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Science Fiction

Science Fiction Picture Books for the Youngest Readers

Cosmo_and_the_Robot__Brian_Pinkney__9780688159412__Amazon_com__Books Science fiction books supercharged my imagination as a kid. Everything from Star Wars storybooks to Ray Bradbury radio adaptations to The Black Hole – Read Along Book and Record inspired my childhood attempts at telling stories.

I want my 4-year-old daughter to have the same kind of experience, so I turned to the brilliant Goodreads “Science Fiction Picture Books List” for inspiration. It was created by Amanda R. Von Der Lohe who studied children’s literature at Hollins University—writing a scholarly paper about science fiction picture books.

I caught up with Von Der Lohe recently, and she had a simple message for GalleyCat readers: “Authors, illustrators and publishers, please please please please please include more girls in science fiction picture books. Parents, read science fiction with your daughters.”

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Mediabistro Course

Writing Outside the Mainstream

Writing Outside the MainstreamStarting September 18, build your freelance career in African-American, Latino, or LGBT publications! Using a combination of writing exercises and targeted research, you'll learn how to generate salable story ideas, write pitches, build relationships with editors, and position yourself as an authority in your market. Register now! 

Random House’s Suvudu Reveals March Madness Brackets

Suvudu, Random House’s online site for science fiction and fantasy fans, has revealed the brackets for its March Madness-style tournament for fiction.

The fourth annual Cage Match 2014 kicks off on March 10, and will feature five weeks of writing battles. Suvudu invites writers to submit stories based on specific fictional battles. This year’s theme is “Page versus Screen” and writers are challenged to pit characters from sci-fi and fantasy books against characters from television and film. For example, one battle is Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games versus Trillian of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Fans can then vote on their favorite stories and one winner will be selected at the end.

Museum of Science Fiction to Open in Washington D.C.

A team of science fiction fanatics plan to establish a comprehensive science-fiction museum in Washington D.C. The organizers behind the Museum of Science Fiction includes executive director Greg Viggiano, chief curator Phil Smith, director of project management David Hart, and VP of museum operations Mandy Sweeney.

The team has already launched an official website for the museum. Wired reports that the finished museum, slated for opening in 2017, will display “a dizzying array of characters, props and other awesomeness from Star Trek, Dune and the novels of Isaac Asimov to name just a few. There’s also plans for a life-size replica of H.G. Wells’ time machine and a 1:10 scale model of the Nautilus from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

We’ve embedded a video about the project above. The organizers have launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $160,000 that will be used to secure a location for a preview museum. Items that will be shown include an 11-foot Starship Enterprise-E filming prop and a Doctor Who TARDIS police box. The opening of the preview museum is scheduled to take place in 2015. (via The Washington Post)

What Writers Need To Know About Mass Extinction

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The end of the world has become a popular theme over the last few years, spread by the popularity of vivid stories like The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games. If you want to write a book about our unhappy future, you should study the science and history of mass extinction.

io9 editor and author Annalee Newitz published a nonfiction book about the subject (Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction), giving writers some valuable insight into the different catastrophes that have wiped out life on planet Earth.

We asked Newitz three questions for writers over email, and she responded with a long list of new ideas and reading suggestions for all authors writing about our future on this planet. All her answers follow below…

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Sample the Best Science Fiction of 2013

The 2013 Hugo Award winners have been revealed. Below, we’ve linked to free samples of the winning books for your reading pleasure.

The winners were introduced at LoneStarCon 3, the 71st World Science Fiction Convention.

A total of 1,848 ballots were cast this year.

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Random House’s Suvudu Seeks Bloggers for New Community

If you love science fiction and fantasy, you can write for Random House’s new Suvudu Universe community.

AppNewser has all the details about signing up:

Random House’s science fiction and fantasy online community Suvudu has launched a blogger community called Suvudu Universe. The site is filled with original content about science fiction and fantasy media written by the community of writers.  Writers that are published on the community can earn badges for placement and access to interact with authors. Suvudu will publish appropriate content, but the writer remains the owner of the media.

Anne McCaffrey Tribute Book Coming in August

Smart Pop Books will publish Dragonwriter: A Tribute to Anne McCaffrey and Pern this August, a collection edited by the late science fiction author’s son, Todd McCaffrey.

McCaffrey died in 2011, earning tributes from around the publishing world. The new collection will feature both an essay and cover art (pictured) by Michael Whelan. Here’s more about the book, from the release:

Michael Whelan shares stories and 18 concept sketches—in a special color insert—from his longtime work on Pern cover art. Lois McMaster Bujold describes using McCaffrey as a model of the writer’s life. Mercedes Lackey discusses the Brainship universe, and what she learned about McCaffrey’s storytelling from working within it. Elizabeth Moon relates the lessons she learned from Pern’s Lessa (and from Lessa’s creator). David Brin pinpoints the primary characteristic of McCaffrey’s work: her steadfast belief that what is to come is better than what has past.

Bill Pushes For More Science Fiction Reading in Schools

Could science fiction in schools foster an appreciation for math and science among kids?

West Virginia House of Delegates legislator Ray Canterbury has proposed HB 2983, a bill urging the Board of Education to include more “science fiction reading material” in the state curriculum “to stimulate interest in math and science” in young readers. Here’s the complete text of the bill:

The Legislature finds that promoting interest in and appreciation for the study of math and science among students is critical to preparing students to compete in the workforce and to assure the economic well being of the state and the nation. To stimulate interest in math and science among students in the public schools of this state, the State Board of Education shall prescribe minimum standards by which samples of grade-appropriate science fiction literature are integrated into the curriculum of existing reading, literature or other required courses for middle school and high school students.

(Via Giant Freakin Robot)

The Financial Reality of a Genre Novelist

If you have dreams of selling your science fiction, fantasy or horror novel and getting filthy rich, you need to adjust your expectations. We’ve collected three testimonials from genre writers below to help aspiring writers to maintain realistic expectations.

Horror novelist Brian Keene gave a speech at Towson University’s Borderlands Boot Camp recently, laying out some frank statistics for aspiring genre novelists. Here is an excerpt:

The average advance these days, for a genre fiction novel, ranges between $2,500 and $10,000. That’s right. The novel you spent a year working on only earns you between $2,500 to $10,000 at first. When the book is published a year later, that advance will have long been spent. And you probably won’t see a royalty check until another year AFTER your book has been published (provided enough copies have sold to earn out your advance). So it will actually be two years from that advance check before you get paid again.

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Orson Scott Card Superman Comic Draws Protest

Nearly 10,000 readers have signed a petition at All Out, protesting DC Comics’ decision to hire science fiction author Orson Scott Card to write the first issue of Adventures of Superman.

Card has been an outspoken critic of gay marriage, drawing criticism from some fans. Zeus Comics in Dallas has already decided not carry the print edition of the comic. Here’s an excerpt from the online petition:

He’s written publicly that he believes marriage equality would lead to the end of civilization. He’s also on the board of a notorious anti-equality organization. We need to let DC Comics know they can’t support Orson Scott Card or his work to keep LGBT people as second-class citizens. They know they’re accountable to their fans, so if enough of us speak out now, they’ll hear us loud and clear. Sign and share!

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