Some changes to the SpecFicNZ website

Kia ora members and readers, the SpecFicNZ website is currently going through some changes. We have changed our hosting provider, and we will be making some changes to the appearance and functionality of the site over the next few months.

One of the biggest current changes is that we now have a security certificate which means that visitors to https://specfic.nz should see a little padlock in the browser address bar, which will give members and potential members confidence that the website is secure and that they can enter their details into forms. | Read More...

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Featured Work Kiwi Writers Reviews 

A Review of Quest by AJ Ponder

A Review of Quest: Book 1 of the The Sylvalla Chronicles by F Fraderghast (as reported to AJ Ponder)

By Lee Murray

YA science fiction and fantasy specialist, AJ Ponder, has done it again, this time with a story that is less science than her Lily Lionheart and Frankie Files titles and less interactive fiction than her Attack of the Giant Bugs adventure. Instead, Ponder has given us a narrative that is all fantasy (with a bit of alchemy thrown in). QUEST, the first book in Ponder’s Sylvalla Chronicles, is an irreverent and laugh-out-loud spoof on traditional fantasy in the vein of The Princess Bride. | Read More...

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In the News 

NZ Writers Income Survey

Invitation to NZ Writers:

Copyright Licensing New Zealand is conducting their bi-ennial survey of NZ writers’ incomes and are asking authors who haven’t already done so to please complete the survey so they can report accurate results. Thank you!

https://horizonpoll.co.nz/link/SpecFic

“To ensure this survey is representative of the breadth of writing that takes place in New Zealand, we’d like writers of all genres and income brackets to participate.

The survey questions ask for estimations of your earnings from writing.  Please provide the closest estimates that you can. Responses are confidential.” | Read More...

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Lifetime membership – we need your help

At the last SpecFicNZ AGM, our new lifetime membership policy was ratified. Fortunately no rats were injured, and some seemed to enjoy the experience.

Lifetime memberships are our way of honouring people who have made a huge contribution to speculative fiction in new Zealand (or internationally). These might be people who have created an exceptional body of work, or who have played a major part in nurturing our little corner of the SpecFic universe.

Anyone can be nominated for lifetime membership and nominees don’t need to be current or past members. Only a small number of lifetime memberships will be awarded every year. The SpecFicNZ committee will assess all nominations and announce any new lifetime memberships awarded at the next AGM. | Read More...

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Kiwi Writers Publication News Resources 

Putting the Science in Fiction

A great new resource for writers will be published next month by Writers Digest. Putting the Science in Fiction is a fabulous collection of articles about scientific topics of interest to authors. Topics are wide-ranging and include biology, medicine, computer science, geology, and space travel, among others. Each article is written by an expert in the field, many of whom also happen to be writers. The collection is edited by Dan Koboldt, and is based on his popular Science in Science in Sci Fi, Fact in Fantasy Blog. While many of the articles in the book are similar to the blog posts, they’ve all been expanded and updated for the book, plus there are some new articles as well. Best of all, New Zealand makes a great showing in Putting the Science in Fiction;four of the 59 articles were written by Kiwis! Christchurch-based authors Judy Mohr and Robinne Weiss each contributed two articles to the book. Way to go NZ! Putting the Science in Fiction is available for pre-order now, and will be released on 16 October.
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Podcast. Does that sound interesting?

Kia ora, in the SpecFicNZ Core we have been talking about creating a podcast about speculative fiction and related interests with a New Zealand focus.

There are loads of podcasts out there, but not one that specifically promotes our members and their interests.

If you would like to:

  • Help create the podcast, either behind or in front of the mic.
  • Be interviewed on the podcast.
  • Support the podcast in some other way.

Then flick an email to web@specfic.nz

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Genre-8: Flights of Fantasy (Dunedin)

Dunedin Public Libraries poster for Genre-8 event
Genre-8: Flights of Fantasy

As the poster says: come along to the Dunedin Public Library’s fourth floor at 5pm on Thursday the 11th October for a chance to hear eight local Fantasy fiction writers read from and discuss their works, and ask questions. There will even be free books!

Featured writers are:

Andy Evans

Carolyn McCurdie

Daniel Stride

Deb E Howell

Jayne Castel

Kura Carpenter

RL Stedman

Sean P Martin

Each writer will read/speak for around eight minutes, plus time for some questions.

