Catching up with UK news while in the USA and I find out that one of my favourite YA authors is the new Children’s Laureate
The Embassy of Japan in the UK is once again launching their manga-writing competition, MANGA JIMAN 2013, with fantastic prizes up for grabs. Now in its 7th year, MANGA-JIMAN can be translated as ‘having pride in manga’ and the Embassy of Japan is proud to offer this opportunity to UK manga creators.
This competition is open to all UK residents aged fourteen (14)* years or over. All creations should be original and between six (6) to eight (8) A4-sized pages in length and drawn so that it reads from left to right. The manga should in some way make reference to ‘voyages of discovery’. We chose this theme because 2013 marks the 400th anniversary of the first British ship to arrive in Japan and 150 years since five samurai arrived in the UK, the first Japanese to study at university in Britain. NB Your manga does NOT specifically have to refer to these two events.
1st Prize: Two (2) return air tickets to Japan, courtesy of All Nippon Airways!**
2nd Prize: A fabulous laptop computer from Toshiba of Europe Ltd.
3rd Prize: A superb digital camera from RICOH UK Ltd
Runners-up will receive and a selection of manga publications, available in the UK from various UK manga publishers amongst others prizes.
The winners’ works will also be displayed in a special MANGA JIMAN EXHIBITION at the Embassy of Japan.
For full details follow this link: Manga Jiman 2013
Reading Groups For Everyone are excited to be running a fun photo competition with Curious Fox to celebrate the publication of their new horror book Soul Shadows by Alex Woolf. One lucky young people’s reading group will win 10 tickets to the cinema and a reading group set of Soul Shadows.
To be in with a chance of winning 10 cinema tickets and 10 copies of Soul Shadows for your reading group, all you have to do is take a photograph of your shadow. Scare us or make us laugh, just be creative with your shadow snaps! The winning group will be chosen by the author Alex Woolf.
For full details on how to enter go here: Soul Shadows Photo Competition
So some Doctor Who fans have got their hands on thousands of Target Doctor Who novelizations and are offering them free of charge to UK School Libraries!
But then fans are fans because they are fanatical about their passion and sometimes people want to share the joy in their love because it is so damn good!
The books are all brand new Doctor Who books that feature novelisations of the TV adventures of the first seven Doctors. (William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy)
The copies we have were printed during the later 1980s or early 1990s and have been waiting patiently to be read, in storage, for the last 20-25 years before being auctioned on eBay earlier this year.
The books are FREE. There is no charge. We hope to divide the books into small sets of 6-10 books for each school we can reach. If you are interested in books for your classroom or school library please establish contact with us via email. Please note however that it may not be possible to reach schools in every area, but we will do our best. We are scattered around the country, but not everywhere. We may initially have no way of reaching you but we will endeavour to find a way if at all possible. We are only a small collection of Doctor Who fans who are celebrating the shows 50th Anniversary by sharing the books we loved as children with the new generation of fans.
Find out more here:
Well it is only Monday morning and already I am thinking about the weekend!
Why this weekend amongst 52 others of the year you may ask!
As many people of the geeky persuasion already know Saturday is May the Fourth – also known as Star Wars Day and Sunday is the sequel – Revenge of the 5ith.
Apart from three excellent films, two Ewok spin-off movies, three prequels of varying quality, two Clone Wars animated series and cartoons there is an entire expanded universe of novels, comics, computer and table top role-playing games.
Admittedly the novels vary from excellent to um not so good actually.
My personal favourites being the Heir to the Empire trilogy (aka the Thrawn Trilogy) by Timothy Zahn and Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber which is Star Wars with Zombies!
Star Wars is instantly recognizable as a brand and the novels & comics may attract reluctant readers who prefer movies. Posters are fairly easy to get hold of (or you could create your own) and making a display of Star Wars related library materials can be eye-catching and if you run a teen group they could be inspired to try new books or even create Star Wars fan fiction and comics if you tie it in to creative writing.
Vader’s Little Princess is also being launched at Forbidden Planet on Saturday.
Not only that, but May 4th is also Free Comic Book Day.
What is “Free Comic Book Day?”
As the name implies, Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book speciality shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops.
When is Free Comic Book Day?
Free Comic Book Day is held the first Saturday in May each year.
Are they really free?
Yep! Different shops have policies on how many free comics you can receive, but you will receive at least one free comic if you enter a participating shop location. Check with your retailer for their policies and plans for FCBD.
Find participating stores that may be near you here:
(be sure to click on the Locate shops outside of North America link underneath the search bar)
Staying with the whole geeky, comic vibe this week marks the launch of Sci-Fi London!
