Tag Archives: news

Right Now in Speculative Fiction

The 2009 longlist for the Guardian children’s fiction award is surprisingly short on fantasy. The chair of judges and the Guardian’s children’s books editor Julia Eccleshare says, “There is still a lot of fantasy around, but exceptional fantasy has always been rather hard to find.”


Check out this online showcase of children’s books illustrators, including Bobby Chiu & Kei Acedera, who created the whimsical scene of a water monster at right.

Wondering what it’s like to work with a book publicist? Read this interview with publicist Julie Schoerke, who talks about her job and also gives tips on book promotion.

This headline should be the premise for a YA book: “Kids lends banned book from his school locker, boosts interest in reading.” Read his comments here.

wallJust released: ANY WHICH WALL by Laurel Snyder, about “four kids on a magical summer journey that includes pirates, wizards, dastardly villains, and just bout everything else that Common Magic can summon up.”

Isn’t this the plot of a Stephen King novel? A Japanese company has printed a horror story on rolls of toilet paper. The story, about a hand that reaches out of a toilet, was written by Koji Suzuki, the Japanese author of “Ring.”

And how about a free book… or twelve? Visit these links:

Head over to Presenting Lenore for your chance to win one of NINE young adult fantasy books, including FIRE by Kristin Cashore . (Contest ends June 3rd.)


For all you picture book lovers: Win a copy of I NEED MY MONSTER by Amanda Noll, illustrated by Howard McWilliam. It’s about a boy who can’t sleep until a monster is firmly in place under his bed, here. (Ends May 29th.)

Win INVISIBLE TOUCH by Kelly Para, about a girl who “sees signs, visions that are clues to a person’s fate,” here. (Ends June 2nd.)

Win an ARC of PRETTY DEAD by Fancesca Lia Block here. (Ends June 3rd.)

cheryliconParker Peevyhouse hopes to win some books!


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Right Now in Speculative Fiction: Links for Writers

This edition of Right Now is especially for writers. Here is your list o’ links:

The Class of 2k9 has been posting interviews with their editors over on the 2k9 blog. Find out what makes editors from Viking, Henry Holt, and Katherine Tegen Books (an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s) say “Wow! This is a book I really need to acquire.”

Also, check out this roundtable discussion from Poets & Writers with four editors on what makes them fall in love with a book and what beginning writers are doing wrong.

If you’re trying to figure out if you should spend your advance money on promo items like postcards and bookmarks, you might want to check out what booksellers have to say about what works and what gets ignored by their customers.

How popular is your writing website? Enter your link at this page on Marketleap to find out for free.

Young adult novels just might save the science fiction and fantasy genre, so says Charlie Jane Anders at io9.com. Apparently, young adult science fiction/fantasy bestsellers have been selling twice as well as adult bestsellers in the same genre, a fact that has enticed a lot of people to try their hand at penning the next Uglies or Twilight, including Heroes creator Tim Kring.

Blogger, writer, and book reviewer April Henry has some tips on how to get your book noticed by newspapers, including what kind of note from a publicist makes her move a book to the top of her “to be reviewed” stack.

And if you need a dose of humor to off-set your creative angst, check out these jokes about how many publishing professionals it takes to screw in a light bulb. My favorite: Q. How many editors does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A. Only one; but first they have to rewire the entire building.

cheryliconParker Peevyhouse never turns down a free bookmark


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Right Now in Speculative Fiction

Teens love vampires! Er… books about vampires. Why not get them interested in the original fang-fest by pointing them toward Bram Stoker’s Dracula blogged in real time. It started May 3rd, so they only have to catch up a little bit.dracula

Seven Star Productions already has the first draft of a screenplay in the works for Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth, “a zombie thriller set in colonial times.” Read Ryan’s reaction to the news about film rights here. Warning: much use of the word “squee” involved.

Should libraries stock graphic novels? Do these books promote the love of learning, or do they take interest away from more challenging literature? Krista McKenzie weighs in on YALSA’s site.the dark planet

The Dark Planet, the final book in Patrick Carman’s Atherton trilogy, is out now! A mad scientist’s puzzling plan is finally revealed, and Edgar finds out the true purpose of “the mysterious satellite world of Atherton.” Haven’t read the other books in the series? You can enter to win the entire trilogy here.