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In the News Reviews 

The Kingfisher’s Debt by Kura Carpenter (a review)

Of course Dunedin is the home of Fair Folk and Elementals in the middle of a never ending feud. Where else could they hide in plain sight among the lesser humans? Of course they are casting spells and causing trouble. Like any other notorious crim’ on the East Coast they have a reputation to uphold. Of course they expect the worst but hope for the best. With power comes responsibility. Debut novel The Kingfisher’s Debt by Kura Carpenter, is an escape into the life of Tamsin Kingfisher as she helps to untangle a culture crossing crime while dealing with the issue of solstice messing up her magic. Woven throughout the novel is the heartache of her own Romeo and Juliet love story as well as her search for her missing beloved older brother. Tamsin adds nuance to the meaning of a busy working woman fulfilling family responsibility, hiding family secrets and getting the job done. With clever reimagining of witches as gang members, magic as the drug for sale, and poetic touches of what lives look like on the line between good and evil, Kura brings us a touch of ‘if only’ in Aotearoa. I can’t wait to read what happens next. | Read More...

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Into the Sounds In the News Kiwi Writers Reviews 

Into the Sounds by Lee Murray

Into the Sounds 

Into the SoundsNZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna is back again. This time, it’s not a military assignment, but a bit of R&R that draws him deep into the bush in New Zealand’s remote Fiordland. His girlfriend Jules Asher, always keen to save an endangered species, is on a conservation trip again – this time, culling deer. They helicopter in, rappel down into the bush and make a series of strange discoveries… a survivor from an ancient helicopter crash; poachers stealing rare New Zealand birds; an ex-US-military submarine lurking in the depths of a fiord; and a long-lost New Zealand race — the Tūrehu tribe. But there’s a primordial monster lurking beneath the depths, protecting the entrance to the Tūrehu hideout. | Read More...

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A view of a used and battered spaceship Kiwi Writers 

NZ Poetry Week: Members’ Poems (Part 3)

A view of a used and battered spaceship
Spaceship by Ian Brown – Creative Commons BY2.0

Here are some more of our members’ poems for you today!

Let There Be Stars – A Spacer’s Journal in 13 Parts
Grace Bridges

Day 1, January 9, 2193 (subjective Earth time)
crisp crescent moon dips towards unseen void
there is no horizon to stop the sky
Centers of gravity shifting, ever shifting
I tumble about in low-G and learn
my body is a stranger crawling the walls
This desert of night has stolen the world
and we the only oasis of light
hurled ahead into the endless night
In a shipload of partygoers
I dream alone | Read More...

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Paint bounces on a speaker Kiwi Writers 

NZ Poetry Week: Members’ Poems (Part 2)

Continuing our posting of members’ poems, here are some more for you to enjoy…

Dead Air
Grant Stone

If you have a speaker, copper wire, a handful of transistors
and the bones from a dead man’s ears
you can make a kind of radio.
Take it to the graveyard, up and down the dial-
-mostly static, but if you listen close
you can hear the whispers of those gone.
Do not cry
or speak
or make any sound at all:
if you can hear the ghosts, they can hear you too.

Your living voice will draw them like a flame-
they will follow you home to hear you talk | Read More...

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Globe suspended amidst rings and stars, Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida Kiwi Writers 

NZ Poetry Week: Members’ Poems (Part 1)

It’s NZ Poetry Week! Here are some speculative poems by our members. Enjoy!

Immi Paterson
Magnetic North

My entire life I had the feeling that I
had to arrive
here
at this precise point.
It’s not on a map, it slides about—
that’s something not often known—
but still, it is an exact location
at any given moment in time:
Magnetic North.

From the North Pole all roads lead south.
If you stand there, right on that spot,
the Earth spins at your feet.
That’s not where I am.
I’m on the ever-shifting position in which
Earth’s magnetic field points directly
downwards.
I’m at the mercy of the molten core
roiling away beneath me. | Read More...

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Anthologies Calls for Submission Cons Contests 

GeyserCon Fiction & Art Contest is Live!

WELCOME TO GEYSERWORLDS…

All you wanted to do was go to GeyserCon: the 40th New Zealand National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in Rotorua. But when you get there, you find that strange things are afoot. Some tall guy in the gaming room insists that he really is an elven prince; a famous redshirt impersonator has mysteriously vanished, and some of the kids are gone too. Meanwhile, local police are called to explain to a fabulously-dressed Space Marine that he can’t carry guns on a public street, even if they’re fake – but they do look ultra-realistic. Hmm! | Read More...

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Why I write book reviews

Writers read, so why is it so hard to get them to write reviews? Writers have opinions about what they read, so why are they so reluctant to share those opinions in a review? Writers write and the one thing that shows someone has read their work is a review. Often the best review to get is from another writer who has admired their work.

SpecFicNZ is all about authors. What most authors find out the hard way is that finishing their book is just the first step in writing a range of texts; there’s the author bio, the blurb, the 60 second elevator pitch, and the inquiry letter for publication. But the one text that shows there is an audience for their book is a review. We all know that when an author starts out they may not make any money but the best way to get their name out there, to get their work out there, are reviews. Reviews can lift your profile and good reviews can lift your sales. | Read More...

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