Announcing the second Hydra Competition

Announcing the second Hydra Competition for Brazilian Fantastic Literature

July 1st, 2013

Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show (IGMS), The Elephant and Macaw Banner, and Brazilian website Universo Insônia have teamed up once again to bring the best of Brazilian speculative fiction to the English-speaking world via the second biennial Hydra Competition (Concurso Hydra in Brazil’s native language of Portuguese).

A panel of Brazilian judges will select three finalists from short stories first published in Brazil in 2011 and 2012.  Orson Scott Card, one of the world’s best-selling authors of speculative fiction, and Edmund R. Schubert, editor of IGMS, will select the winner from among the finalists.

Card says, “Ever since I lived in Brazil in the early 70s, the nation and people of Brazil have been important to me.  That’s why in Speaker for the Dead, the colonists are Portuguese-speaking Brazilians!  When I returned to Brazil to take part in a science fiction convention twenty years ago, I made new friends and read the work of some exciting authors.  I’ve continued following the Brazilian science fiction scene ever since, and I am proud that IGMS will be a means of bringing the work of some of these writers to American readers.  Till now, American readers have had little idea of how much good work is being done in our genre in Brazil.”

The three finalist stories will be translated from Portuguese by author Christopher Kastensmidt, Nebula Award finalist and founder of the Hydra Competition.  The winning entry will be published in InterGalactic Medicine Show.

Christopher says, “It was an honor to work with Orson Scott Card and IGMS during the first Hydra Competition, and I’m thrilled they are supporting this initiative once again.  The first competition had a huge impact on the careers of the finalists and the visibility of the Brazilian speculative fiction community in general.”  Brontops Baruq, winner of the first edition, echoes these thoughts: “The Hydra Competition was an injection of self-confidence and inspired me to keep writing.  I’m glad to know that another competition is on the way and I hope that it keeps opening doors and taking Brazilian speculative fiction to new hemispheres.”.”

IGMS editor Edmund R. Schubert says, “I think exploring cross-cultural viewpoints and attitudes is not only healthy, but absolutely necessary in this increasingly interconnected world, and science fiction and fantasy has always been the voice of the ‘other,’ the ‘alien,’ both literally and metaphorically. It’s the voice that explores differences that make us alike.  With the inaugural Hydra contest, IGMS published the top two stories instead of just the first-prize story (as was originally planned), and it was as gratifying to see both how well-received the contest was in Brazil as to see how well-received the prize-winning stories were in America. I can’t wait to see what the second Hydra contest brings us.”

Competition organizer Tiago Castro adds, “”It was a pleasure to be a part of the first Hydra Competition, a very important initiative for Brazilian speculative fiction.  The process was intense, principally because of the quality of the stories we received, but in the end, the result was extremely rewarding.  I’m both pleased and anxious at the opportunity to organize this second edition.”

The name for the Hydra Competition comes from the Hydra constellation.  Being a group of stars named after a mythical monster, the Hydra constellation is symbolic of both the fantasy and science fiction produced by the speculative community today.  The constellation crosses the celestial equator, joining the northern and southern celestial hemispheres, just as the Hydra competition hopes to join the northern and southern hemispheres of speculative fiction.  The Hydra is also one of the constellations on the Brazilian flag.

Submissions will be open from July 15th through August 31st and all eligible Brazilian authors are encouraged to participate.  Rules will be published in Portuguese on the website Universo Insônia (  There is no entry fee to participate; however, the winner will receive a publication contract and be paid at IGMS’s full rate.

About Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show

Founded in 2005 by multiple-award winning author Orson Scott Card, and edited since 2006 by Edmund R. Schubert, IGMS is an award-winning bimonthly online magazine publishing illustrated science fiction and fantasy short stories, audio stories, interviews, reviews, and more. Authors range from established pros like Peter Beagle and David Farland to first-time authors making their professional debut.

About The Elephant and Macaw Banner

The Elephant and Macaw Banner is a fantasy series set in sixteenth-century Brazil.  The stories tell the adventures of Gerard van Oost and Oludara, an unlikely pair of heroes who meet in Salvador.  News, artwork, and in-depth explanations of historical and cultural references from the series can be found at the website

About Universo Insônia

The site Universo Insônia (Insomnia Universe) publishes articles, news, and reviews on fantastic literature, cinema, comics, TV series, cartoons, and fantasy pop culture in general.  The site’s principal objective is publicizing and supporting professionals in the area of Brazilian fantasy culture.  The site also contains content about traditional and international productions.


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