stomach rumbled, he let a biddy wave him into her shop, where he bought himself a sweet-potato tart slathered with pistachio butter.
I am late to the table discovering this series.
Stoneheart (Hyperion, 2007) by Charlie Fletcher is a page-turner with an intriguing focus for a fantasy novel.
George , 12 years old, breaks off the head of a dragon carving from the wall of the museum during a class field trip. Uh-oh. This action opens the way into an unseen dimension of London where all the statues of the city are good (the spits) and trying to help him or bad (the taints) and trying to kill him. He meets a girl named Edie who has the unwanted ability to see past events.
For this Anglophile, the most delightful aspect to these books (I am in the middle of the second volume, Ironhand
) is identifying the REAL statues and public art in London that are characters in the story.
YA author Judith Graves and I have one thing in common: We LOVE werewolves. We've exchanged several messages through Twitter, and we usually talk about those HOT HOT paranormal creatures. So I've invited Judith to guest blog at Into the Wardrobe and asked her this question: Why are werewolves so freakin' awesome?!
You asked for a guest post on why werewolves were so made of awesomeness. As a true Wolfy Chick, I completely agree they are. However, I should clarify that in my book, Under My Skin (UMS), my “werewolves” are pretty old school and are not of the Jacob / Sam persuasion. In UMS, werewolves are forged from dark magic, they are made, not born – and serve as the brawn for their demon or vampire masters.
That being said, my wolven creatures, like Eryn, the main character in UMS, are shapeshifters, born with the ability to assume either human or wolf form. Kind of your typical lycan-ish creature, except wolven are wolves who occasionally live as humans rather than the other way around.
ANYWAY…. I’m totally splitting hairs or fur on this one…lol… Back to the issue at hand. Were creatures – lycans – wolven – whatever…. They do rule and, if you don’t believe me, well, I’ll have to convince you. One of my favourite things to do – create Pro / Con lists (anal of me, sure, but it’s how I process stuff). I took the liberty of creating one on my lunch break today at school (I work in an elementary school library – hence, the “damage noted” stamps – I spared you the usual snot-covered stack of books sitting on my desk, aren’t you glad? The snot would be from kids reading the books and sneezing on the cover, NOT me.)
As you can see (well, you could if you click on the image to make it all big like) the pros far outweigh the cons – weres are most awesome! And I apparently can’t spell “immortal” to save my life.
My husband is reading over my shoulder and informs me that I neglected to add “stench of wet dog” to the CONS. I agree, that was an oversight. But I’m amazed he’d think of reeks considering the stench emanating from his hockey gear bag in our garage. ;)
And the odor factor still doesn’t tip the scale – weres rule! Thanks for letting me hang on your blog Tarie…. Cya!
Werewolves only stink for vampires. They smell just fine to us humans. ;) Thank you so very much for talkin' werewolves with me again today, Judith!!
Now, dear readers, tell us: Do you love werewolves too? =D
All these novels are new and I couldn't put them down. The Red Wind
Isobelle Carmody (Viking)
This is the first title in the Kingdom of the Lost
series, a delightful fantasy series written for younger readers.
Two brothers live in the middle of a vast bare plain in their simple stone cottage, with gardens and household items crafted with their own hands. In autumn every year the elder brother Zluty travels to the northern forests to gather supplies of mushrooms, tree sap and honey that the two will need to endure the long hard winter on the plain. The younger brother Bily meanwhile nervously waits at home for his brother to return. But this trip a devastating Red Wind sweeps across the land being with it much destruction and torment, destroying everything in its path, including the brother's cottage on the plains. Bily survives by hiding with his animal friends in the cellar, along with a terrifying monster, while Zluty endures the torrential rain and fights to survive! United the two, with their cottage destroyed and little to no food for them to survive the coming winter, must decide what to do.Get a Grip Cooper Jones
Sue Whiting (Walker Books)
Cooper Jones has never known his dad. He lives with his mum (who is mad keen on joining the Women's circus aerial troupe (no matter how embarrassing that is to Cooper) in a small coastal town near the bush close to the beach (and the surf which he wont swim in). and things are changing. He constantly thinks of the father he has never known, he even starts searching the internet for his father, and now things seem different between him and his mother ... especially now that he's taller then her. Life is getting complicated and is no longer simple. Then Abeba arrives, his neighbour's niece and soon Cooper realises that he is not the only one whose life is getting complicated as Abeba has problems of her own with her mother about her heritage. And when the bushfire approaches and Abeba is bitten by a snake, it is Cooper who has to realise that when life is spinning out of control, sometimes you just need to get a grip.
