Clockwork Carabao

At some point in February (or was it March?), before the craziness began and I was thrown into a den of psychotic little Voldemorts, I had a story in mind that I wanted to send out. It had gone through several revisions, at least three of which changed the entire story itself. I had gone from writing about a girl who’d watched a mechanical bird fall from the sky to a girl’s first time siphoning gases from a volcano. I admit, both are still viable ideas to work with, and more than likely I’d probably get back to them at some point.

But it turns out I was having a bit more fun with Hati and her rather engineer-y mind. And besides, who wouldn’t want to tinker around with a mechanical carabao?

Fast forward a couple months later and here I am, sitting and writing about the anthology my short story is going to be in!

Corie and Sean Weaver at Dreaming Robot Press have been superstars, and after three years of having published the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, they’re at it again! Next year, the 2018 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide is set to be released, with my short story “Clockwork Carabao” as part of the fantastic list of children’s science fiction stories. It may not be my first time having been published by DRP, and certainly not my first time writing about my steampunk sandbox, but it’s always exciting to have the opportunity to see my work in print.

And I swear the covers keep getting better and better!

About the 2018 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide:

“When I was a child, the school library had a Girls’ Section, which included fairy tales, and a Boys’ Section, which included all the science fiction. Things have changed, of course, but not enough. There is a strong need for science fiction, as opposed to fantasy, aimed at girls, especially in the middle grades. This anthology is an important contribution to the effort to fill that need, and I’m delighted to be a part of it.”~ Nancy Kress, winner of six Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award

We’ve got another great collection of 24 stories from amazing authors, ranging from Nebula and Hugo winners to relative newcomers to the field. Our characters are white, black, asian, latino. Human and robot. Everyone belongs here.

Help us make the fourth collection of the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide a reality.

To participate in the Kickstarter, click hereAny donation helps. We are so close to our goal!

Party up in hurr.

On top of that, to help promote the Kickstarter, we’re having a YEAG author party! Feel free to hop onto the discussion on Facebook. I will definitely be there tonight, June 29 from 6-9 pm EST, posting a few things about life, the universe, and everything. (But really, I’ll probably be doing random posts about writing and steampunk and science fiction video games…)

Click the image to go to the author party page on Facebook!

Come find me on June 29 from 6 to 9 pm EST! I’ll try to be interesting. Key word “try.” (Or, you can just say hello by leaving a message on one of my posts and I’ll have all sorts of warm fuzzies for having your support :D).

Here’s a sneak peek to my short story, “Clockwork Carabao”!

The mechanical carabao was the strangest contraption Hati had ever seen.

By that point in time, she’d already seen much more than a normal young girl with regards to mechanical animals. She’d even made a few of them herself and had been proud of the prize she’d won at the Junior Mechanicking Competition back at floating Rizal. The prize invention, a mechanical kitten that was also used as a pill dispenser, which her father and mother found quite charming, sat at home—a strange, metallic centerpiece on their large dining table.

And yet this carabao was something new.

– “Clockwork Carabao” by Marilag Angway

I wonder what my engineering friends would think of a mechanical carabao…


WeWriWa #5: 19 April 2015


8-Sentence Sunday is hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors.

This one’s a complete 180 from what I’ve been posting up writing-wise, but I figured since I just closed my giveaway, I might as well put up an excerpt of one of the short stories that wound its way into an anthology!

This excerpt is from a children’s science fiction short, about a girl planning to replace her sister with a robot. I don’t think my own younger sister was very much amused when I told her what the story was about…

The Assessment declared that Shai was not a Genius Girl, so she had not been sent to the special academies at the center of the nation, even though she had started reading at three and knew her mathematics at six. She was not very good with tests, and The Assessment was a collection of different tests to make one long test that took hours and sometimes days to complete. Shai never finished The Assessment; she fell asleep on top of the mathematics problems after she’d doodled all over the back.

Papa had been more amused than disappointed, and when he received the results, he put up Shai’s mathematics page on one of his large corkboards like a certificate. “Cheer up, starshine,” Papa said when Shai felt all kinds of miserable. “Your assessor is a fool. If he’d been paying attention to your doodles instead, he’d have seen your brilliant ode to – are those penguins? Yes, I thought so – Sierpinski’s triangle. It’s a work of art, truly, my star.”

