Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Conventions, Awards, The-Birthday-of-the-Blog & A Grand Giveaway!

Today has been one of those crazy days when I feel like I’ve been galloping from the authorial pillar to post. Firstly, I’m racing to finish the ‘full and final’ version of The Gathering of the Lost the second book in The Wall of Night series. And it’s going really well, my fingers were fair flying over the keyboard today. But tonight I have to pack my bags because this weekend is a long weekend here and I’m off to ConText tomorrow—ConText being the 32nd National Science Fiction Fantasy Convention. I am a guest of the convention this year and have a full programme of events, including four panels on such heady topics as: Keeping It Real in SFF; Word & Image (the collaboration between writers and artists); The Wild Wild World of the Writing Blog; and the Grand Symbiosis Between Fantasy & History. And I’m pretty sure there’s a reading and a kaffeeklatsch somewhere in the mix!

The Sir Julius Vogel Award
Another exciting aspect of the weekend is that The Heir of Night is up for a Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Novel. The Sir Julius Vogel Awards are given annually to recognise achievement in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror by New Zealanders or New Zealand residents. The Award is named for a nineteenth century NZ prime minister—who is also held to be NZ’s first speculative fiction author, publishing a novel called Anno Domini 2000 – A Woman's Destiny in 1889. The premise of the book is one where women have achieved suffrage (which NZ actually enacted in 1893, just four years later) and gone on to hold major positions of authority in politics, law and industry. Given that shortly after 2000, NZ’s prime minister, as well as our governor general, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the chief executive of NZ’s largest private company, were all women, Sir Julius’s speculation is now held to be uncommonly prescient …

I always think the Sir Julius Vogel backstory is fun to tell—and just goes to show the power of speculative fiction. I am also both honored and very excited to be shortlisted for the award this year. The Awards ceremony will be held on Sunday night—so send the good vibes my way and wish me luck!

(Oh yes, and the award itself [shown above] was designed by Weta Workshops, which has been involved with the making of a large number of major films, most famously The Lord of the Rings trilogy.)

On top of all of this, this week I’ve celebrated my first birthday as a blogger (and I think it’ll be my Supernatural Underground birthday next month.) To celebrate the birthday of the blog there is a grand birthday giveaway going down, but you do have to visit my “ … on Anything, Really” blog to enter. Here’s the direct link to the birthday blog post itself, and you will find the giveaway details at the bottom of the page. But just so you know what’s up for grabs, I’ve included the details right here.

[Drum Roll:] The “…on Anything, Really” Blog’s Grand Birthday Giveaway:

1. The period of the competition will be from 31 May to 30 June 2010 inclusive;

2. Entries in the competition will be drawn from comments on distinct blog posts during that period. So each time you comment on a new post your name will be entered in the draw again—but only once for each distinct post. (For example: if you post one comment each on 10 distinct blog posts, your name will be entered in the draw 10 times; if you post 10 comments on 1 distinct blog post, your name will only be entered in the draw once.)

3. Three separate book sets are available to be won, each one to be drawn separately:

The Grand Epic Fantasy Giveaway Set, comprising:
  • a signed UK, trade format first edition of The Heir of Night
  • a hardback, anniversary edition of Sara Douglas’s Battle Axe
  • Trudi Canavan’s The Ambassador’s Mission
  • Ursula Le Guin’s Lavinia
  • Neil Gaiman’s American Gods

The Grand YA Fantasy Giveaway Set Comprising:
  • a signed hardback copy of Thornspell
  • Cassandra Clare’s complete Mortal Instruments trilogy: C and ity of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass
  • Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief
  • Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan
The Grand NZ Poetry Giveaway Comprising:
  • AUP New Poets: Harry Jones, Erin Scudder & Chris Tse
  • Ingrid Horrocks’ Mapping the Distance
  • Anna Livesey’s the moonmen
  • Kerry Popplewell’s Leaving the Tableland
Note: If you only wish to be entered in one of the draws, please enter the category you are interested in (e.g. Poetry; or YA Fantasy, or Epic Fantasy) by your name the first time you leave a comment.

The draw will be made on Saturday 2 July 2011 using Random Number Integer.

So please drop by, celebrate the birthday of the blog and leave a comment—on as many posts as you like between 31 May to 30 June 2010 inclusive.

And now I’m putting those bag-packing skates on! Have fun, team—I intend to!

Supernatural Underground author Helen Lowe is a novelist, poet and interviewer. Her latest novel, The Heir of Night, the first of THE WALL OF NIGHT quartet, is recently published in the USA, UK, Australia & NZ. Her first novel, Thornspell, (Knopf, 2008) won the 2009 Sir Julius Vogel Award for “Best Novel, Young Adult.” Helen blogs every day on her Helen Lowe on Anything, Really site and on the 1st of every month right here on the Supernatural Underground.


buddyt said...

I would love to be entered for the Epic Fantasy set if the giveaway is open worldwide.

Thank you.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Sharon said...

Happy Blogday! What generous prizes! I am sending lots of vibage your way. Have fun at the Con (I am going to my first SciFi con this weekend!).

Rain Maiden said...

The Heir of Night looks great, putting it on my list.

Nicole M said...

Wow this is an awesome contest! :D I'd really love to be entered into the YA FANTASY drawing. Have fun at ConText

Katie Dalton said...

Yay! I signed up. Let the winnings come to me!!!!! COME TO

Helen Lowe said...

Thanks for the support, team---I just got my first look at the cover for the Dutch edition of "The Heir of Night" today as well, so the excitement doesn't stop!

Btw, 'technically' to enter the competition you have to post "...on Anything Really" during the competition period---and the competition is definitely world-wide.:)

Giada M said...

Happy blogoversary, Helen! :D And thank you for making the contest international! :)

Helen Lowe said...

You're welcome, Giada!

And in an update, I am now at the convention hotel, with a writer's desk with a harbor view--very nice!--and I can confirm that the earth here does not move and so far the buildings are all staying pretty much in one place! Amazing how one notices and appreciates these things after nearly 10 months of living with the opposite situation!

Oh yes, and I went shopping at a designer store where they were having the most amazing sale and bought two very swish tops for bargain basement prices! Already, I am declaring the convention an unmitigated success! :)

Llehn said...

I'd love to play for the Epic and YA fantasy packs please.


Helen Lowe said...

Hey Llehn - I would love to put you in the draw but you need to post on my site!

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

I'd really love to be entered into the YA FANTASY drawing. awesome Contest.


alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Birgit said...

I literally had to look twice ... thanks for such a generous giveaway!

danaan at gmx dot at

P.S.: Grand Epic Fantasy Giveaway Set

janhvi said...

thank you for this super duper awesome giveaway!!!
i would love to enter for the grand ya fantasy giveaway set!

justjanhvi at gmail dot com