A wonderful story of families and relationships and growing up!The Wildkin's Curse
Kate Forsyth (Pan)
This is the companion book to the earlier novel, The Starthorn Tree
, but it most definitely can be read as a standalone novel. The characters are wonderful created in this fantasy world.
Three children who are time-honoured enemies, Merry (a heathkin boy and son of a rebel), Zedrin (a starkin lord and heir) and Liliana (a wildkin girl developing uncanny magical powers) are on a perilous quest to the palace of Zarissa to rescue the wildkin Princess Rozalina (who is also muzzled for she has the power to enchant with her word
Hi, everyone! I have another special guest today: Tutu Dutta-Yean. She's at Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind to share a bit about herself and her work in children's literature. Welcome, Tutu!
About the Author
Tutu Dutta-Yean was born in India, but she grew up in Malaysia. She has traveled and lived in Japan and France as a student and later in Singapore, Nigeria, New York and Cuba as the wife of a diplomat. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from University Putra Malaysia and also devoted a few years researching this subject for a master’s degree in the University of Malaya before embarking on a career in public relations.
Her lifelong interest in culture, folklore and children’s literature inspired her to research and write her first book, Timeless Tales of Malaysia. Since then she has published two more books: Eight Fortunes of the Qilin and Eight Jewels of the Phoenix.
She has a teenaged daughter, Shona, who was born in Singapore. At present, Tutu is living in Havana, Cuba.
How Tutu Became a Writer
I've always been interested in folktales, legends & myths even as a child and I accumulated quite a large collection of stories (mentally that is). For me these stories are little capsules of culture, history and also human nature. A six-week trip to Tokyo, Japan in 1978 as a young student sponsored by Japan Airlines, was perhaps a turning point. I was fascinated by Japanese culture and especially by their traditional theatres – Noh and Kabuki. I found the stories, which are mostly based on a mixture of legend and history, very haunting.
But I only started researching and writing folktales in earnest about 10 years ago. I think my interest was piqued when my husband Yean was posted to Lagos, Nigeria from 1999-2002. Coming into contact with a very different culture usually gives one an alternative perspective on life! While in Lagos, I was a member of the African Book Group of Lagos. It was a very useful experience as some of the members of the Book Group taught me to analyze books in terms of plot and character.
A posting to New York from 2002 to 2005 gave me the confidence to be a writer. I had the opportunity to attend talks by writers in bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, which finally made me decide that I could write a book of my own. From New York, it was back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where I met up with an old friend Eleanor Chen. She invited me to join the Rumah Ku Children’s Book Writers Circle. With feedback from the group, the manuscript for Timeless Tales of Malaysia was accepted by Marshall Cavendish Malaysia. I decided to undertake the illustrations myself as a cost-saving measure!
About Timeless Tales of Malaysia
I started the project by researching Malaysian folktales i.e. traditional stories that originated in Malaysia. There are some stories that almost every Malaysian is familiar with such as 'The Princess of Mount Ledang' and the 'Sang Kanchil' stories, but I was looking for the not so familiar stories. I read about a hundred stories and selected eleven which I personally found interesting and which inspired me to do more research.
The stories came from various sources - a few I heard about or read in childhood, some from Internet discussion forums on history and folklore, a few fro
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I want to quickly mention Kataastaasan (Highest), a comic book by Hannah Buena and Paolo Chikiamco, because I was having a pretty dead day today until I read it. Kataastaasan is an entertaining mixture of steampunk and Philippine folklore - with cool illustrations. It's targeted at adult readers. I think it has some teen appeal (yes, I am always thinking of young readers!) because it is set in Cebu City in 1770 and is an alternate history of the Philippine struggle for independence from Spain. High school and college students study this revolution and Kataastaasan seems like a fun supplement or springboard for discussion on Philippine history. There's a bit of innuendo in the story. That might make some people hesitant to recommend it to teens, but the innuendos weren't really gratuitous. After all, sometimes revolutionary women had to pretend to be tramps to spy on the enemy . . .
It appears Kataastaasan will not be a series, as it will be published later this year by Espresso Comics, "a weekly comics magazine that features one-shot comic stories by Filipino creators." Too bad. :o(
[My copy of Kataastaasan was an advance reading copy provided by Paolo Chikiamco.]