Story Notes: “Robot Sister Number Phi” is part of Dreaming Robot Press’ 2015 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, an anthology of middle grade science fiction filled with diverse and mostly female role models traipsing the far and in-between places of the galaxy. You can grab a copy of the ebook or paperback here.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

A couple weeks back, I hosted a giveaway for a copy of the 2015 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide. So congrats are in order to The Phantom Child for winning a copy. Once you give me your details, I’ll make sure the book makes it comfortably to your home. If it doesn’t head to Pakistan, that is.

Of Pi Days and Giveaways


Happy Pi Day! I hope there’s a slice of pie out there for you, whether it’s pizza or pie (or something similar), because today is especially special, since, you know, 3.1415 –> 3/14/15 (the American system of dating makes good use for this particular holiday!). As part of the Pi Day celebration, I also decided to host a giveaway!


yeag2015It’s time for a bigger universe.

Sally Ride, first American woman in space and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, famously said: “Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can’t be what you can’t see.”

Girls need to read stories where any number of possible roles are modeled for them. Just as importantly, boys need to read stories where girls are active participants in adventures. And children of all colors and backgrounds need to know the future includes them.

About the Book

I have this extra copy lying around in my house and thought I should continue to promote this lovely anthology out to you guys. It also features my story, “Robot Sister Number Phi,” which is probably reason that I hosted a giveaway on Pi Day (nevermind that I’ve written about the Golden Ratio…which technically celebrates its own math-y day on June 18, but that’s too far away!).

So yes. Middle grade. Science fiction. Happy stories. Sad stories. Diverse worlds and characters and robots and flying thingymajigs. Free book (yeah, come on, it calls to you!). Go and sign up for the giveaway! (I will send internationally, too, so don’t worry about all that country stuff).

About the Giveaway

Sign Up for the Rafflecopter Giveaway here!

It’s quick, painless, and easy. And when you’re done, enjoy some pie!


YEAG Author Interview: Marilag Angway

To help spread the news, Vanessa is doing a series of interviews of the contributors to the 2015 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide anthology. Here’s mine!

Vanessa MacLellan

Our next author for the 2015 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guideauthor interview series, is Marilag Angway, the author of “Robot Sister Number Phi”.

Marilag, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing?

What is your story in the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide about?

Why do you think diversity in writing is important and how do you incorporate it in your writing?

What was your ‘ah ha’ moment when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

I remember sitting outside in a clearing at the end of the street in autumnal chill, angry at something or someone. In the middle of my sulking, I came up with prose that I immediately wanted to write down. I headed home and wrote until I finished. I decided there and then that writing was therapeutic enough to continue, and that I loved it when I got…

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Robot Sister Number Phi

No Top Ten Tuesday this week because my brain is fried and I’d rather talk about things like robots and anthologies and diversity instead. Hot topics, those, yep.

A robot! A robot! My sister for a robot!

youngexplorersI wouldn’t really trade my sister for a robot. (Or would I?) In any case, I’ve been pretty excited–and tickled–that one of my short stories will be featured in Dreaming Robot Press’ 2015 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide. Excited because it’d be my first short story in the pro-rate publishing market, and tickled because, well, I based it off of a “what if” moment I sometimes ask myself when I am relatively annoyed with my sister. “What if I replaced my sister with a robot? What would that do for me?” Well, it started out that way, but in the end, even with all the cool gadgetry that is Robot Sister Phi, I did reconcile the sisterly bond that’s inherent–or should be inherent–in families. (I also got to put my minimal knowledge of Latin Am Spanish to good use–with the help of a friend–so that’s a plus!)

In any case, “Robot Sister Number Phi” and the stories in 2015 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide are typically trying to relay the same message for the middle-grade readers: That science fiction can be a playground for a diverse group of individuals in a span of different cultures, female or male, flesh-and-blood or artificial. The anthology description on the Kickstarter page pretty much sums the book up:

We’ve got a great collection of 20 stories from amazing authors, ranging from Nebula and Hugo winners to relative newcomers to the field. 90% of the stories in the anthology are brand new, and 80% have central female characters. We don’t have girls who are prizes to be won or waiting to be rescued. All of our heroines and heroes are on their own adventure, not a side note in someone else’s. Our characters are white, black, asian, latino. Human and robot. Everyone belongs here.

While the Kickstarter campaign has already reached its initial goal (and thensome, yay!), there’s still a little over a day left until the campaign closes.  If you’re into supporting projects that include the push for more middle-grade science fiction with a focus on girl protagonists and diversity, this is definitely the place to go, so show some love our way!

And normally, this is the part where I’d probably throw in an excerpt, but Corie Weaver had already put excerpts up on Wattpad, so I’m sending you there, too.