Writers: think your book got the worst review ever? Wallow in your misery by posting the review on this blog and inviting readers to decide if it really is the Worst. Review. Ever. Actually, you might feel better after reading all the scathing reviews of other people’s books.twitter

Odds are, you recently joined Twitter. (Am I right??) If you don’t know who to follow, check out this list of 100+ Best Authors on Twitter–sixteen of whom write for young readers and thrity-four of whom write specualtive fiction. These authors, including Laurel Snyder and Anne Mazer, “carry on a conversation with their followers and present information they might find valuable.”

cheryliconParker Peevyhouse never thought Dracula would buy into the blogging craze.


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Right now in Speculative Fiction

catchingfireFrom Presenting Lenore, we hear the first public viewing for The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, will occur at BEA. Think those babies are going to be snatched up pretty quickly? Now how can I get one?

fragile_eternityMelissa Marr’s hugely anticipated sequel (is this the right word for third in a series) Fragile Eternity has launched. Melissa is bringing us back to the story of Seth and Aislinn and Keenan. Me? I’m looking forward to it. And one great thing I love about reading books is being able to recommend them to others.

Do kids like speculative fiction? Check this list out before you answer. There are some amazing speculative fiction books on this year’s YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten Nominations list.

Stardate 05.07.09 – Need I say more? dscn2170

And finally, the stuff science fiction was born from. Is Gliese 581 d or e the next Earth?


PJ Hoover is ready for other planets to be colonized.


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Right Now in Speculative Fiction

The Hugo Award nominations have been announced and include some young adult novels: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. Also, Shaun Tan was nominated for best professional illustrator. Tor.com did a cool series of posts hi-lighting all of the nominated illustrators, including Tan.

YALSA seems enamored with a new site called Hunch, which predicts your future and tells you what to do. Well, actually, it helps you make decisions based on how you answer questions. The questions are user-generated, so the site gives teens a chance to explore the issue of decision-making. eternal

Cynthia Leitich Smith‘s Eternal has just debuted. And it sounds awesome. It’s about a girl who becomes a “glamorous royal fiend” (what does that mean?? I don’t know, but it sounds cool) and gets a “reckless and adoring guardian angel” to watch over her.

And for those hungry for some YA hard science fiction after our recent conversation about it, check out this new book:  The Comet’s Curse by Dom Testa. It’s about teens who flee earth after a comet spewing toxic chemicals kills off adults. It’s supposed to be “one part Lord of the Flies and one part TV reality show.” That’s exactly how I describe my local swimming pool, by the way.

Agent Nathan Bransford (wow that makes him sound like an FBI guy) is giving you the change to Be An Agent For a Day. He will post 50 (!) queries on his blog on Monday, April 13th. You then get to do what every writer has always dreamed of: write rejection letters. You also can “request” up to five manuscripts that you deem publishable. Those who correctly identify the manuscripts that have actually gone on to be published have a chance at winning a prize.

Finally, this baby snuggie does look like “some sort of alien contraption.” And it frightens me.

cherylicon Parker Peevyhouse has always been wary of alien contraptions.


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Right Now in Speculative Fiction

Today marks the start of Flycon 2009, an online worldwide convention where different aspects of speculative fiction will be discussed in realtime. Check out this panel on “When in YA not for YAs?” at 9am Pacific time (noon Eastern) TODAY. The schedule for lots of other panels can be found here.

The New York Times has decided to take comics seriously–they’ve created a Graphic Books Best Seller list. Coming in at #1 on the hardcover list: Starman Omnibus, Vol. 2 by James Robinson and Tony Harris (DC Comics). And #1 on the softcover list, predictably: Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (DC Comics).

Teachers! Do you know teens who couldn’t put down Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games?  They might want to enter this essay contest for a chance to have lunch with Collins and her editors in New York City. The winner and 100(!) runners up will also receive an ARC of the much-anticipated sequel, Catching Fire, which releases in September 2009. The contest runs from March 16 to May 15.

Tonight at 11:59pm our Friday the 13th Giveaway closes! Leave a comment on this post (telling us what you’d like to see on The Spectacle) in order to be entered to win The Graveyard Book and an advance reader’s copy of The Farwalker’s Quest.

cherylicon Parker Peevyhouse wishes she were a teen so she could get her hands on an ARC of Catching Fire.


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