The World of Gerard van Oost and Oludara

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Announcing the Hydra Competition for Brazilian writers

Hydra Competition for Brazilian Fantastic Literature

Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show (IGMS) and The Elephant and Macaw Banner have partnered up to create a contest that will bring the best of Brazilian speculative fiction to the English-speaking world via the Hydra Competition (Concurso Hydra in Brazil’s native language of Portuguese).

A panel of judges will select three finalists from short stories first published in Brazil in 2009 and 2010.  Orson Scott Card, one of the world’s best-selling authors of speculative fiction, will select the winner.

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 winning story will be translated from Portuguese by author Christopher Kastensmidt, finalist in this year’s Nebula Awards and organizer of the Hydra Competition, and it will be published in InterGalactic Medicine Show.

IGMS editor Edmund R. Schubert says, “We’ve been publishing stories from around the globe for nearly as long as the magazine has been online, but it was always the English-language speaking parts of the world. This opportunity to reach into Brazil, to a whole new way of not just speaking, but of thinking and of viewing the world, is exciting. South America and Latin America have long been renowned for incorporating magical realism into their fiction and that’s a perfect avenue for IGMS to explore.  I’m incredibly excited to see the stories that come to us out of this contest.”

Competition organizer Christopher Kastensmidt adds, “The Brazilian speculative fiction community has produced hundreds of excellent stories over the last two years, but almost none of them have made the passage to the English-speaking world.  Orson Scott Card and the staff at InterGalactic Medicine Show recognize that speculative fiction is international, and their support will make this competition one of the biggest incentives ever for Brazilian writers.”

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 1st through August 15th 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 by multiple-award winning author Orson Scott Card, and edited for the past five years 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.  IGMS can be found at

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