Announcing the 3rd Hydra Competition for Brazilian Fantastic Literature

banner-01October 5th, 2015

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 third edition of the 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 2013 and 2014. 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.

Edumund writes, “I’ve really come to look forward to this contest each time it’s held and am grateful to Christopher and Tiago for all the hard work they do in making it possible. Orson and I get the easy, fun part—reading the finalists. With the growing attention international authors have been gaining in recent years, it’s an honor to be able to shine a light on the fine work coming out of Brazil.”

The second edition of the Hydra Competition received international attention, with winner Camila Fernandes’s story, “The Other Bank of the River”, published in the May 2014 issue of IGMS. She relates: “Winning the Hydra in 2014 was an unexpected delight and, of course, a great honor. Thanks to the competition and Christopher’s wonderful translations, Brazilian speculative fiction authors have one more channel to Anglophone readers, a readership that goes far beyond native English speakers. I hope this prize is awarded to other authors for many years to come.”

Brazilian blogger Tiago Castro returns as organizer of the third edition. He adds, “The first two editions of the contest showed that Brazil has great potential for publishing outside the country. The quality of the stories continues to rise and we expect that choosing the three finalists will be harder than ever. I’m proud to be a part of this new chapter in Brazilian speculative fiction, helping authors cross the literary borders of our country.”

The three finalist stories will be translated to English by author Christopher Kastensmidt, author of The Elephant and Macaw Banner series, Nebula Award finalist and founder of the Hydra Competition. InterGalactic Medicine Show will publish the winning entry.

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 joins 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 October 5th through November 11th and all eligible Brazilian authors are encouraged to participate. Regulations (in Portuguese) are available at There is no entry fee to participate, and the winner will receive a publication contract with IGMS at the magazine’s normal rate.

About Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show

Founded 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 an award-winning 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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