Archive for the ‘Wildcard’ Category

Shared Worlds SF/Fantasy Teen Writing Camp Launches 2012 Registration and Donation Drive
Neil Gaiman, Lev Grossman, Scott Westerfeld, and thirty-seven more (including Creatures! alum Jeff Vandermeer and Paul Tremblay) of the most imaginative writers from around the world have contributed to Shared Worlds’ “Critter Map,” a webpage of fantastical beasts. Their whimsical descriptions of imaginary creatures created by pop artist Jeremy Zerfoss are in support of the Shared Worlds registration and fund drive for 2012. Every summer up to 50 teen writers come to Shared Worlds SF/F Teen Writing Camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, from as far away Japan to participate in this unique camp. This year, registrants include teens from all parts of the United States as well as Germany and Indonesia. Wofford College provides a structured, supervised environment in which the students can excel and demonstrate their creativity.
At Shared Worlds, the students form teams in classrooms to build entire fantasy or science fictional worlds in the first week and then write stories in those worlds the second week. Top professional writers are on hand to provide feedback and to conduct workshops. The guest writers for the 2012 include New York Times bestsellers Julianna Baggott, Naomi Novik, and Tobias Buckell as well as Prix Award Winner Karin Lowachee and Hugo Award winner Ann VanderMeer. The teens also get to attend author readings, take fieldtrips to bookstores, and create videos about their imaginary worlds. Shared Worlds also publishes an annual book of the students’ writing.
“For many of our students, Shared Worlds is a transformational experience,” said the camp’s assistant director, fantasy writer Jeff VanderMeer. ”They not only learn more about writing, they also get to have fun solving problems in in the world-building groups, and they form what will probably turn out to be life-long friendships with like-minded teens.”
The “Critter Map” is the cornerstone of a donation drive intended to ensure that attending the Shared Worlds Teen Writing Camp can be a possibility for all registered students, no matter what their financial need. Monies will join contributions from donors like Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman and major support from Amazon.com.
The contributors to the “Critter Map” range from such icons as Michael Moorcock and Gene Wolfe to exciting new authors like Viivi Hyvönen and Kirsten Imani Kasai. Filmmaker and writer Gregory Norman Bossert has created the Critter Map website, and Therese Goulding served as editor for the contributions.
Additional Links:
Critter Map stories alphabetically by author: https://www.wofford.edu/ sharedworlds/critters/ byauthor.html

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Nadia Bulkin is in Fantasy Magazine’s author spotlight. She answers questions about her story “Absolute Zero” and monster fiction in general. From the opening Q and A:

“First and foremost, I think monsters serve as a means of social control, representative of both unsavory behaviors and unsavory punishments. Then there’s also the need we have for an “other” to define ourselves against. But monsters work in that sense because they’re alluring and mysterious and dangerous—get back, temptation, etc. I think monsters are also good for getting us to ask ourselves reflective questions: Why do we find this monstrous? Is the monster really so different from us? How do we treat monsters, and what does that say about us?”


You can read our anthology’s closer, “Absolute Zero” at Fantasy Magazine as well:

When Max Beecham was eight years old, his mother Deena (delirious from antihypertensives) gave him a Polaroid and then lay down on the carpet behind him. Inside the white border of this photograph lurked a thing with the naked body of a gaunt man and the head of a dark, decayed stag. It sat on a tree stump the way neighborhood men sat on bar stools, surrounded by a cavalry of thin, burned trees. Max almost recognized this nightmare place as Digby Forest, a festering infection of wild land on the edge of Cripple Creek. In the dusk the image was shadowless and tense, as if that black-eyed Stag-Man meant to lunge out of its frame. As if it was only waiting for Max to look away.

“What is it?” Max asked.

“That’s your father,” said Deena. She had her back to him. Her thin cotton dress stretched to translucency across her long torso. He could see the shape of her vertebrae. “You’re always asking, so there he is.”

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Wildcard: Day 8

–From io9:

Giant Prehistoric Krakens may have sculpted self-portraits using Ichthyosaur bones


Godzilla redesign?

–THE THING, the musical (in the style of Frank Sinatra)

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Wildcard: day 7

First up, some Creatures promo!

–Over at the Prime Books website, they’re celebrating the 31 days of Halloween in support of their two new anthologies (Halloween, and yeah, Creatures). Learn more  here.

Today, Prime posted the introductions your humble co-editors cobbled together to each of the four sections. READ ‘EM!


–New book from Frank Lesser (a writer on the Colbert Report), is SAD MONSTERS.

Other monstery books of note just out (or about to be out)

Dear Creature by Jonathan Case

Abarat: Absolute Midnight by Clive Barker

Busy Monsters by William Giraldi

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Wildcard: day 6

Monster librarian gives a scary book list for kids. Boo!

–More for the kids. It’s Scary Monsters for Kids.

–Tribute site to local Boston UHF channel 56’s CREATURE DOUBLE FEATURE.

Saul Bass style THE THING poster.

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Wildcard: Day 5

–Check out the monster cakes (artist Scott Hove)!

–From io9: Giant Jellyfish taking over the seas?

–From the archive of the interwebs! Two interviews with Creatures contributor, China Mieville.

From (another Creatures contributor) Jeff VanderMeer‘s interview of China:

Our monsters are about themselves, and they can get on with being about all sorts of other stuff too, but if we want them to be primarily that, and don’t enjoy their monstrousness, they’re dead and nothing.”

From China’s interview in The Believer:

“When I write my novels, I’m not writing them to make political points. I’m writing them because I passionately love monsters.”

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Wildcard: Day 4

Time Magazine’s Top 10 real life monsters.

Giant Monster Attack!

–From: A Professor’s Opening Lecture for “Intermediate Killer Shark Genre.”

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