The YA novel Izazov krvi (The Challenge of Blood) by Vesna Kurilic won the Artefakt Award, one of the two Croatian science fiction awards. Artefakt has been awarded since 2010 and, in its categories of YA and children’s fiction, it features a special jury, one made up of the young members of reader’s clubs lead by the Rijeka City Library.
Incidentally, this library is awesome – not only for the YA and kids children’s reading clubs, but for the printing incubators, writing and comic workshops, and its great online magazine, but also for its constant promotion of speculative fiction, which has made a significant difference in developing young readers and fans of SF, and which has won the library this year’s special Artefakt Award for Contribution to Fandom.
I am so not writing all this just to brag about a friend or plug another Croatian genre author. Nope, I am also the editor ofVesna’s novel and thus was cheering in the first row as she received the award last Saturday at Rikon, the second largest and second oldest Croatian con. Rikon will be the proud host to Eurocon 2020 under the name Futuricon.
The Artefact award itself changes shape every year, just like the Hugo. Unlike to Hugo, Artefakt is a tree, most years but never before was a live one, like this year. It was designed by Antonia Meznaric, a Croatin SF author who also hosted the award ceremony. In cosplay. (Part of the same Clash of the Worlds themed cosplay Vesna was taking part in and that won in the Best Multiverse category. Yes, Croatian cons take “wearing several hats” to a totally new level.)
Vesna, pictured here cosplaying Frost Giant Loki, is also a a full time librarian, which her day job, and a successful cosplayer – she is a master level seamstress and she maintains a blog in English. All of this when she is not busy writing the sequel to Izazov krvi which might or might not be out in May 2019.
What happens to the characters of the werewolf pack whose lives were turbulently shaken up and forever changed by the introduction of the railway in that remote part the Austro – Hungarian Empire which also happens to be the Croatian Gorski kotar, I am not at liberty to say. But I am wondering whether an English tranlation of Izazov krvi might be a possiblity.