SCI-FI-LONDON (The London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film), is a UK based film festival, dedicated to the science fiction and fantasy genres. Now in its 12th year Sci-Fi London launches on Wednesday and runs until Monday 6th May.
Designed to be a festival that “takes a serious look at sci-fi and fantasy, bringing new, classic and rare movies from around the world to the UK”, Sci-Fi-London (SFL) annually screens world and UK Premieres, seminal cult classics, as well as documentaries, debates and talks.
Short films are also an important part of the festival programme, screening in front of every movie shown, as well as together in the Blink Of An Eye short film programme. Over its history Sci-Fi-London has also held a number of Short Film competitions, and in 2008 launched the Sci-Fi-London 48hr Film Challenge, in order to encourage filmmakers to create sci-fi short films over a very short space of time.
So if you love anime, science-fiction, fantasy and the weird (and can get to Stratford Picturehouse in East London) it is a phenomenal festival!
Are you interested in starting a tabletop games group in your library or school but feel you do not know enough to start buying games yourself?
Then may I recommend Tabletop – a Youtube channel focusing on tabletop games.
Press release info:
Actor, writer and geek icon Wil Wheaton hosts TableTop, a fast-paced show about tabletop gaming. In what can only be described as “Celebrity Poker” for board games, Wil invites his friends and loved ones to share a different board game with him each episode. Filled with witty banter and cheeky camaraderie, the show pairs notable geek celebrities with the best tabletop games around.
To This Day Project is a project based on a spoken word poem written by Shane Koyczan called “To This Day”, to further explore the profound and lasting impact that bullying can have on an individual.
Find out more: To This Day Project
Not content with mining the rich seam of history the world has to offer, one wonders if author Terry Deary is eagerly pushing for Libraries to become the topic of a future edition of Horrible Histories.
He said: “Libraries have had their day. They are a Victorian idea and we are in an electronic age. They either have to change and adapt or they have to go.
“I know some people like them but fewer and fewer people are using them and these are straightened times. A lot of the gush about libraries is sentimentality.
“The book is old technology and we have to move on, so good luck to the council.”
The article does not say when last he visited a library as he seems to view them as buildings stuffed with books, rather than the multi-function services many have become.
You may think that as GW creates an enjoyable tabletop game that features space marines (otherwise known as Adeptus Astartes) that fair enough they should have ownership of the term. Space marines first emerged from the Games workshop foundries in 1987 when they developed the Warhammer 40,000 game Rogue Trader. You may not be aware but a year before this, in 1986 James Cameron directed Aliens, a film that featured among other characters, a platoon of Colonial Marines. Before that in 1959 Robert Anson Heinlein wrote a novel called Starship Troopers which featured mobile infantry in power armour (it is also apparently required reading for the United States Marine Corps). Going back even further into the 1930′s E.E. Smith’s Lensman series made mention of space marines and in 1932 the earlies canonical mention of space marines was the short story Captain Brink of the Space Marines by Bob Olsen in Amazing Stories.
After an internet outcry and input from a number of noted sci-fi luminaries Amazon has relented but the trademark dispute is still on-going.
This whole thing puts me in a bit of a quandary, on one hand I run a Warhammer club (The ‘Hammerheads) in my school and I am a fan of a number of books and authors published by the Black Library (Games Workshop’s publishing arm). On the other hand I have been a die-hard science fiction reader since I first read Isaac Asimov, Douglas Hill and Robert Heinlein and space marines have been around since the 1930’s.
I understand that Games Workshop has to protect its intellectual property and support that, on the other hand I am saddened that I will never get to see the fan-made film Damnatus be released to DVD as I would have loved to watch it, but that ran afoul of GW’s lawyers. But to claim ownership of a descriptive term and try to crush authors using a term that has been around since the 1930′s? That makes me angry as a librarian and a person!
Very poor form!
The mind-blowing next book in the critically-acclaimed graphic novel companion to the Looking Glass Wars, HATTER M.
A MESSAGE FROM FRANK BEDDOR, CREATOR OF HATTER M
This is a call to Arms!
The forces of Dark Imagination are gathering. They threaten our future. But there is a way to stop them. Followers of the Glow and fans of the Hatter M graphic novel series must band together. Your continued support and interest in Hatter’s search has truly empowered me as writer.
I want to return the favor and empower you as a fan, allowing you more control over the material you get from me. And how and when you get it. That’s why I’ve decided to place you in greater charge of the next part of this saga. And the people at Kickstarter have given me just the tool to do that.
This book does not exist without you. It has been awhile since Volume 3 was released, and the time has come for me to ask for help. I wish to collaborate with you. Become co-publishers. Help us print Volume 4, Hatter M: Zen of Wonder. The dark forces will be halted in their tracks. The damage they’ve done rolled back. Together we can do this.